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Seneca Tribe HistoryIndian-White RelationsLife and LiveliehoodDeath of Seneca JohnDeath of Senca John-Another ViewDismissal of Coonstick's CaseSeneca John's Grave MarkerSeneca JohnSuggested Reading
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1820 Map

Life and Livelihood

| Livelihood | Indian Traders | Birchard's Store |

Indian Traders at Lower Sandusky

"It is a pleasure to record the fact that the Indians who came to Lower Sandusky were treated with becoming courtesy. Scarcely a day passed without the appearance of some of them, bringing furs, venison or sugar to exchange for tobacco, pork, ammunition, blankets and calico. A balance was usually due the merchants, which was paid from the annuities. Once a quarter the head chiefs of the Senecas came to Lower Sandusky to transact tribal business and draw their annuity. The Olmsted firm transacted their business, and it is remembered that Hard Hickory, Coonstick, Tall Chief, Crow, Seneca John, and others being detained late by business, often remained in the store all night. They slept on blankets with their feet towards the fire, the thought of theft or dishonesty never entering their honest heads.

"The chiefs of the Senecas were singularly honest and honorable in their business transactions. They were abiding in their faith that no Indian could enter the happy hunting ground who left debts behind. We believe, however, that purer promptings made these pagans honest. The Socratic death of Seneca John, shows that he, at least, was a man of lofty character and capable of high moral convictions. The Senecas and Ottawas traded here till 1832. The Wyandots made occasional visits till they moved away in 1842. Of Seneca John, who was murdered by his brothers, Coonstick and Steele, an account of which is given in the chapter relating to Ballville township, Mr. Everett, who knew him well, says: He was a man of remarkable power of mind, and head chief of the Senecas. When any difficult matter was presented in council Seneca John was looked to by all as the right man to solve and explain it; and, as the Indians said, he always made crooked things straight. At the age of about forty-five years his remarkable mind, with a brave heart, fine person and manly demeanor, had given him unbounded influence over his tribe."

(Excerpted from: History of Sandusky County, by Homer Everett, published in 1882)

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