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mile west of the station, at a distance of 4 miles from Versailles. From this council house a road runs northward to North Collins and southwest by a devious and uncertain track to Cherry Hollow.
On the east side of the creek, reached directly by the road to Gowanda, which runs east from the courthouse square, and high above the rich bottom lands, is spread out the “ Four mile level”. Many wagon trails run through its dense bushes, hoop poles, second-growth pines, and young oaks, and here is the history of grave mistakes in the past, mingled with some faint promise for a better future. Thousands of great pine stumps show how foolishly the early chiefs of the Seneca nation turned their choice timber into cash for nominal returns and testify to the unscrupulous robbery by the white people who maintained sawmills near the line as long as there was timber to be bought or stolen. At present there is not enough timber on the reservation to fence it thoroughly, and to a large extent the wood used for fuel is taken from saplings which ought to be left for maturer growth.
The reservation is amply supplied with water from small streams and springs, and in variety of soil, varied scenery, and every accessory to profitable farming stands as a model of good judgment in its selection by the Seneca people for their abiding home.
TUSCARORA RESERVATION. The Tuscarora reservation, in Niagara county, New York, is formed from 3 adjoining tracts successively acquired, as indicated on the map. Their early antecedents as kinsmen of the Iroquois, related through language and tradition, their wanderings westward to the Mississippi, and their final lodgment at the headwaters of the rivers Neuse and Tar, in North Carolina, are too much enveloped in tradition to be formulated as history, but courageous, self-supporting, and independent, after long residence upon lands owned by them in that colony, they first came into collision with white people, then with other tribes of that section, until finally, overpowered by numbers, they surrendered their lands upon the Neuse and Tar rivers, and by a treaty with the state of North Carolina removed to the banks of the Roanoke. The white people gave them no peace in their new home, and from 1715 to 1722 they removed to New York, near Oneida lake, and were admitted by their kinsmen of the Five Nations into the Iroquois confederacy, thereafter known as the Six Nations.
In 1780 they removed to the mountain which overlooks Lake Ontario, near the present town of Lewiston. This land site had been formerly occupied by other red men, remains of an ancient fort still remaining, also several mounds bearing signs of great antiquity. The Senecas donated 1 mile square as a resting home, and the Holland Land Company affirmed the grant and conveyed to them an additional 2 miles eastward, covering the entire north face of the mountain, upon which old fortifications rested. In 1804 the Tuscaroras sold their lands in North Carolina, and with $13,722 of the proceeds purchased of the Holland Land Company, with the sanction of the United States, an additional tract of 4,329 acres, thus securing the title in fee simple to a total area of 6,249 acres, which they still retain.
A road from Lewiston touches the northwest corner of the reservation at a distance of a little over 2.5 miles and passes eastward at the foot of the mountain, while a fork, turning sharply to the right, ascends the mountain its whole length, leads to Pekin, and bears the appropriate name, “ The Mountain road ”. A second road from Lewiston climbs the mountain at the station of the Rome, Watertown and Ogdensburg railroad, connects with a road from Suspension Bridge, 5 miles distant, and enters the reservation at the Mountpleasant estate. This, nearly parallel with the mountain road, is known as the Mount Hope road. Still another road from Suspension Bridge courses along the south line of the reservation and leads to the town of Sanborn.
It would be difficult to better balance, settle, and utilize a tract of this size than has been done in its development. Nearly the entire land not reserved for timber has been put to use. 5 crossroads connect the 2 main roads running east and west. The whole reservation is under fence, the chiefs enforcing a rule that every land owner shall maintain a fence at least 4 feet high. Only one prostrate rod of fence, and that washed away by a sudden freshet, was seen during a visit to every house on the reservation. Reference is made to the map for a specific description of the land as divided among the people. With the exception of a few farms on the Holland donation tract, where wells must be dug, pure spring water for domestic and agricultural purposes is abundant. The migration of young men and the death of energetic heads of families have left widows who are land rich but purse poor. They have not the means to hire labor, and are thus compelled to lease their farms to white men and live on the rental income. Even the most successful farmers are unable to find Indian laborers sufficient for the demand, and they also rent portions at a cash rental or on shares. Following the example of the white people, who have utilized the rich valley north of the mountain for fruit, the Tuscaroras have also developed fine orchards of peach and apple trees to the extent of 269 acres. These have been carefully trimmed and kept in good bearing condition. There is not a ragged, untrimmed orchard on the reservation. 2 non-bearing years, almost 3, have not worn out the patience of these farmers. The orchard spaces have been well utilized, and the winter wheat, already well advanced in November, gave promise of good returns in 1891, if the apple crop should again fail.
SAINT REGIS RESERVATION. The Saint Regis Indians are the successors of the ancient Mohawks, and reside on their reservation in Franklin and Saint Lawrence counties, New York, which is 7.3 miles long upon the south line and about 3 miles wide, except where purchases made by the state of New York in 1824 and 1825, as indicated on the map, modify the shape. The original tract was estimated as the equivalent of 6 miles square, and the present acreage, computed by official reports without survey, is given as 14,640. This is probably an excess nearly equal to the 2 tracts noted as being severed from the reservation proper.
4 main roads diverge from the village of Hogansburg, and these are fairly well maintained. Nearly all local roads are poor and little more than trails. The country is practically level, and in the winter teams move almost at random anywhere over the snow or ice. In the summer boats are in general use and the products of Indian industry find a ready market. The Saint Regis river is navigable to the point indicated on the map and communication is maintained with both American and Canadian towns several times a week. At Messena, 12 miles westward, at Helena, 6 miles southwest, and at Fort Covington, 9 miles eastward, are railroad connections with mail facilities 6 days per week.
Nearly the entire tract is tillable and the greater portion has exceptional fertility. The land is slightly rolling, but nowhere hilly. The supply of water is ample, and in portions of the reservation, where swamps or bog prevent tillage, drainage will be necessary before efficient farming can be done. A large tract of this character, containing fully 1,000 acres, extends beyond the boundary line, and complaint bas been made by Canadian as well as American Indian farmers that the feeder dam of the Beauharnois canal holds back water, so as to reduce even the natural drainage to its minimum. Timber has already become scarce for fuel or fencing and only occasional clumps of small pines represent the former dense forests along the rivers. The cultivated lands have been quite generally fenced, however, with small poles, but the annual spring repairs only supplement about as much of necessary fencing as is quite generally and conveniently used for fuel during the winter.
The boundary line established by the treaty of Washington about equally divides the population of the American and Canadian members of the Saint Regis nation. The house of John J. Deer, “ Running Deer”, known as the “ International hotel”, is bisected diagonally by this boundary line. It also cuts off one of the rooms of John Papineau's house opposite.