Neutral Attawandaron... What Happen to Them?
To understand what happen to the Neutral Attawandaron, a chronological time chart of their records reveals the narrow time window in which this powerful Nation fell. In southern Ontario one can do a floating classroom rafting trip on the Grand River to learn more.
1615 Etienne Brule was held captive and released by Five Nations to the Neutrals. He lived among the Neutrals a short time.
1616 Champlain states over 4,000 Neutral warriors came against the Mascoutens.
1623 Neutral attack a Huron village
1625 Etienne Brule returned among the Neutrals and had a wife within the Neutrals… his daughter may have been a medicine woman.
1626 Dallion lived among Neutrals for a couple of months, made a diction of the language, but was brought back under guard because Neutral were going to kill him
1629 Neutral population was equal to the combined population of Hurons & Five Nations combined. The Neutrals were twice as large as the
, Petun and Susquehannock combined. Erie
1630 Recorded epidemics among Neutrals
1634 Jesuits said Neutrals were still more numerous then the Hurons
1638 Epidemics among all Iroquoian nations of Small pox and Cholera. Coureurs de Bois bring small pox to Neutrals.
1639 Severe famine among Neutrals… Neutrals sold their children to Huron for corn. Wenrehoron (part of Neutrals) on
side … 600 killed by Iroquois…flee to Neutrals and Hurons. Also called Awenrehronon (Panther Tribe) lived east of Genesee River … part of a confederation between Erie & Neutral but not supported when attacked by Iroquois so fled to live among Neutrals Erie
1640 There are 40 Neutral villages with a population of 12,000 people total. Neutrals recovering from sickness (cholera & smallpox), famine and war. About this time the neutrality position coveted by the Neutrals is falling apart. In Nov til March…two priests Brebeuf & Chaumonot lived in vain among the Neutrals for 5 months. They also record more of the language. No one has found these recorded notes… only about 3 Neutral words are presently known.
Sixty Neutrals were found during this winter caught out in a snowstorm... frozen to death.
1641 A record of 2 converted Neutrals to Roman Catholicism. And the Neutrals bring back over 100 Mascouten prisoners from the west.
1642 Neutrals return with over 170 Mascouten prisoners. This is also the year the Five Nations start major attack against the Hurons.
1643 Two thousand Neutral & Ottawa warriors against the Mascouten fort of 900 warriors, the Neutrals took 800 captives, burned 50 of the Mascouten’s best warriors, poked out the eyes of the old men and girdled their mouths so they could not eat and left them to wander and die. (These Mascoutens were called “Nation du feu” and were bigger then the Huron, Neutral, Petun & Five Nations combined.) Also the discovery of the Neutral curing stones by Gendron a French surgeon… called Erie Stones. Also the Iroquois have now accumulated over 300 muskets in trade with the Dutch.
1645 One hundred Neutrals visit Huron camp… surprised at chapel and invite Jesuits to come back among them. There is also a rumor at this time: The Iroquois are digging the grave of the great Neutral nation, and the war cry of the Seneca will be the mourning funeral for the Neutral dead.
1647 Aondironnons attacked by Seneca nations but Neutrals did nothing. Seneca attack and destroy a Neutral town to avenge a Seneca Warrior that was allowed to be captured in Neutral territory in sight of a village by a Huron war party tracking him…he was tortured & killed. Neutrals make an alliance with Andastes.
1648 Neutrals scared of Iroquois …hand over Huron fugitives seeking asylum with them to the Iroquois. Iroquois looking for a reason to attack Neutrals.
1649 Major Iroquois attack on Huron Confederacy… Hurons fall and Brebeuf is killed Dispersed Hurons settling among Neutrals. Open war between Neutral and Five Nations. Neutrals ask Jesuits in
for arms against the Iroquois. A war counselor of the Onondaga called Shonnonkeri approached the Neutral many times to do combat battles to keep each side fit and the warriors not idle. The Neutrals of the Eagle Clan kept refusing, but finally agreed. In a fight the Neutrals captured a Seneca warrior… tortured and killed him. Quebec
1650 As a result of the killing… 1,600 Seneca and Onondaga attacked a major
, slaughtered and took women as wives. Other story said the Senecas attacked because the Neutral would not return an escaped Seneca prisoner among the Neutrals. Teotondiaton is the name of the town that fell. Jesuits record being at Notre Dame des Anges Camp of the Neutrals. Neutral & Susquehannock ally to fight Mohawk & Seneca. Neutrals retaliated and killed 200 Seneca warriors and tortured 50 prisoners. Iroquois have also crushed the Petun to the northwest of the Neutrals. Neutral Town
1651 The best of the 5 Nations warriors return to Neutral land and take out a town of 2000 Neutrals… as a result of this fierce attack, the other Neutral villages flee. The defeated Neutrals flee to the Christian Mohawks near
, others with the Seneca, some with the Montreal and Algonquin Erie
1652 Susquehannock, Andastes and Neutrals attack the Seneca. They invaded deep into Seneca territory. Seneca send their women to the Cayuga for protection. Jikonsaseh the Neutral Peace Queen living near
Niagara is captured and protected by the Seneca.
1653 Three day meeting records 800 Neutral & 1200 Petun (2,000 warriors) with Algonqin near the Sault Ste Marie. At straits of Mickinaw. The French called the Neutrals that attended the “Huron Neutres… on west
near shore of Lake Huron Green Bay, Wisconsin
1660 Neutral presence still recorded around
1669 There is a record of the Onondaga town called Gandoga and a couple of surrounding towns being predominately populated by captured Neutrals.
1690 The Huron, Tionnontates (Petun) & Attawandaron remnant are being called the Wyandot
1712 The Deleware nation is defeated by Cayuga… became sub tribe… could not war without Five Nations permission. This is the year the Tuscarora join the Iroquois to become the Six Nations.
1715 (approx) The
of Battle Lake was recorded on Wyandot wampum belt… Erie
“Twenty Wyandot and two Chippewa canoes landed at Long Point, and their scouts located a large party of Seneca at Big Creek. The Wyandots were discovered, but escaped to warn their group. The Wyandots then paddled out to deep water to escape the Seneca. The Seneca came out in canoes with war whoops… both group-chiefs exchanged threats, then the Seneca fired muskets. The Wyandot returned fire… then a hand to hand combat in canoes. The Wyandot were victorious. And only a few Seneca escaped. The Wyandot found a Seneca boy hiding under a basket in one canoe… and adopted him into their tribe”.
1775 The Seneca came near
to attack the Wyandot and met with the Wyandot to parley telling how they were always defeated the Wyandot in the past. Wyandot chief then has old man come out, who tells the Seneca that he was a boy captured in the defeat of the Seneca at Long Point. He then shows the Seneca a wampum belt of Beaver given to the Wyandot by the Seneca after their defeat… it was called “the Battle of Lake Erie”. As a result the bragging Seneca left silently from lodge Detroit
1780 John Kenjockety was a Neutral captured and adopted by Seneca… he was known as a man of influence and character among the Seneca
1892 Only about 368 “full blooded Indians” remain of the 40,000 Petun, Neutral and Huron of the 1650’s.
If wishing a hiking classroom to learn about First Nations plants and trees visit this link.
A Neutral Attawandaron village grindstone (1651 or earlier) along the Grand River