A Treatise on the Six-Nation Indians

Do you want to know more about the Six nations ?

The author lived with them for a while in 1882.

See what he thinks about their situation.

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The Indian’s conditions of settlement

His meetings of council

His oratory

His physical mien and characteristics

His chiefs and their functions

His character, moral and general

His proneness to drink

His humor

His intellectual gifts

His pastimes

His trading relations with whites

His religion

His mode of life

His alleged commission of perjury

The Indian as a musician

The Indian as an artist

His schools

His missionaries

Considerations upon his standing as a minor

Reflections as to the possible effect upon him of enfranchisement

Concluding remarks

Addenda to section on enfranchisement

Note about the cover : Six-Nation Indians from crystalinks.com


The little production presented in these pages was designed for, and has been used as, a lecture. And I have wished to preserve, without emendation, the form and character of the lecture, as it was delivered.

J. B. M.

This text was printed by Guardian Printing Office, 1882, Toronto.


As knowledge of the traditions, manners, and national traits of the Indians, composing, originally, the six distinct and independent tribes of the Mohawks, Tuscaroras, Onondagas, Senecas, Oneidas, and Cayugas. Tribes now merged in, and known as, the Six-Nations.

Possibly, they does not extend beyond the immediate district in which they have effected a lodgment, I have laid upon myself the task of tracing their history from the date of their settlement in the County of Brant, entering, at the same time, upon such accessory treatment as would seem to be naturally suggested or embraced by the plan I have set before me.

As the essay, therefore, proposes to deal, mainly, with the contemporary history of the Indian, little will be said of his accepted beliefs, at an earlier epoch, or of the then current practices built upon, and enjoined by, his traditionary faith.

Frequent visits to the Indian's Reservation, on the south bank of the Grand River, have put me in the way of acquiring oral data, which shall subserve my intention. And I shall prosecute my attempt with the greater hope of reaping a fair measure of success, since I have fortified my position with gleanings (bearing, however, solely on minor matters of fact) from some few published records, which have to do with the history of the Indian, generally, and have been the fruitful labour of authors of repute and standing, native as well as white.

Should the issue of failure attend upon my effort, I shall be disposed to ascribe it to some not obscure reason connected with literary style and execution, rather than to the fact of there not having been adequate material at hand for the purpose.


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Mots clés : A Treatise on the Six-Nation Indians, J.B. Mackenzie, conditions of settlement, meeting of council, their chiefs and function, trading relations with whites, religion, mode of life, missionaries