Cornelius Ojistalak


Cornelius Ojistalak, also known as Grasshopper, was Odatshehdeh, the first sachem (or leader) of the Oneida. As early as 1776, he was gathering intelligence regarding Haudenosaunee/Iroquois allegiances for Revolutionary leaders in New York. In March 1778, Cornelius Ojistalak addressed a council of Six Nations representatives at Johnstown, tacitly endorsing Oneida warriors who had sided with the Revolutionaries while also indicting Six Nations warriors who had forced the nations into conflict. In 1781, the French presented him with an embroidered uniform that he wore on future formal occasions, and he was likely part of the Oneida group that accompanied the armies to Yorktown. After the war, he helped petition the U.S. government on behalf of the Oneida and for personal compensation. He died in 1788.

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