Rebecca Bearce

Part 4

Chapter 15




[Note: The Baldwin genealogy, in early New England, is very difficult to sort out.  So many researchers have written on the subject and each contradicts the others.  Consequently, for this record to agree with some of the writers, will naturally mean, that it will also disagree with many others.  The problem arises because, there were several, closely related Baldwin families, in the same general area and each renamed their children with the same names.  The names of Richard and John are particularly common to this family.  As various researchers have studied the original records, many errors have been made in ascribing to one John Baldwin, the acts of another, or worse yet, the children of another.

In an effort to deal with this confusion, this record relies heavily on the Genealogies of Connecticut Families from the New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Vol. I (source #55).  In this work, many of these contradictions were recognized and dealt with on a professional level that seems to give credibility to the research, of not only the Baldwin, but also to the Bruen lines.]

Richard Baldwin I, described as "of Donrigge (Dundridge) in the Parish of Aston Clinton, County Bucks, yeoman," made his will in England, January 16th, Edward VI, 1551.  In it, he lists daughters: Alis, Agnes, Cicely and Letise; sons: John (who received a farm at Dungrove in Parish of Chesham), Richard II (who received tenements in Cholesburry and the land belonging thereto), Henry (who is named joint executor with Richard I's wife, Ellen) inherited the other lands of his father.  The will also lists, as overseers, his "brothers, John Baldwin and John A.Puke."  The will was proved in the court of the Archdeaconry of  Bucks County, February 1551-2.

It seems quite probable that the son, Richard II, who inherited the tenement lands at Cholesbury, would be the father of Richard III, of Cholesbury, whose three sons migrated to Milford, Conn. in 1639.

John, the son of Richard I, remained on the farm at Dungrove long enough to be the the executor of his Mother's will in 1565, and as the overseer of his brother, Henry's, will dated January 2, 1599.  After that, no further mention is found of him.  The names of John's children are not known. (17: p.56-64)

Henry Baldwin, son of Richard I, held the manor of Dundridge in Aston Clinton.  His oldest son, Richard, inherited the land.  Henry had another son, Sylvester I, who married Jane Willis (Wissis) in 1590.  They had 6 sons between 1590 and 1600.  Sylvester, died before 1632:

          1.          Harry,      buried in 1594.

          2.          John,        living in 1632.  

          3.          Henry,      inherited Dundridge from his Uncle Richard. 

          4.          Richard,    no record.

          5.          William,   no record.

          Sylvester II, m. Sarah Bryan in 1620.

Sylvester Baldwin II "lived at St. Leonards in Aston-Clinton, near Dundridge, where he owned the 'Chapel Farm.'  He married Sarah Bryan, early in 1620.  In 1638, Sylvester, his wife Sarah and six living children, sailed for America in the ship "Martin." They belonged to the 'New Haven Company.'  Sylvester died on the passage, 'in mid ocean,' July 21, 1638.  His will was admitted to probate in Boston, where the ship Martin arrived.  He left a large estate.  His widow and six children settled, with the rest of the emigrating company in New Haven as one of the wealthiest proprietors.  In 1643 she married Capt. John Astwood; they settled in Milford, Conn.  Capt. Astwood died in London in 1654.  She died in Milford in 1669.” (5l: p.223)  Their known Children were:

          1.          Sarah,               b. or bpt 22 Apr 1621,   m. Benjamin Fenn.

          2.          Richard,            b. or bpt 25 Aug 1622,   m . Elizabeth Alsop.

          3.          Mary,                b. or bpt 28 Feb 1624,   d. 1624.

          4.          Mary,                b. or bpt 19 Feb 1625,   m. Robert Plum of Milford.

          5.          Martha,             b. or bpt 20 Apr 1628.

          6.          Ruth,                 b. or bpt in 1630.

          7.          Samuel,             b. or bpt Jan 1632,         d. 1633.

          8.          Elizabeth,          b. or bpt 25 Jan 1633,     d. 1633.

          9.          John,                  b. or bpt in 1635,          m. Mrs. Rebecca (Palmer) Chesebrough. (This is the John often referred to as "of Stonington, Conn.) (see also 44: p.303-304)

This family was very prominent in and around Milford, Conn.  Richard's name is commonly found as one actively buying land from the Indians of the surrounding parts.

There were other Baldwin families who arrived in Milford, Connecticut in 1638 & 39.  The most prominent of these were three brothers: Timothy, Nathaniel and Joseph.  These were the sons of Richard Baldwin (Bauldwin) of Cholsbury (Cholesbury) in the County of Bucks, England.  This Richard was a weaver and made his will May 23, 1630 naming his three sons and four daughters: Mary Pratt (married with three children) Hanna, Christian, and Sarah.  His will was proved May 16, 1633 with his son, Timothy as executor.  This Richard was probably the, grandson of Richard Baldwin I. (17: p.56-60)  These three Baldwin brothers were probably second cousins to Sylvester II.  They came from the same area in England and settled together in Milford, Connecticut.

Still there were other Baldwins, from the same area in Buckinghamshire, England, who came to Milford, Connecticut at about the same time.  All of these Baldwins, settled in the Milford, New Haven and Stonington area and were closely associated with each other.  They also had the same first names in each generation (Richard, John, Nathaniel, Timothy and Joseph.)  Such was the case for Rebecca Bearce's ancestor, John Baldwin Sr.

John Baldwin Sr.'s parentage is not known.  Many have supposed that he may have been a son of Sylvester II, but as shown above, that John's wife and family are known and it is not the same man.  The name of "Sylvester" is not found among his descendants, but Timothy, Nathan, Elnathan, Joseph, Richard and John are common names of his descendants suggesting that he may have been closer to the family of Richard III, of Cholesbury, than to Sylvester.

John Baldwin Sr. was born in Aston Clinton, County Bucks, England, somewhere between 1610-15.  In Milford, he met and married (1st), probably about 1639-40, Mary Camp.  She was the daughter of Sarah and Nicholas Camp Sr.,  [He may have been the one baptized at Nazing, Co. Essex, England, in 1597.] (45: p.248)

[A note on a Lillian Skinner Family Group sheet in the LDS Genealogial Library in SLC, Utah, indicates that Mary Camp was previously married to William East.  No source is given.]

John and Mary's children were:

          1.          John,          b. abt 1640, bpt. 26 Mar 1648; m. 1st Hannah Bruen 3 (30) Oct 1663, daughter of Obadiah Bruen [and a niece to his step-mother, Mary (Marie) Bruen. (55: p.78)]   m. 2nd Ruth Botsford, bpt. at Milford, 6 July 1647, dau. of Henry and Elizabeth (________) Botsford.  John d. Newark, N.J. in 1706.  Will proved 31 Aug 1706.

          2.          Josiah,         b. abt 1642, bpt 26 Mar 1648; m. Mercy Camp 25, June 1667; d. 1683.
          3.          Samuel,        b. abt 1645, bpt 26 Mar 1648; m. Rebecca Phippen; d. 1671.

          4.          Nathaniel,     b. Oct 1647, bpt 26 Mar 1648; m. Sarah Phippen.

          5.          Elizabeth,     b. 19 July 1649, bpt 19 Aug 1649; m. abt 1673, (Sergt.) Nathaniel Porter. d at Stratford, 6 Feb 1683/4

          6.          Joseph,          bpt 9 Nov 1651; m. Elizabeth Botsford; d. 15 Mar 1719.  John Sr.'s "home lot was #13 on the map of 1646, containing 2 acres, 1 rod and 10 poles."  "He was not a freeplanter because he was not a member of the church but later joined on 19 March 1648." (15: p.14-15)  That same day he also had his children baptised.

John Baldwin's second son, Josiah (see above), was born at Milford, Conn. about 1642-43 and died before 2 Nov. 1683 when the inventory of his estate was taken.  On 25 June 1667, he married Mercy Camp at Milford.  She was born about 1647-48, the daughter of Edward and Mary (________) Camp.

[Note:Some genealogists have listed Edward Camp's wife as Mary Canfield, a sister to Thomas Canfield, the father of Jeremiah Canfield.  However, no source is given for this statement.  Further, Thomas' father, also named Thomas Canfield, had the following children baptized at Minsden, in Hitchin, Co. Hertford, England: Elizabeth, Thomas, Jacob, Jeremiah, John. (The Herts Genealogist and Antiquary 1897; 2:289, 290, 293, 294.) There is no mention of a Mary Canfield.  It is still possible that Edward Camp's wife was a Mary Canfield, but no proof has yet been given.]

Mercy Camp Baldwin was admitted to the First Church, Milford, in 1671.  "She was wrongly called daughter of Samuel Camp in the marriage record in Milford, but her identity is established by her mother's will and other records.  Mercy was living in 1702 when she joined in a deed with her son Josiah. (45: p.250)

Children of Josiah and Mercy Camp Baldwin, born at Milford:

          1.          Sarah,            b. 29 Mar 1668;   bapt 21 May 1671;   m. Thomas Basset. (see also Chapter 21)

          2.          Mary,              b. 14 Sept. 1670;   bapt 21 May 1671.

          3.          Elizabeth,        b. 19 Dec 1672;   bapt 22 Dec 1672.

          4.          Samuel,           b. 14 Mar 1674/5;   bapt 14 Mar 1674/5;   d. at Milford 8 Jan 1737/8 age 63;  

                                    m. Rebeckah Wilkinson, dau of Edward and Rebecca (Smith) Wilkinson.  She m. 2nd Capt.  Samuel Eells.

          5.          Josiah,             b. 21 Mar 1677/8;   bapt 31 Mar 1678;   m. at Derby, Conn., 19 Sept. 1700,

                                    Mary Pierson, dau.of Stephen and Mary (Tomlinson) Pierson.

          6.          Remember,       b. 29 Feb. 1679/80;   bapt 7 Mar 1679/80.

          7.          Abigail,          bapt 3 Sept 1682;   perhaps m. 17 Aug 1710, Samuel Terrill, called "Jr", he was

                                     probably the son of Samuel, son of Roger Terrill of Brookhaven, Long Island.

It is not known how John Baldwin Sr.'s first wife, Mary Camp, died, whether in childbirth, with their last son " Joseph., or in some other manner.  John married his second wife, Mary (Marie) Bruen (Brewen or Brewer) on Aug 15, 1653.  Mary was the daughter of John Bruen [see Milford Vital Records Vol 1, p. 1; also 55: p.79.]  She was a sister to Obadiah Bruen of New London, Connecticut. (55: p.79)  [Many records list her as a daughter of “Obadiah Buruen” but, the above sources clarify this error.]  Mary was admitted to the church in 1653.  She died Sept 2, 1670 at Milford.  John was buried at Milford, 21 June 1681. (45: p.247)  Their children were all born in Milford, Conn.: (15: p.14-17)

          1.          Mary,               b.   7 Sept 1654,   bpt 17 Sept 1654.

          2.          Sarah,               b. 25 Dec 1655; m. 5 June 1690 Samuel Royce (Rice) son of Robert Royce and Mary Sims;

                                                d. 11 Jan 1729, Wallingford.

          3.          John,                bpt 13 Apr 1657   [see Skinner Family Group Sheet]

          4.          Abigail,            b. 15 Nov 1658,   bpt abt. Apr 1659;   m. lst Samuel Baldwin, son of Nathaniel,

                                                m 2nd  13 Oct 1697 John Wadhams.    d. at North Guilford, 24 June 1739 age 81.

          5.          Obadiah,           b. 29 Oct 1660;   m. 15 May 1694 Abigail Beaman;   d. 8 Jan 1738/9 at Milford, age 78.   

          6.          George,             b. 13 June 1662,   bpt 26 Oct 1666;   m. Deborah Rose (Ross) dau of Jonathan Rose. 

                                                 Removed to Branford.   d. 26 Oct 1728.

          7.          Hannah,            b. 20 Nov 1663,   bpt 28 Oct 1666;   m. 17 Jan 1681-2 Dr. John Fisk (who was

                                                born 12 Dec 1654 at Wenham, Mass. son of John and Remember.   He died 1715 or 18 at Milford.)

  1. *       8.          Richard,           b. June 1665,   bpt 30 Dec 1666;   m. Amy (Amey) Oviatt (who was born 10 Feb 1667 as the dau of Thomas Oviatt and Frances Bryan.) Richard was a cordwainer (shoe maker).  He was admitted to the church 16 Aug 1691 and his wife was admitted 22 July 1711.  The date of their marriage was not recorded, but may be assumed to be about 1689.  Their first child was born about 1690.  He died at Milford before 11 Nov 1743.

At the time of John Sr.'s passing, his youngest son, Richard was just sixteen years old.  It is this Richard Baldwin, eighth child of John Baldwin Sr., by his second wife, Mary Bruen, who was, most likely, the father of John "Nauasee" Baldwin by “his friend" Ann Warrups.  Richard was born in 1665 in Milford and would have been about the same age as Ann Warrups.  It is not impossible for them, in their late teens, to have had the child and still have enough time for him to marry Amy Oviatt before age twenty-four.  This, however, is speculative as there is no good evidence as to which "Richard Baldwin .. was the father of Nauasee.

There was at least one other Richard Baldwin born in Milford at about the same time as the one listed above, and who was a nephew to the above Richard.  Richard's oldest half-brother, John Baldwin Jr., bpt 26 Mar. 1648, married lst, 13 Oct 1663, Hannah Bruen, daughter of Obadiah of New London, Connecticut.  He married 2nd, before 1686, Ruth Botsford, daughter of Henry and Elizabeth.  By his first marriage, John had a Richard, born 24 Dec. 1666, one and a half years younger than his uncle, the other Richard.  It is very unlikely that this 2nd Richard would be the father of Nauasee as his family moved to Newark, N.J. probably about 1668, when he was about two years old.  There is no indication that any of this family returned to Milford. (15: p.15)

It is possible there were other Richard Baldwins in Milford at this time, but no others can be found in the records who would be anywhere close to the age of Ann Warrups.  This leads one to believe that Richard, the son of John Baldwin Sr. and Mary Bruen, was the most likely person to be the father of John "Nauasee" Baldwin.

Ann Warrups resided with her Father, Chicken Warrups, at Greenfarms, between Westport and Fairfield and about 12 miles southwest of Milford.  As she grew to young womanhood she saw a continual stream of English settlers arriving in this land and spreading their towns all along the coastline.  More and more of the Indians were leaving the coast and making new settlements farther inland to avoid unnecessary contact with the whites.  Those who remained by the coast had an ever increasing amount of contact with these new settlers and their ways.

It is not known how Ann Warrups met Richard Baldwin.  It is only known that they were close friends and eventually had a child, John Nauasee Baldwin, “Indian John”.  Ann and Richard did not marry, and she later married ____________ Mauwee, a brother of Gideon Mau-hu-wee-hu. (9)   [The only known brother of Gideon was Joshua Mauwee, but the record does not specify that Joshua was the one who married Ann Warrups.]

The Indians continued to move farther inland and set up new settlements only to have white settlers follow them and either buy, or take, their lands.  Indians from the lower Housatonic were pushing upstream to Waramaug's village, at what is now New Milford, and from there, on up to Scatacook.  Scatacook (Schagticoke) was a village founded by Ann Warrup's brother-in-law, Gideon Mauweehu, for his family and friends.  It is probable that Ann Warrups and her husband, along with her baby, spent some time at this village.

Little is known of the early life of Indian John Nauasee Baldwin.  He was probably born about 1685, in southwestern Connecticut, perhaps in Fairfield.  He grew to manhood along the banks of the Housatonic River in western Connecticut.  He married Mercy Caroline, Waramaug's daughter (see chapter 12).  Although he was over six feet tall and a well built Indian, he was still no match for his wife, who stood half-a-head taller than him.  As previously quoted, "Caroline was big, aggressive, dominant, and had an extremely violent and explosive temper, and no member of the Tribe cared to brook her displeasure.  She was a great Tribal Orator, and famous medicine woman and crude surgeon.  It was said of her, that she could lift her husband, Nauasee, off the ground with one hand, such was her strength; and although a squaw, an Indian Princess, who stood high in the councils of the Schaghticoke Tribe... She lies sleeping at Schaghticoke," ten miles north of Troy, N.Y. (9)

This couple had at least three daughters: Mary, Caroline and Rebecca, and one son, John Baldwin II.  Bearce says, "Caroline and Mary Baldwin were born some years ahead of Rebecca, who was a middle age child.  There was something like 23 years difference between the ages of Mary Baldwin, who married Azariah Canfield, father of Oliver Canfield Sr., and Rebecca Baldwin, who married Josiah Bearce 2nd." (9)

[Note:The spread between the ages of the children may not have been quite as much as indicated above, as Rebecca was born about 1723, and her Father, Nauasee, was probably born about 1685.  The number "23 years" may have come from the birth year of Rebecca, 1723.  It is also unlikely that this "Mary Baldwin" was actually the wife of Azariah Canfield.  Other records show quite clearly that his wife was Mercy Bassett.  More will be given on this in chapter 21.]

Rebecca was born at the Indian village of She-ko-me-ko (Shecomeco), New York, which is just west of Millerton, N.Y., about 10 miles southwest of the point where New York, Conn., and Mass. all meet.  Rebecca "was famous for her knowledge of Indian Medicine, as was her Mother, Mercy Caroline.  Rebecca stood 6' 2" in her moccasins, and was a powerful built woman; big, rawboned, dominant, proud and haughty. Her husband, Josiah Bearce 2nd, had acquired much book knowledge and could read and write, from his stepmother, Zerviah Newcomb, and proud, courageous Rebecca, after her marriage to Josiah Bearce 2nd, desired to also acquire some book learning, which she did from the Moravians" (Christian Missionaries at Pauch-ta-gauch, from the United Brethern Church.) (9)

It is not known how or where Rebecca Baldwin met and married Josiah Bearce II.  They lived for a time in New Fairfield, Conn. where their children were born: (12: p.23-24)

          1.          Josiah III,          b. 17 Aug 1755 at New Fairfield, Conn.;   m. 27 Mar 1781 at New Milford, Conn., Freelove,

                                        the dau of Oliver Canfield;   d. 30 May 1845 at Penfield, N.Y.

          2.          Eunice,               b. 9 Sept 1758 at New Fairfield, Conn;   m. Thomas Green.

          3.          David,                b. 6 Feb 1761.

          4.          Patience,            b. 3 Sept 1762.

          5.          Prudence,           b. __________;   m. Thomas Pickett of Danbury, Conn. (Fairfield records do not show a

                                          dau.  Prudence, except for her marriage to Mr. Pickett.  She is thought to be a dau. of Josiah

                                          and Rebecca Bearce.)

          and probably others unnamed...

Josiah Bearce II, probably died in New Milford, Connecticut, in late 1787, at almost 67 years of age.  The death date is unknown for his wife, Rebecca Baldwin.  She lies buried at the Wequaudauch Mission, in Connecticut. (9) (More on this family can be found in chapter 11.)

[Sources: 9,10,12,15,17,44,45,46,51,55,56]

Chapter 16



Before the colonial period, Connecticut had a large Indian population but most of the tribes were small, autonomous villages and not well organized into federations.  The Niantics occupied the southern coast, east of the Connecticut River.  The Nipmucks, who lived mostly in central Massachusetts spilled over into the northern interior, east of the Connecticut River. The central region was occupied by a large number of small individual tribes referred to as the River Tribes (sometimes called Mattabesecks, because that was the name of the most dominant subtribe.)  The Housatonic River Tribes (as described in Chapter 12) lived in the western part of Connecticut.  The remainder of the State was filled with isolated villages which did not appear to have organized ties with any of the other tribes in the area.

The Mahican Nation, was a large group of Algonquian tribes living in the area of western Massachusetts and Vermont, and into New York as far west as the Hudson River.  They were usually at war with their Mohawk neighbors to the west.  Shortly before the arrival of the English in Connecticut, a large tribe, known as the Pequots, separated themselves from the other Mahicans.  Their earliest known Great Sachems were Nuck-quut-do-waus, and his son, Woipeguand, (Wopigwooit, Wopegworrit, Wapyquart).  [Nuck-quut-do-waus also had at least one other son, Ahadon] (5 . p.228)  Under their leadership, the Pequots began looking for a new home and conquering all other tribes in their path as the marched.  They first moved east to the Connecticut River, then south, along the River, to the waters of Long Island Sound, finally spreading east, along the coast, between the Connecticut River and Rhode Island, occupying what had been the homeland of the Niantics.  In this process, they subjugated all of the Connecticut River tribes and split the Niantic Nation in two.  The Western Niantics were pushed over to the mouth of the Connecticut River, and became a part of the Pequot Federation.  The Eastern Niantics were pushed to the Rhode Island boarder and became allies of the Narragansett Federation, and enemies of the Pequots.

The Pequots were strong, bold and aggressive.  In this new land they had no friends and many enemies.  Their only allies were the tribes they had viciously conquered who were forced to be allied.  To the east they had a formidable enemy in the large Narragansett Federation, with which they carried on frequent warfare.  The small tribes of western Connecticut were easy prey for these ferocious Indians.  Caught between the Pequots and the Mohawks, both of whom attacked them on a frequent basis, killing liberally for the purpose of maintaining perpetual fear, the peaceful western tribes paid annual tribute to both enemies.

Being the reigning overlords of the area, the Pequots fought any group that tried to exercise any control over their newly claimed territory.  On the 18th of June 1633 the Dutch purchased a tract of land one mile long and one third of a Dutch mile wide along the Connecticut River and set up a trading post from which they traded for furs with the local Indians.  To further protect the peace in the region, the Dutch made a law that no Indians could commit acts of war or murder, even against long standing enemies, within the limits of the fort.  For a very short time there was peace within the fort but the Pequots, who considered themselves inferior to no one, including the Dutch, could not resist the temptation to kill some of their enemies when they appeared to be such easy prey. The Dutch were angered by the Pequot's act of aggression in their fort, and by their apparent lack of respect for the Dutch laws. They decided that, if they killed Woipequand and some of his leading men, they might gain a little respect from both the Pequots and the other tribes and, at the same time, rid themselves of a troublesome Sachem.  The Dutch were successful in their plan to kill Woipeguand but this did not result in improved relations with the Pequots.  Woipeguand was succeeded, as Great Sachem, by his oldest son, Sassacus. (40: p.115;  27: Vol. 1 p.37;  59: p.200)

[Note:There is relatively little information about the early Pequot Indians, and much of what does exist is contradictory.  Source 8: p.66 states that Nuck-quut-do-waus (Muckquntdowas)'s father was Tamaquashad.  This information is taken from the Pedigree of Uncas, found in 57: p.227-228.  The original however, makes it quite clear that Tamaquashad was not the father of Nuck-quut-do-waus, rather they were both great grandfathers of Uncas on different lines.

Another point of confusion is the personage of Tatobam (Totobam, Tatobem) often given as another name for Sassacus.  After much reading of various accounts it is this author's opinion that, they were not the same person but were brothers, both sons of Woipequand (Wopigwooit.) There are accounts which mention both Sassacus and Tatobam in the same paragraph pointing out that Tatobam was one of the many Sachems under Sassacus within the Pequot Federation (30: p.22).  Uncas, the Mohegan Sachem who rebelled against Sassacus, was married to a daughter of Tatobam (57: p.228.)]

Sassacus ruled over 26 lesser sachems, some of which included the Mohegans (a subdivision of the Pequots, not to be confused with the Mahicans, from whom they had earlier descended, just east of the Hudson River), the Western Niantics, the River tribes and, at various times, some Long Island tribes.

Among Woipequand's children was a daughter named Meekenump who married a Pequot War Sagamore named Oweneko.  They had a son named Uncas who became the Sachem of the Mohegan Tribe within the Pequot Federation.  Uncas married a first cousin, a daughter of Tatobam (57: p.228.)  Upon the death of his Grandfather, Woipeguand, Uncas made an attempt to become the next Great Sachem.  When Uncas's uncle, Sassacus, the oldest son of Woipequand, was selected by the Council, Uncas led an unsuccessful revolt and had to flee to the Narragansetts for safety.  From there he negotiated for a peaceful return and was completely forgiven by his Uncle.  The ambitious Uncas however, was not satisfied and continually worked for the overthrow of Sassacus.  Finally, in 1635, Uncas caused a bitter split in the Pequot Federation by withdrawing his Mohegan tribe and becoming a strong enemy of Sassacus.

Prior to 1631, Europeans had spent little time in the Connecticut area, other than to sail along its coast.  In this year, however, the Dutch located a fort at what is now Hartford, and the English, from the Massachusetts Bay Colony, located one seven miles upstream from it, at what is now Windsor.  Fort Saybrook was constructed at the mouth of the Connecticut River by the English colonists and eventually the Dutch withdrew from the area.

By 1634, the Pequots had still almost no direct contact with the English but were known by them to be at war with almost every surrounding tribe, and most especially with the Narragansetts and the Dutch.  In war they had been very successful.  William Bradford of Plymouth said, they were "puft up with many victories."  And William Hubbard wrote they were so "flushed with Victories over their Fellow Indians [that] they began to thirst after the Blood of any Foreigners."

In 1634, a Captain John Stone of Virginia, who had sailed up the coast causing trouble everywhere he landed, was fined 100 pounds and banished from Massachusetts.  On his return trip, with Captain Walter Norton and a crew of seven, they stopped to explore part of Connecticut and were killed by either the Pequot Indians or some of their tributaries.  The self-righteous indignation of the English was aroused and they demanded that the Pequots turn over the two murderers for justice.  The Pequots agreed but two years later the English were getting impatient as the guilty men had not yet arrived.  During this time, the English also tried to open fur trade with the Pequots and John Oldham took a trading ship into their territory but reported that they were a very false people and not inclined to trade.

By the fall of 1636, the English patience had worn thin.  They felt they had been duped by Sassacus; they heard nothing but complaints from neighboring tribes; they were receiving no furs in trade and felt it was time to demand some respect from the haughty Pequots.  Before any action could be taken, they received word of another murderous event.

In July, John Gallop, while sailing his small ship by Block Island, came across Oldham's vessel crowded with Indians and no white men to be seen.  Gallop rammed the vessel.  Several Indians were knocked into the water and drowned.  He also intentionally ran down several who were trying to swim to safety.  When he finally boarded the craft he captured two Indians whom he bound and threw overboard.  Oldham's naked and mutilated body was found on the ship.

The Block Island Indians were part of the Narragansett Nation.  At first the Colonial government was prepared to attack the Narragansetts, but the two Great Sachems, Canonicus II and his nephew, Miantonomo, sent word, via Roger Williams, that the perpetrators had either all died in the event or gone to the Pequots for refuge.  The rumor that the Pequots and the Narragansetts were forming an alliance against the English, so scared the English that they quickly met with Canonicus to assure him they had no ill feelings towards the Narragansetts and asked for his help in retaliating against the Pequots.  Canonicus had been cool toward the English but, at this time, though not allying with them, he did agree to remain neutral for two reasons.  First, he knew of the white man's weapons and he saw no good reason to fight them at that time.  Secondly, he still hated the Pequots and this offered an opportunity to even an old score with little risk on his part.

In late August, Massachusetts sent John Endicott, with ninety volunteers, to Block Island to avenge the murder of Oldham.  His instructions were to put to death all the Indian men, seize the women and children and take possession of the island.  Next, he was to go to the Pequots and demand the murderers of Stone and Oldham, one thousand fathoms of wampum and some of the Pequot children as hostages.  If the Pequots refused he was to impose it by force.

Endicott fulfilled his orders at Block Island, and then some.  He spent two days destroying men, animals, cornfields, canoes, etc.  From there, he went to Fort Saybrook, on the Connecticut River, to enlist some additional men.  Connecticut was not pleased with his mission.  They felt he would only stir up a swarm of angry bees and then sail back home leaving  Connecticut to worry about the results.  In this they were absolutely correct but, not being able to dissuade Endicott, they added some of their own men to his ranks and set sail for Pequot Harbor.

Sassacus's main village was at Pequot Harbor, (the present towns of New London and Groton, Conn.), with a second large village about seven miles east at Mystic.  Upon their arrival, the Pequots could see this was not a friendly visit and began sneaking their wives and children out of the back of the village and into the swamps.  Impatient with their stalling, and unable to obtain the “murderers" as desired, Endicott's men opened an attack on the Pequots and began to burn the village, as he had on Block Island.  Sensing what was about to happen, most of the Pequots were able to get away and hide in the forest and swamps before the  destruction began.   Knowing that a long and bitter struggle was about to begin, the men from Connecticut began harvesting the Indian corn as food for themselves, as well as to reduce the provisions of the Indians.  Even before Endicott's ship left the harbor, the Pequots returned and attacked the Connecticut men, wounding two and chasing them back to Fort Saybrook.

The colonists were aware of the reputation the Pequots had for cruelty and knew they were in for some rough times.  They didn't wait long.  The English Fort Saybrook was not far away and the Pequots captured and tortured two men who were harvesting their hay.  A few days later, they ambushed five men, killing three immediately, roasting another alive and the "other came down drowned to us ... with an arrow shot into his eye through his head."

Various stories are told of one Englishman, John Tilley, who was ambushed and tortured over a three day period, which included cutting off his fingers, toes, hands and feet, flaying his skin off and putting hot embers between the flesh and skin.  These kinds of raids made the English quite nervous throughout the winter of 1636-37.

Being well guarded with guns, the Indians turned away from Ft. Saybrook and on April 23, 1637, they attacked the plantation at Wethersfield killing nine people, including one woman and a child.  They also carried away two young girls in hopes the girls could teach them how to make gun powder.  The Dutch interceded in their behalf and agreed to turn over seven Pequot warriors for the two English girls.  This was agreed to by Sassacus and the girls were taken to Saybrook where they gave the army valuable information about Sassacus's village and informed them that the Indians had only sixteen guns and little powder.

By this time, the English were outraged by the aggressive acts of the Pequots and all three colonies agreed to unite in a war against them.  The English were also supported in this endeavor by many of the Indian tribes who saw it as a chance to get even with the Pequots for past grievances.  The English also felt the other tribes would lose respect for the strength of the English if they did not fight.

Connecticut decided not to wait for the troops from the other colonies and raised an army of ninety men under Captain John Mason of Windsor.  Before he left Hartford, he was joined by Uncas and sixty Mohegans who wanted to help the English fight against Sassacus.  They traveled down the river to Fort Saybrook, where Uncas's loyalty to the English cause was questioned.  To prove which side he supported, Uncas led his men to where a party of Pequots were spying on the fort and soon returned with four Pequot heads and one captive.  Inside the fort the captive had one leg tied to a post and a rope to the other.  The soldiers literally tore him limb from limb. Captain Underhill ended his agony by shooting him and the Mohegans roasted and ate the man.

On Friday, May 19, 1637, Mason put his army on board ship and sailed east along the coast line.  Later that day, they passed Pequot harbor, where the jubilant Pequots watched and jeered at the English, who they thought were leaving for Massachusetts.

The next day, the ship approached Narragansett Bay, in Rhode Island, and three days later, the soldiers arrived at Miantonomo’s village.  Here, the Connecticut forces, the Mohegans and the Narragansetts agreed to a joint overland march to surprise the Pequots from the rear.  Several hundred Narragansetts and many Eastern Niantics joined the procession as guides and spectators but most of these returned home before the actual fighting began.  The Narragansetts believed Sassacus “was all one god, and nobody could kill him.”

[Note:Aside from Uncas and his Mohegans, another dissenting Pequot Sachem, Wequash, also led his followers with the English against his Great Sachem.  Wequash was a Pequot sagamore, whose mother was a Pequot and whose father, Momojoshuck, had been the earliest known Sachem over all Eastern Niantics.  After Momojoshuck's death, his younger brother, Ninigret, became Sachem of the Eastern Niantics in his place.  These two brothers were first cousins to Miantonomo, Great Sachem of the Narragansetts.

Momojoshuch had two sons, Wequash and Cushawashet.  Neither of these succeeded their father as Sachem of the Eastern Niantics, presumably because of their mixed blood.  They grew up as Pequots but with strained ties to the Pequots, Niantics and Narragansetts.  Wequash was one of the spies who led the English against the Pequots in 1637.  He subsequently became Christianized and lost the respect of his small Indian following.  In 1642, as he lay dying, he felt he had been poisoned by his own fellow Indians and asked Mr. George Fennwick, of Saybrook, to raise his only son, Wenamoag.  Some have felt that this Wenamoag might be the same person as Waramaug (Chapter 12.)  This is not likely, as Wenamoag was a young lad, at the death of his father, in 1642, and Waramaug first came to prominence, as a young man in western Connecticut in 1685, and remained a leading Sachem until 1735.  If these were both the same person he would have been over 100 years old at his death.

After the death of Wequash, his younger brother, Cushawashet, took a form of his deceased brother's name and was thereafter known as Wequashcook (Wequashcuk.) In addition, he also took on the Christian name of Harmon Garret, (Herman Garret) by which name he is most often known in the histories.  Much confusion, about these two brothers, has resulted because of the similarity between their names.

After the conquest of the Pequots, Harmon Garret (Wequashcook), was appointed by the English to be one of the two governors over the residue of this tribe.  Wequashcook had a son, Catapezet (Cattuppessit, Kottupesit) who Uncas said was a descendant of Nuck-quut-do-waus, and therefore a 1st or 2nd cousin of Uncas.  Catapezet had two sons, Joseph and Benjamin Garret.  Joseph became Sachem of the Niantics and his daughter married Caesar, Sachem of the Mohegans.  Benjamin Garret had a son, Benjamin Jr, who in turn had a daughter, Hannah, wife of David Fowler. (57: p.228; 58: p.26; 59: p.264-5 & 323-329 & 363.)]

Returning now to the Pequot War, the original goal of the army had been Sassacus’s main village but, coming from the east, they first approached the fortress at Mystic and Mason felt they should attack rather than risk being detected by the enemy before the battle began.   The Indian’s fort stood on the top of a hill and was guarded with palisades.  The day before the attack, an additional 150 Pequot warriors arrived from the main village to join with this group in a planned attack on an English settlement which was to take place the next day.

The undetected English army surrounded the fort and at dawn, on May 26th, they marched up the hill to begin the battle.   The soldiers were only a few feet from the walls of the fort when the first shots were fired into the sleeping village.  The army rushed inside the fort and began shooting into the wigwams at close range.  The Pequot warriors met the army and a stiff fight ensued.  Fearing to be overpowered by the superior numbers, Mason grabbed a firebrand and began setting the houses on fire.  Shortly after the battle began, the English soldiers had set the whole village afire and withdrawn outside the palisade.  From this vantage point it was easy to pick off Indians trying to escape the blaze.  The entire battle was over in little more than an hour.  The English suffered two deaths and those were thought to have been caused by stray English bullets.  The estimates of dead Indians, men, women and children, were from six to seven hundred.  Most died from the fire.  About seven Indians escaped and about an equal number were captured.

Shortly after the battle was ended, Sassacus, with his main body of warriors, arrived on the scene.  Seeing the smoke from the fort, they ran to the top of the hill to view the destruction.  The English and their allies who were regrouping at the bottom of the hill began to withdraw and prepare for another battle.  At this most opportune time, the soldier’s ship came into view as it sailed along the coast.  Mason’s men still had to march the seven miles to Pequot Harbor, where the ship would dock but they felt confident in their victory.

Munitions were low so Mason armed a strong rear guard to hold off the pursuing Indians and they headed for the ship.  The Indians pursued them like the angry bees Connecticut had worried about but kept a respectable distance from the English guns.  At the harbor, Mason put his wounded on board and received forty reinforcements from the Bay Colony.  With these, he continued his march of destruction, scattering the Western Niantics on his way to Fort Saybrook.

The invasion had been so unexpected and so devastating that the Pequots were completely demoralized.  They felt certain the English would return to finish the annihilation.  Many held Sassacus personally responsible and would have killed him on the spot had it not been for the intervention of several of his councilors.  The majority of the Pequots realized their only hope was to seek refuge with the Mohawks.  The largest contingent began an immediate retreat with their families and belongings.  Many others felt it best to leave the main body and seek safety among the smaller River Tribes.

The Connecticut troops were allowed to return home as replacements arrived from the other colonies.  During this time, the Narragansetts had been rounding up some of the straggling Pequots and turned them over to the new soldiers.  Over one hundred women and children were captured.  Of these, thirty were given to the Narragansetts as slaves, to pay them for their assistance.  The other were sent to Massachusetts Bay to be sold into slavery.  Twenty four men were found—twenty two of these were executed, the other two, being sachems, were allowed to live with the understanding that they would lead the soldiers to find Sassacus.

Sassacus used this valuable time to move his tribe west, along the coast towards New York.  Moving women and children, along with all their belongings, was a slow process and they left an easy trail to follow.  The bulk of the soldiers boarded a ship which safely floated along the shore, while a few of the soldiers accompanied the Narragansetts and Mohegans as they pursued the retreating Pequots.  As the soldiers neared the present town of Guilford, they became suspicious of the cooperation of the two captive Pequot sachems and cut off their heads.  The place is still known today as “Sachem Head.”

In a "hideous swamp," near Quinnipiac (now New Haven,) the army caught up with the fleeing Pequots.  The swamp was surrounded and women, children and old men were allowed to come out.  Some of the Indians had already made an escape but about eighty warriors remained in the swamp.  On the morning of June 14, the Indians tried to make an escape. About thirty of them were successful, many others were killed and the remainder retreated into the swamp.  The army followed them, killing all that were left.  Many of the muskets were loaded with 10-12 balls and fired into groups of Indians at close range.  Sassacus, however, had escaped and could not be found.

Following this battle, there was no longer a Pequot nation.  The soldiers returned to the Fort to find Indians bringing in hands, heads or scalps of Pequots on a daily basis to demonstrate their loyalty to the English.  In early August, 1637, the town of Hartford was excited by the news that the scalp of Sassacus had arrived as a gift from the Mohawks.  He, and forty of his warriors, had reached their country to ask for asylum but, to please the English, the Mohawks had cut off their heads and hands and kept five hundred pounds of their wampum.

To avoid being captured and killed by their Indian enemies, some of the remaining Pequots, who were still in hiding, sent messengers to Hartford to ask for leniency if they surrendered.  As a result, a treaty was signed on September 21, 1638, which forbade any of the former followers of Sassacus to ever again be called by the Pequot name or to live in their former lands.  Some were given to the Narragansetts, others to the Niantics and others to the Mohegans as payment for their valued service.

Following the total destruction of the Pequot Nation, other New England tribes, even those which had assisted the English in this campaign, were so shocked at the total annihilation of their enemy, that many sachems, including Massasoit, sent delegations to Boston to assure the English of their friendship and to renew old treaties.

Uncas, who had been the most aggressive Indian in the pursuit of his own fellow Pequots, now got his wish of becoming the Great Sachem of what was left of that people.  The name of the nation was changed to "Mohegan" for his own tribe.  He occupied the territory of southeastern Connecticut, the same area which was previously held by the Pequots.

[Note:It is certain that Sassacus was the son of Woipeguand, who was the son of Nuck-quut-do-waus.  Each was the Great Sachem over the entire Pequot Federation in their day, finally ending with the annihilation of the Pequots in 1637.  While there is some confusion in the pedigree of Uncas, the nephew of Sassacus, it appears that Uncas's Mother, and Sassacus's sister, was Muk-kun-nup II., whose mother was Muk-kun-nup I, the daughter of Weeroum, a Narragansett Sachem, by his wife, Kesh-ke-choo-Walt-ma-kunsh, a squaw of the royal Mohegan blood line.  While Uncas's pedigree does not say that Sassacus had the same Mother as his sister, Muk-kun-nup II, it is quite likely that these were also Sassacus's maternal ancestors. (57: p.228)]

[Sources: 8,9,27,30,40,43,54,57,58,591

Chapter 17



Along the Connecticut River, and particularly in the area of present day Windsor, Hartford, Wethersfield and Middletown, were numerous, small, independent tribes referred to as the “River Tribes”.  Estimates of their population vary greatly and range as high as fifteen thousand.  It was estimated in 1633 that they could bring about three thousand warriors to battle.  In the town of Windsor alone, there may have been ten different tribes.  By 1670, it was estimated that there were still about nineteen Indians to every Englishman, (although some historians dispute this claim.)

Compared to the surrounding Indians, the River Tribes were considered to be peaceful.  Although very numerous, they were not well organized for their mutual defense.  Consequently they were routinely overrun by both the Pequots from the east, and the Mohawks from the west.  Both of these warlike tribes demanded annual tribute of the River Tribes, as well as the other small isolated tribes of Connecticut and struck with swift retribution if it was not paid promptly.

The Mohawks were probably a little more inhuman in their brutality than were the Pequots.  They enjoyed sneaking up on an unsuspecting village and, at the appointed signal, jumping up with a blood chilling cry to produce the most feared response.  The River Tribes would not stand to fight, but invariably took flight in the opposite direction screaming a warning to the other villagers, "Mohawks, Mohawks."  The Mohawks in return, would cry out, "We are come, we are come to suck your blood."  This was no idle threat as they mercilessly slew all those they could find, unless they wanted to take some captives back home, to either torture, or add to their tribe.  It should be remembered that the Mohawks were known for eating their enemies.

Not wanting to alienate the English, the Mohawks would not barge into a colonist’s home uninvited.  Realizing this, some of the River Indians would flee to the Englishmen's homes for protection from pursuing Mohawks.  If they reached the home and closed the door behind them they were safe and the Mohawks would leave them alone.  On at least one occasion the Indian was not fast enough to get in and close the door behind him.  The Mohawk followed him into the house, killing him with his tomahawk in front of the English family but offered no harm to the colonists.

The treatment the River Indians received from the Pequots was not much better and they were compelled to pay heavy monetary tribute to both nations or suffer severe destruction.  As a result, the English forts and settlement were welcomed by many of the River Tribes, who viewed their coming as a potential defense against these overlords.  They knew of the English weapons, and they knew that many other tribes, including the Mohawks, had made treaties with the English.  They were eager to make a league with anyone who might balance the power of their enemies.

Only the Pequots were unhappy to see the arrival of the Europeans.  They had a master-serf relationship with the surrounding tribes and they liked things just the way they were.  The Pequots had nothing to gain from the arrival of the English, and in fact, knew that it would mean a challenge to their position.  Haughty by nature and presumptions of their strength, they let the English know they were not welcome in the new colony.  This resulted in a very poor relationship from the beginning in 1633, and a war of extinction within four years.

Sowheag was the Great Sachem of the River Tribes (30: p.22).  He is believed to be the same individual the Dutch called “Sequin” or “Seqeen” (54: p.108). Often, his tribe was also referred to as Sequins, after their sachem.  His own individual tribe was the Mattebesecks and they occupied the territory including, what is now, Wethersfield and Middletown.

Before the arrival of the English, one of Sowheag's sons, Sequassen (Sunckquasson, Sonquasson, Sasawin, Souwonckquawsir) was already well established as sachem of a large sub-tribe, the Sicaog or Suckiage ("black earth"--sucki-auke) Indians in what is now Hartford, Windsor and Farmington (54: p.108).  Another son, Montowese, was sachem over a smaller tribe just north of New Haven.  Both of these two men are known to have been sons of Sowheag and were recognized as sachems over their own tribes but, were not the heirs to their father's tribe or position.  Another brother, or probably a half brother, Turramugus (Caturrmuggas), was heir to Sowheag’s lands and title, who in turn passed them on to his son, Peetoosoh, when Turramugus died in 1705. (54: p.108).  Turramugus's wife's name was Keseso and he had at least one daughter. (53: p.884)

Before the arrival of the English, Sowheag had his principle residence at Wethersfield.  The new settlers however, recognized the value of rich lands along the river and built their village next to Sowheag’s.  Within a short time, a quarrel developed and despite the fact that they were heavily out numbered, the colonists drove Sowheag from his lands.

Rather than fight, Sowheag moved his people south to Middletown, where he built a fort, or castle, on the bank overlooking the River. (30: p.22)  Nevertheless, he did not forget, nor forgive the English for what they had done to him.  He continued to quietly hold his resentment and wait for the right opportunity to seek his revenge.

He did not have to wait too long.  In 1636-7, the Pequot War began.  For a time Sassacus was content to attack Fort Saybrook at the mouth of the Connecticut River, picking off those few who strayed from the fort.  It was Sowheag who encouraged Sassacus to come north to the larger, and relatively unprotected, villages to strike a heavy blow.  It is therefore, not surprising that the village he recommended for the attack was Wetherefield.  These were the same colonists who had driven him from his lands just a few years earlier.

Early in the morning of April 23rd, 1637, a small group of Wethersfield settlers was attacked by two hundred Pequot warriors, while working in a meadow on the edge of town.  Nine settlers were killed, including one woman and child.  Two girls were carried away as captives.  The shrewd Sowheag did not participate in the attack himself, nor did any of his Mattabeseck Indians, but later, as the Pequot War was drawing to a close, he provided sanctuary to those Pequots who had performed the work for him.

Not wanting to open up more fronts in the Indian war, the colonists left Sowheag alone until the Pequot Nation was destroyed.  Remembering that he was harboring several of the Pequot warriors and that he treated the Wethersfield people with haughtiness and insult, the General Court met to determine what should be done about him.  After hearing the case the Court "determined that, as the English at Wethersfield, had been the aggressors, and given the first provocation, the injuries which Sowheag had done should be forgiven, and that he should, on his good conduct for the future, be restored to their friendship." (30: p.85)

They didn't determine that he should be restored to his own lands but, just to their friendship, if he had "good conduct for the future."  Mr. Stone and Mr. Goodwin were appointed to resolve all differences and to demand that he turn over the Pequot murderers he was harboring.

Friendship with the English had not proven too valuable in the past and Sowheag could not see where their offer of friendship would help much now.  He refused to release the Pequots to the English and continued to treat the residents of Wethersfield with contempt.  The court met again in August, 1639, and determined to send one hundred men to Mattebeseck to take the Pequots by force and bring them to trial.  Before proceeding however, the Connecticut court sent word to New Haven (or Quinnipiac, as it was then called, and which was a separate colony at that time) to ask for their support.  New Haven agreed that the Pequots should be tried but disagreed with the idea of taking them by force, as it was sure to result in another Indian War.  New Haven was also worried about their own protection, as Sowheag's son, Montowese, was sachem of a tribe in their colony.  Connecticut agreed to New Haven's argument and no redress was sought against Sowheag.

As time past, some Pequots began to feel that the old hostilities must have been forgotten.  Various ones ventured away from the protection of Sowheag's village.  Some of these were caught and brought to a swift trial and execution.

Sowheag probably died before 1650 as, at that time Governor Stuyvesant of New Amsterdam (New York) refers to him as "the late Sequeen." and in 1664, land was mentioned as reserved at Wongoum (the great bend of the Connecticut River between Middletown and Portland) for his posterity. (54: p.108)

In 1671, the heirs of Sowheag, confirmed land deeds to the English.  "We, Turramugus, Sepannamaw Squaw, daughter to Sowheage; Speunno, Nabowhee, Weesumpshie, Waphanck; true heires of and rightfull succsessers to the aforesaid Sowheage--hath fully confirmed, and doe by thise prsents fully and absolutly confirme the aforesaid grant made by our predceasser, Sowheage, to the English..." (53: p.882-4).  All of the above were men, except Sepannamaw, the daughter of Sowheag.  It does not say that any of the others were Sowheag's children, but lists them as his “heirs”.

On October 10, 1673, another deed was executed between the white settlers and the "heirs of Sachem Sowheag." The names on this deed do not match identically with those of the earlier deed, neither does it say that these were the children of Sowheag.  Those listed on the second deed include: Turramuggus, Maseeup, Wesumpshie, One Peny [Wumpene], Nesaheeg, Seocutt and Pewampskin. (53: p.908-9).

The only known children of Sowheag are: Montowese, Sequasson, Turramuggus, and a daughter, Sepannamaw.  Wesumpshie (a male) appears in most of the land deeds and may well have been another son, but there is not definite proof of a relationship between him and Sowheag.

In 1675, the court provided a 300 acre tract of land on the east side of the Connecticut River near Middletown, for the heirs of Sowheag and the Mattabeseck Indians. (8: p.364)

Sowheag's son, Montowese, was a Sachem of a smaller tribe, just north of the Quinnipiac tribe, who resided around New Haven Harbor.  He was a grown man at the arrival of the English.  Montowese was married to a daughter of Sassacus, Great Sachem of the Pequot Nation, (9) which is an indication of the esteem Sassacus must have had for Sowheag.  It also explains why Sowheag would not hesitate to call on Sassacus with his recommendation for the attack on Wethersfield and perhaps why he was willing to harbor some of the Pequots from English retribution.

During the Pequot War, some of the Massachusetts Colonists marched along the Connecticut shore pursuing Sassacus.  When they came to Quinnipiac (New Haven,) they were so impressed with the country they determined to return with their families and start a new settlement.  In 1638, a group arrived and began to buy land from the local Indians.  The Quinnipiacs had been devastated by earlier attacks from both Mohawks and Pequots.  Although they had been more numerous in earlier times, there were very few when the settlers arrived and counted only 47 men.  They willingly sold all their lands: Branford, East Haven, New Haven and West Haven, for a few coats and the promise of protection from their enemies.

At about the same time, December 11th, 1638, Montowese also sold his lands in North Haven.  No specific name is given for his small tribe but at that time it contained many women, but only ten men.  The territory sold was described as "extending about ten miles in length from north to south, eight miles easterly from the river of Quinnipiac toward the river of Connecticut, and five miles westerly toward Hudson's River."  Montowese reserved a small spot for himself and this site is still known today as "Montowese."  This beautiful territory was about one hundred and thirty square miles and sold for “eleven coats of trucking cloth and one coat of English cloth, made out after the English manner.” (42: p.13)  The area of this sale includes the present towns of part of North Branford, North Haven, Wallingford, Hamden, and parts of Woodbridge, Bethany and Prospect.

Montowese, and his wife, spent the remainder of their days farming on the small parcel of land which still bears his name.  They had at least one daughter, whose name has not been preserved but, who married Isaac Siem, (9) a Praying Indian Sachem at Shekomeko, N.Y.  More will be given on this family in Chapter 19.

[Sources: 8, 9, 30, 42, 43, 53, 54]

The illustration shown below of the Indian town of  Shekomeko, in Duchess  Co., N.Y. was found in:

General History of Duchess County (NY) from 1609 - 1876 Inclusive, by Philip; H. Smith.  Pawling, N.Y.  1877.

Chapter 18



Before the arrival of the English, Marthas Vineyard Island (or No-pee, as it was called by the Indians, meaning "in the midst of the waters,") had four independent tribes.  None of these held dominance over the others.  Each had their own head sachem, and sagemores of smaller subdivisions.  At the time of the Pilgrims, these tribes were subject to Massassoit as part of the Wampanoag Federation, although they seem to have had ties with the Narragansetts.  In many ways they were like the Cape Tribes, and those of Nantucket.  That is, they belonged to the Wampanoag Federation, paid their annual tribute, and avoided any problems, but their military support and their value to the Federation, was of lesser importance than that of the tribes closer to the Great Sachem.

The four major tribes on the Island were the Chappaquiddick, (on the island by that name, on the east end of MVI); the Nunnepaug, (on the southeast half of the main island); the Takemmy, (on the northwest half of MVI); and the Aquiniuh, or Gay Head, (on the island-like peninsula on the west end of MVI). This area is virtually an island connected to MVI by a narrow strand of land.  The word Aquiniuh means "land under the hill" and probably refers to the shore under the Gay Head itself. (40: p.6)

In the European exploration era, several ships stopped at Gay Head.  At that time Epenow was sachem of this tribe.  He was kidnapped and taken to England, where he devised a plot to arrange his own passage back to MVI (Marthas Vineyard Island).  It was Epenow who entertained Captain Thomas Dermer until the Sachem suspected the Englishman intended to kidnap him again.  At that point his tribe attacked and killed all of Dermer's men who had come ashore, and mortally wounded Captain Dermer himself. (see chapters 2 & 10)

Epenow was still living for a few years after the arrival of the Pilgrims.  The time of his death is unknown as there was little contact between the Pilgrims and the Indians of MVI until they began to settle there in 1642.  At the arrival of the first English settlers, the sachem at Aquiniuh was Noh-took-saet.  He had not been the sachem for long at that point, which may indicate that Epenow had recently passed away.  The records state that Noh-took-saet had recently come from the Massachusetts Bay area to be the Sachem at Aquiniuh.  No mention is made of any relationship between him and the previous Sachem.

It is logical to assume that Noh-took-saet may well have been the son of Epenow, although there is no proof of it.  The sachemship was an important part of Indian royalty, no less so than it was in Europe during the same period.  In a culture where polygamy was common, and even expected among the nobility, it is hard to believe that Epenow wouldn't have had at least some children.  In the absence of a son, a daughter could easily be named the heir to the sachemship, and certainly would be ahead of any other contender.

[Note:Chapter 10 presented an arguement to indicate the likelihood that Mary, the wife of Iyannough, was the daughter of Epenow.  If that is correct, the only thing that would have kept her from becoming the Squaw Sachem of Aquiniuh, would be a brother, or older sister.]

Matthew Mayhew, early settler on the Vineyard, studied the local Indians and gave the following description: "The Crown (if I may so term it) alwayes descended to the Eldest Son (though subject to usurpation), not to the Female, unless in defect of a Male of the Blood; the Blood Royal, being in such Veneration among the People, that if a Prince had issue by divers Wives, such Succeeded as Heirs who was Royally descended by the Mother, although the Youngest, esteeming his issue by a Venter of less Quality than a Princess, not otherwise than Sachems or Noblemen." (4: p.38) In other words, a younger son of a sachem may supersede his older half-brother if his mother was from a more royal status; and a son always took precedence over his sister.

The fact that the Aquiniuh Tribe either sent to the mainland for Noh-took-saet to come and be their Sachem, or that he came on his own to claim the title, seems to be good evidence that he was the rightful heir to the sachemship after the passing of Epenow.  If Noh-took-saet was really a stranger, from off the Island, and not even a Wampanoag, but rather a Massachusetts Indian, there is no reason to believe the local tribe would have accepted him as their new sachem.

The lifespan of Noh-took-saet is unknown.  If he was the son of Epenow, and the brother of Mary (Wife of Iyannough,) he was probably born in the 1590's.  Noh-took-saet died and was succeeded, as Sachem, by his son Metaark (Mittark, Mettark, Mataack), before 1663.  In that year, Metaark, as the Sachem at Gayhead, was finally converted to Christianity.  To the local ministers this represented a great milestone.  Being somewhat isolated, at the opposite end of the Island, they had been the last of the local Indians to accept the white man's religion.  Once converted, Metaark became a missionary to his own Aquiniuh Tribe.  This was not well received by most of his own people, and especially by the powwows, or medicine men.  Although he was their sachem, he lost their respect, to the point that he left the tribe and moved to Edgartown, where he preached the new religion for the next three years.  At the end of that period, he was accepted back by his tribe, where he began preaching on a regular basis and, eventually, persuaded all his tribe to embrace the Christian faith.  He continued to preach the remainder of his life and was assisted by others of his tribe, including one of his brothers, Abel Wauwompuhque. (4: p.20)

In 1675, Metaark was "challenged in his rights by the person called Omphannut, who claimed he was the eldest son of the deceased sachem.  A council was held, composed of the chief men of the island, and 'as far as the mane land' and they decided that 'Omphannut speak true.'   Thereupon they assigned to the latter one-quarter of all the land on Gay Head." (4: p.40)

"To me Mittark Sachim at Gayhead there came the person called Ompohhannut, and said, I am older than thou art, and I ought to be the Sachim, for I am the first born of our father Nohtoaksaet; or otherwise I should have some part of the land of the Gayhead parted off to me, that so I may be still (or quiet) as may be found right by the Indian Sachims and Chiefmen.

"Agreeable hereunto I Mettark, Sachim, and my Councel (or chief men) and also the Common Men of Gayhead did appoint a Great Court.  We called the Sachims of this Island, and the people as far as the main land to find what might be right with respect to us and Ompohhannut, relating to his claim of land, or of the Sachimship; and we held a Court at that time in Sept. 1675; and we found, or did thus in our Court:--we made, or sent, a jury to judge of the matter of Ompohhannuts rights in Gayhead and we gave them, the jury, such proves that what they should determine we would confirm.  And these were their names ...

"And we the jury have found, by persons knowing that Ompohhannut speaks true and in the whole, therefore, we now judge that in a division of four parts of the Gayhead, one belongeth to him, and all his heirs forever." Dukes Deeds, VI, 369 (4: p.7)

Here, again, is a good example of the importance of the father-son relationship in determining the "crown prince." Sachems from all over the island, as well as some from the mainland, came together to hear Omphannut's claim.  He would not have been recognized unless he could show that he was entitled to the position.  He was probably an older half-brother.  Similarly, their father Noh-took-saet could not have become the Sachem without satisfying a similar council that he was entitled to the position as heir to Epenow.

The above described court case, between Metaark and his brother, (most likely a half-brother) occurred less than three months after the start of the King Philip War.  In fact, it is possible that the War was the factor which motivated Omphannut to return home at this particular time to claim his inheritance.  While they were part of the Wampanoag Federation, the Indians on MVI did not support Philip or participate in the war.  By this time they had a very close relationship with the English settlers on their island and were in the process of converting to Christianity.  Very few of the Praying Indians of New England joined with Philip. The few who participated in the war usually did so on the side of the English, against their own people.  For the most part, No-pee, or Marthas Vineyard Island, was untouched by the King Philip War.

Over the next few years, Metaark saw the selling off of Indian lands to settlers and was quick to realize this would be devastating to the tribes.  As an aging Sachem he was concerned about the inheritance that would not be there for future generations of Indians.  Knowing that his days were numbered, he issued a formal declaration, signed by himself and some of his chief men, on Sept. 11, 1681.  He hoped it would be binding upon his people and the English, long after his death.

"I Mettack Sachem att Kuhtuhquehtuet and Nashauakquetget as far as Wanummuset: Know yee all People that I Mettack and my principal men my children & people are owners of this: this our land forever.  They are ours, and our offspring forever shall enjoy them:--

"I Mettack and we principall men together with our children and all our people are agreed that no person shall sell any Land; but if any person will stealingly sell any Land: take yee your Land because it is yours forever: but if any one will not perform this Covenant he shall fail to have any of this Land at Kuhtuhquehtuut and Nashanaquetget forever:

"I Mettack and we principall men and our children say this shall be forever ...

“I Mettack sachem and my chief men speak this in the presence of God it shall be thus forever.”  (4: p.8)

This wish was not to last long.  Metaark died a little over a year later on Jan. 20, 1683.  He was succeeded by his son, Joseph Metaark. “Two years later (April 25, 1665) Matthew Mayhew received the grant of the ‘Mayor and Lordship of Martin's Vineyard' from Governor Thomas Dongan of New York" (at this time the Vineyard was part of New York), “and less than a month after (May 12th) the latter had purchased from the grantee the title and the property appertaining to it… The property appertaining and remaining was the Gay Head peninsular principally, and in pursuance of the policy adopted by the Mayhews he quieted the Indian 'rights' to it by a purchase from 'Joseph Mittark Sachim of the Gay Head in Martin's Vineyard, Indian native,' for 30 Pounds of all his interest therein.  This transaction was dated May 6, 1687, and took place in New York, whither the Sachem had gone, evidently with Matthew Mayhew, who was one of the witnesses." (4: p.8)

Following the sale of their lands, the local Indians were unhappy to find themselves as tenent farmers on what had always been their own lands.  Debate and turmoil continued over the issue of whether Joseph Metaark had the right to sell the land, and in 1703 the Court agreed to hear the matter.  Their finding was dated Aug. 16, 1703.

"In the contest about Gay Head it appears to us by deed that Colonel Dongan bought it of Joseph Mataack, sachem; but the Indians object and say that old Mataack by his will did settle it on his sons for the use of Gay Head Indians never to be sold or alienated from them; and to prove it produce an old writing; and upon inquiry into the truth of it, an Indian called Josiah Hosewit, which seemed to be a sober, honest man, came before the committee and owned that he wrote that writing long since Mataack's death; and by the testimony of sundry other Indians we have good reason to think that said writing was forged and not true." (4: p.9)

This still did not satisfy the local Indians who were convinced the document was valid and not a forgery.  Enough of a question remained that a rehearing was scheduled for two years later in 1705.  While this debate continued the Society for Propagating the Gospel began buying up parcels of the Gay Head land for the benefit of the Indians.  As Indians were settled on their old lands, in cooperation with the local religious leaders, the disputes died down. They still did not own their old lands, but at least they were allowed to occupy them.

[The court case cited above mentions the "sons" of Metaark, indicating he had more than one son.  While the only one mentioned is Joseph Metaark, Amasa Merlin Steed papers indicate that Isaac Siem, a Praying Indian Sachem at Shekomeko, was also one of the sons of Metaark. (6) This seems very questionable, and no good documentation has been found to support this.  In a listing of his ancestors, Bearce lists the name of Noh-took-saet but does not indicate where he fits in. (9)]

[Sources: 4,9,28,40]

Chapter 19



According to Franklin Ele-wath-thum Bearce (9), Isaac Siem was a Sachem at She-co-me-co, NY., perhaps as early as the late 1600's but at least very early in the 1700’s. While we don't know his birthdate, he was old enough to have a daughter, Catherine, who married a German immigrant, John Rau, in 1721, and his oldest son, Gideon Mauweehu, was probably born about 1680-90.  From this one could estimate that Isaac Siem was probably born by or before 1660.

[Note:Little information is available on Isaac Siem.  Amasa Merlin Steed, after concluding a short discussion on Noh-took-saet, Metaark and Joseph Metaark, states: "Mettarrk was succeeded by his son, Joseph Metarrk." Then he added in his own handwriting, "Isaac Siem was younger brother of Joseph Metarrk & father of Gideon Mauweehu" (28).  Steed gives no source or reference for this statement.  Such a claim must be viewed very critically and therefore is not given as a firm relationship, but rather as a possible lead for other researchers.]

On the skeptical side one must ask: Why would the son of a Marthas Vineyard Island sachem travel all the way to She-ko-me-ko, NY to make a new home for himself?  He would have passed all the lands of the Wampanoags, the Narragansetts, the Pequots, the River Tribes, and the Housatonics.  When he arrived why would he be recognized as their sachem, rather than one of their own natives?

On the other hand there are a couple of points that may favor the theory.  First of all a younger brother to the crown prince would have no particular inheritance by staying at home and would probably wander somewhere.  The King Philip War had already deprived most of the above named tribes of their lands and their remnants were headed west towards She-ko-me-ko.  It is known that Joseph Metaark sailed west to New York City on at least one occasion.  Perhaps She-ko-me-ko, (which is north of Manhattan, between the Hudson and Connecticut) would really not be that far to travel.  Bearce says that Siem had at least two wives, one a Pequot, (the mother of his two sons, Gideon and Joshua), the other a Mohegan (the mother of his daughter Catherine.) (9). This would seem to infer that he had traveled through Connecticut and probably spent some time in the area between MVI and NY.

Probably the greatest indication of a tie between Siem and Marthas Vineyard Island is in the name of his two known sons, Gideon and Joshua Mauweehu (or Mauwee).  The Indians on MVI were Christianized and were giving their children Christian names, but more importantly, the name Mauweehu appears to be the English spelling of the Indian pronunciation of the name Mayhew.  The Mayhew family was the most prominent family on MVI at that time.  As related in Chapter 18, Joseph Metaark sold his lands to Matthew Mayhew in 1685.  The Mayhews were instrumental in the conversion of most of the Indians on MVI, and it is significant that Siem would name his sons Mauweehu, or Mayhew.

In Steed's papers listed above, he was quoting various sources on other Indian genealogy. It does not seem logical that he would have simply made up the information.  The fact that he added this sentence is an indication that some source book exists somewhere, listing Isaac Siem as the son of Metaark and as a younger brother of Joseph Metaark.

In a list of his ancestors, Bearce also lists Noh-took-saet, although he does not say where, or how, he fits into the pedigree. (9)

Isaac Siem was the Sachem of the Indian village at She-ko-me-ko, NY.  Bearce says, "Isaac Siem's wife was a Pequot woman, and a granddaughter of Sassacus; the Moravians say a daughter, it should be a granddaughter.  The son of Sowheag, Montowese, married a daughter of Sassacus, and a daughter of this union was the squaw of Isaac Siem, and mother of Gideon Mauwee and Joshua Mauwee 1st, but not the mother of Siem's other children.  Siem had more...  Catherine, 1/2 sister of Gideon and Joshua 1st, had a Mohican (Mohegan) mother, dau of a Mohican (Mohegan) Sagamore." (9)

It may be supposed that, after marrying a Pequot and a Mohegan, Isaac Siem spent much of his life in south-central Connecticut.  Here he would have amassed a following, probably of his wives' people, who were displaced Pequots.  It appears his family was grown before he led his tribe to Shekomeko.  His sons, Joshua and Gideon Mauweehu, grew up close to the mouth of the Housatonic River and were recognized leaders of the Indians in this area.

Gideon Mauweehu (Mauwehu, Mauwee, Ma-hu-wee-hu, Mayhew) was first known to lead a small following of Indians on the lower Housatonic River and held land around Derby.  Nothing is known of his wife or children, except he had at least one son, Joseph, who grew to manhood and remained around the Derby area, even after his Father, Gideon Mauweehu, retreated with his tribe far up the Housatonic River.  As the English began to settle along the southern Connecticut shore and expand up the various rivers, Gideon and his followers (at this time they were too small to be called a tribe) began migrating in search of better hunting and fishing country, away from the ever growing English towns.

As the English began filling up this part of the valley, Gideon first moved to Newtown and then to New Milford.  Afterward, in 1729, his signature is listed on a deed as one of thirteen Indians who were "the owners of all unsold lands in New Fairfield." In this transaction a large tract in the township of Sherman, west of New Milford, was sold for sixty-five pounds.

"Mauwehu afterwards moved to Dover, a town which is some ten miles west of Scatacook, and is situated on Ten Mile River, in the State of New York.  Here he had lived but a little while, when, in one of his hunting excursions he came to the summit of a mountain in Kent which rises to the west of the Housatonic.  Looking down from this eminence, he beheld that gentle river, winding through a narrow but fertile and beautiful valley, shut in by mountains thickly covered with trees.  The whole country was uninhabited; the white man had not yet penetrated into these quiet recesses; the streams were still stocked with fish, and the wooded hills plentifully supplied with game.  The gazing Indian was delighted with the scene, and instantly perceived the capabilities of the region for supporting a considerable population of his countrymen.  He returned to his wigwam, packed up his property, and journeyed with his family and followers to this new-found land of quiet and plenty.  From here he issued invitations to his old friends at Potatuck and New Milford, to the Mohegans of the Hudson River, and to other tribes of the surrounding country.  Immigrants flocked in from all quarters; large numbers especially came from the clans south of him on the Housatonic.  In ten years from the time of the settlement, it was thought that a hundred warriors had collected under the sachemship of Mauweehu.  A considerable accession was received from the New Milford tribe, in 1736, a short time after the death of their sachem, Waramaug.  The Indians called their settlement Scatacook, and it is by this name that the tribe, thus formed, always continued to be distinguished. (8: p.408-409)

The new tribal paradise was not to be left alone long.  Just two years later, in 1738, the settlement in Kent was begun.  And in 1741-42 an even more far-reaching event happened when the Moravian missionaries came to Scatacook to convert the Indians.  The effect these missionaries had upon the history of this tribe was so significant that the following lengthy quote is included to explain their relationship.  It should be remembered that the Moravians were German religionists who believed they descended from the original and pure "Church," who came to America to convert the native heathens.  They later became known as the "United Brethern" Church.

"In 1739 or 1740, a Moravian, named Christian Henry Rauch, arrived in New York, with the design of commencing a mission among the Indians of this part of America.  Shortly after his landing, he fell in with two New York Mohegans, and accompanied them to Shekomeko, an Indian village between Connecticut and the Hudson.  His labors at first, met with much opposition from the natives and the neighboring whites; but success finally rewarded his perseverance, and in 1742, he had the happiness of baptizing several converts, among whom were the two Indians who brought him to Shekomeko.  A few of the brethern joined him, and, living and dressing in the Indian style, supported themselves by their own labor.  The religious interest extended into the neighboring villages of Connecticut and New York, affecting, not only the natives, but the white population.  Many of the New Milford Indians were converted, and a missionary, named Bruce, was established in Sharon, who remained there until his death.  Among the Scatacooks the efforts of the Moravians were eminently successful.  Mauwehu, and from one hundred and twenty to one hundred and fifty of his people, were baptized.  A church was built, and a flourishing congregation collected. An almost total reformation seemed to be effected in the character of the Indians.  Nearly their whole conversation, when among the English, was on religion; and they spent a great part of their time in the public or private duties of devotion.  This wide spread religious interest excited feelings of deep hostility among the rumsellers and dissolute characters of the surrounding districts They saw their gains at once cut off, and the Indians, who had formerly been their best customers, now become temperate and saving.  Reports were spread, that the missionaries were providing the Indians with arms, and endeavoring to draw them into a league with the French.  In New York they were called on to serve in the militia, and harassed and persecuted to force a compliance with the call.  An act of Legislature was procured in the same colony, commanding the missionaries to take the oath of allegiance, and forbidding them to teach the Indians unless they obeyed.  It was contrary to the religious prejudices of the Moravians either to take oaths or to act any part in military affairs.  Rather than violate their consciences they resolved to leave their present settlements, and retire to some spot where they could preach the gospel in peace.  Inviting their flock to follow them, the removed to Pennsylvania, where the commenced a village which they called Bethlehem.  The New York people now seized the lands of the Indians, and set a guard to prevent the latter from being visited by the brethern.  A large number of the Mohegans followed their teachers to Bethlehem; many, also, of the New Milford Indians, and some of the Scatacooks.  But this change of climate proved fatal to numbers of the emigrants, especially among the old people. The Connecticut Indians, discouraged by sickness and hardship, returned to their ancient country, and settled at Scatacook.  Here, deprived of their teachers, they seemed to forget their religion, sank into intemperance, and began to wast away.  In this mournful manner ended the most promising, and, for a time, the most successful religious effort that was ever commenced among the aborigines of Connecticut." (8: p.409-411)

After the conversion of Gideon Mauweehu the story is told of another angry Indian who threatened his life with a gun, saying, "Now I will shoot you, for you speak of nothing but Jesus."

Gideon replied, "If Jesus does not permit you,  you cannot shoot me."  The other Indian dropped the gun and was later baptized. (33: p.110)

In 1744, the English were again at war with the French, and the conflict was extended to this side of the ocean.  Concerned that some of the Indians of New England might sympathize with the French, delegates from Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York called on the tribes to solicit their loyalty and friendship.  Governor Clinton of New York called on the Scatacooks, after reassuring himself of the fidelity of the six Iroquois Nations.  He delivered a flattering speech, saying it was time to brighten the chain of peace; that the English might want the assistance of their good friends and brothers, the Scatacooks, to fight the French, and if they would do this, the English would make them a good present at an appropriate time.  The next day the Scatacooks responded:

"Fathers of the Massachusetts Bay and Connecticut.  We are glad to see you here, and we bid you welcome.  We are inclined to live in peace and love with these three governments and all the rest of his Majesty's subjects.

"Fathers: we are very glad that we are all united in one covenant chain; we are resolved that it shall not rust, and will therefore wind it with beaver skins.

"Fathers: we are ready to promote good things; and what our uncles, the Six Nations, have promised we will readily concur in on our part.

"Fathers: you are the greatest, and you desire us to stay at home, which we promise to do, and we hope that no harm will come to us.

"Fathers: we are united with the Six Nations in one common covenant, and this is the belt which is the token of that covenant.

"Fathers of Boston and Connecticut: whatever you desired of us yesterday we engaged to perform; and we are very willing to keep and cultivate a close friendship with you; and we will take care to keep the covenant chain bright.

"Fathers: you are a great people and we are a small one; we will do what you desire, and we hope you will take care that no harm come to us." (6: p.412-413)

The Indians then presented a belt of wampum and three martin skins.  This was not the speech of a warlike tribe ready to attack an enemy, but rather one of a small tribe worried about being attacked and looking for protection.

Colonial laws at this time forbade the purchase of Indian lands without the authorization of the colonial government.  To get around this the early settlers in Kent, on December 19th, 1746, leased a large tract of land extending from the "Housatonic to the western bounds of the colony, for a term of nine hundred and ninety-nine years." This transaction was signed by “Capten Mayhew (this was most likely Gideon Mauweehu), Leftenant Samuel Coksuer, Jobe Ma hew (probably Gideon's son Jo, or Joseph Mauwee), John Anteney, Thomas Cukauer and John Sokenoge."

"From the above spelling of the sachem's name, we may infer the English origin of the word Mauwehu. . . When Gideon Mayhew became a chief, he was, very naturally in that military age of New England, dubbed Capten; and his surname was easily transformed into Mauwehu by his own foreign pronunciation, or by the outlandish spelling of the scribes of those early days." (8: p.414)

At about this same time, another land transaction was recorded in Kent.  It was the sale of another large parcel by Chere, the son of Waramaug.

For a short time all seemed well, with the English staying on the east side of the Housatonic and the Indians on the west.  Soon, however, the white settlers began encroaching on the Indians’ lands to the west, and in 1752, Mauweehu and fourteen other Indians, petitioned the Assembly for assistance.  Their tribe had dwindled from over one hundred families to only eighteen.  They complained that they had been deprived of all their level planting land, except for a small area, and had only the hill country. They asked if they couldn't receive an unoccupied spot below them, along the Housatonic River.  The Assembly did not give them the land but rather allowed them to clear and use about two hundred acres, which the English later reclaimed.

Land disputes continued between the two societies for the next five years, and in 1757 Jabez Smith was chosen overseer of the tribe.

In 1764 Eunice Mauwee, daughter of Joseph Mauwee, and granddaughter of Gideon Mauweehu, was born.  She was the last full-blooded Scatacook to survive the demise of her people.  She died at Scatacook in 1664 at the age of one hundred.  A large stone marker rests on her grave-site in the Schagticoke Indian Reservation cemetery indicating that she was the last “princess” of her people and tribe.  This cemetery lies about 4-5 miles SSW of Kent, CN on the western side of the Housatonic River and only about half a mile from the New York State boundary line.  It is likely that many of her family, including her parents, grand-parents and others were buried in this same cemetery but in unmarked graves.

Gideon reached an advanced age and, after serving his people well all of his life, past away sometime before 1767, probably at Scatacook.  Without his leadership his tribe began to degenerate rapidly, until October 17711, when the remnant petitioned the Legislature:

"We are poore Intins at Scutcuk in the town of Kent we desire to the most honorable Sembly at New Haven we are very much a pressed by the Nepawaug people praking our fences and our gates and turning their cattle in our gardens and destroying our fruits, the loss of our good friend (the Indian overseer) 4 years ago which we desire for a nother overseer in his sted to take Care of us and see that we are not ronged by the peotle we make Choice of Elisha Swift of kent to be our trustee if it be pleseing to your minds." (Indian Papers Vol.  II, Document 201) (8: p.416)

Although the band of Scatacooks continued to dwindle and move away until by 1774 there were only sixty-two remaining in Kent, it was reported that during the Revolutionary War one hundred Scatacook warriors assisted the American army by sending military messages up and down the River by means of Indian message fires and drum beats.

Joseph (Jo, or Chuse) Mauwee, son of Gideon Mauweehu, was born about 1710 (49: p.XLVII) and grew to manhood in the area known as Derby, Connecticut, where the Naugatuck River empties into the Housatonic.  Here Joseph lived with one of the settlers at Derby until he was twenty-one years old.  It was at about this time that his Father, Gideon, moved, with some of his followers, up the river to be farther from the English.  Joseph, however, didn't mind the colonists and stayed near Derby.  He owned a tract of land near the falls, and a few Indians began to gather around him, making him their Sagamore.

Local legends say that the early white settlers called Joseph "Chuse" or "Chuce" because they thought it humorous the way he pronounced the word "choose."  The village he started beside the falls was first called "Chusetown" after Chuse but was later changed to "Humphreysville," now "Seymour."  This supposition seems strange and the Indians pronounced a lot of words differently from the English, so why would they make such a bid deal about this particular word and call this man by that name?

There is another theory, however, about the origin of Chuse's name that this author would like to propose.  The land owned by Chuse in and around Derby belonged formerly to the Potatucks and Paugasett Tribes.  In the 1670's, the Sachem of this area was Chusumack.  He had recently succeeded Towtanimo as Sachem at Stratford and Potatuck, and was quite likely his son.  This Chusumack sold land on three different occasions, l670, '71 & '73, to the settlers of Derby.  However, he retained for himself the spot of land by the falls, which was later inherited by Joseph Mauwee, or "Chuse".  The 1671 deed was signed by Chusumack, one of his many sons, and one grandson.  Since Chuse, the son of Gideon Mauweehu, became the most prominent Indian leader and land holder in this area after 1730, this author speculates that Chuse may have been a grandson of Chusumack and an heir to the Sachemship.  The name "Chuse," then, would have been the nickname given him by the whites after the old Sachem Chusumack.  It is also interesting to note that, at a very early age, Chuse, or Joseph Mauwee, appeared to be the heir of the land around Derby, even taking precedence over his Father, Gideon Mauwee.  Could it be that Gideon was recognized as petty sachem among these tribes only because he may have married a daughter of the local Sachem, Chusumack, and that his son, Chuse, was the actual heir to the Sachemship by his direct maternal line?  There is no answer to this question, but that could explain why Chuse stayed behind and claimed his lands around Derby at a very young age, even though his parents and a few followers moved farther up the Housatonic to make a new home at Schagticoke. (49: p.XLI-XLII)

Joseph, or Chuse, was a large and very athletically built man.  He was an excellent hunter and made his living by shooting deer, wild turkeys, and bear.  In addition, he caught fish from the nearby rivers.  He made his wigwam amid some oaks near the falls and raised a few vegetables on a small patch of ground nearby.

Joseph was married to Ann Warrups (called the 2nd, to differentiate her from her aunt, Ann Warrups 1st, the daughter of Old Chicken Warrups.)  Ann II was the daughter of Captain Thomas Chicken Warrups, who was a son of Old Chicken Warrups. (see also Chapter 14.)  Joseph and Ann had ten children.  Each was probably born in Chusetown.  Benjamin, Sarah, and Eunice are the only recorded names of these children.  Their dates of birth are unknown, but Sarah was most likely born about 1730-40.

Joseph and his family lived on the most amicable terms with the white settlers for forty-eight years in Chusetown, during which time more and more settlers took up residence in the area.  Joseph, like many other Indians, became addicted to rum and whiskey sold to the Indians by the colonists.  The story was told that he preferred them above the taste of cold, clear water.  "He used to come, when he was thirsty, to a fine spring, bursting from a hollow rock at the foot of a hill; and there he would sit, down on the bank by the side of that spring and drink the sweet water as it gushed from the rock, and praise it; and say that, if there was only another spring, just such a spring, of rum, flowing by the side of it, he would ask for nothing more, but should be perfectly happy." (8: p.406-407)

"In 1760, he sold an acre and a half of land, on the east side of the falls, to Thomas Perkins of Enfield, and Ebenezer Keney, Joseph Hull and John Wooster of Derby, who had formed a company for the purpose of putting up some iron works. After living at Humphreysville forty-eight years, Chuse moved to Scatacook, where, a few years after, he died at the age of eighty.  His land was not disposed of till 1792, when it still amounted to thirty-three acres.  At the petition of his heirs, it was then sold for their benefit.  It lay in the bend of the Naugatuc, between Bladen's brook on the north, and the bridge over the river on the south." (8: p.407)

At the time when Joseph travelled to Scatacook, the Indians in that area were poor, hungry, and sick.  Joseph's Father, Gideon, had already passed away, but his father-in-law, Thomas Chicken Warrups, still lived at Scatacook.  In 1775 thirty acres of Thomas's land were sold to pay his debts.  Three years later another ten acres were sold "for the purpose of relieving the indigent circumstances of the Warrups family. The old squaw of Chickens was still living; she was blind however, and had lately been sick." (8: p.417)

Not long after this Joseph Mauwee arrived at Scatacook and took up his residence in his father's tribe.  His name appears in a petition dated April 13th, 1766, which complains of their circumstances and asks for some help in educating his people.  The petition says that most of the lands reserved for them had been taken.  Their hunting grounds in the mountains to the west, as well as their fishing rights on the falls near New Milford, had been taken away and they had been denied the right to use them.  Some of the poor and sick suffered extremely, but even the best were too poor to help those in need.  They did not know what became of the rents they paid, but asked that they be given a guardian and receive from him an annual settlement on their rents.

The petition lists the number of males in the tribe at thirty-six, females at thirty-five, and twenty of their numbers being children of an age suitable for attending school. (Indian Papers, Vol. II, Doc. 219)

A committee was appointed to look into the matter.  They reported that the people of New Milford allowed the Indians to fish at the falls, that the Scatacooks were actually further in debt to their guardian than they had supposed; they proposed that the Scatacooks be allotted fifty acres per family, and the rest of their lands should be rented out to white settlers for terms of fifty years. They reported that the children were so few in number and "kept in such a wild savage way" that a school would be useless.  The report and recommendations were approved by the Assembly. (Colonial Records, Vol XII)--(8: p.418)

Joseph died at about age eighty; the exact date is not known.  In 1792, not long after his death, his remaining lands in Chusetown were sold. (49: P. XLVII)

Sarah Mauwee, daughter of Joseph Mauwee and Ann Warrups II, was born at Chusetown (Humphreysville), Connecticut, about 1730-40.  Growing up close to the English settlements made her acquainted with many of them and their ways.  Little is known of Sarah, except that as a young woman she worked in the home of Oliver Canfield and his wife, Tabitha Roberts Canfield, in New Milford, Connecticut.  Here she helped Tabitha with the housework.

As a young woman, probably living in the Canfield home, she had a baby fathered by Oliver Canfield. This baby was named Freelove Canfield, and was raised by Oliver and his wife Tabitha.  No record of her birth or baptism can be found in the New Milford records.  This is probably due to the fact that she was born out of wedlock.  After the birth of the baby, Sarah Mauwee married a Shaghticoke Indian, and nothing further is known of her thereafter.  More information on this family and on Freelove Canfield will be given in chapters 22 & 23.

[Sources: 2,8,9,28,33,49]