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Lake. The French, who were the first European nation that visited them inland, called them Sonontouans, or Rattle-snakes. When they referred to them as one of the Six Nations, they were called, along with the other tribes, by the generic name of Iroquois. Their present name is the apparent result of the English pronunciation and syllabication of a nickname. When the Senecas, who were always a very warlike people, visited the Dutch at Albany, the first thing they inquired for of the traders was vermilion to paint their faces in war. The Dutch call this article cinnabar. No Seneca or Iroquois can pronounce the letter B, and in repeating the word they substituted the sound of K or C hard. In this way they drew upon themselves the nickname of Sinnekars.
The ancient name of the precinct now called Geneva, according to the Rev. Samuel Kirkland, is Kanadasegea. The Iroquois term Kanada, first enunciated to Cartier, on visiting Hochelaga in 1534, denotes primarily an edifice or mechanical structure. In the name under consideration, it means the councilhouse at the site of the council-fire or seat of government. This site is still known as the Old Castle. The lake was named from the geographical position and character of the national council-house, and its meaning may be not inaptly termed the Lake of the Council-Fire.
THE HUDSON RIVER. None of the terms at first given by the Dutch to this stream have been retained in popular use, except North River, a synonym. The Indians called it Moheganittuck, that is, Mohegan River. The band located at Tappansea called that expanse Shatamuck, or Swan-Water, a term which the river-Indians appear sometimes to have applied to the whole stream, but which was particularly appropriated to the river below the Highlands. The Iroquois called it Cahoatatea, which means the valley below the Cohoes Falls.
NEVERSINK. Nawa, in the Mohegan dialect of the Algonquin, means half-way or midland. The particle ink in the same dialect, is a local inflection denoting the prepositional senses of at, by, in. The observer standing on the Neversink mountain beholds the Atlantic Ocean on one side and Raritan Bay on the other. This is the descriptive character of the term Nawasink, which has been corrupted by English pronunciation.
· The Manhattanese name for a rock or a stone is Ossin. The local inflection is made in ing. The term Ossining, a place of rocks, is a graphic description of the locality.
MANE ATTAN. By far the most striking local disturbance in the system of waters around the city of New-York is the channel at Hell-Gate. In the Indian language of the tribe formerly occupying the Island, the name of a channel is 'Autan' or 'Autun.' The monosyllable mon or man is the derogative or adjective term,
signifying a bad quality. By adding the ordinary local inflection in ing, this phenomenon was accurately described. The Indian band living on the island derived their title from this channel of the river or whirlpool. The idea perpetuated was the bad whirling or dangerous channel vortex or whirlpool, a term which the Dutch gave full significancy to by calling it Hallegat, or Hell-Gate.
CROTON. . This word is the Dutch and English adopted pronunciation of the name of an Indian chief called Tempest, who had his lodge on the point of land made by the embouchure of the Croton into the Hudson. Notin, its radix, is the Mohekander name for a strong wind. A quite different term was applied to a mild or soft wind, or for a breeze or a zephyr.
POUGH KE E PSIE. On ascending the Hudson, after getting through the Highlands, a direct course is open for about ten miles to Poughkeepsie. A canoe with an aft-wind might be in peril here, before reaching the inlet or shelter of Fall River, which drops from high ground within a short distance of the Hudson. This sheltering cove is called Apokeepsing. In adopting this word, the short sound of a with the local inflection, ing, have been dropped.
KINGSTON. The Wallkill was, from the earliest times, the general highway of communication between the Delaware and Hudson rivers. Through this channel the Wolf tribe of the Lenno Lenapees emigrated into the Hudson valley. Their principal village and earliest trading-town was at the present site of Kingston. The aboriginal name of the place appears to have been Sepus or Sopus. Sepe, in this tongue, means a river. The Dutch called the place appropriately Wiltwick, which carries the meaning of Indiania. There is an ancient pictograph on the rocks at the mouth of the Wallkill, which appears to denote the introduction of the gun among the Indians, which may date back to 1609.
MINNISIN K. Minnis in the Indian tongue quoted, is the name for an island; and the penultimate ink carries the prepositional senses of at, in, by, on. It is the common local syllable for the Indian noun.
COXSA C KIE. The orthography of this word has a Dutch smack, but it is entirely Indian Kux, in the Indian, is the indicative of the verb, to cut. Ackee, in the same language, is the term for earth. The channel of the Hudson above this place is deflected to the opposite shore, which it reaches and presses against at a high diluvial bank of clay and gravel, which it undermines, and anciently formed falling-in or cut bank. This is the feature described by the term Cuxakee.
NORMAN'S KILL. This stream, after passing through the county, from the mountain-range of the Helderberg, enters the Hudson river about two miles below the city of Albany. At this point there is a truncated elevation or natural mound, which was used by the Indians from the earliest known date as a burial-place or cemetery. This ancient and sacred monument bore the name of Tawasentha, a name which they afterward uniformly applied to the stream.
ALBANY. The earliest Indian name applied to the site of this city is a question not satisfactorily settled. The Mohawks occupied the island, as a summer-camp, and raised corn there. A portage-path led from the Mohawk river, through a dry sandy plain to the Hudson river at this point. This foot-path passed through a pine forest, and was called Skenekteda — a term meaning a path through the pine forest. But when its eastern terminus on the Hudson river was meant, the penultimate syllable was changed to ea, denoting a river, with all its drift-materials, or valley : a sense which it has in the name of Cahoatatea. In the Mohawk language, ske carries the prepositional sense of through ; nek is the name of a pine-tree; so that the name appears to describe the river or valley through or beyond the pine-trees. If the speaker stood on the Hudson, looking west, the name was almost equally applicable to the Mohawk river; and this change in the location of the word was actually made when the site of the eastern terminus was named by executive or legislative direction, in honor of the Duke of Albany.
THE INDIAN HUNTER AND HIS DOG. A CHIPPEWA hunter with his dog had passed over a wide extent of country and found nothing. On ascending an eminence, being tired, he sat down on a small rock to rest. His dog had not even scented the track of an animal. "Master,' said the dog to him, we have hunted these many days without finding any thing to eat. We are both tired and hungry. I have observed that white men keep animals in inclosures, and when they are hungry, kill a sheep, a hog, or a cow, without the fatigue of hunting them.'
"True,' replied the hunter, “but the white man is a slave to his animals; he must raise food and build shelters for them during the winter, while we have only our traps to set or draw our bows, and we live an independent life.'
“We certainly are independent!' said the dog, while every rib in his body could be counted, and his master was equally famished; 'but methinks we pay for our freedom very dearly, in hunger and misery. To me it seems that you, my master, prefer liberty with want, to plenty with labor.'
MYEENGAN AND ANIMOOS; OR, THE WOLF AND TEE DOG. A HUNGRY wolf met a dog one day in the woods, and said to him: 'How well you look ! you seem to have had something to eat every day, while I am famished.' ‘Fidelity,' answered the dog, “is the cause of my being well fed; my master gives me something to eat almost every day, and when he does not, I know that he suffers the want of food as well as myself ; and, therefore, I am not displeased.' I,' said the wolf, 'live a starving life. I am obliged to live by my wits, and a wretched life I have of it. The deer is too nimblefooted for me to catch him alone, and I seldom have friends enough to hunt in
packs, so that we may divide our party and waylay him. I should like to live the regular life you lead.' 'Come along,' said the dog wagging his tail, “and I will teach you how we live.' So they ran along together, and just at night-fall reached the dog's kennel. The wolf behaved very quietly and submissively. But being a rascal in his heart, he purposed to deceive. Before they reached the kennel he observed a flock of sheep going down to an inclosure. Affecting to assimilate with dog life, he laid down crouchingly in the kennel till midnight. Then getting up softly, he went to the inclosure of the sheep, and seizing one of the lambs by the neck, threw it over his shoulder, and ran off to the woods.
THE CRANE AND BEAVER.: AN ALLEGORY OF CIVILIZATION. A CRANE one day took his bow and arrows, and went out to hunt. After walking a long time in the forest, and finding nothing to kill, he at last came into a valley, where he sat down to rest; not far from a beaver-pond. Taking his pipe from his smoking-pouch, he indulged himself in meditation, while the light fumes rose gracefully up to the clouds. An old beaver observing this from his position in the pond, walked out on the shore, and said to him : ‘Nosa, you live a very easy life, while I am obliged to labor very hard to keep from starving.' 'True,' replied the crane, “but remember that your ancestors always thought themselves wiser than the cranes, because they could gnaw down trees, and build houses and dams, where they could collect the trunks and limbs of trees, and live by eating the bark, while we were compelled to pick up a living hither and yon in the streams and marshes. The beaver king, when he came from the court of Manobosho, told his people that they should live in a fixed place, and dam up the stream's to collect food. But you wear out your teeth and exhaust your strength in this regular labor, and are just as liable as we are to be tracked by the hunter, and shot by the arrows of Pauguk.' 'If I,' replied the beaver, ‘spend much time and labor to get food and shelter for my family, there is a solid enjoyment in this; while the cranes are as proud as my ancestors were, and although living a little higher in the air, and flying up the valleys, scream with delight on finding a poor craw-fish, frog, or minnow along the shore, and then fly away to starve in their retreats, occasionally fluttering their crown feathers, or flapping their wings in the spirit of pride.'
THE BLUE JAY AND WOODPECKER; AN ALLEGORY. A WOODPECKER said one day to a blue jay, 'How do you get such a reputation? I should like to learn your art, for with every endeavor I find it hard to get a name, or to make a good living.' 'Ha, ha!' cried the blue jay, “it is by making a noise with my voice that I prevail; people suppose that where there is such a verbal strain and torrent of sounds, there must be some sense. I always light on the topmost boughs ; never sit long in a place; scream as loud as I can, and by continually flitting about, and showing my feathers, produce the idea that I am very wise, as well as a very active and valuable bird. While you always light on dry trees, where there is nothing to shade you, and toil with a sort of mechanical industry, making sounds that are not only
monotonous but not at all musical. The truth is,' continued the jay, 'I am a talker, a blusterer, a stormer; my father and mother were talkers, blusterers, and stormers. I take the ear of people, not like you with a peck, peck, peck! but by a flourish of sounds. “Heigho!' answered the woodpecker, 'I should never get a living by such a life. I am, as you see by the red paint on my head, a warrior; and the animals I hunt are so deeply down in the trunks of old trees that I am obliged to plunge in my war-like bill after them, and my daily pecking is my war-whoop.'
ANCHISES TO APHRODITE.
COME, O my princess ! lay thy cheek to mine,
Thine full and fair ;
With my dark, dew-damp hair.
Thine arm lies o'er me like an angel's wing,
Whiter than snow.
And will not let it go.
I drink thy breath-better than Lydian wine:
. Through all my soul
And own its sweet control. ·
Oh! could'st thou always lie as thou dost now,
In one long dream,
And this soft-coming gleam