(ScSlp: dp. 1,461; 1. 198'9"; b. 33'; dr. 13'; s. 10.5 k.; cpl. 160; a. 2 11", 4 32-pdrs.; cl. Mochican)
The first Mohican a steam sloop of war, was laid down by Portsmouth Navy Yard, N.H., in August 1858, Iaunched 15 February 1859; and commissioned 29 November 1869, Comdr. S. W. Godon in command.
Assigned to the African Squadron, Mohican departed Portsmouth 19 January 1860 for the South Atlantic and for the next year and one-half cruised on patrol against pirates and slavers off the coasts of Africa and at times Brazil. On 8 August 1860, the sloop captured slaver Erie off the Congo and forced that ship to unload its captive cargo at Monrovia, Liberia. She remained on station until sailing for home 13 August 1861 and following her arrival at Boston, 27 September, sailed to join Flag Officer Samuel F. DuPont's South Atlantic Blockading Squadron off Sandy Hook, N.J. Departing Norfolk 29 October for Port Royal, S.C., as part of the largest U.S. naval squadron assembled to that time, the sloop steamed in the battleline 7 November as DuPont's squadron pounded Fort Walker on Hilton's Head, forcing the Confederates to abandon the emplacement, thereby allowing a combined Union Army and Navy Force to land and occupy this important base of operations. Mohican was hit six times by Confederates shells in this engagement, suf~ering superficial hull damage and having one man killed and seven wounded.
The steamer sailed to Charleston Bar at the end of November accompanying part of the "Stone Fleet," and stood by while these ships were scuttled, 18 and 19 December, to obstruct channels to Confederate ports in the Carolinas and Georgia. The warship then operated off
the southern coast with steamer Bienvillie searching for Confederate shipping, capturing British blockade runner Arroto off Fernandina, Fla., 25 February 1862. In company with sloop Pocahontas and schooner Potomska, she took possession of St. Simon's and Jekyl Islands near Brunswick, Gal, 9 and 10 March, but found them deserted because of a general Confederate withdrawal from the seacoast and coastal islands. In early April, Hohioan reconnoitered the Wilmington River to determine the best way of obstructing it, helping to cut off Fort Pulaski from Savannah as part of the proJected attack on that fort and then operated out of St. Simon's Bay, Gal, on blockade until ordered to Philadelphia 29 June. The ship decommissioned there 9 July.
Mohican recommissioned 17 October 1862 and 5 days later was ordered on special service chasing the Confederate raiders Florida and Alabama. Sailing immediately, the steamer cruised on station from the Cape Verde Islands to the Cape of Good Hope operating oft the coasts of Africa and South America into 1864. She returned to Philadelphia without contacting the elusive enemy 14 April 1864 and was decommissioned there 2 weeks later.
Reactivated 7 October, the warship was assigned to Rear Adm. David Dixon Porter's North Atlantic Blockading Squadron and cruised off Wilmington, N.C., through December. She then joined the rest of the squadron in the attack on Fort Fisher 24 and 25 December, firing over 500 shells in the fierce bombardment. Mohican resumed her blockade, now off Beautort, N.C., until the second attack on Fort Fisber, 13 to 15 .January 1865. As part of the first line of battle, the sloop bombarded the Confederate bastion throughout the 3-day campaign, supplying covering fire for the landings on the second and third days until the fort was taken on the 15th. During the engagement, Mohican` lost one man killed and ten wounded.
The warship was ordered to Rear Adm. John Dahlgren's South Atlantic Blockading Squadron 17 January, carrying dispatches for Gen. William T. Sherman. She began blockading off Ossabaw, S.C., 3 February and remained there until ordered north on the 24th. The steam sloop decommissioned at Boston Navy Yard 26 April 1865 and remained there repairing until recommissioned 18 August 1866. The sloop was then assigned to the Pacific Squadron and departed 6 September for the west coast, steaming via St. Thomas, ports in Brazil, Montevideo, 'round Cape Horn, to Valparaiso, joining Rear Admiral Dahlgren in Powhatan at Callao, Peru, 25 April, 1867 and then steaming up the Pacific coast, through Panama and the coast of Mexico, arriving San Francisco 28 July.
Mohican remained on the Pacific coast through 1872 cruising to South America in the fall and winter of 1867 and then decommissioning from 3 April 1868 to 7 June 1869 at Mare Island Navy Yard. The warship made one cruise to Siberia and the northwest coast during the summer of 1869 and then departed 11 October to cruise to Hawaii, returning 11 January 1870. She then made a second cruise to the Pacific Northwest and in May sailed to patrol o ff Mexico. On 17 June 1870, after a 2 day chase Mohican attacked Mexican pirate steamer Foru~ard, which had terrorized the coast for the previous month.. In a fierce gun battle between Mohican's armed boats and the outlaw vessel off Mazatlan, the pirate was boarded and captured. The sloop continued her cruise as far south as Callao through August 1871, returning on the 25th. The warship made one more cruise along the coast of Mexico to Panama from October to April 1872. Mohican decommissioned at Mare Island 25 June 1872 and by the end of the year had sunk at her moorings. She was subsequently towed on to the Mare Island mud flats and broken up.
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THE MAHICAN CHANNEL . Forts, Tales, and Legends
Workers digging a foundation behind the Holly Tree Inn unearthed the 250-year-old remains of two soldiers this month, and a historian says 100 more still lie in unmarked graves in the area. Skeletal remains that archaeologists believe are those of young men who died in the Battle of Lake George were uncovered when the owners of the Holly Tree, at Route 9 and Birch Street, started preparing the ground for cottages. Gerry Bradfield, curator at the privately owned Fort William Henry, said he has an eyewitness account of a mass burial of 126 men on this site in the shadow of Prospect Mountain. French and British forces clashed here during the French and Indian War. They were fighting for control of the lake, part of a strategic waterway from Canada to Albany. Warren County Sheriff Larry Cleveland said the contractor called his office when the bones were found, but deputies quickly determined the site was not a crime scene. Finding grave sites is really not that unusual around here," Cleveland said. David Klinge of Hartgen Archaeological Associates of Rensselaer said a physical anthropologist reviewed the remains and examined the site for signs of European burial practices. Bradfield has pictures from 1965, when two dozen of the fallen soldiers' brothers-in-arms were uncovered when the motel was built. The men likely were killed during one of the three clashes between French, British and Indian forces on Sept. 8, 1755, the curator said. The current owners of the Holly Tree, where rooms are $50 a night midweek, would not talk about the find. Vinnie Crocitto, whose mother owned the hotel for 30 years, said he remembers builder George Hayward explaining the history of the site. A newspaper report from 1965 shows Hayward holding a skeleton and posing for a photograph with Jim McGee, who at the time was the curator of Fort William Henry. Buttons from French uniforms were discovered in the sandy soil at the time. Crocitto, now the manager of a nearby Super 8, said his mother put a new level on the hotel, adding seven rooms, but "we never touched the ground." Bradfield said such discoveries throughout Lake George were common as hotels were built in the 1950s and '60s. Those who found them gave the bones to Bradfield's uncle, Edwin McEnaney, a co-founder of the fort. Eventually, they were buried under the marker "John Doe" in the fort cemetery. The original fort was razed in 1757, less than two years after it was built. Dozens of remains were unearthed when work began to build a replica in 1953. The bones were on display for 40 years, according to plaques in the cemetery. They were laid to rest in 1993. In 2001, a set of remains, which had been scalped, was found under a sidewalk. The skeleton was reinterred later that year. Although the state Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation was notified of the bones at the Holly Tree, spokeswoman Kathy Jimenez said she expects the state to have little to do with them. "We don't have direct involvement in this case, we spoke to the owner and encouraged him to hire an archaeologist . we recommend that if the remains need to be removed, they do so sensitively and rebury them," Jimenez said. She explained that if remains are found on public land or if public money is used for construction work, the state often orders an archaeological survey in historically sensitive areas. Such is the case of the Lake George Forum, a convention center and skating rink under construction across the street from the Holly Tree. No remains were found there, Bradfield said. In the case of an unmarked burial, Jimenez said her department can only make recommendations. Bradfield said he has offered to bury the skeletons with the others in the fort cemetery. He said the owners seem anxious to do so. Jim Anselmo was filling in for his daughter, the regular manager at the Holly Tree, on Wednesday while workers poured concrete in the back. The owners bought the cottages behind the Colonial Manor, which was razed to make way for the Lake George Forum, and they plan to move them across Route 9 to sit on the new concrete. In the meantime, motels and a batting cage mark the anonymous graves of young men who died here before the country was born.
FORT EDWARD, FORT TICONDEROGA, AND THE HUDSON VALLEY
The Mahican Channel, once the heart of Mohican country, was the primary route of travel from Albany to Montreal. This New York vein pulsates with the waters of the Hudson River, Lake George, and Lake Champlain. It was the strategic corridor that hosted the most intense struggles of the colonial wars. Second to the Hudson is the Mohawk River, its primary tributary. Flowing through the valley of central New York, south of the Adirondack Mountains, the Mohawk River traverses southeasterly until it unites with the great Hudson River, north of Albany. These two picturesque river valleys are marked by rolling hills, forests, creeks, lakes, farmland, and mountains. Both meander through a land of intense beauty!
Complimenting this gorgeous country is its rich history, perhaps an unparalleled combination. Here amidst the splendor of wilderness, were the bloody battlefields and razed settlements, the seemingly unending string of outposts and fortresses. While the temptation to include photos and narratives of the many forts and battlefields of the entire Upstate New York country is hard to resist, and the region is a 'beautiful feature of war in the Americas', it is 'best to keep our sight fixed on our duty'! To that end, we must remain on the trail of the Mahican Channel . but do explore the many other historic regions as well!
This is all that is left of Fort Edward today .
At the location known as The Great Carrying Place - where the Hudson River, after escaping the Adirondack Mountains, bends sharply to the south, towards Albany and New York City beyond - a succession of posts and forts, ultimately to become Fort Edward, were to occupy the ground. It was a strategic place, as anyone using the great north/south waterway of the Hudson and the lakes to the north, George and Champlain, needed to travel from, or to, here by land. Thus, the name . bateaux, canoes, supplies, all needed to be transported by carrying them. So, at the time of LOTM , Fort William Henry stood at the northern end of the portage, the southern end of Lake George, while Fort Edward stood at the bend, the southern terminus . a distance of approximately 17 miles.
Built in 1755, Fort Edward is most notable for its association with Robert Rogers and his Rangers. Adjacent to the Fort, on an island situated at the great bend in the Hudson River, was the base camp of Rogers' Rangers during the French and Indian War. There was on this site, named Rogers Island, a hospital, a blockhouse, barracks, and Ranger huts. A hub of activity throughout the French and Indian War, Fort Edward was abandoned in 1766 by the British when they removed themselves to Crown Point. Left in disrepair, the fort fell to ruin and no portion of the once crucial military base exists today.
The shocking murder of Jane McCrea twenty years after the siege of Fort William Henry enflamed colonial opposition and served as literary inspiration for James Fenimore Cooper. Jane's tragic fate was instantly seized upon by Patriot propagandists and myths have overshadowed reality, yet the known facts do parallel, somewhat, Cooper's fictional account of the George Road ambush and the cave captivity.
Jane McCrea was the twenty-six year old daughter of a Presbyterian minister and fianc�e of David Jones, a Loyalist officer serving under the British General, "Gentleman Johnny" Burgoyne. (Burgoyne did not get his nickname for his fine manners, but rather his fondness for fine living!) On July 27th, 1777, while visiting at the home of Mrs. McNeil a few miles north of Fort Edward, Jane and her companion were captured by an Indian patrol party of Burgoyne's. These two daughters of Scotsmen had a false sense of security, believing themselves immune from such danger due to their attachment to the British camp. The Indian abductors separated into two groups, each with one of the women. When news of the abduction reached the British camp, Jane's fianc�e sent another Indian patrol to escort his betrothed safely to the encampment.
Jane's captor was a Huron named Le Loup (a French given name meaning "the wolf" he is also known as "Panther"). Le Loup had hopes of ransom money in return for the young woman. The two groups met north of the point where the Hudson River flows easterly before continuing south, directly across from Rogers' Island. The escort party's arrival thwarted the Huron's plot and they proceeded to guide Miss McCrea toward the British camp. Le Loup, angry with the interference, attempted to retake his captive. An argument ensued and during the melee, the Huron spitefully dragged Jane from her horse, shot her, and artfully 'removed her tresses.' Jane's scalp was brought to the British camp where it was identified by the dead woman's Tory fianc�e. Despite the loud clamoring for justice, Burgoyne refused to punish the Huron, knowing he would lose his Indian allies if he did.
Miss McCrea became an instant martyr. It is said that her death and the outrage that accompanied it greatly aided the raising of colonial militia troops, which in turn helped to defeat General Burgoyne following the Battle of Saratoga. So enshrined in martyrdom was Jane McCrea that she was buried not once, but three times! Her first grave was at the site of a Patriot camp, about two miles south of Fort Edward. She was then reburied at the Fort's cemetery. The much dragged about Jane McCrea was finally reinterred in 1852 at Union Cemetery, just north of the McNeil home where she first began her ordeal.
In this historic event, we have a Huron who goes by two names, one of which is French, who treacherously takes captive two women, one of whom is romantically involved with a British officer. When ordered to release his hostage, he reacts with hostile defiance. Unwilling to give up his property as 'the warrior has not a scalp,' the disgusted Huron shoots the defenseless damsel in front of her would-be rescuers. In Cooper's Last of the Mohicans , the treacherous villain is also a Huron. He too is dualistically named, Magua and the French "Le Renaud" (the fox), and like Le Loup, takes two women captive. These sisters are, as were Jane McCrea and Mrs. McNeil, a Scotsman's daughters. When Magua hears the unavenging decision of the sachem in regard to his victims' fate, he angrily departs. Like Jane McCrea, Magua's captive is spitefully murdered. (In the novel there is no hopeless, desperate, cliff-flying suicide Cora is stabbed when Uncas attempts her rescue!) And like Jane McCrea, Magua's victims are captured in the vicinity of Fort Edward, at nearby Glen's Falls. The Last of the Mohicans then, in its own way, continues the legend of Jane McCrea's murder.
Jane McCrea shares more than murder with legend. She is a kindred soul to another ill-fated Duncan. Buried near her is Duncan Campbell of Inverawe, himself the object of a haunting legend!
"Nemo me impune lacessit"
-Nobody provokes me without being hurt.
The Legend of Ticonderoga
Duncan Campbell of Inverawe was a Scottish highlander, major of the 42nd Regiment of Foot, or the Royal Highlanders, . also known as the Black Watch. Major Campbell served in America during the French and Indian War, destined for a place of ominous beckoning.
Several years before the outbreak of the French and Indian War, Duncan Campbell, Laird of Inverawe Castle, experienced the arrival of some unusual guests. One evening Duncan heard a banging at the castle door. Upon opening it, he was greeted by a man with torn clothing and a blood smeared kilt. The stranger confessed that he had killed a man during a brawl and begged for asylum at Inverawe. Duncan promised to shelter the man and tell no one of his presence. " Swear on your dirk !" begged the fugitive, and so Duncan swore. He hid the stranger then soon heard another loud banging at the door. There were two men this time who announced that Duncan's cousin Donald had been murdered and they were searching for his murderer. In honor of the oath of secrecy to which he was sworn, Campbell feigned ignorance of the matter. With great regret that he had been obliged to violate the bonds of clanship on account of his sworn word, Duncan fell into an uneasy sleep. He was awakened thereafter by the appearance of Donald's ghost standing at his bedside, crying " Inverawe! Inverawe! Blood has been shed. Shield not the murderer !"
The following morning, an unnerved Laird Duncan went to his cousin's murderer and declared he could no longer hide him. " You have sworn on your dirk !" the fugitive challenged. He was right, of course. Campbell's Celtic honor precluded him from breaking his word, yet his clan ties could not be offended, as the visitation of his slain kinsman so spiritedly reminded him. He decided to hide his burdensome ward in a nearby cave, believing it the best compromise to the conflicting loyalties. That night, the ghastly ghost reappeared and again cried, " Inverawe! Inverawe! Blood has been shed. Shield not the murderer !" Duncan hurried at dawn to the cave where he found the kin-slayer to be gone. Apprehensively, Duncan Campbell retired that evening and again the unavenged Donald appeared. This night he did not repeat the reprimand of dishonor but spoke this puzzling phrase, " Farewell, Inverawe! Farewell, till we meet at Ticonderoga !" Thereafter, Laird Duncan Campbell was no more haunted by his cousin's ghost . but by his words. Ticonderoga ? The meaning of this strange name was a mystery Duncan could not solve, nor could he forget.
With the arrival of the respected Black Watch regiment in America, Major Duncan Campbell soon learned the regiment's place of destination. The 42nd was to partake in an assault on . Ticonderoga ! Horrified to hear the mysterious name uttered by Donald revealed as his destination, the Major feared his doom. Familiar with the eerie tale, Campbell's fellow Highlanders tried to alleviate his anxiety. As they reached Ticonderoga on the eve of battle, they falsely spoke, " This is not Ticonderoga we are not there yet this is Fort George ." The morning of July 8th arrived, the appointed time for Duncan Campbell's rendezvous with fate. The Major greeted his Highlander brothers with his own declaration. "I have seen him! You have deceived me! He came to my tent last night! This is Ticonderoga! I shall die today !"
With resolve of fate, Major Duncan Campbell and the Black Watch fought valiantly and with great loss of life. Campbell's arm was shattered during the ill-fated assault whereupon he was taken to Fort Edward for amputation. He died nine days later, on July 17, 1758. The Laird of Inverawe was buried at Fort Edward's cemetery, but later reinterred at Union Cemetery . near Jane McCrea.
There is more to the legend of Duncan Campbell and Highlander apparitions but we shan't tell it . yet.
And then there is the headless ghost of a French officer who is said to wander the environs of Old Fort Niagara!
History . you gotta love it!
At the southern end of Lake George, southeast of Fort William Henry, and three miles from the site of Fort George is a tranquil spot called Bloody Pond. The infamous name was borne of the Battle of Lake George in 1755.
In the summer of that year, Sir William Johnson headed an expedition through the Hudson Valley. Its objective was to capture Fort St. Frederic at Crown Point, the launching point for French and Indian raids into English frontier settlements. Johnson's forces included Provincials, as well as Mohawks led by the aged Thoyanoguen, also known as King Hendrick. A camp was established at The Great Carrying Place and construction of storehouses and a fort was begun. Johnson and 1,500 troops continued northward toward the lake. Arriving at Lac Du St. Sacrement on August 28, Johnson renamed the waters Lake George a declaration of English possession.
As Johnson camped at the southern end of Lake George, preparing for the march against Crown Point, a French force led by Baron Dieskau was moving southward out of Crown Point its destination was the new outpost under construction at The Great Carrying Place called Fort Lyman. On September 7, a party of Mohawk scouts arrived at Johnson's camp with news of the French movement southward. On the morning of September 8, a detachment of Provincial troops led by Colonel Ephraim Williams, along with 200 Mohawks led by Hendrick was sent to halt the French advance. Along the road from Fort Lyman to Lake George, the English troops marched into a well planned ambush. Both Colonel Ephraim Williams and King Hendrick were killed and the Provincial contingent was nearly wiped out. The inexperienced, panicked survivors retreated to Johnson's camp where preparations were immediately made for defense.
During the subsequent battle at the lake, both the English and French commanders were wounded. Dieskau angrily chided his Canadians and Indians, whom he thought too undisciplined, and the assault was carried on by the regulars. General Phineas Lyman assumed command of the English troops and though the French regulars kept up a persistent firing at the center of the English defenses, the distance was too far off. Lyman's troops drove the French from the battlefield by the afternoon and captured the wounded General Dieskau who was left behind by his forces.
Though the English were victorious, the loss of so many, especially Col. Williams and King Hendrick, stole the fire from their fight. Johnson abandoned the plan to advance against Crown Point, remaining instead at the lake. He renamed the Lyman fort at the bend of the Hudson River Fort Edward and commenced the construction of another fort that would two years later gain tragic infamy Fort William Henry.
The four - times wounded Baron Dieskau, while a prisoner at the Lake George camp, became the object of Mohawk fury and English outrage. Grieved over the loss of King Hendrick and many warriors at the ambush, the Mohawks wanted to kill Dieskau and several times came close to doing so. The prisoner's life was protected by the intervention of William Johnson, but his honor was not. It was alleged that the French were firing poisoned musket balls and an angered General Lyman daily paraded past Dieskau's tent with reproaches and insults. According to the surgeon Thomas Williams, brother of the slain Col. Williams, the French musket balls had been " rolled up with a dissolution of copper and yellow arsenic ."
Following the ambush and defeat of Colonel Ephraim Williams' detachment, many Canadians and Indians tarried to loot and scalp the corpses of the unfortunate Provincials and Mohawks. They tarried too long . thus they were surprised and overtaken by more Provincial troops from Fort Lyman (Fort Edward). The bodies of the slain Canadians and Indians were said to have been tossed unceremoniously into the nearby pond. The bloody sepulcher is no longer a pond, having been covered with sawdust from a local sawmill. What is marked as "Bloody Pond" today is not the actual pond of battle fame.
(Note: Major George Bray has pointed out that not only is the town's reference to the existing pond as "Bloody Pond" incorrect, the nearby plaque mounted on the rock erroneously states the Battle of Lake George to be Robert Rogers' first engagement. The famous ranger was not present at the battle.)
An aerial view of Fort Ticonderoga (Carillon) on Lake Champlain .
Fort Carillon, later known as Fort Ticonderoga, was the southernmost French fort. Built in 1756 at the southern end of Lake Champlain on the site of a fortified post, the fort was an important link in the Hudson - Champlain route to Canada, as well as the sentinel fort of the portage between Lake Champlain and Lake George.
Its strategic location made it a highly coveted possession in a region that had become a perpetual meeting place of large armies. During the French and Indian War, the French held the fort successfully, even against the 1758 assault led by James Abercromby with a force five times the strength of General Montcalm's French defenders, until 1759. General Jeffrey Amherst took the fort that year and it remained a British possession until Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys took it in 1775.
Ticonderoga, or 'Cheonderoga' is an Iroquoian name meaning "between two great waters". There is less certainty regarding the French name 'Carillon.' While its translation means 'chime' or 'peal' - said to refer to the water sound at Lake George's outlet, there is also speculation that the name was derived from a French officer named Philippe de Carrion. The officer had erected a log structure at the site as a smuggling post along the Albany-Montreal corridor. Whatever the origin of name, the structure survived as a French fortress as long as Montcalm survived as a French commander in New France. It fell to the English the same year the Marquis did. What visitors see today is the restored fort, reconstructed upon the ruins of the original Carillon/Ticonderoga.
The remains of Fort George at the Lake George Battleground .
(Photo courtesy of Sam Fruner)
In the summer of 1759, two years after the siege of Fort William Henry, Major General Jeffrey Amherst, while on his expedition ". to make an irruption into Canada with the utmost vigor and despatch " via Ticonderoga and Crown Point, arrived at the southern end of Lake George. General Amherst had been building fortified outposts every three to four miles along the road to Fort Edward. On the hill where Col. Monro had made the entrenched camp during the '57 siege, Amherst began construction of a new fort. With the reassignment of those working on the fort to Crown Point, the construction was necessarily scaled back. In 1760 Amherst described Fort George as a bastion which " mounts 15 guns, is very small and a bad defense, but t'was the shortest, cheapest, & best method of finishing what was begun of the Fort. "
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Who are the Mohican Indians? (with picture)
The Mohican Indians, also referred to as Mahican Indians, are a Native America tribe originally from the Hudson River Valley. The tribe's original home was along the Delaware River, which they named the Mahicannituck. They called themselves the Muhheconneok, which translates to the people of the waters that are never still. According to official tribe history, before Europeans settled in the area, the Mohican territory spread north to south from Lake Champlain to Manhattan and west to east from Schoharie Creek in New York all the way to Massachusetts, Vermont and Connecticut.
European contact with the Mohican Indians began in 1609 when a Dutch trader by the name of Henry Hudson traveled into the territory. The Mohicans established trade with the Dutch early on, but the area quickly became volatile. Much of the conflict stemmed from battles over the area's dwindling fur trade between the Mohicans and the Mohawks, a rival Indian tribe. Additionally both tribes would become involved in conflicts between Dutch, English and French.
By the early 1700s, the Mohicans were driven from the area. Traveling east along the Hudson River they eventually settled in areas that would become the states Massachusetts and Connecticut. With land being taken over both by the rival Mohawk tribe and European nations, the Mohicans found themselves relying more on the goods of Europeans. Many also turned to Christianity during this time as well. Many of these Mohicans, along with members of other American Indian tribes who were converted to Christianity, found home in the town of Stockbridge. Indians in this this town, which resides in what is now Massachusetts, fought side by side with European troops in both the French-Indian and American Revolutionary War.
Over time the constant moving, conflict and deadly diseases such as measles and smallpox, which were brought over by the Europeans, decimated the Mohican numbers. The remaining forces were not enough to fight off the settlers, who later demanded the Indian tribes leave Stockbridge, even after they helped them fight the British soldiers during the American Revolutionary War. The Mohican Indians moved further west, eventually settling in what is now Wisconsin. Together with the Munsee Indians they make up the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Indians, a large Native American reservation in Bowler, Wisconsin.
Mohican culture has left an indelible mark on Western civilization. In 1826, author James Fenimore Cooper published his book "The Last of the Mohicans," which has been adapted into film several times. A more recent sign of the tribe's influence is what the British call a "mohican" haircut, shaded on the sides with a stripe in the middle. Ironically, in the United States this haircut is called a mohawk, named after the Mohicans' rival tribe.
What is the Mohican Tribe? (with pictures)
The Mohican Tribe, also known as Mahican, is a band of American Indians currently based around Wisconsin. The tribe originally settled in the Hudson River Valley, spanning an area that today includes parts of Vermont, Connecticut, and upstate New York. Mohicans speak an American Indian language called Algonquin.
Before the arrival of white settlers, the Mohican tribe were hunter-gatherers. They lived in a richly wooded and wild area populated with otters, deer, black bears, wild turkeys, oysters, and fish. Men hunted for meat and fish, and women gathered wild rice, berries, and nuts. Women also smoked meat and fish to store and tended to gardens. During the long, cold winters, Mohicans told stories, made clay pots, and repaired their tools to prepare for spring.
The Mohican tribe first made contact with European settlers in 1609, when a Dutchman named Henry Hudson began exploring what would become known as the Hudson River. Hudson was intrigued by the Mohican's supply of beautiful furs. Word of the Mohican tribe's riches spread, and Dutch merchants established a trading post in the area in 1614. Thus began an infiltration of European culture that slowly eroded the traditional practices of the Mohican tribe.
Mohicans sold their furs for beads, tools, and guns. They stopped making traditional crafts. English merchants replaced Dutch traders, and began building fences and demarcating property lines in what had been open wilderness. Europeans also brought devastating diseases hundreds of thousands of Native Americans succumbed to smallpox, measles, and scarlet fever.
In 1738, a missionary named John Sergeant started a village named Stockbridge in the Mohican lands. He converted many Mohicans to Christianity. Mohican beliefs and customs continued to be replaced by European ones.
When the Revolutionary War broke out, the Mohicans agreed to fight for the colonists. The war brought them nothing but trouble, however, as fighting slowly encroached on their land. Mohican fighters returned to their territory, only to find it had been given over to white settlers.
After the war, the New York government ruled all Indians must be removed from their lands. The Mohicans then began a long migration westward, seeking a new home. The community broke up and scattered to Indiana, Kansas, and Oklahoma, but many Mohicans reformulated as the Stockbridge-Munsee Community and based themselves in Wisconsin.
Most people know the Mohican tribe from James Fenimore Cooper's book The Last of the Mohicans, which has been made into a movie several times. The Stockbridge-Munsee Mohican descendants point out, however, that their community has outlived the book's predictions. The tribe is "alive and thriving" in Northern Wisconsin.
On their reservation, the Mohican tribe runs a casino, a community center, and a golf course. The community also began a historical society in the 1970s to research and preserve Mohican history. They sponsor research trips back to the original Stockbridge village and preserve artifacts in the Arvid E. Miller library located on the reservation.
Mohican ScSlp - History
Age appropriateness: The Last of the Mohicans is officially rated "R" for violence in the United States. This violence is war-related, however, and not gratuitous. Check with your school's policy, but most teachers should not have problems showing this movie in class to high school students (the novel on which it is based is on many high school reading lists).
Creators and stars: Colm Meaney, Daniel Day-Lewis, David Schofield, Dennis Banks, Dylan Baker, Edward Blatchford, Eric D. Sandgren, Eric Schweig, James Fenimore Cooper, Jared Harris, Jodhi May, John L. Balderston, Justin M. Rice, Mac Andrews, Madeleine Stowe, Malcolm Storry, Mark A. Baker, Mark Joy, Michael Mann, Mike Phillips, Patrice Chereau, Pete Postlethwaite, Russell Means, Steven Waddington, Terry Kinney, Tim Hopper, Tracey Ellis, Wes Studi
Accuracy: The Last of the Mohicans is fairly close to the James Fenimore Cooper novel on which it is based. Differences between the novel/script and the historical record are detailed in the review below.
Review: The Last of the Mohicans is adapted from the James Fenimore Cooper novel (1826) of the same name. It is set in New York Province during the Seven Years' War (1756-1763, known as the French and Indian War in the United States). During this war, the English and French fought for control of lands in North America. More particularly, this film depicts the defense of Fort William Henry by Lt. Col. George Monro in 1757, and the ambush of his troops by Indian allies of the French that took place following his surrender.
Fictional elements of Cooper's story are created to explain why France's Indian allies attacked the English following their peaceful surrender. Falsehoods include the creation of two daughters for Monro (in fact, he is not known to ever even have married). The characters of Magua, Nathaniel (Hawkeye), Uncas, and Chingachgook are likewise fictional. The Mohicans (Mahicans) are real, and still exist today (you can check them out online here). The Mohicans depicted in this film may have been the last in New York at the time, since the group (affiliated with the Mohawk) had migrated southwest to Pennsylvania by the late 18th century due to the westward movement of white settlers. Furthermore, Lt. Col. Monro did not die during the ambush he passed away several months later of natural causes.
Despite its big budget, lavish production, and critical acclaim, "Last of the Mohicans" is littered with anachronisms and goofs, too many to list here. For those who enjoy looking for movie goofs, keep your eyes peeled for buses in the distance, telephone poles, and crew members in crowd scenes.
“The Last of the Mohicans” – Accuracy Report
Assessment Task Film Study “Last of the Mohicans” Question: “To what extent is the film ‘The Last of the Mohicans’ an accurate portrayal of historical events? ” “The last of the Mohicans”, the film, was based on a novel by James Fenemore Cooper. It is a fictional story set in an historical time. The movie is based on ‘The French and Indian War’ also known as ‘The 7 Year War’. The war started in 1756 and ended in 1763. The French and English were fighting each other for the land between their two settlements and the possession of America.
At the start of the movie, it tells you that the year is 1757, the third year of the war. But in fact 1757 was the second year of the war because the war started in 1756. This means that the third year of the war would have to have been 1758. The countries involved in the war were England and France plus the Native Americans (Huron, Ohawa and Mohawks). This was accurately portrayed in the film. The cause of conflict between the two countries was the fact that the English started to setting up farms in French Territory and the French weren’t to happy.
There had been conflict before the war but this was the strew that broke the camels back. Some Native American tribes decided to side with the countries fighting by making deals with them. The Mohawks decided to side with England but the Huron and the Ohawa tribes decided to fight with the French because the French had always been better to the Native Americans then the English had been. The locations and their names were accurate in the film. The three forts were Fort William Henry, Fort Edward and Alburney. They were all placed inside the fought over land between the French and English settlement.
“The Last of the Mohicans” Historical Accuracy
In the film there were three Military Leaders. These were General Webb (British), Colonel Munro (British) and General Montcalm (French). It is a historical fact that these three men did exist during this time. The movie’s terrain was accurate to what it was like back then. They were situated in the mountains with lots of tree cover which made it hard too fight because it gave the troops more places to hide and made it easy to ambush a moving party. The Costumes of the actors and actress were accurate to what they wear back in those times.
The Military wore the red coats with their black hats, black boots and black pants. The colonists were wearing everyday farming clothes that were worn and old and the Native Americans were wearing animal skins, feathers and strange hair styles as they did back then. The Native Americans used knives and spears as weapons, which were all hand made by their people like they would have been back then. The Troops and colonists used shoot guns, swords and those guns with the swords on the end, which would have been shipped over from England and France.
The weapons were accurate to those that would have been used back then. The Native Americans and France used a different style of fighting to what the English used. The English would just stand in line and fire, making it easy for them to be shot because they were not protected. Where as the French and Native Americans would hide behind trees, bushes, etc, and fire from were they where. This way the English wouldn’t know where they were and they had protection. We get to see in the movie that the Native Americans were very brutal in the way they killed people and they way they scalped their victims.
The English and French killed people as easily and quickly as possible. The Native Americans liked to make people suffer. But the Native Americans were more caring when it came to the way they respected the environment. Because they lived off the land, they respected the land and I tried to give back to the land. A good example of this in the film was at the start when they killed the dear. Once they had killed it, they prayed for it and thank it for giving them food to keep them alive.
They called it brother like it was part of their family. The British Army didn’t care much for the colonists. For all they were concerned, the colonists were there for their convenience. They were there to help them fight and win the war. That’s all they cared about. The colonists weren’t happy by this. They were promised by Munro that they could go help their families if they were under attack. But when this happened, Munro would not let them go. The colonists were extremely mad. They hated the British Army for this.
But the British Army and the colonists needed to stick together to fight the war. Otherwise they would not win. If they went their separate ways, they would not have enough power to defeat the French. The French were nice to the Native Americans when they first settled but when it came to the war, all they wanted was for them to fight for the French and they didn’t care about the rest of the deal they made with them. The English were the same but they had treated the Native Americans worse when they had settled, so not many Native Americans liked them.
At Fort William Henry, the English didn’t have enough man power to beat the French. With some of the colonist sneaking out to help their familles and no back up from Fort Edward, they had to surrender because they could not win. The French promised the English that they would become prisoners of war and would be safely lead back to Fort Edward were they could stay with their families and not be harmed. But the Native Americans didn’t like this. They were promised that they could kill the English and scalp them but the French went back on their word.
The Native Americans were extremely mad and ambushed the English Party while they were being escorted to Fort Edward. The Native Americans killed the English and the French and scalped them. Even though the movie was historical correct in most ways, there was still some fiction in it. It is true that there was an existence of a tribe called the Mohicans (later to disappear due to European settlement) but there is no proof that there was an existence of the three heroes (Nathaniel/Hawkeye, Uncas and Chingachcook) said to be the last of the Mohicans.
Munro didn’t send for his daughters in the middle of the war so they couldn’t have been any romance between the eldest daughter and Nathaniel. And finally, they portrayed the English to be the heroes and the French to be the villains, when really both of the countries were in the wrong so none of them were heroes. The film is an accurate portrayal of historical events, as long as you take out the main characters, the love story and the hero and villains aspect. Everything else is historically correct, from what they wore, to what the terrain was like, to the countries involved, to what weapons they used.
Bidwell Lore – Repatriating Stockbridge Mohican History One Document at a Time
Welcome to week 53 of Bidwell Lore! In our last email, I said that we would be moving on to a history of Monterey and Tyringham this week, but I want to postpone that series for one more week in order to share a Berkshire Eagle Op-Ed by our friend Rick Wilcox. In it he discusses a vote coming up to repatriate Stockbridge Mohican Proprietorship documents.
Repatriating Stockbridge Mohican History One Document at a Time
At the June 12th Annual Town Meeting Stockbridge residents will be asked to vote on the final resting place for three Stockbridge Mohican Proprietorship documents two of which were recently rescued from the “Old Town Hall” by Chris Marsden.
Although the Town Clerk’s Office and the Stockbridge Library Museum & Archives both harbor a number of primary source documents relating to the Stockbridge Mohican mission, the Stockbridge-Munsee Community Band of the Mohicans in Wisconsin do not possess a single document from their time in Stockbridge during the years 1737 to 1790. Hopefully the following narrative will help to provide a historical context for the documents.
On May 7, 1737 Jonathan Belcher, the colonial governor of the Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England, issued a Charter for Indian Town on behalf of King George the Second, which was not to exceed six miles square, (36 square miles or 23,040 acres) encompassing land that is now the towns of Stockbridge and West Stockbridge. 1/60 of Indian Town or 384 acres was to be given to the Missionary the Rev. John Sergeant, 1/60 to Timothy Woodbridge, the school master and 1/60 to each of the four English families allowed to settle there, who were chosen to provide a Christian example for the Mohican families.
During the 18 th century in Massachusetts proprietorships were a common method for creating townships in the Berkshires. Those townships were created when members of the Stockbridge Mohican Tribe sold a tract of land to English colonists. The English colonizers in turn, after becoming proprietors of that plantation (unimproved land), would sell smaller tracts of land to individuals who wanted to live on the land. Indian Town was unique in that the Tribe was granted their plantation by Royal Charter and as such a proprietorship was not needed.
However, not long after Indian Town was incorporated into the Town of Stockbridge, English colonists began to obtain land through questionably legal transactions, or outright theft, causing the Sachems of the tribe to petition the Great and General Court of the Province for help. By June of 1750 the Provincial government created an Indian Proprietorship with the hope of protecting the Stockbridge Mohicans from further dispossession of their land. Although proprietorships were subject to Provincial and later Massachusetts State law, they were distinct entities and not a part of town government.
From shortly after the Indian Proprietorship was formed in 1750 until just weeks before his death on May 10 th , 1774, Timothy Woodbridge, the school master to the Indian Town Mission, acted at the request of the Stockbridge Mohicans as the clerk of the Indian Proprietorship.
On April 25 th, 1774, Woodbridge presided over his last Mohican Proprietorship meeting at William Goodrich’s inn. By a vote of the Tribal Sachems Timothy Woodbridge’s son Enoch Woodbridge was chosen as clerk of the Indian Proprietorship. William Goodrich and Samuel Brown, Jr. were chosen to take care of the Tribal “out lands”- that is land not yet distributed by the Proprietorship. That turned out to be only the first step in a move to control the land transfers from Mohican to English ownership.
The Stockbridge Mohicans trusted Timothy Woodbridge enough that they referred to him by the honorific Father in one of their petitions to the colonial government. The Sachems’ relationship with Timothy Woodbridge may have caused them to believe that his son Enoch would be cut from the same cloth. Unfortunately, that was not the case. By May 30 th Enoch Woodbridge and Samuel Brown, Jr. were able to convince the proprietors to cede control of the daily business of the proprietorship and accept by vote the following language taken from the Indian Proprietor’s Records: “The Proprietors met according to adjournment and voted, chose, Constituted and appointed Samuel Brown Junr. Esq. Mr. Enoch Woodbridge Agents & Attorneys for said Proprietors.” The next two pages were filled with legalese, but the essence of the language enabled Enoch and Samuel to gain complete control of the distribution of land.
Likely the Sachems quickly learned that Enoch Woodbridge and Samuel Brown, Jr. were only concerned about acquiring land for themselves and other English colonists and yet it took six long years to undo their agreement. Following the legal requirements of the newly minted Commonwealth of Massachusetts they posted the following notice: A “Proprietors Meeting was called on Monday the 20 th Day of March 1780 at the house of Hendrick Ampaumut for the following Purposes (viz.) First To Chuse a Moderator for said Meeting 2ly To see if the Proprietors will chuse a New Clerk and Proceeded to pass the following Votes (viz.) First Voted and chose Jahleel Woodbridge Moderator. 6ly Voted and Chose Jahleel Woodbridge Esq. Clerk and he was sworn according to law.”
That six years passed before the Indian Proprietors were able to untangle themselves from their arrangement with Enoch Woodbridge and Samuel Brown probably speaks to their inability to find someone they could trust and who would be willing to help undo that agreement. Enoch’s cousin Jahleel Woodbridge seemed to fit that need. Not long after the Tribal Sachems chose Jahleel as clerk in 1780, following legal protocol, they requested a meeting of the proprietors by writing a letter to the clerk. That short letter, which follows, is one of the three documents that Stockbridge residents will vote on at the Annual Town Meeting:
“To Jahleel Woodbridge Esqr.
Sir. We the subscribers request you call a meeting of the Indian Proprietors to examine into the power given here to fore to certain persons as agents for said proprietors, to see how they exercise said power and whether it is expedient to continue or revoke the same, and to do any other business that may thus come under our consideration. Joseph Shauquethquat, Hendrick Aupaumut, Jehoiakim Naunuptonk, John Concopott (Konkapot), Jacob Concopott (Konkapot), Peter Pohqunnoppeet, Andrew Waumauhewhy, Joseph Quennukaut, Billy Notuaqssin, David Naunauneeknuk,”
The second document, likely penned by Jahleel Woodbridge, appears to be a rough draft for meeting minutes that would later be included in the Indian Proprietor Records. Those words either never made it into the Indian Proprietor Records, or they are among “missing” or later destroyed records that were part of the 8,000 acres unaccounted for in the final dispossession of the 23,040 acres making up Indian Town. The third document, the Indian Proprietor Records, contains all of the land grants issued to the members of the tribe by the Mohican proprietors of Stockbridge between 1750 and 1790.
By 1780 the Mohicans were largely dispossessed of their land in Stockbridge and West Stockbridge and by 1783 they began their journey west into New York State to land given to them by the Oneida, walking some 160 miles to New Stockbridge, New York.
Today the Stockbridge-Munsee Community Band of the Mohicans, in their ever-diplomatic way, represent their journey to a new home in Wisconsin using a “many trails” symbol. However, not unlike other Tribes, it was in reality a Trail of Tears. Today they are a thriving community with a deep interest in the history of their homeland, many of whom are direct descendants of the Sachems who signed the above letter. The repatriation of these documents and their arrival in Wisconsin will hopefully be a cause for tears of joy as another piece of Mohican history is reunited with its people.
Lit 2 Go
Cooper, James Fenimore. "Chapter 3." The Last of the Mohicans. Lit2Go Edition. 1826. Web. https://etc.usf.edu/lit2go/26/the-last-of-the-mohicans/237/chapter-3/ >. June 20, 2021.
James Fenimore Cooper, "Chapter 3," The Last of the Mohicans, Lit2Go Edition, (1826), accessed June 20, 2021, https://etc.usf.edu/lit2go/26/the-last-of-the-mohicans/237/chapter-3/ .
&ldquoBefore these fields were shorn and till&rsquod,
Full to the brim our rivers flow&rsquod
The melody of waters fill&rsquod
The fresh and boundless wood
And torrents dash&rsquod, and rivulets play&rsquod,
And fountains spouted in the shade.&rdquo
Leaving the unsuspecting Heyward and his confiding companions to penetrate still deeper into a forest that contained such treacherous inmates, we must use an author&rsquos privilege, and shift the scene a few miles to the westward of the place where we have last seen them.
On that day, two men were lingering on the banks of a small but rapid stream, within an hour&rsquos journey of the encampment of Webb, like those who awaited the appearance of an absent person, or the approach of some expected event. The vast canopy of woods spread itself to the margin of the river, overhanging the water, and shadowing its dark current with a deeper hue. The rays of the sun were beginning to grow less fierce, and the intense heat of the day was lessened, as the cooler vapors of the springs and fountains rose above their leafy beds, and rested in the atmosphere. Still that breathing silence, which marks the drowsy sultriness of an American landscape in July, pervaded the secluded spot, interrupted only by the low voices of the men, the occasional and lazy tap of a woodpecker, the discordant cry of some gaudy jay, or a swelling on the ear, from the dull roar of a distant waterfall. These feeble and broken sounds were, however, too familiar to the foresters to draw their attention from the more interesting matter of their dialogue. While one of these loiterers showed the red skin and wild accouterments of a native of the woods, the other exhibited, through the mask of his rude and nearly savage equipments, the brighter, though sun-burned and long-faced complexion of one who might claim descent from a European parentage. The former was seated on the end of a mossy log, in a posture that permitted him to heighten the effect of his earnest language, by the calm but expressive gestures of an Indian engaged in debate. His body, which was nearly naked, presented a terrific emblem of death, drawn in intermingled colors of white and black. His closely-shaved head, on which no other hair than the well-known and chivalrous scalping tuft was preserved, was without ornament of any kind, with the exception of a solitary eagle&rsquos plume, that crossed his crown, and depended over the left shoulder. A tomahawk and scalping knife, of English manufacture, were in his girdle while a short military rifle, of that sort with which the policy of the whites armed their savage allies, lay carelessly across his bare and sinewy knee. The expanded chest, full formed limbs, and grave countenance of this warrior, would denote that he had reached the vigor of his days, though no symptoms of decay appeared to have yet weakened his manhood.
The North American warrior caused the hair to be plucked from his whole body a small tuft was left on the crown of his head, in order that his enemy might avail himself of it, in wrenching off the scalp in the event of his fall. The scalp was the only admissible trophy of victory. Thus, it was deemed more important to obtain the scalp than to kill the man. Some tribes lay great stress on the honor of striking a dead body. These practices have nearly disappeared among the Indians of the Atlantic states.
The frame of the white man, judging by such parts as were not concealed by his clothes, was like that of one who had known hardships and exertion from his earliest youth. His person, though muscular, was rather attenuated than full but every nerve and muscle appeared strung and indurated by unremitted exposure and toil. He wore a hunting shirt of forest-green, fringed with faded yellow, and a summer cap of skins which had been shorn of their fur. He also bore a knife in a girdle of wampum, like that which confined the scanty garments of the Indian, but no tomahawk. His moccasins were ornamented after the gay fashion of the natives, while the only part of his under dress which appeared below the hunting-frock was a pair of buckskin leggings, that laced at the sides, and which were gartered above the knees, with the sinews of a deer. A pouch and horn completed his personal accouterments, though a rifle of great length, which the theory of the more ingenious whites had taught them was the most dangerous of all firearms, leaned against a neighboring sapling. The eye of the hunter, or scout, whichever he might be, was small, quick, keen, and restless, roving while he spoke, on every side of him, as if in quest of game, or distrusting the sudden approach of some lurking enemy. Notwithstanding the symptoms of habitual suspicion, his countenance was not only without guile, but at the moment at which he is introduced, it was charged with an expression of sturdy honesty.
The hunting-shirt is a picturesque smock-frock, being shorter, and ornamented with fringes and tassels. The colors are intended to imitate the hues of the wood, with a view to concealment. Many corps of American riflemen have been thus attired, and the dress is one of the most striking of modern times. The hunting-shirt is frequently white. The rifle of the army is short that of the hunter is always long.
&ldquoEven your traditions make the case in my favor, Chingachgook,&rdquo he said, speaking in the tongue which was known to all the natives who formerly inhabited the country between the Hudson and the Potomac, and of which we shall give a free translation for the benefit of the reader endeavoring, at the same time, to preserve some of the peculiarities, both of the individual and of the language. &ldquoYour fathers came from the setting sun, crossed the big river, fought the people of the country, and took the land and mine came from the red sky of the morning, over the salt lake, and did their work much after the fashion that had been set them by yours then let God judge the matter between us, and friends spare their words!&rdquo
The Mississippi. The scout alludes to a tradition which is very popular among the tribes of the Atlantic states. Evidence of their Asiatic origin is deduced from the circumstances, though great uncertainty hangs over the whole history of the Indians.
&ldquoMy fathers fought with the naked red man!&rdquo returned the Indian, sternly, in the same language. &ldquoIs there no difference, Hawkeye, between the stone-headed arrow of the warrior, and the leaden bullet with which you kill?&rdquo
&ldquoThere is reason in an Indian, though nature has made him with a red skin!&rdquo said the white man, shaking his head like one on whom such an appeal to his justice was not thrown away. For a moment he appeared to be conscious of having the worst of the argument, then, rallying again, he answered the objection of his antagonist in the best manner his limited information would allow:
&ldquoI am no scholar, and I care not who knows it but, judging from what I have seen, at deer chases and squirrel hunts, of the sparks below, I should think a rifle in the hands of their grandfathers was not so dangerous as a hickory bow and a good flint-head might be, if drawn with Indian judgment, and sent by an Indian eye.&rdquo
&ldquoYou have the story told by your fathers,&rdquo returned the other, coldly waving his hand. &ldquoWhat say your old men? Do they tell the young warriors that the pale faces met the red men, painted for war and armed with the stone hatchet and wooden gun?&rdquo
&ldquoI am not a prejudiced man, nor one who vaunts himself on his natural privileges, though the worst enemy I have on earth, and he is an Iroquois, daren&rsquot deny that I am genuine white,&rdquo the scout replied, surveying, with secret satisfaction, the faded color of his bony and sinewy hand, &ldquoand I am willing to own that my people have many ways, of which, as an honest man, I can&rsquot approve. It is one of their customs to write in books what they have done and seen, instead of telling them in their villages, where the lie can be given to the face of a cowardly boaster, and the brave soldier can call on his comrades to witness for the truth of his words. In consequence of this bad fashion, a man, who is too conscientious to misspend his days among the women, in learning the names of black marks, may never hear of the deeds of his fathers, nor feel a pride in striving to outdo them. For myself, I conclude the Bumppos could shoot, for I have a natural turn with a rifle, which must have been handed down from generation to generation, as, our holy commandments tell us, all good and evil gifts are bestowed though I should be loath to answer for other people in such a matter. But every story has its two sides so I ask you, Chingachgook, what passed, according to the traditions of the red men, when our fathers first met?&rdquo
A silence of a minute succeeded, during which the Indian sat mute then, full of the dignity of his office, he commenced his brief tale, with a solemnity that served to heighten its appearance of truth.
&ldquoListen, Hawkeye, and your ear shall drink no lie. &lsquoTis what my fathers have said, and what the Mohicans have done.&rdquo He hesitated a single instant, and bending a cautious glance toward his companion, he continued, in a manner that was divided between interrogation and assertion. &ldquoDoes not this stream at our feet run toward the summer, until its waters grow salt, and the current flows upward?&rdquo
&ldquoIt can&rsquot be denied that your traditions tell you true in both these matters,&rdquo said the white man &ldquofor I have been there, and have seen them, though why water, which is so sweet in the shade, should become bitter in the sun, is an alteration for which I have never been able to account.&rdquo
&ldquoAnd the current!&rdquo demanded the Indian, who expected his reply with that sort of interest that a man feels in the confirmation of testimony, at which he marvels even while he respects it &ldquothe fathers of Chingachgook have not lied!&rdquo
&ldquoThe holy Bible is not more true, and that is the truest thing in nature. They call this up-stream current the tide, which is a thing soon explained, and clear enough. Six hours the waters run in, and six hours they run out, and the reason is this: when there is higher water in the sea than in the river, they run in until the river gets to be highest, and then it runs out again.&rdquo
&ldquoThe waters in the woods, and on the great lakes, run downward until they lie like my hand,&rdquo said the Indian, stretching the limb horizontally before him, &ldquoand then they run no more.&rdquo
&ldquoNo honest man will deny it,&rdquo said the scout, a little nettled at the implied distrust of his explanation of the mystery of the tides &ldquoand I grant that it is true on the small scale, and where the land is level. But everything depends on what scale you look at things. Now, on the small scale, the &lsquoarth is level but on the large scale it is round. In this manner, pools and ponds, and even the great fresh-water lakes, may be stagnant, as you and I both know they are, having seen them but when you come to spread water over a great tract, like the sea, where the earth is round, how in reason can the water be quiet? You might as well expect the river to lie still on the brink of those black rocks a mile above us, though your own ears tell you that it is tumbling over them at this very moment.&rdquo
If unsatisfied by the philosophy of his companion, the Indian was far too dignified to betray his unbelief. He listened like one who was convinced, and resumed his narrative in his former solemn manner.
&ldquoWe came from the place where the sun is hid at night, over great plains where the buffaloes live, until we reached the big river. There we fought the Alligewi, till the ground was red with their blood. From the banks of the big river to the shores of the salt lake, there was none to meet us. The Maquas followed at a distance. We said the country should be ours from the place where the water runs up no longer on this stream, to a river twenty sun&rsquos journey toward the summer. We drove the Maquas into the woods with the bears. They only tasted salt at the licks they drew no fish from the great lake we threw them the bones.&rdquo
&ldquoAll this I have heard and believe,&rdquo said the white man, observing that the Indian paused &ldquobut it was long before the English came into the country.&rdquo
&ldquoA pine grew then where this chestnut now stands. The first pale faces who came among us spoke no English. They came in a large canoe, when my fathers had buried the tomahawk with the red men around them. Then, Hawkeye,&rdquo he continued, betraying his deep emotion, only by permitting his voice to fall to those low, guttural tones, which render his language, as spoken at times, so very musical &ldquothen, Hawkeye, we were one people, and we were happy. The salt lake gave us its fish, the wood its deer, and the air its birds. We took wives who bore us children we worshipped the Great Spirit and we kept the Maquas beyond the sound of our songs of triumph.&rdquo
&ldquoKnow you anything of your own family at that time?&rdquo demanded the white. &ldquoBut you are just a man, for an Indian and as I suppose you hold their gifts, your fathers must have been brave warriors, and wise men at the council-fire.&rdquo
&ldquoMy tribe is the grandfather of nations, but I am an unmixed man. The blood of chiefs is in my veins, where it must stay forever. The Dutch landed, and gave my people the fire-water they drank until the heavens and the earth seemed to meet, and they foolishly thought they had found the Great Spirit. Then they parted with their land. Foot by foot, they were driven back from the shores, until I, that am a chief and a Sagamore, have never seen the sun shine but through the trees, and have never visited the graves of my fathers.&rdquo
&ldquoGraves bring solemn feelings over the mind,&rdquo returned the scout, a good deal touched at the calm suffering of his companion &ldquoand they often aid a man in his good intentions though, for myself, I expect to leave my own bones unburied, to bleach in the woods, or to be torn asunder by the wolves. But where are to be found those of your race who came to their kin in the Delaware country, so many summers since?&rdquo
&ldquoWhere are the blossoms of those summers!&mdashfallen, one by one so all of my family departed, each in his turn, to the land of spirits. I am on the hilltop and must go down into the valley and when Uncas follows in my footsteps there will no longer be any of the blood of the Sagamores, for my boy is the last of the Mohicans.&rdquo
&ldquoUncas is here,&rdquo said another voice, in the same soft, guttural tones, near his elbow &ldquowho speaks to Uncas?&rdquo
The white man loosened his knife in his leathern sheath, and made an involuntary movement of the hand toward his rifle, at this sudden interruption but the Indian sat composed, and without turning his head at the unexpected sounds.
At the next instant, a youthful warrior passed between them, with a noiseless step, and seated himself on the bank of the rapid stream. No exclamation of surprise escaped the father, nor was any question asked, or reply given, for several minutes each appearing to await the moment when he might speak, without betraying womanish curiosity or childish impatience. The white man seemed to take counsel from their customs, and, relinquishing his grasp of the rifle, he also remained silent and reserved. At length Chingachgook turned his eyes slowly toward his son, and demanded:
&ldquoDo the Maquas dare to leave the print of their moccasins in these woods?&rdquo
&ldquoI have been on their trail,&rdquo replied the young Indian, &ldquoand know that they number as many as the fingers of my two hands but they lie hid like cowards.&rdquo
&ldquoThe thieves are outlying for scalps and plunder,&rdquo said the white man, whom we shall call Hawkeye, after the manner of his companions. &ldquoThat busy Frenchman, Montcalm, will send his spies into our very camp, but he will know what road we travel!&rdquo
&rdquo&rsquoTis enough,&rdquo returned the father, glancing his eye toward the setting sun &ldquothey shall be driven like deer from their bushes. Hawkeye, let us eat to-night, and show the Maquas that we are men to-morrow.&rdquo
&ldquoI am as ready to do the one as the other but to fight the Iroquois &lsquotis necessary to find the skulkers and to eat, &lsquotis necessary to get the game&mdashtalk of the devil and he will come there is a pair of the biggest antlers I have seen this season, moving the bushes below the hill! Now, Uncas,&rdquo he continued, in a half whisper, and laughing with a kind of inward sound, like one who had learned to be watchful, &ldquoI will bet my charger three times full of powder, against a foot of wampum, that I take him atwixt the eyes, and nearer to the right than to the left.&rdquo
&ldquoIt cannot be!&rdquo said the young Indian, springing to his feet with youthful eagerness &ldquoall but the tips of his horns are hid!&rdquo
&ldquoHe&rsquos a boy!&rdquo said the white man, shaking his head while he spoke, and addressing the father. &ldquoDoes he think when a hunter sees a part of the creature&rsquo, he can&rsquot tell where the rest of him should be!&rdquo
Adjusting his rifle, he was about to make an exhibition of that skill on which he so much valued himself, when the warrior struck up the piece with his hand, saying:
&ldquoHawkeye! will you fight the Maquas?&rdquo
&ldquoThese Indians know the nature of the woods, as it might be by instinct!&rdquo returned the scout, dropping his rifle, and turning away like a man who was convinced of his error. &ldquoI must leave the buck to your arrow, Uncas, or we may kill a deer for them thieves, the Iroquois, to eat.&rdquo
The instant the father seconded this intimation by an expressive gesture of the hand, Uncas threw himself on the ground, and approached the animal with wary movements. When within a few yards of the cover, he fitted an arrow to his bow with the utmost care, while the antlers moved, as if their owner snuffed an enemy in the tainted air. In another moment the twang of the cord was heard, a white streak was seen glancing into the bushes, and the wounded buck plunged from the cover, to the very feet of his hidden enemy. Avoiding the horns of the infuriated animal, Uncas darted to his side, and passed his knife across the throat, when bounding to the edge of the river it fell, dyeing the waters with its blood.
&rdquo&rsquoTwas done with Indian skill,&rdquo said the scout laughing inwardly, but with vast satisfaction &ldquoand &lsquotwas a pretty sight to behold! Though an arrow is a near shot, and needs a knife to finish the work.&rdquo
&ldquoHugh!&rdquo ejaculated his companion, turning quickly, like a hound who scented game.
&ldquoBy the Lord, there is a drove of them!&rdquo exclaimed the scout, whose eyes began to glisten with the ardor of his usual occupation &ldquoif they come within range of a bullet I will drop one, though the whole Six Nations should be lurking within sound! What do you hear, Chingachgook? for to my ears the woods are dumb.&rdquo
&ldquoThere is but one deer, and he is dead,&rdquo said the Indian, bending his body till his ear nearly touched the earth. &ldquoI hear the sounds of feet!&rdquo
&ldquoPerhaps the wolves have driven the buck to shelter, and are following on his trail.&rdquo
&ldquoNo. The horses of white men are coming!&rdquo returned the other, raising himself with dignity, and resuming his seat on the log with his former composure. &ldquoHawkeye, they are your brothers speak to them.&rdquo
&ldquoThat I will, and in English that the king needn&rsquot be ashamed to answer,&rdquo returned the hunter, speaking in the language of which he boasted &ldquobut I see nothing, nor do I hear the sounds of man or beast &lsquotis strange that an Indian should understand white sounds better than a man who, his very enemies will own, has no cross in his blood, although he may have lived with the red skins long enough to be suspected! Ha! there goes something like the cracking of a dry stick, too&mdashnow I hear the bushes move&mdashyes, yes, there is a trampling that I mistook for the falls&mdashand&mdashbut here they come themselves God keep them from the Iroquois!&rdquo
This collection of children's literature is a part of the Educational Technology Clearinghouse and is funded by various grants.
It started with a dream and a love of European castles. During a two-year tour in Europe, now retired Army Veteran, Jim Landoll vowed to himself that if he ever made enough money, in his life, he would build a castle in America. But before he could start on a castle, this young entrepreneur had other plans.
With only $5.00 in his pocket, he founded The Landoll Publishing Company in the early 1970’s. With help from his wife, Marta, and her brother, Marty, 1996 business sales were $100 million and considered to be the second largest printer and publisher of children’s books in America. The company employed over 1,000 people. In 1997, The Landoll Publishing Company was sold and thus began the construction and realization of Landoll’s Mohican Castle.
Originally, the castle was going to be an elaborate barn that looked like a castle. Late 1999, Marta convinced her husband to turn the castle into a hotel. Jim and Marta wanted to share this dream with the world. With no floor plans or blueprints, Landoll’s Mohican Castle was literally created one room at a time.
In the mid 1990’s there was a terrible storm. Many trees had fallen during this storm. The Ross Suite became a sawmill and all the castle’s hardwood flooring, trim, cabinetry, and doors were milled from trees on the property. Even the stone, on the castle, came from stone piles on the property, cleared by the earliest settlers of the area.
Landoll’s Mohican Castle opened, to the public in 2002. Sitting on 30 acres, the castle sits at 1,200 feet. Technically, it is a mountain.
Jim Landoll, officially retired from the castle in 2007. Marta has taken over and has been in charge ever since. Jimmy Landoll, their son, took over as general manager in 2015. Marta is now the Chief Financial Officer.
In the summer of 2015, the producers of Gordon Ramsay’s TV shows reached out to the Landoll family asking them to be part of one of Gordon’s shows “Hotel Hell.” While reluctant about participating, Gordon and his team spent 10 days putting everyone through the wringer. (Gordon stay in Suite 9, the Thering Suite.) Landoll’s Mohican Castle’s episode was the season finale and viewed by over 20 million people.
Since the show aired in 2016, the castle is doing better than ever. Landoll’s Mohican Castle is quick to credit Gordon and his team for the turn around. Gordon Ramsay, called general manager Jimmy Landoll, after the show and told him that Landoll’s Mohican Castle is the poster child of why he continues to do these shows. Gordon continues to check in with Jimmy and has promised to return.
Landoll Mohican Castle’s story continues. Groundbreaking began in December 2017, for The Stables. The Stable Suites officially opened in August of 2018, adding 14 additional guest suites.