Page images

Nations had committed hostilities. Indians living on the Potomac, rather than on the Kanbawa, must at that time have been under the protection of Virginia. And it is probable that the Nanticokes, the Susquehannocks, and the Conoys, Canawese, or Cahnawaas, were but one nation, extending from the eastern shore of Maryland, across the bay, and North of the Patuxent to the upper waters of the Potomac.

The final cession by the Five Nations of the lands on both sides of the Susquehanna lying in Pennsylvania southwest of the North Mountain, was effected by the treaties of 1736 and 1742. We have no remnant whatever of the language of the Susquehannocks.

Captain Smith has given a detailed account of the various tribes found in Virginia, at the time of its first permanent settlement in the years 1707 and 1709. Exclusively of the Massawomacs (Five Nations), who are invaders, of the Susquehannocks who lay to the north of the colony, and of the Nanticokes and Tockwoghs on the eastern shore and already alluded to, he mentions four nations or confederacies speaking distinct languages.

Those which formed the Powhatan confederacy embraced, on the southern extremity of the eastern shore, the Acomack and the Acohanock. On the western shore of the Chesapeake, they extended from the most southern rivers that empty into James River to the Patuxent, consisting of thirty-four tribes, each having a distinct name, but speaking the same language, and amounting together (including the Acomacks and Acohanocks) to two thousand nine hundred warriors, or more than ten thousand souls. Their settlements extended westwardly to the great falls of the rivers ; but it would seem, though the accounts are indistinct, that their hunting-grounds extended farther west towards the first ridge of hills.

South of the Powhatans, on the waters of the Nottoway and Meherrin Rivers which empty into Albemarle Sound, he places the Chawonock and Mangoags; two Iroquois tribes, known to us under the name of Nottoways and Tuteloes.

West of the more southerly Powhatans, and extending from James River towards the Roanoke, were the Monacans, having several tribes (Massinacack, Monasickapanoughs, &c.) for tributaries. These Monacans are considered as the same Iroquois nation which called themselves Tuscaroras.

And west of the more northern Powhatans, and principally on the upper waters of the Rappabannock, were the Mannahoks, who consisted of various tribes, differing in language, and in alliance with the Monacans.

This account taken literally, so far as it relates to the Monacans and the Mannahoks, is attended with several difficulties. The Mannahoks were almost interspersed with the Powhatans, since they were met by Smith on the tide-waters of the Rappahannock. And the lower town of the Monacans on James River appears to bave been immediately above the falls. Lawson says that the well-known coal mine above Richmond was near the Monacan town. It may be that the Tuscaroras had extended their dominion as far north as James River. But it is not improbable that the tribes, seated above the falls of James River, embraced under the general designation of Monacans, were tributaries of the Tuscaroras; and that they, as well as the Mannahoks were, in fact, Lenape tribes, speaking a different language from the Powbatans, and, as usual, generally at war with them. We find indeed that the Susquehannocks themselves, hard pressed as they were by the Five Nations, were, about the year 1637, carrying on a constant predatory war against the Powhatan tribe settled near the mouth of the Potomac.*

The Tuscaroras and other Iroquois tribes, inhabiting the country south of the Powhatans, will be hereafter noticed. No specimen has been preserved of the languages of any of the tribes, either Monacans or Mannahoks, living west of the Powbatans. Of the language of these, we have only the scanty vocabulary left by Smith, with a few scattered additional words found in Beverly's “ History of Virginia”; but these are sufficient to establish beyond a doubt, that they were a Lenape tribe.

The first Virginia settlers maintained an intercourse, often interrupted by hostilities, with the Powhatans during the life of the great chief, father of Pocahontas. Soon after his death, the Indians made an attempt to destroy the infant colony. Near three hundred and fifty English settlers were massacred, and more than three fourths of the plantations abandoned. The English soon recovered, and the contest terminated in a total defeat and partial subjugation of the

* Bozman's History of Maryland.



Indians. In the year 1644, they made another effort, attended with a similar massacre and terminating in the same manner. According to Mr. Jefferson, the number of warriors of the different Powhatan tribes was then reduced to five hundred. In 1676, Bacon, during the insurrection which bears his name, appears to have completed their total subjugation. From that time they had lands reserved to them, for which they paid a nominal tribute; and they were benceforth considered as under the protection of the British Government. They gradually dwindled away, intermarried with the blacks, and have now entirely disappeared. At least it is not believed that single individual remains that speaks the language.

As soon as the British had taken possession of New York, the governors of Virginia found it convenient, if not necessary, to secure peace with those Massawomeks, or Five Nations, whose incursions have been so long formidable to the Indians living in the vicinity of the heads of the great rivers, particularly of the Potomac. These Indians were now under the protection of Virginia, as appears by the conferences of 1677, 1684, and 1685, already mentioned, and at which Colonel Kendall, Lord Howard, Colonel Bird, &c., successively attended on the part of Virginia. Mr. Jefferson states that the whole of the upper country was obtained by fair purchases, which must have been from the native Indians taken under the protection of the colonial government. These, from their geographical position, could be no other than those mentioned by Captain Smith, under the name of Mannahoks. The loss of the colonial records of Virginia com pels us to resort 10 conjectures, and to the notices preserved in the several conferences or treaties of Albany and Lancaster.

About the year 1722 a treaty was concluded between the Six Nations and Governor Spotswood, of Virginia, by which it was agreed, that the high ridge of mountains, extending along the frontiers of Virginia, to the westward of the present settlements of that colony, should be for ever the established boundaries between the Indians subject to the dominion of Virginia, and the Indians belonging to and depending on the Five Nations. Whether the mountain intended was the Blue Ridge or the North Mountain does not clearly appear. But, by the treaty of Lancaster of 1774, the Five Nations recognised for a trifling consideration the British right to all the colony of Virginia. In the course of the conferences,

and while that matter was in debate, a speech was delivered by the Indian Chief Tachanoontia ; a portion of which we will quote, as it proves by his own declaration, that the more western Indians of Virginia were Lenape tribes. It must be premised that the termination roonaw, borrowed from the Algonkin Ireni (men), was used by the Iroquois, to designate Indians of the Algonkin language.

“ All the world knows we conquered the several nations living on Sasquahannah, Cohongoronta (Potomac), and on the back of the great mountains in Virginia ; the Conoyuch-suchroonaw, the Cohnowas-ronow, * the Tohoairough-roonaw, and the Konnutskinough-roonaw feel the effects of our conquests, being now a part of our nations, and their lands at our disposal. We know very well, it hath often been said by the Virginians, that the Great King of England, and the people of that Colony, conquered the Indians who lived there ; but it is not true. We will allow they have conquered the Sachdagughroonawt (Powhatans), and drove back the Tuscaroraws, and that they have on that account a right to some part of Virginia ; but as to what lies beyond the mountains, we conquered the nations residing there, and that land, if the Virginians ever get a good right to it, it must be by us."

The first attempt by the British to colonize North America was made in the year 1585, on the coast of North Carolina, at the small island of Roanoke. From the few words collected by Ralph Lane and Heriot, in Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds, and from Lawson's vocabulary of the Pamlicos, it is evident that the shores of those Sounds, from the Virginia line to the vicinity of Neuse River and Cape Hatteras, were inhabited by Lenape tribes. The Pamlicos were reduced by a great mortality in 1695; † and, according to Lawson, that particular tribe was reduced to fifteen warriors in the year 1708.

* Here are two names nearly similar, given to two distinct tribes, perhaps the Conoys of Potomac, and the Kanhawas of the River Kanhawa.

† Sachdagughs are the same as the Powhatans. (Evans's Analysis.) | Archdale.


It is probable however that the Hatteras, the Paspatauks, and some other small tribes, mentioned by him, spoke dialects of the same language. They were bounded on ihe west by the Chowan and Tuscarora Iroquois tribes; on the south by extinct tribes of uncertain origin.


Under this head we include the Menomonies, the Miami and Illinois tribes, the Sauks, Foxes, and Kickapoos, and, finally, the Shawnoes.

The Menomonies or Malominies,* called by the French, "Folles Avoines,

.“Wild Oats,” are seated on the northerly part of Green Bay, which is their boundary on the east. They are bounded on the north by those Chippeways, who inhabit the southern shores of Lake Superior ; on the south by the Winnebagoes. Towards the west they join the Sauks and perhaps the Sioux Dahcota. Their name is derived from the wild rice (zizania [clavulosa ?]), which grows abundantly in their country. The French have occasionally given to the neighbouring Chippeways the same name (Folles Avoines); and they have also extended to both the designation of “Sauteurs,” from the Saut or Falls of St. Mary, on account of their visiting it in fishingtime. They are first mentioned by the Jesuits, in the year 1669, when they inhabited the same country as at this time. Their language, though of the Algonkin stock, is less similiar to that of the Chippeways, their immediate neighbours, than almost any other dialect of the same stock. As no other tribe speaks it, and they generally speak Chippeway, it is almost impossible to find good interpreters. It is probably owing to that circumstance, that they were for a long while supposed to have a distinct language, belonging to another stock than the Algonkin. The appended vocabulary was addressed by Mr. James D. Doty to Governor Cass; and some words have been supplied from Tanner's Narrative, edited by Dr. James. By the estimate of the War Department, they amount to four thousand two hundred souls.

The Sauks or Saukies (White Clay), and the Foxes or


* From Monomonick, “ Wild rice”; Monomoniking, “ In the place of wild rice." (Schoolcraft.)

« PreviousContinue »