ERIE Research Projects
Early Historical & Ecological Study of the Upper Susquehanna River Valley -- New York State Line to Lake Otsego
Faculty:Don Grinde (Professor of American Studies)
U.S.Dept. of Interior
Upper Susquehanna River valley; Iroquois; Susquehannocks; John Smith Historical Trail; public's historical knowledge
This research highlights the history and culture of the Iroquois nations who occupied the Upper Susquehanna River valley. Beginning with proto-Iroquoian groups, the research found that the Susquehannocks lived along the Upper Susquehanna valley and are
thought to be of Mohawk descent. After migrating south, the Susquehannocks continued their relationship with the Iroquois which fluctuated between good trading partners and enemies. The ensuing beaver trade with the European colonists would fuel this rivalry. Eventually defeated in Pennsylvania the Susquehannocks would move back to the Upper Susquehanna River valley in New York State where they were given sanctuary by the Iroquois. Their histories are interwoven and tied to the river since it was used as a highway for trade, diplomacy and war.