Tag Archives: Indian

The Two Hendricks: A Mohawk Indian Mystery

In September 1755 the most famous Indian in the world was killed in the Bloody Morning Scout that launched the Battle of Lake George. His name was Henderick Peters Theyanooguin in English, but he was widely known as King Hendrick. In an unfortunate twist of linguistic and historical fate, he shared the same first name as another famous Native American, Hendrick Tejonihokarawa, who although about 30 years his senior, was also famous in his own right. He was one of the “Four Indian Kings” who became a sensation in London in 1710, meet Queen Anne, and was wined and dined as an international celebrity.

Both Hendricks were Mohawk warriors. Both were Christians who aided Great Britain against France in their struggles for empire. Both served as important sachems who stressed cooperation instead of bloody confrontation and who helped negotiate the relationship between their fellow Mohawks and European colonials who recognized that the Iroquois Confederacy was critical to the balance of power in early 18th century America. Both Hendricks, were later confused by historians into one man. Eric Hinderaker’s The Two Hendricks: Unraveling a Mohawk Mystery sets out to unearth the lives of these two important Mohawk men and untangle their stories from a confused history of colonial Native American relations.

King Hendrick (1692-1755), whose death in battle and burial place are memorialized in almost forgotten ground along the highway between Glens Falls and Lake George Village, was already famous at the time of the Bloody Morning Scout (the same attack that claimed the life of Ephraim Williams, founder of Williams College). The year before he died he gave an important speech at the Albany Congress of 1754. His death during the French and Indian War in the cause of British Empire however, propelled his fame and ships and taverns were named in his honor abroad.

The earlier Hendrick (c.1660-c.1735) took part in King Williams War, including the failed attempt to launch an all-out invasion of Canada in retaliation for Frontiac’s raid in February 1690 which destroyed Schenectady. He was among the Mohawks of Tiononderoge (the Lower Castle), who were swindled out of their lands along the Mohawk by their colonial neighbors.

Part of the value of The Two Hendricks, however, lies not only in its untangling of the two men, but also in coming to grips with the ways in which the swindling often worked both ways. Hendrick, a common Dutch name equivalent to Henry, was just one part of their names, but Mohawk names comprise the other part. Hinderaker demonstrates that both Hendricks gave as well as they got in building alliances, fame, and power that left them among the most famous Native Americans in history.

Photo Above: Henderick Peters Theyanooguin (King Hendrick), wearing the English coat he wore on public occasions and his distinctive facial tattoo. This print published just after his death and titled &#8220The brave old Hendrick, the great Sachem or Chief of the Mohawk Indians&#8221 is considered the most accurate likeness of the man.

Photo Below: Hendrick Tejonihokarawa, one of the &#8220Four Indian Kings&#8221 who traveled to London in 1710 The print, by John Verelst, is entitled &#8220Tee Yee Neen Ho Ga Row, Emperor of the Six Nations.&#8221 The title &#8220Emperor&#8221 was a bit of a stretch, he belonged to the council of the Mohawk tribe, but not to that of the Iroquois Confederacy as a whole.

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A New History of the Munsee Indians

More enigmatic than they should be in this late age, even among historians of New York, the Munsee are less known than the story for which they are best known &#8211 the purchase of Manhattan Island for veritable pittance in 1626. One reason the Munsee (a northern sub-set of sorts of the Lenni Lenape or Delaware, as they were called by Europeans) have been ignored by historians is their rather early refugee status by the 1740s.

Anthropologist Robert S. Grumet’s The Munsee Indians: A History attempts to paint a portrait of the Munsee, whose territory stretched form the lower Hudson River Valley to the headwaters of the Delaware, as an Indian Nation in their own right. Previous histories, particularly those of the Lenape, have generally ignored the important role of the Munsee.

Grumet marshals archeological, anthropological and archival evidence to bring to life the memorial lives of Mattano, Tackapousha, Mamanuchqua, and other Munsee leaders who helped shape the course of American history in the mid-Atlantic before the American Revolution. The Musee emigrated to reservations in Wisconsin, Ontario, and Oklahoma where their descendants live to this day.

Grumet is the senior research associate at the McNeil Center for Early American Studies, at the University of Pennsylvania and author of Historic Contact: Indian People and Colonists in Today’s Northeastern United States in the Sixteenth Through Eighteenth Centuries.

The Munsee Indians: A History is part of the Civilization of the American Indian Series by the University of Oklahoma Press.

Native American History: 1922 Everett Report Online

The Everett Report, officially known as the Report of the New York State Commission to Investigate the Status of the American Indian Residing in the State of New York has been made available online by the New York State Library. The Commission was chaired by Assemblyman Edward Everett (R-Potsdam). Here is a link, though the viewing system is archaic, so make sure you allow pop-ups for www.nysl.nysed.gov.

The New York State Indian Commission (1919-1922), whose purpose was to investigate the status of Indian welfare and land rights in New York State, was presented to the legislature on March 17, 1922 &#8211 and then promptly rejected. It wasn’t until 1971 that the report was finally released. In 1980, Helen Upton published The Everett Report in Historical Perspective.

According to the folks at the New York State Library:

Lulu Stillman, a stenographer for Assemblyman Edward Everett, was credited for preserving the only remaining record of the report, from which the 1971 transcript was made. As Everett’s stenographer, Stillman retained copies of most of the material produced by or related to the commission. (Many of the original documents are either missing or unavailable.) The published report released in 1971 and Stillman’s annotated draft have both been digitized.