ARADGI, Onondaga sachem, described by the Senecas as “a great favourite of the French”; we know him only from a few events in 1700 and 1702.
In 1698 the Iroquois had begun to discuss a peace treaty with the French, but they were unwilling to include in this peace the tribes to the west who were allies of the French, since these tribes were competing with them for furs. In 1699, however, an Iroquois attack on the Miami Indians led to reprisals by the Ottawas, Illinois, and other tribes, and serious Iroquois losses. The following winter, Aradgi visited the Oneidas to tell them that the two Iroquois tribes who were in the greatest danger, the Senecas and the Cayugas, were planning to discuss with the French a general treaty that would involve the tribes to the west. Aradgi asked the Oneidas to inform the English of this, no doubt because he hoped that with English support the Iroquois could avoid making concessions to the French. A snowstorm prevented the immediate forwarding of his message.
In April 1700, Aradgi was at Onondaga, where he acted as spokesman at a meeting of the Iroquois sachems with Colonel Peter Schuyler. In July, the Senecas reported to the English that Aradgi and Aouenano, a sachem from their tribe, had set out for Canada to negotiate with the French. The Senecas stressed that this journey had been under-taken without tribal authorization. Since the Iroquois concluded a treaty with the French in 1701 [see Teganissorens], we are justified in suspecting that the Senecas’ denial of responsibility for Aradgi’s action was made only to maintain good relations with the English. Although he was not at the 1701 peace conference, Aradgi appears to have accompanied a group of Onondaga and Cayuga sachems on a mission to Canada in 1702.