|12,000+ (450 in New York;|
5,000 in Oklahoma;
7,000 in Ontario)
|Regions with significant populations|
| Canada ( Ontario),|
( New York, Oklahoma)
|Cayuga, English, other Iroquoian languages|
|Kai'hwi'io, Kanoh'hon'io, Kahni'kwi'io, Longhouse, Handsome Lake, Christianity|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Seneca Nation, Onondaga Nation, Oneida Nation, Mohawk Nation, Tuscarora Nation, other Iroquoian peoples|
The Cayuga (Cayuga: Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫʼ, "People of the Great Swamp") was one of the five original constituents of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois), a confederacy of Native Americans in New York. The Cayuga homeland lies in the Finger Lakes region along Cayuga Lake, between their league neighbors, the Onondaga to the east and the Seneca to the west. Today Cayuga people belong to the Six Nations of the Grand River First Nation in Ontario, and the federally recognized Cayuga Nation of New York and the Seneca-Cayuga Tribe of Oklahoma.
Political relations between the Cayuga, the British, and the Thirteen Colonies during the American Revolution were complicated and variable, with Cayuga warriors fighting on both sides (as well as abstaining from war entirely). Most of the Iroquois nations allied with the British, in part hoping to end encroachment on their lands by colonists. In 1778, various Iroquois bands, oft allied with British-colonial loyalists (Tories) conducted a series of raids along the frontier from Connecticut to New York and into south-central Pennsylvania threatening much of the Susquehanna Valley. From the revolutionary government's point of view in Philadelphia, several of these were atrocities, and in the early summer that body proceeded to order Washington to send regiments to quell these disturbances.
Consequently, in 1779, General George Washington of the Continental Army appointed General John Sullivan and James Clinton to lead the Sullivan Expedition, a retaliatory military campaign designed to unseat the Iroquois Confederacy and prevent the nations from continuing to attack New York militias and the Continental Army.The campaign mobilized 6200 troops and devastated the Cayuga and other Iroquois homelands, destroying 40-50 villages. Those destroyed included major Cayuga villages such as Cayuga Castle and Chonodote (Peachtown). The expedition, with attacks from the spring through the fall, also destroyed the crops and winter stores of the Iroquois, to drive them out of the land. Survivors fled to other Iroquois tribes, or to Upper Canada. Some were granted land there by the British in recognition of their loyalty to the Crown.
Following the end of the war, the Central New York Military Tract was established in order to grant land bounties to veterans. The tract originally included a Cayuga reservation surrounding the north end of Cayuga Lake, but the reservation was given up a few years later in a treaty with the state.
Some Seneca and Cayuga had left the area earlier even as Tuscarora were migrating north in the early decades of the 1700s, going west of the Alleghenies to the long depopulated Ohio Country lands; settling in Western Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Eastern Ohio. These tribes became known as the Mingo or "Black Mingo", for they had a bad reputation, so were able to take in their kin after that systematic bloodletting in 1779. After the Sullivan Campaign, more Cayuga joined them, as well as some other bands of Iroquois who left New York before the end of the Revolutionary War. As the American Revolution was nearing its end, settlers resumed trekking west of the Alleghenies in a trickle that by 1810, became a flood. Other eastern Amerindians, joined by eastward remnants of Susquehannock and large groups of Delaware peoples had also traveled the ancient trails through the gaps of the Allegheny to found settlements such as Kittanning (village) and others in the Ohio Valley. Only weakened cobbled together tribes, such as the Mingo, were in the land, which was still mostly empty; creating a situation drawing settlers west in increasing numbers. By 1831 those Indians left in the lands east of Ohio were encouraged by bigotry, and at times forcibly removed to the Indian Territory, in what became Oklahoma. Their remnants, consequently, the Seneca-Cayuga Tribe of Oklahoma are a federally recognized tribe.
On November 11, 1794, the (New York) Cayuga Nation (along with the other Haudenosaunee nations) signed the Pickering Treaty with the United States, by which they ceded much of their lands in New York to the United States, forced to do so as allies of the defeated British. It was the second treaty the United States entered into. It recognized the rights of the Haudenosaunee as sovereign nations. The Pickering Treaty remains an operating legal document; the U.S. government continues to send the requisite gift of muslin fabric to the nations each year.
The state of New York made additional treaties with the tribes but failed to get them ratified by the Senate. As it lacked the constitutional authority to deal directly with the tribes, individual tribes have sued for land claims since the late 20th century, charging New York had no authority for their actions. The state rapidly arranged sales of more than 5 million acres (20,000 km2) of former Iroquois lands at inexpensive prices to encourage development in the state. It also granted some western lands to war veterans in lieu of pay. Speculators bought up as much land as they could and resold it to new settlers. Land-hungry Yankees from New England flooded into New York in waves of new settlement, as did some settlers from the Mohawk Valley. Immigrants also came from the British Isles and France after the war.
Today, there are three Cayuga bands. The two largest, the Lower Cayuga and Upper Cayuga, still live in Ontario, both at Six Nations of the Grand River, a reserve recognized by the Canadian government. Two federally recognized tribes of Cayuga constitute the third band in the United States: the Cayuga Nation of New York in Seneca Falls, New York, and the Seneca-Cayuga Tribe of Oklahoma.
The Cayuga Nation of New York does not have a reservation. Members have lived among the Seneca Nation on their reservation.Since the late 20th century, they have acquired some land in their former homeland.
The Cayuga Nation of New York filed an action on November 19, 1980, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York to pursue legislative and monetary restitution for land taken from it by the State of New York during the 18th and 19th centuries. New York had entered into land sales and leases with the Cayuga Nation after the signing of the Treaty of Canandaigua after the American Revolutionary War. Its failure to get approval of the United States Senate meant the transactions were illegal, as the state had no constitutional authority to deal directly with Indian nations. The Treaty of Canandaigua holds that only the United States government may enter into legal discussions with the Haudenosaunee.
In 1981, the Seneca-Cayuga Tribe of Oklahoma was added as a plaintiff in the claim. A jury trial on damages was held from January 18-February 17, 2000. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the Cayuga Indian Nation of New York and the Seneca-Cayuga Tribe of Oklahoma, finding current fair market value damages of $35 million and total fair rental value damages of $3.5 million. The jury gave the state a credit for the payments it had made to the Cayuga of about $1.6 million, leaving the total damages at approximately $36.9 million. On October 2, 2001, the court issued a decision and order which awarded a prejudgment interest award of $211 million and a total award of $247.9 million.
Both the plaintiffs and the defendants appealed this award. On June 28, 2005, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit rendered a decision that reversed the judgment of the trial court. It ruled in favor of the defendants, based on the doctrine of laches . Essentially the court ruled that the plaintiffs had taken too long to present their case, when it might have been equitably settled earlier.
The Cayuga Indian Nation of New York sought review of this decision by the Supreme Court of the United States, which was denied on May 15, 2006. The time in which the Cayuga Indian Nation could ask the U.S. Supreme Court to rehear the case has passed.
The Nation reclaimed its first land on July 17, 1996, by purchasing 14 acres (57,000 m2) in Seneca Falls, within their 64,000 acres (260 km2) land claim area. On August 2, 1997 a dedication was held where members of all the Iroquois Confederacy nations were present. This purchase began the return of the Cayuga People to their ancestral homelands. They planted a pine tree at this dedication as a symbol that the Cayuga People are still alive and wanting to return. The elder women of the Cayuga Nation broke the ground and planted the pine tree to welcome the return of their people to their home territory.
In December 2005, the S.H.A.R.E. (Strengthening Haudenosaunee-American Relations through Education) Farm (including a house) was signed over to the Cayuga nation by United States citizens who had purchased and developed the 70-acre (280,000 m2) farm in Aurora, New York. This is the first property which the Cayuga Nation has owned since after being forced to cede its lands after the Revolutionary War. It is the first time they have lived within the borders of their ancestral homeland in more than 200 years. The Cayuga continue to debate having the Bureau of Indian Affairs take this land into trust for them. They have been developing projects featuring indigenous planting, cultivation of herbs and medicinal plants, wild plant collection and a seed saving program.
In 1995 there were nearly 450 Cayuga members in New York. In the 21st century, there are about 4,892 combined members of the Cayuga-Seneca Nation in Oklahoma.
The total number of Iroquois is difficult to establish. About 45,000 Iroquois lived in Canada in 1995, more than 39,000 in Ontario and the remainder in Quebec. Among the six nations and federally recognized units in the United States, total tribal enrollment in 1995 numbered about 30,000. In the 2000 US Census, 45,217 respondents identified solely as Iroquois (but this does not mean they were enrolled as members); and 80,822 as having Iroquois ancestry.
The Tuscarora are a Native American tribe and First Nations band government of the Iroquoian-language family, with members today in New York, USA, and Ontario, Canada. They coalesced as a people around the Great Lakes, likely about the same time as the rise of the Five Nations of the historic Iroquois Confederacy, also Iroquoian-speaking and based then in present-day New York.
The Tonawanda Indian Reservation is an Indian reservation of the Tonawanda Seneca Nation located in western New York, United States. The band is a federally recognized tribe and, in the 2010 census, had 693 people living on the reservation. The reservation lies mostly in Genesee County, extending into Erie and Niagara counties. It is bordered by the Towns of Alabama, Pembroke, Newstead, and Royalton.
Oil Springs Reservation or Oil Spring Reservation is an Indian reservation of the federally recognized Seneca Nation that is located in southwestern New York, United States. As of the 2010 census, the Indian reservation had one resident; in 2005 no tribal members had lived on the property. The reservation covers about one square mile (2.6 km2), divided between the present-day counties of Allegany and Cattaraugus. The reservation is northwest of the village of Cuba. It is bordered by the Town of Cuba and the Town of Ischua.
The 1779 Sullivan Expedition, also known as the Sullivan-Clinton Expedition, or Sullivan Campaign was an extended systematic military campaign conducted by the United States during the American Revolutionary War against Loyalists ("Tories") and the four Nations of the Haudenosaunee which had sided with the British. It has been described by some historians as a genocide due to the magnitude and totality of its violence towards and destruction of the Haudenosaunee.
The Seneca are a group of Indigenous Iroquoian-speaking people native to who historically lived south of Lake Ontario, one of the five Great Lakes in North America. Their nation was the farthest to the west within the Six Nations or Iroquois League (Haudenosaunee) in New York before the American Revolution.
The Phelps and Gorham Purchase was the purchase in 1788 of 6,000,000 acres (24,000 km2) of land in what is now western New York State from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for $1,000,000 (£300,000), to be paid in three annual installments, and the pre-emptive right to the title on the land from the Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy for $5000 (£12,500). A syndicate formed by Oliver Phelps and Nathaniel Gorham bought preemptive rights to 6,000,000-acre (24,000 km2) in New York, west of Seneca Lake between Lake Ontario and the Pennsylvania border, from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
The Onondaga people are one of the original five constituent nations of the Iroquois (Haudenosaunee) Confederacy in northeast North America. Their traditional homeland is in and around present-day Onondaga County, New York, south of Lake Ontario. They are known as Gana’dagwëni:io’geh to the other Iroquois tribes. Being centrally located, they are considered the "Keepers of the Fire" in the figurative longhouse that shelters the Five Nations. The Cayuga and Seneca have territory to their west and the Oneida and Mohawk to their east. For this reason, the League of the Iroquois historically met at the Iroquois government's capital at Onondaga, as the traditional chiefs do today.
The Oneida are an American Indian tribe and First Nations band. They are one of the five founding nations of the Iroquois Confederacy in the area of upstate New York, particularly near the Great Lakes.
John Abeel III, known as Gaiänt'wakê or Kaiiontwa'kon in the Seneca language and thus generally known as Cornplanter, was a Dutch-Seneca war chief and diplomat of the Wolf clan. As a chief warrior, Cornplanter fought in the French and Indian War and the American Revolutionary War. In both wars, the Seneca and three other Iroquois nations were allied with the British. After the war Cornplanter led negotiations with the United States and was a signatory of the Treaty of Fort Stanwix (1784). He helped gain Iroquois neutrality during the Northwest Indian War.
Handsome Lake was a Seneca religious leader of the Iroquois people. He was a half-brother to Cornplanter, a Seneca war chief.
The Susquehannock people, also called the Conestoga by English settlers, were Iroquoian-speaking Native Americans who lived in areas adjacent to the Susquehanna River and its tributaries ranging from its upper reaches in the southern part of what is now New York, through eastern and central Pennsylvania west of the Poconos and the upper Delaware River, with lands extending beyond the mouth of the Susquehanna in Maryland along the west bank of the Potomac at the north end of the Chesapeake Bay.
The Military Tract of Central New York, also called the New Military Tract, consisted of nearly two million acres (8,100 km2) of bounty land set aside in Central New York to compensate New York's soldiers after their participation in the Revolutionary War.
There are four treaties of Buffalo Creek, named for the Buffalo River in New York.
The Treaty of Canandaigua also known as the Pickering Treaty and the Calico Treaty, is a treaty signed after the American Revolutionary War between the Grand Council of the Six Nations and President George Washington representing the United States of America.
The Cayuga Nation of New York is a federally recognized tribe of Cayuga people, based in New York, United States. Other organized tribes with Cayuga members are the federally recognized Seneca-Cayuga Tribe of Oklahoma and the Canadian-recognized Six Nations of the Grand River First Nation in Ontario, Canada.
The Tonawanda Seneca Nation is a federally recognized tribe in the State of New York. They have maintained the traditional form of government led by sachems selected by clan mothers. The Seneca are one of the original Five Nations of the Haudenosaunee or Iroquois Confederacy. Their people speak the Seneca language, an Iroquoian language.
The Seneca–Cayuga Nation is one of three federally recognized tribes of Seneca people in the United States. It includes the Cayuga people and is based in Oklahoma, United States. The tribe had more than 5,000 people in 2011. They have a tribal jurisdictional area in the northeast corner of Oklahoma and are headquartered in Grove. They are descended from Iroquoian peoples who had relocated to Ohio from New York in the mid-18th century.
The Iroquois or Haudenosaunee are an indigenous confederacy in northeast North America. They were known during the colonial years to the French as the Iroquois League, later as the Iroquois Confederacy and to the English as the Five Nations, comprising the Mohawk, Onondaga, Oneida, Cayuga, and Seneca. After 1722, they accepted the Tuscarora people from the southeast into their confederacy, as they were also Iroquoian-speaking, and consequently became known as the Six Nations.
The Six Nations land cessions were a series of land cessions by the Iroquois "Six Nations" and Delaware Indians in the late 17th and 18th centuries in which the natives ceded nearly all of their vast conquered lands as well as ancestral land within and adjacent to the northern British colonies of North America. The land cessions covered most or all of the modern states of New York, Pennsylvania, western Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia, Kentucky, northeastern Ohio and extended marginally into northern Tennessee and North Carolina. The lands were bordered to the west by the Algonquin tribal lands of Ohio Country, Cherokee lands to the south, and Creek and other southeastern tribal lands to the southeast.
The Mingo people are an Iroquoian-speaking group of Native Americans made up of peoples who migrated west to the Ohio Country in the mid-18th century, primarily Seneca and Cayuga. Anglo-Americans called these migrants mingos, a corruption of mingwe, an Eastern Algonquian name for Iroquoian-language groups in general. Mingos have also been called "Ohio Iroquois" and "Ohio Seneca".