At the beginning of the great colonial systems of North America, while the English occupied a strip of the North
Atlantic coast, their rivals, the French, advanced along an interior and parallel line, by the St. Lawrence and
the lakes. The French had the advantage, flanking the English advance toward the interior. But beyond Lake Erie
the St. Lawrence water way makes a sudden retreat in the far northwest, and the French parallel line would fail
if it were not extended to the Ohio river. The key to the situation was the land of portages, from the Allegheny
river on the east to the Miamis on the west. It followed naturally that this land, now mainly included in the state
of Ohio, became a battle ground and the cause of war in other regions, from the beginning of European rivalry in
North America. It was the most important region of the continent; the key to all the country west of the Alleghanies;
commanding the commercial outlet toward Europe of a vast and fertile country, destined to be the richest in the
world. The Ohio country began to be of surpassing importance in the sixteenth century, in the eyes of Europe, and
there are evidences that in more remote ages the region was the seat of the greatest towns and the theatre of the
most stubborn wars known to the ancient Americans. It is natural, therefore, that the early history of this region
should be rich with interest; that it should involve the rise and fall of political power in both the Old World
and the New, and not at all strange that the state of Ohio, from its foundation, should show a rapid progress toward
a position of dominance in America.
Of the origin of this fair land, geologists are able to give us an account from the evidences found in the rocks.
Once, we are told, a shallow sea of warm salt water, an extension of the gulf of Mexico, overspread the country
between the Alleghanies and the Rocky mountains. In Ohio the first land to emerge was at the present site of Cincinnati,
an island of which the rocks had been deposited for many centuries in the sea bottom, forming a peculiar dark limestone
called the Trenton, famous in our time as the impervious roof of the underground collections of natural gas. In
succession, northward and eastward, layers were built up under water, raised above, submerged and lifted again,
the most recent of all being the Carboniferous or coal bearing rocks. These successive pushings up of land from
the waters would have formed a vast level plain, if the face of the country had not been worn by the rivers and,
ages after solid land was established, by the icy torrents of melting glaciers. By such erosions the hills were
formed and the beautiful valley vistas and romantic gorges.
For the accumulation and growth of this great series of deposits, all of which were in salt water except the coal
bearing strata, which imply fresh water marshes, vast periods of time were required. Many millions of years must
be used in any rational explanation of their origin and history. All the stages of this history have gone forward
on so large a scale, so far as time is concerned, that the few thousand years of human history would not make an
appreciable factor in any of them.
THE MOUND BUILDERS.
It was long after the upper coal strata had been covered by other carboniferous deposits, barren of coal in
profitable quantity, that some great change in world conditions brought down vast fields of ice and snow from the
north. Hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of years after the ice had receded or melted, and the contour of the land
was established as it is today, that race of human beings known to us as Mound Builders occupied the land. They
are known through the remains of great earthworks which archaeologists have studied and investigated in every section
of the country where their works appear.
But, perhaps, the most thorough investigators along these lines were Messrs. Squier and Davis, who published an
exhaustive work entitled "The Ancient Monuments of the Mississippi Valley," and which has been recognized
as an authority among archaeologists since 1848. In that year the Smithsonian Institution, at Washington, D. C.,
assumed a protectorate over the work and republished it, together with some plans and notes furnished by others.
This publication constituted the first systematic Work with descriptions and figures of the numerous remains of
the Mound Builders. From 1848 until the present, the Smithsonian Institution has continued to publish books and
original papers relating to this subject. Stimulated by this national recognition, and in view of the absorbing
interest in the subject, many original investigators have published manuscripts and books at private expense, some
of which are very elaborate and complete. Doctor Davis, above mentioned as one of the publishers of "Ancient
Monuments of the Mississippi Valley," opened two hundred mounds at his own expense, and gathered the largest
collection of mound relics that has been made in America. These now form part of the collection of Blackmore's
Museum, at Salisbury, England. A second collection of duplicates from results of subsequent investigations is now
in possession of the American Museum of Natural History, in New York. The work of Squier and Davis was characterized
by the eminent Swiss archaeologist, A. Morlot, in a paper before the American Philosophical Society, in 1862, as
being "as glorious a monument of American science, as Bunker Hill is of American bravery."
It is a noticeable feature of all the early publications in this department of archaeology, that they attach great
antiquity to the Mound Builders. The variations in this regard are also very great. Some assume that thousands
of years have elapsed since the building of these ancient relics, and all agree that they are very old. Eminent
authorities are as widely at variance regarding their antiquity as they are concerning their origin and purpose.
But the tendency of students at the present time is to deny the great age assigned by early explorers to these
earthworks. The evidence of the trunks of trees rooted upon the mounds is not to be accepted without qualification.
It is known, also, that the homes of the Indian tribes changed so rapidly. according to their own accounts, before
they were crowded by the white men, that some of the red men found in Ohio after 1750 could give no account of
the origin of these mounds; this is very weak proof of a great antiquity. Of some of the works, the. Indians did
have traditions. Wider knowledge of the early Americans, furthermore, reveals to us that in the gulf region they
were yet making use of mounds when the first Spanish conquerors journeyed through that country. An artificial mound,
surmounted by the temple and the houses of the chief and great men, sometimes with a spacious stairway of hewn
timber on one side, and surrounded by dwellings of the people, was the striking feature of the main Muskogee towns
found by De Soto. Mounds were also built by both Southern and Northern people, within the historic period, in honor
of the dead buried beneath them.
Interesting papers have been published to sustain the theory that such well known tribes as the Cherokees and Shawanees
were mound builders. Structures in the middle West and North are remarkably suggestive of the great town houses
of the Apalachee Indians of Florida, being built in the form of a hollow square, with the main entrances at each
angle. It is well known that the state of Ohio has taken precedence in the matter of investigating the mysteries
surrounding the history of the Mound Builders, probably because the evidences of their existence are more numerous
in that state than in any other. Well defined mounds, easily traceable to the mysterious race now under discussion,
appear in nearly every township in that state, if we except the Black Swamp and the rugged southeastern part of
the state. Careful investigators are all agreed that ten thousand mounds in Ohio is a moderate estimate of the
number found there. It is also believed that the population was more dense there than in other regions, that more
permanent settlements were made, and that a more tenacious effort was put forth to hold the country against prehistoric
invasion. These people left no written history, and all that is known concerning them is gathered from the mounds,
enclosures and implements which they left behind. They have been called "Mound Builders" simply because
of the innumerable mounds which they have erected, and which remained until the coming of the white man These earthworks
were very generally distributed from western New York, along the southern shore of Lake Erie, through Michigan
to Nebraska, thence north from this line to the southern shore of Lake Superior. From this line they extend south
to the gulf of Mexico. Mounds occur in great numbers in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Illinois, Wisconsin,
Missouri, Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia and Florida. They are found in less numbers in western
New York, the Carolinas, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Michigan, Iowa and portions of Mexico. In choosing this vast region,
extending from the Alleghanies to the Rocky mountains, and from the great lakes to the gulf of Mexico, the Mound
Builders took possession of the great systems of plains, controlling the long inland water courses of the continent.
Along the broad levels drained by this vast river system, the remains of prehistoric man are found. Archaeologists
have no difficulty in locating the places which were most densely populated, by reason of the irregular distribution
of the works.
It is interesting to note that in the selection of sites for their earthworks, the Mound Builders were influenced
by the same motives, apparently, which governed their European successors. It is a well established fact that nearly
every city of importance in the valleys of the Ohio and Mississippi, and their tributaries, is located on the ruins
left by this ancient people. Of these, we mention Chicago, St. Louis, Milwaukee, Frankfort, Kentucky, as being
near the borders of our own state. Sixteen of the principal cities of Ohio are so located, while many others in
other states could be mentioned. The sites selected by the Mound Builders for their most pretentious works were
on the river terraces, or bottoms, no doubt because of the natural highways thus rendered available, besides the
opportunities for fishing and the cultivation of the warm, quick soil, easily tilled.
Old residents of Fayette county will remember with pleasure the late Judge Samuel Murdock, of Elkader, who made
this subject the study of a lifetime. Perhaps Judge Murdock did more in the line of investigation of the Iowa mounds
than all others combined, and his lectures were the subject of universal comment and great interest.
A full description of these ancient works, or even a mention of them, would require more space than can be accorded
to the subject in this work. The patient student must avail himself of the opportunities presented in the perusal
of the elaborate works published on this interesting and fascinating subject, while the casual reader has but little
interest beyond a superficial view.
Surveys and explorations of the many mounds 'which have been opened seem to indicate that they were all constructed
along similar lines, though vastly different in size and apparently designed for different purposes. Some appeared
to be constructed for defense against the encroachments of an enemy, and show that some knowledge of military fortifications
was possessed by the designers and builders. The ancient works are of three classes: The heavy embankments found
on the level or lowlands; the larger works, composed of earth and stone on the hill tops, and the smaller mounds
scattered everywhere, on high or low ground, indiscriminately.
The dimensions of the mounds do not vary greatly, being usually from two hundred and fifty to three hundred feet
in diameter, and are either square or circular in form, often combining both forms in one figure. The square or
rectangular works, found in combination with the circles, are of various dimensions; but it has been noticed that
certain groups are distinguished by such an uniformity in size that archaeologists have been persuaded to claim
that the builders had a standard of measurement. These squares have almost invariably eight gateways, all of which
are covered or protected by small mounds. A few have been discovered which are octagonal in form. The mounds are
designated as "defensive." "sacred," "sacrificial." "sepulchral" and "memorial,"
according to the uses to which they were put. There is also a class of mounds, variously designated as "animal."
"emblematic" or "symbolical," which were crude representations of certain animals, reptiles,
birds and even men, sometimes sufficiently accurate in their representations to plainly show them characters or
objects they were designed to represent. Most curious of all are the effigy mounds in Ohio, which are surpassed,
however, by those in Wisconsin and Iowa.
The peculiar and distinctive features of these various relics of past ages are of little interest to the general
reader, and yet the fact of their existence, and that they are the only remains of a race of human beings long
since extinct, urges the effort to solve the mystery of the ancient people and their works. But the solution of
the problem has baffled the skill of the most noted scientists of two continents, since the existence of these
"works of human hands" was first determined. True, we have theories, ably supported by argument, and
these, in the absence of absolutely established facts, we must accept, weigh, adopt or discard, and still remain
in darkness as to the origin, mission and final destiny of the Mound Builders.
Judging by the works which they have left, - and that is in accord with Scriptural suggestion, - they were a powerful
race of slightly civilized and industrious people. The earth monuments, only, remain, these enclosing a few relics
of rude art, together with the last lingering remains of mortality - the crumbling skeleton - which the curious
investigators have disturbed in their resting places. But even these have yielded to scientific minds, strongly
imaginative, some knowledge of the character and lives of the race. The twentieth century dawns in almost as great
ignorance of the prehistoric race as did the nineteenth; yet in the ever restless spirit of modern investigation,
efforts have been made to link the Mound Builders with some ancient and far distant race of civilized mankind.
Dr. John S. Newberry, late professor of geology and paleontology in Columbia College, sums up a voluminous article
on this subject in the following language: "From all the facts before us, we can at present say little more
than this: That the valley of the Mississippi and the Atlantic coast were once densely populated by a sedentary,
agricultural, and partially civilized race, quite different from the modern nomadic Indians, though possibly the
progenitors of some of the Indian tribes; and that, after many centuries of occupation, they disappeared from our
country at least one thousand, perhaps many thousands, of years before the advent of the Europeans. The prehistoric
remains found so abundantly in Arizona appear to be related to the Professor Newberry cites Squier's "Memoir
of the Ancient Monuments of the West," "Aboriginal Monuments of the State of New York," "Ancient
America," "The Monuments of the Mississippi Valley" and "Prehistoric Races of the United States."
EARLY INDIAN HISTORY.
We trust the generous reader will tolerate a few words on this subject, of which, though traditional, we will
give the most reliable information derived from such sources, and we will also present the conclusions of men who
have devoted their lives to the study of the early aborigines. Dr. C. S. Rafinesque, in his admirable work, "The
Ancient Annals of Kentucky," makes a vigorous use of the imagination when he traces the American folk well
nigh back to Adam. He says that the middle West first became the center of the Atalan people. This he ascribes
to a period two thousand years ago. Later the Atalans were divided into two branches, the Apalans of the North
and the Talegans of the Ohio valley; that these people Warred against the Istacan and Siberian invasions, and finally
drove the ancient people to the South, founding Mexican civilization. Then came the Lenap and Menguy invaders across
Behring strait to possess the Ohio and St. Lawrence country, and a period is approached in which definite dates
can be assigned.
Whatever may be the basis for Doctor Rafinesque's theoretical account, it may be suggested here that it is as good
history as any of the time before the coming of the Lenap and Menguy forefathers of the red men found in the North
after the Columbian discovery.
The Indians who inhabited the northern region east of the Mississippi at the beginning of historic times were,
in language, of two great families, which are given the French names Algonquin and Iroquois. These are not Indian
names. In fact, from the word Indian itself, which is a misnomer - arising from the slowness of the early voyagers
to admit that they had found unknown continents - down to the names of tribes, there is a confusion of nomenclature
and often a deplorable misfit in the titles now fixed in history by long usage. The Algonquin family may more properly
be termed the Lenape, and the Iroquois the Mangle. The Lenape themselves, while using that name, also employed
the more generic title of Wapanackki. The Iroquois had the ancient name of Onque Honwe, and this in their tongue,
as Lenape in that of the other family, signified men with a sense of importance "the people," to use
a convenient English expression.
According to the Lenape tradition, that people came from a distant home to a great river, which they called the
Nameesi Sippee, where they found another nation, the Mengwe, engaged in a similar migration. On crossing the river
a powerful nation was discovered in possession of the country, called the Tallegawi, or Allegawi, a race of tall,
stout men, who had large towns and built fortifications and entrenchments. Meeting with a desperate resistance
from this people, the Lenape and Mengwe made an alliance, agreeing to conquer and divide the country between themselves,
and after many great battles and probably many years they were successful.
Such is the tradition of the conquest as gathered from the Lenni Lenape (Delawares), "the grandfather people,"
by Heckewelder, in his "History, Manners and Customs of the. Indian Nations." There is no reason to discredit
the tradition in its essential particulars. Some students prefer to interpret the Nameesi Sippee as the Detroit
river rather than the Mississippi, according to their notions of a northeastward starting point of migration, buf
this is not material to our narrative: Unfortunately, the Indian habit of giving names to rivers and places according
to some striking physical characteristic, each nation or tribe bestowing a name of its own, does not warrant the
certain application of Nameesi Sippee to the Mississippi river. The title might be given to any "great river,"
that being its signification. The Allegawi left their name, as a perpetual monument, attached to the mountain chain
of the East, and to the Ohio river in the language of one of the conquering nations.
Dr. D. G. Brinton, in "The American Race," has explained that the name Tallegawi means the Tallega
or Tallika people, and suggests Tsalaki, the Indian name of which "Cherokee" is a corruption. Before
the Tallegawi, according to the ancient painted record of the Lenape, translated by Rafinesque, there were the
"Snake people," who might have been the first mound builders.
The Lenape became the most widespread of the new peoples. Some tribes remained west of the Mississippi, while others
pushed on to occupy the Atlantic coast from Virginia to Labrador. "They were typical Americans, up to the
stature of the best European nations, well formed and stalwart. They had the physiognomy of warriors, prominent
nose, thin lips, piercing black eyes. Their black hair was carefully pulled from their heads save a patch on the
crown from which grew long locks, on which they bound gaudy feathers. Their hands and feet were of aristocratic
smallness. Each family lived alone in wattled huts, the little towns being surrounded by palisades of stakes. They
cultivated grain and vegetables, made coarse pottery, wove mats, and dressed the skins which they were good enough
hunters to obtain from the deer, bear and buffalo, though they had no better weapons than stone tipped arrows,
chipped out most artfully from flint or chert. They dug copper, and in the remotest parts of their territory had
the red pipe bowls from Minnesota or the black slate pipes from Vancouver island. The sun, with fire as its symbol,
was their chief object of adoration, and the young warrior must make his sun vows at dawn from a solitary hill
top before he became worthy of a place among men. The four winds that brought the rains were also objects of reverence,
as well as the animal that was the symbol of the tribe, and the Lenape remembered with pious faithfulness the hero
god Miehabo, who taught them laws and gave them maize and tobacco, and sometime would come again. These Indians
were those known in later years as the Delawares, the Maumees, the Mohegans, the Manhattans, the Piankeshaws, the
Pottawattaniies, the Shawnees and numerous other tribes. All were one family in the likeness of their language,
though they often had their family quarrels, and they bear in history the name given them by the French from one
of their most unworthy tribes, the Algonquins.
The Mengwe made their homes along the lower great lakes and the St. Lawrence river, never reaching the coast, and
thus they came to be wholly surrounded by the Lenape. They were a fiercer people and models of physical development.
The stock is unsurpassed by any in the world. It stands on record that the five companies of Iroquois from New
York and Canada during the Civil war stood first on the list of all recruits of our army for height, vigor and
corporeal symmetry. Though the Lenape regarded them as inferiors and called them cannibals, they held themselves
superior to all races, and certainly gave some proof of superiority in their history. The women among them were
accorded more than ordinary respect, at least in ancient times, and were represented by a speaker in all councils.
In the Vendet tribe the women of each gens elected the chief, who represented it in all tribal councils. The "long
house" was a distinctive feature of Mengwe life large communal log houses, fortified with palisades, and so
strong that the white pioneers did not err in calling them castles.
Included in this stock of people were the Mohawks, Oneidas, Senecas, Cayugas, Eries, Cherokees, Wyandots, Tuscaroras
and others, these being the names commonly given them in history. The Wahash (Osage), it is believed, they left
beyond the Mississippi in the migration.
But the Cherokees among the Mengwe, and the Shawanees among the Lenape, are people difficult to classify. The language
of both races was copious, admirably constructed, flexible and generally melodious. That of the Lenape was the
more guttural, the sounds represented by ch or gin printed words closely approximating the German ch. They also
had delicately sounded nasal vowels resembling the French. The dictionaries and grammars of the language that have
been published demonstrate the remarkable richness of the tongues in words and in their inflection and combination.
The clans of the Lenni Lenape (called Delawares by the English) were known among the Indians by their totems, the
Turtle, Turkey and Wolf, the turtle being the highest in honor, while among the Mengwe there were clans and totems
of Turtle, Wolf, Bear, Deer, Beaver, Hawk, Crane and Snipe, each having separate towns. There were no Indian kings.
The government was in the hands of the elected chief and the council of old and worthy men. The chief was the keeper
of wampum, used for tribal negotiations, and he Was authorized to control the clan or tribe as far as his diplomacy
could carry him, but no orders or attempts at forcible discipline would be tolerated. He could not make war or
peace, or levy taxes, and was required to hunt for his living the same as any other warrior. There was no limit
of lands; all belonged to all. There were scarcely any penal laws, but, unless some atonement 'were made, murder
could be avenged by the friends of the victim. The most generous hospitality was the rule, and when anyone needed
a necessity of life, there was no harm in taking it without asking. Said one (James Smith) who had passed a number
of years as a forcibly adopted Indian: "They are not oppressed or perplexed with expensive litigation; they
are not injured by legal robbery; they have no splendid villains that make themselves grand and great on other
people's labor, and they have neither church nor state created as money making machines."
The early aborigines, as contemplated in this article, were very skillful in war. They had a system of military
maneuvers peculiar to themselves, and could march forward in battle line, form circles or semi circles to surround
an enemy, or form hollow squares from which to face outward to repel an attack with the most exact precision, and
they implicitly obeyed their leaders. They won famous battles against white troops in historic times, and could
teach strategy to white commanders as well as the highest statecraft. (The Iroquois advised the union of the American
colonies, when the colonists, like inferior Indians, were too jealous of each other to consent to it.)
Of another side of Indian character, Gen. William Henry Harrison has left an interesting suggestion. "By many,"
he said, "they are supposed to be stoics, who willingly encounter privations. The very reverse is the fact;
for if they belong to either of the classes of philosophers that prevailed in the declining years of Rome, it is
to that of the Epicureans, for no Indian will forego an enjoyment or suffer an inconvenience if he can avoid it.
Even the gratification of some strong passion he is ever ready to postpone, when its accomplishment is attended
with unlooked for danger or unexpected hardship." There were, of course, darker sides to the picture. The
women did not enjoy too much honor, and there were some rites that remind one of the ancient people of the Mediterranean
whose civilization is admired. Their marriages were made with as little ceremony as among the ancient Hebrews,
and often were temporary. The warriors were cruel, perhaps more so than Europeans of their day, and possibly there
were more horrible atrocities on the borders of the colonies than occurred during the Thirty Years" war in
Germany, or in the Irish wars or in the Netherlands. Captives were sometimes burned at the stake, and once in a
while portions of them were eaten, as a sort of religious rite. But originally at least, captive women were treated
Volney, the once famous French philosopher, who studied the Indian after he had suffered much from conquest and
the strong drink of the white man, remarked: "I have often been struck with the analogy subsisting between
the Indians of North America and the nations so much extolled - ancient Greece and Italy. In the personages of
Homer's 'Iliad' I find the manners and discourse of the Iroquois and the Delawares." After he had visited
the Maumees and talked with Little Turtle, he remarked that Thucydides, in describing the Greeks at the period
of the Trojan war, very closely pictured the mode of life of the western Indians. The red men were superstitious,
or religious, as one may choose to call them. They believed in two supernatural powers, the keechee manitoo, or
good spirit, and matchee manitoo, or satan, like the ancient Persians, though the Ahura Mazda of the latter was
the good god. To the good spirit they made prayers and offerings of baked meats, which, however, all shared in
eating, having no priests with special privileges. The matchee manitoo was perhaps more the object of concern,
but he could be driven away, and his evil influence averted, by the shaking of gourd rattles or by the smoke of
tobacco thrown upon a fire. Their most common remedy for illness was as far advanced as the practice of those people
today who have found that cleanliness is often preferable to drugs. The Turkish bath was common in the Mississippi
valley hundreds of years ago. The Indian would take it in a little tent of hides, over some hot stones, and if
he could stand a smudge of tobacco in addition to the hot air, the bath gained the merit of a religious ceremony.
Such were the ancient people of the Ohio and Mississippi valleys in the fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
About the year 1459 the greatest event affecting their history, after the conquest of the Allegawi, occurred, namely,
the confederation of the five Mengwe tribes known to us as Mohawks, Oneidas, Senecas, Cayugas and Onondagas, under
the leadership of the great chieftain and statesman, Ayoun-wat-ha, familiar in romance as Hiawatha. This confederation
was founded to maintain quiet among those tribes, and was called the Payanerenhkowa, or "great peace,"
whence the French, "Iroquois," or Eroke people. This confederation, while it held the five tribes in
firm alliance, did not forbid war with their neighbors, the Lenapes, or other tribes of the Mangle family.
A wonderful happening in 1535 was the appearance of Cartier and his Frenchmen in the St. Lawrence river, as high
as Hochelaga (Montreal). It was the advance guard of the new era, in which the Iroquois confederation should be
conspicuous for more than two centuries and then pass away, with all the Indian power. Cartier reported that he
had found the route to Cathay, for which all explorers in America were searching. The first permanent settlement
in this region was made by Champlain in 1608, at Quebec. There for a time he made friends with a tribe which the
French called "good Iroquois," or Hurons. They were a powerful people, of the Mengwe family, but at war
with their cousins, the Iroquois of the confederation. Soon Champlain consented, with fatal effect upon French
dominion in America, to join in an expedition of Hurons and Adirondacks against the Iroquois, and the arms of the
French routed the red men of the confederacy at Ticonderoga. But two months later Hendrik Hudson sailed up the
river which bears his name, and in a few years a great trading station was established at the place which the Delawares
came to know as Manahachtanienk (Manhattan), and the Iroquois speedily made a covenant, or treaty of lasting peace,
with the Dutch, and obtained the European fire arms, in the use of which they soon became masters.
But even when equipped with bow and arrow alone they made an effectual barrier to French progress to the southwest.
Because of the hostility he provoked, Champlain turned to the Ottawa river and visited Georgian bay. Within a quarter
of a century after the unfortunate battle of Ticonderoga Nicollet discovered Lake Michigan, and as late as 1648
the French knew more of the far western lake of Winnebago than they did of Lake Erie, or even the falls of Onyagaro
(Niagara), of which they had heard tales from the Indians. It was not for want of enterprise that the French submitted
to this restriction. In 1615 Champlain invaded the Iroquois country and laid siege in a medieval manner to the
walled capital, Onondaga, but was repulsed and compelled to retreat. Then in 1629 the English captured Quebec,
and for a little while Canada and the right of exploring unknown rivers and lakes were granted to a favorite of
Charles I. But Charles had a claim against the king of France for promised but unpaid dower, and when his father
in law had settled this claim, the English charter was annulled. Meanwhile the Puritans had made their settlement
among the Lenape of Massachusetts, and Jamestown had been established in Virginia, both under grants from the English
monarch, reaching to the western seas, though no one but the Spanish had an adequate conception of the vast territory
that lay between the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans.
The Christian religion, as taught by the Franciscan fathers, was brought to the Indians about Niagara in 1626,
but the adventurous priest, Joseph de la Roche Dillon, barely escaped with his life. After Quebec was restored
to the French in 1632 came the Jesuits, who had some success in instructing the Hurons, but none with the Iroquois.
Some Jesuit fathers visited Sauk Ste. Marie in 1642, and on their return were taken by the Iroquois and savagely
tortured. Father Joques, the only survivor, was taken across New York state before his release.
With the advent of the French and Dutch the Indians found they could obtain wampum, clothing, guns and ammunition,
and many trinkets clear to both warriors and women, as well as "firewater" that might serve even better
than their ancient besum (herb drink) in fortifying themselves for hunting or fighting excursions, all in exchange
for beaver skins and other paltry. The Iroquois held a position commanding the channel of trade, both with the
Dutch and the French. The latter had humiliated them in war, while the Dutch had sought their friendship and encouraged
them to control the trade. It was natural, therefore, that they should seek to cut off the French trade and possess
for themselves the hunting grounds of all the adjacent regions. Thus the fur trade became a controlling motive
in the politics of the Northwest, and continued so until the war of 1812. Its first effect was that the Iroquois
launched upon a great career of conquest. In 1643 they attacked the Attiwondaronks, called by the French the "neutral
nation," living north and south of Niagara, and these were driven out, or absorbed in the victorious tribes.
Within a few years the Huron towns in upper Canada, though strong enough to be called palisaded castles, were stormed
and captured, the inhabitants driven far to the west and the country made desolate and empty of People. The last
great battle, according to the Huron tradition, as told to General Harrison, was fought in canoes on Lake Erie,
in which nearly all the warriors of both nations perished. The story of this campaign was told in Europe and divided
attention with the ghastly details of the massacre of fifty thousand English in Ireland. It would be interesting
to trace the career of some of the early explorers, but the purpose of this chapter has already been accomplished,
though perhaps misnamed in designating it all as "Iowa Antiquities."