Friday, September 07, 2012

18th Century Research: The Iroquois (Part 2)

Flag of the Iroquois Confederacy
After the Mohawk (see yesterday's blog post), the second eastern-most tribe of the Iroquois League, or Haudenosaunee, were the Oneida, or Onyota’a:ká:. Their name translates as People of the Standing Stone.

Though no nation of the League was unanimously pro-British or pro-Patriot during the Revolutionary War, most of the nations fought on the side of the British--except for the Oneida Nation, who sided with the colonists.

This was due in large part to the influence of New Englander and Patriot Samuel Kirkland, a Protestant missionary who had lived and ministered among them since the mid 1760s. While not all Oneidas welcomed Kirkland and the Gospel he preached, many considered him a friend to their people. Kirkland lived among them and shared their hardships, alleviating them as best he could through pleas for aid from wealthy seaboard acquaintances and missionary societies in the colonies and in Great Britain. Through him the Oneida people formed stronger links with the colonials than did the other Iroquois nations. Some Oneida warriors served the Patriot army during the Revolutionary War as scouts. Some fought with the colonial militia at the Battle of Oriskany, near Fort Stanwix in western New York.

As happened throughout our country's history, even our native allies in the War of Independence lost their lands not many years after the war's ending, though portions of the Oneida Indian Nation still live on their ancestral lands in New York. Others relocated to Wisconsin and to Canada. 

Finding resources for Oneida-related subjects has proven harder than for those pertaining to the Mohawk. For the benefit of anyone else researching along this same path, here's what I've found thus far:

~ The People of the Standing Stone, The Oneida Nation from the Revolution through the Era of Removal, by Karim M. Tiro.
~ The Oneida Indian  Experience, Two Perspectives, Edited by Jack Campisi and Laurence M. Hauptman.
~ Forgotten Allies, The Oneida Indians and the American Revolution, by Joseph T. Glatthaar and James Kirby Martin.
~ The Divided Ground, Indians, Settlers, and the Northern Borderland of The American Revolution, by Alan Taylor
~ Life of Samuel Kirkland, missionary to the Indians, by Samuel Kirkland Lothrop (can be found online as an ebook through Google).
~ Oneida Iroquois Folklore, Myth, and History by Anthony Wonderley 

Portions of this post were originally posted at the Colonial Quills blog, by me.

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