Peter Wilson [Cayuga] ( ____ - 1871)
Peter Wilson was a member of the Cayuga
nation, one of the six aboriginal nations which formed The Iroquois
Confederacy. His name, variously spelled
Waowawanaonk, Wau-wah-wa-na-onk, De jih'-non-da-weh-hoh, means "They Hear
His Voice" or "The Pacificator." His family history and date of birth are
unknown. Although he was Cayuga, he spent most of his youth on the Seneca
Buffalo Reservation, where he studied in Quaker reservation schools and later
attended the medical collage at
This speech was delivered
In 1795 Quakers in the northern
Quakers maintained schools on the Seneca nation reservations starting in 1798 and taught English along with a religious based curriculum. In addition they taught basic household skills and farming. Elementary school books, a hymnal, and the four Gospels were published in the Seneca language as the result of translations by Asher Wright (1803-1875), a Protestant missionary.
In a treaty negotiated with the New York Indians in 1838, Joseph Fellows and Thomas Ludlow Ogden, with the support and backing of the American government, convinced the chiefs and tribal leaders of the Seneca, Tuscarora, Cayuga, Onondagas, Oneida, St. Regis, Stockbridge, Munsee and Brothertown tribes residing in the State of New York to sell them all their native lands for insignificant monetary compensation. As part of the treaty, the chiefs agreed to removal of their people from their land under the Indian Removal Act of 1830. Peter Wilson signed this treaty as a chief or tribal leader of the Cayuga.
When the impact of the 1838 treaty
was realized by the Seneca, Quakers stepped forward to help them in their
efforts to have the treaty revoked. The
Quakers supported Seneca land claims through publicity campaigns and government
petitions. As a result of these efforts,
they were able to negotiate the 1842 Treaty on behalf of Senecas with the
Secretary of War and the Ogden Land Company. It reversed the 1838 Treaty in which all four
of the remaining reservations were lost to land speculators Ogden and Fellows. The new treaty restored Seneca ownership to two
of its reservations--Cattaraugus and Allegheny—and gave them monetary compensation for
In 1848, the Seneca Nation abolished the "chief" system and established a democracy with a written constitution.
 Buffalo Commercial Advertiser,
that left him speechless and one arm useless." His date of birth is unknown.
 Publication of
Auction, 2007, Item 3300009 "Cayuga Chief Peter Wilson Letters", http://www.liveauctioneers.com
Indian Affairs Committee -
 National Center for Public Policy, http://www.nationalcenter.org/Waowawanaonk.html
 Indian Affairs Committee - Baltimore Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, Quakers
Jackson Papers, 1827-1849.
Joint Committee on Indian Concerns and acted as a Clerk for the Committee beginning about 1844.
 Thomas Ludlow Ogden (1773-1844), with brother David, was counsel to Holland Land Company. The
family company, Ogden Land Company, accumulated land and developed the Erie Canal
corridor. They purchased huge tracts of land from Indians of the Six Nations and resold it to whites
at an enormous profit. http://www.clements.umich.edu
 Chronology of Major Events in the History of Friends and Native Americans. http://fcnl.org
 John Jackson Papers, 1827-1849. http://www.swarthmore.edu/library
 Seneca Nation official website. http://www.sni.org/gov.html