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The legacy of the “Six Nations” – the Haudenosaunee Confederation pre-colonial government in Carroll County

Each registered guest will be entered into a drawing to win a gift card for a 9″ round cake from Starry Night Bakery! Winner must be able to pick up gift card from the Historical Society

Before 1744, the predominant government in Carroll County was the Haudenosaunee Nation – the “Six Nations.” The Haudenosaunee played a key role in the evolution of American democracy.

Much of our current way of life is owed to the heritage and legacy of the Haudenosaunee Nation. Several main roads in Carroll County have their beginnings as Haudenosaunee trading routes. And several towns in Carroll County – Patapsco for example – had their beginnings as Haudenosaunee settlements.

The Algonquians arrived around 800 B.C. The original Algonquians divided into a number of distinct tribe-nations, which formed a multi-nation government under a constitution that dates to approximately Aug. 31, 1142.

The Algonquians called themselves the “Haudenosaunee” meaning “People of the Longhouse” and their government was one of the first true participatory democracies in history. It also incorporated full political and leadership rights for women.

It was not until after the Treaty of the Six Nations was signed on July 4, 1744, with the Haudenosaunee Nation, and the dispute over the Mason-Dixon Line was settled in 1767 that settlers started to come to Carroll County in greater numbers…

He is no stranger to giving presentations for the Historical Society. In the past his presentations at the annual birthday celebration and Box Lunch Talks have included, “Celebrating 250-years of Westminster MD history,” “Celebrating the history of Belle Grove Square,” “Come lose your head over the history of the Odd Fellows Hall,” and “”Murder and Mayhem in Carroll County.”

Kevin has been a self-employed artist, writer, and farmer since 1974. He served in the US Marine Corps Reserves from 1971 – 1973.

He has exhibited art and photography since 1981. He retired from farming, property management, and landscape contracting in 1999. He has served as an appointed official on various state, county and local government since 1978.

He served as the mayor of Westminster from 2001 to 2005 and as a Westminster city councilman from 1999 to 2001. He recently rejoined the Westminster Common Council as a councilmember in May 2019.

Since 2004 he has written for a number of national and local publications including the Baltimore Sun. He currently writes for the Carroll County Times. He is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.

He has served as a Chaplain for the Westminster Fire Department and Maryland State Police Troopers’ Lodge #20 since January 2011 and Public Information Officer of the Westminster Fire Dept. since 2007.

The Maryland Delaware DC Press Association awarded him an editorial award in 2009, and a religion reporting award earlier in the year on May 12, 2017.

Kevin served in the Civil Rights movement in the south from 1971 to 1973. He is a member of the Carroll County branch of the NAACP and served on the executive board since November 2012.

He has served on the Grace Lutheran Church council since 2012.

His family has lived in the Carroll County area since the 1600s. He was born and raised in Westminster and lives in Westminster, Md. with his wife Caroline.

Each year, HSCC hosts an event to celebrate the establishment of Carroll County on January 17, 1837. This year, the event will be held on-line via Zoom at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, January 23. As we go to press, we’re still finalizing the program details so watch for more information on our website, Facebook, and through our Constant Contact updates.

The commemoration of Carroll County’s “birthday” began in the 1920s with a group called the Carroll County Society of Baltimore County. These descendants of Carroll Countians organized to promote “an appreciation of the history, traditions and pleasant memories of Carroll County.” They held a meeting each year on January 19. They also sponsored lectures and published pamphlets on Carroll County history.

Eventually, HSCC took over the birthday event, apparently in the 1950s. We’ve been hosting it ever since and are proud to keep it going, even in these unusual times.

From 800 to approximately 1867, the boundaries and configuration of the “Six Nations” – the Haudenosaunee Confederation, constantly changed. This map depicts the make-up of the confederation from perhaps around 1500. The Haudenosaunee Constitution was divided into 117 articles. In the Constitutional Convention of May through September, 1787, the basis for the “federal system” of government advocated by Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson was based on the Haudenosaunee system of government. There is evidence, for example, that both Messrs. Jefferson and Franklin used material delineated in a famous speech made by the great Haudenosaunee “sachem” (chief,) Canassatego, in 1744 at the signing of the Treaty of Six Nations.

Kevin Dayhoff | 410-259-6403 | kevindayhoff@gmail.com | Westminster Fire Dept. and MTA Lodge #20 Chaplain and PIO |
Photo by Kelly Heck Kevin Dayhoff Art: http://www.kevindayhoff.com/