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“ most all the Indian Nations of this vast Conti<< ment.” Their Matters of Consequence, which concern all the Nations, are transacted in a general Meeting of the Sachems of each Nation. These Conventions are commonly held at Omnondaga, which is nearly the Center of their Country; but they have fixed on Albany for the Place of treating with the British Colonies. They strictly follow one Maxim, formerly used by the Romans to increase their Strength, that is, they encourage the People of other Nations to incorporate with them ; and when they have subdued any People, after they have satiated their Revenge by some cruel Examples, they adopt the rest of their Captives ; who, if they behave well, become equally esteemed with their own People; so that some of their Captives have afterwards become their greatest Sachems and Captains. The Tuskaroras, after the War they had with the People of Carolina, fled to the Five Nations, and are now incorporated with them ; so that they now properly indeed consist of six Nations, though they still retain the old Name of the Five Nations among the English. The Cowetas also, or Creek-Indians, are in the same Friendship with them. The Tuskaroras, fince they came under the Province of New York, behave themselves well, and remain peaceable and quiet ; and by this may be seen the Advantage of using the Indians well, and I believe, if they were still better used (as there is Room enough to do it) they would be proportionably more useful to us. - The Cruelty the Indians use in their Wars, towards those that do not or cannot resist, such as Women and Children, and to their Prisoners, after they have them in their Power, is deservedly indeed held in Abhorrence: But whoever reads the History of the so famed ancient Heroes,will find them, I’m afraid, not much better in this Respect. Does Achilles's Behaviour to Heffor’s dead Body, in Homer, appear less 3 - savage?
lates, or whether it be as an Emblem of Fidelity,
for which the Dog is distinguished by all Nations, that it is always used on this Occasion, . I have not Hufficient Information to determine. When the Company is met, the Promoters of the Enterprize set forth theUndertaking in the best Colours they can; they boast of what they intend to do, and incite others to join, from the Glory there is to be obtained ; and all who eat of the Dog's Flesh, thereby inlist them.
The Night before they set out, they make a grand
Feast, to this all the noted Warriors of the Nation are invited ; and here they have their War Dance, to the Beat of a Kind of a Kettle-drum. The Warriors are seated in two Rows in the House, and each rises up in his Turn, and fings the great Aéts he has himself performed,and the Deeds of his Ancestors; and this is always accompanied with a Kind of a Dance, or rather Aćtion, representing the Manner in which they were performed ; and from Time to Time, all present join in a Chorus, applauding every notable Aët. They - - exaggerate
March, observe a profound Silence. An Officer of
the regular Troops told me, that while he was Com:
mandant of Fort-Hunter, the Mohawks, on one of
chuse an Oak, as most lasting ; upon the smooth Side of this Wood they, with their red Paint, draw one or more Canoes, going from Home, with the Number of Men in them padling,which go upon the Expedition ; and some Animal, as a Deer or Fox, an Emblem of the Nation against which the Expedition is designed, is painted at the Head of the Canoes; for they always travel in Canoes along the Rivers, which lead to the Country against which the Expedition is designed, as far as they can. After the Expedition is over, they stop at the same Place in their Return, and send to their Castle, to inform their Friends of their Arrival; that they may be prepared to give them a solemn Reception, suited to the Success they have had. In the mean Time, they represent on the same, or some Tree near it, the Event of the Enterprize, and now the Canoes are painted with their Heads turned towards the Castle; the Number of the Enemy killed, is represented by Scalps painted black, and the Number of Prisoners by as many Withs, (in their Painting not unlike Pothooks) with which they usually pinion their Captives. These Trees are the Annals, or rather Trophies of the Five Nations : I have seen many of them ; and by them, and their War Songs, they preserve the History of their great Atchievements. The isolemn Reception of these Warriors, and the Acclamations of Applause, which they receive at their Return, cannot but have in the Hearers the same Ef. fect, in raising an Emulation for Glory, that a Triumph had on the old Romans. After their Prisoners are secured, they never of. fer them the least Male-treatment, but, on the contrary, will rather starve themselves, than suffer them to want; and I have been always assured, that there is not one Instance, of their offering the least Violence to the Chastity of any Woman that was their Captive. But notwithstanding this, the poor Prisoners afterwards undergo severe Punishments before they receive
for, fince the general Peace, their Villages lie all