Handsome Lake

Handsome Lake, 1735?–1815, Seneca religious prophet; half-brother of Cornplanter . After a long illness he had a vision (c.1800) and began to preach new religious beliefs. His moral teachings showed a similarity to Christian ethics and had a profound effect among the Iroquois. He advocated giving up the nomadic Native American life in favor of agriculture, much to the disgust of Red Jacket . Though Christian missionaries opposed Handsome Lake's religion, it nevertheless persisted alongside Christianity.

See The Code of Handsome Lake (tr. by A. C. Parker, 1913, repr. 1968); A. Wallace, The Death and Rebirth of the Seneca (1969, repr. 1972).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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