Betty Zane HTML version

Chapter 6
When the first French explorers invaded the northwest, about the year 1615, the
Wyandot Indians occupied the territory between Georgian Bay and the Muskoka Lakes
in Ontario. These Frenchmen named the tribe Huron because of the manner in which
they wore their hair.
At this period the Hurons were at war with the Iroquois, and the two tribes kept up a
bitter fight until in 1649, when the Hurons suffered a decisive defeat. They then
abandoned their villages and sought other hunting grounds. They travelled south and
settled in Ohio along the south and west shores of Lake Erie. The present site of
Zanesfield, named from Isaac Zane, marks the spot where the largest tribe of Hurons
once lived.
In a grove of maples on the banks of a swift little river named Mad River, the Hurons
built their lodges and their wigwams. The stately elk and graceful deer abounded in this
fertile valley, and countless herds of bison browsed upon the uplands.
There for mans years the Hurons lived a peaceful and contented life. The long war cry
was not heard. They were at peace with the neighboring tribes. Tarhe, the Huron chief,
attained great influence with the Delawares. He became a friend of Logan, the Mingo
With the invasion of the valley of the Ohio by the whites, with the march into the
wilderness of that wild-turkey breed of heroes of which Boone, Kenton, the Zanes, and
the Wetzels were the first, the Indian's nature gradually chanced until he became a
fierce and relentless foe.
The Hurons had sided with the French in Pontiac's war, and in the Revolution they
aided the British. They allied themselves with the Mingoes, Delawares and Shawnees
and made a fierce war on the Virginian pioneers. Some powerful influence must have
engendered this implacable hatred in these tribes, particularly in the Mingo and the
The war between the Indians and the settlers along the Pennsylvania and West Virginia
borders was known as "Dunmore's War." The Hurons, Mingoes, and Delawares living in
the "hunter's paradise" west of the Ohio River, seeing their land sold by the Iroquois and
the occupation of their possessions by a daring band of white men naturally were filled
with fierce anger and hate. But remembering the past bloody war and British
punishment they slowly moved backward toward the setting sun and kept the peace. In
1774 a canoe filled with friendly Wyandots was attacked by white men below Yellow
Creek and the Indians were killed. Later the same year a party of men under Colonel
Cresop made an unprovoked and dastardly massacre of the family and relatives of
Logan. This attack reflected the deepest dishonor upon all the white men concerned,