« 上一頁繼續 »
ware and Susquehanna rivers, to their sources. In the allotment of their newly acquired territory, one of their tribes, the Munseys, or Minisinks, planted themselves in the region between the Kittatinnunk,* or Blue Mountains, and the Susquehanna. One large division of their tribe kindled their council fire at Minisink, and another in the valley of Wyoming — formerly occupied by the Susquehannocks, – once a powerful nation which had been exterminated by the Aquanuschioni. Whether there be any just foundation for the legends of the Delawares, as to their battles and conquests over a people so far in advance of themselves in the art of war as to have reared strong and extensive military works, or not, it is nevertheless certain, from the character and extent of the tumuli existing in the valley of Wyoming when taken possession of by the pale faces, and from the fact that large oaks were growing upon some of the mounds, that the country, centuries before, had been in the possession of a race of men far in advance of the Delawares in the arts of civilization and war.
There was a time when the Shawanese Indians, who had been driven from their own country, in what is now Georgia and Florida, by a nation or nations more powerful than themselves, occupied, by permission, a portion of territory at the forks of the Delaware; but finding them to be troublesome
Another variation in the orthography of these mountains.
neighbours, the Delawares, then in their greatest numbers residing farther down the river, compelled them to remove-assigning to their use the valley of Wyoming, (whence the Munseys had retired back to the Delaware,) and a portion of the territory farther down the Susquehanna, at Shamokin. Thither the Shawanese removed-planting themselves anew at both points. In Wyoming they built their town upon the west side of the river, below the present town of Kingston, upon what are to this day called the Shawanese Flats.
It is difficult to determine the question as to the exact relations subsisting between the Delawares and the Five Nations, at the period under consideration. The latter, it is well known, had carried their arms south to the Tennessee, and claimed the jurisdiction of the entire country from the Sorel, in Canada, south of the Great Lakes, to the junction of the Ohio with the Mississippi, and to the Atlantic coast, from the Santee to the estuary of the Hudson, by the right of conquest. Over the Delawares they claimed, and, at times, exercised, sovereign power, in the most dictatorial and arbitrary manner, although the venerable and excellent Heckewelder, ever the champion of the Delawares, labours hard to show that the latter were never conquered by them. Brant, the celebrated Mohawk chieftain, than whose authority there is none better upon such a subject, in a letter to the Rev. Dr. Miller of Princeton, never yet published, claimed but a quasi sove
reignty for the Aquanuschioni over the Delawares. But there was a transaction in 1742, which shows that the latter were at that time in a situation of the most abject subordination to the Six Nations;* and Proud says this confederacy “ had held sovereignty over all the Indians, both in Pennsylvania and the neighbouring provinces, for a long series of years.”+ Though apparently a digression, yet the transaction referred to is nevertheless intimately connected with the history of Wyoming, and a rapid review of the incident referred to cannot be out of place.
In the summer of 1742, an Indian council was convened in Philadelphia, upon the invitation of Lieutenant Governor George Thomas, at that time administering the government of the Proprietaries, as William Penn and his successors were styled. The council was numerously attended, large delegations being present from each of the Six Nations, excepting the Senecas. Of these there were but three chiefs at the council — that nation having been prevented sending a stronger deputation by reason of a famine in their country, “so great that a father had been compelled to sacrifice a part of his family, even his own children, for the support and preservation of himself and the other part."* There seem likewise to have been no Mohawks present.f But the Delawares, several tribes of them, were represented. The chief object for the convocation of this council was - to kindle a new fire," and Gstrengthen the chain of friendship” with the Indians, in anticipation of a war with France. Other subjects were brought before the council for consideration. Among them, the Governor produced a quantity of goods — being, as he remarked in his speech, a balance due the Indians for a section of the valley of the Susquehanna, "on both sides of the river," which had been purchased of the Six Nations six years before. Canassateego, a celebrated Onondaga chief, who was the principal speaker on the part of the Indians during the protracted sittings of the council, recognised the sale of the land. But in the course of their discussions, he took occasion to rebuke the whites for trespassing upon the unceded lands northward of the Kittochtinny Hills, and also upon the Juniata. " That country,” said Canassateego, “belongs to us, in right of conquest; we having bought it with our blood, and taken it from our enemies in fair war.”I
* Early in the eighteenth century the Five Nations were increased to Six, by the addition of the Tuscaroras, from North Carolina. The Five Nations adopted and transplanted them on account of a similarity in their language to their own, inducing the belief that they were originally of the same stock.
† Proud's Pennsylvania, vol. ii. p. 293.
* Opening speech of Governor Thomas to the Six Nations. Vide Colden's Canada, Appendix, p. 59.
† To illustrate, in part, the changes which Indian names undergo, in the process of writing them by different hands, it may be noted that at this council, Onondagas was spelt Onontogos ; Cayugas, Caiyoquos ; Oneidas, Anoy. ints ; Senecas, Jenontowanos; Tuscaroras, Tuscaroros.
In regard to this complaint of the encroachments of the white settlers upon their lands, it appears that it had been preferred before. Gov. Thomas, in reply, stated that the Proprietaries had endeavoured to prevent those intru sions, and had sent magistrates expressly to remove them. To which canasseteego rejoined — «They did not do their duty; so far from removing the people, they leagued with the trespassers, and made surveys for themselves !” Thus has it been with the poor Indians always.
This, however, was not the principal transaction of the council establishing the fact that the Six Nations were in the exercise of absolute power over the Delawares. On the fourth day of the council, the acting Governor called the attention of the Six Nations to the conduct of “ a branch of their cousins, the Delawares,” in regard to a section of territory, at the Forks of the river, which the Proprietaries had purchased of them fifty-five years before, but from which the Indians had refused to remove. The consequence had been a series of unpleasant disturbances between the white settlers and the red-men; and as the latter were ever prompt in calling upon the Proprietaries to remove white intruders from their lands, the acting Governor now in turn called upon the Six Nations to remove those Indians from the lands at the Forks, which had been purchased and paid for in good faith such a long while ago.
After three days' consideration, the Indians came again into council, when Canasseteego opened the proceedings by saying that they had carefully examined the case, and " had seen with their own eyes,” that their cousins had been “a very unruly people," and were “ altogether in the wrong.” They had therefore determined to remove them. Then turning to the Delawares, and