Rebecca Bearce

Part 2

Chapter 6



[Note:There are multiple sources that list Weecum as the wife of Benjamin Tuspaquin, and therefore as a progenitor of Rebecca Bearce.  Only one source can be found which lists Weecum's parentage.  That source is Franklin Ele-wa-tum Bearce's Who Our Forefathers Really Were, A True Narrative of Our White and Indian Ancestors (9.)   While this work has been very helpful and contains much material, most of which agrees with other sources, it is noted that this is a family history passed down, partially by word of mouth, until it was written down in 1935.  Bearce gives Weecum's parents as Weetamoo, by her husband Quinnapin.  It is virtually impossible that Quinnapin could have been Weecum’s father. 

Weetamoo was first married to Alexander (Massasoit’s son) from 1653 until his death in 1662. (23: p.37)  It is not known when she married her second husband, Peter Nannuit, (also: Petonowowett, alias "Ben") but she left him at the outbreak of the King Philip War in the summer of 1675.  That fall she married Quinnapin, before December, and died the following August 6, 1676.  The fact that she was married to Quinnapin for barely nine months makes it difficult to believe that they had any children.  Their entire married life was during the King Philip War, much of which was spent running and fighting.  There are descriptions of her, including one by a white woman captive who was sold to Quinnapin, and who lived with Weetamoo during this time.  None of these mention her being pregnant or having a baby.

Another book, Massasoit of the Wampanoags by Alvin Weeks (available in the Los Angeles City Library, but which I have not been able to obtain) says that Weetamoo had two additional husbands, or a total of five.  If this is correct they would have been in this order:

          1.   Weequequinequa                    1651--?        (this is an only an estimate of his being the first.  He may have been #2 or 3)

          2.   Wamsutta (Alexander)           1653--1662

          3.   Quiquequanchett                     after 1662--?

          4.   Petownonowitt                        ?   --1675

          5.   Quinapin                                 1675--1676

Weecum's husband, Benjamin Tuspaquin, was old enough to fight in the King Philip War.  It can be assumed that he was at least in his late teens or early twenties by then.  It is not likely that he would have waited for Weecum to grow up if she were only a baby at this time.  If Weecum were the daughter of Quinnapin and Weetamoo she would have been born in 1676.  Weecum and Benjamin had a granddaughter born in 1695.  The 19 year spread is hardly enough time for two generations.  It is more likely that Weecum was about Benjamin's age and that their children were born about the time of the King Philip War.

If Weecum were Weetamoo's daughter by Alexander she would have been between 13 and 22 years old, certainly of marriageable age and about the same age as her husband Benjamin. She would also have been a part of the royal family which would make her a suitable mate for Benjamin.  (It was very common for royal family members to marry their first cousins and keep the sachemships within close family ties.)  Most young Indian girls married between ages 15 and 18.  If she were the daughter of Weetamoo's other husbands, she would have been less than 10 or 11 years old, or over age 22.  It seems most likely that she would have been the daughter of Weetamoo and Alexander but, his can not be verified.]

The Pocasset Tribe was one of the largest and most powerful tribes in the Wampanoag Federation.  It claimed most of the territory from Tiverton, R. I. to Taunton, Mass. on both sides of the Taunton River.  This tribe, along with the Sakonnets, to the south and the Pokanokets, to the west, were the buffer between the Narragansett enemies and the other Wampanoag tribes.

It was Corbitant who, in July 1621, shortly after the Pilgrims arrived, contrived a plot to become the Great Sachem of the Wampanoags.  He was probably the most powerful, and most respected, Wampanoag Sachem next to Massasoit.  He led a larger tribe, with 300 warriors.

Corbitant didn't like the English and resented their intrusion on Indian land.  When Massasoit became friends with the English, Corbitant met with Canonicus, Great Sachem of the Narragansetts, who also hated the English, and agreed they should first depose Massasoit and then attack the English.  They agreed Canonicus would attack and capture Massasoit, thereby winning Aquidneck Island for the Narragansetts without fear of attack from other Wampanoag Tribes.  Corbitant would visit the other tribes in the Federation to discredit Massasoit and win support for his newly assumed position.

This plot was thwarted when Hobomock and Squanto heard Corbitant's speech to the Nemaskets.  The English intervened and threatened Corbitant's life if Massasoit were not released by his captors.  The Pokanokets ransomed Massasoit from the Narragansetts by agreeing to give up all claims to Aquidneck Island.  The English were determined to execute Corbitant for this plot but it was Massasoit who interceded on his behalf, and refused to allow the English to harm him.  Corbitant's signature appears with Massasoit's on a treaty of submission to the English, dated September 1621.

In March of 1623, when Massasoit was suffering from his serious illness, Winslow was sent to pay his respects to the dying Sachem.  Before he could reach Mt. Hope, Massasoit's principle home, he received word that Massasoit had already died.  Believing this to be true, he turned south to go directly to Corbitant's village, near present day Swansea, Mass., as he was sure that Corbitant would be the next Great Sachem.  It was well known that Corbitant disliked the English and Winslow felt he should go there immediately to pay his respects to the new Great Sachem.  Upon arriving, he learned that Massasoit was not yet dead so hurried on to Mt. Hope.  After the miraculous recovery, Winslow was accompanied, as far as Pocasset, by Corbitant who entertained him the whole way with such friendly chatter and jokes that Winslow was truly put at ease and even returned some of the jokes directed at Corbitant.  The two men laughed so heartily and enjoyed each other's company so much that Corbitant invited Winslow to spend the night at his lodging.  A large supper was spread before the men and they both enjoyed the evening in pleasant conversation.

After dinner Corbitant asked Winslow, if it had been Corbitant who was ill, would Governor Bradford have sent medicine and would Winslow have come such a long distance to heal him.  Winslow was quick to assure him that they would.  Corbitant was pleased and thanked him.  He next asked if the English were afraid to come to Mt. Hope, knowing they would have to cross Pocasset country.  Winslow boldly proclaimed that where there is true love there is no room for fear.  Corbitant replied, "If your love be such and it bears such fruits, how cometh it to pass that when we come to Patuxet (Plymouth) you stand upon your guard, with your pieces (guns) presented toward us?"

Winslow had to think for a moment on this and then replied that it was a mark of respect and they treated all people that way when they felt a great respect for them.  Corbitant wasn't taken in by this and responded that he didn't care much for that kind of greeting, or respect.

Their conversation turned toward religion and they were both surprised that their religions actually had much in common.  They differed mostly on their ideas of marriage.  The Indians could have many wives as long as they could support them.  Marriages could be dissolved simply by one moving out.  The women were also free to leave one man's lodge for another’s whenever they chose.  The conversation went late into the night and Winslow recorded that it was the most pleasant time he had ever spent with a native since he had arrived in this country.

Nothing else is known of Corbitent.  He may have died before too long or may have become so accepting of the Engish as to draw no further attention to himself.  Little is known of his family other than it can be assumed that he had more than one wife.  The names of only two of his children are known, both were daughters.  The younger daughter, Wootonekanuske, married Philip shortly before he became Great Sachem of the Wampanoags in 1662.  We know of only one son born to this couple about 1667 who, with his Mother, was captured at the end of the King Philip war, (August 1, 1676).  Both were sold into slavery in the West Indies following the end of the war.

Weetamoo, the older daughter, who at various times was also known as Namumpum and also Tatapanum, (23: p.37) was Corbitant's heir and Squaw Sachem of the Pocassets after her father.  She was married to Alexander for nine years, including half of a year while he was the Great Sachem of the Wampanoags following the death of his father, Massasoit, in 1662.

During this time, Alexander had at least two sons (35: p.42) and it is quite possible that they also had a daughter, Weecum. [There is no documentation to support the position that Weecum's father was Alexander.  The only record of her parentage gives Quinnapin as the father but, as previously discussed, that was virtually impossible.]

Following Alexander's death, Weetamoo returned to her home to assume her role as Squaw Sachem of the Pocassets.  In that society Squaw Sachems were as well respected as their male counterparts.  The warriors listened to her counsel and accepted her as their leader.

Weetamoo eventually married Peter Nannuit, (Petanonowett, Petanunuit.) Little is known of him, except that at the outbreak of the King Philip War, he sided with the English.  He brought Captain Benjamin Church to meet with Weetamoo to secure her loyalty to the English.  She was discouraged and undecided.  She explained to him that she had not wanted to participate in such a war but that most of her young men had deserted her to join with Philip and she was left almost alone.  Following their discussion, Church felt that she would assist the English in fighting Philip.

Philip too, knew that she was undecided.  Her support would help cement more of the Pocasset warriors to his cause.  Shortly after Church's visit, Philip sent his messengers to Weetamoo and was successful in winning her over to his side.  She joined him as he moved his entire nation into the Pocasset swamps, early in the war and spent the last of June and all of July, getting ready to move north into the Nipmuck country of central Massachusetts.  Weetamoo and her husband separated as he went to serve the English against the Indians, and she to serve the Indians against the English.

As the main body of Indians moved north, Weetanoo, went to Ninigret, Sachem of the Eastern Niantics, in Rhode Island.  It is not known, why she left the main body of her tribe, unless she was sent to encourage this tribe to also join in support of the rebellion. 

In the fall of 1675, while she was still with the Eastern Niantics, Quinnapin escaped from jail in Rhode Island and came to seek refuge with his friend (and father's cousin) Ninigret.  It was at this time that he met and married Weetamoo.  Weetamoo was already wanted by the authorities and when it was learned that Ninigret was harboring her, he was called by the authorities to come to Plymouth to account for his actions.  Ninigret was successful in eluding Plymouth and both Weetamoo and Quinnapin escaped to the Narragansett country to join Canonchet.  Quinnapin was one of the leading sachems in the Narragansett Nation.  He was also Canonchet's leading military advisor, and his first cousin.

Quinnapin was the son of Canjanaquand, (Cagianaquan) who was a brother to Miantonomo, Great Sachem of the Narragansetts before his son Canonchet.  These two brothers were sons of Mescus, who was a brother of the Great Sachem, Canonicus, (who was also known as Canonicus II and was the Great Sachem at the time of the Pilgrim's arrival in New England.)  Canonicus II, was a son of Canonicus I who, reputedly, had been married to his own sister by their Father, Tashtasuck or Tasatussuch. (23: p.47, 49, 185)

Quinnapin and Weetamoo joined with Canonchet in his swamp island shortly before the surprise attack of the English known as the Great Swamp Massacre, of December 19, 1675.  From here they traveled north to join with Philip at Mt. Wachusetts.

Under the military leadership of Canonchet, Quinnapin became one of the leading war sachems, striking hard with his force of 400 warriors.  Quinnapin, who was described by his enemies as a "young lusty man and a rogue" led the first major offensive of 1676 with an attack on Lancaster.  One of the captives of this battle was Mary Rowlandson, wife of the local minister, Joseph Rowlandson.  She was sold to Quinnapin and later was one of the prisoners ransomed by the authorities in Boston.  She became a slave to Quinnapin and Weetamoo for almost 12 weeks.  During this time Mrs. Rowlandson reported that the Indians were constantly on the move to keep from being found.  She reported 21 moves made during her captivity.  She makes no mention of Weetamoo either being pregnant, or having a small baby.  She does specifically say that Quinnapin's third wife, (not Weetamoo) was "a young one by whom he had two papooses." This could be the origin to the idea that Weetamoo had two children by Quinnapin.  This, first hand, account clearly says that these were Quinnapin's children by a younger wife. (23: p.47)

Mrs. Rowlandson gives a short description of her "owners."  It is certainly resentful and perhaps even a little jealous.  "My master (Quinnapin) had three squaws, living sometimes with one, and sometimes with another... Onux, this old squaw... Anothere was Wettimore (Weetamoo), with whom I had lived and served all this while.  A severe and proud dame was she; bestowing ever day, in dressing herself, near as much time as any of the gentry of the land-- powdering her hair and painting her face, going with her necklaces, with jewels in her ears, and bracelets upon her hands.  When she had dressed herself, her work was to make girdles of wampum and beads." (23: p.45)  Evidently, Mrs. Rowlandson was surprised to find the customs of "civilized" women followed by wild savages.  Perhaps she didn't understand that in the Indian culture, Weetamoo was gentry and enough of a lady to be able to dress as one even when being hunted like an animal in time of war.

Following the Sudbury attack, Mrs. Rowlandson says that a victory dance “was carried on by eight of them, four men and four squaws.”  Weetamoo was one of the squaws.  "She had a kearsey coat covered with girdles of wampum from the loins upward... Her arms from her elbows to her hands were covered with bracelets; there were handfulls of necklaces about her neck and several sorts of jewels in her ears.  She had fine red stockings and white shoes, her hair powdered and her face painted red."

Following the death of Canonchet in April, Quinnapin was the leader of the Narragansetts in battles.  There is no indication that he actually received the title of Great Sachem but, in time of war he was accepted by the Federation as the military leader.  He led many successful raids but when the war began to turn against the Indians he accompanied Philip back to the Wampanoag country.  Here they watched their people dwindling, either by death in relentless attacks, or by desertion.

In early August, as the end seemed to be nearing, Quinnapin led what was left of his Narragansett warriors, back to Rhode Island.  Weetamoo did not accompany him.  Of her 300 warriors only 26 still remained.  They followed her to their old home in Pocasset country where one of her deserters went to Taunton to sell knowledge of her position.  A force was quickly assembled which marched to her camp on the western bank of the Teticut River in Mattapoiset (South Swansea.)  Here on August 6, 1676, her tired survivors were surrounded and gave up without much of a struggle.  Weetamoo was the only one not captured.

"Intending to make an escape from the danger, she attempted to get over a river, or arm of the sea near by, upon a raft, or some pieces of broken wood; but, whether tired and spent with swimming, or starved with cold and hunger, she was found, stark naked, in Mattapoiset'.  South Swansea, not far from the water side, which made some think she was first half drowned and so ended her wretched life." (7: p.36)

There remained some question as to her cause of death but this is the state in which her body was found and desecrated.  Her head was cut off and carried to Taunton where it was placed on the end of a pole for public display and ridicule.  Here the captured remnant of her tribe looked upon it with sorrow and lamentations.  Truly she was respected by her followers.

After returning to Rhode Island, Quinnapin was also hunted down by the English and eventually captured.  He was tried by a court at Newport on August 24, found guilty and executed the next day.

Little is know of Weecum (Weecome) except that she was a Squaw Sachem, probably of the Pocasset Tribe.  She was married to Benjamin Tuspaquin prior to the King Philip War.  They eventually had four children.  More will be given on this family in Chapter 7.

It is likely that Weecum was born about 1657-60.  Her Mother was Weetamoo and, if the logic presented above is valid, it may be supposed that her Father was Alexander.  This however, is speculation and there is no documentation to support it.  If this were correct she would also be a granddaughter of Massasoit and a first cousin to her husband, Benjamin Tuspaquin, who was also a grandchild of Massasoit.

[Sources: 1, 7, 9, 23, 27, 31, 32]

Chapter 7




Pamantaquash (Pomantaquash) was the Sachem of the Assawampsetts Tribe in the Wampanoag Federation.  Their land was the marshy ground south of Middleboro, Massachusetts which is filled with lakes and ponds, the main one being Assawampsetts (Assawompset) Pond.  Because of all of the ponds in their territory Pamantaquash was often referred to, by the English, as the “Pond Sachem.”  This title was also applied to his successors.

Pamantaquash has been confused, by some writers, with Poquanum, the Sachem of Nahant, a tribe located north of Boston on a peninsula south of Lynn.  Poquanum, variously known by the English as Duke William or Black William, was a friend to the English but in the winter of 1632-33 he was hanged by them for a crime which they knew he did not commit.

Pamantaquash was still living long after this event and much farther south.  Because of the many ponds and swamps in this area the main trails skirted the Assawampsett's homeland, and so did the early historians.  Not a lot of information is available about him or his people.

In 1668, six years after the death of Massasoit, Pamantaquash had the following will recorded by Nathaniel Morton, secretary of the Plymouth Colony, naming Tuspaquin as his heir.  The will does not make it clear that Tuspaquin was his son, nor is there any known record that states the relationship between them.  The fact that the will specifies that Tuspaquin is to reign after Pamantaquash, and thereafter "his sone," Willam, followed by "his heiress forever," is an indication that this old Sachem felt strongly that this honor should remain in the family.  Still, it is only an indication and there is, sadly, no proof that Pamantaquash was the Father of Tuspaquin.

"Witneseth these present, Pamanataquash, the Pond Sachem, being weak in body but of perfect disposeing memory, declared it to be his last will and Testament, concerning all his lands at Assawamsett, or elsewhere, that he is now possessed of, that he would after his desease leave them unto his _______, Tuspequin, alius the Black Sachem, for his life, and after the sd Tuspequin his decease unto Soquontamouk, alius William, his sone, and to his heires forever, and desired severall of his men that were then about him to take notice of it and be witnesses of it if he should not live himself to doe the writing under his owne hande."  This document was witnessed by four of his Indian friends. (6: p.9-10)

Tuspaquin (Tuspequin Tispaquin, Watuspuquin) was a highly regarded sachem at Assawampsetts Pond.  One of the lakes, or ponds, in that area still bears his name today.  Little is known of his early life.  It can be estimated that he may have been born about the time the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth.  In records of land transfers in 1673 he is called Old Watuspaquin, but that may have been to distinguish him from his son, William Tuspaquin, who also signed the deeds.  Tuspaquin's two oldest living sons were old enough to fight in the King Philip War in 1675, which would infer that they were both born prior to 1650. This, in turn, would place Tuspaquin's date of birth at sometime prior to 1630.

In contrast to the very tall, fair complexioned Indians of New England, Tuspaquin, is said to have been short, very heavy, with unusually long arms for a short person.  He was very ugly and had an extremely dark skin. His mother was a Seminole Indian Princess, of the Creek Nation, from what is now the Georgia-Florida area.  In those days, it was not uncommon for tribes to range great distances in trade and/or war.  From one long expedition, Tuspaquin's Father brought back a Seminole wife.  These Indians were not tall, like the New England Indians, and they were very dark brown in skin color.  Because of this, Tuspaquin was known as the "Black Sachem."  Bearce records, "Watuspaquin, the Black Sachem, had an extremely dark swarthy complexion in comparison with other members of his tribe, and a very ugly cast of countenance, and when in war paint, was positively hideous to look upon.  Black Sachem inherited his dark skin from his, what is now Seminole, Mother, a daughter of a famous outlander Sachem of the Creek's..." (9)

[His title of "Black Sachem" is the main reason he has been confused with "Black William" the Sachem of Nahant.  This is incorrect.  Tuspaquin did not live at Nahant, and he spent most of his life after the 1632-33 death date of "Black William."]

Tuspaquin was regarded highly enough to win the hand of Amie, the daughter of Massasoit, for his wife.  The names of only two of their children are known.  Soquontamouk, (alias Mantowapuct, or William Tuspaquin) is listed, with his Father, in many land transactions, selling large parcels of land to English settlers from July 17, 1669 to May 14, 1675, just one month prior to the outbreak of the War.  Little else is known of William, except that he fought in the King Philip War and it is highly probable that he lost his life in that cause.  His other known son was Benjamin Tuspaquin and more will be given on him later.

There are indications that Tuspaquin extended his domain to include the Nemasket Tribe to the north as he is sometimes referred to as being the Sachem of the Assawampsetts and Nemaskets.  Land transactions show he possessed and sold Nemasket land, and one of his own residences was on the edge of the town of Middleboro, in Nemasket territory.

Although he seemed compatible with the English settlers, Tuspaquin never aligned himself closely with them.  Being, not only a sachem, but also a Pow-wow, or spiritual leader to his people, he could not adopt the white man's religion and, except for selling land, he kept himself aloof from their civilization.

Pow-wows were usually self appointed by some special dream or vision.  They were able to communicate with the spirits or gods from the unseen world.  Algonquin Indians believed in many gods who controlled the various aspects of their lives.  It was the job of the Powwows to intercede with either Kichtan or Hobbamocko on behalf of their tribal followers.

The Pow-wow presided over rituals for special occasions throughout the year--for the harvest; for rain in droughts; to overcome famine, sickness or enemies.  He was able to receive messages from departed spirits and interpret omens.  He was entitled to a monetary fee for his spiritual service whether he was successful or not.  Tuspaquin was a great Pow-wow, or medicine man, and it was said that he possessed "much magic.”

At the outbreak of the War, Tuspaquin led a large force of 300 warriors in support of Philip.  It appears that rather than moving north into Nipmuck country, Tuspaquin remained in his home area harassing the Plymouth Colony with deadly strikes, thereby reducing their ability to send large companies of soldiers north, in search of Philip.  With his tribe being so close to Plymouth, there was a terrifying fear of his name throughout the war.  Some of the cruelest and most hideous tortures of captured English men, women and children were credited to Tuspaquin's band of warriors including skinning people alive.  Some of these may have been exaggerated but, most must be considered to be true.  The shear horror of these stories helped the Indians to be victorious against overwhelming odds in the first year of the war.

Many of the attacks by Tuspaquin have already been listed in Chapter 4.  Tuspaquin led his band of 300 warriors in the attack on Scituate on April 20, 1676, in which 19 homes were burned.  It is thought that it was also his band that burned 13 houses and 4 barns at Bridgewater on April 9, and even more buildings were burned at Weymouth and Hingham on the 19th of April.

After Philip returned to Wampanoag country near the end of the war, it was easier for the English to enlist volunteers and also to surround the holdouts.  By that time, the English military leaders had learned the advantage of using Indians to hunt and fight other Indians.  Captain Church, with his Sakonnet Indians, went after Tuspaquin's band in late July and captured a large number of them.  One of these, named Jeffery, became a scout for Church to lead the English forces to find Tuspaquin.  They went first to Monponsett (Halifax) where they captured a small band of Indians, then on to Nemasket, where he captured 6 of Tuspaquin's men.  They informed him that the Sachem had returned to his home at Assawampsett (Lakeville.)   Church continued to pursue the Indians until on September 5, he captured most of what remained of Tuspaquin's tribe at Sippican (Rochester.)   He found however, that Tuspaquin was not among them as he was at that time at Agawam.  Rather than pursue him further Church decided to return to Plymouth with his prisoners.  He left two old squaws there to tell Tuspaquin what had happened to his tribe and that if he too would come to Plymouth and turn himself in, he would have Church's guarantee of his safety and that of his family.

Tuspaquin's wife, Amie, and their "children" (6: p.86) had already been captured on July 9, 1676 and taken as prisoners to Plymouth.  No doubt Tuspaquin knew that Philip had been killed on August 12; Weetamoo, on August 6; Quinnapin on August 25.  The old war captain, Annawan, had even been captured on August 28.  Now Tuspaquin's own band had also been taken to Plymouth to either be executed or sold into slavery in the West Indies.  The war was truly over.  Tuspaquin was one of the very few hostile Indians still at large.  There was no point in fighting on.  The promise from Church that he and his family would be spared if he would turn himself in was the best he could hope for.

A few days later, in early September, Tuspaquin walked into Plymouth to give himself up.  Church was away at Boston on military business at the time and was unaware of the event.  When he returned, a couple days later, he was surprised to learn of the surrender and that the local authorities had shot both Tuspaquin and Annawan.  Both the Indians and the English had heard many stories of Tuspaquin's great magic.  He had been so impervious to flying bullets in several battles that rumors were plentiful that he could not be shot.  When Church learned of his death he was told, rather casually, that they had shot Tuspaquin to see if the stories were really true that he couldn't be killed by bullets.  Tuspaquin's, Philip's and Annawan's heads were displayed on the ends of poles at the edge of Plymouth for many years after their deaths.

There is no mention of the fate of Amie or of her children.  It is possible that they too were sold into slavery, as was Amie's sister-in-law, Wootonekanuske, or she may have been executed.  It is not likely they would have released, to freedom, captured members of the royal families but, we can only speculate on their fate.

Of Tuspaquin's and Amie's children, it is quite certain that William was killed in the war.  Benjamin also fought in the war.  Nothing is known of the other children in the family except that there were other children who were captured with their Mother and sent to Plymouth. (23: p.200; 6: p.86)

Benjamin Tuspaquin (Tuspaquin II, Squim, Squin, Benjamin Squinnamay, Benjamin Squamnaway) is the only child of Old Tuspaquin and Amie known to have survived the King Philip War and remain in this country.  Benjamin married Weecum, the daughter of Weetamoo. (See Chapter 6.)  Neither the dates of their births, nor of their marriage are known but they were probably married before the War, in 1675, as their third daughter, Mary, was old enough to have a child in 1695.  Benjamin is listed by Bearce as a Sachem at Momenet. (9)  This could indicate that Benjamin accepted Christianity after the King Philip War as the Momenet village was a Praying Indian town (at what became known as Freetown, now East Fall River, Mass.)  It is unlikely he would have been the recognized Sachem of this Praying Indian town without becoming a Christian.

After the King Philip War, the surviving Indians recognized their place as a conquered people and settled down to be subservient to the English in, what was formerly their land.  Benjamin Tuspaquin served the English, under Captain James Church, in later battles against other Indian tribes, for which he was granted 4 lots of land in Freetown, Mass.

"By a resolve of the general court of Massachusetts, passed in 1701, was granted to Capt. James Church and certain members of his company of friendly Indians, in consideration of services rendered by them to the Province tract of land in what was then Freetown, but now East Fall River. This Indian plantation was afterwards surveyed and divided into 25 lots, of which the 19th, 20th, 21st and 22nd lots were assigned to the lineal descendants of Benjamin Tuspaquin.  The first survey and division of these Indian lands was made about 1707, in which no provision was made for services of Benjamin Tuspaquin and quite a number of other soldiers, together with the Lieut. of Capt. James Church's company, who were by that division left unprovided for, but were taken into the account and provided for in the second survey and division, made in 1764.

"In the first survey and original division of the Indian lands in what is now East Fall River, Isaac Sissel received for his share the 20th lot, containing 6 acres and 128 rods.  That assignment was made about the year 1707.  At the second survey, made by Zebedee Terry, of Freetown, in 1764, the 20th lot was reported as then being in the possession of Mercy and Mary, daughters of Isaac Sissel.  At the date of the second survey, the 19th lot was reported to belong to 'Esther Sampson and Sarah Squin,' who were called 'grandchildren of Benjamin Squamnaway.'   Doubtless the Benjamin Squamnaway was in fact, Benjamin Tuapaquin.  At the same time, the 22nd lot was reported to belong to Comfort and Thankful, grandchildren of 'Benjamin Squannamay'; and this latter, and Benjamin Squamnaway, and Benjamin Tuspaquin, I take it, was the same person." (23: p.212-213)

There are varying reports of the death of Benjamin Tuspaquin Sr. Some say he died from wounds received in a battle, while others say he died “suddenly while sitting in his wigwam, having just before complained of feeling faint." (23: p.212)   It is possible that he returned home from a battle and died as a result of the wounds he had received there.   It is reported that in one battle Benjamin was severely wounded when his jaw was shot off.  It is not known if this is the wound that caused his death or if this was received in some earlier battle.

Benjamin Tuspaquin and Weecum had four known children: three daughters and a son.  One daughter, Esther, married Tobias Sampson.  They had no children.  Tobias was a Praying Indian and acted as a local preacher holding meetings in his own home in what was then South Freetown, now East Fall River, Mass.  Tradition says that for this reason his house was known as the "Indian College.”

Another daughter, Hannah, married an Indian named Quam.  They had two children: a daughter named Hope, who never married but, who received enough education to teach school to the few Indians who were left of their tribe, at what is called Indian Town, in Fall River.  They also had a son, who did not marry and tradition says that he was lost at sea. (6: p.12; 23: p.212-213)

Benjamin.'s and Weecum's third daughter was Mary.Tuspaquin, who married Isaac Sissel, a Praying Indian and a Sagamore (lesser sachem) of the village of Momenet.  Isaac is said to be the son of a Sachem on Martha's Vineyard Island. (9)

Mary Tuspaquin and Isaac Sissel had three children: Mercy, Mary and Arbella. Tradition states that two of these children died in infancy. (23: p.213)  This would seem to be incorrect as both Mercy and Mary are listed as landowners in 1764 and would have been elderly women at that time.  Mary Sissel (ancestor of Rebecca Bearce) was born in Freetown, in 1695 and was said to be "very comely and fair to look upon, with finely chisseled features, and endowed with second sight, an Indian clairvoiant, a spiritualist medium who could tell the future." (9)  She married Josiah Bearce I, and had 11 children before dying in childbirth at Mashpee, Mass., where she lies buried.  More will Be given on this family in Chapter 11.

Benjamin and Weecum's only son was also named Benjamin.  He married Mercy Felix, of Middleboro, a daughter of an Indian named Felix and his wife Assowetough, the daughter of John Sassamon.  This is the same John Sassamon who betrayed Philip's plot to the English and was subsequently found murdered in Assawampsetts Pond.  It was the execution of three Indians, thought to be the murderers, friends of Tuspaquin and Philip, that started the King Philip War.  Sassamon was the Benedict Arnold of his nation, and his family paid the price of being rejected by their own people.  Not only was Sassamon hated by the Indians but his son-in-law, Felix, fought for the English.  The mere thought that a member of the Tuspaquin family could marry into such a family was more than Benjamin II's three sisters could tolerate.  They ostracized him, his wife and their only daughter, Lydia.

Lydia's parents both died when she was young and she was raised by her grandparents, Benjamin and Weecum.  As a young woman, she married an Indian named Wamsley and they had five children: Zerviah, Paul, Phebe, Jane and Benjamin.  Lydia died in July 1812, when she fell into Assawampsetts Pond and drowned. (23: p.213-216)

[Sources: 6, 9, 23, 27]

Chapter 8



[Note:Zerviah Newcomb was the first wife of Josiah Bearce I, but not the Mother of his children.  She does not appear on the pedigree chart as one of Rebecca Bearce's ancestors but, her life of service to her husband's children and the diary she kept of their ancestry warrant this chapter being included about her.  The information on her Father and Grandfather is taken, in large measure, directly from ANDREW NEWCOMB AND HIS DESCENDANTS, by Bethuel Merritt Newcomb. (13)]

Captain Andrew Newcomb, was probably born in England about 1618.  The name of his first wife and date of his marriage is unknown.  He may have married first in England or Virginia.  He was a sea captain by trade and may have made his living at sea from his youth.

Little is known of his early life.  It appears that he probably made his way to America as the captain of a sailing vessel by way of Barbadoes and Virginia.  He may have made the trip many times before he is first recorded in Boston in 1663 when he married Grace, the widow of William Ricks (Rix.)  He and his new wife occupied the former residence of William and Grace Ricks along with her five children who ranged in age from 18 to 7 (Elisha, Mary, John, Thomas and Ezekiel).

At the time of his second marriage, Andrew already had two children of his own from his prior marriage.  The older one, Andrew II, born about 1640, was about 23 years old when his father remarried.  The second, Susannah, was born between 1645 and 1650 making her age between 13-18 at that time.  It is not known where these children were born nor the name of their mother.  Susanna first married Philip Blague of Boston, born in Braintree, Mass., 24 March 1643.  He was the son of Henry and Elizabeth Blague.  Philip died before 30 September 1678 at which time she administered his estate.  She next married _______ Pritchett or Pritchard in 1679-80.  Both Susannah and her second husband died before 13 October 1681.  At that time her father, Andrew Newcomb was appointed the estate administrator.  Susannah had three children, all by her first husband:

         Newcomb            born 27 Jan 1670-1,              died Sept. 1718.

         Benjamin             born 13 March 1673,            died young.

         Susannah             born 26 June 1677,                died young.

By his second wife, Grace, Andrew Sr. had one child, who was also named Grace.  She was born 20 Oct. 1664, in Boston.  She was married in 1687 to James Butler, born 2 August 1665, the son of Stephen and Jane Butler of Boston.  James died 1689 and she married the second time on 15 April 1692 to Andrew Rankin of the Isles of Shoals.  Grace Newcomb's will was proved 28 Aug. 1713.  She had five children; four by Butler, one by Rankin:

          Mary,          born 21 Feb. 1683;         married 29 July 1698 Francis Brock.

          Grace,         born 2 MAY 1685;         married 26 Dec. 1706 Thomas Jackson.

          Elizabeth,    born 23 Dec 1686;         married 16 June 1709 Capt. John Welland of Boston; he died June 1737. 

                              Another account says she married  _______ Savage; perhaps a 2nd marriage.

          James,          born 21 Aug. 1687          married Abigail Eustice who died 15 Dec. 1713; he died in Boston.

By Andrew Rankin she had:

          Andrew,          born 13 July 1693.

Andrew Newcomb owned lot numbers 166, 182-184 on Hanover St. in Boston.  Other records exist showing the transfer of property owned by Andrew.

Page 281 of Charlestown, Mass., shows a shipment of cattle, etc., owned by John Page of Boston, shipped 28 Feb. 1666-7, in the Ketch _______, Andrew Newcomb, Master, for Virginia for account of John Ely and Eliakim Hutchinson--various horses described--avouched by Mr. Page, being bought of Capt.  Hutchinson and Samuel Gough.

Captain Andrew Newcomb was the defendant in a suit for damages, held in the County Court at Boston, 25 April 1676, in which he was accused of "Willfully or carelesley runinge upp on a small boat with my Shallop." The court decided against him and he appealed the case 31 Aug. 1676.  New York Col.  MSS. at Albany, Vol. 29, page 13, date 28 Aug. 1679, show "Andrew Newcombe" to have been "Master of ye Sloope Edmund and Martha," then in port of New York and bound for "Boston in New England" probably from Virginia, a part of his lading being tobacco.

"Inquest, dated Sept. 26, 1682, upon the body of a man found dead at Plum Island, and return made by Caleb Moody, Jams Ordway, etc....  that he was floating in the surfe of the sea; he was hauled up to high water mark out of the tydes way; by Joseph Knight & James Moice; on the 25th of this Instant; wee went with the Constable and there wee mett with the two men that hauled him out of ye sea as they telled us; and there wee saw the man: which seueral of us also Indycut Potter being there with us doe Conclude it was Andrew Newcomb of Boston how he came by his death: wee cannot determine whether hee was washed out of a vessel and drowned wee cannot saye wee fynding seuerall thousand of staues (staves) Cast up on the beech with other things Cast up; we found the man Lying on his back with his Shirt and his jacket ouer his head his Shirt Coller tyed fast about his neck his armes and his body bare to his waist his breeches & drawers & stockings & shoues tyed fast on the further searching of his body we found a place on the Left side of his head swelled up as if hee had some great blow noe other wound or bruise in his body. etc.  Sworn Sept. 29, 1682, before Robt. Pike, assistant. (Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex Co. Mass.  Salem Quarterly Court, Records and Files.)

There appear other documents with the signature of "Andrew Newcomb" after the date of this inquest until the date of 1686.  It could be that the body was mistakenly identified as Andrew Newcomb and that he did not realy die for four more years; or he could have died in 1682 and the other signatures, credited to him, might rightfully belong to his son, Andrew II, or someone else.  His will gives no help in this regard as it is dated 31 Jan. 1682-3 (before the inquest) but it was not proved until 9 Dec. 1686 (after the last signature thought to be Andrew Sr's.)

A point against the argument that this was a case of mistaken identity and that the dead man was not Andrew Newcomb, is the fact that he was known by the men who identified him.  In addition, his body was found off Plum Island in northern Massachusetts and brought to Salem.  These men knew that he lived not far away in Boston.  It seems if there were any question, it would be a simple matter to visit his home and check on his health.  Knowing that his family resided about 20 miles away, it would be relatively easy to verify if he were still alive and a prudent thing to do before swearing to his identification at a formal inquest.

"In the name of God amen.  The thirty first day of January anno Dom One Thousand six hundred Eighty and Two 1682/3 Anno Regni Caroli Secundi Tricessimo Quinto.  I Andrew Newcombe of Boston in the County of Suffolk in the Massachusetts Colonie in New England marriner being in competent Bodily health and of Sound and perfect memory praised be Almighty god for ye same Knowing the uncertainty of this Present life and being desirous to settle that outward Estate the Lord hath Lent me Doe make and Ordaine this my last will & Testament in manner and forme following (That is to say) First and principa coment my Soule into the hands of Almighty God my Creator hopeing toReceive fful1 pardon and Remission of all my Sins and Salvation through the Alone meritts of Jesus Christ my Redeemer And my Body to ye Earth to be buried in such Decent manner as to my Executor hereafter named shall be thought meet and convenient and as touching such worldly Estate the Lord hath Lent me my will and meaneing is the same shall be Imployed and bestowed as hereafter in and by this my will is Exprest.

"Imp.  I doe hereby revoake and Renounce and make void all wills by me formerly made and declare and appoint this to be my last will and Testament.

“Item  I will that all the debts I justly owe to any manner of person or persons whatsoever Shall be well and truely paid or Ordained to be paid in convenient Time after my decease by my executor hereafter named

“Item   After all my Just debts are paid and funerall charges Satisfied I give and bequeath unto my Grand child Newcomb Blake all that which is oweing to me from his ffathers Estate Either for his maintainance or otherwise and also whatever I shall disburst on him in my life Time for his maintainance and Education.  Also I give unto ye said Newcombe Blake Thirty pounds in money.

“Item   I give unto my wife Grace Newcomb the use benefit and Improvement of my house and Land that is Scituate In Boston affore said Betweene ye house and Land of Gaudey James and the house and Land of John Jackson neare ye Mill Bridge with the priviledges and appurtenances thereunto belonging Dureing the tearme of her naturall life.

“Item   I give and bequeath the afforesaid house and Land unto my Daughter Grace Buttler and to the heires of her body Lawfullym begotten or to be begotten and to their heires and assignee forever.  And my will is that she shall have and Enjoy the same Immediately after my said wifes decease.

“Item   My will is that in case she dye without Such Issue that then the sd House and Land shall be and remaine unto ye only proper use and behoofe of the sd Newcomb Blake & his heires & assignee for ever.

“Item   I give and bequeath unto Each of my wifes Grand children ffive shillings a peice in money.

“Item  I give & bequeath unto Samuell Marshall of Boston afforesaid Cooper in consideration of his care and Trouble in and about the management of my estate Three pounds in money

“Item  I give and bequeath the ffull Remainder of my Reall and personall Estate whatsoever it is or wheresoever it may be found whether in posession or in Reversion unto my sd Daughter Grace Butler & to ye heirs of her Body lawfully begotten but If shee dye without Issue my will is that the said Remainder of my Estate shall be and Remaine unto ye only proper use and behoofe of the said Newcomb Blake and his heirs & assignes for ever.

“Item   I do hereby nominate constitute & appoint my sd Grand Child Newcomb Blake the Executor of this my last will and Testament;

“Item  In Regard the sd Newcomb Blake is in his nonage I doe hereby appoint and authorize ye said Samuell Marshall my Exec'r in Trust of this my sd Last will and Testament untill the sd Newcombe attaine ye age of Twenty one yeares.

“IN TESTIMONY whereof I the said Andrew Newcombe have hereunto sett my

hand and seale ye day and yeare first within written.

signed Andrew Newcombe      [wax seal]

“SSigned Sealed & what is contained in these two pages was published by the abovesaid Andrew Newcombe as his Last Will & Testament in the presence of us--

John Hayward Scr

Eliezer Moodey Scrv

“8 December 1686 This will being exhibited by the Executor the two wittnesses Mr Jn Hayward & mr Eliezer Moodey made oath that they were present & saw Andrew Newcombe Signe Seal & Publish this Instrument as his last will & Testament & that when he so Did he was of sound mind & memory to their best understanding.

Juat Eoram preside Attest'r

Tho.  Dudley Cler

Enterd 9 Dec'r 1686"

The obvious omission of his oldest son, Andrew II, as an heir could be due to the fact that this son was already well established in life and had no need of an inheritance; or it is possible that there was a falling out between father and son.  At this point we do not know why Andrew II was not named, we can only speculate on the reasons.

Lieut.  Andrew Newcomb, the son of Capt. Andrew Newcomb, was born about the year 1640, probably in England, perhaps in Devonshire. (4: p.338)  He was first married to a Sarah _________ about 1661.  Their first child, Simeon, was born about 1662.  Another child, Andrew, was born about 1664, and a third, Simon, about 1666.  It is not certain where they resided prior to this time but Andrew's name appears as one of the men attending a meeting on the Isles of Shoals, near Portsmouth, N.H.  Several merchants, along with men associated with the fishing business, met at that time for the purpose of setting prices for fish.  A later statement taken from Andrew Newcomb, in 1672, confirms this.  "Andrew Newckum aged thirty tow yeares or theare aboutt Swaren and Saith that in the year 1666 the prise off ffish wass Sett and mad at the Illes off Sholes marchannabell fish--thirtey tow Railles per quntel this deponen't then Receued Seuerall poundes in marcha' fish att the prise Corrantt aboue Rightin and this deponen't Knew no other prise Corrantt Butt that aboue Rightin and fforder Saith nott

Taken upon oath 27 : I mo  [16]72 Wm Hathorne Assis't"

Their forth child, Thomas, was born about 1668.

The first record of Andrew buying land was on 20 April 1669 (deeds at Alfred, York Co., Maine, Vol. 2, page 162.)   Daniel Moore of Portsmouth, a blacksmith, sold to Andrew Newcomb of Kittery, York Co., Me., a fisherman, for 58 pounds, a dwelling-house in Kittery, near Thomas Spinney’s and formerly in the tenure and occupation of James Emberry (Emery), also, 6 acres of land adjoining the house at Emberry's (Emery’s) Point.

Their fifth child, and first daughter, Sarah, was born about 1670.  Her first marriage was on January 9, 1690 when she became the second wife of Capt.  Joshua Conant, who was born April 15, 1657, and was the son of Joshua and Seeth (Balch) Conant, and grandson of Roger Conant of Salem.  Their marriage was recorded in Salem, Mass.  They moved to the northern part of Eastham, now Truro, Mass. probably about 1700.   He died before 1706 and she married for the second time on January 30, 1706-7, William Eldredge, son of Robert and Elizabeth (Nickerson) Eldredge.  Children:

          1.          Keziah Conant,          born 8 Nov. 1691 in Salem, Mass.

          2.          Caleb,                         b. 13 Nov. 1693 in Salem,

          3.          Sarah,                         b. 12 Apr. 1695 in Salem,

          4.          John,                           b. 19 Apr. 1700

At this time Andrew Newcomb became Constable of the town and was living at the Shoals, or in Kittery.  The following excerp is from the York Court Records, Book E, page 51. "Septembr : 8 : l671  Marke Roe complaynd of by Andrew Nucum Constable of ye Yles of Shoales for threatening to break his bones and tearing of his shyrt, & other uncivill behayors towards him, in the execution of his office, vpon his serueing of an Attachment: from the ... for the breach of his bonds And further the Constable complayns of seuerall Oaths sworn by the sd Roe in comeing ouer, who upon examination the sd Marke Roe confesed before mee yt hee was provoaked to sware seurall oaths

Edw Rishworth Ass't”

The sixth child, Mary or Mercy, was born to Andrew and Sarah about 1672.  She married, on 4 October 1694, Capt. Thomas Lumbert of Barnstable, who died Novermber 13, 1736.  He was the son of Jedeiah, and the grandson of Thomas Lumbert.  They resided at Barnstable, Mass. until about 1699, when the moved to Truro.   Children:

          1.          John,                b. 5 Jan. 1694,  married 7 Apr. 1737, Bethiah Harding

          2.          Jedediah,          b. 16 Feb. 1696-7,   m. 28 Sept. 1717 Mary White, who was born 25 Dec. 1702,

                                She was the dau. of Capt. Samuel and Rebecca (Vickers) White of Hull.  They had nine children.

          3.          Thomas,           b. 3 Aug. 1698, d. 20 Apr. 1779 Truro,   m. Apr. 1721 Elizabeth Binne

          4.          William,           b. 25 Jan. 1700,   m. first 3 Aug. 1721, Mary Gaines,

                                                                            m. second 22 July 1761 Hannah Green.

          5.          Simon,              b. 28 Nov. 1701, d. before 1736.

          6.          Hannah,            b. 16 Jan. 1703, m  __________  Conant

          7.          Keziah,             b. 30 June 1705, m: 13 Oct. 1721, John Conant.

The name of Andrew's first wife, Sarah, appears only once, on a deed of land sold and recorded 21 July 1673 (from the deeds at Exeter, N.H.  Vol. 3, P. 80).  "Andrew Newcombe, of Hogg Island (so called from its rude resemblance to a hog's back) on ye Ile of Sholes," fisherman, for 52 pounds in merchantable fish, sold Henry Platts, of same place, with consent of his wife Sarah, house on Hog Island (not described) 19 July 1673, in the 25th year of Charles the Second.

The seventh child was Peter, born about 1674.  That same year, Andrew was taken to court over a dispute: "Att a County Court houlden at Wells for the County of Yorke July 7, 1674, the Worshipfll Major Tho. Clarke, Praesident, Major Bryan Pendleton, Mr. Geo. Munjoy, Edw--ReCor.  Assotiates.  Mr. John Cutt is plantiffe in an action of debt Contra Andrew Newcom Def end't... The jury finds for ye Plantiffe 16 : 00 : 0 one halfe in marchtble fish & ye other halfe in refuge fish, according to bill: 5 S Damage & costs of Court 25 & 6d."

Following this court decision, Andrew sold out in Kittery and the Isles of Shoals.  He turned over to Mr. John Cutt his house and lands as payment for past debts.  His wife, Sarah, had recently died in 1674 or 5, reason unknown, perhaps in childbirth.  It was also about this time that the King Philip War began and Indians in all areas were seeking revenge upon white settlers.  It is not known if this influenced Andrew but he, with his seven small children, moved to Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard Island, where the Indians were friendly toward the English.

At Edgartown, Andrew became a prominent citizen and his name appears in many documents, as witness for land transfers, etc.  He was a juror at quarter court at Eastham 25 Sept. 1677 and 28 Dec. 1680; foreman of a grand jury in Sept. 1681, June 1700 and 1703 and 7 Mar. 1704; constable in 1681; Tithing man 10 May 1693; select-man 1693-4; overseer 16 Mar 1694.

Sometime after his arrival in Edgartown, Andrew met and married his second wife, Anna Bayes, daughter of Anna Baker, of Boston and Captain Thomas Bayes. (4: p.84 & 12: p.14) Together, Andrew and Anna had eight children, making a total of fifteen for Andrew between the two marriages. Their oldest was Anna, born 1677 and who married Lieut. Matthew Mayhew, the eldest son of Matthew Mayhew, the son of Rev. Thomas Mayhew, the son of Gov.  Thomas Mayhew, who was the first settler by that name in Edgartown.  Anna Newcomb Mayhew died in April 1723, at the age of about 46 years.  Children:

          1.          Micajah,          d. 20 Dec. 1760.   m. Sarah Ripley.

          2.          Fortunatua

          3.          Matthew

          4.          Thomas

          5.          Elijah,              d. 30 Dec. 1734

          6.          Anna,               d. 25 Sept. 1760,   m. William Bassett.

          7.          Mary,               b. 31 Mar. 1714,   d. 16 Sept 1778,   m. 12 Dec. 1728 Beriah Tilton.

Andrew's and Anna's second child was Elizabeth.  She was born about 1681 and married, 5 Mar. 1699-1700, Capt.  John Atkins, who was born 6 Aug. 1674, at Eastham, Mass.  He died Sept 1733, or 30 Jan, 1732-33 and was the son of Henry and Bethiah (Linnell) Atkins.  There is no record of any children of this marriage and she died after 1743.

Their third child was Joseph, who was born 1683.  He married Joyce Butler on 20 Nov. 1705 and moved to Salem, now Cumberland, N.J. in 1732 where he died not long after.  They had six children, including Bayes Newcomb, who remained at Martha's Vineyard and appeared there in historical records.  Their youngest son, Silas, born about 1723, was a distinguished officer in the Revolutionary War and became a Brigadier General in 1777. (4: p. 339)

The Edgartown Court records of 1684 contain the following entry:  "Special Corte held this 16th December 1684, Mr. Andrew Nurcom complayneth agaynst Amos an Enden (Indian) for Inbaseling or purloyning away Sidor & Rum.  They joyne ishew before the Court to a the sayed Nucom great troble to the damag to ye vallew of seven, pounds & twelve shillings.  In ye case betwne Mr. Andrew Nurcom plantife Amos Endian defendant we find ye defendant gilty of one cask of Rum containing 12 gallons, and one pound & twelve shillings damage with costs of Corte.”

Emlen, or Emeline, sometimes “Emblem” was born about 1685 and died before 26 Aug. 1768.  She married 8 April 1703, Samuel Atkins (the son of Henry Atkins and Bethiah Linnell) who was born 25 June 1679.  He died before 9 Aug. 1768.  Children for this couple include the following but the order of their birth is not certain: 

          1.          Eunice          b. 1704            d. 2 Jan 1790

          2.          Anna             b. 1704            d. 31 Aug 1799       pub to Thomas Kendrick 27 Jan 1734-5.

          3.          Elizabeth       b. abt 1706      d. aft 1769

                                             m. first 31 Jan 1727-28 Daniel Eldredge

                                           m. second about 1735 Solomon Kendrick--their son, Capt. John Kendrick was the first ship-master              who went on a voyage to the northwest coast from the United States and discovered the Columbia River.

          4.          Desire            m. _____________ Sylvester.

          5.          Bethiah          m. 3 Feb 1757, Christopher Taylor of Barnstable

          6.          Tabitha           m. 12 May 1757, Southworth Hamlin of Barnstable

          7.          Henry             b. abt 1713    d. aft 29 July 1783   m. 8 Dec 1768 Deborah, daughter of Joseph Latrop of Barnstable

Andrew's and Anna’s fifth child was Tabitha.  She was born about 1688 and married Peter Ray, a tailor; both died before 1 Oct. 1731.  They lived at Edgartown.  Children:

          1           Peter               b. 2 Jan 1710-11,   m. "19th of sixth month" 1733 Elizabeth Nicholson.

          2.          Hannah           b. 16 Oct. 1712,    m. 1730-1 Samuel Finney or Finley.

Andrew Newcomb was chosen Lieut. of Militia, 13 Apr. 1691 and was in command of the fortifications.  The following is from the University of the State of New York, New York State Library.

                           "Marthas Vineyard:

          Matthew Mayhew          Chief Magistrate

          Richard Sarson      }

          Thomas Dagget     }      Justices of the Peace

          Thomas Mayhew   }

          Matthew Mayhew          Clerk & Register     }

          Thomas Haviock            Sheriff                      }     for the county

          Benjamin Smith             kings Attorney         }

          Andrew Newcomb, Commander of the fortifications: who had such number of men as occasionally were ordered by the chief Magistrates...."

As a result of some type of political disturbances at Edgartown in Oct. 1692 a Mr. Simon Athern wrote the following recommendation to Governor Phips and the Council: "

“...being sensable of much troble on Marthas vineyard for want of dew settlement of the affairs of that Iland And Considering the present state of persons and things there I humbly shew that if Mr. Andrew Newcomb be made Cheefe Justice And Mr. Joseph Norton & Mr. James Allen Justices there who are reputed welthy and having such influence in the people there, will be most Reddy way to settle your government there.”

The first record of Andrew buying land on Martha's Vineyard was recorded on 13 Feb. 1677.  On May 13, 1686 he bought of Jacob Washaman, an Indian, and his wife, Notickquanum (Wonnottoohquanam) alias Elizabeth, Squaw Sachem, Queen of Nunpauque., for 9 pounds, a piece of land called Job's Neck, also called Sapotem or Sapotamane.

By 1690, Andrew was an established member of the community and had acquired several parcels of land.  The following entry appears in the Court Records (Edgartown) p. 71 "At Court Sept. 30, 1690.  September 24, 1690, Andrew Newcomb haueing legally purchased a neck of land caueled Job's neck of ye Sachem thereof, ye Sachem haueing given legall conuayance to sd Andrew Newcomb being ye trew and proper oner of ye sayd neck, one Jobe an Indian hauing noe just nor lawfull caues, therefore hath trespassed on ye sayd neck by tilling, improfing, moing and to his own use converted the benefitt of sayd land thereby not only berefing sayd Andrew Newcomb of such benefitt which he ought and might lawfully make of ye same but deffaming his just title thereunto whereby ye sayd Newcomb hath ben lett and hindred from a dew Imporfement thereof and his title to the same questioned to his great dammage and lose of which he doubteth not to make this Court sencible and humbly prayeth relefe in his sd caus and shall eaver pray yor humble Supplyant (not signed)

"In ye case pending betwene Andrew Newcomb plaintife and Jobe the Indian defendant. the verditt of ye Jury is we find for ye plaintife Six pence dameg and Cost of Court.

Court Records (Edgartown) p. 95, contains some additional disputes: "Court of common pleas holden at Edgartown, Oct. 3, 1693.  Andrew Newcomb complaineth against Jacob Washaman and notick quanum alis Elizabeth queon Sachem his wife in an action of trespas on the case for Refusing to give to sd Andrew Newcomb posesion of certain land in Edgartown contaqining one neck of land caled Sapotomane.

"The humble petytion and declaration of Andrew Newcomb to their Majesties honoured Court seting Octobr 3d, 93 humbly sheweth that whereas the sd Andrew Newcomb procured a deed of sale of Jacob Washaman & Elizabeth his wife of the neck of land called Sapautamane whereby sd Jacob was legally ... end.

"In the case depending between Andrew Newcomb plaintife and Jacob Washaman an Indian defendant, the Jury find for the defendant and cost of Court."

"Court of Quarter Sessions, holden at Edgartown, Oct 2d 1696 by their Majesties' Justices for Martha's Vineyard.

"Dick alias Soo-ah-chame, an Indian, being legally convicted of lifting the door of Andrew Newcombs' dwelling house at Edgartown off from the hinges and entering into the house, being late in the night, thereby disturbing and frighting the peogle of the house, is adjudged to pay the summe of three pounds to said Newcombe and to stand committed until payed."

The sixth child was Hannah, who was born about 1694 and married, 14 Oct. 1714, by the Rev. Cotton Mather, to Thomas Dumary (Demary or Dummerrey).  Both of them died before 5 Apr. 1755.   They had the following children:

          1.          Hannah          b. 3 Aug. 1715.

          2.          Thomas          bapt. 1718.

          3.          Charles          b. 23 Oct. 1719.

          4.          Anna              bapt. 17 Nov. 1723.

          5.          John               bapt. 27 Feb.  1725-6      m. Rebecca --------

          6.          Elizabeth        bapt. 12 Aug. 1733.


Zerviah was the seventh child of Lieut. Andrew and Anna (Bayes) Newcomb.  She was born 1698-9, at Edgartown, MVI; and died 5 September 1789, at New Fairfield, Fairfield Co., Conn.  On 2 Nov. 1716, she married Josiah Bearce I, the son of Joseph and Martha (Taylor) Bearce, and grandson of Austin (Augustine) and Mary Bearce.  Josiah was born 10 Mar 1690 at Barnstable, Mass.  He died 31 Aug. 1753.

Although some records list 11 children for Zerviah and Josiah Bearce, other records make it clear that they, in fact, had no children.  The 11 children were Josiah's by his second wife, Mary Sissell. (5: p.59)  Zerviah and Josiah separated for several years, during which time, he married Mary Sissel, an Indian maiden and descendant of Massasoit, (see chapters 4, 5, 6 & 7).  Mary Sissel died in childbirth and Josiah and Zerviah Newcomb were subsequently reconciled. (9)   Zerviah, an educated woman and school teacher, raised these children as her own, giving them good training and recording some of their Indian genealogical records.  More will be given on this family in Chapter 11.

Andrew and Anna's last child was Mary.  Born about 1700, she married 13 June 1728, Jonathan Pease of Edgartown, son of John.  His will was proved 14 Feb. 1738.  She died 19 Sept. 1784.  Children:

          1.          Mary Pease        bapt. 7   Nov. 1736

          2.          Anna                  bapt. 7   Nov. 1736

          3.          Sarah                  bapt. 21 Aug. 1737

Lieut. Andrew Newcomb died sometime between Aug. 20, 1706 and Oct. 22, 1708, leaving a widow and nine children.  No will is available.  No death date is given for his wife.  His sons moved to the Cape, or various other locations on the mainland, leaving the area void of the Newcomb name before too many years had passed.

[Sources: 4, 5, 9, 12, 13, 14, 56]

Chapter 9




[Note: There is only one record available which connects Quadaquinna with his daughter Margaret, and tells of her marriage to Gabrial Wheldon, an Englishman.  This account by Franklin Elewatum Bearce (9) will be given in this chapter.  While it does not conflict with any other accounts, neither can it be substantiated.  This author has seen another record which listed Quadaquinna as Margaret's father but that record gave no source for its information and may have been purely from deductive reasoning based on the same Bearce information.

Bearce says (9) he knows from family tradition that Margaret was the daughter of one of Massasoit's two brothers but he could not remember which one.  Assuming that to be true, her Father would have to have been Quadaquinna as Massasoit's only other known brother, Akkompoin, may well have been about the same age, or possibly even younger than Margaret.  In chapter 5, it was pointed out that Akkompoin was still an able bodied war captain for King Philip in 1675, at the time of his death.  There is no mention of him being an old man at that time.  If he were as old as 55 or 60 he would not have been born before 1615, or perhaps as late as 1620; about the time of the Pilgrim's arrival in Plymouth.

The birth date of Margaret is not known but, it is likely to have been about 1612-15, or about the same time as her Uncle Akkompoin.  Her husband, Gabriel Wheldon arrived in America in 1628 and Bearce infers that they were married soon thereafter.  This is further strengthened by the fact that their daughter, Ruth (probably born about 1630-32) was married on 27 Oct. 1646.

At the arrival of the pilgrims, Quadaquinna was in his thirties and could easily have been the father of the 6-9 year old Margaret.  Still, no documented evidence (other than Bearce's account and the above logic) exists to support the position that Quadaquinna was the Father of Margaret.]

Even before the arrival of the Pilgrims, while exploring New England, Captain Dermer was captured by the local Indians at Nemasket.  Had it not been for Squanto's intervention, he would have been executed.  Because of the hostile feelings of the local Indians, Squanto, took Dermer to Pokanoket where he met the "Two Kings" who gave him safe passage throughout their lands.  These two Kings were Massasoit and his brother, Quadaquinna.  Quadaquinna was not only Massasoit's brother but also his best friend and chief counsellor.

When the Pilgrims landed, in December of 1620, Quadaquinna was in his prime, probably somewhere in his 30's.  He came with Massasoit to visit the colony on that cold March day, wearing only a breach cloth and moccasins.  Both were tall, strong men, as were their followers.  At that encounter, both groups of people were cautious as they made their first acquaintances.  Squanto, acting as interpreter, explained Indian protocol to the English and they brought gifts, not only for Massasoit but also for Quadaquinna.  As Massasoit went to visit with the English in their village, Quadaquinna retained two English hostages on a hill overlooking Plymouth.  There they waited patiently while Massasoit met with the English and agreed to a treaty.  When the English felt that all was concluded and Massasoit was returned, they were surprised to find that Quadaquinna was now coming to receive the same treatment, and Massasoit patiently waited on the hill with the two English hostages.  Not only did the Indians and the English show as much respect to Quadaquinna as they did to his brother but, Massasoit himself, showed equal respect to his brother as one of the Kings of the Wampanoags.

As Quadaquinna entered the English lodge where they were to meet, he was concerned about their guns and refused to sit down until they had all been removed from the building.  Following a friendly exchange of ideas he retired to the hill and the two Englishmen were safely returned to the colony.

"He was a very proper tall young man, of a very modest and seemly countenance, and he did kindly like of our entertainment. (32: p.58)

Early accounts by the English show a very close bond between these two brothers.  They were usually associated together.  Quadaquinna does not seem to have been a Sachem of a separate tribe himself, but rather seems to have lived at Sowams, (Mt. Hope, now Bristol, R.I.) in the Pokanoket Tribe, as a kind of co-sachem, with his brother.  Not only were they the two Kings of the Wampanoag Federation but probably also shared a joint responsibility as Sachems to the smaller Pokanoket Tribe within that federation.  Quadaquinna's name appears on the treaty of submission to King James dated September 13, 1621, at Plymouth.  He was one of nine chief Sachems who joined with Massasoit in this treaty. (3: p.99)

It is not known whether Quadaquinna died young, or whether he was so much a part of Massasoit's company that no one bothered to specifically mention him again.  Suddenly all accounts drop his name and there is no further record of this noble man.

Nothing is known of Quadaquinna's family except that Bearce (9) says, one of Massasoit's brothers was the father of Margaret.  If that is correct, Quadaquinna must have been her father, as discussed earlier in this chapter.  Unfortunately, there is no other documentation of this connection.  Bearce's account is the only record of their relationship.

Gabriel Wheldon was born in England and seems to have had a wife and children before coming to America.  Bearce gives the following explanation of his 1628 arrival on this continent: "Gabriel Wheldon and brothers deserted ship at Plymouth, and to escape punishment and being sent back to England in chains, went inland to Massasoit's village at Pokonet, and took to wife, a daughter of a younger brother of Massasoit, although he had a wife in England.  After children were born, through the good offices of Massaioit, the English, at Plymouth, not wishing to offend him (Massasoit), consented to try Gabriel and his brothers at the Plymouth court, and he was sentenced to dwell at Mattachees on land that was ceded by Highyannough at the request of Massasoit in lieu of certain annual tribute paid Massasoit by the Cape Tribes.  One (of Gabriel's) brothers went back to England and one (brother) and Gabriel stayed in the Colonies.  It was many years before Gabriel was made a freeman, and he went outside the jurisdiction to become one." (9)

From the pilgrim's records, it is not apparent that Gabriel Wheldon was sent, or sentenced, to Matachees.  It sounds more as if he asked and was granted permission.  That, however, does not mean that the Colony was not glad to be rid of him.  In relating the events surrounding the first white settlers moving to Barnstable, on the Cape, the record states that, on August 7, 1638, “liberty was granted to Mr. Stephen Hopkins to erect a house at Mattacheese, and cut hay there this year to winter his cattle--provided, however, that it be not to withdraw him from the town of Plymouth." The authorities still exercised great control over all the inhabitants of the English Colony.  Their people were told where they could or could not settle.

On September 3, 1638, to "Gabriel Whelden and Gregory Armstrong permission was granted to go and dwell at Mattecheese, and have a lot there, with the consent of the committees for the place." (3: p.135)  It is not absolutely clear, from this reference, whether Gabriel was in the good graces of Plymouth and "allowed" to go, or whether he was sent as inferred by Bearce.  In another place, Bearce relates it a little differently: "Gabriel Wheldon, not yet a freeman, had a permit from the Plymouth Court to dwell at Mattachees in 1638; had a verbal grant of land from his Indian Father-in-law at Mattachees, who was a Wampanoag Sagamore, and younger brother of Massasoit.  The grant was honored and secured by, Iyannough in lieu of certain tribute paid annually by the Mattaches to Massasoit." (9)

Over the next ten years, towns sprang up all along the Cape.  As the towns filled up, more and more settlers moved onto the Indian's land between the towns.  By 1648, the land disputes had reached such a point that Captain Miles Standish was sent from Plymouth to Yarmouth "to hear and end all differences remaining in the town of Yarmouth." Among the long list of men involved in the dispute is the name of "Gabriel Wheildin." (3: p.196-7)  Out of this meeting, May 15, 1648, Miles Standish authorized the town of Yarmouth to expand to include a much larger area of Indian land.  A committee of three men was organized to hear any further disputes and appeal to Miles Standish if they could not agree.

To summarize much of the above, Gabriel Wheldon arrived in Plymouth, probably from Nottinghamshire, England, in 1628 and went immediately to Mt. Hope to live with the Pokanoket Indians.  Here he (presumably) soon married the daughter of Quadaquinna and they began a family.  Living among the Indians would explain why the births of their children were not recorded.  We know of some of their children from later colonial records.  A daughter, Ruth, was probably born at Mt. Hope around 1630-32.  They also had at least two sons, Henry and John. (19: p.489)

After living with the Pokanoket Indians for some time, Gabriel must have felt safe in returning to the town of Plymouth.  By the year 1638, ten years after his arrival in America, Gabriel was in Plymouth where he was made a freeman and he presented his wife at the Plymouth Court to be given an English name.  It was at this time that she received the name of "Margaret" and her original Indian name was never recorded. (9)

They did not stay in Plymouth long, for on September 3 of that same year “permission was granted to go and dwell at Mattacheese, and have a lot there..." By this time their daughter, Ruth, was 6-8 years old.  The Wheldon's moved to Mattachees (Yarmouth, on Cape Cod) and obtained land there from Highyannough, the old Sachem of that tribe.

The town was brand new and Gabriel served as a "Town officer" in 1641-2.  He later moved to Lynn and eventually to Malden.  "He and his youngest son, John W. sold to Wm.  Crofts, 21 Oct 1653, lands in Arnold and elsewhere in Nottinghamshire, Eng.  [Es.  De.  I, 24.]  ... He died Jan 1653-4.  He made his will 11 (12) 1653, prob. 4 (2) 1654.  Gave 10 shillings to the Church; rest of est. and money due him from Wm. Crofts of Lynn to wife Margaret. [Reg. XVI, 75.]  Sons Henry and John brought suit for their portions in 1655. [Mdx. files.]" (19: p.489)  His will naming his wife, Margaret, as beneficiary in late 1653, indicates that she was still living at that time.  The suit, filed by their two sons, claiming an inheritance in 1655, may indicate that their Mother had passed away by that time, though no death date is given for Margaret and she would have been only about 43 years old at that time.

[Gabriel appears to have brought with him at least one older daughter when he arrived in America.  Katherine, also called Catorne or Catone, was probably about ten years old when she arrived in America in 1628.  Not long after the family settled in Yarmouth she wrote a letter back to John Shanvat of Nottingham, 29 (4) 1639, concerning the death of Martha Weelden of Dedham, drowned about 12 days before." (19: p.489)  Katherine married Giles Hopkins, son of Stephen Hopkins of Yarmouth, on 9 Oct 1639. (19: p.489; & 52: p.137-9)  Reference is made to a Sarah (parentage not stated) who was born 21 June 1650.  The age difference is such, however, that it is more likely that she was either a niece or a granddaughter, rather than a daughter to Gabriel.  Also, a Ralph was called to court with his daughter on 7 July 1648.  But the relationship of Ralph to Gabriel is unknown.]

On October 27, 1646 Ruth Wheldon, the daughter of Gabriel and Margaret, was married to Richard of Yarmouth.  Bearce gives an interesting side note that would indicate that the marriage was not approved of by her parents.  He says, "Gabriel Wheldon had a serious difficulty with Richard Tayler over his daughter, Ruth Wheldon, and threatened to do him great bodily harm.  Ruth was only 14 years of age at the time.  The Court stepped in, adjusted the matter and ordered the marriage.  Richard Tayler was three times the age of Ruth who had just recently reached the age of puberty...  Ruth lived many years after the death of her husband, Richard Tayler." (9)  In another description of the same event, Bearce concludes, "The court ordered the marriage of Richard Tayler and Ruth wheldon with the remark --'That was one way to get a wife'." (9)

[Note:Most early references to Richard, the husband of Ruth Wheldon, list him as Richard of Yarmouth, or Richard of Yarmouth, the tailor.  The Indians of this time period commonly had only one English name, but the White settlers had last names and the records were careful to list the full names, especially of the men.  Richard, however, is referred to as "Richard of Yarmouth" with no last name.  In another place there is the added note that he was "Richard of Yarmouth, (so called to distinguish him from another of the same name called, ‘Rock.’" (12: p.5)   Still another reference says, "Richard of Yarmouth, a "tailor" by trade, and so called to distinguish him from another of the same name called 'Rock.’” (5: p.55)  If either one of these Richards had been English, they would have had last names and been distinguishable in that manner.  The fact that they called him "the tailor" indicates that his livelihood was probably making clothes, rather than that being his last name.  References, after the time of his marriage, list him as Richard Taylor, which indicates that he, and his family, used the surname of Taylor on a regular basis after his marriage. 

A record can be found of an Indian Sagamore by the name of “Richard” at Yarmouth at this time.  While we don’t know that this refers to our Richard it does support the possibility that Richard, the husband of Ruth Wheldon, was an Indian.  Just prior to the outbreak of the King Philip War, the English sought to reaffirm the loyalty of as many Indians as they could, and to draw them away from supporting Philip.  "The Indians on the Cape now renewed their covenant with the government through their several sachems, chiefs, or head men, viz.: by Laurance and Francis, acting for Nauset; Richard and Little Robin, for Saquatuckett; Hercules and Samson, for Nobscussett; Wasnecksuk, for Mannamoyett; Paule, for Weequahutt; Keencomsett, for Mattacheesit; Ashawaham, for South Sea; and Pompaquin, alias Scippaque, for Mannomett; renewed for themselves and their neighbors." (3: p.238)  Whether this Richard, Sagamore of Saquatuckett, near Yarmouth, was the Husband of Ruth Wheldon, or whether he was the "other Richard" (“the Rock”) of the same name in that area, is not known.  It does, however, support the possibility that our Richard was an Indian at Yarmouth.

A dissenting view is expressed by Bearce, who says that “Richard Tayler was born in England.”  No source, or support is given for this statement.  Another source indicates that Richard Taylor, of Yarmouth, was a "town officer and juror." (19: p.447)  In Puritan New England it seems unlikely that an Indian would have served as a town officer and juror in one of the English settlements.  There is no absolute proof of Richard Taylor's background.  He may have been an English emigrant to these shores or an American native.  The documentation to support either position conclusively, is lacking.]

Richard of Yarmouth, the tailor, at about age 42, married Ruth Wheldon, age 14, October 27, 1646.  They had two sons and five daughters. (34)  Their children were (19: p.448):

          1.          Ruth               b. 29 July 1647;          buried 1648.

          2.          Ann                b. 2 Dec 1 48;             buried 29 Mar 1650.

          3.          Ruth               b. 11 April 1649;

*        4.          Martha          b. 18 Dec 1650;          m.  Joseph Bearce

His will also mentions three other children: John, Joseph & Mary.

Martha Taylor, grew to womanhood on the Cape where she married, Dec. 3, 1676, Joseph Bearce, (who was born Jan. 25, 1651-2, at Barnstable, Mass.)  The King Philip War had just ended in which her husband, Joseph, served for the English.  The Cape tribes resisted participation in the war and maintained a peaceful relationship with the English throughout this period.  Those tribes which belonged to the Wampanoag Federation, and did not respond to their leader's call for support, were in fact, helping the English, even if they didn't fight.

Martha Taylor and Joseph Bearce had eight children.  She died Jan. 27, 1727-8  ( 2: p.5-6)  More will be given on the Joseph Bearce and Martha Taylor family in Chapter 11.

[Sources: 3, 5, 9, 12, 19, 31, 32, 34, 52]

Chapter 10



The Indians on Cape Cod were considered part of the Wampanoag Nation but, that may have been because they really didn't have much choice.  Isolated from other Indian tribes by the Wampanoags, they paid their annual tribute, did as the were supposed to and generally stayed out of trouble.  While they had some very prominent sachems and were well regarded, these sachems did not seem to make up the inner circle of Massasoit's council.  Most of his counsellors and leaders came from the tribes in Southeastern Massachusetts, [Pokanokets, Pocassets, Sakonnets (Sagonates), Assawampsetts, Nemaskets and Patuxets.]

The Indians on the Cape, those of Marthas Vineyard, Nantucket and Elizabeth Islands were part of the Wampanoag  Federation but more removed physically, socially and perhaps politically.  These had no trouble supporting a strong leader, like Massasoit, when called upon to do so but, at other times it was easier to just pay their annual tribute and enjoy a life of fishing.

During the life of Massasoit, most of the Nipmuck tribes, of central Massachusetts, and many of the Massachusetts Federation, of eastern Massachusetts, also gave allegiance to the Wampanoag's Great Sachem and were considered to be part of Massasoit's followers in about the same way as the Cape Indians. 

Because of this, there is less known of the Cape Indians than of some of the other Wampanoag Tribes.  Most of Plymouth's dealings with the natives involved going to and from Massasoit’s village at Mt. Hope.  To get there, they had to travel by, and stay at, the various tribes between the two destinations.  Aside from a few isolated incidents that occurred when the Pilgrims first landed, there is surprisingly little information about the Cape Indians, until the English began making settlements there almost sixteen years later.

It appears that the Cape Indians were divided into at least two basic tribes.  One, the Nauset Tribe, whose Sachem was Aspinet, occupied the end of the Cape from Harwich and Chatham to Provincetown.  The Nausets had at least ten major villages, each with a lesser sachem, or “sagamore."  Aspinet's capitol was near the present town of Orleans.

It is not absolutely clear if all of the other Cape Indians belonged to a single tribe, or if there were further divisions.  There were at least ten groups of Indians, each with their own sachem, within this area.  Some of these had sub-groups, or villages under them with a sagamore for each village.  Whether these were all independent tribes, or whether they all belonged to one tribe with one principal sachem over the whole area is not certain.  Bearce says, Highyannough was Sachem over all the cape tribes. (9)

Cape Tribes (excluding the Nausets) included the following subtribes (3: p.101):

Nobscusset (Nobsquassit)--northeast part of Yarmouth, North Dennis

Mattachees (Mattakees or Mattachiest)--northwest part of Yarmouth and Barnstable harbor

Weequakut--south part of East precinct in Barnstable

Skanton (Scorton)--on the line between Barnstable and Sandwich

Sugkones (Succonessit)--Falmouth

Manomet--near Buzzard's Bay in Sandwich

Kataumet--on Buzzard's Bay

Comassakumkanit--near Sandwich--Herring Pond

Pokeeste (Pokesit)--now Pocasset

Massapee (Mashpee)--including Coatuit, southwest part of Barnstable



Wakoquet (Waquoit)--part of Falmouth

Ashimuet (Shumet)--in Falmouth on the west line of Mashpee

Weesquobs--probably Great Neck

Coneconam, Sachem at Manomet, was one of those captured by Captain Edward Harlow in 1611, along with Epanow, Sachem at Gay Head on Marthas Vineyard Island.  They were taken to England, where they were finally sold, or given, to Sir Gorges and eventually, made their way back to their homelands.  Others of the Cape Indians had fallen victim to slave traders along the coast and were not especially happy to see the English make a permanent settlement on their lands.

It will be remembered that, the first encounter the Pilgrims had with any of the natives was in December 1620, when they first landed on the Cape.  At that time they dug up some burial mounds and stole some stores of corn from the Nausets.  This resulted in a skirmish on the beach and a pursuit of the local Indians into the woods.  The Nausets didn't like, or want the English there.  They too, had been visited by slave traders and this first encounter with the Pilgrims reconfirmed, in their minds, that the English could not be trusted.

In June 1621, less than three months after Massasoit and Quadaquinna signed the first treaty with Plymouth, a young boy from the colony got lost in the woods.  By eating berries, he survived on his own for five days before being found by an Indian who, instead of returning him to Plymouth, brought him to Coneconam at Manomet.  While Coneconam may have held a grudge against the English, for being kidnapped ten years earlier, he did not choose to harm the boy, but neither did he return him to Plymouth.  Instead, he sent him to Aspinet, at Nauset, on the Cape.  Aspinet also had a right to be angry with the English and with this group particularly, for their theft of corn and desecration of burial grounds, not to mention shooting at his people.  It seems evident that Aspinet didn't intended to harm the boy, but rather to use him in trade for redress of past grievances.

It was no secret to the Indians where the boy was, but when the colonists were unable to find him they sent word to Massasoit, who responded that they need not worry, the boy was safe and in good hands.  He told them they were welcome to pick him up at any time at Nauset.

Ten colonists set out, with Squanto, in the shallop to retrieve the boy.  Rough weather prevented them from reaching their destination and they anchored in Barnstable Harbor for the night.  The next morning, they awoke to find the tide had gone out and they were stranded in the cove.  The English were worried about their position as they watched many Indians come down to the bay for their morning routine.  To their surprise, the Indians made no attempt to take advantage of the vulnerable colonists but, instead, seemed very friendly and invited them to join in their breakfast.  After conferring on the matter they decided to accept the offer but held four of the Indians hostage in the Shallop, with four of the Englishmen, while the remaining six settlers went to meet young lyanough, Sachem at Cummaquid (Barnstable Harbor), also known as the Sachem of the Mattakees, or Mattachiest (Yarmouth), as his lands included both areas.

The English were impressed by Iyanough's warm welcome and affable personality.  Since they were in no hurry, they enjoyed spending some time and partaking of his hospitality. They were also impressed that such a young man would already be a highly regarded sachem.  Governor William Bradford later wrote, He was "a man very personable, gentle, courteous, and fair conditioned--about twenty six years of age--indeed, not a savage, save in his attire.  His entertainment was answerable to his parts, and his cheer plentiful and various." (3: p.96-7)  To be 26 years old at this time would mean that he was born about 1595.

An old Indian woman, thought to be over one hundred years old, came to see the white men.  She had never before seen Europeans.  After gazing for some time she began to weep and the colonists inquired into the problem.  They were told that she had three sons who had all been kidnapped by Captain Hunt and never been seen again.  Embarrassed by this, they assured her they were not like Hunt, and gave her some trinkets as a gift.

Before they could return to their boat, it was mid-day and Iyanough invited them to stay for lunch.  After the meal, Iyanough and two of his men offered to go with the Pilgrims to Nauset.  When they arrived, the tide was out and they could not get close to the shore.  Iyanough, his two men and Squanto waded ashore to notify the Nausets of their arrival and left the Englishmen in the shallop.  Soon, about one hundred Indians gathered, making friendly gestures to invite the Pilgrims ashore.  The Pilgrims, at first, were too uneasy to accept.  Finally, about half of the Indians waded out and helped to drag the boat to shore.  About sunset, Iyanough and Squanto returned with Aspinet and many of his people.  One was carrying John Billington, the lost boy, on his shoulders.  The young boy's arms and neck were completely covered with strings of beads and he looked as though he had thoroughly enjoyed his two weeks stay with the Indians.  The Pilgrims gave one large knife to Aspinet for taking care of the boy, and another knife to the man who found the lad.

Aspinet then told them that Massasoit had been captured by Canonicus, of the Narragansetts, and recommended that they return to help him as soon as possible.  Iyanough agreed and said, he and his men would walk back to their home so the Pilgrims could sail directly to Plymouth without returning to Cummaquid (Barnstable.)

As soon as they got underway they met with such strong winds that the colonists could make no real headway.  After several hours they put in again at Cummaquid Harbor and were met by the smiling Iyanough, who had already returned home.  They accepted some fresh water from him, (it is reported that he took the Englishmen's rundlet and went some distance to fill it with cool, fresh water, with his own hand.)  The English made another attempt that afternoon but, after fighting the winds for some time they again returned to the harbor.  This time, Iyanough invited them to eat supper with him, and their acceptance was greeted by shouts of joy from the Indians.  Following their meal, the women, dressed in ceremonial costumes, danced for the Englishmen while the Indian men gave gifts to each of them.  Iyanough, personally, removed a beautiful necklace from his own neck and gave it to one of the men.

At daylight, the Pilgrims again set sail for Plymouth but, when no progress could be made they again returned to Cummaquid where, Iyanough again received them warmly, "and his people fed and entertained the Englishmen as though they were old friends who had returned after a long absence." (27 : Vol. 2 p.24)  Late that afternoon, the shallop finally got out of the harbor and made Plymouth before nightfall.

"Iyanough visited Plymouth at least once, after this, where his graceful manners and genial attitude charmed all those with whom he came in contact." (27: Vol.2 p.24)

Iyanough was evidently supportive of the Treaty of Submission to King James, signed at Plymouth on September 13, 1621.  In addition to the nine Sachems who specifically signed the treaty, [including Conenconam of Manomet, or Sangwich; Corbitant of the Pocassets; Quadaquina of the Pokanokets; and Apannow (probably Epanow of the Gay Head Indians on Marthas Vineyard)] the great "Massasoit also does the same, with many kings under him, as of Pamet, Nauset, Cummaquid (lyannogh's home), Namasket, with divers others who dwell about the bays of Patuxet and Massachusett." (3: p.99)

Throughout 1622, the Pilgrims were on the verge of starvation.  Their Prior year’s provisions were spent by May.  Governor Bradford recorded, “A famine begins to pinch us, and we look hard for a supply, but none arrives... The want of bread had abated the strength and flesh of some, and had swelled others, and had they not been where are divers sorts of shell fish, they must have perished." (3: p.104)  That fall, Governor Bradford decided they must approach the Indians to ask for food if they were to make it through the winter.  They first went outside Cape Cod and headed south to Manamoyk (Chatham) where they traded for eight hogsheads of corn and beans.  While they were there, their faithful friend, Squanto, became sick and died.  Next, they traveled to Massachusetts Bay but the Indians wanted too much for their food and the Governor returned home discouraged.  After a time he felt he must try again, and decided to revisit the Indians of the Cape.  At Nauset, they bought eight or ten hogsheads of corn and beans.  Next, they visited the friendly, Iyanough at Mattachiest where they obtained additional supplies, twenty eight hogsheads in all.  Before they could leave, their boat got away and they were left on foot.  They stacked all the goods that had been purchased, covered them up for protection from the elements and walked back to Plymouth, about fifty miles.

In January, Miles Standish, the ill tempered military captain, went with the ship and a shallop to Nauset to pick up the corn that had been left there.  The corn was in good condition and all there, waiting for their arrival.  They loaded it on the shallop but, before they departed Captain Standish noticed that some beads and a pair of scissors were missing from the shallop.  "No sooner had he missed them, than he took with him certain of his company, and went to the sachem, demanding restitution, and threatening, in case the goods were not restored, to ‘revenge it on the Indians before he left them...'  The next morning he (the sachem) came 'in a stately manner,' attended by many people, and entering the rendezvous of the valiant captain, saluted him by bowing and kissing his hand, and then delivered to him 'the trifles' that had been missing, saying that he had caused the offender to be punished, and that he himself was very sorry that the offense should have been committed.  The noble sachem then directed his women to provide refreshments for the captain and his company, and 'was glad to be reconciled.'“ (3: p.106)

Shortly thereafter, in February 1623, Miles Standish went to Mattachee to pick up the food that Governor Bradford bought and left there.  Here too, they found the corn, in good condition, still waiting for the Pilgrims to pick it up.  The friendly Iyanough insisted they remain with his tribe overnight to partake of his hospitality  The good intentions of Iyanough were misunderstood by Standish who mistrusted the Indians.  The record states, "Through extremity, he and his men are forced to lodge in the Indians' houses, which they much pressed, as he thinks, with a design to kill him." (3: p.107)  Convinced of a conspiracy, Standish ordered his men to stay awake and guard him, in shifts, through the night.  His men spent a miserable night but, he was certain that action saved his life.  There is no indication that the Indians did anything, other than sleep peacefully all that night.

As the Englishmen loaded up their supplies the next morning, some "trifles" (a few beads) were again found to be missing.  When this was found by Standish, he, "though he had but few men with him, 'drew them from the boat, beset the sachem's house, where most of the people were, and threatened to fall upon them without delay if they did not forthwith restore them, signifying that, as he would not offer the least injury, so he would not receive any without due satisfaction.’" (3: p.1O8)  Iyanough, although surely surprised, did not over-react but, merely asked around until he found the offender, and made him return the items.  To smooth the situation over, Iyanough ordered more corn to be brought and given as a gift to the English to show their good feelings.  All of the corn was loaded into the shallop which returned safely to Plymouth.

About the same time, Governor Bradford made a trip to Manomet to ask for food from Coneconam.  Here again, the Governor was cheered up by the warm reception and the helpful response he received from Coneconam who, like the other Indians on the Cape, freely sold such a large quantity that it could not all be conveyed back to Plymouth at that time.

In March, Standish was sent to Manomet to retrieve the store of corn.  There again, he felt he was cooly received.  While there, two warriors from the Massachusetts Federation, known to have ill feelings towards the English, came to visit Coneconam.  He received them warmly and spent a long time conversing with them in their tongue, which offended Standish.  These Massachusetts Indians, evidently, treated Standish in a haughty manner and probably did come with the idea of talking Coneconam into an Indian uprising against the English.  While their intentions are not absolutely clear, these two Indians joined with the Manomets in hauling the corn down to the boat and loading it for Standish.  Whether he was right or wrong in his assessment may never be known, but he and his men spent a miserably cold night sleeping on the beach by a fire, which he again felt saved his life.

After returning to Plymouth, a council was held to see what should be done about the Indian plot to exterminate the English.  Edward Winslow had just returned from treating Massasoit's serious illness, for which Massasoit shared with him that the Massachusetts Indians were soliciting tribes to assist in attacking the English.  This was a real scare to the settlers, as there were so many Indians that a massacre would be an easy task.  It was decided to give Standish charge of a small group of men to take to Massachusetts  Bay.  In a show of force he was to kill some of the leaders of this conspiracy to put all Indians on notice that subversive actions would not be tolerated by the settlers.

At Wessaguscus (Weymouth) he and his men invited four of the leaders of the "conspiracy" into a room at the fort and there fell upon and killed them.  They were extremely impressed that these Indians, although repeatedly stabbed, continued to fight until the moment of death.  Neither did they make sounds of fear or pain.  Just a short time before this, these same Indians mocked the Englishmen and boasted of killing many Englishmen before.  They said, "The English cry out like children and die with sour faces.” To the Indians, a show of physical pain was unworthy of a warrior.

As the news of Standish’s attack spread through the various tribes in the area, many became alarmed and were afraid of the revenge the English would seek on their tribe.  All tribes questioned whether they would be able to trust the English.  Some of the Massachusetts sachems pulled their people farther back from Plymouth.

Those sachems of the Cape, closest to Plymouth, had already seen what a temper Miles Standish could exhibit over little things. They were now very concerned over the news of what he had done to the Massachusetts Indians.  They also knew he was aware that the Massachusett's ambassadors had visited their tribes to enlist them in the uprising.  As a result, many of the Indians of the Cape withdrew into the swamps for protection.  A large number of these became ill in the disease infested marshes, and before the summer was out many died.  Among these were Coneconam of Manomet, Aspinet of Nauset, and the friendly Iyanough of Cummaquid.

At the time of his death, in the summer of 1623, Iyanough was estimated to be about twenty eight years old.  According to Bearce, Iyanough was the son of Highyannough, Sachem of all the Cape tribes. (9)  Highyannough may have lived on the southern side of the Cape, and therefore been relatively unknown to the English.  For the next several years there was little contact with the Cape Indians and relatively little was learned of them.  Today, the names of the towns of Hyannis, Hyannis Port and Wyanno still commemorate the respected Sachem, Highyannough by marking the location of his residence on southern Cape Cod.

There were three generations of men with the same name, but we can take advantage of the different spellings of that name to keep track of these men.  Highyannough was born about 1554 and lived most of his life on the Cape, probably along it's southern shore.  "His wife was the daughter of the ruling Narragansett of that period." (9)  There is no more information on his wife than this statement.  The ruling Narragansett Sachem of that time would have been Canonicus I, father of Canonicus II.  If this is correct then Highyannough would have been a brother-in-law to Canonicus II, the life long rival of Massasoit.  Bearce's record does not say that Highyannough's wife was the daughter of Canonicus I.  It says only that she was the daughter of the "ruling Narragansett of that period."

A. Merlin Steed's record, gives no source for his information but says that Highyannough's wife was "the daughter of Canonicus." His records, however, lose some credibility as it confuses Canonicus I and II, as well as Highyannough and Iyanough. (28)   Nevertheless, it is not unlikely that Highyanough's wife was the daughter of the Narragansett Sachem, Canonicus I.  Daughters of Indian Sachems, much like the daughters of European monarchs, were given to nobility of similar rank in foreign countries, even including their enemies, to try to form alliances and gain political strength.

[At the arrival of the English the Indians were still relaying the story of Tashtasook (Tashtassack), Great Sachem of the Naragansetts.  He was the most widely recognized Sachem of his day in all of southern New England.  It was said that he had only two children, a son, Canonicus I, and a daughter.  When they came of age to marry, he looked over all of the surrounding tribes to find suitable companions of similar rank and nobility.  Finding no one of his stature, and unwilling to let them marry the children of someone beneath his rank, he married the two of them to each other.  From this union came four sons (and at least one or two daughters.)  For more on the Narragansett's royal line see Appendix #2, and also 23: p.169-174.

It is possible that one of the daughters of Canonicus I and his wife would have married Highyannough.  This however, is very speculative and should not be relied on as fact.  The only information we have to make such a connection is the information sited above, from Bearce.

Iyanough, (John Hyanno or John Hyanno Sr.) the son of Highyannough, was born about 1595, on the Cape.  While his Father lived, Iyanough was a lesser Sachem over the Mattachee Indians at Cummaquid (Yarmouth and Barnstable Harbor) on the north shore of Cape Cod.  He married, Mary, the "daughter of the ruling Sachem at Gay Head, Marthas Vineyard, of that period.” (9)  Their son, John Yanno, still owned land and resided, at least part of the time, at Gay Head in 1680. (4: p.33)  The names of Mary’s parents are not known.  It is known that Epanow was the Sachem of the Gay Head Indians on Marthas Vineyard at about this time, but there is no other proof that Epanow was Mary's Father.

[It was Epanow, along with his friend Coneconam, who were kidnapped from Gay Head by Captain Edward Harlow in 1611 and taken to England as slaves.  To arrange his own return trip and escape, he told his English owners that he knew where gold could be found on the Island of Nopee (the Indian's name for Marthas Vineyard Island.)  A ship and crew were arranged and Epanow piloted them to Nopee where he climbed overboard and made his daring escape.  One of the crew grabbed him as he went over the edge, but Epenow was a heavy man and the Englishman was not able to hold him.

It was also Epenow who years later entertained Captain Dermer until he suspected that Dermer was sent to recapture him.  At that point the Indians attacked the English visitors on the Island, killing all but Dermer who was mortally wounded and died later that year in Virginia.

The name of "Apannow" appears on the treaty of submission to King James of September 13, 1621.  This must certainly be the same person as Epanow, the Sachem of the Gay Heads, on Marthas Vineyard Island.]

Iyanough (the son of Highyannough) and his wife had at least two children before his untimely death in 1623, when he contracted a disease, while hiding from the English in the swamps of southeastern Massachusetts.  Their son probably had the same name as his Father and Grandfather and is variously referred to as John Hyanno, John Hyanno Jr., John Yanno, Janno, Jano, Joanno, or Yanno. (3: p.223-239)  He was a Sagamore (lesser Sachem) of the Mattachee Indians and owned much property in and around Yarmouth and Barnstable, as well as at Gay Head on Nopee, or Marthas Vineyard Island. (4: p.33)  His name appears often in the records of land dealings between 1658-61.  The record shows that he sold several parcels of land but that he also sought redress in the English courts to recover the land when the English settlers neglected to pay for it.  He also went to court to reclaim lands settled by the English which he had not sold.  The courts usually found him to be correct in his claims against the settlers.

Iyanough's daughter was known as Mary Hyanno.  She was probably born about 1623 or 1624, about the time, or even after the death of her Father.  She had "red, or flaming hair, a very light skin, the color of burnished copper, and was very fair and lovely to look upon." (9)  While most of the Indians had black hair, on rare occasions an Indian, especially on the Cape, would be born with red hair.  The Indians had a legend which correlated with the stories of the ancient Norsemen:  "Many Sachems had ruled and lay sleeping since men with pale faces, flaming hair, and long knives, and with bodies that the arrows flew off from and did not kill, came up out of the endless waters in wooden houses with great wings, and on the front of the great wooden houses with great spreading wings that rode the endless waters, was the sign of the bear, the wolf, the bird, the serpent.  These fierce men with pale faces tarried many moons, then went back to the great waters and were seen no more.  They left many sorrowfull and weeping women and children behind." (9)

If this legend is true, it is logical to believe that somewhere in the distant past, Mary Hyanno's ancestry also descended from the Vikings of Scandinavia.  This would account for her "flaming red hair."

Growing up without a father, on the edge of an ever-encroaching English colony, would not have been easy for Mary.  No doubt she was watched over closely by her Grandfather, Highyannough, her Mother and older brother.  Nothing else is known of her young life until her marriage, at the age of about 15, in 1639, to Augustine Bearce (see Chapter 11.)

[Sources: 3, 4, 5, 9, 12, 27, 28, 52]

Marthas Vineyard Island (or Noe-pe, as known by the Indians) showing the location of the four major Indian villages (tribes) on the Island at the time of the Pilgrim’s arrival.  The Aquinium Indians (also known as the Gay Head Indians, due to their living below a unique land mark on that end of the Island) were located on the very western end of the island.