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Wyandot

huron, french, country, ohio and iroquois

WY'ANDOT ( properly Wand& o• Ircadrit, of uncertain etymology), or HURON. An ha portant tribe or confederacy of Iroquoian stock (q.v.). The original Wyandot were known to the French as Huron; this tribe was made up of the Wyandot proper or Huron and the neighboring and cognate Tionon tati, who probably outnumbered the Wyandot when the two tribes united in 1650 and aban doned their country to escape the Iroquois. When first known to the French, about 1615. the Huron occupied a narrow territory between Georgian Bay and Lake Simeoe, Ontario, Canada. They had about 20 villages and a population conser vatively estimated at 10,000. Their numbers, however, were greatly reduced about 1625 by smallpox and other pestilence. Adjoining them on the southwest were their kinsmen and allies, the Tionontati. On the invitation of the Huron, the French missionaries entered their country in 1623 and within a few years the Jesuit missions among the Huron became the most important in New France. The Iroquois had long been at war with the Huron and were equally hostile to the French. In 1648 began the final war, and within a year the Huron were compelled to aban don their country and seek shelter in different directions. Most of them fled to the Tionontati, who in turn were immediately attacked by the Iroquois in 1649, and after a short struggle the two tribes abandoned their country and fled to gether, first to Manitoulin Island in Lake Huron, then to Mackinaw and Green Bay, and finally to the Mississippi. Driven back by the Sioux (q.v.), they halted for a time near the western end of Lake Superior and then returned to Mackinaw, where in 1677 they numbered about 500. In

1702 they removed to Detroit, in Lower Michi gan, and were followed by the missionaries. In 1723 they were formally admitted to the friend ship of the Iroquois. In 1751 they built a new village at the present Sandusky, Ohio, and under the name of Wyandot soon acquired a new promi nence in the Ohio country. They took an active part with the French in the colonial wars and with the English against the Americans in the Revolution and War of 1S12. At the treaty of peace in 1815 they were confirmed in possession of a large tract in Ohio and Michigan, most of which they sold three years later, reserving only two small pieces, near Upper Sandusky, Ohio, and on the Huron River in Michigan. In 1842 they removed to Kansas and in 1S67 were again removed to a small reservation in the northeast ern corner of Indian Territory, where they now reside.

The evidence indicates that on the dispersion of the Huron, the larger body of those who sur vived were incorporated with the conquering Iro quois, and that only the smaller portion, and these chiefly Tionontati rather than true Wynn dot. escaped to the West or found refuge with the French. In 1656 the Huron captives among the Seneea formed a whole village by themselves, while about the same time there were known to he 1000 more among the Onondaga. In all they number now about S00, divided into: Hurons of Lorette (Quebec, Canada), 410; Wyandots of Anderdon (Ontario, Canada), 100; and Wyandots in Indian Territory (United States), 350. Of these last not one is a fullblood.