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Erie(ĭr`ē), indigenous people of North America of the Iroquoian branch of the Hokan-Siouan linguistic stock (see Native American languagesNative American languages,
languages of the native peoples of the Western Hemisphere and their descendants. A number of the Native American languages that were spoken at the time of the European arrival in the New World in the late 15th cent.
..... Click the link for more information. ). In the Iroquoian language the word erie means "long tail" (i.e., cat), and, therefore, the Erie were referred to as the Cat Nation. In the 17th cent. they inhabited the region E and SE of Lake Erie in the present states of New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. They then numbered some 14,000. Although they were sedentary farmers of the Eastern Woodlands area, they exhibited some Southeastern cultural traits, such as the use of poisoned arrows and the building of palisaded villages. They were traditional enemies of the Iroquois ConfederacyIroquois Confederacy
or Iroquois League
, North American confederation of indigenous peoples, initially comprising the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca; the native name for the confederated peoples is the Haudenosaunee.
..... Click the link for more information. , and in 1656, after one of the most relentless and destructive Indian warsIndian wars,
in American history, general term referring to the series of conflicts between Europeans and their descendants and the indigenous peoples of North America. Early Conflicts
..... Click the link for more information. , the Erie were almost exterminated by the Iroquois. The surviving captives were either adopted or enslaved by the confederacy.
Erie,city (1990 pop. 108,718), seat of Erie co., NW Pa., on Lake Erie; inc. as a city 1851. Pennsylvania's only port on the Great Lakes, Erie is a busy shipping point for coal, iron ore, grain, petroleum, machinery, and lumber. Its manufactures include hospital equipment; locomotives; paper, food, plastic, and wood products; and industrial heaters. Fort Presque Isle was built in 1753 by the French, occupied and rebuilt in 1760 by the English, and destroyed during Pontiac's RebellionPontiac's Rebellion,
or Pontiac's War,
1763–66, Native American uprising against the British just after the close of the French and Indian Wars, so called after one of its leaders, Pontiac.
..... Click the link for more information. in 1763. A peace conference between the British and Native Americans was held in 1764, but the town was not laid out until 1795. Oliver Hazard PerryPerry, Oliver Hazard,
1785–1819, American naval officer, b. South Kingstown, R.I.; brother of Matthew Calbraith Perry. Appointed a midshipman in 1799, he served in the Tripolitan War, was promoted to lieutenant (1807), and from 1807 to 1809 was engaged in building gunboats.
..... Click the link for more information. 's fleet was launched at Crystal Point before his victory over the British during the battle of Lake Erie in 1813. Gannon Univ., Mercyhurst College, Villa Maria College, and a branch of Pennsylvania State Univ. are in the city. Many historic buildings remain in Erie; nearby are Presque Isle State Park and a gambling casino and racetrack.
a city in the northeastern United States, in the state of Pennsylvania. Population, 123,000 (1975; with suburbs, 270,000). A port on Lake Erie, Erie is a shipping point for coal, iron ore, petroleum, timber, and grain. Industry employed 49,000 people in 1975. The principal industries include metalworking, machine building, food processing, and ferrous metallurgy. The city also has a chemical industry. Erie was founded in 1795 on the site of a French fort built in 1753.
a lake in North America; the southernmost of the Great Lakes. The northern part of the lake is in Canada, and the southern part in the United States. Lake Erie has an area of 52,700 sq km and a maximum depth of 64 m. It connects with Lake Huron by way of the St. Clair River (43 km long), Lake St. Clair, and the Detroit River (51 km long), which empties into Lake Erie. The Niagara River (54 km long) connects Lake Erie with Lake Ontario.
Lake Erie has high shores and a regular coastline. It is navigable. The Welland Canal, which has eight locks, bypasses Niagara Falls and connects Lake Erie with Lake Ontario. The system of the Niagara River and the Erie Canal connect Lake Erie with the Hudson River. The principal ports on the lake are Port Colborne in Canada and Toledo, Cleveland, and Buffalo in the United States. Lake Erie is eutrophic. Badly polluted by industrial and other wastes, it has a “dead zone” covering an area of 7,000 sq km.