The following information comes from:
"A Pictorial History of the United States, with notices of Other
Portions of America North and South by: S.G. Goodrich - author of
Peter Parley's Tales, 1860."
Special thanks to Diane Mason for transcribing and sharing this
information with the ALHN.
Algonquins, Huron, Iroquois, Dahkotahs, Catawbas, Cherokees,
Uchees, Choctaws, and Natches.
"First, there was the Al-gon'-Quin Family, occupying nearly the
whole country from the Canadas to the Carolinas, and embracing
nearly all the Indians with whom the early settlers came in contact,
as well those of New England as the Middle States and Virginia.
The second family was that of the Hu'-ron Ir'-o-quois, their seat
being around lake Erie and Lake Huron. The third family was that of
the Dah-ko'-tahs or Sioux [sioo], living mostly west of the
Mississippi, where they still form a powerful tribe.
The fourth family was that of the Ca-taw'-bas, living in the interior of
Carolina. To the west of these lived the Cher-o-kees', still a
powerful tribe in the West, where they have become partially
civilized. The U-chees', a small family whose history is little known,
dwelt in the northern part of Georgia.
The Choc'-taws, called the Mobilian Family, occupied the southern
parts of the present United States, from the Mississippi to the
Atlantic. It included many nations, and among them the Creeks,
whose history has largely figured in the annals of our country.
On the east bank of the Mississippi, near the site of the present city
of natchez, lived the family of that name. they were a small tribe, but
appear to have had some connection with the Mexicans, which had
imparted to them some ideas of civilization not shown by the other
natives we have mentioned.
Each of thse great families had it own language, yet they all bore a
general resemblance to each other. As we have stated, the minor
tribes had also different dialects, yet all those belonging to one
family could communicate with each other. Thus the several tribes
of new England could all communicate with each other, and also
with the other branches of the ALgonquin family, as the
Del'-a-wares, the Mi'-a-mees, Ot'-ta-was, &c., living farther to the
The manners and customs of these tribes were nearly the same as
those we have described as belonging to the New England Indians.
With them all, war and the chase, with fishing, were the chief
occupations of the men: the women tilled the land and bore all
burdens during journeys. Among some tribes they dressed in skins
for clothing and hut cover, and wove mats for beds from the bark of
The love of display in dress was a characteristic of the men, even
the warriors, who not only tattooed their faces, arms, necks and
shoulders, but decorated themselves with the heads of wild
animals, the claws and feathers of birds, and the bones of fishes.
Among all the tribes the women were mere slaves, condemned to
perform all the menial labor, and not only excluded from war and
hunting, but even from the sports of leaping, dancing,
target-shooting, ball-playing, and various games of chance, in
which the men indulged with pasionate delight. The highest
indulgence of the female sex was to witness these sports on the
part of their lords and masters.
At the time of the settlement of the English in this country, by far
the greater part of the indians lived east of the Mississippi; now
they are nearly all removed west of that river. Many of the tribes that
flourished in the early days of the colonies, have entirely passed
away: all are reduced to comparative insignificcnace. Most have
exchanged the bow and arrow for the rifle, and wear blankets
instead of skins.
When first known by the whites they had neither horse, cattle, dogs,
sheep, nor domestic fowls: now they have horses, and are among
the swiftest and most dexterous of riders. Nevertheless, they are
gradually dwindling away, and before many years are past, the race
will doubtless be entirely blotted out.
Such is a brief outline for the character and condition of the
savages within the boundaries of the United States, at the early
period of which we are speaking. We shall have occasion to fill up
this picture by incidents and narratives, illustrative of their
disposition, and habits, and capacity."
After reading the above, you are probably thinking that the author
had a very grim outlook for the Indian Nation as a whole. (I did)
However, unfortunatly, history has proven the author almost
correct. We can hope that one day, the historic and proud "Indian
Nations" will take their rightful place in the rich history and culture
of our society