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:
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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:
- Turkey Hill