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Traditions of the Seneca

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The Seneca and Huron, or Wyandot, originated along the St. Lawrence, where they lived peaceably for a great many years, but were embroiled in war by a Seneca lady, who refused a Wyandot for husband, on the ground that he had taken no scalps in his time. To gain her affections he laid in ambush, killed her brother, and threw his scalp in her lap. Instead of winning her, the two tribes were compelled to take up the hatchet against each other.

The Wyandot moved away; the Seneca followed, and wherever they met both were decimated. Through three generations they and their descendants fought, whipping each other along the lakes, over western New York, northern Pennsylvania and Ohio. At length the war ceased, from fear of extermination only; the Wyandot settling in the northwest, while the Seneca settled down in the northeast-both owing allegiance to the Iroquois confederacy. Such is the tradition.


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Ohio Annals; Dayton, Ohio, 1876

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