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A Study Of . . . Niagara Falls / Stereo View of Prospect Point, #003

#003 stereo view of prospect point, crowd, umbrellas

Write-up from back of card reads:  The Falls of Niagara, the greatest and most impressive of the natural wonders of America, is considered by many to be the foremost natural marvel of the world - a cataract so supreme in all the elements which constitute sublimity that no other, known to travelers, is worthy to be compared to it. Its praises sung by poets, its power and greatness extoled by scientists, and its glories lauded by travelers for more than two centuries, the term Niagara has become a household word the world over. The name is of Indian origin, traceable to the Indian tribes that once inhabited all of Western New York and to whom is due much of the nomenclature of this section of the state. Niagara has been generally accepted to mean "Thunderer of Waters," but it is also claimed to mean "neck," in allusion to the fact that the stream connects the two lakes of Erie and Ontario. Niagara was also the name of an Indian tribe, it being the Indian custom to call their tribes from the most important natural feature of the country they inhabited, or, inversely, to give the tribal name to such feature. Thus, the names of the Onondagas, Hurons, Cayugas, Senecas, and Oneidas are each commemorated by the name of a lake, while the Mohawk River recalls the greatest warrior tribe of all, and Lake Erie, the name of one of the weaker tribes. Niagara River and Falls were the chief features of the Niagaras' country, so it follows that their tribe and also their chief village bore the same name. The Niagaras were also known as the Neuter Nation. The Hurons dwelt north of them, and the Iroquois south, so the Niagaras, dwelling between the two and at peace with both, came to be called the Neuter Nation, in whose wigwams the warriors of the two hostile tribes met in peace. The Niagaras were destroyed or absorbed by the more powerful Iroquois about 1650, after which the Senecas occupied their lands. The River Niagara was known to the Jesult missionaries as early as 1640, for in 1641 a French explorer, in a published account of his travels, writes: "This River (the Niagara) is the same by which our great lake of the Hurons, or Fresh Sea discharges itself, in the first place, into Lake Erie, or the Lake of the Cat Nation; then it enters the territory of the Neutral Nation and takes the name of Onguiaabra (Niagara), until it discharges itself into Ontario."

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