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Erie - An independent tribe of the Iroquois family.  In the Iroquois language the term "Erie" meant "long tail,"  referring to the panther, from which circumstances in the early days they were referred as the Cat nation.  They originally lived on the south side of Lake Erie.
 
The Erie did not join the powerful Five Nations (later the Six Nations) of the Iroquois, and when the latter almost wiped out the Huron many of the Huron were taken in and protected by the Erie.  As a result the Five Nations turned on the Erie and in 1656 killed or captured all but a few of them.  These few joined with some of the Huron and fled to Wisconsin, where they later became known as the Wyandot.
 
The Erie will long be remembered as they not only gave their name to one of the Great Lakes, but to an important city in Pennsylvania upon its shores; to counties in New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, and places in Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, North Dakota, Tennessee, Ohio and New York; also to an important railroad and canal.
 
 

Related Information within this Site
[ Huron ][ Iroquois ]