Shikellamy - Oneida Chief and Iroquois Representative in Pennsylvania

April 8, 2016

Shikellamy - Oneida Chief and Iroquois Representative in Pennsylvania

Appletons' Swatane
By Jacques Reich (probably based on an 
earlier work by another artist) 
[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Born around 1690 in New York State, Shikellamy (sometimes spelled Shikellimy, also known as Swatane) was originally a member of the Susquehannock tribe. Though Susquehannocks referred to themselves as Andastes. When the tribe settled at Conestoga, they gave up war and disagreeing members left the tribe and joined other tribes. Shikellamy was one of the individuals to leave the Andastes and joined up with the Oneida. He became a part of the Oquacho (Wolf Tribe). It's said that he rose quickly within the tribe and was a leader amongst the tribe. By the year of 1728, he was the representative of the Six Nations in dealings with the proprietary colonial government. He even became favorable amongst the English.

In the summer of 1745, Shikellamy visited Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and spent three weeks there. During the time, he met with many men and made friendships with them. Of all the visitors in that summer, he was the one that was most revered, impressive and respected in the eyes of the English there. Shikellamy was shown the schools and met with students in the (back then) small town. 

After the visit, Bishop Spangenberg, Conrad Weiser, John Joseph, David Zeisberger, Shikellamy, his son John, and Andrew Sattelihu, traveled on to Onondaga, an Iroquois settlement. On this journey, Shikellamy gave the Bishop the name T'girhitonti which meant "row of trees'. John Joseph received the name Hajingonis (one who twists tobacco), David Zeisberger got the the name Ganonsseracheri (on the pumpkin). This would've been around June 10, 1745. Shikellamy served as the voice between the English and the Iroquois in Onondaga. He was also a guide to Conrad Weiser for many years.

He moved to Shamokin (near modern-day Sudbury) in 1742 and spent his last years there, dying on December 6, 1748

Read More about Shikellamy:

Best sources:
Otzinachson: A History of the West Branch Valley of the Susquehanna

On the Frontier with Colonel Antes: Or, The Struggle for Supremacy of the Red and White Races in Pennsylvania

Bishop J. C. F. Cammerhoff's narrative of a journey to Shamokin, Penna. in the winter of 1748

Quick facts:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shikellamy