The Children of Aataentsic: A History of the Huron People to 1660

By Bruce G. Trigger | Go to book overview

Chapter 11 The End of the Confederacy

The Growing Power of the Iroquois

NEW COOPERATION AMONG THE IROQUOIS

No later than the autumn of 1646 the Iroquois tribes began to coordinate a series of military campaigns that were soon to fulfil the Jesuits’ earlier, and then unfounded, predictions that they would destroy the Huron. Prior to the death of Isaac Jogues, the Mohawk sent valuable presents to confirm their alliances with the other Iroquois tribes and to invite them to join in an attack on the French and their allies (Thwaites 1896–1901, 30: 227). One of their aims was to harass, and if possible to destroy, the French settlements at Montreal and Three Rivers so that these might no longer hinder their raids against the Algonkin. They probably also hoped that by cutting off trade at these posts, they would cripple the economy of New France sufficiently to force the French to adopt a genuinely neutral policy in their dealings with the Indians (45:191). At the same time, the Mohawk, with help from the Oneida and Onondaga, intensified their raids against the Indians living to the north and east. Roving bands of Mohawk warriors took advantage of what they had learned about the distribution of Algonkin hunting bands during the two years of peace to attack and plunder these bands more effectively. There were numerous raids both north and south of the St. Lawrence River, one of which culminated in the capture of over 100 Algonkin south of Three Rivers in March 1647 (30:161, 227–53). Another successful raid was launched against the Algonkin, from the upper part of the St. Lawrence Valley, who had gathered on Morrison Island while waiting to travel down-river with the Huron. Forty prisoners, as well as a vast quantity of beaver pelts that had been collected for trading with the French, were taken in this raid (30:281–95). Hereafter, Mohawk predation in the north increased steadily in range and intensity for several decades. The Mohawk were also encouraged to attack the Susquehannock by the Dutch, who saw this as a way of harming their Swedish trade rivals (F. Jennings 1968:24–25).

By 1646 the western tribes of the Iroquois confederacy were better armed and more self-confident than they had been previously, although they probably still did not have nearly as many guns in relationship to their

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The Children of Aataentsic: A History of the Huron People to 1660
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations xi
  • Illustrations xvi
  • Maps xxi
  • Preface to the 1987 Reprinting xxiv
  • Preface to the First Edition xxxviii
  • To Barbara, Isabel, and Rosalyn xliv
  • Chapter 1- Introduction 1
  • Chapter 2- The Huron and Their Neighbours 27
  • Chapter 3- The Birth of the Huron 105
  • Chapter 4- Alien Shadows 177
  • Chapter 5- Forging an Alliance 246
  • Chapter 6- The Quiet Years 331
  • Chapter 7- The Interregnum and - The New Alliance 455
  • Chapter 8- The Deadly Harvest 499
  • Chapter 9- The Storm 603
  • Chapter 10- The Storm within 665
  • Chapter 11- The End of the Confederacy 725
  • Chapter 12- Betrayal and Salvation 789
  • Chapter 13- Conclusions 841
  • Notes 851
  • References 857
  • Index 885
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