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OF THE Five INDIAN Nations Depending on the Province of NEW - YORK.
From the first Knowledge the Christians had of
the Five Nations, to the Time of the Happy Revolution in Great Britain.
C H A P. I. The Wars of the Five Nations with the Adiron
dacks and Quatoghies. THe first Account we have of the In
dians, who call themselves Rodinunch. fiouni," now commonly known by the
Name of the Five Nations, (and by the French call’d Les Iroquois) was from the French, who settled Canada under Mr. Champlain, their first Governor, in the year 1603. six years before the Dutch settled New-York. When the French first arrived, they found the Adirondacks (by the French called Algonkins) at War with the Five Nations, which, they tell us, was occasioned in the following manner.
(a) The Adirondacks formerly lived about one hundred Leagues above Trois Rivieres," where now the Utawawas live; at that time they imploy'd themselves wholly in Hunting, and the Five Nations made Planting of Corn their whole business, by which means they became useful to one another, and lived in Friendship together, the Five Nations exchanging with the Adirondacks Corn for Venison. The Adirondacks valued themselves, and their manner of living, as more Noble than that of the Five Nations, and despised them for that reason.
At last the Game began to be scarce with the Adirondacks, they therefore desired that some of the young Men of the Five Nations might joyn with them, and assist them in their Hunting, which the Five Nations the more wil
(a) Histoire de L' Amerique feptenrionale par Mr. de Bacqueville de la Potherie, Vol. 1. Lettre 11."
lingly agreed to, in hopes that thereby their People might acquire skill in Hunting.
It has been a constant Custom among all the Nations of Indians, to divide themselves into small Companies while they Hunt, and to divide likewise the Country among their several Parties, each having a space of 3 or four Miles Square alloted them, in which none of the others must pretend to Hunt; and if any Nation should encroach upon the Limits of another, in their hunting, they certainly draw a War upon themselves.
At this time the Adirondacks were obliged to spread themselves far, because of the scarcity of the Game, and each Party took some of the Five Nations along with them, who being less expert than the Adirondacks, perform’d most of the Drudgery in their March. One of the Parties, which consisted of six Adirondacks, and as many of the Five Nations, marched further than any of the rest, in hopes of the better Sport: They had, for a long time bad luck, so as to be obliged to live upon the Bark of Trees, and some Roots, which those of the Five Nations scraped out of the ground, from under the Snow. This extremity obliged the Adirondacks to part from those of the Five Nasions, each making a seperate Company; and after they had agreed on a Day to return to a Cabbin where both of them left A 2
their their Baggage, each took his Quarter to hunt in: The Adirondacks were unlucky, and return'd first to the Cabbin, where not finding those of the Five Nations, they did not doubt of their being dead of Hunger; but these young Men of the Five Nations were become dextrous with their Bows, and very cuning in approaching and surprizing their Game, which was chiefly owing to their being more patient and able to bear Fatigues and Hardships than the Adirondacks were, accordingly they soon arrived loaded with the flesh of Wild Cows. The Adirondacks could not believe that they were capable of such an Expedition, without being alsisted by some of their Nation. However, the Adirondacks received them with pleasant Countenances, and congratulated them on their Success. Those of the Five Nations made the other a Present of the best of their Venison: They eat together with much Civility, on both sides : But the Adirondacks becoming Jealous of this Success, conspired together, and in the Night time murdered all the six Men of the Five Nations, while they slept. Next Morning the Adirondacks follow'd their Foot-steps, by which they had return’d to the Cabbin, and found the place where they had hunted, and much Venison which they had killed, which the Adirondacks dryed, and carried home along with them.
The The rest of the Five Nations enquired after their Companions; The Adirondacks answered very cooly, that they parted soon after they had left home, and they knew not what was become of them. But the People of the Five Nations being impatient to know something certain of their Companions, sent out several Parties in quest of them: They followed the Foot-steps of those Hunters, and found the fix Dead Bodies, which the wild Beasts had dug up ; and upon examination found they had been Murdered. They made many Complaints to the Chiefs of the Adirondacks, of the Inhumanity of this Murder, who contented themselves with blaming the Murderers, and ordering them to make some small Presents to the Relations of the murdered Persons, without being apprehensive of the Resentment of the Five Nations; for they look'd upon them as men not capable of taking any Revenge.
Those of the Five Nations smother'd their Anger, and not being willing to trust themselves any longer with the Adirondacks, they returned home to their own People, who then lived near Montreal'"onthe BanksofSt. Lawrence River. They gave an account of this Affassination to their Nation, who upon hearing it conceiv'd a vast Indignation against the Adirondacks, who being advised of the secret movements of the Five Nations, Resolv'd to oblige them to submit