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But the Delawares had their kings. Tedeuscung, we are told, was elected king of the Delawares! Most true. It would be a gross error to suppose the Six Nations who had conquered, and held in vassalage so extensive an empire, were a rude rabble of ignorant Indians. Letters and the arts of civilized life they had not; nor had Attila or Ghengis Khan, but they were profoundly versed in all the wiles of diplomacy, the subtlest stratagems of war, and all the arts of Savage Government, which they made subservient to the gratification of an ambition as lofty and insatiable as that of the greatest conquerors, civilized or barbarian, we read of in story. Napoleon was not more proud to be king of kings, emperor supreme over, nominally, independent kingdoms; but mark the sequel, when we come to speak of Tedeuscung's fate.
The Iroquois had, too, like Rome, their pro-consuls, to preside over distant Provinces. Thus we find Shikellimus whom Loskiel designates “first magistrate and head chief of all the Iroquois Indians liv. ing on the banks of the Susquehanna,” had his residence at Conestoga. In 1742, with other chiefs, and warriors of the Six Nations, he attended a great Council in Philadelphia. At a subsequent period he was stationed at Shamokin :-"to transact,” says Heckewelder, “in the capacity of agent, the business between the Six Nations, and the Government of Pennsylvania.”
After the removal to the lakes of the Oneida and Seneca Indians, who occupied Wyoming at the commencement of the last century, the valley was appropriated to the residence of such tribes, or parts of tribes, as claimed protection of the Six Nations, or portions of their refractory subjects, whom they desired to place more immediately under their inspection. A tribe of Nanticokes, formerly inhabitants of Maryland, was divided, part placed at Chenango,-Choconut, and Owego-and a portion was settled on the east side of the river, in the lower part of the Wyoming valley. The Shawanese*
* Gov. Cass thus speaks of the Shawanese. “Their history is involved in much obscurity. Their language is Algonquin, and closely allied to the Kickapoo, and other dialects spoken by tribes who have lived for ages north of the Ohio. But they are known to have recently emigrated from the South, where they were surrounded by a family of tribes, Creeks, Cherokees, Choclaws, &c., with whose language their own had no affinity. Their traditions assign to them a foreign origin, and a wild story has come down to them of a solemn procession, in the midst of the ocean, and of a miraculous passage through the great deep. That they were closely connected with the Kickapoos, the actual identity of language furnishes irrefragable proof, and the incidents of the separation yet live in the oral history of each tribe. We are strongly inclined to believe, that not long before the arrival of the French upon these great lakes, the Kickapoos and Shawanese composed the tribe known as the Erie ; living on
tribe was also divided, a portion having their residence on the Sioto; and a large number were permitted, or directed, to erect their wig. wams on the extensive and luxuriant flats on the west side of the Susquehanna, now Plymouth, but more popularly designated Shawney. The Delawares at this time occupied the country below the blue mountains, between the Susquehanna and Delaware, from whom purchases of land had been made by the Governors of Pennsylvania, but from which the occupants refused to remove. Learning that the Six Nations claimed to be the owners of the country, they were conçiliated by proper means, and a grand Council was held in the summer of 1742, in the city of Philadelphia, to adjust all matters in dispute. More than two hundred chiefs and warroirs of the Six Nations attended, who were met by all the chief Sachems of the De laware tribe. A general Council was opened in presence of the officers of the Colonial Government, and a large concourse of citizens, in the great hall of the Council house.
The Governor, by means of an interpreter, opened the Conference on the part of the Proprietaries in a long talk, which set forth, that the proprietaries of Pennsylvania had purchased the lands in the forks of Delaware several years before, of the Delaware tribes who then possessed them. That they had afterwards received informa. tion that the same lands were claimed by the Six Nations, and a purchase was also made of them--that in both these purchases the proprietaries had paid the stipulated price; but the Delaware Indians had nevertheless refused to give up possession; and as the Six Nations claimed authority over their country, it had been thought proper to hold a Council of all parties, that justice might be done. The chiefs of the Six Nations were then informed, that as they had on all occasions required the Government of Pennsylvania to remove any whites that settled upon their lands, so now the Government of
the eastern shore of the lake, to which they have given their name. It is said that this tribe was exterminated by the victorious Iroquois. But it is more probable, that a series of disasters divided them into two parties, one of which, under the name of Kickapoos, sought refuge from their enemies in the immense prairies between the Illinois and Mississippi ; and the other, under the name of Shawanese, fled into the Cherokee country, and thence farther south. Father Segard, in 1632, called the Eries the " nution du chat,h* or the racoon, on account of the magnitude of these animals in their country; and that is the soubriqueta whieh, to this day, is applied by the Canadians to the Shawanese.”
The reader will thank, rather than censure us, for this note, long as it is ; because the Shawanese, not only were long residents at Wyoming, but gave an enduring name to one of its richest and most delightful locations.
+ Clan Chattan?
Pennsylvania expected that the Six Nations would cause these Indians to remove from the lands which it had purchased. The deeds from the Indians, and drafts of the disputed lands were then produced, and the whole submitted to the consideration of the Council. After some deliberation among the different chiefs, Canassatego, a venerable chieftain, arose in the name of all the deputies, and informed the Governor, “That they saw the Delawares had been an unruly people, and were altogether in the wrong, and that they had concluded to remove them.” And addressing himself to the Delawares, in a violent manner, he said :-"You deserve to be taken by the hair of your heads, and shaken till you recover your senses, and become sober. We have seen a deed signed by nine of your chiefs above fifty years ago, for this very land. But how came you to take upon yourselves to sell lands at all? We conquered you—we made women of you; you know you are women, and can no more sell lands than women. Nor is it fit you should have the power of selling lands, since you would abuse it. You have been furnished with clothes, meat, and drink, by the goods paid you for it, and now you want it again like children as you are. But what makes you sell lands in the dark? Did you ever tell us that you had sold this land? Did we ever receive any part, even the value of a pipe shank for it? You have told us a blind story that you sent a messenger to us, to inform us of the sale, but he never came amongst us, nor have we ever heard anything about it. But we find you are none of our blood, you act a dishonest part, not only in this, but in other matters. Your ears are ever open to slanderous reports about your brethren. For all these reasons, we charge you to remove instantly; we dont give you liberty to think about it. You are women; take the advice of a wise man, and remove instantly. You may return to the other side of the Delaware where you came from, but we do not know whether, considering how you have demeaned yourselves, you will be permitted to live there, or whether you have not swallowed that land down your throats as well as the lands on this side. We therefore assign you two places to go to, either to Wyoming, or Shamokin. You may go to either of these places, and then we shall have you more under our eye, and shall see how you behave. Dont deliberate, but remove away, and take this belt of wampum."
He then commanded them to leave the Council, as he had business to do with the English.
This, it will be admitted, is the language, not of equals, but of masters, to the most abject of slaves. A Roman General would
hardly have dared thus to address the fallen Jews, after the destruction of their city by Titus. The imperious command was obeyed; part removed to Shamokin, and a still larger portion to Wyoming, who established themselves on the east side of the river, occupying the flats below the present town of Wilkesbarre.
New and interesting personages now appear upon the scene. Zeal for the propagation of the Gospel caused the foot of the first white man to tread the soil of Wyoming. Long the residence of kings, it may not be improper to relate, that the first white visiter, should have been of noble birth,--and of kingly extraction. So admirably is the event related by Mr. Chapman, that I copy his original and well authenticated narrative entire.
“Such was the origin of the Indian town of Wyoming. Soon after the arrival of the Delawares, and during the same season, the (summer of the year 1742,) a distinguished foreigner, Count Zinzendorf, of Saxony, arrived in the valley on a religious mission to the Indians. This nobleman is believed to have been the first white person that ever visited Wyoming. He was the revivor of the ancient church of the United Brethren, and had given protection in his dominions to the persecuted Protestants who had emigrated from Moravia, thence taking the name of Moravians, and who, two years before had made their first settlement in Pennsylvania.
“Upon his arrival in America, Count Zinzendorf manifested a great anxiety to have the Gospel preached to the Indians; and although he had heard much of the ferocity of the Shawanese, formed a resolution to visit them. With this view he repaired to Tulpehocken, the residence of Conrad Weiser, a celebrated interpreter and Indian agent for the Government, whom he wished to engage in the cause, and to accompany him to the Shawanese town. Weiser was too much occupied in business to go immediately to Wyoming, but he furnished the Count with letters to a Missionary of the name of Mack, and the latter, accompanied by his wife, who could speak the Indian language, proceeded immediately with Zinzendorf on the projected mission.
“ The Shawanese appeared to be alarmed on the arrival of the strangers, who pitched their tents on the banks of the river a little below the town, and a Council of the chiefs having assembled, the declared purpose of Zinzendorf was deliberately considered. To these unlettered children of the wilderness it appeared altogether improbable that a stranger should have braved the dangers of a boisterous ocean three thousand miles broad, for the sole purpose of
instructing them in the means of obtaining happiness after death, and that too without requiring any compensation for his trouble and expense; and as they had observed the anxiety of the white people to purchase land of the Indians, they naturally concluded that the real object of Zinzendorf was either to procure from them the lands at Wyoming for bis own use, to search for hidden treasures, or to examine the country with a view to future conquest. It was accordingly resolved to assassinate him, and to do it privately, lest the knowledge of the transaction should produce a war with the English, who were settling the country below the mountains.
“ Zinzendorf was alone in his tent, seated upon a bundle of dry weeds which composed his bed, and engaged in writing, when the assassins approached to execute their bloody commission. It was night, and the cool air of September had rendered a small fire necessary to his comfort and convenience. A curtain, formed of a blanket, and hung upon pins, was the only guard to the entrance of his tent.
“ The heat of his fire had aroused a large rattlesnake which lay in the weeds, not far from it; and the reptile to enjoy it more effectually crawled slowly into the tent, and passed over one of his legs undiscovered. Without, all was still and quiet, except the gentle murmur of the river at the rapids about a mile below. At this moment the Indians softly approached the door of his tent, and slightly removing the curtain, contemplated the venerable man, too deeply engaged in the subject of his thoughts to notice either their approach, or the snake which lay extended before him. At a sight like this, even the heart of the savage shrunk from the idea of committing so horrid an act, and quitting the spot, they hastily returned to the town, and informed their companions that the Great Spirit protected the white man, for they had found him with no door but a blanket, and had seen a large rattlesnake crawl over his legs without attempting to injure him. This circumstance, together with the arrival soon afterwards of Conrad Weiser, procured Zinzendorf the friendship and confidence of the Indians, and probably contributed essentially towards inducing many of them, at a subsequent period, to embrace the Christian Religion. The Count having spent twenty days at Wyoming, returned to Bethlehem, a town then building by his christian brethren on the north bank of the Lehigh, about eleven miles from its junction with the Delaware.”
Count Zinzendorf, learning the supremacy claimed and exercised by the Six Nations, applied to their chiefs for leave to visit the