Thursday, May 30, 2019

Giant Iroquois Skeletons Discovered In New York, State. One Believed to Be the Mother of Red Jacket

Giant Iroquois Skeletons Discovered In New York, State.

The Archaeologist, Volume 2, 1894, Auburn, N.Y., Feb. 6th, 1894. 

Much discussion has been provoked of late in the Central New York papers over the finding at Branchport, Yates Co., N.Y., on the banks of Keuka lake, of the alleged skeleton of the mother of Red Jacket, the famous Indian orator of the Six Nations.
   This discussion has brought to light many interesting facts regarding the finding of huge skeletons in the Seneca territory. The skeleton above mentioned, was extraordinary in size and that coupled with the fact that the mother of Red Jacket was a woman of huge proportions, is the only theory on which these allegations are based. The fact that the skeleton was gigantic in size is the only indication of identity and is a very meager point on which to base so important a conclusion. In the language of Irving W, Coates, of Shortsville, N. Y., a well known Antiquarian:
    "So far as my study and observation in regard to local Indian history extends, the finding of such an Indian skeleton, either male or female, as the one exhumed at Branchport, is no strange or unusual occurrence. On lot 98 in the town of Manchester, Ontario County, N.Y., several years ago, skeletons were dug up nearly seven feet in height, and on the old turnpike road leading from Geneva to Canandaigua, skeletons of very large dimensions have been exhumed. But two or three years since, the skeleton of a gigantic Seneca warrior was exhumed in the old burial ground of Onnaghee in the town of Hopewell, Ontario County, that was, according to the measurements taken by observers on the spot, nearly seven feet in height and proportioned accordingly, and the weapons which were discovered with the remains proved them to have been those of a person of great physical strength.
      These weapons, which are immense implements of primitive warfare, are at present in the possession of Mr. Case of Hopewell, N. Y., a local antiquarian." Near Geneva, N.Y., a number of years ago, while some workmen were grading and excavating, large quantities of Indian bones and skulls were taken out, many of which were in an excellent state of preservation. Most of those appeared to have belonged to adults of a large-sized tribe and in one of two instances, were of extraordinary size. At Dresden, N.Y., in Yates County, twenty years ago, workmen employed in a brickyard unearthed hundreds of skeletons, together with their implements of warfare, some of the skeletons being unusually large and one noticeably so. A local physician, on viewing it, pronounced it to be that of a man. From what information we can gather, the Seneca's in particular, in point of physical form, strength and beauty were the flower of the nations that went to make up the great Iroquois confederacy.