A School History of the United States eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 507 pages of information about A School History of the United States.

%68.  The Iroquois.%—­Elsewhere on the frontier a happier relation existed with the Indians.  The Iroquois of central New York were the fiercest and most warlike Indians of the Atlantic coast.  But the fight with Champlain, in 1609, by turning them into implacable enemies of the French, had rendered them all the more tolerant of the Dutch and the English, while their complete conquest and subjugation of the Delawares, or Lenni Lenape, prepared the way for the easy settlement of New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

%69.  Penn and the Lenni Lenape.%—­These Indians were Algonquian, and lived along the Delaware River and its tributaries.  But early in the seventeenth century they had been reduced to vassalage by the Five Nations, had been forbidden to carry arms, and had been forced to take the name of Women.[1]

[Footnote 1:  Read Parkman’s Conspiracy of Pontiac, Vol.  I., pp. 30-32, 80-82.]

When the Dutch and Swedes began their settlements on the South River, and when Penn, in 1683, made a treaty with the Delawares, the settlers had to deal with peaceful Indians.  No horrid wars mark the early history of Pennsylvania.

%70.  The Powhatans in Virginia.%—­Much the same may be said of the Virginia tribes.  They were far from friendly, and had they been as fierce and warlike as the northern tribes, neither the skill of John Smith, nor the marriage of Pocahontas (the daughter of Powhatan) with John Rolfe, nor fear of the English muskets, would have saved Jamestown.

[Illustration:  Powhatan Indians at work[1]]

[Footnote 1:  From a model.]

On the other hand, the destruction of the tribes in New England and the feud between the French and the Iroquois saved New England.  For the time had now come for the opening of the long struggle between the French and the English for the ownership of the continent.


1.  The inhabitants of the New World at the time of its discovery, by mistake called Indians, were barbarians, lived in rude, frail houses, and used weapons and implements inferior to those of the whites.

2.  The Indian tribes of eastern North America are mostly divided into three great groups:  Muskhogean, Iroquoian, and Algonquian.

3.  In general, the French made the Indians their friends, while the English drove them westward and treated them as an inferior race.




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A School History of the United States from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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