ERlES (properly Erike), a tribe of Indians of the same family as the Hurons, Iroquois, and Susquehannas. They seem in early times to have dwelt near the Niagara river and Lake Erie, but were driven inland by enemies in the west. They took no part in the war between the Iroquois and Hurons, but after the overthrow of the latter were attacked by the former about 1653. Being brave and expert bowmen and able to raise 2,000 warriors, they took up arms, invaded the Seneca country, and gained several victories, so that the Iroquois cantons sought the aid of the French and agreed to receive missionaries. An Iroquois army of 1,800 men in 1656 invaded the Erie territory, and, though the Eries sought to make peace, attacked one of their palisaded forts, to which they had fled. After a desperate resistance the fort fell, most of the Eries were put to death, and the remnant of the tribe was incorporated with the Senecas. Their locality at this time cannot be positively identified; it abounded in wild cats, whence they were called Chats by the French; and it was near oil springs.
One of their towns was called Kentaienton.