Caughnawaga

Variant name of place:

Caukunnawaka; Cacanawaka; Kaconawauka; Cohneneauka

Geographic position:

N 42° 57.253 W 074° 23.569

All related documents: retrieve them
Sources:

Hoxie, Frederick, E, ed. Encyclopedia of North American Indians. New York: Houghton Mifflin 1996; www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM79AG_Caughnawaga_Indian_Village_Site_Fonda_New_York. Geo coordinates at www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM79AG_Caughnawaga_Indian_Village_Site_Fonda_New_York.

General note:

Caughnawaga was one of four palisaded villages or "castles" of the Mohawk tribe located along the Mohawk River in eastern New York state near the present-day town of Fonda. The name derives from a Mohawk word kahnawa:ke, meaning place of the rapids, referring to the rapids of the Mohawk River. When Europeans first arrived in the 16th century, there were nearly 8,000 people living in these four villages, which were made up of bark longhouses, organized matrilineally. In 1664, the English captured Albany and tried to bring the Mohawks under their influence. French Jesuits established a mission in the village, which operated from 1668 to 1679, teaching the Mohawks French and converting them to Catholicism. Under French influence, a band migrated in 1667 from the New York region to La Prairie, a Jesuit mission on the St. Lawrence river in Quebec, finally settling just south of Montreal at a site they called Caughnawaga after their original village in New York; it is now known as Kahnawake. (Among the migrants was Kateri Tekakwitha, a young Mohawk convert who in 1993 was canonized as a saint of the Catholic Church.) The traditional longhouse village of Caughnawaga was abandoned in 1693. Joseph Brant, an influential Mohawk chief and brother-in-law of Sir William Johnson, British superintendent for Indian Affairs, urged the Six Nations to support the British during the Revolutionary War. Because of this alliance, the Mohawks were forced out of the Mohawk Valley and fled to Ontario and Montreal. In the 1780s, English settlers established a new town north of the Mohawk River named Caughnawaga, after the Mohawk village, which Occom visited several times on his preaching tours of the area in 1785 and 1789. The original site of Caughnawaga was discovered in 1950, and is now the only completely excavated Haudenosaunee village in the country, showing the outlines of 12 longhouses and the defensive stockade.