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Title: David Cusick’s Sketches of Ancient History of the Six Nations - Comprising First—A Tale of the Foundation of the Great Island, (Now North America), The Two Infants Born, and the Creation of the Universe. Second—A Real Account of the Early Settlers of north America, and Their Dissensions. Third—Origin of the Kingdom of the Five Nations, Which Was Called a Long House: the Wars, Fierce Animals, &c.
Author: Cusick, David
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "David Cusick’s Sketches of Ancient History of the Six Nations - Comprising First—A Tale of the Foundation of the Great Island, (Now North America), The Two Infants Born, and the Creation of the Universe. Second—A Real Account of the Early Settlers of north America, and Their Dissensions. Third—Origin of the Kingdom of the Five Nations, Which Was Called a Long House: the Wars, Fierce Animals, &c." ***

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Transcriber’s note:

      Text enclosed by underscores is in italics (_italics_).

      The author’s style is that of a non-native speaker of English,
      and in places is grammatically unusual, mixing tenses and
      using odd sentence structure. Only printer’s errors have been
      changed; a full list is given at the end.

                    DAVID CUSICK’S
                      SKETCHES OF
                    ANCIENT HISTORY
                        OF THE
                     SIX NATIONS,


                     GREAT ISLAND,
                 (NOW NORTH AMERICA.)
                 THE TWO INFANTS BORN,
                        AND THE


                      WAS CALLED
                     A LONG HOUSE:
             THE WARS, FIERCE ANIMALS, &c.

                   LOCKPORT, N. Y.:


I have been long waiting in hopes that some of my people, who have
received an English education, would have undertaken the work as to
give a sketch of the Ancient History of the Six Nations; but found no
one seemed to concur in the matter, after some hesitation I determined
to commence the work; but found the history involved with fables;
and besides, examining myself, finding so small educated that it was
impossible for me to compose the work without much difficulty. After
various reasons I abandoned the idea: I however, took up a resolution to
continue the work, which I have taken much pains procuring the materials,
and translating it into English language. I have endeavored to throw
some light on the history of the original population of the country,
which I believe never have been recorded. I hope this little work will be
acceptable to the public.

                                                         DAVID CUSICK.

TUSCARORA VILLAGE, June 10th, 1825.


[Illustration: _A WAR DANCE._]

[Illustration: _STONISH GIANTS._]




Among the ancients there were two worlds in existence. The lower world
was in a great darkness;—the possession of the great monster; but the
upper world was inhabited by mankind; and there was a woman conceived and
would have the twin born. When her travail drew near, and her situation
seemed to produce a great distress on her mind, and she was induced by
some of her relations to lay herself on a mattress which was prepared,
so as to gain refreshments to her wearied body; but while she was asleep
the very place sunk down towards the dark world. The monsters of the
great water were alarmed at her appearance of descending to the lower
world; in consequence all the species of the creatures were immediately
collected into where it was expected she would fall. When the monsters
were assembled, and they made consultation, one of them was appointed
in haste to search the great deep, in order to procure some earth, if
it could be obtained; accordingly the monster descends, which succeeds,
and returns to the place. Another requisition was presented, who would
be capable to secure the woman from the terrors of the great water, but
none was able to comply except a large turtle came forward and made
proposal to them to endure her lasting weight, which was accepted. The
woman was yet descending from a great distance. The turtle executes upon
the spot, and a small quantity of earth was varnished on the back part
of the turtle. The woman alights on the seat prepared, and she receives
a satisfaction. While holding her, the turtle increased every moment
and became a considerable island of earth, and apparently covered with
small bushes. The woman remained in a state of unlimited darkness, and
she was overtaken by her travail to which she was subject. While she was
in the limits of distress one of the infants in her womb was moved by
an evil opinion and he was determined to pass out under the side of the
parent’s arm, and the other infant in vain endeavoured to prevent his
design. The woman was in a painful condition during the time of their
disputes, and the infants entered the dark world by compulsion, and
their parent expired in a few moments. They had the power of sustenance
without a muse, and remained in the dark regions. After a time the turtle
increased to a great Island and the infants were grown up, and one of
them possessed with a gentle disposition, and named ENIGORIO, i. e. the
good mind. The other youth possessed an insolence of character, and was
named ENIGONHAHETGEA, i. e. the bad mind. The good mind was not contented
to remain in a dark situation, and he was anxious to create a great
light in the dark world; but the bad mind was desirous that the world
should remain in a natural state. The good mind determines to prosecute
his designs, and therefore commences the work of creation. At first he
took the parent’s head, (the deceased) of which he created an orb, and
established it in the centre of the firmament, and it became of a very
superior nature to bestow light to the new world, (now the sun) and
again he took the remnant of the body and formed another orb, which was
inferior to the light (now moon.) In the orb a cloud of legs appeared
to prove it was the body of the good mind, (parent.) The former was to
give light to the day and the latter to the night; and he also created
numerous spots of light, (now stars:) these were to regulate the days,
nights, seasons, years, &c. Whenever the light extended to the dark world
the monsters were displeased and immediately concealed themselves in the
deep places, lest they should be discovered by some human beings. The
good mind continued the works of creation, and he formed numerous creeks
and rivers on the Great Island, and then created numerous species of
animals of the smallest and greatest, to inhabit the forests, and fishes
of all kinds to inhabit the waters. When he had made the universe he
was in doubt respecting some being to possess the Great Island; and he
formed two images of the dust of the ground in his own likeness, male
and female, and by his breathing into their nostrils he gave them the
living souls, and named them EA-GWE-HOWE, i. e. a real people; and he
gave the Great Island all the animals of game for their maintenance; and
he appointed thunder to water the earth by frequent rains, agreeable
to the nature of the system; after this the Island became fruitful and
vegetation afforded the animals subsistence. The bad mind, while his
brother was making the universe, went throughout the Island and made
numerous high mountains and falls of water, and great steeps, and also
creates various reptiles which would be injurious to mankind; but the
good mind restored the Island to its former condition. The bad mind
proceeded further in his motives and he made two images of clay in the
form of mankind; but while he was giving them existence they became apes;
and when he had not the power to create mankind he was envious against
his brother; and again he made two of clay. The good mind discovered his
brother’s contrivances, and aided in giving them living souls,[1] (it is
said these had the most knowledge of good and evil.) The good mind now
accomplishes the works of creation, notwithstanding the imaginations of
the bad mind were continually evil; and he attempted to enclose all the
animals of game in the earth, so as to deprive them from mankind; but the
good mind released them from confinement, (the animals were dispersed,
and traces of them were made on the rocks near the cave where it was
closed.) The good mind experiences that his brother was at variance
with the works of creation, and feels not disposed to favor any of his
proceedings, but gives admonitions of his future state. Afterwards the
good mind requested his brother to accompany him, as he was proposed
to inspect the game, &c., but when a short distance from their nominal
residence, the bad mind became so unmanly that he could not conduct his
brother any more. The bad mind offered a challenge to his brother and
resolved that who gains the victory should govern the universe; and
appointed a day to meet the contest. The good mind was willing to submit
to the offer, and he enters the reconciliation with his brother; which he
falsely mentions that by whipping with flags would destroy his temporal
life; and he earnestly solicits his brother also to notice the instrument
of death, which he manifestly relates by the use of deer horns; beating
his body he would expire. On the day appointed the engagement commenced,
which lasted for two days: after pulling up the trees and mountains as
the track of a terrible whirlwind, at last the good mind gained the
victory by using the horns, as mentioned the instrument of death, which
he succeeded in deceiving his brother and he crushed him in the earth;
and the last words uttered from the bad mind were, that he would have
equal power over the souls of mankind after death; and he sinks down to
eternal doom, and became the Evil Spirit. After this tumult the good mind
repaired to the battle ground, and then visited the people and retires
from the earth.



In the ancient days the Great Island appeared upon the big waters, the
earth brought forth trees, herbs, vegetables, &c. The creation of the
land animals; the Eagwehoewe people were too created and resided in the
north regions, and after a time some of the people become giants and
committed outrages upon the inhabitants, &c. After many years a body of
Eagwehoewe people encamped on the bank of a majestic stream, and was
named _Kanawage_, now St. Lawrence. After a long time a number of foreign
people sailed from a port unknown; but unfortunately before reached
their destination the winds drove them contrary; at length their ship
wrecked somewhere on the southern part of the Great Island, and many
of the crews perished; a few active persons were saved; they obtained
some implements, and each of them was covered with a leather bag, the
big hawks carried them on the summit of a mountain and remained there
but a short time the hawks seemed to threaten them, and were compelled
to leave the mountain. They immediately selected a place for residence
and built a small fortification in order to provide against the attacks
of furious beasts; if there should be any made. After many years the
foreign people became numerous, and extended their settlements; but
afterwards they were destroyed by the monsters that overrun the country.
About this time the Eagwehoewe people inhabited on the river Kanawage
or St. Lawrence; but they could not enjoy tranquility, as they were
invaded by the giants called Ronnongwetowanca, who came from the north
and inhabited considerably; but their mode of attack was slily, and
never dared to precipitate themselves upon the enemy without prospect
of success; especially they took advantage when the warriors were
absent from the town. After plundering the people’s houses and making
captives those who were found, and hastily retreat to their residence
in the north. An instance—a family of princes lived near the river St.
Lawrence, of whom, containing six brothers and a sister and their father,
was a noble chieftain, who fell at the contest of the enemy.—One time
the brothers went out a day’s hunt and leaving their sister alone in
the camp; unfortunately while they were gone the giant makes vigorous
attack and the woman soon became a prey to the invader. On the eve the
brothers returned and were much grieved that their sister was found
missing; they immediately made a search, but the night was getting too
late and the darkness prevented them. On the morning the eldest brother
determined to pursue the enemy until he could discover something about
their sister, and promised to return in seven days if nothing should
happen; accordingly the prince set out and pursued the traces of the
enemy; after journeyed three days he reached the giant’s residence about
sundown; at first sight he discovered his sister was gathering some
sticks for fuel near the house; but as he approached the sister retired;
the princess soon proved by her conduct that she had fell in love with
the giant, and that it was impossible to gain her confidence. The prince
was now brought to a point of view about the dread of the enemy; but
however he was willing to risk the dangers he was about to meet; he
remained until about dusk and then entered the house; happily he was
received with most favorable terms, and his fears were soon dissipated,
the giant offered his pipe as a tribute of respect, which the prince
accepted. After receiving the evening diet they talked a good while
without a least appearance of hostility; as the night was getting late
the prince was invited to bed; but the giant was now acting to deceive
the prince; he commenced to amuse him part of the night in singing
songs; the giant had determined to assassinate the visiter the first
opportunity as the prince was so fatigued that he was now fast asleep;
he killed him on the bed and the body was deposited in a cave near the
house where he had stored the carcases. The giant was much pleased of
his conquest over the prince he advised his wife to watch daily in order
to impose on another enemy. The seven days elapsed, as the brother did
not return the youngest brother, _Donhtonha_ was much excited about his
brother and resolved to pursue him; the Donhtonha was the most stoutest
and ferocious looking fellow, after armed himself commenced the journey,
and also arrived at the place and time as mentioned, and found his
sister; but before he had time to reconcile her she returned to the
house as she had formerly done, and informed the giant that some person
was coming: the Donhtonha entered the house with appearances of hostile
disposition, and enquired for his brother; this produced alarm; the giant
was promptly to pacify the prince; he replied that he had made peace with
the brother, who had gone to visit some people in the neighborhood, and
it was expected he would return every moment. Upon this assurance the
Donhtonha become some abated; the sister provided some food and he soon
enjoyed the domestic felicity; but alas, the giant was far from being
friendly and was only forming a plan to deceive the visiter. The evening
was late, the Donhtonha was out of patience waiting for his brother to
come home, and renewed his enquiries; the visitor was invited to bed;
the giant was in hopes to exterminate the visiter; he rose from his seat
and commenced his usual custom in singing. The Donhtonha perceived that
some evil design was performing against him and resolved to abandon the
bed for a while; he begged leave for a few moments and went out after
various considerations from being imposed; he procured some pieces of
wood which produced a faint light in the night and put it above his
eyelids and again went to bed; the giant was now deceived; while the
visiter was asleep his eyes appeared though he was awake continually.
As soon as day light the visiter hurried from the bed and was about to
make a search for the deceased brother, but the giant protested which
soon excited suspicions of the act; after a long debate the Donhtonha
attacked the giant; a severe conflict ensued, at last the giant was
killed; and burnt him in the ruins of his house; but his spirit fled to
heaven and changed into one of the eastern stars. During the engagement
his sister was grieved and fled to the wilderness, and lamented for her
deceased husband, and she died in despair, and her spirit also became one
of the northern stars. After the conquest the search was prosecuted, he
discovered the remains of his brother and weeps over it and burnt it to

At a time another Ronnongwetowanea attacked a small town located on the
bank of Kanawage, (St. Lawrence.) This occurred in a season when the
people were out to hunt, and there was no person in the town except an
old chief and an attendant named Yatatonwatea: while they were enjoying
repose in their houses were suddenly attacked by the Ronnongwetowanea;
but the Yatatonwatea escaped, went out the back door and deserted the
aged chief to the fate; however the enemy spared no time, the chase was
soon prosecuted which caused the Yatatonwatea to retreat as fast as
possible; he attempted to make resistance in various places, but was
compelled to retire at the appearance of the enemy; in vain he endeavored
to gain retreat by traversing various creeks and hills; he undertook
a new method of giving little effect upon the progress of the enemy;
after running some distance he discovered which would promptly cherish
the imposition, he drove a flock of pigeons in the way to amuse them
until he could hide himself under the bank of the river, unfortunately
the flattering hope seemed to fail; after remaining there but a short
time before he saw the enemy was coming in full speed, and was soon
obliged to abandon the position and continue the flight; again he tried
to conceal himself among the rocks of the mountain, but in a mean time
the enemy advanced at the moment, of which he became dismayed, finding
that nothing could resist the impetuosity of the pursuer, but determined
not to surrender as long as he was capable to keep out of the reach;
he immediately took the path which leads to the hunting grounds in
search of some people; fortunately at a short distance met two warriors
and he was instantly supported and made vigorous resistance; after
terrible combat the Ronnongwetowanea was exterminated; during the time
the warriors conducted themselves as heroes, which gained the triumph,
notwithstanding one of them received a severe wound by the club. The
Yatatonwatea with alarm whoop hastened to the encampment and advised the
people of the substance and the dangers which the enemy might commit
upon the vacant towns. As soon as the people received the intelligence
immediately returned to their settlements, and a convention were held by
the chieftains in order to take some measures to defend their country. As
the Ronnongwetowanea tribe were not numerous and deemed it inexpedient
to raise a large force and therefore a few hundred warriors were sent to
subdue them; after decisive contests the warriors gained the victory; and
it was supposed that the Ronnongwetowanea tribe has ever since ceased
to exist. (This fate happened probably about two thousand five hundred
winters before Columbus discovered the America.) The depredations of the
enemy which so often exercised upon the inhabitants were now terminated;
and the country enjoyed without disturbance many winters. About this time
a mischievous person named Shotyerronsgwea, while visiting the people at
first distinguished himself of a good character and in mean time gained
the confidence of the people; by doing this he was fairly concealed from
being discovered of his real designs, and in a short time began to injure
the people; he assassinated two warriors secretly, and then violated six
virgins, &c., &c. And the next he ventured to break the harmony of the
nation and created dissensions among the people. At this the chiefs were
so offended that the Shotyeronsgwea was banished from the village; when
he received this treatment he deemed proper to desist from going back to
any of the towns; he immediately crossed the river St. Lawrence and moved
towards the midday sun, and he came to a town situated south of the great
lake (Ontario) and he was received with kindness; but his entertainment
could not appease his evil designs; though he appeared reconciled,
one night while at the dancing house he killed several warriors; this
offence he discovered should prove fatal to his person, and was
compelled to leave the town and went some other place to do mischief.
The Shotyeronagwea was the greatest mischievous person that ever existed
on the continent. He was considered an agent from bad spirit. About
this time Big Quisquiss (perhaps the Mammoth) invaded the settlements
south of Ontario lake; the furious animal push down the houses and made
a great disturbance; the people was compelled to flee from the terrible
monster; the warriors made opposition but failed; at length a certain
chief warrior collected the men from several towns—a severe engagement
took place, at last the monster retired, but the people could not remain
long without being disturbed; Big Elk invaded the towns; the animal was
furious and destroyed many persons; however the men were soon collected—a
severe contest ensued and the monster was killed.

About this time the northern nations formed a confederacy and seated a
great council fire on river St. Lawrence: the northern nations possessed
the bank of the great lakes; the countries in the north were plenty of
beavers, but the hunters were often opposed by the big snakes. The people
live on the south side of the Big Lakes make bread of roots and obtain a
kind of potatoes and beans found on the rich soil.

Perhaps about two thousand two hundred years before the Columbus
discovered the America, and northern nations appointed a prince, and
immediately repaired to the south and visited the great Emperor who
resided at the Golden City, a capital of the vast empire. After a
time the Emperor built many forts throughout his dominions and almost
penetrated the lake Erie; this produced an excitement, the people of
the north felt that they would soon be deprived of the country on the
south side of the Great Lakes they determined to defend their country
against any infringement of foreign people: long bloody wars ensued which
perhaps lasted about one hundred years: the people of the north were too
skillful in the use of bows and arrows and could endure hardships which
proved fatal to a foreign people; at last the northern nations gained the
conquest and all the towns and forts were totally destroyed and left them
in the heap of ruins.

About this time a great horned serpent appeared on lake Ontario, the
serpent produced diseases and many of the people died, but by the aid of
thunderbolts the monster was compelled to retire. A blazing star fell
into a fort situated on the St. Lawrence and destroyed the people; this
event was considered as a warning of their destruction. After a time a
war broke out among the northern nations which continued until they had
utterly destroyed each other, the island again become in possession of
fierce animals.



By some inducement a body of people was concealed in the mountain at the
falls named Kuskehsawkich, (now Oswego.) When the people were released
from the mountain they were visited by TARENYAWAGON, i. e. the Holder
of the Heavens, who had power to change himself into various shapes: he
ordered the people to proceed towards the sunrise as he guided them and
come to a river and named Yenonanatche, i. e. going round a mountain,
(now Mohawk) and went down the bank of the river and come to where
it discharges into a great river running towards the midday sun; and
Shaw-nay-taw-ty, i. e. beyond the Pineries, (now Hudson,) and went down
the bank of the river and touched bank of a great water. The company
made encampment at the place and remained there a few days. The people
were yet in one language; some of the people went to the banks of great
water towards the midday sun; but the main company returned as they
came, on the bank of the river, under the direction of the holder of
the Heavens. Of this company there was a particular body which called
themselves one household; of these were six families and they entered
into a resolution to preserve the chain of alliance which should not be
extinguished in any manner. The company advanced some distance up the
river of Shaw-na-taw-ty, (Hudson) the Holder of the Heavens directs the
first family to make their residence near the bank of the river, and the
family was named Te-haw-re-ho-geh, i. e. a Speech divided, (now Mohawk)
and their language was soon altered; the company then turned and went
towards the sunsetting and travelled about two days and a half, and come
to a creek[2] which was named Kaw-na-taw-te-ruh, i. e. Pineries. The
second family was directed to make their residence near the creek, and
the family was named Ne-haw-re-tah-go, i. e. Big Tree, now Oneidas, and
likewise their language was altered. The company continued to proceed
towards the sunsetting under the direction of the Holder of the Heavens.
The third family was directed to make their residence on a mountain named
Onondaga, (now Onondaga) and the family was named Seuh-now-kah-tah,
i. e. carrying the name, and their language was altered. The company
continued their journey towards the sunsetting. The fourth family was
directed to make their residence near a long lake named Go-yo-goh, i.
e. a mountain rising from water, (now Cayuga) and the family was named
Sho-nea-na-we-to-wah, i. e. a great pipe, their language was altered.
The company continued to proceed towards the sunsetting. The fifth
family was directed to make their residence near a high mountain, or
rather nole, situated south of the Canandaigua lake, which was named
Jenneatowake and the family was named Te-how-nea-nyo-hent, i. e.
Possessing a Door, now Seneca, and their language was altered. The sixth
family went with the company that journeyed towards the sunsetting, and
touched the bank of a great lake, and named Kau-ha-gwa-rah-ka, i. e. A
Cap, now Erie, and then went towards between the midday and sunsetting,
and travelled considerable distance and came to a large river which was
named Ouau-we-yo-ka, i. e. a principal stream, now Mississippi; the
people discovered a grape vine lying across the river by which a part
of the people went over,[3] but while they were engaged, the vine broke
and were divided, they became, enemies to those who went over the river;
in consequence they were obliged to dispense the journey. The Holder
of the Heavens instruct them in the art of bows and arrows in the time
of game and danger. Associates are dispersed, and each family went to
search for residences according to their conveniences of game. The sixth
family went towards the sunrise and touched the bank of the great water.
The family was directed to make their residence near Cau-ta-noh, i.
e. Pine in water, situated near the mouth of Nuse river, now in North
Carolina, and the family was named Kau-ta-noh, now Tuscarora and their
language was also altered; but the six families did not go so far as
to lose the understanding of each other’s language. The Holder of the
Heavens returns to the five families and forms the mode of confederacy,
which was named Ggo-nea-seab-neh, i. e. A Long House, to which are
1st.—Tea-kaw-reh-ho-geh; 2d—New-haw-teh-tah-go; 3d—Seuh-nau-ka-ta;
4th—Sho-nea-na-we-to-wan; 5th—Te-hoo-nea-nyo-hent. About this time it is
supposed an agent from superior power solemnly visits the families, and
he instructs them in various things respecting the infinity, matrimony,
moral rules, worship, &c.; and he warns them that an evil spirit was
in the world and would induce the people to commit trespasses against
the rules he had given them; and he offers them favorable promises
obedience to rules, the souls would enter the place of happiness; but to
the disobedient their souls would be sent to a state of misery. And he
gives the seeds for corn, beans, squashes, potatoes and tobacco, with
directions how to cultivate them; and he gives them the dogs to aid in
pursuing the game; and he repeats the administration of the game; and
that the great country was given for their people’s maintenance. When he
ended the interview of consolation he leaves.

About one hundred winters since the people left the mountain,—the
five families were increased, and made some villages in the country.
The Holder of the Heavens was absent from the country, which was
destitute of the visits of the Governor of the Universe. The reason
produced the occasion that they were invaded by the monsters called
Ko-nea-rau-neh-neh, i. e. Flying Heads, which devoured several people
of the country. The Flying Heads made invasions in the night; but the
people were attentive to escape by leaving their huts and concealing
themselves in other huts prepared for that purpose. An instance:—there
was an old woman which resided at Onondaga; she was left alone in the
hut at evening, while others deserted. She was setting near the fire
parching some acorns when the monstrous Head made its appearance at
the door: while viewing the woman it was amazed that she eat the coals
of fire, by which the monsters were put to flight, and ever since the
heads disappeared and were supposed concealed in the earth. After a
short time the people were invaded by the monster of the deep: the Lake
Serpent traverses the country, which interrupted their intercourse. The
five families were compelled to make fortifications throughout their
respective towns, in order to secure themselves from the devouring
monsters.—The manner making the fort: at first they set fire against
several trees as requires to make a fort, and the stone axes are used
to rub off the coals, as to burn quicker; when the tree burns down they
put fires to it about three paces apart and burns it down in half a day;
the logs are collected to a place where they set up round according to
the bigness of the fort, and the earth is heaped on both sides. A fort
generally has two gates; one for passage, and the other to obtain water.
The people had implements which they used to make bow and arrows. The
kettle is made of baked clay in which the meat is boiled; the awl and
needles are made of hard bone; a pipe for smoking, is made of baked clay,
or soft stone; a small turtle shell is used to peal the bark; a small dry
stick is used to make a fire, by boring it against the seasoned wood.

Perhaps about 1250 years before Columbus discovered the America, about
two hundred and fifty winters since the people left the mountain, the
five families became numerous and extended their settlements, as the
country had been exposed to the invasion of the monsters that the people
could not enjoy but a short space of time without being molested. About
this time a powerful tribe of the wilderness, called Otne-yar-heh,
i. e. Stonish Giants[4] overrun the country and the warriors were
immediately collected from several towns and a severe combat took place,
but the warriors were overpowered and the people fell at the mercy of
the invaders, and the people were threatened with destruction, and the
country was brought to subjection for many winters. As the people have
been reduced so often they could not increase. The Stonish Giants were
so ravenous that they devoured the people of almost every town in the
country; but happily the Holder of the Heavens again visits the people
and he observes that the people were in distressed condition on the
account of the enemy. With a stratagem he proceeds to banish their
invaders, and he changes himself into a Giant, and combines the Stonish
Giants, he introduces them to take the lead to destroy the people of the
country: but a day’s march they did not reach the fort Onondaga, where
they intended to invade, and he ordered them to lay in a deep hollow[5]
during the night and they would make attack on the following morning. At
a dawn of the day, the Holder of the Heavens ascended upon the heights
and he overwhelms them by a mass of rocks, and only one escaped to
announce the dreadful fate; and since of the event the Stonish Giants
left the country and seeks an asylum in the regions of the north.—The
families were now preserved from extinction. The Lake Serpent discovers
the powerful operations of the Holder of the Heavens, instantly retreats
into the deep places of the lakes. After the banishment of the monster
of the deep made its appearance in the country; a snake with the shape
of human head opposed the passage between the Onondaga and Go-yo-gouh,
now Cayuga, which prevented their intercourse, as the snake had seated
near the principle path leads through the settlements of the Five
Families. The people were troubled of their condition, and finally
they determined to make resistance. They selected the best warriors at
Onondaga, and after they were organized and prepared proceeded to the
place; after a severe conflict the snake was killed; the lake serpent was
often seen by the people, but the thunder bolt destroyed the serpent or
compelled them to retire into the deep. About this time they were various
nations inhabited the southern countries, these nations descended from
the families that were dispersed after the vine broke on Onauweyoka,
[Mississippi.] The Holder of the Heavens visited the Five Families and
instructed them in the arts of war, and favors them to gain the country
beyond their limits, after which he disappeared.

Perhaps 1000 years before Columbus discovered the America. About this
time the Five Families become independent nations, and they formed a
Council fire in each nation, &c. Unfortunately a war broke out among
the Five Nations: during the unhappy differences the Atotarho was the
most hostile chief, resided at the fort Onondaga; his head and body
was ornamented with black snakes;—his dishes and spoons were made of
skulls of the enemy; after a while he requested the people to change his
dress, the people immediately drove away the snakes—a mass of wampam
were collected and the chief was soon dressed in a large belt of wampam;
he became a law giver, and renewed the chain of alliance of the Five
Nations and framed their internal government, which took five years in
accomplishing it. At Onondaga a tree of peace was planted reached the
clouds of Heaven; under the shade of this tree the Senators are invited
to sit and deliberate, and smoke the pipe of peace as ratification of
their proceedings; a great council fire was kindled under the majestic
tree, having four branches, one pointed to the south, west, east, north:
the neighboring nations were amazed at the powerful confederates; the
Onondaga was considered a heart of the country; numerous belts and
strings of wampam were left with the famous chief as record of alliance,
&c., after he had accomplished the noble work he was immediately named
Atotarho, King of the Five Nations; and was governed by the senate,
chosen by the people annually; the successor of the kings to follow the
woman’s line. About this time the Te-hoo-nea-nyo-hent, or Senecas was
at war with the Squawkihows, a powerful tribe passed the banks of the
Genesee river; after various engagements the Senecas sent an army to
scourge the enemy, but were repulsed with a severe loss; the melancholy
intelligence was soon conveyed to Onondaga and informed the king of
their defeat; a powerful army of the allies were soon directed against
the Squawkihows; after a long siege the principal fort was surrendered
without discretion, and the chief was taken prisoner, put to death, the
war terminated, however a remnant of the Squawkihows were allowed to
remain in the country and became vassals to the five nations after the
conquest. The government ordered the Senecas to settle the country and to
build forts on the Genesee river as to keep Squawkihows in subjection,
for fearing in time they might create a rebellion. The Senecas now
possessed along the bank of the Great Lake, now Ontario, to the creek
called Kenaukarent, now Oak Orchard, the bank of the river Onyakarra, now
Niagara, possessed by Twakanhah, [Mississaugers.]

In the days the king Atotarho II. about this time the Oyalkquoher, or big
bear invaded the territory of the five nations, the hunters were often
attacked by these monsters. At the village of Ohiokea, situated west of
Oneida creek, a small party went out to hunt and encamped near the lake
Skonyatales; one morning while they were in the camp a noise broke out in
the lake; a man was sent immediately to see the tumult; he saw a great
bear on the bank rolling down stones and logs; the monster appeared to
be in a great rage: a lion came out of the lake and suddenly fell upon
the bear, a severe contest ensued, in the mean time the bear was beaten
and was compelled to leave the bank, the next day the men went in search
of the bear, they found the bear; one of the fore legs was so heavy that
two men could not lift but a hands high, they procured some of the meat
for useful purposes in the time of war. About this time a great musqueto
invaded the fort Onondaga; the musqueto was mischievous to the people it
flew about the fort with a long stinger, and sucked the blood a number
of lives; the warriors made several oppositions to expel the monster,
but failed; the country was invaded until the Holder of the Heavens
was pleased to visit the people; while he was visiting the king at the
fort Onondaga, the musqueto made appearance as usual and flew about the
fort, the Holder of the Heavens attacked the monster, it flew so rapidly
that he could hardly keep in sight of it, but after a few days’ chase
the monster began to fail: he chased on the borders of the great lakes
towards the sunsetting, and round the great country: at last he overtook
the monster and kill it near the salt lake Onondaga, and the blood became
small musquetos.

In the reign the king Atotarho III. About this time the Oneidas had
extended their forts down the river Kaunsehwatauyea, or Susquehanna, a
fort situated on the river, there was a certain woman delivered a male
child uncommon size; when he was twelve years of age he was nearly as
large as grown person, and he would beat his playmates which would create
disputes, but the mother would correct him, and afterwards she prevailed,
he promised never to injure his people; when grown up he became a giant
and was a great hunter; the parent was stored with venison continually;
he was so strong that when returned from hunting he would have five
or six deers and bears strung round on his belt. The giant was named
Soh-nou-re-wah, i. e. Big Neck, (now Shawnees) which inhabited the banks
of the river and brought several suits of dress and the scalps of whom he
had killed. The Sah-wau-noo sends messengers to fort Keu-na-sen-wa-tau-yea
as to demonstrate the conduct of Soh-nau-ro-wah, but the business was
left upon the relatives Sau-rau-ra-wah, who persuaded him to reform his
behaviour for the future: he remained only two winters without making
disturbance; he went down the river and whenever he came to a town he
committed the same outrages upon the inhabitants, and plundered the
people’s clothes, skins, &c. Again the Sau-wa-noo sends a deputy and
reported their resentment, but determined to make hostile aggressions if
not satisfaction was made on their part. The Chief Ne-nau-re-tah-go sends
a belt of Wampum, and offered the terms of peace, which was accepted; but
the Sau-rau-roh-wah was not disposed to favor the treaty; he left the
fort and went down and located on the bank of Kau-nau-seh-wah-tau-yea
river, (said Susquehanna) and commenced to build a fort;[6] he was
frequently visited by his relatives; and after the fortification was
completed he resolved to continue the war against his enemies; he went
from time to time and attacked the people which inhabited on the river as
he had done before; he would lay in ambush near the path, and whenever
the people are passing he shoots them: he used a plump arrow, which
was so violent that it would break the body in two parts: as he became
mischievous to the people that the relatives were obliged to form a plan
to destroy him; but Sau-rauh-ro-wah was not easily to be quelled, it was
supposed that ten warriors were not sufficient to equal his strength. At
the fort Kou-na-seh-wa-ta-yea there went three warriors of his natives
which bring him favorite diet, a mess of huckle berries, &c.; the
Sau-nou-ro-wah was pleased of the visit and the food which was given; but
while he was eating it one of the warriors, with a club, concealed under
his cloak, instantly stepped on the bench where he was setting, and gave
a fatal blow on the monster’s head, he was so distracted that he run out
the fort and was intended to cross the river, he sunk in the mire which
was near the bank, the warriors prevailed and killed him on the spot: the
warriors spoiled his house and obtained a large quantity of skins, &c.;
and the fort was ruined ever since.

Perhaps about 800 years before the Columbus discovered the America. About
this time the Twakanhahors, (now Mississaugers) ceded the colonies lying
between the Kea-nau-hau-sent (Oak-Orchard,) and the river Onyakarta,
(Niagara) to the five Nations.

About this time lived the king Atotarho IIII. There was a woman and
son resided near the fort, which was situated near a nole, which was
named Jenneatowaka, the original seat of the Council fire of the
Te-hoo-nea-nyo-hent (Senecas;) the boy one day while amusing in the bush
he caught a small serpent called Kaistowanea, with two heads, and brings
it to his apartment; the serpent was first placed in a small bark box to
tame, which was fed with bird’s flesh, &c. After ten winters the serpent
became considerable large and rested on the beams within the hut, and
the warrior was obliged to hunt deers and bears to feed the monster; but
after awhile the serpent was able to maintain itself on various game; it
left the hut and resided on the top of a nole; the serpent frequently
visited the lake, and after thirty years it was prodigious size, which in
a short time inspired with an evil mind against the people, and in the
night the warrior experienced the serpent was brooding some mischief,
and was about to destroy the people of the fort; when the warrior was
acquainted of the danger he was dismayed and soon moved to other fort; at
daylight the serpent descended from the heights with the most tremendous
noise of the trees, which were trampled down in such a force that the
trees were unrooted, and the serpent immediately surrounded the gate;
the people were taken improvidentially and brought to confusion; finding
themselves circled by the monstrous serpent, some of them endeavored to
pass out at the gate, and others attempted to climb over the serpent,
but were unable; the people remained in this situation for several
days; the warriors had made oppositions to dispel the monster, but were
fruitless, and the people were distressed of their confinement, and found
no other method than to rush to pass out at the gate, but the people were
devoured, except a young warrior and sister, which detained, and were
only left exposed to the monster, and were restrained without hopes of
getting released; at length the warrior received advice from a dream,
and he adorned his arms with the hairs of his sister, which he succeeded
by shooting at the heart, and the serpent was mortally wounded, which
hastened to retire from the fort and retreated to the lake in order to
gain relief; the serpent dashed on the face of the water furiously in
the time of agony; at last it vomited the substance which it had eaten
and then sunk to the deep and expired. The people of the fort did not
receive any assistance from their neighboring forts as the serpent was
too powerful to be resisted. After the fort was demolished the Council
fire was removed to other fort called Thau-gwe-took, which was situated
west of now, Geneva Lake, erected bulwarks on Mountain Ridge, west of
Genesee River.

About this time reigned the King Atotarho V. At the fort
Ke-dau-yer-ko-wau, (now Tonewanta plains) a party went to hunt and were
attacked by the Ottauwahs, which created differences between the two
nations as they entered on no terms but to commence hostilities; the
To-hoo-nyo-hent sends a band of warriors to attack some of the hunters
as to retaliate the vengeance upon their enemies. The warriors advanced
above the lake named Geattahgweah (now Chatauque) and made encampment
and agreed to hunt two days, after which to proceed towards the enemies’
country; the warriors went in various directions; a certain warrior
passed a small brook, he discovered a strange animal resembling a dog,
but could not discover the head; the creature was a greyish color, and
was laying asleep exposed to the rays of the sun; and also discovered a
den, supposed the place of his residence; the warrior returned to the
camp at evening and related the kind of animal, and informed them, as he
imagined was a very poisonous animal, and he was afraid to approach it
again, but one of the jokers laughed at him and he was called a cowardly
fellow; the joker determined to go himself and kill the creature without
trouble, but wished some of the warriors to be spectators in the time of
the engagement; accordingly the warrior went, accompanied by a number of
warriors; he was directed to the spot and discovered the animal. After
beating it short time with his club, he seized the animal and tied it
with a tumline; but while he was lifting it the creature immediately
moved to the den. With all his might, he held the tumline, but he could
not stop it, he was compelled to let go the tumline when the creature
went beyond his reach; the warrior was confused at not being able to kill
the animal; he hastened to retire from the spot, but when a few paces
he was taken with the pestilence which was influenced by the creature,
and suddenly died; another warrior was at sight and directly fled to
carry the intelligence, but also died at a short distance, and the
others returned to the camp; but the pestilence soon prevailed among the
warriors, and many of them died in the same manner; a few of them escaped
by leaving the camp before the plaigue appeared, and thus ended the
expedition. The Ottauwahs continued their hostilities and attacked the
hunters; the Senecas sent out a small party and fought—drove the enemy
off, but their engagements were small and continued many winters.

In the days of king Atotarho VI., perhaps 650 years before the Columbus
discovered the America, at the fort Keadanyeekowa or Tontawanta plains, a
small party went out to make incursion upon the enemy that may be found
within the boundaries of the kingdom. They penetrated the Ohio river
and encamped on the bank; as they were out of provision, the warriors
were anxious to kill a game; a certain warrior discovered a hollow tree,
supposing a bear in the tree, he immediately reported; the warriors were
in hopes to obtain the bear—went to the tree; one of them climbed and
put a fire in it in order to drive out the creature; the warriors made
ready to shoot, but were mistaken, there instantly came out a furious
Lizard, and quickly grasped and leaped into the hollow of the tree and
the young ones devoured it; a grumbling noise ensued, the warriors were
terrified at the monstrous creature and were soon compelled to retire,
except one staid at the tree while others fled; he remained until
the party was destroyed and the last warrior was chased; the warrior
immediately left the tree and ran on the way fortunately met the holder
of the Heavens who advised him to stop and offers the aid of making
resistance which was accepted; the warrior was instructed to make fire
without delay and to get some sticks to use with which to prevent the
Lizard flesh from uniting the body as being efficatious, the protector
changed into a lion and laid in wait, in a meanwhile the monster came
up, a severe engagement took place, the warrior hastened with a stick
and began to hook the Lizard’s flesh, when bit off by his defendant and
throws it into the fire, by means the monster was quelled. The warrior
thanked for the personal preservation. The protector vanished out of
his sight. The warrior returned to the fort and related the occurrence.
The war raged: the Senecas had sent out parties against the Ottauwahs
and obtained various successes; at last the Ottauwahs sued for peace.
After a few winters the Senecas gained their mutual intercourse with the
Ottauwahs and other neighboring nations. About this time reigned the
king Atotarho VII. who authorised by the Senate to send an expedition to
explore the countries towards the setting sun, he sends a messengers to
acquaint the Ottauwahs of his intention, and wished them to form such
arrangements and to favor their passage, which was complied agreeable to
his request. The king appointed two captains to command the expedition,
about fifteen men were selected from the five nations; after they were
equiped and prepared, commenced the journey and arrived at Sandusky;
the King of Ottauwah sent two warriors to accompany the expedition; on
their way held several conferences with the nations and all seemed to
favor their passage. They advanced the Mississippi river; a duke of
Twa-kan-ah had collected the people from several towns came out to meet
them the people danced around them, singing, beating their little drums;
after the ceremonies was performed the band of warriors was invited
into the national house. The band crossed the Mississippi and continued
their course towards the sunsetting; they reached an extensive meadow;
they discovered a curious animal—a winged fish, it flew about the tree;
this little active creature moved like a humming bird. They continued
the journey and come at the village of the Dog Tail Nation, the band
was accommodated, amused with dances, and was conducted to the chief’s
house. They were astonished that the people had short tails like apes; a
hole was made through their seats where they put their tails. The band
continued their direction and came to another nation and too was kindly
received, and their object was favorably accepted by the head men of the
nation. During their stay, a certain warrior of the band courted a young
woman, but the warrior died soon after the marriage. They observed that
the people did not eat any meat but drink the soup. The band continued
the journey, but before reached the Rocky Mountains, were arrested by a
giant; the band was compelled to return; after a long journey came back
to the seat and informed the king all the particulars about the journey.
After a time the five nations was desirous to preserve the peace and
friendship with the western nations; ambassador was sent to the Lentahkeh
nation, who inhabited the country east of Ohio River (now in Kentucky);
another ambassy was sent, who went and lived among the Ottauwahs for
several years; he married a woman and afterwards obtained two children;
he was invited to join a company going out a winter’s hunt. They
journeyed some distance, and reached their hunting grounds; but the men
were so unlucky that they could kill but a few game; after a few days the
people were destitute of provisions; the leader of the company commanded
the overseer to select two fat persons and to kill them without delay,
which was soon executed; the flesh of these victims was distributed
among the people. The leader had commanded the people that if any one
killed a game the meat should be left with the overseer for distribution,
and that who disobeyed, the offender should be punished in a severest
manner. The ambassy killed a bear, the meat was disposed to the rules.
The leader daily butchered two persons to feed the people, which only
increased their distress. The people were so feeble that they were unable
to hunt any more, and many of them began to famish.—The ambassy again
killed another game and bring it secretly to his camp, but it was soon
detected and rumored among the people; at this offence, the ambassy was
ordered to appear before their tribunal; some men were angry at him
and sought to destroy him, but the leader deemed it unjust, it would
violate the treaty they had entered with the five nations; but however,
to satisfy the people, the leader consented to use other method to
destroy him; he commanded to strip him and to seize his clothes and the
instruments; after which to extinguish their fires, and then to remove
their camps a half day’s journey distance; the offender would certainly
freeze without remedy; but the ambassy was ingenious, finding that he
would be surprised, instantly takes a suit of dress and bow and arrows,
and hides them under the hemlock boughs which were spread in the camp.
In a meanwhile the opponents entered the camp, the ambassy was stripped
without discriminate, as they had determined to destroy him. The wife was
compelled to leave him, or else she would share the same fate.

The company retired; he dressed himself immediately and proceeded and was
in hopes to reach a fort situated near the Lake Erie; but was so fatigued
that he could not travel very fast; about sunset he happened to approach
on an age of a dark forest; he selected a spot where he encamped, but
as he had no kind of food to eat and was quite dejected after making
exertions to render himself comfortable, but failed, the weather being
unfavorable, as it was cold and cloudy, however he was seldom taken by
surprise; having a good understanding about astronomical calculations,
ascertained that the storm was at hand; after kindled a fire laid himself
down to linger out a miserable existence which he was doomed to suffer.
Early in the morning he heard some noise as something was coming, which
at once attracted his attention; he was afraid; as presumed that some of
his enemy had overtook him; fortunately a young man came up and sat down;
the visitor showed a friendly disposition, after a short conversation the
ambassy related his distressed condition; the visitor offered to relieve
him as soon as possible, which was received with sanguine expectations;
the ambassy was advised that a snow would fall so deep that he would
be in want of a pair of snow shoes, the visitor offered the pattern
and showed him how to make the shoes. The ambassy was directed where
to find the game; and did as he was bidden. On the night the young man
made another visit and advised the ambassy where to catch bears; after
the conversation the visitor disappeared. He succeeded and caught seven
bears; after he had prepared some meat and the bears’ oil, immediately
went to the encampment in search of his wife and children, found them
almost perished; as first gave them each a spoonful of oil and were soon
relieved; he directed them to his camp. The ambassy was relieved from
distress whilst his enemy was lingering in despair; he examined the camp
and was astonished to find that the people were utterly famished; the
people became so weak and faint that they were not able to make fire;
those who held out had eat the human flesh as long as they could they
themselves, and were lying among the dead, the company was now exposed to
destruction, as the people had put themselves to disgrace; the ambassy
had refused to invite any of them except his wife’s relatives; the
disasters were so worn out did not reach the camp until next morning.
After a few days by his exertions, the men’s strength was revived, and
were capable to hunt. After they had come back to the town the ambassy
was so shamefully abused by the people, he was compelled to leave his
wife and the country. About this time the Ottawahs became numerous and
powerful nation, occupied an extensive country lying between the Lake
Erie and the Ohio river, and was supposed their national force amounted
about 4000 men.

In the reign of King Atotarho VIII., perhaps 4000 years before the
Columbus discovered America. About this time the Twakanhah or
Messissaugers began to wage a war against the five nations; the Senecas
on the frontier were most engaged in the warfare. After various
skirmishes the enemy was so excited that they determined to destroy the
fort Kauhanauka, (now in Tuscarora near Lewiston,) but the commander of
the fort was aware of the danger, he sent messengers to the forts in
the vicinity, and about eight hundred warriors were collected at fort
Kauhanauka. The commander had sent runners to observe the movements of
the enemy. The army marched towards the river, and hid themselves among
the bushes under the mountain; the enemy came up; a bloody battle ensued;
the enemy was repulsed and flies from the foe. The army retired to the
fort; soon after the commander despatched two runners to the forts on
the Genesee river to procure assistance as soon as possible; the army
received reinforcements; they made bark canoes and carried them to the
mouth of the Niagara river; the canoes were ready, the commander sent
a chieftain and offered the enemy an intermission or parley, but the
proposal was not accepted; the army immediately crossed the river and
made vigorous attack: the enemy was routed and fled from the bank without
making resistance, retreated towards the head of the lake; after burning
the huts, the army returned to the fort; but the commotions were not
quelled; small parties of the Senecas often take the canoes and go by
water towards the head of Ontario lake, in search of the enemy, but they
avoid from attack of superior force; several engagements were made on
the lake with small parties of the enemy; after a while the commander of
the fort Kauhanauka, was ardent to attack the main body of the enemy;
he sends runners beyond the Genesee river, and obtained two thousand
warriors: the army again crossed the Niagara river and proceeded towards
the head of the lake, but before reached the beach met a strong force of
the enemy; after a desperate contest the army retreated; the commander
soon perceived that it was impossible to gain the conquest, sued for
peace and offered to restore the prisoners which he took from them which
was concluded. About this time the Stonish Giants were diminished, but
very few found in the north regions; the Giants understood the language
of the five nations, but they were a most savage tribe, and often
attacked the hunters, but that set of hordes were extirpated. At the
Onondaga, two men went out to hunt beaver, and crossed the river St.
Lawrence, and went far in the north, and discover a number of beaver
dams, and killed many beavers. One day a man went alone in search of the
beaver, but unfortunately he was taken prisoner by the Stonish Giant;
the man was compelled to run a race with the Giant, a considerable
distance; after midday the man gained and almost went out of sight, but
the giant whooped, by which the man was so affected that he fainted and
fell down. The giant took advantage of him and soon passed him; the man
was dismayed and turned his course, and sought to escape and endeavored
to hide himself: he climbed a small tree and bent it to another tree,
and leaped from tree to tree, until he reached a large basswood stump
which had sprouted several branches, and seated himself in the midst
of it and watched the pursuer: in a few moments the giant came up and
examined the stump for some time; at length the giant exhibited a curious
instrument which he called a pointer, and possessed a power of the
nature; it directed him where to find game; the giant could not live
without it. The man observed the motion of the hand, and as it was about
to point to him, he jumped from the stump and seized it by the fingers,
and instantly possessed the valuable instrument; the giant was defeated
and immediately entreated for the pointer, and offered to mention the
medical roots as a mark of friendship, which was accepted; the pointer
was restored to the owner, after which the giant retired; the man came
home and began to doctor, and cured many diseases; he was skilled in
the business and drew hair and worms from persons whom the witches had
blown into their bodies. It was supposed that the Skaunvatohatihawk, or
Nanticokes in the south first founded the witchcraft. Great pains were
taken to procure the snakes and roots which the stuff was made of to
poison the people. The witches formed into a secret society; they met in
the night and consult on various subject respecting their engagements;
when a person becomes a member of their society, he is forbidden to
reveal any of their proceedings. The witches in the night would turn into
foxes and wolves, and run very swift, attending with flashes of light.
The witches sometimes turn into a turkey or big owl, and can fly very
fast, and go from town to town, and blow hairs and worms into a person;
if the witches are discovered by some person they turn into a stone or
rotten log; in this situation they are entirely concealed; about fifty
persons were indicted for being witches, and were burnt to death near
the fort Onondaga, by order of the national committee. About this time
a strange thing happened near the village of Kaunehsuntahkeh, situated
east of Oneida creek: a man and his wife and another person returned
from hunting, but before they reached the village the night was getting
late; they went into a house to stay over the night; the house where the
dead bodies were deposited; they kindled a fire and went to sleep, but
when the fire was out, the room became dark, the man heard something was
gnawing: the man kindled the fire, he discovered the person was dead
eaten by a ghost; he was so frightened that he trembled; he immediately
told his wife to quit the room as soon as possible; he remained a few
moments and also left the house and followed his wife and overtook her,
but she became faint and could not run fast; they saw a light coming and
supposed the ghost was chasing; fortunately they gained the village.
The next day the people went and burnt the dead bodies. This important
event was soon made known among the five nations, and afterwards changed
their mode of burying, by setting posture face to the east; but again
they were troubled with the dead bodies, and were compelled to make some
alterations in burying.

In each Nation contain set of generations or tribes, viz. _Otter_,
_Bear_, _Wolf_, _Beaver_, _Turtle_. Each tribe has two chiefs to settle
the disputes, &c. If a man commits murder, the nearest relation of the
slain despatches the murderer with a war-club; the slain and the murderer
are put into one grave. Sometimes their relation of the offender present
a belt of white wampum, to make the atonement. The adulterous women are
punished by shaving their heads, and banished from the town. The thieves
are punished by whipping severely. To recover debts, they generally apply
to the chiefs; the payments are made up by the relatives of the debtor.
They have a certain time of worship; the false faces first commence the
dances; they visit the houses to drive away sickness, &c. Each town or
district are allowed to sacrifice a couple of white dogs: the dogs are
painted and ornamented with strings of wampum: they throw the dogs into
the fire, and some tobacco, and addresses the Maker. They pretend to
furnish him a coat of skin and a pipe full of tobacco; after which, have
dances for several days. The private feats are guided by the dreams. The
sixth family, Esaurora, or Tuscaroras, was visited by a person, and went
to see their amusements, but he was abused by some of the ball-players.
He punished the offender by throwing him into a tree; he suddenly
disappeared, but the person came again and released the fellow from the
tree. The visitor appeared very old man; he appeared among the people
for a while; he taught them many things; how to respect their deceased
friends, and to love their relations, &c., he informed the people that
the whites beyond the great water had killed their Maker, but he rose
again; and he warns them that the whites would in some future day take
possession of the Big Island and it was impossible to prevent it; the red
children would melt away like snow before the heat. The aged became sick,
and he told them to get different kinds of roots, to cure the diseases;
and also showed them the manner of mourning, &c. The aged man died among
them, and they buried him; but soon after some person went to the grave
and found he had risen, and never heard of him since.

In the reign the King Atotarho IX., perhaps 350 years before the Columbus
discovered the America. About this time the Kanneastokaroneah or Erians
sprung from the Senecas, and became numerous and powerful nation,
occupying the country lying between the Genesee and Niagara Rivers. It
was supposed that the national sovereignty was confirmed by the Senate
of the Five Nations. A Queen, named Yagowanea, resided at the fort
Kauhanauka, (said Tuscarora.) She had an influence among the people,
and extended her authority over twelve forts of the country. A treaty
of peace was concluded between her and the Twakanhah, (Messissaugers.)
After a time dissentions broke out between the Five Nations and the
Messissaugers, and soon commenced hostilities; but the war was regulated
under her control. The Queen lived outside the fort in a long house,
which was called a Peace House. She entertained the two parties who
were at war with each other: indeed, she was called the mother of the
Nations. Each nation sent her a belt of wampum as a mark of respect,
but where the Five Nations were engaged in the warfare she admitted two
Canandaigua warriors into her house; and just as they began to smoke
the pipe of peace a small party of the Messissaugers too came into the
house. She betrayed her vistors—she advised the Messissaugers to kill the
warriors, which was soon executed; the Messissaugers soon retired. The
Queen was informed that the two warriors of Canandaigua had been over
the river and killed a young prince of the Messissaugers: this offence
was too great to pass without condemning the murderers; the reason she
gave them up. She immediately went and consulted the chieftain of the
band, stationed at Kanhaitauneekay, east of Onondaga village, Buffalo
reservation, and from thence repaired to fort Kauquatkay, situated on
the Lake Erie, the residence of the Kaunaquavouhar, a chief commander
of the Erian forces. She dispatched two runners to assemble the people
at Kauquatkay the Queen too sends an ambassy to form an alliance with
the Naywaunaukauraunah, a savage tribe encamped on the lake Erie, to
unite against the Five Nations. During the absence of the Queen from the
fort Kauhanauka, a woman went privately and took a canoe and proceeded
on the lake Ontario, towards Canandaigua, as fast as possible; she left
the canoe at some place and went through the woods, and came late in
the evening at Canandaigua, a fortified town, and immediately informed
the Governor, Shorihowane, that the Erians were making preparations to
destroy the people living on the east side of Genesee river. The woman
gave direction how to send the spies: the governor rose in the morning
and sent out two fast runners to the fort Kauhanauka, to ascertain the
matter; the two spies came to an old cornfield south of the fort, where
they met some boys hunting squirrels; the spies made inquiries and
received all necessary information respecting the Erians’ Council at
Kauquatkay, and went home as fast as possible. The Governor Shorihowane,
obtained the news. The business was so in haste that it was impossible
to procure any aid from the allies. He collected the warriors from the
neighboring forts, amounting to fifteen hundred besides the women and the
old men. The governor separated the people into three divisions; first
the men, between thirty and fifty years of age; second division, the men
were from twenty to thirty years of age; third division, were women and
old men.—The Governor had commanded the leaders to be in good courage and
use all the means in their power to defeat the enemy. After parading the
divisions they marched towards the Genesee River; the army halted at the
fort Kawnesats, situated on a small lake east of Genesee. The governor
had sent runners to observe the motions of the enemy. The women and old
men were to remain at fort to cook and provide provisions for the people.
The runners came in and announced that the Erians had crossed the Genesee
river; the divisions immediately proceeded and laid an ambush on both
side the path; the first division was in front to commence the action at
the advance of the enemy. With a stratagem a certain warrior was dressed
with a bear skin, and was seated on the path a little distance from the
front of the division, meanwhile the enemy came up and saw the bear
sitting at ease; the enemy chase it, which brought them in the midst of
the division; at once burst a most hideous yell, followed with a rattling
of war clubs. After a severe contest the first division was compelled
to retreat, but the assistance of the second company came up and the
battle was renewed. At last the Erians fled from the field, leaving six
hundred warriors slain. The enemy hurried to cross the Genesee river;
the Governor declined to chase the enemy, but returned to Canandaigua.
About this time the King of the Five Nations had ordered the great war
chief Shoribowane, (a Mohawk,) to march directly with an army of five
thousand warriors to aid the Governor of Canandaigua against the Erians,
to attack the fort Kauquatkay, endeavor to extinguish the council fire
of the enemy, which was becoming dangerous to the neighboring nations;
but unfortunately during the seige a shower of arrows was flying from
the fort, the great war Chief Shorihowane was killed and his body
conveyed back to Genesee and was buried in a solemn manner; but however,
the seige continued for several days. The Queen sued for peace,—the
army immediately ceased from hostilities, and left the Erians entire
possession of the country. The Skumantoh or Deer was the most useful
game of the Five Nations; the animal can run considerable distance in a
day. The people have a small dog in aid to overtake, but very seldom stop
when pursued by the dogs.

These creatures generally go in the river or lake; in this situation
the dogs are compelled to leave the deer. The wolves are also prevented
from catching these animals; the hunters have never seen a deer lying
dead, except in some instances; if a person find one it was considered
a bad sign; that person some of his relatives will die in the course of
a few moons. When the deer get old they throw themselves into the river
and die. Another way has been discovered: if a deer runs off and barks
at the hunter, it was a bad sign; his wife has committed adultery, in
consequence he cannot kill any deer. When a person intends to hunt deer
he procures a medicine, and vomits once daily for twelve days, after
which he procures some pine or cedar boughs and boils them in a clay
kettle, and after removed from the fire, he takes a blanket and covers
himself over with it to sweat; the person that uses the medicine does
not allow a woman with child or uncleanness to eat any of the venison.
The people sometimes go out to hunt as the corn begins to grow on the
ears: they make a long brush fence and remove the leaves on both sides
of the fence, the deer will follow the path; the person can easily kill
the game. In the hot days of the summer, they go and watch in the night
at the salt licks. Another mode of killing the deer; they take slivers of
basswood bark and proceed to the place and obtain a canoe and go into the
river or lake in the night, provided with a light of slivers.—The bear,
elk and buffalo, were found in the territory of the Five Nations.—The
moose inhabit the spruce country and the heads of the Mohawk river; this
country was never inhabited by any kind of people in the winter season;
the snow fell so deep it was supposed that country would always remain a

About this time the Oneidas killed a very poisonous blue otter; the meat
was very carefully preserved; some are used to hunt, and others to poison
the arrows when go out to war; some of the witches obtained the meat to
poison the people. In the river and lakes are found various kinds of
fishes. The people had particular time of the moon to make sugar, plant
corn, and hunt deer and other animals. The seasons of the year they are
directed by the seven stars of the heavens: when warriors travel in a
great forest they are guided by a northern star; if the sun or moon is
eclipsed they believe that the Bad Spirit darkens it: the people are
assembled, and make a loud noise to scare the Bad Spirit from the orb.
They believe that the clouds in the moon were earth and inhabited by
people. The six family made resident near the mouth of Neuse river, in
North Carolina, and became three tribes, the Kautanohakau, Kauwetseka,
and Tuscarora, and united into a league and were at war with the
Nanticokes, and totally on the sea shores. About this time the Long House
became numerous and powerful; each nation could muster as follows:—the
Mowhawks, 5000 warriors; Oneidas, 3500 warriors; Senecas, 6000 warriors;
Onondagas, 4000 warriors; Cayugas, 4500 warriors; total amount, 23,000
warriors. The Mowhawk was considered an oldest brother, and was appointed
to keep a watch towards the sunrise, the Senecas were appointed to keep
a watch towards the sunsetting. The Senators met annually, at the fort
Onondaga, to promote their national prosperity.

The Long House were free and independent nations, and have been
acknowledged in such treaties made with them by the neighboring
nations.—Every independent nation have a government of their own: they
have a national committee meet occasionally: they have a Chief Ruler,
named _Aukoyaner_[7], a peace-maker who is invested with authority to
administer the government. Each nation have a right to punish individuals
of their own nation for offences, committed within their jurisdiction;
each nation are bound to oppose any hostile invasions of the enemy.

In the reign Atotarho X., perhaps about 250 years before Columbus
discovered America. The Oyalquarkeror, Big Bear, continue invade the
country at Onondaga; a party went and encamped a day’s journey distance
from the village; they hunted and killed a few deer. One morning a woman
left the camp and was going home to pound corn and to supply the men
with provisions; but before she reached half way she was attacked by
the monstrous Bear, and was soon devoured, as she did not return. The
men were anxiously waiting, and were suspicious about her; a man was
sent to see if she was coming; he advanced where she was assaulted, and
discovered the place of her remains; he soon perceived their fate; he
immediately reported and the men immediately proceeded to the place; and
while examining her remains the bear made a vigorous attack; the men met
a severe engagement, but in the meantime the monster was killed: they
procured some of the meat for useful purposes.

Atotarho XI., perhaps about 150 years before Columbus discovered America.
About this time the Tuscaroras sends messengers and renewed their
intercourse with the five nations. The Tuscaroras were yet numerous and
had twenty-four large towns, and probably could muster six thousand
warriors. They possessed the country lying between the sea shores and the
mountains, which divide the Atlantic states; but afterwards a contest
arose and the southern nations, the Oyatoh, Kwntariroraunuh, Caweda. The
war lasted for many years; unfortunately it became so distressed that
the Tuscarora’s frontier settlements were reduced considerably, but the
Tuscaroras send expresses and received assistance from their brethren,
the Five Nations, and war was carried on for some time: at last the enemy
was compelled to suspend their hostility.

The Bear tribes nominate the Chief Warrior of the nation. The laws of the
confederation provides the Onondagas to furnish a King, and the Mowhawks
a great war chief of the Five Nations.

About this time an earthquake was felt throughout the kingdom, supposed a
large comet fell into some of the lakes; and other signs were seen in the
heavens. The defender ceased from visiting the people in bodily form, but
appeared to the prophet. In a dream he foretells the whites would cross
the Big Waters and bring some liquors, and buy up the red people’s lands;
he advises them not to comply with the wishes of the whites, lest they
should ruin themselves and displease their Maker; they would destroy the
tree of peace and extinguish the great Council Fire at Onondaga, which
was so long preserved to promote their national sovereignty.

In the reign Atotarho XII., perhaps about 50 years before Columbus
discovered America, the Tehatirihokea, or Mowhawks was at war with
Ranatshaganha, supposed Mohegans, who occupied the opposite bank of
the river Skaunataty or Hudson. The warfare was maintained by small
expeditions: the Mowhawks would cross the river and attack the enemy: the
canoes were kept in the river continually to cover their retreat; but
after a while the Mohegans expaliated the war: the chief of the Mowhawks
received orders from the King, and invited the two confederate nations,
the Oneidas and the Onondagas, to unite against the common enemy; the
band of the combined forces immediately crossed the river and revenged a
part of the country, and the enemy were compelled to sue for peace.

In the reign Atotarho XIII., in the year 1492, Columbus discovered the
America. The Keatahkiehroneah, were fighting with the neighboring tribes
and were injurious to the frontier settlements. The five nations sends
Thoyenogea with an army of five thousand warriors and defeated the
Keatahkiehroneah and drove them west of the Ohio River; and they lay
waste the enemies’ country, and attacked other tribes &c. About this time
the Erians declared a war against the Five Nations; a long bloody war
ensued; at last the Erians were driven from the country, and supposed
were incorporated with some of the southern nations: after which the
kingdom enjoyed without disturbance for many years.

The Mowhawk was considered the oldest language of the confederacy:


3. AU-SUH,
5. WISK,
9. TEW-DO,
10. OYA-LY,


3. AU-SH,
6. O-YAK,
9. NI-RUH,

[Illustration: END.]


[1] It appears by the fictitious accounts, that the said beings became
civilized people and made their residence in the southern parts of the
Island; but afterwards they were destroyed by the barbarous nations, and
their fortifications were ruined unto this day.

[2] The creek now branches off the Susquehannah River at the head
generally called Col. Allen’s lake, ten miles south of the Oneida Castle.

[3] By some this may seem an incredible story. Why more so than that the
Israelite should cross the Red Sea on dry land.

[4] It appears by the tradition of the Shawnees, that the Stonish
Giants descend from a certain family that journeyed on the east side of
Mississippi River, went towards the north-west after they were separated,
on account of the vine broke. The family was left to seek its habitation,
and the rules of humanity were forgotten, and afterwards eat raw flesh
of the animals. At length they practiced rolling themselves on the sand
by means their bodies were covered with hard skin these people became
giants and were dreadful invaders of the country. It is said that Sir
William Johnson, the Superintendant of the Six Nations, had a picture of
the giant. Probably the English have recorded in the Historian respecting
North America.

[5] The hollow it is said not far from Onondaga. Some says the Giants
retreated by way Mountain Ridge and crossed below the Niagara Falls.

[6] The fort was situated on the south bank of the Susquehanna river. In
1800 I went over the ground myself and viewed the mound.

[7] _Aukoyaner_, i. e. Lord. No one can hold this office except a Turtle
tribe; he governs the nation, but not allowed to go out to war, his duty
is to stay home and preserve peace among his people.

   *      *      *      *      *      *

Transcriber’s note:

Minor amendments to punctuation are not noted.

Likely period spelling has not been changed.

Sometimes there are multiple variants of proper nouns (e.g.
Shotyerronsgwea, Shotyeronsgwea, Shotyeronagwea). These are left as
printed rather than trying to standardise.

The following probable printer’s errors were corrected.

14 “subsistance” changed to “subsistence” (vegetation afforded
   the animals subsistence)

14 “moninal” changed to “nominal” (their nominal residence)

16 “Kanawaga” changed to “Kanawage” (the river Kanawage or St. Lawrence)

17 “ocurred” changed to “occurred” (This occurred in a season)

17 “a sleep” changed to “asleep” (he was now fast asleep)

17 “spirti” changed to “spirit” (his spirit fled to heaven)

18 “the” changed to “them” (to amuse them until)

19 “contiment” changed to “continent” (ever existed on the continent)

20 “imducement” changed to “inducement” (By some inducement)

20 “compaay” changed to “company” (Of this company there was)

20 “extered” changed to “entered” (they entered into a resolution)

20 “was was” changed to “was” (the family was named)

21 “loose” changed to “lose” (did not go so far as to lose)

21 “tresspasses” changed to “trespasses” (to commit trespasses against)

22 “assylum” changed to “asylum” (seeks an asylum)

23 “set” changed to “sit” (to sit and deliberate)

23 “Odnonaga” changed to “Onondaga” (was soon conveyed to Onondaga)

23 “Squaukihaws” changed to “Squawkihows” (to keep Squawkihows in

23 “Misissaugers” changed to “Mississaugers” (Twakanhah,
  [Mississaugers.]); though also more commonly in this text spelt

26 “IV” changed to “V” (the King Atotarho V.)

26 “poisinous” changed to “poisonous” (a very poisonous animal)

26 “Ototarho” changed to “Atotarho” (In the days of king Atotarho VI.)

27 “Ottouwahs” changed to “Ottauwahs” (the Ottauwahs sued for peace)

27 “Ototarho” changed to “Atotarho” (reigned the king Atotarho VII.)

27 “Ottauhwahs” changed to “Ottauwahs” (lived among the Ottauwahs)

28 “unfavoable” changed to “unfavorable” (the weather being unfavorable)

29 “sooon” changed to “soon” (assistance as soon as possible)

29 “entripated” changed to “extirpated” (hordes were extirpated)

29 “prisonor” changed to “prisoner” (taken prisoner by the Stonish Giant)

30 “gnhwing” changed to “gnawing” (the man heard something was gnawing)

31 “sovereignity” changed to “sovereignty” (the national sovereignty)

31 “attonement” changed to “atonement” (to make the atonement)

32 “Kanquatkay” changed to “Kauquatkay” (people at Kauquatkay)

33 “treatise” changed to “treaties” (in such treaties made)

34 “disdovered” changed to “discovered” (about 250 years before Columbus
   discovered America)

34 “breteren” changed to “brethren” (assistance from their brethren)

34 “Celumbus” changed to “Columbus” (about 50 years before Columbus
   discovered America)

35 “confedenacy” changed to “confederacy” (the oldest language of
   the confederacy)

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "David Cusick’s Sketches of Ancient History of the Six Nations - Comprising First—A Tale of the Foundation of the Great Island, (Now North America), The Two Infants Born, and the Creation of the Universe. Second—A Real Account of the Early Settlers of north America, and Their Dissensions. Third—Origin of the Kingdom of the Five Nations, Which Was Called a Long House: the Wars, Fierce Animals, &c." ***

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