Tekananda

Other namesGeneral
Affiliation:

Seneca Nation

Nationality:

Seneca

Occupation:

Chief

Marital status:

Married.

Biography:

Tekananda was a chief of the Seneca Nation, the westernmost of the Haudenosaunees (Iroquois), and a son in the family that adopted Samuel Kirkland, Wheelock's most famous missionary, on his risky first mission to the Senecas from 1764-1766. Tekananda travelled with his "brother" Kirkland to Johnson Hall in the spring of 1765 to get provisions when the tribe was starving, and also visited New England with him in the summer of 1766. Wheelock narrates Tekananda's audience with the Governor and Connecticut General Assembly meeting at Hartford, which caused quite a stir, in a letter to George Whitefield of July 24 (ms. 766424). Calling him "the Black General," Wheelock describes Tekananda as "of pregnant genius, an affable temper, benevolent, steady, judicious, manly, and has always been a friend to the English" and to Kirkland. The Assembly gave them a donation of £15, which Wheelock records in his accounts. Wheelock goes on to describe Tekananda in sentimental terms as open to Christian missionizing, and in spring 1767 Ralph Wheelock brought Tekananda's son back with him to Moor's, with four other children from Haudenosaunee tribes. Tekananda traveled with Kirkland when he left Kanandausagea for Kanawalohale in Oneida Country to take up what would be a 40-year mission to the Oneidas.

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Sources:

Lathrop, Samuel Kirkland. Life of Samuel Kirkland, Missionary to the Indians. Boston: Charles C. Little and James Brown, 1847, ebook; Love, W. DeLoss, Jr. Samson Occom and the Christian Indians of New England. 1899. Rpt. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2003; McCallum, James Dow. Eleazar Wheelock, Founder of Dartmouth College. Hanover: Dartmouth College Publications, 1939.