Lost Nation of the Erie - Part 2

Friday, January 22, 2016 - by Chuck Hamilton

Part 2: Timeline of the Erie people in historical sources


1632 – While trading among the Massawomeck, Edward Fleet of Virginia encounters a group of “Hereckeenes”, who have with them two of the axes brought to Quebec by David Kirke when Canada was briefly in possession of the English, 1629-1632.

1635-1640 – Several epidemics sweep across the Great Lakes region, killing half to two-thirds of the population of different tribes.

1635 – After troubles with the Kickapoo, (their “enemies to east” as one Jesuit writer put it), the Erie are forced to move east.

Also this year, the Seneca attack and drive from their homes the trading partners with the English and probably allies the Massawomeck, whom the Seneca call the Cohnowaronon.

1638 – The Chonnonton and the Wenro have a falling out, resulting in the latter taking refuge with the Huron and the former establishing a few villages east of the Niagara River.

1648 – The alliance between the Erie and the Chonnonton collapses, possibly over tension due to territorial enchroachment by the latter.

1649 - After the Iroquois destroy the mission towns St. Ignace and St. Louis following years of brutal warfare, the Huron burn the remaining fifteen and leave their area, the Attignawantan  joining with the Petun while the Tahonaenrat join the Chonnonton.  The Ataronchronon flee to sanctuary at Christian Island, and the next year move north of Quebec to Wendake.

The Petun are conquered later that year.  Some of the conjoined tribe migrate to Michigan then on to Wisconsin to become the Wyandotte, some are assimilated, the rest flee to sanctuary with the Chonnonton and the Erie.

1651 – The western Iroquois (Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga) begin their campaign against the Atra’kwae subtribe of the Erie confederacy.  Their first effort in the winter of 1651-1652 ends in a large defeat for the attackers.

1652 – In the summer, the western Iroquois are joined by the eastern Iroquois (Oneida, Mohawk) in a new campaign against the Atra’kwae in which the reverse the defeat of the previous winter, later claiming to have returned home with a thousand prisoners.

1653 – The formerly great Chonnonton Confederacy ceases to exist after the destruction of several of its towns, with many of its people taking refuge among their Erie allies while others join the Huron-Petun to the west.  The Tahonaenrat Huron as a whole surrender to the Iroquois and are allowed their own village in Seneca territory, named Gandougarae, where they are joined by those Chonnonton who surrendered rather than be captured.

The Erie confederacy begins a war with the League of the Iroquois with an attack on the Seneca.

Governor Printz of New Sweden reports to his Chancellor that the beaver trade is disrupted because of the outbreak of a war with the Arrigahaga (Erie) and the Susquehanna (Andaste), who are now apparently military as well as trade allies.

1654 – The Iroquois destroy the seat of the Erie confederacy, Arrigha (Rique).

Later in the year, a large tribe with 700 warriors settles on the falls of the James River above Jamestown, whom the other natives refer to as “Richahecrians”.

1655 – A delegation from the Onondaga representing all the Iroquois arrives in Quebec petitioning the French for troops to help protect them from the Erie.

The Iroquois destroy the Erie town of Gentaienton as the climax of an invasion led by a war chief named Achlongeras.

1656 – In the past two years, the Iroquois have broken the power of the Erie and destroyed them as a force in the Great Lakes region, though sporadic resistance continues.

Colonial Rangers from Jamestown, supported by a force of Pamunkey, attack the Richahecrian (Riqueronon, aka Erie) village warriors in the vicinity of Richmond, Virginia, and are soundly defeated in the Battle of Bloody Run.

1662 – The Andaste (Susquehannock) inform the Dutch they are expecting 800 “Honniasont” warriors (plus their families) to take up residence and aid them in their war with the Iroquois.

1664 – Final defeat of the Erie (according to the Iroquois), who then are assimilated into the Five Nations or dispersed, some joining their Erie and Huron cousins who earlier migrated southeast to the “country of the Muscogui” (according to the Seneca).

1667 – Catherine Gandeaktena, an Erie-born Oneida adoptee married to  François-Xavier Tonsahoten, a Huron likewise adopted, founds Saint-François-Xavier mission at Prairie-de-la-Magdelaine (moved in 1717 to Caughnawaga).  Most of those who gather thence in the coming decades are former Huron, Petun, Chonnonton, and Erie.

1669 – La Salle’s envoy Abbe Gallinee is told to expect villages of Honniasontkeronon (Oniasontke) and Chaouanon (Shawnee) on the Ohio River “above the falls”, i.e. above what is now Louisville.

1670 – The German trader James Lederer encounters the “Rickahockan” in the mountains in the west of what later becomes North Carolina when he travels from Virginia to Catawba territory near the newly-established colony of Carolina.

1682 – Some six hundred men, women, and children of the “Nation of the Chats” (Erie) surrender to the Seneca near Virginia.

1684 – French cartographer Jean-Baptiste-Louis Franquelin produces a map of the new territory of La Louisiane based on information gleaned directly from La Salle showing Tchalaka, Katowagi, and Taligui on the upper Kaskinampo (Tennessee) River in the Cherokee Country.

1688 - Franquelin produces another map of La Louisiane showing the following towns in the same area as earlier: Tchalak, Tamghi, Cattoughi.

1698 – The Lenape drive the Cherokee out of the Ohio Valley, settling on Beaver Creek.

1705 – Nicholas de Fer publishes a map of La Louisiane with the towns Tchalak, Tatighi, and Katoughi in the upper Kaskinampo River.

1708 – According to ethnologist James Mooney, Bishop Ettwein, the Lenape, and the Cherokee themselves, the last town of the “Cherokee” in the Upper Ohio Valley is destroyed and its people driven off by a large party of the Lenape who called its people the Talligewi.


Chuck Hamilton


Burma Shave Signs

Years ago my uncle Alf (A.T.) Connelly, a WWII vet, upon returning to civilian life, worked as a sign painter for the then Atomic Energy Commission in Oak Ridge, Tn. He painted miniature sets of Burma Shave signs. Attached is a photo of one of those sets. The signs read as follows: “They missed the turn, Car was whizzin’, The fault her’n, The funeral his’n, Burma Shave”.  ... (click for more)

Brooks Family Was Among Earliest Settlers Of Sale Creek

Joseph Brooks was one of the earliest settlers at Sale Creek when it was part of Rhea County. Three of his nieces along with their husbands were Hamilton County pioneers. Joseph Brooks and his brother, Moses Brooks, were sons of John Brooks, who was born in Ireland about 1730. He made his way to Philadelphia and lived a short time in Pennsylvania before going with the tide of ... (click for more)

McCallie Coach From 90s Who Is Now Deceased Is Accused Of Abusing Students

A McCallie School coach from the 1990s who is now deceased is being accused of abusing students at the private prep school. Two former students said Steven Lee "Steve" Carpenter sexually abused them. Carpenter was the basketball coach at McCallie for 11 seasons - through 1999. He was boys basketball coach at Ridgeland High School beginning in 2000. Carpenter was ... (click for more)

County Commission Committee Recommends 2-Year Terms For Magistrates; To Advertise For 2 Openings After Pay Raise

A committee of the County Commission has recommended that county magistrates have two-year terms, instead of one year, and for the commission to take applications on two open seats. The commission will proceed with advertising for the two posts and make an official announcement next Wednesday. Applications will then be taken until May 8. The commission will interview candidates ... (click for more)

Why Can't Someone Unstop The Water Buildup Problem At The I-24 Cummings Highway Exit? - And Response

Exit 174 on westbound Interstate 24 is closed again as is the westbound entrance ramp. Cummings Highway is shut as well. I inquired at TDOT on Dec. 28, 2015, why this continues to happen. The engineer’s response was that the drain from ground west of the interstate runs under private land and cover over it has caused that pipe to collapse. Obviously flow still goes through, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘We’ll Lose The Senate!’

A guy who I admire and respect wrote me yesterday. He had just read my story defending Bob Corker for honoring “The Code” due to his true friendship with Phil Bredesen. He is also no stranger to my vivid dislike of the Republican choice to replace Corker in the Senate. Marsha Blackburn is no match against Bredesen on any tier and it is clearly the Republican Party itself that has ... (click for more)