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ruins of Joua,” we may with equal confidence as. sert, that morbid must be his sensibility and small must be his capacity for improvement, who does not advance in wisdom and in virtue, from contemplating the State and the History of the people, who occupied this country before the man of Europe.
As it is therefore not uninteresting, and is entirely suitable to this occasion, I shall present a geneneral geographical, political and historical view of the red men who inhabited this state before us'; and this I do the more willingly, from a conviction that no part of America contained a people which will furnish more interesting information and more useful instruction, which will display the energies of the human character in a more conspicuous manner, whether in light or in shade-in the exhibition of great virtues and talents, or of great vices and defects.
* In 1774 the government of Connecticut, in an official statement to the British Secretary of State, represented the original title to the lands of Connecticut as in the Pequot Nation of Indians, who were numerous and warlike-that their great Sachem Sasacus had under him twenty-six Sachems, and that their territory extended from Narraganset to Hudson's River and over all Long Island. The Long Island Indians, who are represented as very savage and ferocious, were called Meilowacks or Meitowacks and the Island itself Meitowacks.1 The Mohucoris, Mahatons or Manhattans occupied this Island and Staten Island. The Mohegans, whose original name was Muhhekanew, were settled on that part of the state east of Hudson's River and below Albany, and those Indians, on the west bank from its mouth to the Kaats' Kill mountains, were sometimes denominated Wabingie and sometimes Sankikani, and they and the Mohegans* went by the general appellation of River Indians; or, according to the Dutch, Mohickanders. Whether the Mohegans were a distinct nation from the Pequotst has been recently doubted, although they were formerly so considered. One of the early Historians asserts that the Narragansets, a powerful nation in New England, held dominion over part of Long
* 7th Vol. Collection of Massachusetts Historical Society. p. 231. † Sinith's History of New-York, p. 262. # Staten Island was purchased from the Indians by Col. Lovelace, second Governor under the Duke of York, between the years 1667 and 1673.(Chalmers's Political Annals of the Colonies, p. 509.) He refers to different manuscripts in the plantation office called New-York Entries, New-York Papers, which appear to be voluminous: If we could ascertain from those papers the nation that sold Staten-Island, it might produce some interesting
Island. I The generic name adopted by the French for all the Indians of New England was Abenaquis; and the country from the head of Chesapeake Bay to the Kittatinney mountains, as far eastward as the Abenaquis and as far northward and westward as the Iroquois, was occupied by a nation denominated by themselves the Leuni-lenopi—by the French Loups, and by the English Delawares.Ş Mr. Charles Thompson, formerly Secretary of Congress, supposed that this nation extended East of Hudson's to Connecticut River and over Long Island, this Island and Staten Island : and Mr. Smith, in his History of New York, says, that when the Dutch commenced the settlement of the country, all the Indians on Long Island and the northern shore of the Sound, and on the banks of Connecticut and Hudson River, were in subjection to and paid an annual tribute to the Five Nations. || Mr. Smith's statement, therefore, does not accord with this fact, nor with the alleged dominion of the Pequots and Narragansets over Long Island; New-York was settled before Connecticut, and the supremacy of the Iroquois was never disturbed, and it probably prevailed at one time over LongIsland, over the territory as far east as Connecticut River, and over the Indians on the west banks of the Hudson. The confusion on this subject has probably arisen from the same language being used by the Delawares and Abenaquis, but indeed it is not very important to ascertain to which of these nations the red inhabitants of that portion of the State may be properly referred. They, in process of time, became subject to the Iroquois, and paid a tribute in wampum and shells. * Their general character and conduct to the first Europeans, they probably had ever seen, have been described in Hudson's voyage up the North River.t And it is not a little remarkable that the natives below the Highlands were offensive and predatory, while those above rendered him every assistance and hospitality in their power. Of all these tribes about nine or ten fam- . ilies remain on Long-Island-their principal settlement is on a tract of 1000 acres on Montauck Point. The Stockbridge Indians migrated from Hudson's River in 1734 to Stockbridge in Massachusetts, from whence they removed about the year 1785 to lands assigned to them by the Oneidas in their territory: The Brothertown Indians formerly resided in Narraganset, in Rhode-Island
* Jefferson's Virginia, p. 310.-1 vol. Collections of New York Historical Society, p. 33, 34.–Barton's Views of the Origin of the Indians, p. $1.Trumbull's History of the U. S. p. 42. + Trumbull's History of Connecticut, p. 28. # 1 Vol. Mass. Historical Society, p. 144, &c. Daniel Gooking. $ Barton's Views, p. 25.-Jefferson's Notes, p. 310, &c. V It is certain that the Montacket Sachem, so called in former times, or the east end of Long Island, paid tribute in wampum to the Confederated
Colonies of Massachusetts, Plymouth, Connecticut and New Haven, for at least ten years previous to 1656. (2 Hazard's Collections of State Papers.
* Smith's History of New-York. Colden's History of the Five Nations. + Purchas Pilgrim, vol. 3. p. 58.--1 vol. New-York Historical Collections, # 4 vol. Massachusetts Historical Society. p. 67, &c,
and in Farmington, Stonington, Mohegan and some other towns in Connecticut, and are a remnant of the Muhhekanew Indians, formerly called the Seven Tribes on the Sea Coast. They also inhabit lands presented to them by the Oneidas. These Indians, and the Stockbridge Indians, augmented in a small degree by migrations from the Long-Island Indians, have formed two settlements, which by an accurate census taken in 1794, contained four hundred and fifty souls. But the greater part of the Indians below Albany retreated at an early period from the approach of civilized man, and became merged in the nations of the North and the West. As far back as 1687, just after the destruction of the Mohawk Castles by the French, Governor Dongan advised* the Five Nations to open a path for all the North Indians and Mohikanders, that were among the Ottawas and other Nations, and to use every endeavour to bring them home.
The remaining and much the greatest part of the State was occupied by the Romans of this Western World, who composed a federal republic, and were denominated by the English, the Five Nations, the Six Nations, the Confederates
- by the French, the Iroquois—by the Dutch, the Maquas or Mahakuase—by the Southern Indians, the Massawomacs-by themselves, the Mingos or Mingoians—and sometimes the Aganuschione or United People, and their confederacy they styled the Renunctioni. I
The dwelling lands of this confederacy were ad
* 1 vol. Colden's History of the Five Nations, p. 85, &c.
+ Volney's View of the United States, p. 470---476.-1 Colden's Five Na. tions, p. 4 and 5.
# 1 Vol. Massachusetts Historical Collection, p. 144, &c. Daniel Gookins. -1 vol. Pownall on the Colonies, p. 235.-Smith's History of New Jersey, p. 136.-Morse's Gazetteer, Title Six Nations.Jeffersoa's Virginia, p. 149,Smith's History of New-York, p. 45.
mirably adapted for convenience, for subsistence and for conquest. They comprise the greatest body of the most fertile lands in North America ; and they are the most elevated grounds in the United States from whence the waters run in every direction. The Ohio, the Delaware, the Susquehanna, the Hudson and the St. Lawrence, almost all the great rivers, besides a very considerable number of secondary ones originate here, and are discharged into the Gulph of Mexico by the Misa sissipi River, into the Gulph of St. Lawrence by the St. Lawrence River, or into the Atlantic Ocean by various channels. Five great inland seas reach upwards of 2,000 miles through a considerable part of this territory, and afford an almost uninterrupted navigation to that extent. By these lakes and rivers, the confederates were enabled at all times and in all directions to carry war and destruction among the surrounding and the most distant nations.
. And their country also abounds with other lakes, some of great size; Lake Champlain, formerly called the Sea of the Iroquois, Lake George, the Saratoga, the Oneida, the Canadesaga or Seneca, the Cayuga, the Otsego, the Skaneatelas, the Canandaigua, the Cross, Onondaga, the Otisio, the Owasco, the Crooked, the Canesus, the Hemlock, the Honeyoyo, the Chataque, the Caniaderaga and the Canaforaga--composing in number and extent with the five great lakes, the greatest mass of fresh water to be found in the world. In addition to the fertility of the soil, we may mention the mildness of the climate to the west of the Onondaga Hills, the salubrity and the magnificent scenery of the country. The numerous waters were stored with the salmon, the trout, the muscalunga, the white fish, the shad, the rock fish, the sturgeon, perch and other fish of various kinds; and the forests abounded with an