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Tea Party Winners: Carla Gade's winner is Becky Dempsey, Andrea Boeshaar's winner Caryl Kane, Gina Welborn's winner Jasmine A., Carrie Fancett Pagels' winners book copy -- Lynda Edwards, teacup and saucer -- Wendy Shoults

Monday, May 20, 2013

Four and a Half Kings



In 1710, five Native American men traveled first class from New York State to London. One died on the voyage, but the remaining four became the talk of the town and had numerous interactions with Queen Anne.
This was not the first ‘royal treatment’ bestowed upon a native American.  About 100 years earlier, Pocahontas was received as a “princess” because her Algonquin father, Powhaten, had been called The Indian King.
The Four Indian Kings
Queen Anne
The four kings were not kings and not even chiefs. One was Mahican, the other three Mohawk, and only one, King Hendrick, a baptized Christian, had any position in his nation as a member of the Mohawk council.
The native Americans were sent out by New York’s colonial leaders, (mostly by Dutchman Peter Schuyler) to ask Queen Anne for money and help to fight the French influence.  The Iroquois confederacy (Five Nations plus the Tuscarora) were THE BUFFER/BORDER between the English speaking colonies and the French speaking colonies of what is now Canada. 


The kings asked for missionaries ‘to spread the Gospel’. (yes, their translated speeches are on file.)
While in London, they visited the sights and a Shakespeare play. It’s said that the audience clammered until the Four Kings were placed on stage where they could be seen --- they were much more of a draw than a repeat of Shakespeare!  They also sat for oil portraits after being fitted out for royal robes.  Many English considered the Four Kings to be only a bit more savage than their own Barbarians of the north—the Irish and the Scots Highlanders!


Prints were made of the oil paintings and sent to each Iroquois village as well as NY City,  the mission and Fort Hunter in Lower Mohawk Castle (village), and Kensington Palace. The originals were moved to Canada in 1977 and unveiled by Queen Elizabeth in Ottawa.

As all things to do with government and religion, part of the request for funding a mission had to do with the angst between the Catholic and Protestant churches. French Jesuits had converted some Mohawks to Catholicism while others  adopted Anglican faith.  Eventually, these Catholic Mohawks became their own nation close to Canada called the Caughnawaga and would later be part of the turmoil during the French and Indian War. As you can see, the Mohawks had a long standing relationship with Great Britain.

While the goal of the Iroquois Confederacy was neutrality,  Mohawks (Keepers of the Eastern Door) accepted Colonial ways and the English King, but some Seneca (Keepers of the Western Door) favored the French. Despite this family squabble, the Iroquois held together through a century of agreeing to disagree and were loath to fight each other unless …it was a matter of life or death.

Back in the Mohawk Valley of NY,  an Anglican mission was built, funded by Queen Anne and run by “The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel”, a missionary society still active today.

One more interesting note:  Two King Hendricks?
 
Only as late as 2010 was a long-standing Mohawk mystery solved.  King Hendrick who traveled to England in 1710 was referred to as the same King Hendrick who led Indian attacks alongside the British at Crown Point, and later at Fort George where he died at “The Bloody Morning Scout” in 1755.
The fact is there were two Mohawk King Hendricks, one from the Wolf Clan, one from the Bear Clan and in almost all ways very dissimilar besides a thirty year age difference.  

King Hendrick of the French and Indian war, loved wearing British military regalia.


16 comments:

  1. Debra, this is fascinating and a part of our colonial history that I had NEVER read about before! Thank you for your wonderful research and for sharing such an interesting story. And I love the back ground information that makes the alliances of the French and Indian War more understandable. I learned so much!

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  2. Thanks for history that I have not heard before. I love the opportunity to learn more history :)

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  3. What an interesting post, Debra! Like everyone else, I had never heard anything like this account before. It was very entertaining. Thank you and blessings!

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  4. Thanks, Debra. I enjoy reading about your research because you always did up and explain such interesting and little-known facts.

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  5. What a fascinating post! I've lived in NY all my life and never knew about this bit of history. Now I want to travel to Canada and see these oil paintings.
    The Iroquois were a complex and intriguing people. So proud to have such great history so close by.

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  6. Debra, great post. I've so enjoyed learning this history over the past couple of years, and touch on it a bit in the historical note in Burning Sky (though not nearly in the detail as this post, how I wish I could have crammed so much more into that novel!). I've been amazed as I've learned how far back and how deeply the blending of European and Iroquois cultures go, for good and for ill. I'm glad more people are learning. Isn't it amazing how much of our history we weren't taught growing up?

    There is a similar account among the Cherokee in the early 1700s.

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  7. Thank you all so much for your lovely comments. I'm just taking a break and checking in. I found this to be interesting and kept digging deeper--it's true!

    NY doesn't seem to run out of history for us, does it?

    One point I didn't mention is that the latter 'King Hendrick' wears a nasty scar across his face from a tomahawk battle he survived. I'm sure he wore it proudly!

    I think I was most surprised by the extent of "European religious conflict" as a part of the Indian antagonism toward each other as far back as 1700.



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  8. The Four Kings are displayed now in Ottawa but I was unable to find a photo of the Queen with them. This tour coincided with her Silver Jubilee (25 yrs on the throne).

    Ottawa is a lovely city to visit!

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  9. Hi Deb--

    Absolutely fantastic post! Have always been intrigued by King Hendrick (first one) because of that nasty scar. It seems too that a part of the reason I'm drawn to these earlier times is because the lives people led had a more mysterious edge. Today, our lives are all out there for everyone to see on social media! :)

    I think it's posts like this on CQ that help maintain an integrity about research of those early times in this country. Thanks so much, Deb!

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  10. Hi Deb--

    Absolutely fantastic post! Have always been intrigued by King Hendrick (first one) because of that nasty scar. It seems too that a part of the reason I'm drawn to these earlier times is because the lives people led had a more mysterious edge. Today, our lives are all out there for everyone to see on social media! :)

    I think it's posts like this on CQ that help maintain an integrity about research of those early times in this country. Thanks so much, Deb!

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  11. Very good post, Debra. Thanks for sharing and for all the research you did in finding this. I never knew any of this...of course, I know little about history. But, I am learning! Better late than never, right? :) God bless.

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  12. Pat - the one with the scar is the second one. It's pretty confusing! I believe the fact is he was given the same first name, Hendrick, and accepted the "KIng" part because it was a name of legendary renown!

    Debbie - oh there's so much history in each state. I'm not surprised Pat knew of King Hendrick but the rest of us, not so much!

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  13. Oops! An oversight on dates--(duh--and I say I enjoy doing research!) Sorry 'bout that ;)

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  14. Thank you all for your comments! I'm glad to be a part of the CQ family 'officially' as I so enjoy this time period and all the information and friendship you offer here!

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  15. Fascinating, Deb!!! Love this article! Enjoyed talking with you today, too!

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    1. Thanks, Carrie!

      I'm glad your life is setting down A BIT and hope some well-deserved quiet time comes around to help you fight off your nasty cold bug!

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