Etienne Brule visit Spanish Hill?
Champlain and Brule:
The village of Carantouan was placed in our history books by Samuel Champlain. Etienne Brule was an interpreter for Samuel Champlain and never wrote about his travels. However, Champlain wrote 6 volumes in a collection called "Voyages." In this text, Champlain refers to a nation of Carantounnais, which he subsequently sent Ettienne Brule to secure 500 warriors for a battle. Many local historians believe Spanish HIll to be the location of this site he refers to. This is important because it is believed that Ettienne Brule was the first white man in our area, and this is the place he visited.
I wanted you to be able to read the story as it was told, so I have used the all of the excerpts from the "Voyages" collection in order that you may read the text as it has been translated concerning Carantouan.
In 1615 - Samuel Champlain had asked his interpreter Etienne Brule to go to "Carantouannais" to secure 500 warriors for a battle with the Hurons against the Onondagas. Champlain wrote about this incident in "Voyages", the following is the translation of his account:
"On the 17th of August I arrived at Cahiague, where I was received with great joy and gladness by all the savages of the country, who had abandoned their undertaking, in the belief that they would see me no more, and that the Iroquois had captured me, as I have before stated. This was the cause of the great delay experienced in this expedition, they even having postponed it to the following year. Meanwhile they received intelligence that a certain nation of their allies,  dwelling three good days' journeys beyond the Entouhonorons,  on whom the Iroquois also make war, desired to assist them in this expedition with five hundred good men; also to form an alliance and establish a friendship with us, that we might all engage in the war together; moreover that they greatly desired to see us and give expression to the pleasure they would have in making our acquaintance."
Describing the location of Carantouannais:
"I was glad to find this opportunity for gratifying my desire of obtaining a knowledge of their country. It is situated only seven days from where the Dutch  go to traffic on the fortieth degree. The savages there, assisted by the Dutch, make war upon them, take them prisoners, and cruelly put them to death; and indeed they told us that the preceding year, while making war, they captured three of the Dutch, who were assisting their enemies,  as we do the Attigouautans, and while in action one of their own men was killed. Nevertheless they did not fail to send back the three Dutch prisoners, without doing them any harm, supposing that they belonged to our party, since they had no knowledge of us except by hearsay, never having seen a Christian; otherwise, they said, these three prisoners would not have got off so easily, and would not escape again should they surprise and take them. This nation is very warlike, as those of the nation of the Attigouautans maintain. They have only three villages, which are in the midst of more than twenty others, on which they make war without assistance from their friends; for they are obliged to pass through the thickly settled country of the Chouontouaroueon, or else they would have to make a very long circuit."
First thing he had heard of Brule after he and the 500 warriors did not show up for the battle:
"On the 22d of the month of April we received news from our interpreter, who had gone to Carantouan, through those who had come from there. They told us that they had left him on the road, he having returned to the village for certain reasons."
Lastly, in 1618 Champlain finally meets back up with Brule who was still with the Andastes...
"Now there was with them a man named Etienne Brule, one of our interpreters, who had been living with them for eight years, as well to pass his time as to see the country and learn their language and way of life. He is the one I had dispatched with orders to go in the direction of the Entouhonorons, to Carantouan, in order to bring with him 500 warriors ...he gave me an account of the matter, a narrative of which it will not be out of place to give, as he is more to be pitied than blamed on account of the misfortunes which he experienced on this commission."
This is Champlain's map of the Carantouan region - 1632 -
Note - If you have a hard time finding it on the Carantouannais is located straight above the "300 marker" on the bottom of the whole Champlain map.
However - - on this map - the word "Carantouannais" does seem to lie below the division of the river (Susquehanna?) to a west branch - (that to the west - possibly being to the Chemung River?)
Interestingly, after the separation above "Carantouannais", (Tioga Point?) where the river divides, and to the west - there is an illustration of large palisades, as well as a couple other villages of to the eastward direction of the river.
Why do we care about the location of Carantouan?
This information about the location of Carantouan is just part of the whole story for Spanish Hill, but it does lend credence to the Andaste (Susquehannocks) being here - and thereby also gives more credit to the stories of the Giant Skeletons being found here. All of these things work together to make the case.
As General John S. Clark so wisely stated that where the historical documentation and archeological results can "sing in harmony" - is where you will be able to find the truth. Hopefully - if you read the following areas of this site, Giant Skeletons , Carantouan (this page), and the Susquehannocks, you will begin to hear the opening notes of our distant past being played out.
"The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth should be its basis, presented without fear or favor, conscientiously and in good faith," and again: "If I suceed in exciting a more earnest determination to investigate the rich historical mines that reexamine almost unknown and untouched in our libraries, and awaken the wise men of the day to realize the inportance of securing while it is yet possible the vast stores of antiquarian wealth in fields yet untrodden, then I will feel that I am more amply repaid for my labors." - from the Selected Manuscripts of General John S. Clark, Relating to the Aboriginal History of the Susquehanna, 1931.
"After very careful study of all accessible facts, I unhesitatingly commit myself to the conclusion that Spanish Hill is nothing more or less than this ancient fortified town, the stronghold of the Carantouans" ~ General John S. Clark
After 3 years of my own research - I agree with him.
Full text of first three volumes of Champlain's "Voyages (total of 6) available online from the Project Gutenberg: Click here!