Indians Have A Grievance (1898) | Surnames: Two-Canoe
The Caughnawagas deprived of their trade with the United States
A venerable chief will lay his case at the foot of the throne
Nowitekuhonwake (Louis Two-Canoe) who was recently elected chief of the Iroquois Indians at Caughnawaga, is preparing to go to England to make a personal call on her Majesty the Queen. His object is to secure for his tribe a renewal of the American treaty of 1873, by which his people can cross the border without paying duty on their manufactures.
There are about 2,000 Indians on the Caughnawaga reserve, and they depend entirely upon the sale of their bead, bark, and chamois goods for their livelihood. Owing to the great quantity turned out, the American market has been relied upon to such and extent that the tribe is now almost in poverty, because of the shutting off of this market by a Customs duty of no less sixty per cent. Large quantities of goods have been seized at Malone and Fort Covington, and the owners being too poor to pay the duty, their earnings of many months have been snatched form them.
In 1873 the American Customs Department agreed to allow the goods to be entered free, and this agreement has been in force from then until a few weeks ago, when, without an hour’ warning the Customs agents at the points crossed by the salesmen from Caughnawaga seized everything in sight. The council of Caughnawaga claims to have corresponded with the authorities at Ottawa andWashington, but without doing anything to better the condition of affairs. On Thursday last the tribe elected a new chief, and he has given his word that he will carry the story of his people’s wrongs to the throne of England.
Source: Daily Mail and Empire, Jan 13, 1898
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