Two main groups of American Indians lived in New York in the 1800s -- the Algonquin and the Iroquois, each consisting of a variety of tribes. In 1830, President Andrew Jackson signed into law "The Indian Removal Act." It gave the federal government power to put treaties into place in which Indians were required to give up land east of the Mississippi River in exchange for land west of the Mississippi River. While some Indians agreed to the treaties, many refused to leave. In fact, a New York State census taken in 1845 shows Indian tribes that existed in New York in the mid 1840s. The 1845 census is the only census of Indian tribes taken in the 1840s, as listed in the New York State Archives.
The Tonawanda reservation is located in parts of Genesee, Erie and Niagara counties in north western New York. The tribe still existed at the time of publication. According to the New York State Archives, 224 male and 281 female members of the Tonawanda tribe were living in New York in 1845, giving indication that there were similar numbers in 1846. The reservation consisted of 71 acres of land as of 2000.
The Tuscarora tribe also still exists. It is located in upstate New York near the Canadian border, just 10 minutes from Niagara Falls. Native Americans from the Tuscarora tribe as well as other Iroquis Indians and their guests live on the reservation. In the mid 1840s, approximately 148 males and 164 females were part of the Tuscarora tribe, according to New York State Archives.
The Oneida Indian Reservation still exists in an area of Central New York between Utica and Syracuse. According to New York State Archives, 71 males and 86 females were part of the tribe living in New York as of 1845.
According to New York State Archives, in the mid 1840s, the Seneca tribe consisted of people living on the Seneca of Cattaragus reservation and the Seneca of Allegheny Reservation. Approximately 200 to 300 people lived on both reservations in the mid-1840s. The Seneca reservation still exists near Buffalo, New York.
The Cayuga tribe consists of five small clans, all located in upstate New York near the Finger Lakes. According to New York State Archives, 56 males and 58 females were part of the tribe in 1845.
According to New York State Archives, 84 males and 86 females were part of the Mohawk tribe in New York in the mid-1840s. As of 2011, the tribe was located in Franklin County, near the Canadian border and consists of several thousand Native Americans.
According to New York State Archives, nearly 100 people were part of the Onondaga tribe in 1845. The tribe is located south of Syracuse, New York.
- PBS Kids: Big Apple History -- Native People
- New York State Archives: Native American Collection
- New York State Archives: Tuscarora Section of the Population Census of Indian Reservations, 1845
- PBS: Indian Removal
- Access Geneaology: Tonawanda Indian Reservation Map and Occupants, 1890
- Tuscarora and Six Nations: A Place for Haudenosaunee to Meet: Tuscarora Reservation
- Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images