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LONG KNIVES

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Compiled by Jim Moyer  8/20/2015, 10/20/2019, 10/21/19

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ASSARIGOA – LONG KNIVES VIRGINIA

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Source:

https://archive.org/details/indiannotes51928muse/page/64

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See link to this book. Touch or click to enlarge.

Source: Page 64.

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Governor Howard of Virginia travelled to Albany in New York, July 13, 1684.

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He “held his conference with representatives of the Mohawk, Oneida, Cayuga and Onondaga tribes, the Seneca not yet arrived from their distant western homes.”

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The source to this map has a lot of information on these Indian Nations. Touch or Click to Enlarge.

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“It was presumably at this council that Governor Howard was given the Iroquois name Assarigoa, which signifies, “big knife.

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According to Jean-Andre Cuoq (Lexique Iroquoise, Montreal 1882) “, the word is derived from asare, knife, or even saber ; kowa, or goa, great or big. “

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… although Assarigoa means literally Big Knife, Iroquois believed they were translating Lord Howard’s Gaelic name directly …. ”  Source page 72.

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In those days many of the best interpreters were Dutch.

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“In a commentary note on the name Assarigoa made by the Dutch interpreters Lawrence Claese at the Council between the Five Nations and Governor Alexander Spotswood of Virginia at Albany, he states:”

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See the source of the Papers of this Governor. Touch or Click to Enlarge image.

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“Brother Assarigoe, the name of the Governors of Virginia, which signifies a Simeter or Cutlas which was given to Lord Howard, anno 1684, from the Dutch word Hower, a cutlas.”  Source page 72.

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The footnote to this sentence references “Documents Relating to the Colonial History of New York, volume 5, page 670.”

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“It so happened that while the name Howard had no relation whatsoever to the Dutch word houwer, cutter, or more broadly, a cutlass or sword, it had a familiar ring in the ear of the interpreter, who accordingly told the Indians that Howard signified houwer or “Big Knife.” “  Source page 73.

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Conrad Weiser’s journal confused the name to mean both Virginians and Pennsylvania frontiersmen. Source page 74.

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The source to this map has a lot more information on the Iroquois. Touch or Click To Enlarge picture.

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The Wyandot later heard this expression. They speak of the Virginians as Winenshiatsch, the meaning of which is Long Knives. Their for American people is Tsarchyoomeh, which means Many Swords.:

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From pages 75 to 79 note how the Long Knives name came to many more Indians languages and broadened to mean all members of the new American nation, not just the Virginians.

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https://archive.org/details/indiannotes51928muse/page/78

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Source for this map. Touch or Click to Enlarge.

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“…according to Iroquois custom, all important men of another nation with whom they came in contact were, for the sake of convenience and for the purpose of conferring a delicate honor upon them, each given an Iroquois name.” page 68.

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Sourced from Cadwallader Colden, History of the Five Indian Nations, vol. II, pp. 170-173, repr,. NY 1902

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Iroquois names for other Colonies


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At the Lancaster PA, June 30, 1744, Gov George of PA, the Commissioner of Virginia, and the Commissioners of Maryland heard these references:

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TOCARRY-HOGAN – MD

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“…they had agreed to give him the Name of Tocarry-hogan, denoting Presidency, Excellency, or living in the middle or honorable Place betwixt Assarago (Virginians as Long Knife) and their Brother Onas (Pennsylvanians) ….”  Source page 69.

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“…Tocarry-hogan is our Friend, and that we are ready to honour him, and that by such Name he may always be called and known among us.” Source page 70.

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BROTHER CORLEAR — NY

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“Similarly the Governor of New York was known to the Iroquois as “Brother Corlear.” that title having been bestowed upon the English and Dutch high officials by the Iroquois in affectionate remembrance of that doughty Dutchman, Arent Van Curler, who came to America in 1630 as superintendent of the Colonie Rensselaerswyck. ” Source page 70.

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From about 1634 until the time of his death in a storm on Lake Champlain in 1667 he was held in high esteem by the Mohawk and thereafter all of the governors of New York were known by his name.” Source page 70.

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ONAS – PA

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William Penn, first governor of Pennsylvania, was given the name Onas, which in Iroquois signifies “plume.” Source page 70.

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ONONTIO – NEW FRANCE

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So it was with Onontio, the title conferred upon Charles Hualt de Montmagny, third governor of New France, who held office from June 11, 1636 to August 20, 1648. Translating his name Montmagny (mons magnus), it is literally “great mountain” but the Iroquois term Onontio means “beautiful mountain.” page 70 According to Jean-Andre Cuoq (Lexique Iroquoise, Montreal 1882) “big mountain” in Iroquois is onontowanen.” Source page 71.

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