Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Teganissorens

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search

TEGANISSORENS, Indian chief, b. in Onondaga, N. Y.; d. in Sault St. Louis, or Caughnawaga, on Lake Champlain, after 1711. He was strongly attached to the French, and in 1682 was placed at the head of a deputation of Iroquois chiefs that was sent to Montreal to make terms with Frontenac and his Indian allies. It was soon discovered that the Iroquois had sent Teganissorens as a blind, and were taking the field against the Illinois, while pretending to wish for peace. But the French governor dismissed him with honor, knowing that his influence did not extend to all the Iroquois tribes. He set out on a similar mission in 1688, and the preliminaries for a treaty were arranged between Denonville, the Canadian governor, and the Iroquois deputies. The Hurons were dissatisfied with the proposed treaty, and, on the return of Teganissorens and his party, they were attacked by Kondiaronk, a Huron chief. Some were killed and others taken prisoners, among the latter Teganissorens, who, on complaining of this attack on an ambassador and a friend of the French, was told by Kondiaronk that the latter themselves had sent him. To show that he spoke sincerely, he at once released the Iroquois ambassador. Teganissorens, however, remained loyal, and continued to render such services that he ranked with Oureouharé and Garaconthié as one of the three Indians to whom the French colony in Canada was most indebted. He became a Christian in 1693, and in May, 1694, arrived in Quebec with eight deputies. He was received with kindness by Frontenac, the governor, who gave him many presents. He proposed the restoration of Fort Catarocouy (Kingston), and that it should be strengthened and made the bulwark of the colony. The suggestion was eagerly adopted by Frontenac, who prepared a large escort which was to conduct to that port a garrison, mechanics, and all necessary stores, but he was obliged to countermand the expedition, owing to an order from the French court. He excited the displeasure of the governor afterward by not returning to Montreal at a fixed date with the submission of some of the Iroquois tribes who were holding back. But the reason of his delay was that he found his efforts to bring about a general reconciliation between the Iroquois and the French abortive. He remained at Onondaga, where he received three French ambassadors that had been sent to make a treaty with the Iroquois on 10 Aug., 1700. He afterward received both French and English agents and declared his intention of remaining neutral. Hearing in 1703 that some of the Iroquois were concerting with Vaudreuil (who had then succeeded Callières in the government of the colony) an attack on the English settlements, Teganissorens went to Montreal and protested angrily against this breach of neutrality and declared that his tribe would take part for neither side. As the neutrality of the Iroquois was what the French governor wanted, he assured the chief that he would not send any parties against the English in New York. Teganissorens, on his part, pledged himself to retain the missionaries that were in his country. In 1711 he informed Vaudreuil that preparations were made at New York, Albany, and Boston for an invasion of Canada.