, and Ontario
, had been the dwelling-place of the
five confederated tribes of the Hurons.
After their defeat by the Five Nations, a part descended the St. Lawrence
, and their progeny may still be seen near Quebec
; a part were adopted, on equal terms, into the tribes of their conquerors; the Wyandots fled beyond Lake Superior
, and hid themselves in the dreary wastes that divided the Chippewas from their western foes.
In 1671, they retreated before the powerful Sioux
, and made their home first at St. Mary's and at Michilimackinac, and afterwards near the post of Detroit
Thus the Wyandots within our borders were emigrants from Canada
Having a mysterious influence over the Algonquin tribes, and making treaties with the Five Nations, they spread along Lake Erie
, and, leaving to the Miamis the country beyond the Miami
of the Lakes
, they gradually acquired a claim to the whole territory from that river to the western boundary of New York.
The immediate dominion of the Iroquois
—where the Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas, and Senecas, were first visited by the trader, the missionary, or the war parties of the French
—stretched, as we have seen, from the borders of Vermont
to Western New York, from the lakes to the head waters of the Ohio
, the Susquehannah
, and the Delaware
The number of
their warriors was declared by the French
, in 1660, to
have been two thousand two hundred; and, in 1677, an English agent, sent on purpose to ascertain their strength, confirmed the precision of the statement.
Their geographical position made them umpires in the contest of the French
for dominion in the west.
Besides, their political importance was increased by their conquests.
Not only did they claim some supremacy