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

By Bruce G. Trigger | Go to book overview

Chapter 12 Betrayal and Salvation

Temporary Havens

The Huron confederacy ceased to exist in 1649 and only one of its tribes, the Tahontaenrat, outlived it as a coherent group. Individuals, families, and clan segments scattered in every direction in search of new homes. Many Huron joined other Iroquoian-speaking groups, hoping to be absorbed by them. Others banded together in various places, seeking to survive and to preserve their identity. This chapter is an account of the early years of this struggle for individual and collective survival by the remnants of the Huron confederacy.1


THE DISPERSAL OF THE NEUTRAL

The Huron who fled to the Tionnontaté, Neutral, and Erie found only temporary refuge among these groups. A famine that broke out among the Tionnontaté, partly as a result of the influx of so many Huron, soon forced many of the latter to move to Gahoendoe or to join other tribes. Many women and children were killed when Etharita was destroyed in December 1649. After Father Garreau was recalled to Gahoendoe in the spring of 1650, the Tionnontaté abandoned their tribal lands and retreated to the northwest. Some Huron travelled with them although we do not know how many. The number of Tionnontaté-Huron refugees who survived the decade was no more than 500.

As soon as the Tionnontaté had been coerced into leaving southern Ontario, the Iroquois mustered their forces to attack the Neutral. While in the long run this campaign was primarily of interest to the Seneca as the Huron one had been, the relative lull in Iroquois attacks on the St. Lawrence indicates that many Mohawk and Oneida participated in it (Thwaites 1896–1901, 36:177). Until 1647, the Neutral had been friendly with both the Huron and the Iroquois and probably had obtained European goods from both groups. Consequently, after the Huron had been dispersed, the Seneca might have maintained good relations with the Neutral and

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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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