The Iroquois Confederacy

Current Sign Text

Deep Spring
Te-Ungh-sat-ayagh 450 ft. north of Iroquois Trail. First road made 1790 by General James Wadworth. County Line and Survey Mark.

Problematic issues

- meaning and authenticity of Te-Ungh-sat-ayagh is uncertain. The spelling may have been changed (1).

- Iroquois was a French word. The Indigenous peoples called themselves Haudenosaunee.

- use of the word trail tends to diminish the importance of this thoroughfare, which was likely used for travel, a trade route, movement between settlements, a collection route connecting sites for medicinal plants or any number of other purposes(4).

- researched indicated that a James Wadsworth traveled with his brother to Geneseo from Connecticut arriving in 1790. The NYS Legislature approve construction of the old Genesee Road in 1794, which was subsequently renamed Seneca Turnpike (5).


Seneca Turnpike (NYS Rte 173) at the Onondaga & Madison County line


This location would be a natural spot for settlement because of the spring and elevation of the land that allows an impressive panoramic view all the way to Oneida Lake to the north. It would offer a position of safety and look out for a settlement (4)

Under the name Deep Spring, this location was a marker in land transfer documents(1).

It is along a Haudenosaunee trail, the Old Genesee Road and subsequently Seneca Turnpike.

Indigenous Place Names for Site



Circumstances of Marker Placement

1932, NYS Education Department.
"The State Historic Marker Program began in 1926 as a program of the State Education Department to commemorate the Sequicentennial of the American Revolution. Over 2,800 of the small, cast iron site markers ... were erected statewide during the duration of this program (1926-1939)." (6.)

Additional Information

- Misinterpretation of the spoken word was not unusual. Te-Ungh-sat- ayagh may be an Oneida word, as each of the Nations of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy had their own language. It is not familiar to our Onondaga source (4).

- Naming people (Iroquois) rather than using their own name for themselves is a form of taking ownership over, negating or making them less human in some way.

- Movement west at this time and the building of roads to facilitate that movement was for the purpose of settling the Military Tracts granted to Revolutionary soldiers by NYS. Whether NYS had the rights to these lands and therefore the authority to convey them to the soldiers is questionable.

- There is some speculation that this was a settlement of the Onondaga with palisade (1) but this was unsupported in research. It may or may not have been needed for "... a party of warriors, to hold the eastern door of the nation" as the Onondaga were a peaceful culture and with the establishment of the Confederacy did not need to protect themselves from the other Confederacy nations.


1. Bulletin of the New York State Museum, Issues 108-111 By New York State Museum

2. Proceedings of the Commissioners of Indian Affairs: Volume 1

3. The Other Hartford House - Related web pages

4. Oral history from Pete Edwards, Onondaga, Eel Clan


6. New York State Museum, "Outreach: State Historic Markers", [, downloaded January 23, 2011]

Review Details

Research done by Sue Eiholzer, 2010.