Posted by: unclesamshistory | October 16, 2011

The Lost Erie Tribe

In the 1500s and 1600s the Erie Tribe of Native Americans occupied the northwest corner of Pennsylvania and New York. They were a fiercely independent people and just as fierce as warriors. Over the years the Erie’s and the Seneca’s held numerous peace treaty meetings. Unfortunately these always end in a fight and the battle was on once again.

The Seneca‘s had joined the Iroquois federation allying themselves with the powerful group of Indian nations that ruled the northern territories. The Erie’s would not join and became the outcasts. Somehow a treaty was made by the Iroquois with the Dutch traders in the Susquehanna Valley to the effect that no fire arms would be traded to the Erie’s. The black powder muskets the Dutch traded were primitive at best but definitely an advantage over bow and arrow.

The Erie tribe held its own by developing a poison to tip their arrows and spears in. This made the killing power of the Erie’s double fold as it didn’t take a killing shot to take out an enemy a cut would deposit enough poison to put him out of action. The battles between the two tribes raged for years. Until in the 1600s with the backing of the Iroquois Federation a great push against the Erie’s by the Seneca’s completely destroyed the Erie Nation. Those not killed were absorbed into the Seneca culture and no reference to the Erie tribe was made again.   

A fictional story of the demise of the Erie Tribe may be found in A Bloodstained Land, available from Amazon.

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