The Iroquois League Timeline
Compiled by Margaret Odrowaz-Sypniewski
War Chief of the Mohawk painted by Robert Griffing, courtesy of Paramount Press, 1997.
- 1570 ... The Iroquois League is formed with five independant Nations: the Cayuga, the Mohawk, the Oneida, the Onondaga, and the Seneca.
- 1615 ... First smallpox epidemic in Virginia. Smallpox killed Native Americans because they had not not developed an immunity to the disease, which was unknown in this hemisphere. Europeans were similarly killed by yellow fever, syphilis, and tobacco (the Native Americans used tobacco as a ceremonial device).
- 1630 ... Wolf bounty law is passed by the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
- 1632 ... Virginia passes a wolf bounty law.
- 1670 ... Glass beads from Europe begin to be used to decorate Native clothing, displacing shells and quillwork. Mainly beads were easier to use and quicker too. The natural materials took more time and skill.
- 1672 ... Native Americans were hired to deliver mail along the Iroquois Trail. Later the Erie Canal was made for travel between Albany and Buffalo. It took trained Iroquois runners three (3) days to run to deliver messages from the farthest eastern village (Albany) to the farthest western village (Buffalo) in the Iroquois League.
- 1672 ... King Philip's War breaks out in the New England Colonies. "King Philip" was the name the British gave him since he was a Algonqian chief. His real name was Metacom. He was the son of Cheif Massasoit, of the Wampanoag. Metacom was killed and hacked into pieces. His wife and son were sold into slavery, by the British, for work on the plantations in the West Indies. The Alfonquian tribe of Wampanoag, Nipmuc, and Narragonset were almost entirely exterminated.
- 1689 ... French and Indian War begins ... the Algonquin tribes side with the French.
- 1693 ... William and Mary College is established in Virginia.
- 1709 ... Johann Phillip Greisler, his wife Anna Catherina, and his sons, Johann George and Joannes leave their home in
Guntersblum, Germany, to seek a new life in America. They end up in Schoharie County, New York.
- Schoharie was first inhabited by a French-Indian prisoner who married a Mohawk woman. His name was Karigondonte. The Karign Ondante tribe (Schoharie Indians) were made extinct, so they joined the Loyalists.
- 1711 ... Between 1711 and 1713, there are ongoing wars, in North Carolina. between the British settlers and the Tuscarora tribe. In the end the Tuscarora are driven out of this area and they head north.
- 1713 ... King Louis XIV relinquishes Hudson Bay and surrounds to the British Crown in the Treaty of Utrecht.
- 1742 ... the birth of Joseph Brant (Thayendanegea) on the banks of the Ohio River. Brant remains a devout follower of the Church of England for the rest of his life.
- 1744 ... The Tuscarora join the Iroquois League making them a Confederacy of six (6) nations.
- 1755 ... The British raise the bounty for Native American Indian scalps to forty (40) English pounds.
- 1755 ... William Johnson convinces King Hendrick to help him with the English fight afgainst the French. Henrich's daughter was one of Johnson's mistresses. This proves to be a mistake, as Hendrick and his people were ambushed, and killed, near Lake George.
- 1784 ... October 23, 1784 the Six Nations Confederacy was awarded two tracts of land, in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada (British stronghold of authority): one on the Bay of Quinte and the other on the Grand River.
- "I do hereby in His Majesty's name Authorize and permit the said Mohawk Nation, and such other of the Six Nations Indians as wish to settle in the Quarter to take possession of and settle upon the banks of the River commonly called Ouse, or Grand River, running into Lake Erie. Alotting to them for that purpose six miles deep from either side of the River beginning at Lake Erie, and Extending in that proportion to the Head of the said River, which them and their posterity are to enjoy for ever."
- 1784 ... October 25, 1784, the British favor the Mohawk Nation. Joseph Brant (Thayendanega) was given 3450 acres of land (in present day Halton County and founds the city of Burlington, Ontario Canada. His home is built on Wellington Street and is the present site of the Joseph Brant Museum. This land was purchased from the Mississauga tribe. The Mississauga were hostile to the Six Nations.
- Brant built this home for his (3) wife, Catharine Brogham, and his family.
- When the Six Nations moved to "Brant's Ford," he was responsible for the construction of a second church, Her Majesty's Chapel of the Mohawks, near present-day Brantford, on the Six Nations tract. The first church was destroyed in the Mohawk Valley at Fort Klock. New York.
- It is said that Brant hired negro servants.
- The Six Nations are composed of Mohawk, Onondaga, Seneca, Oneida, Cayuga and Tuscarora. They called themselves Housdensaunee (people of the Longhouse).
- 1786 ... Joseph Brant makes his second trip to England.
- 1790 ... Cornplanter, sachem to the Seneca, speaks to George Washington:
- "When your army entered the country of the Six Nations, we called you town destroyer; and to this day when that name is heard our women look behind them and turn pale, and our children cling close to the necks of their mothers."
- 1796 ... The birth of George Catlin (1796-1872?). Caitlin left a legacy of painted portraits of various Native American Indians and wrote about their lives.
- 1799 ... Handsome Lake founded the "Longhouse Religion" ... one "sin" was to drink alcohol.
- 1800 ... Silverwork becomes common among the Northeastern tribes. The Iroquois are especially noted for this work.
- 1802 ... The sale of liquor to Native American Indians is prohibited as many native tribes and the Iroquois Confederacy, fely alcohol was detrimental to their people ... this law remains on the books until the 1950's.
- In the Traditional Teachings, in the Articles of Kariwiio "oneka" (meaning "mindchanger") is alcohol. It is one of the Four Major Wrongs. This was written by Handsome Lake and other sachems and chiefs, because alcohol was abused and caused Iroquois minds to split. It was also responsible for bringing death, misery, and hardship within the native family structure. Most Iroquois have pledged never to touch "firewater."
- 1807 ... November 24, 1807, Thayendanega (Joseph Brant) dies, in his Burlington Bay house. His final words are:
- "... it seem natural to Whites, to look on lands in the possession of Indians with an aching heart, and never to rest "till they have planned them out of them ... the interests of the Indians has ever and I hope Ever [sic] shall be my greatest aim ... and remain a free people...God willing"
- In November of 1850, the body of Thayendanegea was brought back to Grand River, and his third wife, Catharine, is buried besides him at Her Majesty's Chapel of the Mohawks.
- 1816 ... the birth of Chief George Henry Martin Johnson (1816-1884) or "Onwanonsyshon" meaning "he has a great horse." He is a Mohawk of the Wolf Clan. Chief George was born to John "Smoke" Johnson (1792-1886), a Mohawk of the Bear Clan. He was appointed (in 1858) as the first permanent Speaker of the Six Nation's Council and bearer of the Pine Tree Chief title of "Sakayengwaraton" meaning "disappearing mist."
- 1860 ... A curious study is made by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs. It states the cost to kill a single Native American Indian is estimated at $1 million.
- 1869 ... October 1, 1869, Prince Arthur, son of Queen Victoria, and future Governor General of Canada, visits Her Majesty's Chapel of the Mohawks, in Brantford (Brant's Ford), Ontario, Canada.
- 1869 ... President Ulysses S. Grant appoints Ely Samuel Parker (Donehogawa), a full-blooded Seneca, to be the Commissioner of Indian Affairs. Parker was Grant's Military Secretary during the Civil War.
- 1880 ... the final stage of the destruction of Western wolves.
- 1886 ... The high steelworking tradition of the Mohawks begins. They begin construction of a cantilever bridge over the St. Lawrence Seaway. This bridge is on Native American land on the New York side, and allows them to cross over to visit their Canadian cousins.
- More and more Mohawks find this work similar to the ancient tribal idea of proving themselves as modern-day warriors.
- 1926 ... September 1924, the Canadian government refuses to allow the Six Nations Confederacy to remain as the traditional government of the Iroquois people on the Six Nations Reserve in Ontario, Canada.
- 1949 ... January 1949, Onondaga athlete, Tom Longboat, won the Boston Marathon in 1907. He sets a new record of 2 hours, 24 minutes. Tom died at the age of 61 years, on the Ohsweken Reserve, near Brantford, Ontario, Canada.
- 1950 ... the wolf population of the lower forty-eight states drops from two million to a few hundred
- 1956 ... March 1956, the Canadian government sends the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to evict the traditional Iroquois chiefs and clan mothers from their meeting place on the Six Nations Reserve in Ontario, Canada. Many people are hurt in this attempt to force the native people from their traditional ways.
- 1961 ... March 1961, renowned Aboriginal poet, E. Pauline Johnson (Tekahiowake) dies in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Pauline was the daughter of Chief Henry Martin. Henry was born on Ohsweken Reserve, Ontario, Canada. My father's middle name is Martin, and he was said (by family traditions) to have been named after Chief Henry. This is because my great grandfather, Martin Crysler's father was acquainted with this family when they lived near Schoharie, New York. My father's uncle's middle name was also "Martin." Many of the Cryslers married native women.
- 1965 ... Voting Rights Act makes ALL states enact the bill to allow Native American Indians to vote. Many states had allowed this well before this act made it mandatory.
- 1973 ... Endangered Species Act gives land back to the wolves as the Oneida villagers gave their land back to their brother species (the Wolf Clan).
- 1973 ... March 1973, Canadian actor, Chief Dan George, is presented with an honarary Doctor of Laws degree from Brandon University in Manitoba.
- 1974 ... September, 1974, the United States government rules that Aboringinal people (born in Canada) have the right to travel freely between Canada and the United States, without registering at the United States border or using visas. This law reflects the concept that many a Native American Indian families have ancestors on both sides of the border. Some were loyalists and some remained in New York State.
- 1983 ... Who Speaks For Wolf, a 1,000 year old story, published. Author Paula Underwood, is an Oneida.
- 1995 ... ....Wolf Song for Wolf Haven published. Author Paula Underwood, is an Oneida.
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This page was last updated on February 5, 2011
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