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The Reader will find a great Difference between some of the Speeches made at Albany, and those taken from the French Authors. The first are genuine, and truly related, as delivered by the Sworn Interpreters, and where Truth only is required ; a rough Stile with it, is preferable to Eloquence without it. But I must own, that I suspect our Interpreters may not have done Justice to the Indian Eloquence. For, the Indians having but few words, and few complex Ideas, use many Metaphors in their Discourse, which interpreted by an hesitating Tongue, may appear mean, and strike our Imagination faintly, but under the Pen of a skilful Interpreter may strongly move our Passions by their lively Images. I have heard an old Indian Sachem speak with much Vivacity and Elocution, so that the Speaker pleas'd and moved the Auditors with the manner of delivering his Discourse ; which, however, as it came from the Interpreter, disappointed us in our Expectations. After the Speaker had employ'd a considerable time in Haranguing with much Elocution, the Interpreter often explained the whole by one fingle Sentence. I believe the Speaker in that time imbellished and coloured his Figures, that they might have their full force on the Imagination, while the Interpreter contented himself with the Sense, in as few words as it could be exprest.”
He that first writes the History of Matters which are not generally known, ought to avoid, as much as possible, to make the Evidence of the Truth depend entirely on his own Veracity and Judgment: For this reason I have often related several Transactions in the Words of the Registers. When this is once done, he that shall write afterwards need not act with so much Caution.
The History of Indians well wrote, would give an agreeable Amusement to many, every one might find something therein suited to his own Pallat; but even then, every Line would not please every Man; on the contrary, one will (b 2)
praise what another condemns, and one desires to know what another thinks not worth the Trouble of Reading : And therefore, I think, it is better to run the Rifque of being sometimes Tedious, than to omit anything that may be Useful.
I have sometimes thought that the Histories wrote with all the Delicacy of a fine Romance, are like French Dishes, more agreeable to the Pallat than the Stomach, and less wholsom than more common and courser Dyet.
An Historian's Views must be various and extensive, and the History of different People and different Ages, requires different Rules, and often different Abilities to write it : I hope, therefore, the Reader will receive this first Attempt of the kind, in this Country, with more than usually Favourable Allowances.
The Inhabitants of New-York have been much more concernód in the Transactions which followed the year 1688, than in those which preceeded that year. As it requires uncommon Courage and Resolution to engage willingly in the Wars of Cruel and Barbarous Enemies; I should be sorry to forget any that may deserve to be remembred by their Country with gratitude. The Firft Part of this History going abroad by it self, may give those that have any Memoirs of their friends who have distinguished themselves, an opportunity of Communicating them, and may thereby enable the Writer hereof to do some Justice to their Merit.
They likewise that are better acquainted with the Indian Affairs may, perhaps, find some Mistakes in what is now Published, and may know some things which I know not, if they will be so kind as to Communicate them, I shall gladly Amend and Insert them in what is to follow.
A short VOCABULARY of fome Words and
Names used by the French Authors, which are notgenerally understood by the English that understand the French Language, and may therefore be Useful to those that intend to read the French Accounts, or compare them with the Accounts now Published. 8
Names used by the French.
The same are called by the
New-England Indians, and are sometimes called the
Eaftern-Indians. ADIRONDACKS, DIONONDADIES or TUI
NUNDADEKS, a Branch
or Tribe of the Quatog bies. MOHAWKS, called Maquas
by the Dutcb living in the
Province of New-York.
Five Nations generally call
the People of this Province. TEUCHSAGRONDIE,
BAY des PUANS,
DE - TROIT,
Names used by be French HURONS,
ILINOIS, IROQUOIS, LAC HURON
1 The same are called by tbe
English or Five Nations QUATOGHE. But the French
now generally call those of that Nation only Hurons, who live at Mifflimakinack, and who are called Dionondadiks
ronoon by the Five Nations. CHICTACHIKs, The FIVE NATIONS, CANIATARE QUATOGHe
or Quatogbe Lake. SCAKHOOK INDIANS. NEW - YORK. The Illand
on which the City stands was called Manbattan by the In. dians, and still retains that Name with the old Dutcb
Inhabitants. ODISTASTAGHEKS, MAHIKANDER, or River
MIAMIES, MICHILIMAKINAK, ou MISSILIMAKINAK, MISSISAKES, NADOUESSIAUX, ONEYOUTS, ΟΝΝΟΝΤΙΟ,
ONTARIO LAC, ORANGE,
given to the Governor of Ca
nada by the Five Nations. CADAR ACKUI LAKE, ALBANY. The Dutcb of this
Province call this place Fort Orange to this Day, being the Name given to it by the Hollanders when they possessed this Country.
Names used by the French, | The same are called by the
English or Five Nations OUTAGAMIES,
Under this Name the French
comprehend the Quakfies and
UTAWAWAS or Wagunbas,
and sometimes Necariages, the Englisb generally comprehend under the name Utawawas all the Nations living
near Misfilimakiuak. RENARDS,
TODERIKS, TERRE ROUGE,
N. B. The Five Nations, as they have severally a Different Dialect, use different Terminations, and the French generally distinguish that Sound in the Indian Language by (1) which the Englisb do by (d) but I have neglected such small Differences.