I was adopted at birth and grew up never knowing my heritage or nationality, I recently met my Biological mother for the first time and that is when I learned I am actually half Iroquois/Seneca Native American, So I have been doing a little research into The Iroquois Tribe and I thought I would share some of what I have found.
The Iroquois, or Six Nations, stand first among the native races of this continent for valor, policy, and eloquence. Their home was in western and central New York, and their geographical situation, on a broad summit of fertile table-land, favorable for raising maize and abounding in game, gave them great advantages. The leading rivers of this region, running in all directions, and enabling then to descend rapidly into an enemy's country, contributed largely to the success of their warlike expeditions. Their attachment to the English alone saved Western New York from becoming a French colony.
They had attained their highest point about the year 1700. At that period, besides carrying terror by their war parties to the walls of Quebec, they had, by virtue of their combination, subdued and held in subjection, one after another, all the principal Indian nations occupying the territory now embraced in the States of New York, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, and parts of Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, Northern Tennessee, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New England, and Upper Canada.
If any of these nations became involved in domestic differences, a delegation of chiefs went among them and restored tranquillity, prescribing at the same time their future conduct.
In New England and Canada the Iroquois were the dread of the native Algonkin tribes. When, in the early days of the Massachusetts colony, they made war on the New England Indians, it was said that as soon as a single one of them was seen in their country, these Indians raised the cry from hill to hill, "A Mohawk a Mohawk!" upon which they all fled, like sheep before wolves, without attempting to make the least resistance.
Independence and love of liberty was one of the most marked characteristics of the Iroquois. Their pride was so great that they called themselves Ongwe Hongwe, "the men surpassing all others," and yet in their most prosperous days they could hardly muster four thousand warriors. Their losses in battle were made up by their custom of adopting a part of their captives as members of their tribe.
Originally the confederacy consisted of five tribes or nations: Mohawks, Onondagas, Cayugas, Oneidas, and Senecas.