"Brothers, about fifteen days before the affair happened we sent the Germans word that some Swegatchi Indians told us that the French were determined to destroy the German Flats, and desired them to be on their guard. About six days after that we had a further account from the Swegatchi Indians that the French were preparing to march.
"I then came to the German Flats, and in a meeting with the Germans told them what we had heard, and desired to collect themselves together in a body at their fort, [Footnote: A stockaded work round the church, and a block-house, with a ditch, and a parapet thrown up by Sir William Johnson, a year ago, upon an alarm then given.] and secure their women, children and effects, and to make the best defence they could. At the same time I told them to write what I had said to our brother, Warraghryagey (meaning Sir William Johnson [Footnote: They never sent this intelligence to Sir William Johnson.]), but they paid not the least regard to what I told them, and laughed at me, slapping their hands on their buttocks, saying they did not value the enemy, upon which I returned home and sent one of our people to the lake (meaning Oneida Lake) to find out whether the enemy were coming or not. After he had staid there two days the enemy arrived at the carrying-place, and sent word to the castle at the lake that they were there, and told them what they were going to do, but charged them not to let us at the upper castle know anything of their design. As soon as the man I sent there heard this he came on to us with the account that night; and as soon as we received it we sent a belt of wampum, to confirm the truth thereof, to the Flats, which came here the day before the enemy made their attack: but the people would not give credit to the account even then, or they might have saved their lives. [Footnote: The Indians who brought the belt of wampum, finding the Germans still incredulous, the next morning, just before the attack began, laid hold on the German Minister, and in a manner forced him over to the other side of the river, by which means he and some who followed him escaped the fate of their brethren.] This is the truth, and those Germans here present know it to be so. The aforesaid Germans did acknowledge it to be so, and that they had such intelligence.
The Oneida being the original owner of the tract of land assigned to the Tuscarora as aforesaid, were made party with the Tuscarora to the treaty made at Fort Herkimer in the year 1785, by which it was ceded to the State, and the Oneida took all the avails of the treaty. The Tuscaroras were then again left without a home and were partially scattered among the other nations, although they continued to preserve their nationality. They had some settlements, at a later period, in Oneida Castle, called by them Gaunea-wahro-hare (signifying head on the pole), and one in the valley of the Genesee below Avon, called by them Ju-na-stre-yo (signifying the beautiful valley); another settlement at Con-na-so-ra-ga, on the line between Onondaga and Oneida; another in the fork of Chattenango Creek, which they called Ju-ta-nea-ga (signifying where the sun shines); and another on the Jordan Creek, which they called Kan-ha-to (signifying limb in water). These several places were settled at different periods, which I am not able to give.
In the revolutionary war between the United States and Great Britain, the Tuscaroras then had their settlement at the place alotted them by the league in 1715, between the Unadilla river and the Chenango. They took an active part with the United States. Many a soldier and scout of the United States, in their fatigue and hunger, found a rest and a morsel in the rude homes of the Tuscaroras, which were ever hospitably open to them.
When the other Indians which took part with the British knew that the Tuscaroras took part with the United States, they invaded their settlement, destroyed their property and burned down their houses to ashes, which scattered them for a while. There was a party that settled at Oyouwayea, or Johnson's landing place, on lake Ontario, about four miles east of the mouth of Niagara River, which is at the mouth of the four-mile creek, for the purpose of getting out of the centre of the other Indians which were for the British.
About the close of the war there were two families of the Tuscaroras hunting and fishing along the shores of lake Ontario, and then up the east shore of Niagara River as far as Lewiston, and there left their canoe; then traveled east and up the mountain as far as a place which they now call the Old Saw Mill (now on the Tuscarora Reservation), above the Ayers' farm, where they saw great quantities of butternuts and walnuts and and a nice stream of water flowing down the mountain; there they took their rest, and after remaining several days they concluded to make their winter quarters at that place, which they did. After they were missing for a time from the settlement at Johnson's landing, they were hunted by their people and finally found at this place. A few years after this the Oneidas and Tuscaroras ceded the tract of land that was apportioned to the Tuscaroras; then families after families came and located with those two families mentioned above. This is the beginning of the settlement of the present Tuscarora Reservation.
The Tuscaroras, ever since the revolutionary war, have had their residence within the territory of the Seneca nation, they being considered the father of the Tuscarora by being adopted as such, at the time of their initiation into the confederacy, in the year 1715.
I will here give the boundary of the Seneca Nation domain, according to the treaty entitled "A Treaty between the United States of America and the Tribes of Indians called the Six Nations":
"The President of the United States having determined to hold a conference with the Six Nations of Indians, for the purpose of removing from their minds all causes of complaint, and establishing a firm and permanent friendship with them, and Timothy Pickering being appointed sole agent for that purpose, and the agent having met and conferred with the sachems, chiefs and warriors of the Six Nations, in a general council, now, in order to accomplish the good design of the conference, the parties have agreed on the following articles, when ratified by the President, with the advice and consent of the Senate of the United States, shall be binding on them and the Six Nations.
"Article 1. Peace and friendship are hereby firmly established, and shall be perpetual between the United States and the Six Nations.
"Article 2. The United States acknowledge the lands reserved to the Oneida, Onondaga, and Cayuga Nations, in their respective treaties with the State of New York, and called their reservations, to be their property; and the United States will never claim the same, nor disturb them or either of the Six Nations, nor their Indian friends residing thereon and united with them, in the free use and enjoyment thereof; but the said reservations shall remain theirs until they choose to sell the same to the people of the United States, who have the right to purchase.
"Article 3. The land of the Seneca Nation is bounded as follows: Beginning on Lake Ontario at the northwest corner of the land they sold to Oliver Phelps, the line runs westerly along the lake as far as O-yong- wong-yeh creek, at Johnson's landing place, about four miles eastward from the fort of Niagara; then southerly up that creek to its main fork; then straight to the main fork of Stedman's creek, which empties into the Niagara river above fort Schlosser; and then onward from that fort, continuing the same straight course, to the river (this line from the mouth of O-yong-wong-yeh creek to the river Niagara above Fort Schlosser, being the eastern boundary of a strip of land extending from the same line to Niagara river, which the Seneca Nation ceded to the king of Great Britain at a treaty held about thirty years ago, with Sir William Johnson); then the line runs along the river Niagara to Lake Erie; then along Lake Erie to the eastern corner of a triangle piece of land which the United States ceded to the state of Pennsylvania, as by the President's patent, dated the third day of March 1792; then due south to the boundary of that state; then due east to the southwest corner of the land sold by the Seneca Nation to Oliver Phelps; and then northerly along Phelps' line to the place of beginning, on Lake Ontario. Now, the United States acknowledge all the land within the aforementioned boundary to be the property of the Seneca Nation; and the United States will never claim the same, nor disturb the Seneca Nation, nor their Indian friends residing thereon and united with them, in the free use and enjoyment thereof; but it shall remain theirs until they choose to sell the same to the people of the United States, who have the right to purchase.
"Article 4. The United States having thus described and acknowledged what lands belong to the Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas and Senecas, and engaged never to claim the same, nor disturb them or any of the Six Nations, nor their Indian friends residing thereon and united with them, in the free use and enjoyment thereof, etc. Proclaimed January 21, 1785."
You will observe in the treaty above that the name of the Tuscarora Nation is not mentioned at all, and yet speaks of the Six Nations, which includes the Tuscarora Nation. The reason is this: In Article 2 you will observe that all the nations that have their lands on the east side of what is known as the Phelps line were named, and west of that line was the land of the Seneca Nation on which the Tuscaroras resided, and were considered as being merged into the Seneca Nation, and have the benefit of the laws enacted for them.
There was also a contract entered into between the Seneca Nation of Indians of the first part, and Robert Morris. Esq., of the city of Philadelphia, of the second part. At a treaty held under the authority of the United States, at Genesee, in the county of Ontario, State of New York, on the fifteenth day of September, 1797, and on sundry days immediately prior thereto, by the Honorable Jeremiah Wadsworth. Esq., a commissioner appointed by the President of the United States to hold the same, when the Senecas ceded the country that included the now Tuscarora Reservation. The Tuscaroras then and there made their complaint by their chiefs, for the first since they were initiated into the confederacy of the Iroquois; in the presence of the commissioner and the others that are parties to the treaty; that the Iroquois had from time to time allotted them lands and had been ceded each time by the Iroquois, without giving them a farthing to remunerate them for their portion of the lands so ceded, or for the improvements that they had made, and asked if they were to be driven in this manner from place to place all the days of their existence, and if that is the way a father should use their children or brothers should use their brothers, and to keep them living in disappointment; they also alluded to a treaty concluded at Fort Stanwix three years before this, where the commissioners of the United States reserved to them land, which read as follows:
"Article 2. The Oneida and Tuscarora Nations shall be secured in the possession of the lands on which they are settled."
The commissioner then inquired into the merits of the complaint of the Tuscaroras, which the Iroquois affirmed; the commissioner then said to them, that it is not right to make a contract, or to grant anything without faith; it is only honorable when you adhere to your stipulation.
When Robert Morris knew that the Tuscaroras were destitute of land, he reserved and donated to them two square miles being 1280 acres; the Senecas also granted to them one square mile being 640 acres, which grant was made at the convention dated above. On the 13th day of March, 1808, the sachems, chiefs and head men of the Seneca Nation of Indians executed a written indenture of the grant or deed to the Tuscarora Nation, of the one square mile of land above mentioned, and was duly signed by the sachems, chiefs and head men of the aforesaid Indians. On the 22d day of September, 1810, it was entered and put on file in the Niagara County Clerk's office, on page 56; and was again put on file in the Niagara County Clerk's Office, Lockport, in book of deeds 151, page 168, March 13, 1879.
About the year 1800, Solomon Longbard and his brother held private council between themselves, consulting how they might obtain more land to make a permanent home for the Tuscaroras and their generation after them, they concluded to repair to North Carolina and see if they could procure any means from that source, whereby they might obtain more land. In pursuance, the Tuscarora Chiefs in council appointed as delegates Solomon Longboard and Sacarrissa, being sachems of the nation in the year 1801, and in 1802 they effected a lease by the aid of the Legislature of North Carolina, from which accrued $13,722; and in the year 1804, General Dearborn, then Secretary of War, was authorized by Congress to buy land for the Tuscaroras with the said money, by which he bought 4,329 acres of the Holland Land Company, which is now on the south and east side of the three square miles mentioned above, which now constitutes the Tuscarora Reservation.
The Tuscarora Nation was once more at peace and in possession of lands which they could call their own.