Mahican. The name means "wolf." This tribe is not
to be confused with the Mohegan of Connecticut (q. v.), though the names
are mere varieties of the same word. Also called:
Akochakanen, meaning "Those who speak a strange tongue." (Iroquois name.)
Canoe Indians, so called by Whites.
Hikanagi or Nhikana, Shawnee name.
Loups, so called by the French.
Orunges, given by Chauvignerie (1736), in Schoolcraft (1851-57, vol. 3, p.
River Indians, Dutch name.
Uragees, given by Colden, 1747.
Connections. The Mahican
belonged to the Algonquian linguistic family, and spoke an r-dialect,
their closest connections being with the southern New England Indians to
Location. On both banks of
the upper Hudson from Catskill Creek to Lake Champlain and eastward to
include the valley of the Housatonic. (See also
Mahican proper, in the northern part of the territory.
Mechkentowoon, on the west bank of Hudson River above Catskill Creek.
Wawyachtonoc, in Dutchess and Columbia Counties and eastward to the
Housatonic River in Connecticut.
Westenhuck (or Housatonic?), near Great Barrington, Mass.
Wiekagjoc, on the eastern bank of the Hudson River near Hudson.
Aepjin, at or near Schodac.
Kaunaumeek, in New York about halfway between Albany and Stockbridge,
Kenunckpacook, on the east side of Housatonic River a little above
Scaticook. Maringoman's Castle, on Murderer's Creek, at Bloominggrove,
Ulster County. Monemius, on Haver Island, in Hudson River near Cohoes
Falls, Albany County. Nepaug, on Nepaug River, town of New Hartford,
Litchfield County, Conn. Peantam, at Bantam Lake, Litchfield County, Conn.
Potic, west of Athens, Greene County.
Scaticook, 3 villages in Dutchess and Rensselaer Counties, and in
County, Conn., the last on Housatonic River near the junction with Ten
Wequadnack, near Sharon, Litchfield County, Conn.
Wiatiac, near Salisbury, Litchfield County, Conn.
Wiltmeet, on Esopus Creek, probably near Kingston.
Winooskeek, on Lake Champlain, probably at the mouth of Winooski River,
Wyantenuc, in Litchfield County, Conn.
History. The traditional
point of origin of the Mahican was in the West. They were found in
occupancy of the territory outlined above by the Dutch, and were then at
war with the Mohawk who, in 1664, compelled them to move their capital
from Schodac near Albany to the present Stockbridge. They gradually sold
their: territory and in 1721 a band was on Kankakee River, Ind., while in
1730, a large body settled close to the Delaware and Munsee near Wyoming,
Pa., afterward becoming merged with those tribes. In 1736 those in the
Housatonic Valley were gathered into a mission at Stockbridge and were
ever afterward known as Stockbridge Indians. In 1756 a large body of
Mahican and Wappinger, along with Nanticoke and other people, settled in
Broome and Tioga Counties under Iroquois protection. In 1788 another body
of Indians drawn from New York, Connecticut, and Rhode Island, including
Mahican, settled near the Stockbridges at Marshall, N. Y. The Stockbridge
Indians later removed to Wisconsin, where they were probably joined by
part at least of the band last mentioned. A few Mahican remained about
their old home on Hudson River for some years after the Revolution but
Population. Mooney (1928)
estimates that there were about 3,000 Mahican in 1600; the Stockbridges
among the Iroquois numbered 300 in 1796, and 606 in 1923, including some
Munsee. The census of 1910 gave 533 Stockbridges and 172 Brotherton. The
census of 1930 indicated about 813.
Connection in which they have
become noted. The Mahican tribe has probably attained more fame from
its appearance in the title of Cooper's novel. "The Last of the Mohegans,"
than from any circumstance directly connected with its history. There is a
village called Mohegan in the northern part of Westchester County, N. Y.,
and another, known as Mohican in Ashland County, Ohio, while an affluent
of the Muskingum also bears the same name.
Montauk. Meaning "uncertain."
Connections. The Montauk
belonged to the Algonquian linguistic family and spoke an r-dialect like
that of the Wappinger.
Location. In the eastern
and central parts of Long Island.
Corchaug, in Riverhead and Southold Townships.
Manhasset, on Shelter Island.
Massapequa, in the southern part of Oyster Bay and Huntington Townships.
Matinecock, in the townships of Flushing, North Hempstead, the northern
of Oyster Bay and Huntington, and the western part of Smithtown.
Merric, in the eastern part of Hempstead Township. Montauk proper, in
Nesaquake, in the eastern part of Smithtown and the territory east of it.
Patchogue, on the southern coast from Patchogue to Westhampton. Rockaway,
in Newtown, Jamaica, and Hempstead Townships.
Secatogue, in Islip Township.
Setauket, on the north shore from Stony Brook to Wading River.
Shinnecock, on the coast from Shinnecock Bay to Montauk Point.
Aquebogue, on a creek entering the north side of Great
Ashamomuck, on the site of a White town of the same name in Suffolk
County. Cutchogue, at Cutchogue in Suffolk County.
Massapequa, probably at Fort Neck.
Mattituck, on the site of the present Mattituck, Suffolk County.
Merric, on the site of Merricks, Queens County. Montauk, above Fort Pond,
Nesaquake, at the present Nissequague, about Smithtown, Suffolk County.
Patchogue, near the present Patchogue, Suffolk County.
Rechquaakie, near the present Rockaway.
There were also villages at Flushing, Glen Cove, Cold Spring, Huntington,
Cow Harbor, Fireplace, Mastic, Moriches, Westhampton, and on Hog Island in
History. The Montauk were
in some sense made tributary to the Pequot, until the latter were
destroyed, when they were subjected to a series of attacks by the
Narraganset and took refuge, about 1759, with the Whites at Easthampton.
They had, meanwhile, lost the greater part of their numbers by pestilence
and, about 1788, most of those that were left went to live with the
Brotherton Indians in New York. A very few remained on the island, whose
mixed-blood descendants are still officially recognized as a tribe by the
State of New York, principally under the name Shinnecock.
Canarsee, the Montauk are estimated by Mooney (1928) at 6,000 in 1600. In
1658-59 an estimate gives about 500; in 1788, 162 were enumerated; in
1829, 30 were left on Long Island; in 1910, 167 "Shinnecock," 29
"Montauk," and 1 "Possepatuck." In 1923, 250 were returned, including 30
Montauk, 200 Shinnecock, and 20 Poospatock (Patchoag).
Connection in which they have
become noted. The name of the Montauk is perpetuated in that of the
easternmost point of land on Long Island, a post village in the same
county, and one in Dent County, Mo. They were among those tribes most
active in the manufacture of siwan or wampum.
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