Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Stones in a Guilford CT History

Stone House Building, Cultural Landscape Clues etc.
“The Indians there had unknown ages dwelt —
Men, who the softer passions seldom felt,
To whom were arts and sciences unknown;
Who knew no common interest nor their own.
Wild flesh, wild fruits, their food, but oft'ner fish
And clams and oysters their more common dish,
Skins of wild animals for raiment served;
They oft with cold and oft with hunger starved.

These sons of nature held the right of soil,
On which, however, they disdained to toil;
Void of invention, iron they had none —

 Their edge tools, all were made of shell or stone.
Menunkatuck was the Indian name,
When to the English they transferred their claim,
On contract fair their right they did assign,
September, sixteen hundred, thirty-nine.

Pleased with the site, they now enjoyed the purchase,
Cleared up the ground, built fences, houses, churches,
Soon did the savage howl and yelling cease,
Succeeded by religion, love, and peace,
And 'tis among their heirs and their assigns
Now happiness resides and virtue shines.”
    -Abraham Bradley, An Address to Guilford August 15, 1812

  “The whole original town, like others in the vicinity and country, was originally inhabited by Indians, who called it, or at least the western part of it, Menunkatuck. They were numerous on the great plains south of Guilford borough, as appears from the vast masses of shells which they brought upon it and which are mouldering to this day; and considerably numerous in other parts of the town as the harbors and shores of the sound furnished them with great advantages for fishing, and the woods back for hunting…

    That part of the town which lies between Ruttawoo (East river) and Agicomook (Stony creek), constituting nearly all the present town of Guilford, was purchased of the sachemsquaw of Menunkatuck (Shaumpishuh), the Indian inhabitants consenting, Sept. 29, 1639, by Henry Whitfield, Robt. Kitchel, William Leete, William Chittenden, John Bishop, and John Caffinge, in behalf of themselves and others, who (except the said John Caffinge perhaps) had come out to New Haven the same year, and who were now resolved to make a settlement at this place. At the time of the purchase it was understood and agreed that the deed should remain in the hands of the planters, until a church should be formed in the town, to whom it should be given and under whose superintendence the lands should be divided out to those who were interested in them. The articles given for this tract were, twelve coats, twelve fathoms of wampum, twelve glasses, twelve pair of shoes, twelve hatchets, twelve pairs of stockings, twelve hoes, four kettles, twelve knives, twelve hats, twelve porringers, twelve spoons, two English coats. The Indians agreed to remove, and it was generally understood that they did remove to Branford and East Haven. An article, however, in the Guilford records suggests that a number of them were permitted to remain for a time at Ruttawoo. The English settlement commenced immediately after this purchase on the grounds now included in Guilford borough, the plain and some lands near the sound having been cleared by the natives and prepared for cultivation.
    The planters had not been long in the town before Mr. Whitfield particularly, who had their prosperity greatly at heart, undertook to extend their territory eastwards, and on the 20th of September, 1641, he obtained of Weekwosh of Pashquishook [ ] a tract of land called the Neck, extending along on the sound, as it was then described, from East river to Tuckshishoag or Tuxis pond, for the consideration of " a frieze coat or blanket, an Indian coat, one faddom Dutchman's coat, a shirt, a pair of shoes and a faddom of wampum."
    The right of Weekwosh to this land, however, appears to have been soon doubted, for on the 17th of Dec. following, Mr. Whitfield, Robt. Kitchel, William Chittenden, William Leete, John Bishop, John Caffinge, John Jordan, and the rest of the English planters of Menunkatuck made a purchase of Uncas, sachem of the Mohegans, which covered this land and extended northward through the township. In the deed of conveyance Uncas declared himself to be the sole owner of all these lands, denied utterly the claim of Weekwosh and all others, and accompanied his declaration with such circumstances and testimony as left little doubt that the right of sale was in his line. The consideration paid to Uncas was four coats, two kettles, four fathoms of wampum, four hatchets and three hoes…

Wequash, sachem of the Niantic Indians in Connecticut, died at an early period after the settlement of Lyme, and is buried at the Christian Indian burying ground on the west side of the bay near the mouth of the Niantic river. His memorial stone says, " He was the first convert among the New England tribes." This may be a mistake. * * * Mr. Shepard wrote concerning this Pequot : "Wequash, the famous Indian at the river's mouth is dead and certainly in heaven. He knew Christ, he loved Christ, he preached Christ up and down, and then suffered martyrdom for Christ."— Allen's American Biographical Dictionary.
"One Wequash Cook, an Indian, living about Connecticut river's mouth, and keeping much at Saybrook with Mr. Fenwick, attained to good knowledge of the things of God and salvation by Christ, so as he became a preacher to other Indians, and labored much to convert them, but without any effect, for within a short time he fell sick, not without suspicion of poison from them, and died very comfortably."— Savage's Winthrop's New England, 11, 74.
Capt. Israel Stoughton, August 14, 1637, writes to Gov. Winthrop: "For Wequash, we fear he is killed; and if he be, 'tis a mere wicked plot, and, seeing he showed faithfulness to us, and for it is so rewarded, it is hard measure to us-ward; and what is meet to be done therein, is difficult to me to conclude: I shall therefore desire your speedy advice."—Savage's Winthrop's New England, 1, 400.

    Uncas probably claimed the two tracts just mentioned in virtue of the conquest of the Pequots in which he assisted. They had possessed either in their own persons or by their tributaries a territory of very considerable extent. Concerning the Indians who dwelt upon this nothing certain is known. A stone with a human head and neck roughly carved, now lying in a fence half a mile northeast of Madison meeting-house, is supposed to have been used by them as an Idol. Nothing is also certainly known as to what became of them after the purchase of their grounds. They may have joined their brethren, the Menunkatuck Indians at Branford and East Haven, or the Hammonassett Indians at Killingworth, the remnants of whom remained in that town until 1739 or 1740. The latter supposition is the most probable as they appear to have been the most numerous about Hammonassett river, where they had cleared a large field which was easily cultivated and very productive. Indian bones have been found near the river and also on the Neck…

   The first settlers of this town were adventurers from Surry and Kent near London, and, unlike their mercantile brethren who peopled New Haven, were mostly farmers. They had not a merchant among them and scarcely a mechanic; and it was at great trouble and expense that they procured even a blacksmith on their Plantation. They took much pains to find land like that from which they had removed. At first they thought of Milford, but finally fixed upon Guilford, because they found it, particularly about the town plat where they first settled, low, flat and moist land agreeable to their wishes. They called the town Guilford in remembrance of Guildford a borough-town, the capital of Surry, where many of them had lived…About forty planters came into the town in 1639, whose names in consequence of a defect in the records cannot be given with entire certainty. There were forty-eight in 1650, among which are doubtless included the original forty…

   The places where most of the original settlers first located themselves are now known. The noted Stone house of Mr. Whitfield, said to have been built in 1639, erected both for the accommodation of his family and as a fortification for the protection of the inhabitants against the Indians, is supposed to be the oldest dwelling-house now standing in the United States. This house was kept in its original form until 1868, when it underwent such renovation as changed its appearance and internal arrangement to a great extent, although the north wall and large stone chimney are substantially the same as they have been for over two centuries.' It occupies a rising ground overlooking the great plain south of the village and commanding a very fine prospect of the sound. It is said that the first marriage was celebrated in it, the wedding-table being garnished with the substantial luxuries of pork and pease. According to tradition the stone, of which this house was built, was brought by the Indians on hand-barrows, across the swamp, from Griswold's rocks, a ledge about eighty rods east of the house, and an ancient causeway across the swamp is shown as the path employed for this purpose. The house consisted of two stories and an attic. The walls were three feet thick. At the southwest corner of the second floor there was a singular embrasure, commanding the approach from the south and west, which was evidently made for defensive purposes. In the attic there were two recesses evidently intended as places of concealment…This house was undoubtedly the best in the village but not the only one built of stone. Jasper Stillwell, on the lot northward, Rev. John Higginson —son-in-law of Mr. Whitfield and subsequently of Salem, Mass., and Sam'l Disborow, the magistrate and a relative of Oliver Cromwell, all had stone houses, situated back from the street with door yards in front similar to Mr. Whitfield's. Mr. Whitfield sold his accommodations to Major Thompson of London, a man of some note during the commonwealth, in whose family it remained until a short time before the Revolutionary war, when Wyllys Elliott of Guilford purchased it.
     The rich and cleared lands about the town plat, together with considerations of continual intercourse and mutual safety, induced the colonists to settle in a cluster, but as their numbers increased and as circumstances became more favorable, they gradually spread themselves into other parts of the First Society and pretty soon into Madison near the shore of the sound, and at Hammonassett. As early as October, 1646, it was " ordered that Nut plains and another plain on the east side of East river (doubtless that now called Howlett's), together with the land on the other side of said East river, both upland and marsh, should be viewed, and a survey taken of all the said parcels; that so division might be made according as was due to every planter wanting land." In 1649 a bridge was built over East river, which makes it probable that the lands in the vicinity of this river began to be cultivated quite early, and that before the lapse of many years they began to be settled…

Nathan Bradley and Stephen Bradley came to Guilford quite early. In i658 the former was twenty and the latter sixteen years of age, as appears by the Records, vol. A, page 172. Nathan Bradley settled in the eastern part of the town, and Stephen in Neck plain. Their descendants are numerous both in Guilford and New Haven at the present time. The following account of Nathan Bradley is taken from Barber's Historical Collections of Connecticut, page 227. He was one of a family of five or six brothers, who were staunch dissenters and came together from England. He settled and built his house about two miles and a half eastward of where the Madison Church now is, and near to the Killingworth line. He intended to have landed at New Haven but was obliged to put in at Saybrook and come across the wilderness to New Haven, there being no settlement at that time between that place and Saybrook. Mr. Bradley who was quite a hunter, was the first white person who discovered the source of the Hammonassett river, which originates in a pond still called Nathan's pond. Mr. Bradley lived to an advanced age, and is said to have killed several hundred deer while he resided in the town. In the winter, bears, wolves, and other wild animals, would resort to the sea-coast in considerable numbers. On one occasion, Mr. B., in his old age, went to see a friend who lived about a mile northerly of the meeting house. On his way he met a bear with her cubs. He endeavored to ride around her, but as he moved the bear moved, when he stopped she stopped, and sitting on her haunches, presented an undaunted front, seeming determined to oppose his further passage. Mr. B. was obliged to turn back, and in the childishness of old age shed tears that he, who had killed so many of these creatures, should be at last obliged to turn his back upon one of them…

     It should have been mentioned before that in 1837, a granite quarry was opened at Sawpitfs, about a mile southeast of the village. It is on the original farm of the Rev. Henry Whitfield, about half a mile east of the stone house. The Leake and Watts Orphan Asylum, in the twelfth ward of New York city, was built of this granite, and other public buildings have obtained building material from this quarry, since its opening.
  Quite recently a very large quarry of excellent granite has been opened at Leete's island, which has been extensively worked by the proprietor, John Beattie.

   The lands included in the borough, on which the people first settled (the southern part of a black loam and the northern gravelly) are very admirably adapted to the culture of grain, corn, and grass. The natural richness of the soil on the great plain is much increased by the marine shells which the Indians brought upon it and which have been left to decay in the course of ages, as is also true of the soil of the other necks and points of land towards the sound. The English also made much use of these shells, as well as of rockweed, and seaweed; and the present inhabitants more recently have employed white fish and other oleaginous fish in enriching the soil. The reasons have been already given why the English selected these lands and confined their attention pretty much to them for years. Another circumstance that prevented them from spreading rapidly abroad was the fact that they did not understand the proper method of subduing forests. A law was made quite early that every planter should clear up half an acre yearly. This they did at first, as was the custom in other parts of Connecticut, by digging up the trees by the roots. John Scranton, one of the early settlers, at length cleared an acre in a different manner, and astonished the people by gathering from it twenty bushels of wheat, and from this the practice of clearing the land by cutting down the trees spread through the colony.
     A large proportion of the land west of West river and south of the post road to New Haven, is poor. Some of it is very stony, containing many rocky ledges, and some is swampy, although more particularly about Leete's island and Sachem's Head there are limited tracts of very strong, productive soil The soil of Moose hill, a moderate elevation, extending into the town of Branford, is well adapted for grazing. The same is true of Long hill, extending on the west side of West river northward into North Guilford. Clapboard hill, east of the borough, running northward between East creek and East river, is clayey and fertile, and less liable to injury by drought than the lands generally in the neighborhood. Most of the other lands in the First Society are of an indifferent quality.
The soil in North Guilford is generally gravelly and better adapted to grazing than for the growth of grain, although about Bluff head there is some clayey and sandy soil.
There is nothing in Guilford which merits the name of a mountain except the bluff just mentioned. This is the northeastern extremity of Totoket or Branford mountain, which extends for several miles into North Guilford, and nearly crosses its northwest corner. The bluff itself is very steep and bold. It is the southern extremity of the secondary region of country, extending south along both sides of the Connecticut. A high, rugged hill, or rather succession of steep and broken basaltic cliffs, stretches south along the western shore of Quonapaug pond, terminating in North Guilford. The change in the appearance of the country, as you proceed south towards the sea shore, is sudden and striking. Instead of the sand hills and the traprocks of the region just passed, you meet only with the rigid features of granite and gneiss rocks and a hard compact soil, while the great plain is of an alluvial character, bearing impressive marks of the sea upon it. This is also true of other portions along the shore, setting back into the land like bays and harbors.
Formerly wheat was raised abundantly in this town. The First Society has always been famous for the cultivation of corn. As much as a hundred bushels have been raised to the acre, and instances have occurred of a hundred and ten, but forty bushels is considered a good yield. Great quantities of flax were formerly raised of a good quality. The other principal productions of the land are rye, oats, potatoes and grass, while latterly turnips and onions, especially in the borough, have been found to afford remunerative crops.
In consequence of the hilly or stony character of considerable portions of Guilford, much woodland remains, though this is being gradually cleared off for home consumption and exportation as fuel, for rail road ties, and for ship timber. Latterly anthracite coal has become the principal fuel employed in the borough, being delivered at the Guilford harbor at low rates of transportation, and it is gradually being introduced instead of wood throughout the town. Originally, there were considerable quantities of cedar, white pine, and whitewood in Guilford, but the prevailing kinds of wood now to be found are hickory of several varieties, the oaks and chestnut.
Guilford Harbor - and the Flats by the Chaffinch Weir
    Guilford harbor affords but an indifferent station for vessels. It has six feet of water on the bar at its entrance at low, and twelve feet at full tide. On the flats adjacent round and long clams of a very superior quality are taken by the inhabitants, and Guilford oysters, taken from the channel of East river, are noted as among the best in Connecticut. Their flavor is peculiarly agreeable and readily recognized by the epicure. They are, however, taken in but small quantities and held at a high price. Oysters are also taken in West river, but they are of a different species and inferior in quality.

Two miles west of Guilford harbor is a small but good harbor land-locked or rather rock-locked on all sides except the southwest where the entrance is narrow. This is known as Sachem's head. It has a small wharf with considerable depth of water. About fifty rods from this stood the celebrated Sachem's Head House, which was for many years a fashionable summer watering place. The house was large and commodious, adapted for the accommodation of several hundred guests, and supplied with grounds, beautifully laid out for the amusement of visitors. Destroyed by fire in June, 1865, it has not since been rebuilt.
Sachem's head received its name from the memorable battle with the Pequots in 1636. A Pequot sachem with a few of his men, having crossed the Connecticut river, was flying westward. In attempting to secrete himself on the point of land south of this harbor he was pursued by Uncas, sachem of the Mohegans, and his men, aided by some English soldiers. The Pequots swam across the mouth of the harbor but were seized as they came to the opposite bank. The sachem was ordered to be shot. Uncas executed the sentence with an arrow, then cut off his head and stuck it up in the fork of a large oak tree, directly at the head of the harbor, where the skull remained for many years.
This harbor was formerly much used as a station for night by vessels traversing the sound before light houses were erected, especially in the cold and stormy seasons of the year. Before the revolutionary war it was also a favorite place for the shipping of cattle for the West India trade, driven hither not only from this town but from towns on the Connecticut river, particularly from Middletown.
A little southwest from this harbor and to the east of Leete's island is another, not much used, called Great harbor. It is shallow and not convenient for vessels. Formerly shad and bass were sometimes caught within its limits in considerable quantities in the spring of the year.
A little east of Sachem's head is a place called Bloody cove, where a skirmish occurred and some blood was shed in a battle fought between the Indians, before the capture of the Pequot sachem just mentioned. This was prior to the settlement of Guilford by the English.
Although the Indians at Guilford removed from the town immediately after the purchase from Shaumpishuh, the Indian sachem queen, with the exception of some few infirm Indians and their families, to whom the privilege of remaining on the land of their fathers was specially reserved in the original deed, yet such were their numbers at Branford and East Haven, that the English at Guilford, as well as other towns, were obliged to take the precaution of keeping a constant watch for a long period, from which none were privileged. Several houses were palisaded, the house of worship was guarded on the Sabbath, and the people were convened for public service by the beat of the drum. Eventually this became a custom and was afterwards adopted as a means of convening the people for public worship in East Guilford and North Guilford. A bell was not purchased until about 1715 or 1720, after the second meeting house was completed.
There seems not to have been that hostility between the first settlers of Guilford and the Indians which existed in other parts of the country, and there are no accounts of skirmishes or battles with them in this vicinity, such as occurred so frequently and sometimes with such disastrous consequences in other places…

The first settlers were most of them gentlemen of some rank and estate in their native country, and came over for the purpose of enjoying the exercise of their religious feelings in their own way, as well as what they considered political and moral freedom. For this they were willing to sacrifice all the endearments and privileges of their native land and to exchange the home of their fathers for a distant and uncultivated wilderness…They had not only to tame the forest, and encounter the wild beast and savage, but also to weave anew the bonds of government and bind the broken links of society…but to practice their own system of religious and civil freedom apart by themselves. Mr. Whitfield's company, on their first settlement in Guilford, drafted a constitution for their government, in which they say that "the mayne ends which wee propounded to ourselves in our coming hither and settling down together are that wee may settle and uphold the ordinances of God in an explicit Congregational church way with most purity, peace and liberty for the benefit both of ourselves and posterities after us."… They had been persecuted and driven from their native country because they were Congregationalists and Puritans, and they wished to enjoy their sentiments here unmolested by those who had no sentiments in common with them, who endeavored to destroy the religious and political bonds by which they had bound their new society and government together.
    They wished also, and they succeeded with no inconsiderable success, in transmitting their principles to their posterity…

"At a court held January 8, 1645-6. It was ordered that all men shall bring in from time to time, and for the time past, all sales, exchanges and conveyances of land to the next general court or courts held in this town after such sales or exchanges, that so what is done may remain for the benefit of posterity and the better preservation of the peace."…

As there was no public record of the purchases of the lands from the Indians, the general court ordered, the next year, that such a record should be made. The first volume of the town records mentioned was first devoted to the registry of the doings, trials, pleadings, and decisions of the particular courts, the meetings of the general courts of elections and the registry of earmarks, marriages and deaths, but not of deeds at full length, the constitution of the colony, and other more lengthy writings.
The second book, called and entitled, Guilford Booke of the more fixed Orders for the Plantation, therefore was ordered to be kept, and it commences thus, viz:
"January 31st 1649 " - "first we do acknowledge, ratify, confirm and allow the agreement made in Mr. Newman's barn at Quillipeack now called New Haven, that the whole lands called Menunkatuck should be purchased for us and our heirs, but the deed, writings thereabout to be made and drawn (from the Indians) in the name of these six planters in our steads viz. Henry Whitfield, Rob1 Kitchell, William Leete, William Chittenden, John Bishop and John CafEnge, notwithstanding all and every planter shall pay his proportionable part or share towards all the charges and expenses for purchasing, selling, securing or carrying on the necessary public affairs of this plantation according to such rule and manner of rating as shall be from time to time agreed on in this plantation." "The drafts of which purchase or writing are as followeth viz." And then follows a copy of the deed from the sachem squaw, a like copy of the deed from Uncas of the east part of the town this side of Tuxis pond, next the letter of gift from Mr. George Fenwick of Saybrook of the land between the grant of Uncas and Hammonassett river to the town and Mr. Whitfield in particular, and Mr. Whitfield's grant of his share to the town on his leaving the plantation in 1651, etc.

All these records are in the handwriting of Gov. Leete. But a deed from Weekwash of the land in the Neck, September 20, 1641, to Mr. Whitfield (covering nearly the same grounds as the subsequent deed from Uncas, December 17, 1641), and the constitution of the plantation which follows, are in a handwriting different from that of Mr. Leete, and remarkably handsome for those times. It is supposed to have been written by Mr. Whitfield. The deed of the sachem squaw, Shaumpishuh, seems to have had less formality than the deed of Uncas, and is as follows:
"The purchase from the Sachem Squaw.
"Articles of agreement made and agreed on the 29th of September, 1639 [O. S., October 9, 1639, N.S.] between Henry Whitfield, Robt. Kitchel, William Chittenden, Wm. Leete, John Bishop and Jno. Caifinch, English planters of Menunkatuck and the sachem squaw of Menunkatuck together with the Indian inhabitants of Menunkatuck as followeth:
Firstly, that the sachem squaw is the sole owner, possessor and inheritor of all the lands lying between Ruttawoo and Ajicomick river.
Secondly, that the said sachem squaw with the consent of the Indians there inhabiting [who are all together with herself to remove from thence] doth sell unto the foresaid English planters all the lands lying within the aforesaid limits of Ruttawoo and Ajicomick river.
Thirdly, that the said sachem squaw having received twelve coats, twelve fathom of wampum, twelve glasses [mirrors], twelve pairs of shoes, twelve hatchets, twelve pairs of stockings, twelve hoes, four kettles, twelve knives, twelve hats, twelve porringers, twelve spoons, two English coats, professeth herself to be fully paid and satisfied.
[graphic]
This deed including all the land between Stony creek or Ajicomick, and Ruttawoo or East river, from the sea northward, and the deeds of Weekwash and Uncas aforementioned, which last seem to include nearly the same territories as the conveyance of Mr. Fenwick before mentioned, which originally came from Uncas, seem to include all the limits of the old town of Guilford, that is from Stony creek aforesaid to Hammonassett river. The descriptions of the land conveyed in the deed from Uncas are more at length and are as follows:
Articles of agreement made and agreed upon the 17th day of Dec. 1641, between Henry Whitfield, Robert Kitchel, Wm. Chittenden, Wm. Leete, John Bishop, John Caffinch, John Jordan and the rest of the English planteis of Menunkatuck and Uncas the Mohegan sachem as followeth, viz:
Imprimis. That Uncas, the Mohegan sachem aforesaid is the right true and sole owner, possessor and inheritor of all those lands lying between the East river of Menunkatuck called Moosamattuck, consisting of uplands, plainlands, woods and underwoods, fresh and salt marshes, rivers, ponds, springs, with the appurtenances belonging to any of the said lands and the river, brooke or creeke, called Tuckshishoagg near unto Muttomonossuck which belong to Uncas or any other Indians. And that he the said Uncas hath absolute and independent power to alien, dispose and sell all and every part of the said lands together with the island which Iveth in the sea before the said lands called by the English Falcon island, and by the Indians Messanaumuck.
Secondly. That the said Uncas doth covenant with the said English planters of Menunkatuck aforesaid that he hath not made any former gift or grant, sale or alienation of the said lands or any part of them to any person or persons whatsoever, and that he will warrant the same and make good the title thereof to the said English planters and their heirs against all men whatsoever whether Indians or others.
Thirdly. The said Uncas for and in consideration of four coats, two kettles, four fathoms of wampum, four hatchets, three hoes, now in hand paid or to be paid, doth bargain and sell unto the foresaid English planters of Menunkatuck all and every part of particulars formerly mentioned lying between the East river of Menunkatuck and Tuckshishoagg as is aforesaid, to them and their heirs forever, by whatsoever they are or have been usually called, with all the rights, privileges or royalties of fishing. And that it shall not be lawful for the said Uncas or any of his men, or any others for him, to set any trapps for deer in the said lands or any wares in the rivers for to catch fish, but to leave it wholly to the use and possession of the English planters aforesaid, so far as our bounds hereafter to be set out doth limit them.
Fourthly. In that divers Indians have seemed to lay claims to these lands aforesaid, as the sachem squaw of Quillipiack and Weekwosh through her right, the one-eyed squaw of Totoket and others. To this he saith that he hath spoken with all the Indians of Quillipiack, together with the sachem squaw, the one-eyed squaw and the rest, and they do all acknowledge that the right of the said land now sold by Uncas is Uncas his child's. He reporteth also that Weekwosh did confess to him that this land aforesaid did belong to his child. There were also at the agreement-making two sachems, the name of the one was Ashawmutt, the other Nebeserte, who also affirmed the same that Uncas his child was the true heir of said lands.
The bounds of this land which we have purchased is as followeth, viz., from the East river to Tuckshishoagg by the seaside from the lesser river as it goes as far as the marsh which is near the head which we judge to be eight miles off, from the East
river where the Connecticut path goes over half a mile above the said place where we go over on a bridge or tree lying over, from thence it goes up east and by north in the woods, which bounds he is by promise to set out to us in the Spring. Uncas or Poquiam his mark.
Henry Whitfield, ^ Uncas squaw, her mark.
We the planters of Mennunkatuck aforesaid do covenant with Uncas or Poquiam that if at any time any inconvenience or annoyance at any time shall arise to the English planters of Menunkatuck by the misdemeanors or evil dealings of the Indians which are his men or from himself, they shall and will at all times come to the English upon notice given them and make them such satisfaction as the English shall require according to right, and if any of the English planters of Menunkatuck shall do any wrong to him or any other Mohegan Indians under his Government, upon complaint made to the English Magistrates and officers there shall be made just satisfaction by them according to right.
The purchase deed from Weekwosh was made a short time before this by Mr. Whitfield alone, and is as follows, viz:

[merged small][graphic]
William Leete, Secretary.
"The purchase from Weekwosh." Be it known by these presents that I Weekwosh of Pasquishunk do give unto Henry Whitfield all the land called the Neck lying beyond the East river in Menunkatuck which reacheth unto Tuckshishoagg with all the profits that do belong to the said ground. In witness of which bargain ^ Weekwosh,1 his mark. John Jordan, Samuel Disborow, Thomas Jordan.
Memorandum before these witnesses: Weekwosh did avow himself to be the right owner of this land and that he had true right unto it as given him by the sachem squaw of Quillipiag.
A frieze coate, a blanket, an Indian coate, one faddom of Dutchman's coate, a shirt, a pair of stockings, a pair of shoes, a faddom of wampum. In lieu of such things repaid by the town these are to witness
1 Wequash, sachem of the Niantic Indians in Connecticut, died at an early period after the settlement of Lyme, and is buried at the Christian Indian burying ground on the west side of the bay near the mouth of the Niantic river. His memorial stone says, " He was the first convert among the New England tribes." This may be a mistake. * * * Mr. Shepard wrote concerning this Pequot : "Wequash, the famous Indian at the river's mouth is dead and certainly in heaven. He knew Christ, he loved Christ, he preached Christ up and down, and then suffered martyrdom for Christ."— Allen's American Biographical Dictionary.
"One Wequash Cook, an Indian, living about Connecticut river's mouth, and keeping much at Saybrook with Mr. Fenwick, attained to good knowledge of the things of God and salvation by Christ, so as he became a preacher to other Indians, and labored much to convert them, but without any effect, for within a short time he fell sick, not without suspicion of poison from them, and died very comfortably."— Savage's Winthrop's New England, 11, 74.
Capt. Israel Stoughton, August 14, 1637, writes to Gov. Winthrop: "For Wequash, we fear he is killed; and if he be, 'tis a mere wicked plot, and, seeing he showed faithfulness to us, and for it is so rewarded, it is hard measure to us-ward; and what is meet to be done therein, is difficult to me to conclude: I shall therefore desire your speedy advice."—Savage's Winthrop's New England, 1, 400.
that I Henry Whitfield do freely give and make over all that right and title to the Neck of land expressed in this writing being given or sold by Weekwash the Indian unto me, to the town of Guilford to the use of them and their heirs. In witness hereof I have sett to my hand the 20th of September, Anno 1650.
Henry Whitfield.
A reservation was appended to the first deed from the sachem squaw in words as follows, viz:
"The names of the Indians that are to sit down at Ruttawoo [East river) Suksqua, Quissuckquonoh his wife and two children, Commonasnock, Aquaihamish a blind Indian, Cbamish a dumb old man and his wife, Aiasomut, his wife and two children, Meishunok, his wife and two children, Pauquun, his wife, one child, Mequunhut and his one child, Koukeshihu, his wife and two children, Metuckquashish and his one child Ponaim, Wantumbeourn and his one child, Assoweion and his one wife.
William Leete, Sec.
These deeds conveyed all the rights of the Indians to the land along the sea and extending back by indefinite bounds, except the deed from Uncas which extended from the sea north to where the original Connecticut path goes. The deed from Uncas to Mr. Fenwick being on the Saybrook records — this left the north part of the town subject to the claims of the Indians, descendants of the sachem squaw, Weekwosh and others.
On the 13th of January, i66f, Mr. Wm. Leete and Samuel Kitchel purchased of Uncas and his son Ahaddon, all the land lying north of Uncas' previous grants to the north boundary of the town, and at a town-meeting, March 11, 166$, Mr. Leete propounded the purchase of the land beyond the East river which Mr. Leete and Samuel Kitchel bought of Uncas, whether the town will have it and pay the price of it, and the town in the same meeting declared that they would have it and pay the price for it." Vol. 5, page 20.
This deed is recorded in vol. 6 at the back part, and is as follows, viz:
"A deed of Sale from Uncas." Witness this writing made betwixt William Leete and Samuel Kitchel on the one part and Uncas the Mohegan and his son Ahaddon, alias Joshua, on the other part, that we the said Uncas and Ahaddon, being the rightful heirs and possessors of all the lands royalties and privileges betwixt the East river of Guilford and Athammonassett river, and having sold most part of that land to Mr. Fenwick and unto Guilford men long since, i.e., all beneath Connecticut path to the seaside, for valuable considerations already had and received, do now of our freewill bargain and sell all the rest of the lands royalties and privileges to us belonging, which land runs half way to Matowepesack, which right came to us by Uncas' marriage of the daughter of Sebequenach who dwelt at Athammonassett, and she was mother to the said Ahaddon. We say these lands rights royalties and privileges we do sell and deliver up unto the said William Leete and Samuel Kitchel to them and their heirs forever for and in consideration of an Indian coat worth thirty shillings and a shirt cloth worth ten shillings now had and received of the said William Leete and Samuel Kitchel: in testimony of the truth of all the premises well interpreted and understood by us we have set to our hands this 13th of January 1663.
It was after the former writing agreed that Uncas or his son shall have leave to hunt in fit seasons within these tracts observing the directions of the said English and doing no hurt to them or their cattle. Dated January 13, 1663.
The mark of Uncas"
In the presence
     of

Thomas Chittenden,
John Chittenden,
Andrew Leete.

[graphic]
Mohegan
  Sachem
 
[merged small][graphic][merged small]
Recorded by Josiah Rossiter
The above marks are rough facsimiles of rough imitations of a turtle as the mark of Uncas and a deer as the mark of Ahaddon.
The reader will probably be reminded of the allusion of the novelist Cooper in The Last of the Mohicans to this emblem of the tribe, when he speaks of it as the noblest among the Indian tribes, and as commanding peculiar respect when seen by the scattered relics of that once powerful tribe.
Afterwards the inhabitants not being fully satisfied with the title derived from Shaumpishuh the sachem squaw, at a town meeting, January 5, 1686, "there was chosen as a committee Mr. Andrew Leete, Thomas Meacock, Sergt. Stephen Bradley, and Josiah Rossiter to treat with an Indian called Nausup belonging to New Haven, or any other Indian or Indians laying claim to some part of our town bounds; and if the said committee ome to see and find the said Indian or Indians to be proper heirs of or to the sachem squaw formerly of Menunkatuck that the said committee are to bargain with the said Indian or Indians for the tract of land lying on the west side of our bounds for a settlement, and that if a deed of sale be made by the said Indian or Indians to the committee above appointed in their names in behalf of all the planters of Guilford they shall bear the charge and expense of the purchase." Guilford Records, vol. B, page 105. Accordingly the said committee on the 2d day of Feb., 1686, procured the following deed from the said Nausup alias Quatabacot as follows, viz:
"A deed of sale from Nausup.
Articles of agreement made and agreed upon the second day of Feb1*, in the year 1686, between Andrew Leete, Thomas Meacock, Stephen Bradley, and Josiah Rossiter of Guilford on the one part, and Quatabacot alias Nausup, Indian, of New Haven on the other part. The above said Quatabacot being son and heir to a sachem squaw formerly belonging to Guilford, which said squaw was the whole and sole proprietor of all the lands lying between a place formerly called Agicomook now called Stony creek on the western part, and Ruttawoo now called the Vast river on the eastern part in Guilford and so running from the sea up northerly unto Pesuckapaug which is at the north part of the bounds of Guilford, which said sachem squaw hath formerly sold a considerable part of the above mentioned tract of land unto the planters of Guilford, as will appear more fully by a written deed of sale from said sachem squaw dated the 29th of September in the year 1639.
Know all men therefore by these presents that Quatabacot alias Nausup above named Indian of New Haven being heir to the above named sachem squaw and so right owner of all the remainder of the above mentioned tract of land, the said Quatabacot doth now fully confirm and ratify what his said mother hath formerly sold as above said, and he doth now for and in consideration of the sum of sixteen pounds merchant's pay, and 12 shillings in money in hand truly paid as he doth hereby acknowledge the receipt and thereof and therefrom doth acquit & discharge the above mentioned party & for divers other good causes and considerations him thereunto especially moving, here and by these presents doth grant bargain sell alien infeoff" confirm and make over unto the above said Andrew Leete, Thomas Maycock, Stephen Bradley and Josiah Rossiter, in the behalf of them and all the planters of Guilford, and to their heirs and assigns for ever all the remainder part of the above mentioned tract of land which lyeth adjoining unto the former purchase of lands which were bought of the above mentioned sachem squaw and so now both purchases lying or adjoining together as it lyeth, bounded by the sea on the south, by Stony creek on the west, and so running up on the west side of the west pond, and from thence to the east side of Pesuckapaug pond about half a mile eastward of the said pond at the west side of a high hill there, and easterly by the East river and so adjoining to a purchase formerly bought of Uncas sachem of Mohegans running up on the east side, also as high as Pesuckapaug, this to have and to hold with all and singular rights, privileges, advantages and appurtenances whatsoever, together with all uplands, meadows, swamps, river, brooks and ponds of all sorts whatsoever, and the said Quatabacot doth hereby covenant to and with the party above named, that they and their heirs and assigns shall peaceably and quietly hold and enjoy the said premises without any manner of lett, molestation, disturbance, challenge claim or demand whatsoever, either by the said Quatabacot his heirs or any under him laying claim or pretending to any right to any part of lands or any privileges within the bounds or limits of the township of Guilford whatsoever: and before signing, the Indians here named doth testify that the said Quatabacot is the true heir unto the above named sachem squaw, and that the said squaw, mother to the said Quatabacot was the sachem squaw of Menunkatuck who formerly sold a part of the land of Guilford to the planters thereof. They also testify that the said Quatabacot's sister called Shambisqua has no right to any part of land within the bounds of Guilford and that the said Quatabacot is the true proprietor to the lands above mentioned to be hereby bargained and sold as above. To the true performance of all the premises above mentioned the said Quatabacot doth hereunto set his hand and seal dated the 2d day of February in the year of our Lord 1686, which is the second year of our majesty's reign —James the 2d. Quatabacot alias
Nausup his mark
Signed sealed and de- Memorandum
   livered in the pre- Liberty of hunting
  sence of us fishing and fowling

Thomas Trowbridge, "l on agreement is
Joseph Pardy. f reserved to the said

Nausump; ivind Sen., Indians with the
 The Father his mark — regulations of the
Naushuter [ his mark English.
Keyhow X his mark
Alias James the Brother.

On the day and year above written appeared before me, the said Quatabacot alias Nausup and the above written deed being distinctly read and interpreted to him and the Indians present, he said he well understood the substance of every clause of it, and the Indian witnesses said the same, and then he the said Quatabacot alias Nausup having made his mark and affixed his seal did freely acknowledge this to be his act and deed as above written before me,
William Jones, assistant of His
Majesty's Colony of Connecticut. Recorded, per Josiah Rossiter, Recorder. This conveyance completes a full title of all and every part of the ancient town of Guilford from the original Indian proprietors.
The town seems to have rested satisfied with the title they acquired to their lands by their purchase from the Indians, and from Mr. Fenwick of Hammonassett, during the time of their connexion with New Haven and afterwards until the act of the legislature of Connecticut passed October session 1684 requiring all the towns to take out charters from the government &c., when a committee was appointed to consider the matter and draw something of their judgment about it for the town's consideration, Aug. 12, 1685, and at a subsequent meeting held the 4th of November, 1685, it was voted by the planters that they did desire twelve men as patentees in behalf of all the planters to be nominated in the town's patent, and it was also voted in the same meeting who the twelve men as patentees shall be. And Mr. Andrew Leete and Mr. William Leete, Lieut. William Seward, Josiah Rossiter, Deacon William Johnson and Deacon William Grave, Mr. Thomas Meacock and Sergt. Stephen Bradley were chosen a committee according to the best of their ability to search the town records and do all things they shall judge necessary to prepare what shall be needful in and about the town's patent; that is, to furnish the secretary with what is needful for the premises." The charter was accordingly obtained as appears by its date the "th of December 1685, and at a subsequent town meeting held the 9th of February 1685, "the town voted that it should be kept by Andrew Leete, Wm. Seward and Josiah Rossiter for the town's use." It is as follows, viz:
Whereas, as the General Court of Connecticut have formerly granted unto the proprietors, inhabitants of the town of Guilford, all those lands both meadow and upland within these abutments viz. at the sea on the south and on Branford bounds on the west, and beginning at the sea by a heap of stones at the root of a marked tree near Lawrence's meadow and so runs to the head of the cove to a heap of stones there, and thence to a heap of stones lying on the west side of Crooper hill at the old path by the brook, and thence northerly to a place commonly called piping tree to a heap of stone lying at the new path, and from thence to a heap of stones lying at the east end of that which was commonly called Rosses meadow, and from thence to a heap of stones lying at the south end of Pesuckapaug pond, and so runs into the pond a considerable way to the extent of their north bounds which is from the sea ten miles, and it abuts on the wilderness north and runs from the last station in the pond east to the most westerly branch of Hammonassett river and on the east it abuts on the bounds of Kennilworth and runs from the last station as that stream runs southerly until the said stream or river falls into the sea on the east of East end point, the said land having been by purchase or otherwise lawfully obtained of the Indian natives proprietors; and whereas the proprietors, inhabitants of Guilford in the colony of Connecticut, have made application to the governor and company of said colony of Connecticut assembled in court May 25th, 1685, that they may have a patent for confirmation of the aforesaid land to them so purchased and granted to them as aforesaid and which they have stood seized and quietly possessed of for many years last past without interruption: now for a more full confirmation of the aforesaid tracts of land as it is butted and bounded aforesaid unto the present proprietors of the township of Guilford” — and then I was called back into 2015


The History of Guilford, Connecticut: From Its First Settlement in 1639
 By Ralph Dunning Smith (1877)


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Guilford CT

So many Rows of Stones (and probably more features) in Guilford CT, as I passed by while driving, my one little walk brought me to a place with few to photograph (my travelling companion on the adventure likes to "stay on the path") and I got just these three:


A glimpse of one of the Thimble Islands, a split boulder: 
But we did spend a day at Chaffinch Island, arriving an hour before low tide:
















 "Beautiful, that stone structure has possibility of being a clam garden, any sites or cultural shellfish debris nearby??? 
 I see the shell middens and some medicinal plants. This, or these fish weirs may have dual or multiple purposes, and some of the Indigenous stone features may have been reused by Colonials. Looks like a very interesting and complex site."
Glen Mellin in Delaware, co-author of "Clam Gardens on Pot Hook Creek (See: Clam Gardens - June-2015 & No Stones on the Big Sandbar ).
            Where the clammers were clamming, from Bing Bird's Eye, that I sent Glen:







  

Monday, July 27, 2015

Uktena - “strong looker”


  "According to Mooney (1900:458-459), the name Uktena is derived from akta, or eye, and implies being a “strong looker,” as everything is visible to it (i.e., it can see thoughts). From the same root is derived akta’tĭ, “to see into closely” which is also the Cherokee word for a magnifying lens and telescope. So the name Uktena implies that it sees thoughts and it does so in an accurate way; knowledge that comes in useful to predict enemy tactics (Jannie Loubser - E-mail communication July 21, 2015). "
    The following Serpent Head Stones all look at an angle, downhill, into the stone bordered trails that have become roads. You might say the the Uktena, or what-ever he was called in the local dialect, could see your thoughts as you entered the places the gateways led to...




The one below is an exception. There is no trail or road, but still it looks at you as you enter the gateway into the area this massive Indigenous row of stones encloses:

And then there is a house, probably built for John Minor and/or the Pomperauge Plantation, possibly at the time of one of the treaties with the People Who Lived at Nonnewaug Wigwams sometime between 1659 and 1734. The Indigenous People may have considered it good manners to help build the house, opening up a new gateway to the house from the stone bordered trail that became the modern road, still known by its Indigenous Place-name.
The gateways to the house and yard all feature a possible serpent tilting its head toward the person entering the yard and the house through those gateways:







Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Mystery of southern Illinois' Stone Walls With Mark Motsinger

 KEVIN BOUCHER
     Mark Motsinger is a Social Studies and History Teacher at Carrier Mills High School.  In March of 2014 he was recognized for his enthusiasm in the classroom   by The Illinois State Historical Society with the Olive Foster Outstanding Illinois History Teacher.  In this report, he talks about when he uncovered a portion of a human habitation in southern Illinois which is older than the Caholia Mounds.
Click to listen here: http://news.wsiu.org/post/mystery-southern-illinois-stone-walls-mark-motsinger

Monday, July 20, 2015

Pocumtuck Homelands Festival 2015 (MA)

The Pocumtuck Homelands Festival 2015, a celebration of Native American art, music, and culture, will take place on Saturday, August 1, 11 a.m. - 7 p.m., at Unity Park Waterfront, 1st Street, Turners Falls, MA, The event will feature activities that appeal to all ages, including children. 
  There will be music and vendors, a wigwam and tipi to visit, an authentic birch bark canoe to examine, storytelling, traditional games, and primitive skills demonstrations! The festival is free and handicapped accessible.
  Apache storyteller Loril Moondream (pictured above) of Medicine Mammals will present two sessions of spellbinding tales from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. and from 4:00 – 4:45 p.m. Medicine Mammals are also bringing traditional Native American children’s games that will be available throughout the day. There will be one session of children’s crafts ($2 fee) from 12:30 to 1:15 p.m. All of these activities will take place at the tipi.  
 Also: “Native American/Colonial Artifacts & Stone Structures ‘Road Show’”
   Invited Experts in the fields of archaeology and Native American/historic stone structures will be present at the Pocumtuck Homelands Festival on Saturday, August 1, to interpret and analyze submissions of actual artifacts and photos of stone structures found in the region. Archaeologist Dr. Kevin McBride and researchers James and Mary Gage, all experts in pre-contact and colonial period New England, will offer their opinions and illuminate the significance of the evidence brought to them. This unusual offering will be part of a full day of entertaining and educational events at Unity Park Waterfront in Turners Falls, MA, from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. All are welcome to participate.
   Kevin McBride, Ph. D., is Director of Research at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center, Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Connecticut, and Project Director for Battlefields of King Philip’s War. He and other members of the National Park Service American Battlefield Protection Program research team are working with the Town of Montague, several area town historic commissions, and five Northeastern tribes to gather information about the Great Falls/ Wissatinnewag-Peskeompskut area.
   Mary and James Gage (mother & son) have been researching stone structures in the Northeastern United States since 1992. Their research has focused on Native American ritual stone structures and landscapes as well as on historic agricultural farm structures, and stone quarrying technology and methods. They have authored journal articles, books and documentaries.
   The Battlefield Protection Program seeks to compile information about the events of King Philip’s War and include both the Tribal and Yankee perspectives. The Gage’s have documented many dozens of ancient and varied stone monuments throughout New England which they often recognize as parts of a vast ritualized landscape. Part of the mission of the Nolumbeka Project, the non-profit organization hosting this event, is “to promote a deeper, broader, and more accurate depiction of the history of the Native Americans/American Indians of New England before and during European contact and colonization.” The purpose of the annual festival is to entertain and educate and to reveal more of the often unrepresented side of the early history of the Native civilization. 
The full schedule can be found atwww.nolumbekaproject.org.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Stones on a Boulder (CT)

Dappled sunlight and some stones in the greenery,
I saw it from the distance a couple days earlier,
On the Path, by the Standing Stone,
and I knew I'd have to come back for this one...
Too much sun in some places, too much shadow in others,
but I capture a couple images...
It's a little familiar and a little different at the same time,
and I feel that bit of wonder and delight,
happily clueless as to what this could be,
turtle, bird, both or none of the above... 

I wait out the sun going behind the clouds,
wander over to more stones in the distance,
realizing I'd been there once before,
feeling like I had been there once before...

I finally come back and the trees are working with me,
shading the stones and the boulder they are stacked on...







And then I go back to the Path,
Still happily clueless...