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Seneca

Seneca

BIBLIOGRAPHY

The Senecas are an American Indian group from northeastern North America. One of the six nations of the Iroquois Confederacy, or Haudenosaunee, Senecas call themselves Onodowaga, meaning People of the Great Hill. Traditional Senecas determine group membership matrilineally (through the mothers line) and speak a language in the Northern Iroquoian language family. It is likely that several previously autonomous groups coalesced to form the Seneca nation in the fifteenth or sixteenth century, prior to Seneca entry into the Iroquois Confederacy. Seneca material culture begins to correspond closely to that found on eastern Iroquois sites slightly after 1600, perhaps reflecting Seneca participation in the Iroquois Confederacy. When first documented by Europeans, Seneca territory stretched across what is now western New York State from the Genesee River to Seneca Lake; the approximately four thousand Senecas subsisted through agriculture (primarily of maize, beans, and squash), hunting, fishing, and gathering.

Seneca life was altered tremendously by the European fur trade, interaction with European colonial powers, and American territorial encroachment. Senecas began trading beaver pelts for European manufactured goods during the sixteenth century, initially using Native intermediaries. Starting in the 1630s, recurrent European-borne epidemics had major impacts on Seneca communities. Jesuit missionaries resided with the Senecas intermittently from 1668 to 1709. Seneca warriors featured prominently in Iroquois conflicts with the Hurons, Eries, Neutrals, and Susquehannocks from the 1630s through the 1670s. During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Senecas also established satellite communities north of Lake Ontario, at the Niagara portage, and in Pennsylvania and Ohio.

After 1680 the Confederacy and the Senecas increasingly became enmeshed in imperial politics. French forces destroyed all four homeland Seneca villages in 1687. After 1701 Senecas and other Iroquois established a policy of neutrality between European powers, receiving diplomatic benefits by playing European groups off one another. Senecas built smaller, dispersed villages across the region and began producing deerskins for trade with Europeans after 1715. Following the 1760 surrender of New France to Great Britain, Seneca opportunities for diplomatic maneuvering diminished. Western Senecas were key players in the multinational Indian revolt against the British from 1763 to 1766. During the American Revolution (17751783), the Senecas sided with Great Britain. American expeditions led by John Sullivan (17401795) and Daniel Brodhead (17361809) razed approximately thirty Seneca villages in 1779; Seneca survivors spent a difficult winter at Fort Niagara under British protection. Many Senecas subsequently reoccupied their homelands, while others founded new settlements, most notably Buffalo Creek.

From the Revolution to the present day, Senecas have faced major pressures on their lands, resources, and culture from the United States. A series of controversial treaties and agreements, starting with the Treaty of Fort Stanwix in 1784, divided Senecas and confined them to smaller and smaller reservations. A fraudulent 1838 treaty almost transferred the four remaining Seneca reservations to the Ogden Land Company; a renegotiated 1842 treaty still resulted in the loss of the Buffalo Creek reservation. Following passage of the U.S. Indian Removal Act of 1830, Senecas living in Ohio negotiated exchange of their lands for territory in what is now Oklahoma; their descendants officially formed the Seneca-Cayuga Tribe of Oklahoma in 1937.

Christian missionaries became fixtures on Seneca reservations in the 1790s. In 1799 an Allegany Seneca named Handsome Lake (c. 17351815) received visions for a new religious code that reconciled Iroquois traditions with the limitations of reservation life. His teachings (the Gaiwiio) eventually spread to other Iroquois communities. In 1848 Senecas at Cattaraugus and Allegany replaced their traditional government with an American-style elective council; Tonawanda Senecas maintained traditional governance, ending political ties between the groups. The Thomas Indian School, a state-run boarding school promoting Indian assimilation, operated at Cattaraugus from 1855 to 1957. From 1959 to 1964 federal officials took one-third of the Allegany reservation for the construction of the Kinzua Reservoir, forcing relocation of 550 people.

Senecas long have fought American encroachments on their territory and rights. Some efforts have succeeded, including the 1990 renegotiation of non-Indian leases of Seneca property in Salamanca, New York, and the 2002 compact between New York State and the Seneca Nation of Indians that allowed casino development in Salamanca, Niagara Falls, and Buffalo. Other efforts, such as the Seneca claim for Grand Island, have been rejected by American courts. Today, approximately 10,000 Senecas reside in several jurisdictions across the United States and Canada. In New York State, the Seneca Nation of Indians controls territories at Allegany, Cattaraugus, and Oil Spring; the Tonawanda Band of Seneca Indians have a separate reservation. Senecas also reside in Oklahoma and on the Six Nations Reserve in Ontario, Canada. Many other Senecas live off reservations, particularly in Buffalo, Rochester, and Erie.

SEE ALSO American Revolution; Iroquois; Native Americans; Tribe

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Abler, Thomas S., and Elisabeth Tooker. 1978. Seneca. In Handbook of North American Indians, Vol. 15: Northeast, ed. Bruce G. Trigger, 505517. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution.

Bilharz, Joy A. 1998. The Allegany Senecas and Kinzua Dam: Forced Relocation through Two Generations. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.

Morgan, Lewis Henry. [1851] 1962. League of the Iroquois. New York: Citadel.

Wallace, Anthony F. C. 1969. The Death and Rebirth of the Seneca. New York: Vintage.

Kurt A. Jordan

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Seneca

Seneca

The Seneca were one of the original member tribes of the League of the Iroquois or the Five Nations Confederacy. The Seneca live mostly on Six Nations Reserve in Ontario, Canada, and the Allegany, Cattaraugus, and Tonawanda reservations in New York State in the United States. In the 1980s the Seneca on these four reserves numbered approximately forty-five hundred. The Seneca were the western-most tribe of the Iroquois Confederacy and in late aboriginal and early historic times occupied the territory bounded by Lake Ontario in the north, Seneca Lake in the east, the upper waters of the Allegheny and Susquehanna rivers in the south, and Lake Erie in the west.

The Seneca were drawn into the American Revolution on the side of the British and were among their closest Indian allies. Both during and after the war many Seneca migrated north to Canada. In 1797 the Seneca remaining in New York were forced to cede to the United States all their lands except a 200,000-acre reserve, much of which was lost in a treaty in 1838.

Traditionally, the Seneca were a hunting and farming people, but gathering and fishing were also important Subsistence activities. The Seneca held eight of the fifty hereditary sachem positions in the Council of the League of the Iroquois and were known as the "Keepers of the Western Door."

See also Iroquois

Bibliography

Abler, Thomas S. (1978). "Seneca." In Handbook of North American Indians. Vol. 15, Northeast, edited by Bruce G. Trigger, 505-517. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution.

Wallace, Anthony F. C. (1970). The Death and Rebirth of the Seneca. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

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Seneca (the elder, c.60 BC–c.AD 37, Roman rhetorician and writer)

Seneca, the elder (Lucius, or Marcus, Annaeus Seneca) (lōō´shəs, mär´kəs ənē´əs sĕn´əkə), c.60 BC–c.AD 37, Roman rhetorician and writer, b. Corduba (present-day Córdoba), Spain; grandfather of Lucan and father of Seneca the younger. He spent most of his life in Spain but made frequent trips to Rome, where he observed the leading orators of the day. Seneca the elder wrote two major works, the Controversies, a collection of imaginary legal cases as they might be argued before a court of law; and Persuasions, model orations on various subjects. The prefaces to the Controversies contain valuable material on famous Roman orators. He also wrote a history of Rome from the time of the civil wars to the 1st cent. AD

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Seneca

Seneca Most populous division of the Iroquois Confederacy; a tribe of Native North Americans who inhabited n New York. In 1848, the Seneca Nation was formed by the peoples of the Allegany and Cattaraugus reservations. Other Seneca live in Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Ontario. Today, c.7000 Seneca live on reservations in w New York.

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Seneca (indigenous people of North America)

Seneca, Native North Americans: see Iroquois Confederacy.

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Seneca

Senecabicker, clicker, dicker, flicker, kicker, liquor, nicker, picker, pricker, shicker, slicker, snicker, sticker, ticker, tricker, vicar, whicker, Wicca, wicker •bilker, milker, Rilke •blinker, clinker, drinker, finca, freethinker, Glinka, Inca, inker, jinker, shrinker, sinker, Soyinka, stinker, stotinka, thinker, tinker, Treblinka, winker •frisker, whisker •kibitka, Sitka •Cyrenaica • Bandaranaike •perestroika • Baedeker • melodica •Boudicca • trafficker • angelica •replica •basilica, silica •frolicker, maiolica, majolica •bootlicker • res publica • mimicker •Anneka • arnica • Seneca • Lineker •picnicker •electronica, harmonica, Honecker, japonica, Monica, moniker, Salonica, santonica, veronica •Guernica • Africa • paprika •America, erica •headshrinker • Armorica • brassica •Jessica • lip-syncer • fossicker •Corsica •Attica, hepatica, sciatica, viatica •Antarctica • billsticker •erotica, exotica •swastika

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