Portrait of Guyasuta, artist unknown
Western New York
|Died||c.1794 (aged 68–69)|
Cornplanter Grant (near Corydon, Pennsylvania)
|Resting place||Custaloga Town Scout Reservation|
Guyasuta // (c. 1725–c. 1794; Seneca: Kayahsotaˀ, either "he stands up to the cross" or "he sets up the cross") was an important leader of the Seneca people in the second half of the eighteenth century, playing a central role in the diplomacy and warfare of that era. At young age, he and his family migrated along the Allegheny River and finally settled in Logstown, a Seneca village in Pennsylvania. The paternal half of his ancestry were decorated warriors.
Guyasuta made acquaintance with young George Washington (whom he called "Tall Hunter") in 1753 when he accompanied and guided him through Pennsylvania to the French Fort Le Boeuf, and is referred to as "The Hunter" in Washington's personal journals. Despite the expedition, Guyasuta played a role in defeating the Braddock Expedition in 1755, and allied with the French in the French and Indian War. Guyasuta was a major player in Pontiac's Rebellion—indeed, some historians once referred to that war as the Pontiac-Guyasuta War.
At the outset of the American Revolutionary War, the American revolutionaries attempted to win Guyasuta to their cause but, like most Iroquois, he sided with the British because they seemed willing to cooperate, and took part in the Battle of Oriskany. After the war, the aging Guyasuta worked to establish peaceful relations with the new United States as his nephew, Cornplanter, became a more diplomatic figure. As he saw his dream of a peaceful and strong Native American nation crumble, he turned to alcoholism. He died in his Pennsylvania cabin in 1794, and was buried nearby with his tomahawk, shotgun, knife, trophies and various other personal items in his coffin.
Anthough never baptized, Guyasuta was given a Christian burial and according to one account, may be buried at Custaloga Town Scout Reservation, now a Boy Scout camp located along French Creek at the former site of Chief Custaloga's village in French Creek Township, Pennsylvania.
In Pittsburgh, he is honored, along with George Washington, in a large public sculpture called Point of View, which overlooks Point State Park. Also the Laurel Highlands Council of the Boy Scouts of America has a camp property named in his honor. A statue of Guyasuta stands at the intersection of Main and North Canal Streets in Sharpsburg, Pennsylvania.
- The many spelling variations include Guyashuta, Guyasoota, Guy-a-soot-er, Guyasootha, Guyasotha, Guyasutha, Kayashota, Kayasota, Kayasutha, Keyashuta, Kiasota, Kiashuta, Kiasutha, Kiosola, Kiyashuta, and Kyasoota.
- Custaloga Town Scout Reservation
- "Camp Guyasuta". Laurel Highlands Council. Boy Scouts of America.
- Abler, Thomas S. (1979). "Kayahsotaˀ". In Halpenny, Francess G (ed.). Dictionary of Canadian Biography. IV (1771–1800) (online ed.). University of Toronto Press.
- Crytzer, Brady (2013). Guyasuta and the fall of Indian America. Westholme. ISBN 9781594161742.
- Galloway, Edward. "Guyasuta: Warrior, Estate, and Home to Boy Scouts". Western Pennsylvania History. Senator John Heinz History Center. 94 (4): 18–31. Western Pennsylvania History article on the Guyasuta Boy Scout estate.