AUGUST 10, 1815


Born in Ganowauges (near present Avon, New York) circa 1735, Handsome Lake, known by Ganiodaio (one of the chiefs in the Haudenosaunee’s Great Law), was half-brother of Cornplanter, noted Seneca war chief & leader at Allegany. He supported neutrality in the American Revolution, but when the Senecas joined the Mohawks, Onondaga & Cayugas against the Americans, he followed Cornplanter into battle at Wyoming Valley, Newtown, Susquehanna Valley & Schoharie. At war’s end, he signed the treaties of Fort Stanwix (1786), Canandaigua (1794) & Big Tree (1797). In 1799, waking from a coma, he told of visits from messengers of the Creator. From such visits, he created a way of life for Senecas known as the Gaiwiio. Quarrels with Cornplanter caused Ganiodaio & followers to move to Coldspring in 1803 and, in 1809, to the Tonawanda Reservation. He continued preaching to Indian communities in New York & the Ohio Territory until his death.

Source:  “Handsome Lake. Ganiodaio. Turtle Clan. (c. 1735-1815),” RMSC - Louis Henry Morgan Website - Johnson Family Tree. Retrieved 2/4/2022.
Sketch:  Jesse Cornplanter (1889-1957), 1913.  Public Domain. Source: 

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