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© The Woodland Cultural Centre
Local History Year Oronhyatekha’s Life Year Socio-political Events

Orange Lodge established at Tyendinaga

1830

1830

Rev. Nelles assigned to Six Nations

1831

1831

Death of Capitan John Brant (son of Joseph Brant) extinguishes a direct and influential line of the communication between the Crown and Six Nations

1832

1832

Rebellion, 100 Six Nations men participate.
Rev. Abraham Nelles and Adam Elliot assigned to Six Nations by New England Company (Mohawk Chapel and Institute)

1837

1837

Land losses, parcelling and squatters have by this time created patchwork of original Haldimand Deed

1839

1839

Local History Year Oronhyatekha’s Life Year Socio-political Events

Establishment of Orange Lodge at Six Nations

1840

1840

January: Six Nations Council and government agree to consolidate land into one continuous tract 20,000 acres, later expanded to 55, 000 acres

1841

August 10: Birth of Peter “Oronhyatekha” Martin, son of Lydia Loft, Mohawk from Tyendinaga and Peter Martin, Mohawk from Six Nations (Participant in War of 1812)

1841

February 10: “United Province of Canada” creates Canada East – West. Indians now considered wards, not allies, reserves not territory

Six Nations request assistance in consolidations, David Thorburn (“Old Ironsides”) appointed Indian Superintendent.

1844

1844

Squatter evictions; notices issued, posted and enforced. From 1839 to 1853, evictions are often violent, resulting in skirmishes and retaliations. Six Nations families are also being relocated. Mohawks at Cainsville, possibly including the Martins and Powless, are burned out of their homes

1845

1845

Six Nations with Methodists/Baptists establish three schools on “Reserve”– Martin’s Corner.

1846

Oronhyatekha attends elementary school at Six Nations

1846

Until this time, “National Councils” have managed their own affairs. Confederacy has only met when issues affected the whole. Now, “National Councils” are considered divisive and dissident, and are therefore condemned by Confederacy

Between 1847 and 1851, settlement and cultural patterns are establishing at Six Nations. Predominately Christian Mohawks, Oneidas and Tuscaroras settle at the “upper end,” while the predominately Longhouse Onondagas, Cayugas and Senecas settle “down below”

1847

1847

Local History Year Oronhyatekha’s Life Year Socio-political Events

No. 1 School founded at, Chief W. Smith’s Corner

1850

1850

Indian Protection Act for tax/debt exemption

1851

Oronhyatekha attends Mohawk Institute, learns shoemaking.

1851

Eviction of squatters complete

1853

Death of George Martin, Oronhyatekha’s grandfather, at age 86

1853

1854

Oronhyatekha is graduated from the Mohawk Institute; becomes shoemaker. Phrenologist recommends him for higher education
1854

1855

1855

Grand Western Railroad links Windsor – Hamilton – Niagara

Six Nations Council/New England Company establishes schools at Six Nations

1856

1856

Grand Trunk Railroad links Montreal to Toronto

1857

From 1855 to 1857, Oronhyatekha attends Wesleyan Academy in Wilbraham, Massachusetts. He returns to teach at Six Nations. From 1857 to 1860, Oronhyatekha attends Kenyon College, in Gambier, Ohio. He completes a four-year program in threeyears. He has a poor relationship with the New England Company and Nelles, and returns to teach at Six Nations

1857

Enfranchisement Act – forces abandonment of Indian status for the right to vote

Walter and James Kerr, Elias Hill (a young Mohawk shoemaker) apply to enfranchise. Kerr’s request is denied, while Hills is accepted. The Confederacy reacts to a perceived infringement on membership/land sovereignty.

1858

1858

Grand Trunk Railroad links to Buffalo and the U.S.
George Brown, David Christie, Legislative Assembly, Brant East, form the Clear Grit Party, as “Reformers.” They look to American precedents for models of representation by population and the separation of church and state.

Six Nations Confederacy Council appoints Mohawk Chief George Henry Martin Johnson to the position of Interpreter.

1859

1859

Grand Trunk Railroad to Toronto – Sarnia.

Local History Year Oronhyatekha’s Life Year Socio-political Events

Bread and Cheese Day at Six Nations. Six Nations see the gift as affirmation of Crown relations. The crown sees it simply as a gift to the poor and needy.

1860

While teaching at Six Nations, Oronhyatekha applies and is accepted into the University of Toronto School of Medicine. He meets Acland in Toronto Sept. 8-11; Six Nations requests that Oronhyatekha make a presentation to the Prince of Wales on September 14, in Brantford. He meets Acland and the Prince. September 15 to 17: The Crowns first official royal visit, at Niagara Falls.

1860

Transfer of Indians Affairs from British military control to Canadian civil authority

Grand River Navigation Company goes bankrupt. Six Nations loses all its investments

December: Isaac Powless leads “Reformers” a group of well-educated, young upper Mohawks with petition seeking elected government at Six Nations. The Mohawk Workers is founded.

1861

1861

American Civil War

Confederacy/ Indian Affairs react negatively to petition citing no Indian Act provision to “elect”

Jasper Tough Gilkison replaces Thorburn as Superintendent at Six Nations and quiets tje reform movement.

Birth of Pauline Johnson.

1862

May: Oronhyatekha leaves Six Nations to enroll at Oxford, England

June: Oronhyatekha returns to Tyendinaga as a teacher.

1862

1863

April: Oronhyatekha marries Ellen Hill of Tyendinaga. She is the great-granddaughter of Joseph Brant/John Deseronto

1863

1864

1864 to 1866: Attends University of Toronto School of Medicine

1864

 
Completion of Ohsweken Council House (begun in 1863). Seat of government moved from Onondaga Longhouse at Middlepoint

1865

Joins King Solomon’s Masonic Lodge, Toronto, Queens Own Rifles Militia, and the University Corp. Probably also joins Orange Order

1865

1866

Oronhyatekha attains M. B. from University of Toronto; begins practicing at Shannonville, near Tyendinaga

Oronhyatekha is purported to have participated in Fenian Raids

1866

Fenian Raids (Union Army Irish Nationalists)

1867

Oronhyatekha receives official M. D. accreditation; establishes practice at Frankford, near Belleville.

1867

Confederation/British North America Act
Sir John A. McDonald, Prime Minister

Chiefs Will Smith and Joseph Powless, prominent Mohawk farmers, establish the Six Nations Agricultural Society

1868

Oronhyatekha establishes a farm at the Pines Homestead, Tyendinaga

1868

 

1869

1869

Indian Act provides for election of council; The act automatically enfranchises women who marry non-Indians

Local History Year Oronhyatekha’s Life Year Socio-political Events

Tyendinaga becomes first elect Band Council (Sampson Green – First Chief Councillor). Since 1811, Tyendinaga has had various signatories and designates for administration

Superintendent General Indian Affairs, Joseph Howe visits Six Nations Fall Fair

1870

Oronhyatekha is elected founding Secretary of the Hastings County Medical Association

Birth of Oronhyatekha’s second son, acland. acland has one older sister and one older brother by this date

Oronhyatekha establishes practice with Dr. Lucas, and moves to Stratford.

1870

Louis Riel of Manitoba executes Orangemen; causes major problems for Ontario Orange Order

New Credit begins elected Band Council

1871

Oronhyatekha member of First Canadian Team at the Wimbledon Shoots, and wins 9 medals

1871

1872

As Chairman of the Grand Indian Council, Oronhyatekha petitions for changes in Indian Act. Oronhyatekha campaigns for Sir John A. Macdonald and conservatives at Wallace Township. In Stratford, he meets Sir John A. Macdonald, who recommends Oronhyatekha as Consulting Physician, Tyendinaga. Although his reasoning is unclear, Oronhyatekha petitions Indians Affairs for enfranchisement

December 31: Oronhyatekha accepts the position, and is also appointed agent with Sampson Green to look after debts for back rent at Tyendinaga

1872

Six Nations Agricultural Society begins receiving grants from Department of Agriculture and New England Company

Sampson Green reports that Oronhyatekha has falsified information on documents

1873

Charges for non-attendance are brought against Oronhyatekha as medical attendant

1873

Governor General and Countess of Dufferin visit Six Nations in summer

1874

Rumours circulate that Oronhyatekha is trying to have himself appointed as the new consulting physician at Six Nations in place of Dr. Dee and MacCargow. Oronhyatekha resigns his Tyendinaga appointment to establish practice in London, Ontario

1874

Oliver Mowat, Ontario Premier, adds “enfranchised Indians” to elections Act

Alexander Bell invents telephone

1875

Oronhyatekha requests transfer of membership to Tyendinaga; is delegate to the Triennial Council of Orangeman in Glasgow

1875

1876

1876

First long distance telephone call, Brantford to Paris

Formation of the Six Nations School Board

1878

Oronhyatekha joins International Order of Foresters in London, Ontario. The rule restricting membership to “white males” is overridden by “special dispensation”

1878

1879

Moravian outbreak of smallpox; services rendered by Dr. Oronhyatekha.

1879

Local History Year Oronhyatekha’s Life Year Socio-political Events

Establishment of the Six Nations Exhibition Hall on a 12 acre park earmarked for fairs and special events

1880

Oronhyatekha still on pay list of Six Nations. Participates in organizing Quebec High Court, IOF. Membership is predominantly French Catholics, and the High Court fails shortly thereafter

1880

Electricity arrives in Brantford

1881

Oronhyatekha elected first Supreme Chief Ranger, IOF. Oronhyatekha’s son Henry drowns in a boating accident

1881

1882

Defeat of Oronhyatekha’s motion to admit women to IOF membership

1882

1884

1884

Indian Advanced Act specifically institutes elected Band Councils.

Mohawk Chief William Smith and others found Union Association to pursue land claims of Six Nations

1884 to 85: Six Nations participates in the Nile Expedition

1885

Oronhyatekha is subject to petition brought by Elijah Ninham to be removed from position at Oneida Reserve. Oronhyatekha writes a letter regarding his sentiments on the Riel Rebellion. Calls it “senseless and wicked”

1885

Franchise Act (Federal) extends right to vote to Indians without loss of Status

Chief Harry Martin campaigns against the vote at Six Nations

1886

Oneida Council requests that Oronhyatekha be named Magistrate

1886

Prime Minister Sir John A. McDonald visits Six Nations, encourages voting

1887

Oronhyatekha successfully establishes Quebec High Court

1887

Tyendinaga petitions Governor General and proposes return to the traditional Confederacy. No response is received

1888

1888

Six Nations Council supports Union Association petition to Colonial Secretary in London, England

Tyendinaga makes a direct representation to the Governor General to return to the traditional Confederacy system

1889

Oronhyatekha moves IOF to Toronto. Establishes Juvenile Order of membership

1889

Local History Year Oronhyatekha’s Life Year Socio-political Events

Six Nations Lower Chiefs have occasionally petitioned Crown to confirm sovereignty status. Creation of the Covenant Chain, a two-row wampum

1890

1890

Caughnawaga petition Governor General. Over 1000 from Oka, Caughnawaga, and Awkwasasne meet and call for a reunification of the Confederacy

1891

Oronhyatekha gives an address on Indian Education at a Toronto conference

The Right Worthy Grand Lodge of Good Templar, Edinburgh (Scotland) awards Oronhyatekha their highest order, “Right Worthy Grand Templar.” Oronhyatekha is elected first President, Canadian Fraternal Association. At the IOF Supreme Court Session, Oronhyatekha maintains women cannot be denied membership by constitution of IOF

1891

1893

Oronhyatekha is named most Worshipful Grand Master-General of Dominion, Royal and Oriental Freemasonry. Institutes IOF courts in England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales

1893

Progressive Warriors, upper nations, organize and petition. Some are descended from the reformers of 1860-1861. They are members of the Church., the Orange Lodge, and the Agricultural Society. They petition for:

  • Council accountable by election
  • Principle of achievement.
  • 1894

    Oronhyatekha’s membership in Tyendinaga confirmed a second time

    1894

    1895

    Oronhyatekha presides over the building of the Forester’s Temple Building in Toronto. It is the tallest in the Commonwealth, with Governor General Earl of Aberdeen (completed in 1898). Oronhyatekha completes his book, The History of the I.O.F. At Foresters Island, he holds the twenty-first Anniversary Picnic

    1895

    1896

    1896

    Formation of the United Empire Loyalists Association of Ontario. Laurier (liberals) elected

    1897

    Oronhyatekha commissions a life-size bronze portrait of himself.

    1897

    Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee

    Progressive Warriors petition government again. Awkwasasne election is prevented (for a second time) and Clan Mothers petition the Governor General

    1898

    Female beneficiaries, “Companion Courts,” noted by IOF. Foresters Temple building completed

    1898

    Federal Liberal Government denies right to vote from Indians

    March: Awkwasasne and Police confrontation

    1899

    Oronhyatekha is elected President of the National Fraternal Congress, an umbrella insurance organization

    1899

    Local History Year Oronhyatekha’s Life Year Socio-political Events

    Six Nations Confederacy issue the “Official Constitution.” The Chief is John A Gibson (Seneca)

    Establishment of Tyendinaga Mohawk Fair

    1900

    Oronhyatekha is elected president of the Union Trust Company

    1900

    Six Nations establishes Board of Heath

    1901

    Death of Ellen, Oronhyatekha’s wife. Visit of Duke and Duchess of York (the future King George V and Queen Mary) to Toronto

    1901

    Death of Queen Victoria

    1902

    Oronhyatekha attends coronation of King Edward VII

    1902

    Fire at the Mohawk Institute. Current building constructed

    1904

    Oronhyatekha donates his collection to the I.O.F.
    I.O.F. establishes Oronhyatekha Historical Rooms and Library. Oronhyatekha establishes the Forester’s Island Orphanage, which is completed in 1906. He plans to establish a home for seniors and the disabled at Sherwood Castle

    1904

    Progressive Warriors fracture. Indian Rights Association of “Dehorners” want total replacement of Confederacy

    Formation of the Moral Reform League, which is short-lived and radical

    1906

    Oronhyatekha’s health begins failing quickly due to diabetes. Oronhyatekha orders a $15,000 contribution to victims of the San Francisco earthquake. Oronhyatekha called before a Royal Commission on Life Insurance

    1906

    1907

    February: The Royal Commission report gives the I.O.F. a clean bill of health
    March: Oronhyatekha dies in Savannah, Georgia. His son, Acland, dies months later at age 37.
    The Orphanage closes due to a debt of $232,000.

    1907

    1909

    Orphanage Home is opened in Oakville, I.O.F.

    1909

    Local History Year Oronhyatekha’s Life Year Socio-political Events

    Second “Dehorners” petition rejected.

    1910

    1910

    “Dehorners” send a delegation to Ottawa; they need two thirds voter support for election at Six Nations

    1911

    The I.O.F donates Oronhyatekha’s collection to the Royal Ontario Museum. The I.O.F. opens the Tuberculosis Sanatorium in Rainbow Lake, New York

    1911

    Six Nations tries to establish a hospital as an “Oronhyatekha Memorial.” Six Nations rejects the proposal as Indian Affairs will not pay to maintain and operate it

    1912

    1912

    1913

    1913

    Death of Pauline Johnson

    292 Six Nations enlist in war. Upper nations Chiefs hold ceremony to reaffirm loyalty to Confederacy. Formation of Mohawk workers

    “Thunderwater Movement” elects “longhairs versus shorthairs” at Tyendinaga, Six Nations, Awkwasasne, and Oka “Council of Tribes”

    1914

    1914

    First World War

    Death of Chief Josiah Hill. He is credited with maintaining Confederacy Council in power

    1915

    1915

    Six Nations soldiers in France sign petition urging government to establish elected council at Six Nations

    1917

    1917

    Thunderwater proposes “An Act to Incorporate a Council for the Indian Tribes of Canada,” but it is defeated

    1918

    1918

    Soldiers Settlement Act applies to Six Nations

    Local History Year Oronhyatekha’s Life Year Socio-political Events

    Confederacy Chief Deskaheh (Levi General) goes to England to affirm Crown relationship and responsibility

    1920

    1920

    Amendment of Indian Act to call for compulsory enfranchisement of Indians

    Deskaheh goes to England, Geneva and United Nations with claim

    1923

    1923

     Federal government calls election at Six Nations

    1924

    E. J. Dunn writes about Oronhyatekha in Builders Of Fraternalism in America

    1924

    1931

    I.O.F. opens Aged Members Home, Lopez Canyon, California

    1931

    1948

    Brigadier O.M. Martin, addresses I.O.F. Conference, Toronto. Indian Education, housing is in “poor state of affairs”

    1948

    1970

    1970

    The Mohawk Institute is closed

    © The Woodland Cultural Centre