Our Life Among the Iroquois Indians

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UNP - Nebraska Paperback, 1892 - History - 321 pages
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The world of the mid-nineteenth-century Seneca Indians comes vividly to life in this classic biography of missionaries Asher and Laura Wright. The Wrights lived with the Senecas for over forty years, during which they translated parts of the New Testament and hymns into the Seneca language, oversaw a periodical, and recorded much about everyday reservation life and history. Their recollections are an indispensable source of information about traditional Seneca life and the activities of missionaries among them.It was a time of intense change for the Senecas, as they withdrew from the centuries-old Iroquois Confederacy and increasingly embraced Christianity. The Wrights recall religious disputes between Christians and traditionalists on the reservation, including a contentious Christmas observance held within a longhouse, a debate over the origins of the world, and Chief Logan’s fierce opposition to Christian burial rites for a relative. They helped to found and manage the first twenty years of the Thomas Asylum for Orphan and Destitute Indian Children, later known as the Thomas Indian School, which continued until the mid-1950s. The Wrights also provide valuable descriptions of Seneca religious ceremonies, eyewitness accounts of community events and conversions, memorable speeches by Red Jacket and Honondeuh, and many Seneca legends, origin stories, and historical accounts.
 

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Page 195 - Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep : If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.
Page 275 - There runs not a drop of my blood in the veins of any living creature. This called on me for revenge. I have sought it. I have killed many. I have fully glutted my vengeance. For my country I rejoice at the beams of peace; but do not harbor a thought that mine is the joy of fear. Logan never felt fear. He will not turn on his heel to save his life. Who is there to mourn for Logan? Not one.
Page 88 - Have not I commanded thee ? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.
Page 270 - But an evil day came upon us. Your forefathers crossed the great water, and landed on this island. Their numbers were small. They found friends and not enemies. They told us they had fled from their own country for fear of wicked men, and had come here to enjoy their religion.
Page 289 - When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie, My grace, all-sufficient, shall be thy supply; The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.
Page 270 - Their numbers were small. They found friends and not enemies. They told us they had fled from their own country, for fear of wicked men, and had come here to enjoy their religion. They asked for a small seat. We took pity on them, granted their request ; and they sat down among us. We gave them corn and meat; they gave us poison in return.
Page 271 - Brother, our seats were once large and yours were small. You have now become a great people, and we have scarcely a place left to spread our blankets.
Page 278 - Lo, the poor Indian, whose untutored mind Sees God in clouds, and hears Him in the wind...
Page 125 - JESUS loves me ! this I know, For the Bible tells me so ; Little ones to him belong, They are weak, but He is strong. Yes, Jesus loves me, Yes, Jesus loves me, Yes, Jesus loves me, The Bible tells me so.
Page 71 - What does the Bishop want ? If he came here to tell us that our Indian system is a sink of iniquity, tell him we all know it. Tell him the United States never cures a wrong until the people demand it; and when the hearts of the people are reached the Indian will be saved.

About the author (1892)

Harriet S. Caswell was a nineteenth-century missionary to the Seneca and Cayuga Indians in New York state. She was the author of Walter Harland; or, Memories of the Past and The Path of Duty. Joy A. Bilharz is a professor of anthropology at the State University of New York at Fredonia and the author of The Allegany Senecas and the Kinzua Dam: Forced Relocation through Two Generations (Nebraska 2002). Jack T. Ericson, a retired archivist and genealogist, is the curator emeritus of the Seneca Indian Collection at the State University of New York at Fredonia and the editor of the newsletter of the Cornplanter Descendants Association.



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