Three Rivers
History From America's Most Famous Valleys

The Indian In His Wigwam
Characteristics of The Red Race of America
From Original Notes and Manuscripts
By Henry R. Schoolcraft
New York
Dewitt & Davenport
Tribune Buildings

This is a lengthy book and covers many of the Red Race who are not native to New York State. Pertinent parts of the book will be posted. abjerry
Thanks to Pamela Wozniak and David Collins for loaning this book for the purpose of using it on our website.


AB, often pronounced with the sound of we, before it,-a particle which, in geographical names, in the family of the Algonquin dialects, denotes light, or the east. It is also the radix of the verb wab, to see, as well as of the derivatives, a-ab, an eye-ball, and wabishka, a white substance, &c., -ideas which either in their origin or application, are closely allied.

ABACARIS, a settlement of Indians in the Portuguese possessions of the province of Amazon. These people derive their name from a lake, upon owhich they reside. It is a peculiarity of this lake, that it has its outlet into the river Madiera which, after flowing out of the province turns about and again enters it, forming, in this involution, the large and fertile island. of Topanambes. This tribe is under the instruction of the Carmelites. They retain many of their early peculiarities of manners and modes of of life. They subsist by the cultivation of maize, and by taking fish in the waters of the Abacaris; or Abacactes in addition to these means, they fely upon tropical fruits. The latest notices of them come down to 1789. But little is known of their numbers, or present condition.

ABACHES, or Apaches, an erratic tribe of Indians, who infest the prairies of western Texas and New Mexico. They are supposed by some, to congist of not less than 15,000 souls. They are divided into petty bands, known under various names. They are the most vagrant of all the wild, hunter tribes of the general area denoted. They do not live in fixed abodes, tut shift about in search of game or plunder, and are deemed a pest by the Santa Fe traders. They raise nothing and manufacture nothing. Those of them who are east of the Rio del Norte, subsist on the baked. root of the mauguey, and a similar plant called Mezcal, and hence they are called Mezcaleros.

Another division of them, and by far the greatest, rove west of that stream, where they are called Coyoteros, from their habit of eating the coyote, or prairie wolf. They extend west into California and Sonora. They bear a bad character wherever they are known. If on the outskirts of the ranches and haciendas, they steal cattle and sheep. If on the wide and destitute plains which they traverse, they thieve and murder. Sometimes they are pursued and punished, more frequently, they escape. The Mexican authorities keep some sort of terms with them by treaties, which the vagrants, however, break and disregard, whenever they are excited by hunger, or the lust of plunder. For Indians bearing the name, formerly from the U. States, see Apaches.

ABACO, one of the Bahama islands. The native inhabitants of this, and the adjacent groupes of islands, were, early after the discovery, transported to the main, to work m the mines. In 1788 this island, known to nautical men as the locality of the Hole in the Wall, had a population of 50 whites, and 200 Africans.

ABACOOCIIE, or COOSA, a stream rising in Georgia. It flows into Alabama, and after uniting with the Tallapoosa, a few miles below Wetumpka it forms the Alabama river. The word is, apparently, derived from Oscooche, one of the four bands into which the Muscogeesr, were anciently divided.

ABANAKEE, or Eastlanders, a distinct people, consisting of a plurality of tribes, who formerly occupied the extreme north eastern part of the United States. The word is variously written by early writers. See Abenakies, Abernaquis, Wabunakies.

ABANCAT, the capital of a province of the same name 20 leagues from Cuzco, in Peru. It is memorable for the victories gained in the vicinity by the king's troops in 1542 and 1548 against Gonzalo Pizarro. It lies oin a rich and spacious valley, which was inhabited by the subjects of the Inca, on the conquest.

ABASCA, or RABASOA, a popular corruption, in the northwest, of Athabasca, which see.

ABANES, an unreclaimed nation of Indians, living in the. plains of St. Juan, to the north of the Orinoco, in New Grenada. They are of a docile character, and good disposition, lending a ready ear to instruction, but have not embraced the Catholic religion. They inhabit the wooded shores of the river, and shelter themselves from the effects of a tropical sun, in the open plains, by erecting their habitations in the small copse-wood. They are bounded towards the west, by.the Andaquies and Caberras, and east by the Salivas.

ABANGOUI, a large settlement of the Guarani nation of Indians, on the shores of the river Taqiiani, in Paraguay. This stream and its inhalatants were discovered by A. Numez, in 1541.

ABECOOCHI, see Abacooche.

ABEICAS, an ancient name for a tribe of Indians, in the present erea of -the United States, who are placed in the earlier geographies, south of the Alabamas and west of the Cherokees. They dwelt at a distance from the large rivers, yet were located in the districts of the cane, out of the hard gulstance of which they made a kind of knife, capable of answering the principal purposes of this instrument. They were at enmity with the Iroquois.

ABENAKIES, a nation formerly inhabiting a large part of the territorial area of the states of New Hampshire and Maine. There were several tribes, of this nation the principal of which were the Pcnobscots, the Norredgewocks, and the Ameriscoggins. They were at perpetual hostilities with the New England colonists. They had received missionaries, at-an early day, from the French in Canada, and acted in close concert with the hostile Indians from that quarter. At length in 1724, the government of Massachussetts organized an effective expedition against them, which ascended the Kennebec, attacked the chief town of the Norredgewocks, and killed a large number of their bravest warriors. Among the slain, was found their missionary Sebastian Rasle, who had taken up arms in their defence. There was found, among his papers, a copious vocabulary of the language, which has recently been published under the supervision of Mr. Pickering. In the year 1754, all the Abenakies, except the PenobScots; removed into Canada. This nation had directed their attention, almost exclusively, to hunting. At the mouth of the Kennebec they absolutely planted nothing. Their lauguage, as observed by Mr. Gallatin, has strong affinities with those of the Etchemins, and of the Micmacs, of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia ; there are fewer resemblances in its vocabulary to the dialects south of them. This nation appears to have been called Tarrenteens, by the New England Indians. Their generic name for themselves, if they had one, is unknown. The term Abenakie, is one manifestly imposed by Algonquin tribes living west and south of them. It is derived from wabanung, the east, or a place of light, and akee, land.

ABEKAS, a name applied, so late as 1750, to a band of the Muscogees, living on the river Tombigbee, within the present area of Alabama.

ABERNAQUIS, a settlement of the expatriated Abenakies of New England, in Lower Canada. They subsist themselves at this time in a great measure by agriculture, and manifest a disposition to improve. From a report made in 1839 by the American Board of Foreign missions of Bos-ton who employ a missionary and teacher among them, sixty persons attend Protestant worship, of which number, 24 are church members. Twenty of the youth attend a daily school.

ABIGIBAS, an Indian mission formerly under the charge of the order of Jesuits, in the governmental department of Quito. It is situated on the river Curasari, 30 leagues from its mouth, and 240 from Quito. It was founded in 1665 by father Lorenzo Lucero.

ABINGAS, or WABINGAS, a name for a band, or sub-tribe of the River Indians, of the Mohegan, or Mohekinder stock, who formerly inhabited the present area of Dutchess county, N. Y., and some adjacent parts of the eastern shores of the Hudson, above the Highlands.

ABIPONES, an unreclaimed nation of Indians, who inhabit the south shores of the river Bermejo, in the province of Tucuman, Buenos Ayres. This nation is said, perhaps vaguely, to have formerly numbered 100,000 souls, but was, at the last accounts, about A.D. 1800, much reduced. They present some peculiar traits, living as nearly in a state of nature as possible. The men go entirely naked, subsisting themselves by hunting , and fishing, and passing much of their time in idleness or war. The women wear little ornamented skins called queyapi. Physically, the people are well formed, of a lofty stature and bearing, robust and good featured They paint their bodies profusely, and take great pains to inspire hardihood. For this purpose they cut and scarify themselves from childhood; they esteem tiger's flesh one of the greatest dainties, believing its properties to infuse strength and valor. In war they are most cruel, sticking their captives on the top of high poles, where, exposed to the scorching rays of the sun, they are left to die the mst horrid death.

They have no knowledge of God, of laws, or of policy, yet they believe in the immortality of the soul, and in a land of future bliss, where dancing and diversions shall prevail. Widows observe celibacy for a year, during which time they abstain from fish. The females occupy themselves in sewing hides, or spinning rude fabrics. When the men are intoxicated- a prevalent vice-they conceal their husbands' knives to prevent assassinations. They rear but two or three ahildrm, killing all above this number.

ABISCA, an extensive mountainous territory of Peru, lying between the Yetau and Amoramago rivers, east of the Andes, noted from the earliest times, for the number of barbarous nations who occupy it. It is a wild and picturesque region, abounding in forests, lakes and streams, and affording facilities for the chase, and means of retreat from civilization, so congenial to savage tribes. An attempt to subjugate these fierce tribes made by Pedro de Andia in 1538, failed. The same result had attended the efforts of the emperor Yupanqui.

ABITANIS, a mountain in the province of Lipas, in Peru. In the Quetchuan tongue, it signifies the ore of gold, from a mine of this metal, which is now nearly abandoned.

ABITTIBI, the name of one of the tributaries of Moose River, of James' Bay, Canada. Also a small lake in Canada West, near the settlement of Frederick, in north latitude 48°, 35' and west longitude 82° : also, a lake north of lake Ncpissing, in the direction to Moose Fort. It is a term, apparently derived from nibee, water, and wab, light.

ABITIGAS, a fierce and warlike nation of Indians, in the province of Tarma in Peru, of the original Q,uetche stock. They are situated 60 leagues to the east of the Andes. They are barbarians, roving from place to place, without habits of industry, and delighting in war. They are numerous, as well as warlike; but like all the non-agricultural tribes of the region, they are often in want and wretchedness. They are bounded on the south by their enemies the Ipilcos.

ABO, ABOUOR MICHABO, or the Great Hare, a personage rather of mytholo-gical, than historical note, in the traditions of the Lake Algonquin tribes. It is not clear, although probable, that he is to be regarded as identical with Manabosho, or Nanabosho.

ABOJEEG, a celebrated war and hereditary chief of the Chippewa nation, who flourished during the last century; more commonly written Wabojeeg, which see.

ABRAHAM, a chief of the Mohawks, who, after the fall of king Hendrick, so called, at the battle of lake George, in 1755, between the English and French armies, became the ruling chief of that nation. He was the younger brother of Hendrick, and lived at the lower Mohawk Castle. He was of small stature, but shrewd and active, and a fluent speaker. Numbers of his speeches are preserved, which he delivered, as the ruling chief of his tribe, in various councils, during the stormy era of 1775, which eventuated in the American revolution. In the events of that era, his name soon disappears: as he was then a man of advanced years, he probably died at his village. It is not known that he excelled in war, and, at all events, he was succeeded, about this time, in fame and authority, by a new man in the chieftainship, who rose in the person of Thyendanegea, better known as Joseph Brant. Abraham, or little Abraham, as he was generally called, appears from his speeches and policy, to have thoroughly adopted the sentiments and policy of Sir William Johnson, of whom, with his tribe generally, he was the friend and admirer. He was, as his speeches disclose, pacific in his views, cautious in policy, and not inclined, it would seem, to rush headlong into the great contest, which was then brewing, and into which, his popular successor, Brant, went heart and hand. With less fame than his elder brother Hendrick, and with no warlike reputation, yet without imputation upon his name, in any way, he deserves to be remembered as a civilian and chieftain, who bore a respectable rank; as one of a proud, high spirited, and important tribe. Little Abraham was present at the last and final council of the Mohawks, with the American Commissioners, at Albany, in September 1775, and spoke for them on this occasion-which is believed to have been the last peaceable meeting between the Americana and the Mohawk tribe, prior to the war.

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