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Fox Tribe

Fox Indians (trans. in plural of wagosh, ‘red fox,’ the name of a clan). An Algonquian tribe, so named, according to Fox tradition recorded by Dr. William Jones, because once while some Wagohugi, members of the Fox clan, were hunting, they met the French, who asked who they were; the Indians gave the name of their clan, and ever since the whole tribe has been known by the name of the Fox clan. Their own name for themselves, according to the same authority, is Měshkwa`kihŭg’, ‘red-earth people,’ because of the kind of earth from which they are supposed to have been created. They were known to the Chippewa and other Algonquian tribes as Utŭgamig, ‘people of the other shore’. When they first became known to the whites, the Foxes lived in the vicinity of Lake Winnebago or along Fox river, Wisconsin. Verwyst1 says they were on Wolf river when Allouez visited them in 1670. As the tribe was intimately related to the Sauk, and the two were probably branches of one original stem, it is probable that the early migrations of the former corresponded somewhat closely with those of the latter. The Sauk came to Wisconsin through the lower Michigan peninsula, their traditional home having been north of the lakes, and were comparatively newcomers in Wisconsin when they first became known to the French. One of their important villages was for some time on Fox river. The conclusion of Warren2 that the Foxes early occupied the country along the south shore of Lake Superior and that the incoming Chippewa drove them out, has the general support of Fox tradition....

Wappinger Tribe

Wappinger Indians (‘easterners,’ from the same root as Abnaki). A confederacy of Algonquian tribes, formerly occupying the east bank of Hudson River from Poughkeepsie to Manhattan Island. and the country extending east beyond Connecticut River, Conn. They were closely related to the Mahican on the north and the Delaware on the south. According to Ruttenber their totem was the wolf. They were divided into 9 tribes: Wappinger proper Manhattan Wecquaesgeek Sintsink Kitchawank Tankiteke Nochpeem Siwanoy Mattabesec Some of these were again divided into subtribes. The eastern bands never came into collision with the Connecticut settlers. Gradually selling their lands as they dwindled away before the whites, they finally joined the Indians at Scaticook and Stockbridge; a few of them also emigrated to Canada. The western bands became involved in war with the Dutch in 1640, which lasted five years, and is said to have cost the lives of 1,600 Indians, of whom the Wappinger proper were the principal sufferers. Notwithstanding this, they kept up their regular succession of chiefs and continued to occupy a tract along the shore in Westchester County, N. Y., until 1756, when most of those then remaining, together with some Mahican from the same region, joined the Nanticoke, then living under Iroquois protection at Chenango, near the present Binghamton, N. Y., and, With them, were finally merged into the Delaware. Their last public appearance was at the Easton conference in 1758. Some of them also joined the Moravian and Stockbridge Indians, while a few were still in Dutchess County in 1774. They had the following villages: Alipconk Canopus Cupheag Keskistkonk Kestaubuinck Kitchawank Mattabesec Meuunkatuc Nappeckamak...

Nanticoke Tribe

Nanticoke Indians (from Nentego, var. of Delaware Unechtgo, Unalachtgo, ‘tidewater people’).  An important Algonquian tribe living on Nanticoke River of Maryland, on the east shore, where Smith in 1608 located their principal village, called Nanticoke. They were connected linguistically and ethnically with the Delaware and the Conoy, notwithstanding the idiomatic variance in the language of the latter. Their traditional history is brief and affords but little aid in tracing their movements in prehistoric times. The 10th verse of the fifth song of the Walam Olum is translated by Squier: “The Nentegos and the Shawani went to the south lands.” Although the Shawnee and Nanticoke are brought together in this verse, it does not necessarily indicate that they separated from the main body at the sane time and place; but in both cases the separation appears to have occurred in the region that in verse 1, same canto, is designated Talega land, which was probably in Ohio, since their tradition recorded by Beatty1 is precisely the same as that of the Shawnee. It is also probable that “south” in the legend signifies some point below the latitude of Pittsburg, Pa., but not south of the Kanawha. A different and more probable account was given to Heckewelder by the old chief, White, who said that, being great trappers and fishers, they separated from the Delaware after these had reached their eastern seat and wandered south in search of good fishing and trapping grounds. The Conoy in 1660 informed the governor of Maryland of a “league that had existed for 13 generations with an emperor of Nanticoke lineage at its head, which...

Brotherton Tribe

Brotherton Indians. The name of two distinct bands, each formed of remnants of various Algonquian tribes. The best-known band was composed of individuals of the Mahican, Wappinger, Mohegan, Pequot, Narraganset, etc., of Connecticut and Rhode Island, and of the Montauk and others from Long Island, who settled in 1788 on land given them by the Oneida at the present Marshall, Oneida County, New York, near the settlement then occupied by the Stockbridge. Those of New England were mainly from Farmington, Stonington, Groton, Mohegan, and Niantic (Lyme), in Connecticut, and from Charlestown in Rhode Island. They all went under the leadership of Samson Occum the Indian minister, and on arriving in Oneida county called their settlement Brotherton. As their dialects were different they adopted the English language. They numbered 250 in 1791. In 1833 they removed to Wisconsin with the Oneida and Stockbridge and settled on the east side of Winnebago Lake, in Calumet County, where they soon after abandoned their tribal relations and became citizens, together with the other emigrant tribes settled near Green Bay. They are called Wapanachki, “eastern people,” by the neighboring Algonquian tribes. The other band of that name was composed of Raritan and other divisions of the Delaware who, according to Ruttenber1, occupied a reservation called Brotherton, in Burlington County, New Jersey, until 1802, when they accepted an invitation to unite with the Stockbridge and Brotherton then living in Oneida County, New York. In 1832 they sold their last rights in New Jersey. They were then reduced to about 40 souls and were officially recognized as Delaware and claimed territory south of the Raritan as...

Blackfeet Religion

In ancient times the chief god of the Blackfeet their Creator was Na’pi (Old Man). This is the word used to indicate any old man, though its meaning is often loosely given as white. An analysis of the word Na’pi, however, shows it to be compounded of the word Ni’nah, man, and the particle a’pi, which expresses a color, and which is never used by itself, but always in combination with some other word. The Blackfoot word for white is Ksik-si-num’ while a’pi, though also conveying the idea of whiteness, really describes the tint seen in the early morning light when it first appears in the east the dawn not a pure white, but that color combined with a faint cast of yellow. Na’pi, therefore, would seem to mean dawn-light-color-man, or man-yellowish-white. It is easy to see why old men should be called by this latter name, for it describes precisely the color of their hair. Dr. Brinton, in his valuable work, American Hero Myths, has suggested a more profound reason why such a name should be given to the Creator. He says: “The most important of all things to life is light. This the primitive savage felt, and personifying it, he made light his chief god. The beginning of day served, by analogy, for the beginning of the world. Light comes before the Sun, brings it forth, creates it, as it were. Hence the Light god is not the Sun god but his antecedent and Creator.” It would be absurd to attribute to the Blackfoot of today any such abstract conception of the name of the Creator as...

Pennacook Tribe

Pennacook Indians (cognate with Abnaki pěnâ-kuk, or penankuk, ‘at the bottom of the of hill or highland.’ Gerard). A confederacy of Algonquian tribes that occupied the basin of Merrimac river and the adjacent region in New Hampshire, northeast Massachusetts, and the extreme south part of Maine. They had an intermediate position between the southern New England tribes, with whom the English were most directly interested, and the Abnaki and others farther north, who were under French influence. Their alliances were generally with the northern tribes, and later with the French. It has been supposed that they were an offshoot of the southern tribes, as they spoke substantially the same language as the Massachusetts and Rhode Island Indians, and are generally classed with the Mahican. We know the confederacy only as constituted under the influence and control of Passaconaway, who probably brought into it elements from various tribes of the same general stock. The tribes directly composing the confederacy were: Agawam, Wamesit, Nashua, Souhegan, Amoskeag, Pennacook proper, and Winnipesaukee. The first three of these were in Massachusetts, the others in New Hampshire. The Accominta of Maine and the Naumkeag of Essex County, Massachusetts, were merged in larger tribes and disappeared at an early period. Besides these, the following tribes were more or less connected with the confederacy and usually considered a part of it: Wachuset, Coosuc, Squamscot, Winnecowet, Piscataqua, and Newichawanoc. Some writers also include the Ossipee, Sokoki, Pequawket, and Arosaguntacook, but these four tribes had their closest relations with the Abnaki group. The Arosaguntacook were certainly connected with the Abnaki confederacy. Pentucket village also belonged to the Pennacook confederacy,...

Pequot Indian Chiefs and Leaders

Sassacus (perhaps the equivalent of Massachuset Sassakusu, ‘he is wild’ (untamed), ‘fierce.’ Gerard). The noted and last chief of the Pequot tribe while yet in their integrity; born near Groton, Conn., about 1560, killed by the Mohawk in New York, June 1637. He was the son and successor of Wopigwooit the first chief of the tribe with whom the whites had come in contact, who was killed by the Dutch, about 1632, at or near the site of Hartford, Conn., then the principal Pequot settlement. Soon after assuming the chiefship, in Oct. 1634 Sassacus sent an emissary to the governor of the Massachusetts Bay colony to ask for a treaty of friendship, offering as an inducement to surrender all the rights of the Pequot to the lands they had conquered, provided the colonists would settle a plantation among his people, an offer which he must have known he could not carry out, and perhaps had no intention of trying to fulfill, as he nourished bitter enmity toward the whites. This proposal had the effect of turning against him Uncas, the Mohegan chief, who was related to him by both blood and marriage. The domain of the Pequot during Sassacus’s chiefship extended from Narragansett bay to Hudson river, including the larger part of Long id., and it is said that at the height of his prosperity no fewer than 26 sachems were subordinate to him. Because of his depredations, especially on the neighboring tribes, the colonists decided in 1636 to make war on the Pequot. The name of Sassacus had inspired such terror among the surrounding tribes that the Indian...

Pequot Tribe

Pequot Indians (contr. of Paquatauog, ‘destroyers.’- Trumbull). An Algonquian tribe of Connecticut. Before their conquest by the English in 1637 they were the most dreaded of the southern New England tribes. They were originally but one people with the Mohegan, and it is possible that the term Pequot was unknown until applied by the eastern coast Indians to this body of Mohegan invaders, who came down from the interior shortly before the arrival of the English. The division into two distinct tribes seems to have been accomplished by the secession of Uncas, who, in consequence of a dispute with Sassacus, afterward known as the great chief of the Pequot, withdrew into the interior with a small body of followers. This body retained the name of Mohegan, and through the diplomatic management of Uncas acquired such prominence that on the close of the Pequot War their claim to the greater part of the territory formerly subject to Sassacus was recognized by the colonial government. The real territory of the Pequot was a narrow strip of coast in New London County, extending from Niantic River to the Rhode Island boundary, comprising the present towns of New London, Groton, and Stonington. They also extended a few miles into Rhode Island to Wecapaug River until driven out by the Narraganset about 1635. This country had been previously in possession of the Niantic, whom the Pequot invaded from the north and forced from their central position, splitting them into two bodies, thenceforth known as Eastern Niantic and Western Niantic. The Eastern Niantic put themselves under the protection of the Narraganset, while the western branch...

Weapemeoc Tribe

Weapemeoc Indians. An Algonquian (?) tribe met by Raleigh’s colonists in 1584-89, occupying the territory north of Albemarle Island, North Carolina, including probably most of what is now Currituck, Camden, Pasquotank, and Perquimans counties. Their chief town, of the same name, seems to have been in Pasquotank County. Other towns apparently in the same jurisdiction were Pasquenock (Pasquotank?), Chepanoc, and Mascoming. They were said then to have 700 or 800 (warriors), under their chief Okisco. A century later the same territory was occupied by the Yeopim or Jaupim (Weapon-oc?), Pasquotank, Perquiman, and Poteskeet. In 1662 the Yeopim chief sold lands. In 1701, according to Lawson, the other bands still counted 40 warriors, but of the Yeopim only one man...
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