Nipmuc Indians (from Nipamaug, ‘fresh-water fishing place’). The inland tribes of central Massachusetts living chiefly in the south part of Worcester county, extending into Connecticut and Rhode Island. Their chief seats were on the headwaters of Blackstone and Quinebaug rivers, and about the ponds of Brookfield. Hassanamesit seems to have been their principal village in 1674, but their villages had no apparent political connection, and the different parts of their territory were subject to their more powerful neighbors, the Massachuset, Wampanoag, Narraganset, and Mohegan, and even tributary to the Mohawk. The Nashua, dwelling farther north, are sometimes classed with the Nipmuc, but were rather a distinct body. The New England missionaries had 7 villages of Christian Indians among them in 1674; but on the outbreak of King Philip’s war in the next year almost all of them joined the hostile tribes, and at its close fled to Canada or westward to the Mahican and other tribes on the Hudson.
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The following villages and bands probably belonged to the Nipmuc:
- Hadley Indians