Selected Indians of New York State Part V



Quawwa, whose Indian name was Deo-dyah-do-oh-hoh, and whose correct English name was James Brewer, disappeared as soon as he learned that Montour was fatally injured. Horatio Jones and Jellis Clute entered complaint, and an officer was sent to the
Buffalo reservation in search of him. The officer was advised to call on Thomas Jemison and Kennedy, who would assist him. They took hold promptly, and found the fugitive at his sister's, aiding her in making maple sugar. He was brought to Moscow
and examined before a justice of the peace, and committed to jail. As he was leaving for Geneseo his squaw, standing near Lyman's store, called out to him very piteously, "Quawwa!" "Quawwa!" and kept it up long after he had disappeared from sight. He was indicted for murder and tried at the March term of 1831, Judge Addison Gardiner presiding ; convicted of manslaughter in the second degree, and sentenced to four years in Auburn prison. He was troubled with the King's evil or scrofula. The disease developed very rapidly after his incarceration. His death was regarded as imminent, and, on the
representation of friends, Governor Throop pardoned him out in February, 1832. He was taken to Buffalo reservation, where he died in two or three days. Quawwa had many friends among the whites, especially among the younger men, who regarded him
as faithful to the last degree. Captain Jones and Jellis Clute, although they entered the formal complaint, became bail for Quawwa' s appearance at the trial, the Captain adding "I have no fear but that Quawwa will be on hand just as he promises, even though his own neck's in danger," and he was not disappointed.

Thomas Jemison

Thomas Jemison, So-sun-do-waah, or Buffalo Tom, as lie is called on the reservation, was a native of , Squakie Hill, where he resided until 1828, in a house yet standing. His step-father told him he was born between Christmas and New Year's, and was
nearly two years old at the treaty of 1797. His father was Thomas, the eldest child of the White Woman by Sheninjee, her first husband, and his mother was Sally, the daughter of Indian Allan. He went to the Buffalo reservation in 1828 and to the Cattaraugus reservation in 1846, where he bought a farm of Hank Johnson, as he was generally called, a white man who was taken prisoner in the Revolution and married a Delaware woman. At Johnson's death the property reverted to the Seneca nation ; hence Jemison lost his rights, and returned to Buffalo, where he opened a tavern on the reservation. After remaining away fourteen years, he went back to the Cattaraugus reservation, where he has a fine farm which he cultivates with exemplary industry and success. He has several houses and lots in the city of Buffalo. His eldest son graduated at the State Normal school in Albany, and married a white wife, and his eldest daughter has a white husband. Jemison himself has all a white man's notions of thrift and economy. He recollects, with great interest, the years he spent at Squakie Hill. His memory is remarkably clear and his form erect, although his age is now nearly seventy-five. In appearance he strongly resembles Thurlow Weed. "His word," says Governor Patterson, "was as good as any white man's note in the valley. If he bought property on credit, it would be paid for the day it fell due, without grace." His English is as pure as any Yankee farmer's.

Philip Kenjockety

Philip Kenjockety, Ska-dyoh-gwa-dih, was the last survivor of the Genesee river Indians, whose personal recollections extended back to the invasion of General Sullivan. His grandfather was a member of the almost mythological race, the Kah-kwas, and was adopted into the Senecas. His father acquired influence among the latter nation and became a chief, and it was through his representation that the Senecas were induced to settle upon the banks of the Niagara river, when driven from the Genesee. Philip's parents were residing at the Nunda village when the war of the Revolution broke out, and when the residents of that village removed to Beardstown, Philip's family went also. I saw him at the Cattaraugus reservation in the fall of 1865. . He then claimed to be one hundred and twenty years old. He had come down to the mission-house at my request to give his recollections of the Genesee country, For a person of his age he possessed great vigor of body. His mind was clear and his memory proved to be marvelously correct. When the subject of Sullivan's expedition to this region in 1779, was mentioned, he seemed to forget his age and everything else in the interest revived by the associations of that period. Yes, he recollected the Wah-ston-yans," (that is Bostonians," as the colonial or Yankee troops were called by the Senecas) " He was large boy then, large enough to shoot small birds with a gun. The Yankees got as far as Conesus lake, all was consternation at Beardstown ; it rained ; the warriors went Out ; the air grew heavy with rumors ; even the birds brought tidings of the enemy's doings." After our interview, as he was bidding good bye, he took the hand of my son, and pointing to the clasped fingers, said, through the interpreter, "this bridges between three generations, between that long past and the generation under the new order." He described the face of the country in this region with great accuracy and added essential facts to its history. He died on the first of April, 1866, aged fully a hundred and ten years. The Academy of Art in Buffalo has preserved a fine portrait in oil of the venerable Kahkwa, the last of his generation. There were a number of Indians of lesser note, who, forty years ago, were well known to the settlers. Among these were Blinkey, a red man of much shrewdness, who had lost an eye, and thus secured an expressive name ; Canaday, the brother of Blinkey, a fine looking Seneca, whose hut stood near the highway leading to High-banks, on the north side of the river, at Squakie Hill ; and Big Peg, who usually lived at Big Tree village. The latter possessed much good sense, was a speaker, and had no little force of character. Accident secured him his name, as it often secures the names of other personages of more consequence. Green Blanket lived at Little Beardstown, and acquired his title from always wearing a blanket of a particular color, to which he was very partial.

Of the leading warriors of the Senecas of this region, whose fame rests mainly on tradition, a sketch will scarcely be expected here, especially as Colonel Hosmer has so felicitously preserved their deeds in verse. The renowned chieftain, Old Can-ne-hoot, led the Senecas against the Marquis De Nonville, and, for the purposes of fiction, the poet has allowed him to die on the field of battle after the conflict. Conesus, whose romantic career has been so well given in Hosmer's Legends of the Senecas, is another. His name was a terror to the Chippewas, and often, with his band of braves, he chased the Adirondacks to their mountain lodges. A small island near Avon, formed by the sweeping bend of the Genesee, was the home of this warrior chief, who, often in the dim and shadowy past, "belted for the fight" with western tribes, The list might easily be extended, but the limit I had assigned to Indian history is already more than reached.


Article Name: Selected Indians of New York State Part V
Researcher/Transcriber Miriam Medina


BIBLIOGRAPHY: A History of Livingston County, New York by Lockwood Lyon; Geneseo; Edward E. Doty 1876
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