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Cornplanter - A famous Seneca chief who was the son of an Indian woman and a white man.  He was known as John O'Bail and was born in the 1770's on the Genesee River in new York.

Cornplanter was brought up among the Seneca, believing himself a true Indian.  But when his playmates spoke of the difference in color of his skin and theirs, his mother finally told him his father was a white man and lived in Albany, New York.  He visited his father who was married to a white woman.  The elder O'Bail treated him kindly "But gave me nothing to carry back," Cornplanter later said.

While fighting on the side of the British in the Revolutionary War, Cornplanter captured his father and tried to persuade him to live with him.  But his father refused and was taken back to his home.

Like the other Seneca Indian chief, Red jacket, Cornplanter was forgiven his part in the Revolution when he sided with the United States in the War of 1812.  he offered to lead his tribe against the British, but was not allowed to because he was thought too old to fight.  His son, Henry O'Bail, served as a major with the United States Army.

Years later Cornplanter, who had been honored by the colonists for his friendship, said the Great Spirit had told him to have nothing more to do with the whites.  He burned a belt and broke a beautiful sword which had been given him.  He died at about the age of ninety, and years later, in 1866, a monument was erected to his memory on his reservation by the state of Pennsylvania.

Related Information within this Site
 [ Half Breed ][ Iroquois ][ Orators ][ Red Jacket ]