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Cornplanter Chronicles

by Harold Thomas Beck

Cornplanter Chronicles is a story unlike any other story about a Native American nation and its war chief. The Seneca, a member of the Iroquois League of Six Nations, is the only tribe to survive intact to this day on their ancestral land. They are the only tribe in the United States that was never defeated by American armies and forced to accept the white man's terms. 

They fought on the losing side several times (The French against the British in the French and Indian War, and the British against the United States in the Revolutionary War), but in each case the war was lost elsewhere and they fought on. When it finally came in 1791, it was Cornplanter, head chief of the Seneca, who negotiated the terms and brought peace to the Alleghenies.

Cornplanter (Ganiodieu 1733-1832) was a Seneca war chief from the time he was eighteen years old. He guided his people through three wars between the white men including the War of 1812 when the Seneca were finally allied with the United States against the British. The Seneca were the true Romans in North America and Cornplanter was their Julius Caesar.

The book tells the story of Chief Cornplanter the man. The fictional account of the actions of this real life chief gives an exciting insight into the birth of the United States of America. The facts identify Cornplanter as the man who named George Washington "great white father", a name that has historically been used by Native Americans for the President. It identifies the two men as contemporaries and gives three separate instances when Washington actually came under the knife of the great chief.

Along with telling the story of many battles, this book illustrates the tremendous weight of leadership this chief carried. Born of a white father and a Seneca mother, he played the same role for his people as Washington did for the new nation, guiding them through a troubled and changing time. This is a work of fiction based on facts from our history and the life of a truly great man who until now has been ignored and forgotten. 

Order the Cornplanter here!

Allow 4 weeks to deliver.

Hardback - 304 pages (May, 2001) $24.95

 2001, Mountain Laurel Publishing Corporation, Custer City, PA 16725

It Is Sad To Live In A Country Where The White Settler Forced Slavery And War Upon The Native Indian And We Have A Long Road Ahead Of Us Fighting Constantly The Fruits Of Discrimination. For Too Long The White Man And Now All Races Have Accommodated Themselves Through Immigration In Our Country And Came To Steal Our Land Of The Mexican Indians And The American Natives. Who Am I, I Am Mexican/Spanish Indian Native Of Texas, Which Used To Be Mexico And Which Land The United States Acquired And Called Texas. My Grandfather, Heir Of Padre Island, The Only Island In Texas, Lost All His Island Royalty Estate To The Theft Of A White
Anglo Who Came To Texas In 1938 And Rounded Up All The Heirs And Owners And Got Them To Sign Their Deeds And The Heirs Lived The Rest Of Their Lives In Poverty. This Sad History In South Texas Is Just Another Indication Of The Lifelong Abuse On The
Native Peoples Who Now Are Known As Minorities When We! Were The Owners Of This Land. I Would Suggest To The President Of The United States As A Mexican Texan Native, That If Nobody Saw Leonard Peltier Shoot Anyone Than Chances Are Leonard Peltier Is Just Another Victim Of The Racial Hate Against The Real Owners Of This Country.
Today Through Courts The Mexican/Spanish Indians Fight For Our Royalty Estate In A Lawsuit In Cameron County Texas In Which On August 9, 2000 A Jury Awarded The Mexican Indians A Judgment Meaning, There May Be A Hint Of Equality At Some Point In The Future But As Of Today, Everything Remains In Doubt In A Country Where The U.S. Supreme Court Has
Appointed A President For Us. May The Spirit Of The Great White Buffalo Surround Our Mountains Our Lands Our Seas Our Rivers And Bless Us In Those Drought Areas With Rain. In Texas We As Mexican Americans, We Have Great Love, Admiration And Respect For
Native Americans, My Grandchildren Are Also Part Ottawa-Chippewa And I Am Concerned For Their Future In A Country Guilty Of Slavery And Discrimination.
Farewell Brothers And Sisters Let Us Work The Next Four Years, For A Greater Tomorrow For All Indians.
Rebecca Gomez

From Aruba:

I felt very proud to see all your messages, I come from Aruba a very small Dutch Island in the Caribbean sea, My island was one of the first Indian reservation in the Americas made by the Spanish and then the Dutch, the ancestors of my ancestors, the old ones, who were here long before any white men could be heard and before the great migration, lived here for many years in peace.  After about a thousand years before the coming of the Spaniards, a more sedentary tribe migrated form the Orinoco river and the Andes mountains area to the north western part of now Venezuela, these people became the Caque People from the great Arawak nation of the Caribbean Sea, they got the name Caquetios by the Spanish and Caiquetio in  Papiamento.  I am one of their descendants, even thou no full blood is more alive we still carry the blood and  spirit.  Many Native North Americans and South American tribes people came and were brought here to Aruba for many different reasons. History claims that some were from the clan of Geronimo other were Irokees.  Also others who were causing trouble to the Dutch in other parts of the State and were send here far from their home land.  Here we speak a Papiamento which is made out of half Aruban Indian, some Guarani and the rest is bad: Spanish, Dutch, Portugues, Italian, French, and English.  Many of our Native Animals, Sites, Plants, Spirits and
customs came from Aruban Indian heritage.We plant Mias, beans and squash, we have sheep, goats and burros that we brought by the Spaniard We hunt rabbits and iguanas Even thou that we almost lost all our Native Heritage and I still wish to save my indians. Mi lo bai lage mi scirbi mento te aqui y qu pronto mi lo por tende di boso.  This was some Papiamento, Hoping to here good news from you very soon, Té oró,  "Ichi"

Indians in War

Indians have taken part in all wars, especially World War II, where their courage, unique languages, and scouting abilities were invaluable. Roughly 25,000 Indian men and women served while 40,000 others worked at war related jobs. Indian tribes invested more than $17,000,000 in war bonds, over and above purchases made by individuals. After WWII, the Office of Indian Affairs recorded 71 awards of the Air medal, 51 of the Silver Star, 47 of the Bronze Star, 34 of the Distinguished Flying Cross and two of the Congressional Medal of Honor.

A Ute Indian, Pfc. Harvey Natchees, wearer of the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart, was the first American soldier to enter Berlin.

Wars Fought by Indians in the United States:

Whitman Mission - 1847

Cayuse War - 1847-1850

Rogus River Wars - 1851-1853 1864-1856

Lava Beds - 1873

Medoc War - 1872-1873

Bear Paw Mountain - 1877

Nez Perce War - 1877

Big Hole - 1877

White Bird Canyon - 1877

Walker War - 1853

Canyon de Chelly - 1864

Nevajo Wars - 1846-1864

Apache Wars - 1881-1900

Apache Pass -  Bighorn - 1876
Fetterman Fight - 1866
Ute Wars Meeker Massacre - 1879
Black Hawk War - 1865-1868
Pueblo Revolt - 1680-1692

Santa Fe - 1880

Apache Pass - 1862

Rosebud - 1878

Sioux Wars - 1854-1890

Ft. Laramie Fight -1854Wounded Knee - 1890

Laramie Fight - 1854

Sand Creek - 1864

Southern Plains War - 1860-1879

Washita - 1868

Red River War - 1874

New Ulm - 1862

Bad Axe - 1832

Black Hawk War - 1832

Ft. Dearborn 1812

Tippacanoe - 1811

Harmar's Defeat - 1780

St. Clair's Defeat - 1791

Ft. Detroit - 1763

Brownstown Creek - 1812

Fallen Timbers - 1794

Pontiac's War 1763

Point Pleasant - 1774

Lord Dunmore's War - 1774

Horseshoe Bend - 1814

Creek War - 1813-1814

Ft. Mims - 1813

French and Indian Wars - 1689-1783

Pequot War - 1637

W. Mystic - 1637

King Phillip's War - 1675-1678

Swansas - 1675

S. Kingston - 1676

Block Island - 1638

Jamestown - 1622-1644

First Seminole War - 1816-1818

Dade's Massacre - 1835

Second Seminole War - 1835-1842

Lake Okeechobee - 1837

Native Americans had a Major Influence on the Names of U.S. States

ALABAMA - Derived from a Chocktaw Indian word meaning "thicket clearers", or "vegetation gatherers"; it was a name of a Muskhogean Tribe that once occupied the area.

ALASKA - Alakshak or alayeska "a great country"; Aluet word thought to mean "main land" or "and that is not an island".

ARIZONA - Derived from the Pima Indian village of Arizonac, probably means" place of the small (little) spring".

ARKANSAS - Quapaw - a tribe known as Arkansas - meaning "downstream".

CALIFORNIA - Named by early Spanish explorers after a fictional island in a16th century Spanish tale, the area so named was thought to be an island.

COLORADO - Spanish word meaning "ruddy" or "reddish" - named by its first territorial governor, William Gilpin, because the region contains the source of the Colorado River.

CONNECTICUT - Indian name Quonecktacut "Long River of the Pines"; Algonquian Indian quinnehtukgut, meaning "beside the long tidal river".

DELAWARE - Named after Thomas West - Baron de la Warr.

FLORIDA - Ponce de Leon either called it "Feast of Flowers" because of the flowers or Easter week, "Pascua Florida", because that was when it was discovered.

GEORGIA - Named after King George II of Great Britain.

HAWAII - Of uncertain origin. Possibly named by Hawaii Loa, traditional discoverer of the islands, after himself, or named after the traditional home of the Polynesian, Hawaii, or Hawaiki.

IDAHO - Uncertain origin. May have come from Idahi, the Kiowa-Apache name for Comanche Indians, or from Eedah-how, a Shoshonean greeting, roughly equivalent to "good morning".

ILLINOIS - Named after an Indian tribe meaning "Tribe of Superior Men".

INDIANA - Inhabited by people known as Mound Builders, The Miami; means "land of the Indians".

IOWA - Indian tribe of Siouan stock; named for The Iowa Indians; or Ayuhwa "Sleepy Ones", named by their Sioux enemies.

KANSAS - Named after the Kansa Indians.

KENTUCKY - Meaning "prairie" or "meadowland" from the Iroquois Indians word Kentake.

LOUISIANA - Named after King Louie XIV of France.

MAINE - Distinguished from the term "main"; was called "The Main".

MARYLAND - Named after Queen Henrietta Maria, wife of Charles I.

MASSACHUSETTS - The Massachusetts Indians; thought to be of Algonquian origin meaning "near the great hill".

MICHIGAN - Algonquian Indian word meaning Michiguma or "great water" or "great lake"; or Algonquian words michi ("large") and gami ("lake"). (See another meaning at the bottom of this section)

MINNESOTA - Sioux called Minisota meaning "sky tinted water" because of the land of sky blue water nickname; another source says "clouded water" because of the light colored clay it carried in suspension.

MISSISSIPPI - Algonquian words misi and sipi, meaning "big river", also meaning "father of waters".

MISSOURI - Illinois Emissourita "dwellers of the big muddy"; named for the Missouri Indians and means either "town of the large canoes" or "people having wooden canoes".

MONTANA - Spanish for "mountains", also said to mean "mountainous region".

NEBRASKA - From the Siouan or Oto Indian word nebrathka, meaning "flat water".

NEVADA - Spanish word meaning "snow covered".

NEW HAMPSHIRE - Named after the English county of Hampshire.

NEW JERSEY - Named after the Isle of Jersey off of England.

NEW MEXICO - Self explanatory.

NEW YORK - Named in honor of the Duke of York and Albany, later King James II.

NORTH CAROLINA - Named in honor of Charles I of England.

NORTH DAKOTA - Dakota Indian's Siouan word for "allies".

OHIO - Iroquois word meaning "beautiful" or "great river".

OKLAHOMA - Chocktaw word meaning "red man"; or "okla" and "humma" meaning" people" and "red".

OREGON - Uncertain origin. Frontiersman Robert Roger was the first to use the name (spelled Ouragon, Ourgan, or Ourigan) in 1765, referring to the Columbia River; one account traces the name to a corruption of the French word for Wisconsin (ouisconsin).

PENNSYLVANIA - Named after William Penn ("Penn's Woods") by King Charles II of England.

RHODE ISLAND - Variously attributed to the Italian navigator, Giovanni daVerrazano, who wrote that one of the Islands in Narragansett Bay reminded him of the Island of Rhodes; and to the Dutch navigator, Adriaen Block, who gave an Island in the Bay the name "Red Island" (roodt eylandt in Dutch).

SOUTH CAROLINA - Named in honor of Charles I of England.

SOUTH DAKOTA - Dakota Indians Siouan word for "allies".

TENNESSEE - Probably named for an ancient capital of the Cherokee Indians.

TEXAS - From the Spanish word "tejas", rendering of the Hasinai Indian word tayshas, which meant "allies" or "friends".

UTAH - Ute - a North American Indian tribe of the Shoshonean branch of the Uto - Aztecan language family; also spelled Uta.

VERMONT - French words "monts" and "verts" meaning green mountains.

VIRGINIA - Name given for Queen Elizabeth I, Englands virgin queen.

WASHINGTON - Named after first U. S. president.

WEST VIRGINIA - The western countries of Virginia remained loyal to the Union after the rest of the States joined the Confederacy in 1861. Two years later, they became the separate State of West Virginia.

WISCONSIN - Derived from Weeskonsan, an Ojibwa Indian word, also meaning "gathering of the waters".

WYOMING - A Delaware Indian term meaning "at (on) the big (great) plains"; originally applied to the Wyoming Valley in Pennsylvania.


Jennifer Bennett

I was reading your list of contributions Native
Americans made to state names and I came across the
one for Michigan. I registered member of the
Wikwemikong Band in Northern Ontario. The Reserve is
in North Central Ontario on Manitoulin Island just
northeast of Michigan on Lake Huron. The Band is
comprised of three different tribes, all intermingled
now, Ojibwe, Ottawa, and Potawotomi. These three
languages are apart of the mother language group
Algonquian. When I first began learning the language,
I noticed something that most other non-native
speakers noticed as well about the language. One,
that the languages encompass pretty much the same
sounds as the English and French language (if you have
a knowledge of both you can pronounce anything in the
Native languages) EXCEPT some letters do not exist in
the Ojibwe/Ottawa language (these are virtually the
same). Two, and this is important as to the meaning
of the word "Michigan." That there are only a couple
dozen syllables (groupings of letters that are found
consistently throughout the language) that are
interchanged in differing patterns to create words
that sound very much the same but will have vastly
different meanings. These syllables, for instance,
are things like: kwetch, shee, mee, kwe, naw, baw,
maw, etc. And mixing and matching these in different
patterns create the words. 
Now, a little bit of history. The actual Alqonquian
tribe (also the name of the mother language group)
lived very far away east from the actual place
Michigan. The peoples that used to occupy what is now
Michigan are the Ojibway, Potawotomi and Ottawa. 
"mih-SHEE-guma" is not a word in their language. 
However, "mih-SHEE-gehn" (real nasal on the n) is and
it means "turtle," it even sounds more like Michigan
when spoken. This is significant because it has to do
with the Creation story of the people. In the old
days, it used to take 10 full days to retell. You can
imagine that in the winter months, we really weren't
that keen on spending too much time freezing outside,
so the winter was spent in our very warm and
comfortable wigwamen, or birch bark teepees/wigwams,
telling stories. To shorten it for the non-Native,
basically, the current human race began with a
pregnant woman. She lived in the heavens in the sky
and one day she accidentally fell into a hole, that
opened into this world. This world was covered
entirely by water, and the water fowl, who were
already here (it's a long story) saw SkyWoman and knew
immediately that if they didn't do something she was
gonna hurt herself when she hit the water falling from
a height of 30,000 feet (where the clouds are). So,
they flew over to her, caught her on their back, then,
gently let her down to the surface of the water. They
figured, hey, she's gonna drown, trying to swim
constantly with that pregnant belly of hers, to keep
her head above water. So, they called turtle over,
and asked him to keep her on his back. They got some
soil that the Creator had muskrat get from the bottom
of the ocean (a long and important part of the story)
and as a deal he made with the animals, he told them
that if SkyWoman danced a special dance on the soil on
the turtle's back, that the soil would grow bigger and
bigger into solid ground for all of the animals to
live on in return for their retrieving the soil from
the bottom of the ocean. After the land was created,
turtle swam away, and they called the North American
continent, "Great Turtle Island" after him and the

Hope this helps.

G-chi miigwetch (g'CHIH - MEE - gwetch)
"Big Thanks" or Thank you very much,
Jennifer Bennett

This information was compiled from various sources. At times, they contradicted each other. This is for general trivia use only - not homework assignments. The Seeker takes no responsibility for the validity of the origins. 

A Little Humor

Navajo Wisdom

About 1966 or so, a NASA team doing work for the Apollo moon mission took the astronauts near Tuba City where the terrain of the Navajo Reservation looks very much like the lunar surface.

Along with all the trucks and large vehicles, there were two large figures dressed in full Lunar spacesuits.

Nearby a Navajo sheep herder and his son were watching the strange creatures walk about, occasionally being tended by personnel. The two Navajo people were noticed and approached by the NASA personnel. Since the father did not know English, his son asked for him what the strange
looking creatures were, and the NASA team told them that they are just men that were preparing to rocket to the moon. The old man became very excited and asked if he could send a message to the moon with the astronauts.

The NASA personnel thought this was a great idea so they set up a tape recorder. After the Navajo man gave them his taped message, they asked his son to translate from the native language to English. His son would not.

Later, they tried a few more people on the reservation to translate and every person they asked would chuckle, and then refuse to translate the message to the moon.

Finally, with cash in hand, someone translated the message, "Watch out these white men, they come to take your land."


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