Notes on the Life of Chauncey Johnny John

I was recently doing some research on the Cornplanter Grant, a community mostly inhabited by Seneca people in northwestern Pennsylvania from 1796-1965. While looking through Manuscript Group 220: The Merle Deardorff Collection at the PA State Archives, a manuscript too good not to share. Deardorff was a businessman and amateur from Warren who spent much of his life researching the Cornplanter Grant and its people. In 1948 he conducted an interview with Chauncey Johnny John, a Cayuga man who lived a little farther north in Allegheny at the time but he had worked around and been to the Cornplanter Grant many times.

A quick Google search of his name will come up with a bunch of results for Chauncey Johnny John, also called hau’no’on or “Cold-voice.” He worked with anthropologists and writers to record many Seneca traditions and songs. According some sources I’ve seen he helped record hundreds of songs. Amazing.

This interview in the Deardorff Collection didn’t come with many accompanying notes, it appears to be a very rough draft that Deardorff made, possibly while he was actually with Chauncey Johnny John, or maybe immediately after and he typed up handwritten notes. There are a lot of typos and errors in the original pages (I fixed some obvious ones but left other more unclear ones as is). There are some spots where the author gave the Seneca (?) word for things referenced and the text is unclear so I did my best to type it as I could read it. Also, the voice switches between Deardorff and Chauncey Johnny John without notice so sometimes you’ll see direct quotes, other times it reads in first person like Chauncey Johnny John was writing the text, and other times its Deardorff’s observations.

So, keeping this in mind, I hope you’ll enjoy learning a little more about this fascinating person and his life in western Pennsylvania and New York!

Chauncey Johnny John, c. 1940.

Chauncey Johnny John 7/6/48

Notes on the Life of CJJ

Born at Cattaraugus at a place called Plank Road (ganesta’ge’gwa) in a year he can no longer remember; but he thinks he must be 78, which would put the date about 1870, although John Holt of Quaker Bridge, now in his seventies, remembers Chauncey as a grown man when he first came to Quaker Bridge from Cattaraugus.

His father was Abram or Abraham Johnny John, a Seneca of the Beaver clan, named djinohso’we, a hodihot or official title in the longhouse. (Abraham Johnny John was one of Curtin’s informants about 1880.) He came from Buffalo Creek.

His mother, Julia Davis Johnny John was a Cayuga on the list, after protracted residence in Canada, but she was really a Seneca of the Turtle clan, with name ganeh’doa, “big leaf.”

Yes, we are Cayuga. My mother went to Canada where she married a Canadian Cayuga man named Martin Davis and stayed so many years they put her on the Cayuga list. But we are Seneca really in the first place.

Although his father was of Buffalo Creek, his Mother was of Four Corners near the Fair Ground; but he doesn’t know where her people came from. But he thinks it was dyoneh’aio; and it was these people from the Genesess who named the place ganondasee, Newtown. They went directly from the Genesee to Newtown on Cattaraugus. A few others had lived there first, and others came and asked for space to put up houses.

(Some of those coming out from Buffalo Creek, after Red Jacket sold the reservation, stopped first at a place called Kahkwage’gaq, where others had been before them’ its name from the old custom of making corn bread and baking it in the ashes.)

His first recollection. I remember when we used to live near Clear Creek (oda’wch’de’, “no wind,” the hills were close) in a log house of four rooms, two down and two up. Just a ladder made of an old big log squared up and steps cut in it led to the loft where the children slept. The Old folks stayed downstairs and we young fellows had to climb up that ladder. The household consisted of my grandmother (mother’s mother), another old man (2), my mother (3), my daddy (4), my brother (a half brother by a different father) (5), and my sister (6), and myself (7)- seven of us.

1) Mother’s mother, Nee Margaret Williams, then married to a Davis in Canada; Turtle Clan, degawenonga’, “two islands.

2) William John, Turtle clan, brother of 1 (m’s m’s brother) “that’s why we keep him,” a Cayuga, and we called him gayogi’ Jain because he was Cayuga. We called him that all the time. That’s a funny name.

5) John Clark, my brother, Tutle clan “Cayuga,” hathonwi’ne, “he was in a boat that passed down stream;” son of Gilman Clark a Seneca Indian of ? clan, and father of Fred and Adam Clark.

6) Mary Davis (Turtle) “Cayuga,” awe’o’se, “new flower” “They put us all in the Cayuga side when my grandmother was in Canada so many years.”

All of the children including the sister slept upstairs. It was a Turtle clan house (hanyah’de’go’wa, a house comprised mainly of turtles.), and the house belonged to my grandmother, m’s mr, the senior matron of the Turtle clan resident there. Chauncey was the youngest.

I remember when we were near that creek. We stayed there I don’t know how many years, when we moved up to the top of the hill near Newtown, and there we stayed I don’t know how many years before we moved again, this time across Newtown Road to the first house this side of where jiha’ now lives. That house was sold and we moved again to below Mike Hough’s. We stayed there several years’ and we had to move again to near the Council House next to the grave yard, which is situated west of the Newtown Longhouse or Council House. That is the last move before I came here. Frequent removals were caused by repeated buying and selling.

I used to like it at Clear Creek. I used to play around the creek and fish and have a good time. My playmates were Sackett Hemlock, Charlie Bowen, and Orlando Doxdater.

They were the three boys that came there to play. Sackett lived up top of Newtown Hill; Orlando lived right by the Four Corners; Charlie lived at Plank Road which was closest None was related to me. We played and would go around the creek fishing. Then we would go back to the place and play around the house. We didn’t go far. I was then about 12, I think. I had been born right there.

He remembers his mother as living last by the Council House, when I came away; I was over there when she died.

Remembers from seven or eight and after that. Has forgotten about his childhood mainly. I fooled around too much I can’t remember all what we done. When we were at Newtown I went to North Collins at the basket factory making quart baskets. When strawberries ripened I went to the canning factory to work until apples were ready to put up, and when we had finished the apple business I came home in the last part of November. I was about 18 or 19 then. Will Stevens and I used to go up there together.

To go back. He was not put on the cradle board, which had gone out of use by 1870, but he was just carried by his mother in a shawl. “The old man, my daddy, was the one who lectured the children. I can’t remember what he said. I do remember that when I go around (working out among the whites), he said, to be good for everybody, so I did. I used to work up there (at North Collins) and lots of people came there’ and then I came over here (to Allegheny).

The Longhouse. All the family were longhouse people. We attended Newtown longhouse from the start, although they had a longhouse at Pine Woods but it was too far to go. They put up another longhouse on Plank Road but it was too far to come. It was closest to Newtown, up the hill. And later we lived just across the ballground. We lived right in the middle of those three longhouses, and when we would go to Newtown longhouse for the Green Corn Dance we used to hire somebody to take us there and back.

Lots of boys came to Newtown longhouse and we played a ball game called pole ball. It is like baseball in that there is a pitcher and catcher and fielders, and a softball was used. There are seven on a side. The pitcher tosses up the ball which the batter hits with a bad about 18” long which is held in one hand, and runs to a pole. If the runner does not make the first pole before the pitcher or any of the fielders recover the ball, they would hit him on the behind. That is the old fashioned ball game called yontwa’dase’s they go around the sticks. There were four sticks. You could steal bases or run to the next stick when the pitcher throws the ball. Only one out retires the side. (Longbase is another game like this which but one distant base and return.) Old Mohawk used to like that game; every evening he would come to the ball ground meanwhile the old people were inside the longhouse to play it.

When they started the ceremonies inside the longhouse, one of the hodiot would come to the door and holler, “Boys come inside’ they are going to start. After that you boys can come out and play again if you like.” When they were through inside we would resume the game. We fellows went in and sat down. When anyone wanted to dance we took part. Some kids just can’t keep quiet- rough boys. They are expected to come in and listen, that is all, and dance.

Chauncey learned dance at home. The old man taught me. He used to sing, and he would call in Bill Stevens and Madison Stevens and Harkness Phillips; the four of us learned to dance. The old man sang a little while and then quit- such songs as war song, Feather Dance. This went on once a week from the time I was 18, during all of one winter between return home from work out (side the Reservation) and going out again. Unlike his grandchildren whom he taught, Chauncey dd not learn to dance young. Nowadays it is the custom. Most others at Cattaraugus learned young.. (His learning as a grown youth would agree with Morgan’s statement that feather Dancers were selected from the best available, conveying the idea that just anyone and everyone did not dance. Possibly the present custom of selecting the dance leaders is all that is left of an entire cast.)

When I and James Crow’s half brother, Ely Washington, first went on the bench to sing Great Feather Dance at the long house I was about 21. We had started as kids to practice (not clear how young). Since that first time I have sung at every festival down to 1946 when I took sick. I can’t do it any more, although I have tried. We learned ourselves. He came to my house and I went to his place to practice. No old man coached us, we just learned ourselves what we heard at the council house. Feather was a singer of Great Feather Dance at the longhouse, but he did not teach us at home to sing, although he sand for us to learn to dance. I was nervous the first time we sat down on the bench in the longhouse.

This old man used to sing. His name was Truman Halftown, and he lived on the Gowanda side of the reservation. He used to go up to Newtown to sing and was the only singer they had (means the regular singer). They told us he was going up there to Newtown longhouse to sing for us. And he evidently was called, for he took his rattle and stopped at Janis Show, a white man who kept lots of cider, and he stopped and drank, and when he was full he went out and lay down in the shade and slept. So he didn’t go to the longhouse. We were waiting there until noon and Truman never showed up. Some Pine Woods fellows came there to see the doings and they said that Truman was sleeping there with his rattle. When the head ones found out that he would not show up, they put us in there in his place to sing Great Feather Dance, which was the first time. After that we used to sing every ceremony. New Year’s dance was the second time, and the third time was Strawberry Dance, and after that they had to put us in every dance. And since I was here (Allegheny) I used to sing every time for them. And when I took sick, I had to quit; I have tried twice, but I had to quit. I can’t do it anymore.

Gane’o’q- I began to sing that at the same time, since it followed directly on Great Feather Dance, which at Newtown they put together on the same day. Here at Coldspring they follow separately on succeeding days. This too I learned by listening to the singers at the longhouse.

They were not finished performers at the start. The first time we sand about a third or more and added each time we sand. Ely would know songs I didn’t- a couple of songs- sometimes I know two or three, to put in. Next time we were better; we practiced between times. (Here he says) we were coached by another man, not my father, but Amos Snow (not the Amos Snow, father of Jonas) who taught us two songs. When the people were dancing they listened and anybody who recalled a song that we left out would tell us what we had left out and next time we would put that in. Thus we learned all the songs (This holds for both Great Feather Dance and Gana’o’q)

This is what they done here at Coldspring- Lyn Dowdy and his boy. They left out a good many songs, but I don’t tell them anymore. They never ask me. If I tell them, they pay no attention; they think they know better than I do. Only one man I know wants to learn some songs. He is doing pretty good now- at Coury. He asks me each time what he skips and I tell him. He and Albert Johnson are doing pretty good with neganiga’a’.

Pumpkin says to me that when I am gone a lot will be lost. This is not true because I have taught my songs to Richard. He is following me. I tell him a song what I know just once and he remembers. He has a good head for songs.

Once he was established as a singer, Chauncey sang other rituals including False Face while still at Newtown. He can’t remember when he began. But he did not join the Medicine Society until after moving to Allegheny. An old lady named Sally Jacobs, old gaindahkwa’s mother told me the story and that is how I learned the songs- from that old lady.

Illnesses- Chauncey was not sick much as a boy. The first time was in the late fall of 1946- two years ago, when he returned from Ann Arbor. Seems to have escaped the usual children’s diseases: no measles, chickenpox, etc. I don’t see why I didn’t catch any. It was the same with Art, my grandson, whom we took in with a measle boy and he never got it. I had just lots of nose colds, coughed a little, but until I took heart trouble was seldom sick.

Dreams- No, not many.

Work- I was allright when I went to work on the Pennsylvania RR at Allegheny, the Wolf Run Section, where I worked 35 years and was to get a pension, but they put me out purpose when the first motor car came to the section. I had run the water pump, and I ran the motor car the first time. There was a whiteman who wanted the regular job and they put me off that fall when the “extra gang” went off. The Company said I was am old anyway and I quit. I could do more work than anyone else on the section- those young fellows who stopped every little while to make cigarettes. I was a steady worker. They were merely afraid I would get a pension.

The next spring I went to the Jamestown yard of the Erie and worked there seven years, when I was transferred to Falconer and worked there almost 11 years. The old woman took sick and we have to come back home.

Amost is 59 (later he says 56); that many years have I been here (at Allegheny). Came here 1889-1890 (John Holt says earlier). I never liked to stay at Cattaraugus. My brother, John Clark used to live here, and he had a house at Dela Snyder Jimmerson’s on the bank of the river above Quaker Bridge, where Joel Jimmerson later built.

John Holt remembers that when Chauncey first came over here he and Howard Jimmerson had shacks down below Quaker Bridge at Wolf Run. Howard continued to live there after Chauncey came up to live just below where the milk plant now stands.

One time Chauncey’s family had been exposed to small pox and they were quarantined- during the day at least. At night Chauncey would roam abroad. John was keeping store and the Country provided food for the John family, which John would take down half way and leave. Every time Chauncey would communicate his order for a 5 gal. tin of oil and some tobacco, which John delivered until they must have had an enormous lot of cans. Afterwards, John asked what he needed all that oil for. “I didn’t,” replied Chauncey, “but you are my friend, and I saw that you had lots of it in the store.” “Then what about the tobacco,” asked John? “You had lots of that too, but I didn’t smoke it, I traded it for another kind I like better.” (This is an old friendship based on real affection.)

Notes on the Life of Chauncey Johnny John II 7/20/48, 7/22/48

Death of his parents- My mother died first, and two or three years afterward he died, and my sister died last. I was here three years when my mother died (53 years ago). Chauncey went back for his mother’s funeral and stayed until after the burial. The old man came to stay here all summer and at Fair Time, at Versailles we took him back by oxen. The old lady, his wife Betsey, had a team of steers which she trained to plough; she went in to the ploughing business. Chauncey did not go back for his father’s funeral, just for his mother. My sister was here two years when I lived at Quaker Bridge after removal from Wolf Run. She stayed two years and went back.

How he met his wife- It was the Fourth of July and there was a celebration in Jamestown with Indian dances at the boat landing. Chauncey came up on the train from Lawtons with the Newtown delegation on the old Buffalo and Southwestern RR. The Coldspring people walked to Steamburg and came up on the Erie. We Newtown fellows went to Jamestown for the dancing and that’s the time I saw the women- my wife among them. After that I came this way. I stayed with her; it would lack one day of 40 years that we stayed together. (I worked first in the Mill at Wolf Run and then on the section.) ((Does not mention his first alliance with Emma Snow.)) The Newtown party that day consisted of Me, Edward Cornplanter, Sam Johnson, John Smith, ———, ——, —- (whose names he can’t revall) in our dance team. My brother used to win regularly in the foot races, especially at 200 yards, but I beat him that day by 6 foot and won the prize $5.

Howard Jimerson was along that July 4. I knew him before. Betsey was his sister. Their mother, who died in 1922, Rebecca Big Kettle (Wolf) ga’neh’sis’a’, was then living (The Original Big Kettle was named Chauncey Johnny John, and I am the second. His Indian name was gano’jowa’neh, biggest kettle (a Turtle Clan name), but shono’jo’wa, he is the biggest kettle, was Jonathan Johnny John, who was my daddy’s father and used to used to live at Gensseo, and his folks and this old man whose name was shonon’jo’wa is the reason why Mt. Morris was called shono’do’wa’geh, Bigg Kettle’s place because Jonathan Johnny John, my old grandfather lived there. Thinks the latter is a Wolf clan name.)

7/20/48 Chauncey and my son John were making baskets. Who taught him basketry? Nobody. He began making baskets the year he came to Allegheny (but note he had worked in a basket factory at North Collins previously), fifty years or more ago. He was here but a little while when he began to help his wife who made baskets. My wife Betsey and I used to go down to Limestone to get splints. I started to make them when Amos was a little boy and when I was working on the RR, and when I got a vacation (laid off) we would go down to Warren and camp at Sugar Bush on old John Grundy’s lot, where they let us camp. We would pick huckleberries there too, and sell the baskets full of huckleberries in Warren.

When I got back to Quaker Bridge, I would work on the PRR section again- for 35 years I was on the section. “Yes, I was a RR man one time. They put me off purpose so I won’t get no pension. They do that a purpose.” Others who worked at the same time were Howard (Jimmerson) Big Kettle, who worked for years steady with me. – my wife’s brother. We had a house at Worl Run—a little cabin—and Howard lived with me. We lived here 3-4 years, then I bought a place at Quaker Bridge just above the milk plant. I lived here almost 34 years, then moved up to Coldspring where he has lived since about 1918. (Was living here 1918 when JWF and I visited him.) His present house (where his grandson Art lives) was built by Jonas Redeye after his house which was situated across the road near the maples burned. Jonas died and I bought the place from his widow Emma Redeye. The first year he ferried over the River and walked down the tracks to Quaker Bridge, but it was about his time and he was layed off and he commenced working in the Jamestown yard of the Erie.

He worked about nine years in all in Jamestown, three years in the Jamestown yard under Charlie Johnson, and then he was transferred to Falconer, under Olin Gearhardt, boss. Richard went to school in Falconer. Art was working on the section as water boy at first. When my wife took sick we came home and stayed home. Betsey died the year after they returned from Falconer (See Art’s book)

His first year at Allegheny he worked in a big lumber mill which Bemis and Knox ran at Wolf Run to saw logs. We sawed up what logs they had and then I went to work on the Pennsy.

Before going on the RR, however, he worked with John Holt for a time loading lumber and ties. John’s father ran a store and a tie business on the side. “We, John and I, would go clear to Cornplanter sometimes to load on the switches. I got mad one time. They boys were kidding and not working up to par. They were too slow. John Holt says, addressing me, “Don’t kill yourself.” I was working pretty fast. I got mad. I went to the pile, picked up a heavy white oak tie, got it up to my left hip, and grabbed another under my right arm and lifted it up to my right hip- one under each arm and on each hip, and I walked those two ties up into the car and put them down. John laughed and said, “That’s the way to load ties.” (I have heard John Holt tell this same story, what a powerful man was Chauncey Johnny John.)

Chauncey worked only one summer at peeling hemlock bark along Quaker Run for Charlie Morrison; later that year he worked in Randolph. “I don’t like that work, too many mosquitos and punkies.” He recalls that they paid about $1.50 a day and board. (John Holt in speaking of the hemlock peelers stated that they were a tough lot. The official uniform was red flannel underwear and a pair of pants cut off at boot tops. They used to grease up and no self-respecting punky would go near them. The peelers used a double bitted axe with one bit ground blunt for lopping hemlock knots which would nick a sharp axe and the other blade ground to a razor sharp edge for felling. The axe handle was perfected in the Allegheny woods- it was straight and shaved to a thinness that gave it a lateral whip. The peelers scraped their handles with glass or steel so that the wood was free of the steel where the handle entered the eye of the axe, and they scraped its sides correspondingly thin along the helve toward the grip. The whip was supposed to free the chips in felling. The single bitted axe, usually with a straight handle was seldom used in these woods except as a maul, although it was said that the very best fellers who came to these parts used a single bitted axe.

Earnings- Chauncey recapitulated his earnings as follows:

Peeling bark one season $1.50 10 hrs. no board

Sawmill one season $1.50 10 hrs. no board

PRR 35 year 1.15 10 hrs. no board

                (3-4 yr.) .99 “ “

                (1 ½ yrs.) 1.35 “ “

                (last year) 1.55 “ “

Erie 9 years 1.55 “ “

Other seasonal work is not included. (WHD has a note on work at Warren.)

Betsey died the first year he returned from the RR at Falconer and the next year he worked on the State Road No. 280 which runs by his house from Coldspring to Quaker Bridge. That was the last I worked. Since then I stayed at home all the time. Made a garden and made baskets. (When I first came to Coldspring in 1933 to do field work Chauncey was at home making baskets and gardening, but not working on the relief, as were the other Indians.) His grandson went out to work during these later years.

Chauncey came up here to Quaker Run once to cut pole wood for old Frank Hill. He cut one load. Then he said, cut another load, which I did. He gave me that load of wood. He just wanted me to clear the pasture. While I was cutting pole wood up in the far end of the pasture I saw lots of hickory nuts. I never said anything (to Frank Hill about those nuts). The next day I came up from Quaker Bridge on the far side of the run with two sacks and filled them. The third day I took the sacks of hickory nuts to Salamanca and sold them for $3.50 a bushel (Butternuts brought $1.50 per bushel.) at Fred Eaton’s store.

We collected butternuts down the river below Quaker Bridge on the back of my lot at the place where Quaker Run enters the river (Tunessasa). We got 10-12 bushels in a goo dyear at the old place and about six more along the River at Coldspring where he now lives. People would come and buy butternuts. We kept for our own use and stored between two and three bushels, one and one half bushels of hickory nuts; we sold the rest. Some times we went to Cattaraugus for black walnuts and brought back about five bushels selling between two and three bushels at Eaton’s store to pay for the trip.

Black walnut, dyonyo’gwa’k, round

Butternut, dyonyo’gwe’s, long. Oily, sweet, soft.

Hickory nut, djistage’s’, shells, heavy hard.

Life of Chauncey Johnny John IV


Prompted by the story of the breech clout frozen in the water bucket (Curtin Manuscript, Bureau of American Ethnology), Chauncey remembered this tale of courtship. There is a tale in which the hero meets a young woman of his fancy and in their tryst, he asks, what time shall I come tonight? She assigned a time for him to come after dark. Before entering her house he put chips on the soles of his mocasins, binging them with deer hide things, and walked into the house in the manner of a familiar resident. Arriving at her bed, he untied the chips and left them under her bed. He went out noiselessly on silent feet in the early morning. The old people asked her who left the chips under her bed. “I don’t know,” she replied. They never found out.

Yiksa’agdwa is the general term for sweetheart; it also means good looking girl, and in the plural is wadiksa’agowa’s’q’q’ good looking girls, or sweethearts.

Chauncey was first married to a Canadian girl when he was sixteen (This came out in connection with questionnaire on age grades.) He still carries her picture, an old daguerreotype. “I was with her when she got sick and she went back there and was back about one week and she died. I lost my yiksa’gdwa. She was about 22, somewhat older than I, and not married previously. We met at the dance after the Six Nations Meeting at Soursprings (Swe’ge) and I brought her back and she stayed with me about a year and a half until she got ill. She had a rheumatic heart; she had been ill as a child.” Chauncey went on to say that her boy, named Charlie J. John, now deceased, went across with the Army in World War I. She and he were Snipe clan. He died the year after the War (1919). (I gather that this may have been Chauncey’s son.)

Joe Williams at Six Nations Reserve is Chauncey’s sister’s son (calls JW heye’wonde’); others of this class of relatives were: Charlie Williams who went west to Oklahoma?; Guy Fishcarrier who lives in down west (Kansas or Oklahoma) where he has a big farm with Big Timber (gaha’da’wa’nah).

The second time Chauncey was 19 when he married Jennie Pierce then age 24 (Deer clan- gonyongwa’yo’) at Newtown, George Pierce’s daughter. They lived right by the Council House in an old log house at the edge of the field. But she came to live at our house (matricocally). [Evidently some trouble developed, he didn’t say.] We parted after that and I came over here.

And I found another yiksa’ago’wa, and it lacks 4 days of 40 years that we stayed together. This was Amos’ mother hono’eh his mother. We used to live at Wolf Run; and I bought a place at Quaker Bridge, and we moved up to a spot across from Wheeler’s between the river and the track. Howard Jimerson remained behind at Wolf Run (See above.)

Some questioning brought out his relation with Emma Turka which he did not list among his official marriages. It was just an affair, but is interesting as such, for it lacks the contractual relation, the sense of a binding obligation evident in the others.

“I don’t call her my wife. We were just fooling around, that was all. Just so we have a little fun. I never asked her to marry; neither did she ask me to marry her. Some nights we would meet together at such a place and go somewhere. That’s all. I used to met her at Coldspring where they used to have a ferry down under the River Bank opposite Jerry’s (the late Jerry Armstrong who lived where Orin Redeye sometimes stays: third house from the corner of Snow Street and main road past the Long house going north.) The ferry connected the main settlement od Coldspring with the houses of quite a few families who used in inhabit Crick’s Run on the East bank of the Allegheny River. She lived on the Crick’s Run side, so the ferry was a good place to meet.” He no longer remembers their relative age, but I think she was younger. Her family also came here from Cattaraugus. They used to come over from the Gowanda side (Four Mile Level, I thnk). She was about that high (younger than he). Her mother and her step-father, Amos Snow was the real father of Jones (Jonas) and Alice (gendjas) and several who are now deceased.

It is not clear that the above affair preceded his marriage to Betsey Bigkettle. He said, “I used to be bad, and when I got married, I said ‘I quit.’ So I got a job at the Mill on Wolf Run, and I worked two years there and then on the Railroad.” He had no children by go’dzin, by this affair.

Although Chauncey was 16 at the time of his first union, he felt that 21 was the proper age. “Some can’t wait that long.” Anciently the women was somewhat older, he felt, and the evidence supports this view. He did not regard with approval the marriage of youngsters, of which he cited some recent cases of teenagers.


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