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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Chapter 13: Van Den Bogaert's Journal — 1634-5.

[This information is from Vol. I, pp. 220-239 of History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925, edited by Nelson Greene (Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1925). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 974.7 G81h. This online edition includes lists of portraits, maps and illustrations. Some images have been relocated to the area in the text where they are discussed. As noted by Paul Keesler in his article, "The Much Maligned Mr. Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

Contents | Biographies | Illustrations | Maps | Portraits

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Van Den Bogaert's journal of 1634-5 of his journey into the Mohawk and Oneida country — The first written description of the Mohawk Valley by the surgeon of Fort Orange — Sites of the Mohawk castles and the Oneida castle visited by three Dutchmen on their 200 mile midwinter trip

One of the most interesting and important documents relative to early Mohawk Valley history is the following Journal of Van den Bogaert's journey through the Mohawk country in the Winter of 1634-5. It is the most informing and illuminative record of our early Valley and its Mohawk inhabitants, which we possess. As a picture of the Mohawk savage of that day, his home and his habits, it is unsurpassed. Moreover, one who is familiar with the Valley's topography, can locate many of the points mentioned from the writer's very careful observation of the ground over which he traveled. Van den Bogaert's is the only record we have of the second series of castles which the Mohawks built along our river and, as such, it is important historically, as it completes our record of all the chief castles of these Indians from their coming to our Valley about 1590 to their migration to Canada in 1775.

General James Grant Wilson found the manuscript of this Journal in Amsterdam in 1895. He says "It consists of 32 pages of well preserved foolscap, which had been buried in a Dutch garret of Amsterdam for two hundred and sixty years."

The writing was at first attributed to Arent Van Curler, but as the Journal was written in 1634, and Van Curler did not come to Fort Orange until 1637, as a youth of eighteen, such authorship is impossible. The Journal is now believed to have been written by Harmen Meyndertsz Van den Bogaert, the surgeon of the fort. This is substantiated by the fact that the explorer says he treated several savages for illness on this winter journey. Van den Bogaert was a man of education and importance in the little colony of Rensselaerwyck, as a surgeon would naturally be. That he was a brave, hardy, resourceful pioneer as well, is vouched for by the words of this simply told narrative. Its value is increased by the author's direct, natural and ungarbled writing of what an intelligent man saw with his own keen eyes.

Martin Gerritsen, the factor (chief of the West India Company's affairs) at Fort Orange, who is several times mentioned, had previously been one of Director Van Twiller's council at Manhattan (later New Netherland and still later New York). He settled at Rensselaerwyck at an earlier date.

Van den Bogaert's companions on his journey to the Mohawk country were Jeronimus de Lacroix and Willem Tomassen. Jeronimus de Lacroix's position is unknown but, judging from Van den Bogaert's Journal, he must have been something of a bumpkin and so, probably, was a "handy man" in the company's service. There are no records in existence concerning Willem Tomassen, the third member of the party. None of these men was employed by Van Rensselaer. They were all attached to the service of the Dutch West India Company at Fort Orange.

Van den Bogaert's "leagues" are misleading to any one who interprets this word as meaning the English league of three miles. What is intended is the Dutch "mylen" (mile), equalling two and a quarter English miles.

By carefully noting the number of these "mylen" and where they would bring the explorer, on his journey westward from Fort Orange, we are enabled to locate, with considerable accuracy, the sites of the Mohawk castles and villages mentioned in the Journal. This is borne out by several marked landscape features, which Van den Bogaert carefully noted. Some writers in commenting on this Journal have placed the Mohawk castles at places totally at variance with these landmarks, possibly because of lack of information on Mohawk River topography. Others have said that Van den Bogaert's distances are not to be relied upon, which is not in conformity with the character of an explorer who evidently knew the forest, its trails and distances, and who slept out in the snow on a January night of 1635. We must remember that, in 1634, the Hollanders of Fort Orange had been busily trading with the Mohawks for twenty years and that these Dutch traders then knew the Mohawks intimately as well as their castles, and their country. They had also probably recorded the distances in the Mohawk country, with considerable accuracy, as early as 1634.

Mr. John Fea, the well known historian of Amsterdam, has studied Van den Bogaert's route and the sites of the Mohawk castles he described. By carefully comparing the distances mentioned and the landmarks noted, he has been enabled to accurately locate these Mohawk castles and villages, and he has verified all of his locations by finding, on these sites, marked evidence of the remains of large castles or small villages, as the case may be.

Regardless of the "mylen" figures, the landmarks described are in themselves enough to approximately locate the Mohawk towns of 1634. All the castles were on the south side of the river, and the first one was "on a high hill". After Van den Bogaert passed Touareuna and Yantapooshaberg (near Hoffmans), the first high hill he would note on the south shore would be Wasontha Hill or the spur of the Little Nose, which overlooks the Wasontha Creek near Randall. Here remains of the first castle of O-ne-ka-gon-ka were found by Mr. Fea.

Van den Bogaert says that he traveled the equivalent of 49 1/2 English miles to this point over the trail, which was, like all main trails, probably fairly straight.

The site of Onekagonka is about 49 miles by the New York Central Railroad from present Albany. And so the sites are verified. Nearly all the castles and villages, from this point westward, are mentioned one after another as being on "high hills." The south shore section, from the Little Nose to opposite Garoga Creek, answers to this description, while the river shore farther east is comparatively low. There are other geographical features described by Van den Bogaert which have been overlooked by writers who are not extremely familiar with the topography of the river's shores along the Middle Mohawk Valley. ley. The Canajoharie and Otsquage creeks are undoubtedly described while the upper or most western castle of Te-no-to-ge stood on a "very high hill," where Van den Bogaert said "The kill we spoke about before runs past here, and the course is mostly north by west and south by east." This site could only be at the one section in Middle Mohawk Valley, where the river runs nearly north and south, and that is between a point west of present Canajoharie past Fort Plain to a point west of Palatine church. On "a very high hill" (Oak Hill) overlooking this north-south river course Mr. Fea found all the evidences of the great Wolf Castle of Tenotoge.

One writer identifies this castle with that of Thenondiogo, the Wolf Clan castle mentioned by Megapolensis in his description of the Mohawk Indians, written in 1644. The Mohawks, however, had changed their locations about 1642 so that the two castles were not and could not have been the same. When the Mohawks moved they frequently took the previous castle's name, and applied it to their new one.

In 1642 the Wolf Clan castle of Tenontogere was located at present Sprakers Basin, but in 1634 Tenotoge was on the summit of Oak Hill over two miles west of Fort Plain. These explanations are given here, inasmuch as the latter site has been located elsewhere by other writers.

This Journal is most important as a historical document and the castles mentioned therein complete our list of Mohawk town sites of this period. For this reason the editor of this history gives these Indian village sites, as located by Mr. Fea. They are also included in the full list of Mohawk Indian towns in Chapter 6. Mr. Fea's Mohawk Indian town sites (south shore) of 1634 are as follows:

Onekagonka. — The Lower Castle (probably of the Turtle Clan) on the hill on (1912) the Vrooman farm on the west bank of Wasontha Creek, west of the village of Randall.

Canorawode. — A small village on the site of the present Montgomery County farm buildings at Schenck's Hollow. This was the only Mohawk town site on the north shore of the river at that time.

Senatsycrosy. — Village at present Sprakers Basin.

Canagere. — Village on (1912) the Horatio Nellis farm, just east of present Canajoharie.

Sochanidisse. — Middle Castle (probably of the Bear Clan) on the high ridge which runs from Canajoharie to Fort Plain. The castle was on the Brown farm in Happy Hollow section, a mile or so west of Canajoharie.

Osquage. — Village on Prospect Hill, Fort Plain.

Cawoge. — Village on (1912) the Lipe farm on the western edge of Fort Plain.

Tenotoge. — Upper Castle (probably of the Wolf Clan). On (1912) the Sponable and Moyer farms, two and one-half miles northwest of Fort Plain. This castle of the Mohawks at this time was the largest town in New Netherland and in the Hudson and Mohawk valleys, far outstripping the Dutch village of Manhattan, now New York city — Tenotoge stood on Oak Hill.

The Dutch of Fort Orange called the Mohawks "Maquas". The rest of the Iroquois Five Nations were known to them simply as "Sinnekens," meaning Senecas. Van den Bogaert refers to the Oneidas as Sinnekens in his Journal. After leaving the Upper Mohawk castle of Tenotoge the party left for the Oneida castle of Onneyuttehage, which stood on the banks of the Upper Oneida Creek near the present site of Munnsville, Madison County. The trail from Tenotoge to Onneyuttehage did not follow the Mohawk but left that river and ran over the uplands along the edge of the Susquehanna-Mohawk divide into the Oneida country.

After leaving Tenotoge (about two miles northwest of Fort Plain) Van den Bogaert and his party marched westward over the hills on an upland route which took them over the Mohawk-Susquehanna divide perhaps to the trail now followed by the Van Hornesville-Jordanville road. They crossed the Unadilla River (which Van den Bogaert thought was a headwater of the Delaware instead of the Susquehanna) possibly at West Winfield. This is borne out by the fact that Van den Bogaert says under date of December 29, "the course northwest," which it would have to be in order for them to reach present Munnsville from the Great Western Turnpike. The three Hollanders crossed Oriskany Creek, which he says is "the branch of the river that passes by Fort Orange and past the land of the Maquas." As they approached the Oneida castle they "saw to the northwest of us a large river and on the other side thereof tremendously high land that seemed to lie in the clouds." This could have been none other than the strip of Oneida Lake seen from the hills and the high land must have been clouds or mist. At last, footsore and weary, they reached the Oneida castle of Onneyuttehage on Oneida Creek at present Munnsville. This was about 120 miles or more from the start of their wintry journey from Fort Orange.

Van den Bogaert compiled an interesting Mohawk vocabulary, during his journey. It is given at the end of Chapter 6, covering the Mohawk Indian castles, where due credit is given to its author.

The following is a translation by Mr. S. G. Nissensen from the original manuscript owned by Mr. W. A. White. So far as the editor knows, this is the first publication of this Journal in any historical study of the Mohawk Valley.

Narrative of a Journey Into the Mohawk and Oneida Country, 1634-1635

Praise the Lord above all — Fort Orange, 1634.

December 11. Journal kept of the principal events that happened during the journey to the Maquas and Sinnekens Indians. First, the reasons why we went on this journey were these, that the Maquas and Sinnekens very often came to our factor (commis) Marten Gerritsen and me stating that there were French Indians in their land, and that they had made a truce with them so that they, namely, the Maquas, wished to trade for their skins, because the Maquas Indians wanted to receive just as much for their skins as the French Indians did. So I proposed to Mr. Marten Gerritsen to go and see if it was true, so soon to run counter to their High Mightinesses; and, besides, trade was doing very badly, therefore I went as above with Jero(ni)mus (de) la Croex and Willem Tomassen. May the Lord bless my voyage! We went between nine and ten o'clock with five Maquas Indians, mostly northwest above eight leagues, and arrived at half-past twelve in the evening at a hunter's cabin, where we slept for the night, near the stream that runs into their land and is named Oyoge. The Indians here gave us venison to eat. The land is mostly full of fir trees, and the flat land is abundant. The stream runs through their land near their (Maquas) castles, but we could not ascend it on account of the heavy freshet.

December 12. At three hours before daylight, we proceeded again, and the savages that went with us would have left us there if I had not noticed it; and when we thought of taking our meal we perceived that their dogs had eaten our meat and cheese. So we had then only dry bread and had to travel on that; and, after going for an hour, we came to the branch that runs into our river and past the Maquas villages, where the ice drifted very fast. Jeronimus crossed first, with one savage in a canoe made of the bark of trees, because there was only room for two; after that Willem and I went over; and it was so dark that we could not see each other if we did not come close together. It was not without danger. When all of us had crossed, we went another league and a half and came to a hunter's cabin, which we entered to eat some venison, and hastened farther, and after another half league we saw some Indians approaching; and as soon as they saw us they ran off and threw their sacks and bags away, and fled down a valley behind the underwood, so that we could not see them. We looked at their goods and bags, and took therefrom a small (loaf of) bread. It was baked with beans, and we ate it. We went farther, and mostly along the aforesaid kill that ran very swiftly because of the freshet. In this kill there are a good many islands, and on the sides upward of 500 or 600 morgen of flat land; yes, I think even more. And after we had been marching about eleven leagues, we arrived at one o'clock in the evening half a league from the first castle at a little house. We found only Indian women inside. We should have gone farther, but I could hardly move my feet because of the rough road, so we slept there. It was very cold, with northerly wind.

December 13. In the morning we went together to the castle over the ice that during the night had frozen on the kill, and after going half a league, we arrived in their first castle, which is built on a high hill. There stood but 36 houses, in rows like streets, so that we could pass nicely. The houses are made and covered with bark of trees, and mostly are flat at the top. Some are 100, 90, or 80 paces long and 22 and 23 feet wide. There were some inside doors of hewn boards, furnished with iron hinges. In some houses we saw different kinds of iron work, iron chains, harrow irons, iron hoops, nails — which they steal when they go forth from here. Most of the people were out hunting deer and bear. The houses were full of corn that they call onersti, and we saw maize; yes, in some of the houses more than 300 bushels. They make canoes and barrels of the bark of trees, and sew with bark as well. We had a good many pumpkins cooked and baked that they called anansira. None of the chiefs was at home, but the principal chief is named Adriochten, who lived a quarter of a mile from the fort in a small house, because a good many savages here in the castle died of smallpox. I sent him a message to come and see us, which he did; he came and bade me welcome, and said that he wanted us very much to come with him. We should have done so, but when already on the way another chief called us, and so we went to the castle again. This one had a big fire lighted, and a fat haunch of venison cooked, of which we ate. He gave us two bearskins to sleep upon, and presented me with three beaver skins. In the evening Willem Tomassen, whose legs were swollen from the march, had a few cuts made with a knife therein, and after that had them rubbed with bear grease. We slept in this house, ate heartily of pumpkins, beans and venison, so that we were not hungry, but were treated as well as is possible in their land. We hope that all will succeed.

December 14. Jeronimus wrote a letter to our commis (factor), Marten Gerritsen, and asked for paper, salt, and atsochwat — that means tobacco for the savages. We went out to shoot turkeys with the chief, but could not get any. In the evening I bought a very fat one for two hands of seawan. The chief cooked it for us, and the grease he mixed with our beans and maize. This chief showed me his idol; it was a male cat's head, with the teeth sticking out; it was dressed in duffel cloth. Others have a snake, a turtle, a swan, a crane, a pigeon, or the like for their idols, to tell the fortune; they think they will always have good luck in doing so. From here two savages went with their skins to Fort Orange.

December 15. I went again with the chief to hunt turkeys but could not get any; and in the evening the chief again showed us his idol, and we resolved to stay here for another two or three days till there should be an opportunity to proceed, because all the footpaths had disappeared under the heavy snowfalls.

December 16. After midday a famous hunter came here named Sickarus, who wanted very much that we should go with him to his castle. He offered to carry our goods and to let us sleep and remain in his house as long as we liked; and because he was offering us so much I gave him a knife and two awls as a present, and to the chief in whose house we had been I presented a knife and a pair of scissors; and then we took our departure from this castle, named Onekagoncka, and after going for half a league over the ice we saw a village with only six houses, of the name Canowarode; but we did not enter it, because he said it was not worth while, and after another half league we passed again a village where twelve houses stood. It was named Senatsycrosy. These were like the others, he saying they likewise were not worth while entering; and after passing by great stretches of flat land, for another league or league and a half, we came into this castle, at two good hours after dark. I did not see much besides a good many graves. This castle is named Canagere. It is built on a hill, without any palisades or any defense. We found only seven men at home, besides a party of old women and children. The chiefs of this castle, named Tonnosatton and Tonewerot, were hunting; so we slept in the house of Sickarus, as he had promised us; and we counted in his house 120 pieces of salable beaver skins that he captured with his own dogs. Every day we ate beaver meat here. In this castle are sixteen houses, 50, 60, 70, or 80 paces long, and one of sixteen paces, and one of five paces, containing a bear to be fattened. It had been in there upward of three years,, and was so tame that it took everything that was given to it to eat.

December 17. Sunday we looked over our goods, and found a paper filled with sulphur, and Jeronimus took some of it and threw it in the fire. They saw the blue flame and smelled the smoke, and told us they had the same stuff ; and when Sickarus came they asked us to let them take a look at it, and it was the same; and we asked him where he obtained it. He told us they obtained it from the stranger savages, and that they believed it to be good against many maladies, but principally for their legs when they were sore from long marching and were very tired.

December 18. Three women of the Sinnekens came here with dried and fresh salmon; the latter smelled very bad. They sold each salmon for one florin or two hands of seawan. They brought, also, a good quantity of green tobacco to sell; and had been six days on the march. They could not sell all their salmon here, but went farther on to the first castle; and when they returned we were to go with them, and in the evening Jeronimus told me that a savage tried to kill him with a knife.

December 19. We received a letter from Marten Gerritsen dated December 18, and with it we received paper, salt, tobacco for the savages, and a bottle of brandy, and secured an Indian that was willing to be our guide to the Sinnekens. We gave him half a yard of cloth, two axes, two knives, and two awls. If it had been summer, many Indians would have gone with us, but as it was winter they would not leave their land, because it snowed very often up to the height of a man. Today we had a great rainfall, and I gave the guide a pair of shoes. His name was Sqorhea.

December 20. We took our departure from the second castle, and, after marching a league, our savage, Sqorhea, came to a stream that we had to pass. This stream ran very fast; besides, big cakes of ice came drifting along, for the heavy rainfall during yesterday had set the ice drifting. We were in great danger, for if one of us had lost his footing it had cost us our lives; but God the Lord preserved us, and we came through safely. We were wet up to above the waist, and after going for another half league we came thus wet, with our clothes, shoes and stockings frozen to us, to a very high hill on which stood 32 houses, like the other ones. Some were 100, 90, or 80 paces long; in every house we saw four, five, or six fireplaces where cooking went on. A good many savages were at home, so we were much looked at by both the old and the young; indeed, we could hardly pass through. They pushed each other in the fire to see us, and it was more than midnight before they took their departure. We could not absent ourselves to go to stool; even then they crawled around us without any feeling of shame. This is the third castle and is named Sochanidisse. The chief's name is Tewowary. They lent me this evening a lion skin to cover myself; but in the morning I had more than a hundred lice. We ate much venison here. Near this castle there is plenty of flat land, and the wood is full of oaks and nut trees. We exchanged here one beaver skin for one awl.

December 21. We started very early in the morning, and thought of going to the fourth castle, but after a half league's marching we came to a village with only nine houses, of the name of Osquage, the chief's name was Oquoho — that is, wolf. And here we saw a big stream that our guide did not dare to cross, as the water was over one's head because of the heavy rainfall; so we were obliged to postpone it till the next day. The chief treated us very kindly; he did us much good and gave us plenty to eat, for everything to be found in his house was at our service. He said often to me that I was his brother and good friend; yes, he told me even how he had been traveling overland for thirty days, and how he met there an Englishman, to learn the language of the Minquase and to buy the skins. I asked him whether there were any French savages there with the Sinnekens. He said yes; and I felt gratified and had a good hope to reach my aim. They called me here to cure a man that was very sick.

December 22. When the sun rose, we waded together through the stream; the water was over the knee, and so cold that our shoes and stockings in a very short time were frozen as hard as armor. The savages dared not go through, but went two by two, with a stick and hand in hand; and after going half a league we came to a village named Cawaoge. There stood fourteen houses, and a bear to fatten. We went in and smoked a pipe of tobacco, because the old man who was our guide was very tired. Another old man approached us, who shouted, "Welcome, welcome! You must stop here for the night"; but we wanted to be on the march and went forward. I tried to buy the bear, but they would not let it go. Along these roads we saw many trees much like the savin, with a very thick bark. This village likewise stood on a very high hill, and after going for another league we came into the fourth castle by land whereon we saw only a few trees. The name is Tenotoge. There are 55 houses, some one hundred, others more or fewer paces long. The kill we spoke about before runs past here, and the course is mostly north by west and south by east. On the other bank of the kill there are also houses; but we did not go in, because they were most of them filled with corn and the houses in this castle are filled with corn and beans. The savages here looked much surprised to see us, and they crowded so much around us that we could hardly pass through, for nearly all of them were at home. After awhile one of the savages came to us and invited us to go with him to his house, and we entered. This castle had been surrounded by three rows of palisades, but now there were none save six or seven pieces so thick that it was quite a wonder that savages should be able to do that. They crowded each other in the fire to see us.

December 23. A man came calling and shouting through some of the houses, but we did not know what it meant, and after awhile Jeronimus de la Croix came and told us what this was — that the savages are preparing and arming. I asked them what all this was about, and they said to me: "Nothing, we shall play with one another," and there were four men with clubs and a party with axes and sticks. There were twenty people armed, nine on one side and eleven on the other; and they went off against each other, and they fought and threw each other. Some of them wore armor and helmets that they themselves make of thin reeds and strings braided upon each other so that no arrow or axe can pass through to wound them severely; and after they had been playing thus a good while the parties closed and dragged each other by the hair, just as they would have done to their enemies after defeating them and before cutting off their scalps. They wanted us to fire our pistols, but we went off and left them alone. This day we were invited to buy bear meat, and we also got half a bushel of beans and a quantity of dried strawberries, and we bought some bread, that we wanted to take on our march. Some of the loaves were baked with nuts and cherries and dry blueberries and the grains of the sunflower.

December 24. It was Sunday. I saw in one of the houses a sick man. He had invited two of their doctors that could cure him — they call them simachkoes; and as soon as they came they began to sing and to light a big fire. They closed the house most carefully everywhere, so that the breeze could not come in, and after that each of them wrapped a snake-skin around his head. They washed their hands and faces, lifted the sick man from his place, and laid him alongside the big fire. Then they took a bucket of water, put some medicine in it, and washed in this water a stick about half a yard long, and kept sticking it in their throats so that no end of it was to be seen; and then they spat on the patient's head, and over all his body; and after that they made all sorts of farces, as shouting and raving, slapping of the hands; so are their manners; with many demonstrations upon one thing and another till they perspired so freely that their perspiration ran down on all sides.

December 25 — being Christmas. We rose early in the morning and wanted to go to the Sinnekens; but, as it was snowing steadily, we could not go, because nobody wanted to go with us to carry our goods. I asked them how many chiefs there were in all, and they told me thirty.

December 26. In the morning I was offered two pieces of bear's bacon to take with us on the march; and we took our departure, escorted by many of them that walked before and after us. They kept up shouting: "Allesa rondade!" — that is, to fire our pistols; but we did not want to do so, and at last they went back. This day we passed over many a stretch of flat land, and crossed a kill where the water was knee-deep; and I think we kept this day mostly the direction west and northwest. The woods that we traversed consisted in the beginning mostly of oaks, but after three or four hours' marching it was mostly birch trees. It snowed the whole day, so it was very heavy marching over the hills; and after seven leagues, by guess, we arrived at a little house made of bark in the forest, where we lighted a fire and stopped for the night to sleep. It went on snowing with a sharp, northerly wind. It was very cold.

December 27. Early in the morning again on our difficult march, while the snow lay two and one-half feet in some places. We went over hills and through underwood. We saw traces of two bears, and elks, but no savages. There are beech trees; and after marching another seven or eight leagues, at sunset we found another little cabin in the forest, with hardly any bark, but covered with the branches of trees. We made a big fire and cooked our dinner. It was so very cold during this night that I did not sleep more than two hours in all.

December 28. We went as before, and after marching one or two leagues we arrived at a kill that, as the savages told me, ran into the land of the Minquaass, and after another mile we met another kill that runs into the South River, as the savages told me, and here a good many otter and beaver are caught. This day we went over many high hills. The wood was full of great trees, mostly birches; and after seven or eight leagues' marching we did the same as mentioned above. It was very cold.

December 29. We went again, proceeding on our voyage; and after marching awhile we came on a very high hill, and as we nearly had mounted it I fell down so hard that I thought I had broken my ribs, but it was only the handle of my cutlass that was broken. We went through a good deal of flat land, with many oaks and handles for axes, and after another seven leagues we found another hut, where we rested ourselves. We made a fire and ate all the food we had, because the savages told us that we were still about four leagues distant from the castle. The sun was near setting as still another of the savages went on to the castle to tell them we were coming. We would have gone with him, but because we felt so very hungry the savages would not take us along with them. The course northwest.

December 30. Without anything to eat we went to the Sinnekens' castle, and after marching awhile the savages showed me the branch of the river that passes by Fort Orange and past the land of the Maquas. A woman came to meet us, bringing us baked pumpkins to eat. This road was mostly full of birches and beautiful flat land for sowing. Before we reached the castle we saw three graves, just like our graves in length and height; usually their graves are round. These graves were surrounded with palisades that they had split from trees, and they were closed up so nicely that it was a wonder to see. They were painted with red and white and black paint; but the chief's grave had an entrance, and at the top of that was a big wooden bird, and all around were painted dogs, and deer, and snakes, and other beasts. After four or five leagues' marching the savages still prayed us to fire our guns, and so we did, but loaded them again directly and went on to the castle. And we saw to the northwest of us, a large river, and on the other side thereof tremendously high land that seemed to lie in the clouds. Upon inquiring closely into this, the savages told me that in this river the Frenchmen came to trade. And then we marched confidently to the castle, where the savages divided into two rows, and so let us pass through them by the gate, which was — the one we went through — three and one-half feet wide, and at the top were standing three big wooden images, carved like men, and with them I saw three scalps fluttering in the wind, that they had taken from their foes as a token of the truth of their victory. This castle has two gates, one on the east and one on the west side. On the east side a scalp was also hanging; but this gate was one and one-half feet smaller than the other one. When at last we arrived in the chief's house, I saw there a good many people that I knew; and we were requested to sit down in the chief's place where he was accustomed to sit, because at the time he was not at home, and we felt cold and were wet and tired. They at once gave us to eat, and they made a good fire. This castle likewise is situated on a very high hill, and was surrounded with two rows of palisades. It was 767 paces in circumference. There are 66 houses, but much better, higher, and more finished than all the others we saw. A good many houses had wooden fronts that are painted with all sorts of beasts. There they sleep mostly on elevated boards, more than any other savages. In the afternoon one of the council came to me, asking the reason of our coming into his land, and what we brought for him as a present. I told him that we did not bring any present, but that we only paid him a visit. He told us that we were not worth anything, because we did not bring him a present. Then he told us how the Frenchmen had come thither to trade with six men, and had given them good gifts, because they had been trading in this river with six men in the month of August of this year. We saw very good axes to cut the underwood, and French shirts and coats and razors; and this member of the council said we were scoundrels, and were not worth anything because we paid not enough for their beaver skins. They told us that the Frenchmen gave six hands of seawan for one beaver, and all sorts of things more. The savages were pressing closely upon us, so that there was hardly room for us to sit. If they had desired to molest us, we could hardly have been able to defend ourselves; but there was no danger. In this river here spoken of, often six, seven, or eight hundred salmon are caught in a single day. I saw houses where 60, 70, and more dried salmon were hanging.

December 31. On Sunday the chief of this castle came back (his name is Arenias), and one more man. They told us that they returned from the French savages, and some of the savages shouted "Jawe Arenias!" which meant that they thanked him for having come back. And I told him that in the night we should fire three shots; and he said it was all right; and they seemed very well contented. We questioned them concerning the situation (of the places) in their castle and their names, and how far they were away from each other. They showed us with stones and maize grains, and Jeronimus then made a chart of it. And we counted all in leagues how far each place was away from the next. The savages told us that on the high land which we had seen by that lake there lived men with horns on their heads; and they told us that a good many beavers were caught there, too, but they dared not go so far because of the French Savages; therefore they thought best to make peace. We fired three shots in the night in honor of the year of our Lord and Redeemer, Jesus Christ.

Praise the Lord above all! In the castle Onneyuttehage, or Sinnekens, January 1, 1635.

January 1, 1635. Another savage scolded at us. We were scoundrels, as told before; and he looked angry. Willem Tomassen got so excited that the tears were running along his cheeks, and the savages, seeing that we were not at all contented, asked us what was the matter, and why we looked so disgusted at him. There were in all 46 persons seated near us; if they had intended to do mischief, they could easily have caught us with their hands and killed us without much trouble; when I had listened long enough to the Indian's chatter I told him that he was a scoundrel himself and he began to laugh, said he was not angry and said "You must not grow so furious, for we are very glad that you came here." And after that Jeronimus gave the chief two knives, two pairs of scissors, and a few awls and needles that we had with us. And in the evening the savages suspended a band of seawan, and some other stringed seawan that the chief had brought with him from the French savages as a sign of peace and the French savages were to come in confidence to them, and he sang: "Ho schene jo ho ho schene I atsiehoewe, atsiehoewe," after which all the savages shouted three times: "Netho, netho, netho!" and after that another band of seawan was suspended and he sang then: "Katon, katon, katon, katon!" and all the savages shouted as hard as they could: "Hy, hy, hy!" After long deliberation they made peace for four years, and soon after everyone returned to his home.

January 2. The savages came to us and told us that we had better stop another four or five days. They would provide for all our needs and have us treated nicely; but I told them we could not wait so long as that. They replied that they had sent a message to the Onondagas — that is, the castle next to theirs — but I told them they nearly starved us. Then they said that in the future they would look better after us, and twice during this day we were invited to be their guests, and treated to salmon and bear's bacon.

January 3. Some old men came to us and told us they wanted to be our friends, and they said we need not be afraid. And I replied we were not afraid, and in the afternoon the council sat here — in all, 24 men — and after consulting for a long while an old man approached me and laid his hand upon my heart to feel it beat; and then he shouted we really were not afraid at all. After that six more members of the council came, and after that they presented me a coat made of beaver skin, and told me they gave it to me because I came here and ought to be very tired, and he pointed to his and my legs; and besides, it is because you have been marching through the snow. And when I took the coat they shouted three times: "Netho, netho, netho!" which means, "This is very well." And directly after that they laid five pieces of beaver skins on my feet, at the same time requesting me that in the future they should receive four hands of seawan and four handbreadths of cloth for every big beaver skin, because we have to go so far with our skins; and very often when we come to your places we do not find any cloth or seawan or axes or kettles, or not enough for all of us, and then we have had much trouble for nothing, and have to go back over a great distance, carrying our goods back again. After we sat for a considerable time, an old man came to us, and translated it to us in the other language, and told us that we did not answer yet whether they were to have four hands of seawan or not for their skins. I told him that we had not the power to promise that, but that we should report about it to the chief at the Manhattans, who was our commander, and that I would give him a definite answer in the spring, and come myself to their land. Then they said to me, "Welsmachkoo," you must not lie and surely come to us in the spring, and report to us about all. And if you will give us four hands of seawan we will not sell our skins to any one but you; and after that they gave me the five beaver skins, and shouted as hard as they could "Netho, netho, netho!" And then, that everything should be firmly binding, they called or sang: "Ha assironi atsimach koo kent oya kayuig wee Onneyatte Onaondaga Koyocke hoo hanoto wany agweganne hoo schene ha caton scahten franosoni yndicho." That means that I could go in all these places — they said the names of all the castles — freely and everywhere. I should be provided with a house and a fire and wood and everything I needed; and if I wanted to go to the Frenchman they would guide me there and back; and after that they shouted again: "NeNetho, netho, netho!" and they made a present of another beaver skin to me, and we ate today bear meat that we were invited to. In this house, belonging to the chief, there were three or four meals a day, and they did not cook in it, as everything was brought in from the other houses in large kettles; for it was the council that took their meals here every day. And whoever then happens to be in the house receives a bowlful of food; for it is the rule here that every one that comes here has his bowl filled; and if they are short of bowls they bring them and their spoons with them. They go thus and seat themselves side by side; the bowls are then fetched and brought back filled, for a guest that is invited does not rise before he has eaten. Sometimes they sing, and sometimes they do not, thanking the host before they return home.

January 4. Two savages came, inviting us to come and see how they used to drive away the devil. I told them that I had seen it before; but they did not move off, and I had to go; and because I did not choose to go alone I took Jeronimus along. I saw a dozen men together who were going to drive him off. After we arrived the floor of the house was thickly covered with the bark of trees for the hunters of the devil to walk upon. They were mostly old men, and they had their faces all painted with red paint — which they always do when they are going to do anything unusual. Three men among them had a wreath on their heads, on which stuck five white crosses. These wreaths are made of deer hair that they had braided with the roots of a sort of green herb. In the middle of the house they then put a man who was very sick and who was treated without success during a considerable time. Close by sat an old woman with a turtle shell in her hands. In the turtle shell were a good many beads. She kept clinking all the while, and all of them sang to the measure; then they would proceed to catch the devil and trample him to death; they trampled the bark to atoms so that none of it remained whole, and wherever they saw but a little cloud of dust upon the maize, they beat at it in great amazement and then they blew that dust at one another and were so afraid that they ran as if they really saw the devil; and after long stamping and running one of them went to the sick man and took away an otter that he had in his hands; and he sucked the sick man for awhile in his neck and on the back, and after that he spat in the otter's mouth and threw it down; at the same time he ran off like mad through fear. Other men then went to the otter, and then there took place such foolery that it was quite a wonder to see. Yes; they commenced to throw fire and eat fire, and kept scattering hot ashes and red-hot coal in such a way that I ran out of the house. Today another beaver skin was presented to me.

January 5. I bought four dried salmon and two pieces of bear bacon that was about nine inches thick; and we saw thicker, even. They gave us beans cooked with bear bacon to eat today, and further nothing particular happened.

January 6. Nothing particular than that I was shown a parcel of flint stones wherewith they make fire when they are in the forest. Those stones would do very well for firelock guns.

January 7. We received a letter from Marten Gerritsen, dated from the last of December; it was brought by a Sinneken that arrived from our fort. He told us that our people grew very uneasy about our not coming home, and that they thought we had been killed. We ate fresh salmon only two days caught, and we were robbed today of six and a half hands of seawan that we never saw again.

January 8. Arenias came to me to say that he wanted to go with me to the fort and take all his skins to trade. Jeronimus tried to sell his coat here, but he could not get rid of it.

January 9. During the evening the Onondagas came. There were six old men and four women. They were very tired from the march, and brought with them some bear skins. I came to meet them, and thanked them that they came to visit us; and they welcomed me, and because it was very late I went home.

January 10. Jeronimus burned the greater part of his pantaloons, that dropped in the fire during the night, and the chief's mother gave him cloth to repair it, and Willem Tomassen repaired it.

January 11. At ten o'clock in the morning the savages came to me and invited me to come to the house where the Onondagas sat in council. "They will give you presents"; and I went there with Jeronimus; took our pistols with us and sat alongside of them, near an old man of the name of Canastogeera, about 55 years of age; and he said: "Friends, I have come here to see you and to talk to you;" wherefore we thanked him, and after they had sat in council for a long time an interpreter came to me and gave me five pieces of beaver skin because we had come into their council. I took the beaver skins and thanked them, and they shouted three times "Netho!" And after that another five beaver skins that they laid upon my feet, and they gave them to me because I had come into their council-house. We should have been given a good many skins as presents if we had come into his land; and they earnestly requested me to visit their land in the summer, and after that gave me another four beaver skins and asked at the same time to be better paid for their skins. They would bring us a great quantity if we did; and if I came back in the summer to their land we should have three or four savages along with us to look all around that lake and show us where the Frenchmen came trading with their shallops. And when we gathered our fourteen beavers they again shouted as hard as they could "Zinae netho!" and we fired away with our pistols and gave the chief two pairs of knives, some awls, and needles; and then we were informed we might take our departure. We had at the time five pieces of salmon and two pieces of bear bacon that we were to take on the march, and here they gave a good many loaves and even flour to take with us.

January 12. We took our departure; and when we thought everything was ready the savages did not want to carry our goods — twenty-eight beaver skins, five salmon, and some loaves of bread — because they all had already quite enough to carry; but after a good deal of grumbling and nice words they at last consented and carried our goods. Many savages walked along with us and they shouted, "Alle sarondade!" that is, to fire the pistols; and when we came near the chief's grave we fired three shots, and they went back. It was about nine o'clock when we left this place and walked only about five leagues through two and a half feet of snow. It was a very difficult road, so that some of the savages had to stop in the forest and sleep in the snow. We went on, however, and reached a little cabin, where we slept.

January 13. Early in the morning we were on our journey again, and after going seven or eight leagues we arrived at another hut, where we rested awhile, cooked our dinner, and slept. Arenias pointed out to me a place on a high mountain, and said that after ten days' marching we could reach a big river there where plenty of people are living, and where plenty of cows and horses are; but we had to cross the river for a whole day and then to proceed for six days more in order to reach it. This was the place which we passed on the 29th of December. He did us a great deal of good.

January 14. On Sunday we made ready to proceed, but the chief wished to go bear hunting and wanted to stop here but, because it was fine weather, I went alone with two or three savages. Here two Maquas Indians joined us, as they wanted to go and trade elk skins and satteeu.

January 15. In the morning, two hours before daylight, after taking breakfast with the savages, I proceeded on the voyage, and when it was nearly dark again the savages made a fire in the wood, as they did not want to go farther, and I came about three hours after dark to a hut where I had slept on the 26th of December. It was very cold. I could not make a fire, and was obliged to walk the whole night to keep warm.

January 16. In the morning, three hours before dawn, as the moon rose, I searched for the path, which I found at last; and because I marched so quickly I arrived about nine o'clock on very extensive flat land. After having passed over a high hill I came to a very even footpath that had been made through the snow by the savages who had passed this way with much venison, because they had come home to their castle after hunting; and about ten o'clock I saw the castle and arrived there about twelve o'clock. Upward of one hundred people came out to welcome me, and showed me a house where I could go. They gave me a white hare to eat that they caught two days ago. They cooked it with walnuts, and they gave me a piece of wheaten bread a savage that had arrived here from Fort Orange on the fifteenth of this month had brought with him. In the evening more than forty fathoms of seawan were divided among them as the last will of the savages that died of the smallpox. It was divided in the presence of the chief and the nearest friends. And in the evening the savages gave me two bear skins to cover me, and they brought rushes to lay under my head, and they told us that our kinsmen wanted us very much to come back.

January 17. Jeronimus and Tomassen, with some savages, joined us in this castle, Tenotogehage, and they still were all right; and in the evening I saw another hundred fathoms of seawan divided among the chief and the friends of the nearest blood.

January 18. We went again to this castle, I should say from this castle on our route, in order to hasten home. In some of the houses we saw more than forty or fifty deer cut in quarters and dried; but they gave us very little of it to eat. After marching half a league we passed through the village of Kawaoge, and after another half league we came to the village of Osquage. The chief, Ohquahoo, received us well, and we waited here for the chief, Arenias, whom we had left in the castle Tenotoge.

January 19. We went as fast as we could in the morning, proceeding on the march; and after going half a league we arrived at the third castle, named Sochanadisse, and I looked around in some of the houses to see whether there were any skins. I met nine Onondagas there with skins, that I told to go with me to the second castle, where the chief, Taturot, I should say Tonewerot, was at home, who welcomed us at once, and gave us a very fat piece of venison which we cooked; and when we were sitting at dinner we received a letter from Marten Gerritsen, brought us by a savage that came in search of us, and was dated January 18. We resolved to proceed at once to the first castle, and to depart on the morrow for Fort Orange, and a good three hours before sunset we arrived at the first castle. We had bread baked for us again, and packed the three beavers we had received from the chief when we had first come here. We slept here this night and ate here.

January 20. In the morning, before daylight, Jeronimus sold his coat for four beaver skins to an old man. We set forth at one hour before daylight, and after marching by guess two leagues the savages pointed to a high mountain where their castle stood nine years before. They had been driven out by the Mohicans, and after that time they did not want to live there. After marching seven or eight leagues we found that the hunters' cabins had been burned, so we were obliged to sleep under the blue sky.

January 21. We proceeded early in the morning, and after a long march we took a wrong path that was the most walked upon; but as the savages knew the paths better than we did they returned with us, and after eleven leagues' marching we arrived, the Lord be praised and thanked, at Fort Orange, January 21, anno 1635.

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