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Conestoga

An important Iroquoian tribe that formerly lived on Susquehanna River and its branches. When first met by Captain
Conawa
John Smith, in 1608, and until their conquest by the Iroquois confederation in 1675, they were in alliance with the Algonquiantribes of the east shore of Chesapeake Bay and at war with those on the west shore. They were described as warlike and as possessed of a physique far superior to that of all the other neighboring tribes. In 1675, after their defeat by the iroquois, they established themselves on the east bank of the Potomac River in Maryland, immediately north of Piscataway Creek. They formed a close alliance with the Dutch and Swedes, and with the English of Maryland. The Iroquois had carried on relentless war against them, with varying success, which finally reduced them from about 3,000 warriors in 1608 to about 550 in 1648. The Iroquois of the north drove the Conestoga down on the tribes to the south and west, who were allies of the English, a movement involving the Conestoga in a war with Maryland and Virginia in 1675. Finding themselves surrounded by enemies on all sides, a portion of them abandoned their country and took refuge with the Occaneechi on Roanoke River, while the rest remained in Pennsylvania. They were all finally removed to the country of the Oneida, where they remained until they lost their language. Later, they were allowed to return to Conestoga, their ancient town where they rapidly wasted By the , close of the year 1763, the remnant, numbering only 20, were massacred by a party of rioters inflamed by the accounts of the Indian war then raging along the Pennsylvania frontier.

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