Sunday, December 21, 2014

Shawnee Indian Legend of the Slaughter of an Ancient White Race on the Ohio River

Shawnee Indian Legend of the Slaughter of an Ancient White Race on the Ohio River




Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, Oct 12, 1912

“When I was a wee bit of a girl,” said Mrs. Kelly, “my mother sang me to sleep with the words of this song. It was a sort of a chant in the Indian tongue, and I do not remember it all. Translated so you will understand it, it was to the effect that a white people lived here on the falls and that they were mighty. A tall Chief with yellow hair ruled over them and for ages they fought off the red men and held the fisheries of the falls and the hunting grounds for their own. The sun was the god they worshipped, and he appeared to have blessed them with peace and plenty. Yellow Hair our people called the Chief, who was a giant. The Chiefs or Kings must have maintained the great stature by intermarrying in the royal family, probably killing all the females except just enough to perpetuate, the race. My mother thought they saved the best developed girls for the wives of the Chief in order to perpetuate the governing race. I did not ask her why she formed this opinion, and it may have been part of the legend. But our people had long viewed the land from afar and they determined to possess it. The Chief at that time was Hawk Wing, the line through which I come. He sent spies to make overtures to the strange white people and they visited Yellow hair and told him the Shawnees wanted to share with them the fisheries and the hunting grounds. Yellow Hair listened to their statements and then told them that there was just enough for the white people and that he and his people preferred to live by themselves. Then the Ambassadors of the Shawnees said that if the white people would not submit peacefully to having then fir neighbors they would slay them and take their possessions. At this Yellow Hair laughed disdainfully and said the sun god would destroy his enemies with fire from heaven and that every man who took part in such a bloody and unprovoked massacre would die a violent death and that the curse would have the effect as long as one of the offending race remained on earth.