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pable proof of the superiority of this stock is afforded in the size of the Iroquois and Huron brains. In average internal capacity of the cranium, they surpass, with few and doubtful exceptions, all other aborigines of North and South America, not excepting the civilized races of Mexico and Peru.1 In the woody valleys of the Blue Mountains, south of the Nottawassaga Bay of Lake Huron, and two days' journey west of the frontier Huron towns, lay the nine villages of the Tobacco Nation, or Tionnontates.2 In manners, as in language, they closely resembled the Hurons. Of old they were their enemies, but were now at peace with them, and about the year 1640 became their close confederates. Indeed, in the ruin which befell that hapless people, the Tionnontates alone retained a tribal organization; and their descendants, with a trifling exception, are to this day the sole inheritors of the Huron or Wyandot name. Expatriated and wandering, they held for generations a paramount influence among 1 "On comparing five Iroquois heads, I find that they give an average internal capacity of eighty-eight cubic inches, which is within two inches of the Caucasian mean." — Morton, Crania Americana, 195. It is remarkable that the internal capacity of the skulls of the barbarous American tribes is greater than that of either the Mexicans or the Peruvians. "The difference in volume is chiefly confined to the occipital and basal portions," — in other words, to the region of the animal propensities; and hence, it is argued, the ferocious, brutal, and uncivilizable character of the wild tribes. See J. S. Phillips, Admeasurements of Crania of the Principal Groups of Indians in the United States.
J Synonymes: Tionnontates, Etionontates, Tuinontatek, Dionondadies, Khionontaterrhonons, Petuneux or Nation du Petun (Tobacco).
HIE NEUTRAL NATION.
83 the Western tribes.1 In their original seats among the Blue Mountains, they offered an example extremely rare among Indians, of a tribe raising a crop for the market; for they traded in tobacco largely with other tribes. Their Huron confederates, keen traders, would not suffer them to pass through their country to traffic with the French, preferring to secure for themselves the advantage of bartering with them in French goods at an enormous profit.2 Journeying southward five days from the Tionnontate towns, the forest traveller reached the border villages of the Attiwandarons, or Neutral Nation.3 As early as 1626, they were visited by the Franciscan friar, La Roche Dallion, who reports a numerous population in twenty-eight towns, besides many small hamlets. Their country, about forty leagues in extent, embraced wide and fertile districts on the north shore of Lake Erie, and their frontier extended eastward across the Niagara, where they had three or four outlying towns.4 Their name of "Neutrals"1 "L'amede tous les Conseils." —Charlevoix, Voyage, 199. In 1763 they were Pontiac's best warriors.
2 On the Tionnontates, see Le Mercier, Relation, 163", 163; Lalemant, Relation, 1041, 09; Ragueneau, Relation, 1048, 81. An excellent summary of their character and history, by Mr. Shea, will be found in Hist. Mag., v. 202.
8 Attiwandarons, Attiwendaronk, Atirhagenrenrets, Rhagenratka (Jesuit Relations), Attionidarons (Sagard). They, and not the Eries, were the Kahkicas of Seneca tradition. * Lalemant, Relation des Hurons, 1041, 71. The Niagara was then called the " River of the Neutrals," or the Onguiaahra. Lalemant estimates the Neutral population, in 1640, at twelve thousand, in forty villages. was due to their neutrality in the war between the Hurons and the Iroquois proper. The hostile warriors, meeting in a Neutral cabin, were forced to keep the peace, though, once in the open air, the truce was at an end. Yet this people were abundantly ferocious, and, while holding a pacific attitude betwixt their warring kindred, waged deadly strife with the Mascoutins, an Algonquin horde beyond Lake Michigan. Indeed, it was but recently that they had been at blows with seventeen Algonquin tribes.1 They burned female prisoners, a practice unknown to the Hurons.2 Their country was full of game, and they were bold and active hunters. In form and stature they surpassed even the Hurons, whom they resembled in their mode of life, and from whose language their own, though radically similar, was dialectically distinct. Their licentiousness was even more open and shameless; and they stood alone in the extravagance of some of their usages. They kept their dead in their houses till they became insupportable; then scraped the flesh from the bones, and displayed them in rows along the walls, there to remain till the periodical Feast of the Dead, or general burial. In summer, the men wore no clothing whatever, but were usually tattooed from head to foot with powdered charcoal.
'Lettre du Pere La Roche Dallion, 8 Juillet, 1627, in Le Clerc, lUtablissement de la Foy, i. 340.
2 Women were often burned by the Iroquois: witness the case of Catherine Mercier in 1651, and many cases of Indian women mentioned by the early writers.
THE "NATION OF THE CAT." 35 The sagacious Hurons refused them a passage through their country to the French; and the Neutrals apparently had not sense or reflection enough to take the easy and direct route of Lake Ontario, — which was probably open to them, though closed against the Hurons by Iroquois enmity. Thus the former made excellent profit by exchanging French goods at high rates for the valuable furs of the Neutrals.1 Southward and eastward of Lake Erie dwelt a kindred people, the Eries, or "Nation of the Cat." Little besides their existence is known of them. They seem to have occupied southwestern New York, as far east as the Genesee, the frontier of the Senecas, and in habits and language to have resembled the Hurons.2 They were noted warriors, fought with poisoned arrows, and were long a terror to the neighboring Iroquois.3
1 The Hurons became very jealous, when La Roche Dallion visited the Neutrals, lest a direct trade should be opened between the latter and the French, against whom they at once put in circulation a variety of slanders, — that they were a people who lived on snakes and venom; that they were furnished with tails; and that French women, though having but one breast, bore six children at a birth. The missionary nearly lost his life in consequence, the Neutrals conceiving the idea that he would infect their country with a pestilence. La Roche Dallion, in Le Clerc, i. 346.
3 Ragueneau, Relation des Hurons, 1648, 46.
8 Le Mercier, Relation, 1654, 10. "Nous Ics appellons la Nation Chat, a cause qu'il y a dans leur pais vne quantity prodigieuse de Chats sauuages." — Ibid. The Iroquois are said to have given the same name, Jeyosasa, Cat Nation, to the Neutrals.— Morgan, League of the Iroquois, 41.
Synonymcs: Eriés, Erigas, Eriehronon, Riguehronon. The Jesuits never had a mission among them, though they seem to have been On the Lower Susquehanna dwelt the formidable tribe called by the French Andastes. Little is known of them, beyond their general resemblance to their kindred, in language, habits, and character. Fierce and resolute warriors, they long made head against the Iroquois of New York, and were vanquished at last more by disease than by the tomahawk.1 In central New York, stretching east and west from the Hudson to the Genesee, lay that redoubted people who have lent their name to the tribal family of the Iroquois, and stamped it indelibly on the early pages of American history. Among all the barbarous nations of the continent, the Iroquois of New York stand paramount. Elements which among other tribes were crude, confused, and embryotic were among them systematized and concreted into an established polity. The Iroquois was the Indian of Indians. A thorough savage, yet a finished and developed savage, he is perhaps an example of the highest elevation which man can reach without emerging from his primitive condition of the hunter. A geographical position, commanding on one hand the visited by Champlain's adventurous interpreter, Etienne Brulé, in the summer of 1015. They are probably the Carantoiians of Champlain. 1 Gallatin erroneously places the Andastes on the Alleghany, Bancroft and others adopting the error. The research of Mr. Shea has shown their identity with the Susqnehannocks of the English, and the Mim/uns of the Dutch. — See Hist. Mag., ii. 294.