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A Royal Mohawk Chief
by [?]

How many Canadians are aware that in Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught, and only surviving son of Queen Victoria, who has been appointed to represent King George V. in Canada, they undoubtedly have what many wish for–one bearing an ancient Canadian title as Governor-General of all the Dominion? It would be difficult to find a man more Canadian than any one of the fifty chiefs who compose the parliament of the ancient Iroquois nation, that loyal race of Redskins that has fought for the British crown against all of the enemies thereof, adhering to the British flag through the wars against both the French and the colonists.

Arthur Duke of Connaught is the only living white man who to-day has an undisputed right to the title of “Chief of the Six Nations Indians” (known collectively as the Iroquois). He possesses the privilege of sitting in their councils, of casting his vote on all matters relative to the governing of the tribes, the disposal of reservation lands, the appropriation of both the principal and interest of the more than half a million dollars these tribes hold in Government bonds at Ottawa, accumulated from the sales of their lands. In short, were every drop of blood in his royal veins red, instead of blue, he could not be more fully qualified as an Indian chief than he now is, not even were his title one of the fifty hereditary ones whose illustrious names composed the Iroquois confederacy before the Paleface ever set foot in America.

It was on the occasion of his first visit to Canada in 1869, when he was little more than a boy, that Prince Arthur received, upon his arrival at Quebec, an address of welcome from his Royal mother’s “Indian Children” on the Grand River Reserve, in Brant county, Ontario. In addition to this welcome they had a request to make of him: would he accept the title of Chief and visit their reserve to give them the opportunity of conferring it?

One of the great secrets of England’s success with savage races has been her consideration, her respect, her almost reverence of native customs, ceremonies and potentates. She wishes her own customs and kings to be honored, so she freely accords like honor to her subjects, it matters not whether they be white, black or red.

Young Arthur was delighted–royal lads are pretty much like all other boys; the unique ceremony would be a break in the endless round of state receptions, banquets and addresses. So he accepted the Red Indians’ compliment, knowing well that it was the loftiest honor those people could confer upon a white man.

It was the morning of October first when the royal train steamed into the little city of Brantford, where carriages awaited to take the Prince and his suite to the “Old Mohawk Church,” in the vicinity of which the ceremony was to take place. As the Prince’s especial escort, Onwanonsyshon, head chief of the Mohawks, rode on a jet-black pony beside the carriage. The chief was garmented in full native costume–a buckskin suit, beaded moccasins, headband of owl’s and eagle’s feathers, and ornaments hammered from coin silver that literally covered his coat and leggings. About his shoulders was flung a scarlet blanket, consisting of the identical broadcloth from which the British army tunics are made; this he “hunched” with his shoulders from time to time in true Indian fashion. As they drove along, the Prince chatted boyishly with his Mohawk escort, and once leaned forward to pat the black pony on its shining neck and speak admiringly of it. It was a warm autumn day: the roads were dry and dusty, and, after a mile or so, the boy-prince brought from beneath the carriage seat a basket of grapes. With his handkerchief he flicked the dust from them, handed a bunch to the chief and took one himself. An odd spectacle to be traversing a country road: an English prince and an Indian chief, riding amicably side-by-side, enjoying a banquet of grapes like two schoolboys.