By Lorenzo Ramos
Publication by way of Ramos, Lorenzo, Martinez Gamba, Carlos, Et Al
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78 The League continued to function throughout the war and remains a living institution to this day. Half-literate settlers did not care about the constitutional mechanisms of the League, however. ’’ In a self-fulﬁlling prophecy, they saw settler-League warfare as inevitable, so they pushed until they made it a fact at the Battle of Oriskany, a site far upstate, where the Tories and the Americans squared off on 6 August 1777 in a ﬁght to determine who would control Fort Stanwix (called Fort Schuyler by the Americans during the Revolution).
It is even recorded in contemporary documents that a Tory, not a Seneca, had killed the popular Mr. ’’205 Conversely, the Rangers were certainly active in the massacre. Thayendanegea wept when Walter Butler read their marching orders, which included the British demand that the party slay all indiscriminately. 207 Interestingly, contemporary American authorities had the same information, indicting Rangers over Senecas. 208 Walter Butler bleated heatedly at the charge, but it rang of some truth, for, even at the height of anti-Tory hate-mongering, it was not American policy to whitewash the Senecas, even to inculpate the Tories, whereas it was ever the Iroquoian policy to spare Innocents.
Having made a mess, the Americans kicked against its consequences. 92 Seven hundred Iroquoian counselors showed up, mainly from the clans of the Onondagas and Oneidas already forced into the American fold, but the council was deeply shy on Mohawks and Cayugas, with the Senecas conspicuously absent. 93 The implication was that the peace councils from 1775 onward had been utterly ignored by the Americans at Oriskany, leaving the Senecas little trust in any new peace council. 94 The ensuing history of 1778 is still presented in many American texts as an unbridled rampage by bloodthirsty savages tomahawking innocent settlers, whose hands clasped in prayer as their eyes drifted desperately heavenward, but the fact is that the settlers gave as good as they got.