READ BEFORE THE STATE ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF OHIO, SEPTEMBER, 1878,
C. C. BALDWIN,
TRUSTEE OF THE SOCIETY, AND SECRETARY OF THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY AT CLEVELAND.
REPRINTED FROM THE AMERICAN ANTIQUARIAN, APRIL, 1879.
EARLY INDIAN MIGRATION IN OHIO
BY C. C. BALDWIN.
Submitted & Transcribed by Peggy Thompson
In the historical map of Ohio, appearing in 1872 in Walling's and Gray's Atlas, and prepared by Col. Charles Whittlesey, the Indian occupation of Ohio appears as follows:
The Iroquois and tribes adopted by them, north-east Ohio, including the valley of the Cuyahoga, the Tuscarawas and Wheeling Creek; Wyandots and Ottawas, the valleys of the streams wrest of the Cuyahoga and flowing into Lake Erie, but following up the Maumee no further than Fulton and Henry counties. The Delawares the valley of the Muskingum; the Shawnees the Scioto and its tributaries, and as far east as to include the Raccoon, and west including parts of Brown and Highland counties. The Miamis the western part of the state, including the valleys of the Great and Little Miami, and the upper part of the Maumee. These were in a general way the limits of the tribes in Ohio from 1754 to 1780. The Iroquois were mostly the Senecas, the western and largest tribe of that nation. The old settlers of northern Ohio today will generally say the Iroquois whom they met were Senecas, or generally pronounced the Sinekas. There were also Mohawks, Tuscarawas, Mingoes, and descendants not named in a tribal way of the ancient Eries and Neutrals. These named tribes were all intrusive within the period of history.
The Ottawas and Wyandots, although of different generic stock, lived much together, perhaps partly through sympathy in a similar downfall. They had been allies against the Iroquois, and in succession overcome. The Wyandots were the remains of the ancient Nation de Petun (Owendot) and Hurons. Their traditions did not tell much, but the Jesuit Relations reveal the story so eloquently narrated in English by Mr. Parkman. They were, as shown by their language and early history and tradition, cognate to the Iroquois. When first known, the Hurons were settled on the south-east of the northern portion of Lake Huron, where a French mission was established as early as 1634. In 1649 they were completely prostrated and driven away by the Iroquois. Some moved west, some settled near Quebec, where they were heavily assaulted in 1656 under the very cannon of that city.
The Nation de Petun or Tobacco Nation, calling themselves Tionontates or Dinondadies, were found in 1616 south of Lake Huron, and just west of the Hurons. Their language was almost identical with the Huron. After the defeat of the Hurons they were nearly destroyed in the continuation of the same war. With some of the Hurons they removed to Wisconsin. They were driven back by the Dacotahs to the shores of Lake Superior, and about 1680 removed to the neighborhood of Detroit, their principal seat being opposite that place. Extending their hunting to the neighborhood of Sandusky, they partly settled in its vicinity, and continued there until a late day. In 1706 their war parties reached the Cherokees, Choctaws (Flatheads), and Shawnees, by way of Sandusky, the Scioto and the Ohio. (5 Hist. Mag., 267, IX., N. Y. Col. Doc, 886.) In 1732 they claimed all Ohio as their hunting grounds, and warned the Shawnees to plant their villages south of the Ohio. (5 Hist. Mag., 267, IX., N. Y., Col. Doc., 1035.) They gradually centered at Sandusky before the Revolution.
The Ottawas were Algonquins, and in 1640 inhabited the islands of Lake Huron, and the northern part of Michigan between Lakes Huron and Michigan. They were early intimate with the Wyandots. In 1646 Algonquins were living with the Petun (Relation of 1648), most likely the Ottawas. After the overthrow of the Hurons, they fled to the islands at the mouth of Green Bay, thence beyond the Mississsppi. Driven back they were after 1672 inseparable companions of the Wyandots (5 Hist. Mag., 264.) In 1709 they were at war with the Miamis (IX. N. Y. Col. Doc, 827.) In 1747 the Hurons (or Wyandots) who had been already established at Sandusky, persuaded a portion of the Ottawas to settle on Lake Erie on the lower Maumee, promising trade with the English (X. N. Y. Col. Doc, 162.)
The Iroquois proper, when first known to the French in 1609, did not extend as far west as Lake Erie. The Neutral nation inhabited the banks of Niagara river, the east end of Lake Erie and its north shore. The map of Gallinee of 1669 has the plain legend, north of Lake Erie and west of Ontario: "Here was formerly the Neutral nation." They were called Kahkwas by the Senecas, and a river (18-mile creek) south west of Buffalo, was named Gah-gwah-ge-ga-aah, "Residence of the Kahkwas."
In the relation of 1641 the Neuter frontiers are placed on the river Ongniaahra, which starts first from the Lac d'Erie, or of the Cat nation and just within the territory of the Neutrals, which ranged from the east to the west, "towards the Nation du Chat or Eriechronons." The author was missionary among the Neutrals. They were of the Huron Iroquois family, called by the Hurons Attiwandaronk (a nation speaking a little different language). The French called them Neutrals because such was their position in the Huron-Iroquois war; but the Iroquois quickly overcame them, and in 1651 thoroughly devastated their country. Some joined the scattered Wyandots, "Tiotontadies," and in 1653 were west of Sault St. Marie with them. The locality is called in the Jesuit Relations, A otonatendie. The villages were likely separate, as 1653 the Neuters are said to be three leagues beyond the Sault, and on Sanson's map, of 1657, next the Sault are Aouentsiouaeron, no doubt corresponding to the name of the locality. Just west appear the Attiouandarons. A portion of the Neuters submitted to the Iroquois and were adopted into the Senecas. The descendants of the two branches met in Ohio from opposite ends of Lake Erie. The Peninsula north of Lake Erie was devastated. The Iroquois had turned a flourishing and hickly inhabited Indian country into a thinly settled hunting ground. They then turned their at-tention elsewhere, and after a severe war in 1655, thoroughly overthrew the Eries, a cognate tribe inhabiting the south of the lake named from them. But little is known of the Eries; they were perhaps never visited by but one white, Etienne Brule, in 1615, soliciting aid for the Hurons. The brief report by Champlain of this journey leaves it doubtful if Brulc ever saw Lake Erie. It is said in 1646, that in approaching the Erie country from the East "there is a thick, oily, stagnant water which takes fire like brandy," The Relation of 1648, written among the Hurons, says that the Andastes were below the Neutrals, reaching a little towards the east and towards New Sweden, that Lake Erie was formerly inhabited along its south coasts by the Cat nation, who had been obliged to draw well inland to avoid their enemies from the west. They had a quantity of fixed villages, for they cultivated the earth and had the same language as the Hurons. Charlevoix says that the Iroquois obtained from the country of the ancient Eries "Apple trees with fruit of the shape of a gooses egg, and a seed that is a kind of bean. This fruit is fragrant and very delicate. It is a dwarf tree, requiring a moist, rich soil. This can be no other than the paw-paw, abundant in southern Ohio, particularly on the river, and common in the center of the State. The plant rarely occurs along the lake and does not fruit there. It is abundant around some of the ancient works at Newark.
Sanson places the Eries under the easterly half of the lake, and well down from it. La Hontan, around the west end, and the Andastes beneath them. This location was evidently wrong. De Lisle, in his map of 1703, confounds the Wabash and Ohio, making it run near the lake, and the Eries were below the Ohio. In 1720, he places the Ohio more properly, and the Eries well between the lake and river.
Bellin, in 1744, in the capital map he made for Charlevoix, places them similarly. Coxe, in his Carolana (1721), places them similarly and, following La Hontan's error, places the Andastes south-west of the Eries.
What is known of the subsequent fate of the Eries, appears in the Jesuit Relation of 1660, which says the Senecas were the most numerous of the Five Nations because of the great numbers they had adopted from conquest, naming the Hurons, Altiouendaronk, or Neuters, Riquehronons (Eries), who are those of the Nation of Cats, the Ontouagannha, or Fire Nation, the Trakouachronnons, and as an instance of the strength of the Iroquois, says they overcame 2,000 men of the Cats in their own intrenchments. The Iroquois conquered the Andastes, a cognate tribe living on the Upper Susquehanna and branches of the Ohio. Mr. Shea has identified them with the Susquehannas, Minguas, Mingoes or Canestogas. After their overthrow, in 1675, they were adopted into the tribes of the league, and in various ways figured in the after history of Pennsylvania and Ohio.
The Andastes are probably the Attiouandarons, of Sanson's map of 1657, placed on the east of the branch of the Ohio, running from Chatauqua Lake.The Tuscaroras were a cognate tribe from the south (North Carolina), who returned north in 1712 and were received as a Sixth Nation by the Iroquois. Some of them lived in Ohio. The Algonkin nations living in Ohio were the Miamis and Illinois from the westerly, the Shawnees from the southerly, and the Delawares from the east. The Miamis had apparently moved to the south-east within the time of history. They were first found by the French in the neighborhood of Green Bay, and after found around Lake Michigan, in 1679, at the south-east of it. Little Turtle described their probable course when he said: "My forefathers kindled the first fire at Detroit; from thence he extended his lines to the head waters of the Scioto; from thence to its mouth; from thence down the Ohio to the mouth of the Wabash, and from thence to Chicago over Lake Michigan." The Miami Confederacy had several sub-tribes, as the Ouiatenon, or Wea, and Piankeshaus. The Illinois, a nation nearly allied, were on the west and south. In 1679, the St. Joseph, of Michigan, was the river of the Miamis, and the names of three rivers in Ohio keep their national name. They were the tribe next west of the Eries, and probably the one that pushed them inland from the north-west.
The Delawares were Algonkin living, when first known, on the coast. The Dutch began to trade with them in 1616. The Andastes were their superiors, and when the Iroquois proper conquered the Andastes, they succeeded to the supremacy. About 1700, in a war with the Cherokees, they reached the Ohio, settled, and remained there until 1773. They called them selves Lenno Lenapi, meaning men, a name similar to that used by many tribes for themselves. They claimed to be the oldest of the Algonkin tribes, and were styled grandfathers. This means, no doubt, that they had been the first of the Algonkins to occupy their territory, and they may have been the oldest or first in the great Algonkin emigration from the west and northwest. The very position of the Delawares and other coast Indians makes it probable that they were the earlier emigrants.
The early history of the Shawnees and of Southern Ohio is scantily traced. Their position did not bring them within the early acquaintance of whites, or the knowledge of history. When they applied to LaSalle for French protection, he replied they were too remote. They were Algonkin, but their language had varied much from the Delawares or Miamis. In the belt of the Algonkins, extending from the Mississippi to the Atlantic, below the lakes, they occupied a position between the two. Within the period of history, they pushed into Ohio from Kentucky, and the Cumberland River is called, in the early French maps, the river of the ancient Shawnees. That was not the first time they had been on the Ohio. After the destruction of the Eries, they seem to have been next south upon that river, and I cannot but believe that while the Eries were at peace, the Shawnees lived next south, probably in Southern Ohio and Kentucky. The dividing ridge between the lake and river was a not unnatural boundary, and perhaps was the line in most of the State until the Eries were forced inland and, no doubt, pushed down the Ohio. A manuscript map of Jolliet, dated 1674, represents the Upper Ohio as divided into two parallel branches, and below the southerly is written "Pays Kentayentonga." That was an Erie town.
But the war with the Eries was too short and easily concluded to believe that the Iroquois, in that war, conquered the whole of the State of Ohio.
In 1669, when La Salle wanted of the Senecas a prisoner from the Ohio, as a guide to his intended discovery of it, the people living there were called Toagenha, or Otoagannha, "A people speaking a corrupt Algonkin." (O. H. Marshall's La Salle and the Senecas, 21, and Vol. I, Margry Papers.) The Indians undertook to dissuade the Frenchmen from their journey, telling them the Toagenha were a very bad people, who would kill them in the night, and they would run great risk before reaching them of meeting the Ontastois. We may be quite certain these tribes were the Shawnees and the Andastes. La Salle afterward procured a Chouanon (Shawnee) and was probably the first to visit the Ohio.
In the Relation of 1670, it appears that Marquette met at La Pointe, the Illinois. The Shawnees lived east-south-east of them, upon the Ohio.
In the Relation of 1672, Father Gamier was among the Senecas when there arrived a captive of the Ontouagannha or Chaouang (Shawnee.) This particular Shawnee the good father converted and baptized at once, and he expresses the belief that he entered Heaven the same day he arrived at Tsonnontouan.
De Laet, in 1632, getting his information from the coast, enumerating the tribes on the Delaware, says: Some persons add to them the Shawanoes.
Having taken back our Ohio tribes as far as written history will, it may not be uninteresting to glance at a map made by Sanson, the royal geographer of France, about 1657.
The position of the tribes and the similarity of names with the names in the earliest Relations, show that the geographical date of much of the map is 1640, about 30 years before the Ohio or Mississippi were discovered. The western tribe of the Iroquois, the Sonontouans, are east of the Genesee. The Hurons and Petuns occupy the northern part of the Peninsula north of Lake Erie, the Eriechronons or du Chat occupy between the Eastern half of Lake Erie and the Ohio, the upper part only of which appears, flowing from Chatauqua Lake. South-east of that branch of the Ohio, are the Attiouandarons, which may mean the Neuters or the Andastes, probably the latter, as the position would be nearly correct, and the name might apply to either.
South of the west end of Lake Erie are the Ontarraronons, meaning Lake people, as Ontario means beautiful lake. These were likely the Algonkins, who had pushed back the Eries and very likely the "Miami du Lac," who gave name to the Mau-mee. The lake referred to was perhaps Sandusky Bay, often called lake, and reminds one of Totontaraton in 1744, one of the places of the Hurons. West of the lake are the Squen-qiuoronons; just above on the Detroit river the Aictaeronons; where the river flows from Lake Huron the Couacronons, and further north the Ariatoeronon. On the Peninsula or point between Lake Huron and Michigan are the Oukouarararonons. Lake Michigan is merged into Green Bay; its southerly course does not appear; west of all but the last named tribe are the Assistaeronons or Nation du Feu. South and southwest of all these named are the Apalatcy Mountains, with no Mississippi valley, and with Spanish names. The last named tribe were the well-known Mascoutins. The name Squenqui-uoronons, at west end of Lake Erie may have been the Nepissing branch of the Ottawas, called Squekaneronons (9 N. Y. Col. Doc. 160), said by Sagard in 1624 to be their proper name, or the name may refer to the lake, as in Sagard's case. The lake is Skekouan. The names on this map are Huron, and Indians are so apt to make a descriptive name, which sounds to whites like a tribal one, as to add greatly to the labor of study. In the very map before us the Skrae-ronons living east of Sault St. Marie are simply people of the Skiae or Sault (2 Shea's Char., 271). The Jesuit Relation of 1662, p. 62, has an enumeration of the bands of Indians in the Michigan peninsulas, all Algonquins and all friends of the Hurons, and all trading with the French, save some of the Five Nations and some Puants farthest to the west. The Ontaanek are, no doubt, our old friends in north-west Ohio, the Ontarraronons. I should perhaps explain for those not familiar with Indian names that the termination "ronon" is Huron for nation, and that the terminations "nek" and "gouk" are Algonquin for the same. The Ontaousinagouk may well be the Squenqueronon. The others are Kichkagoneiak, Nigouaouichirinik and Ouachaskesouek. The first were probably Nepissings, the next to the last were no doubt the Niki-kouek of the relation of 1648 (p. 62, Quebec Ed.), and likely the Couacronons and no doubt the Ottawas.
We find, then, about 1640 the Eries ranged in Ohio from near the east end of Lake Erie to near the west, and held the country back and part of the Ohio river. That everywhere west were Algonquins, probably the Miamis and Ottawas pressing upon them. That below them on the Ohio, were the Shawnees, and south-east of them and their kindred the An-dastes were the Algonquin nations.
In the known history of the Iroquois we are not without some further light. In 1609, when first known, they were in Central New York and the confederation was formed. By clear tradition they had resided around the St. Lawrence at Montreal. It was evident that for many years they had occupied their then home. Mr. Morgan, in his Iroquois, places it since 1500, in a later article in N. A. Review, since 1450 at least. The Hurons, Neutrals, Iroquois, Eries and Andastes lay so compactly together in the Algonquin sea, around them that their history evidently had much in common. It is safe to assume that all the southern of these tribes emigrated from the north. Central New York must have been very attractive to fishermen and hunters. The league was formed after the migration. It appears, then, with some clearness that the Eries emigrated from the north-east to the region of Ohio and had likely occupied northern Ohio at least 150 years; no one can tell how much longer. By tradition, the Iroquois in this movement warred with the Algonquins, no doubt all they touched, and probably Delawares, Shawnees and possibly the Miamis. The Tuscaroras very probably became separated in this struggle.
The location of tribes, tradition and language all point to an earlier emigration of the Huron Iroquois family from the west, and we think Mr. Morgan has well established its line as north of Lake Erie. It is well-established also that the Algonquins came from the north-west, and Mr. Morgan thinks both branches of Indians went north of Lake Erie as the more natural highway. That seems probable of the Delawares; the Alleghanies were a natural barrier. We would suggest, however, that there may have been emigrations south as well as north, either by the lake shore and portages or down the Mississippi and up the Ohio. Evidences of both are found in the movements of the north-west tribes and the traditional history of tribes upon the Ohio. The Shawnee language was quite corrupted and the Delaware and Miami were much more alike than either like the Shawnee. We submit that this similarity had a cause in past history, and the Delawares, Miami and Illinois were nearer akin than either to the Shawnee, that the Shawnee emigration was different. The Iroquois pushed upon the Algonquins of the north emigration, who went in all directions, some south-east of the Alleghanies and some to the south-east from west of Lake Erie. Were not the Shawnees an earlier migration made to the south of the lakes? Their language showed early intercourse with other tribes, their tradition was that they migrated with the Foxes and Kicapoos, that they turned to the south, the others to the west. Affinity of language gives color to the tradition. Heckewelder writing in 1818 gives a tradition of crossing a great river and meeting the Allegwi, or Tallegwi. This tradition has been supposed to refer to the Mound-builders. His own view of it was, we think, evidently colored by his knowledge of the mounds. But the tradition as given by Loskiel, writing in 1778, is that about 80 years before that, on the whites settling on the coast, the Delawares came to Ohio, drove the Cherokees away and settled about Beaver Creek (p. 127). He adds at the present time, the Delawares call the whole country as far as the entrance of the river Wabash into the Ohio, "Alligewineugk, that is," says he, "a land into which they came from distant parts."
The Cherokees, in fact, long after held the mountains of east Tennesee and Kentucky, and stoutly maintained their ground against their adjacent neighbors, the Delawares and the Shawnees. The western tribes warred with them. In 1679, the Ottawas called the Upper Ohio "Olighin Sipi." The name Alleghany, sometimes spoken of as our only word from the Mound-builders, we submit means the Cherokees. In the atlas of the Royal Geographer, Danville (Paris, 1746), a branch of the Ohio, apparently the Kenawha or Mononga hela, is called river "des Tchalaquee" evidently meaning the Cherokees, called otherwise Chalakees, or more properly, says Gallatin, Tsalakies I. D'Anville's very fine and full map of 1755, he spells itAlegue, and makes it branch to the east above Pittsburgh, apparently the Kiskeminetas. The Iroquois had a tradition that they drove Indians from this vicinity. In 1722 in treaty with Virginia, their orator said that all the world knew that they had driven away the Cohnowas ronon. Had the Iroquois and Delawares joined in this adventure and was Heckewelder right in this part of his tradition?
The time of the conquest is uncertain, the extent of occupancy, but I think it reasonably established that the Talegewi were the Cherokees. I am pleased after coming unexpectedly to this conclusion to find it had previously been announced by Mr. Brinton.
A critical study and comparison of the Cherokee language with other Indian languages would throw some light upon the early history of the west.
Mr. Brinton says "it has a limited number of words in common with the Iroquois, and its structural similarity is close." Gallatin and Dr. Barton were inclined to think the Cherokee belonged structurally to the Iroquois family. The differences of it from the Iroquois were probably even greater than between the Shawnee and other Algonquin tongues. I submit that the similarity of the Cherokee to the Dakota languages is greater than to the Iroquois; a conclusion I believe Mr. Gallatin and Heckewelder would have reached but for the limited information accessible to them about the Dakota tongue. In 1540, De Soto apparently found them upon the upper waters of the Tennessee and Cumberland at a time when likely the Akansea were lower on these rivers. In 1669 the Shawnees were on the Ohio next the Andastes. The Shawnees were driven south by the Iroquois, and settled on the Cumberland. They must have displaced the Cherokees, and in part, possibly, the Akansas, driving one to the west and the other to the east and north-east. At any rate, as we have seen, we find the Cherokees shortly after on the upper Ohio, and, if I am right, by an emigration first down the Mississippi, and secondly up the Cumberland and Tennessee. Mr. Shea (Am. Cyclo., Art. Cherokees), well describes the home of that tribe when first known to the whites to be the upper valley of the Tennessee, the mountains and valleys of the Allegheny range, and the head waters of the Savannah and Flint. This tribe was, perhaps, the vanguard of the western Dakota emigration down the valley of the Mississippi. By Cherokee tradition they did not build the mounds in their country.
The Shawnees and Cherokees seem to have been the foremost in the great Indian migrations which met the Mound-builders. It is thought singular that there are no traditions of that move.
But when we think how faithless are the traditions among the whites of one hundred years ago, almost sure to be very wrong, even of one's great-grandfather, and that the Mound-builders apparently left Ohio several hundred years ago, at least, the want of memory of that event does seem singular. Indians were always warring and moving. But the same careful linguistic study in America that has told so much in the Old World will tell us something of the New.
The early voyagers along the coast, nearly all speak of copper in the hands of the Indians. Even in so small a book as Mr. Higginson's" Explorers for Young Folks," this is very striking. In Virginia, on the Hudson, and in New England was found enough to impress the travelers. It could have come from but one source, Lake Superior. In the Mississippi valley some may have been found in the drift, but not enough to make such abundance as evidently existed. There was much more commerce among the aboriginal tribes than is generally supposed. The first discoverer of Florida found, a trade with Cuba. There are in the West even on the borders of the lakes evidences of trade with the Gulf of Mexico, and in later days there was a trade across the plains.
We say we think there was copper enough to show a trade most likely with the Algonquin nations, as they held the mines, and as at that time the Huron Iroquois held the north of Lake Erie, we think it took place south of the lake. The main mining was, no doubt, long before and, as shown in the earliest account of the ancient copper mines, many had long been abandoned. We think some had not, and that Algonquins were adequate to continue in a feeble way the prior works, and the Shawnees occupying the Ohio river, famous afterward as enterprising traders, to conduct the commerce. Possibly this helped to corrupt their tongues. A theory has been suggested that the Mound-builders voluntarily abandoned Ohio and withdrew, finding the experiment of northern life too laborious. The movements of nations are not so voluntary and independently complete. If Mound-builders came from a better climate and place to Ohio and built the immense works they did here, it was because there was a force behind them pushing them on, and after such immense labor they abandoned Ohio, there was a pressure from the other way. Ohio, from being well peopled for savagery, did not become a waste without force.We take it for granted that when the advance of the two great families of northern Indians entered Ohio, they found prior occupants. Who were they? Not highly civilized, but village Indians, cultivating the soil, and in some places thickly settled; not building homes of brick or stone. A people who did not grow in Ohio indigenous to the soil, and die like an annual plant, but not even leaving seed behind them. They had their affinities of character, manners and blood with other people, and with whom? It seems as though no one could thoroughly read Mr. Jones' book on the southern Indians without being struck with the similarity of the works and relics found among them and in Ohio Certainly the Ohio works and relics are more like theirs than like any other.
Mr. Jones and other leading archaeologists after him have thought some of the southern tribes connected with the Mound-builders of Ohio, and that the descendants of the latter were likely at the time of the discovery in the south. Geographically we should look there. The entire north occupied by tribes from still further north and west, where could the prior residents possibly have gone but to the south.
A proper linguistic study might throw light upon the problem. The Shawnee language was perhaps corrupted by captives or adoption. More corrupted than any other of that generic race, as west and east was spoken purer Algonquin, and they apparently preceded the Iroquois family in the occupation of Ohio. From what tribes or of what tongues were the captives, and what nation was so long in contact with the Shawnees as to so affect their language?