Seneca Country

Variant name of place

Seneke Country

Geographic position

42.7900° N, 76.8300° W


"Seneca Indian Tribe." Accessed 10/19/14. "Birth of a Nation." Seneca Nation of Indians. Accessed 10/19/14. Mitrano, James. "Samuel Kirkland's Mission to the Oneidas, 1766-1808." Lehigh University Preserve. Kirkland, Samuel. The Journals of Samuel Kirkland. Hamilton College, 1980. Jemison, Mary. "The War for Independence Through Seneca Eyes: Mary Jemison Views the Revolution, 1775–79." GMU History Matters. Sawyer, William. "The Six Nations Confederacy During the American Revolution." Accessed 10/19/14. Geo coordinates at

General note

Seneca Country refers to the traditional lands inhabited by the Seneca Nation in what is now western New York State. It should not be confused with the much smaller modern Seneca County in the Finger Lakes region of central New York. Seneca Country originally consisted of the Finger Lakes region and the Genesee Valley in Western New York, which is bounded by the Genesee River and Canandaigua Lake, and fell within the huge Albany County, NY. Seneca Country was organized around the village unit, two of the biggest being Kanadasegea in the east and Ganondagan in the west. The Senecas were the Western-most tribe within the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Confederacy, which is why they are known as "The Keepers of the Western Door." Unlike many tribes and territories during colonization, the Senecas and Seneca Country expanded as far South as Pennsylvania during the mid-1600s and early 1700s through the conquest and assimilation of smaller tribes. Despite the Senecas’ desire for neutrality, the British prevailed on them to eventually fight on their side during the Revolutionary War. British defeat meant the loss of significant land in Seneca Country, as a result of a treaty with the newly formed United States in 1784. Samuel Kirkland, one of Wheelock's most famous Anglo-American missionaries, began his career with a mission to Seneca Country in January 1765. Living among the Senecas was considered dangerous because they were known as the most warlike of the Six Nations, but Kirkland was able to learn their language during his year and a half there before he went on to serve as missionary to the Oneidas for 40 years. Today, some Senecas still live in what was once Seneca Country, and though many geographic locations in Western and Central New York still bear the name of their original inhabitants, many Senecas moved out of Seneca Country to Oklahoma and Canada.