Topic: Mashpee

Black-Indian History

The first black slaves were introduced into the New World (1501-03) ostensibly to labor in the place of the Indians, who showed themselves ill-suited to enforced tasks and moreover were being exterminated in the Spanish colonies. The Indian-black inter-mixture has proceeded on a larger scale in South America, but not a little has also taken place in various parts of the northern continent. Wood (New England’s Prospect, 77, 1634) tells how some Indians of Massachusetts in 1633, coming across a black in the top of a tree were frightened, surmising that; ‘he was Abamacho, or the devil.” Nevertheless, inter-mixture of Indians and blacks has occurred in New England. About the middle of the 18th century the Indians of Martha’s Vineyard began to intermarry with blacks, the result being that “the mixed race increased in numbers and improved in temperance and industry.” A like inter-mixture with similar a results is reported about the same time from parts of Cape Cod. Among the Mashpee in 1802 very few pure Indians were left, there being a number of mulattoes 1Mass Hist. Soc. Coll., r, 206; iv, 206; ibid., 2d s., iii, 4; cf. Prince in Am. Anthrop., ix, no. 3, 1907. Robert Rantoul in 1833 2Hist. Coll. Essex Inst., xxiv, 81 states that “the Indians are said to be improved by the mixture.” In 1890, W. H. Clark 3Johns Hopk. Univ. Circ.,...

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Mashpee Tribe

Mashpee Indians, Christian Indians,┬áSouth Sea Indians (front masse-pee or missi-pi, ‘great pool.’-Kendall ). A former settlement on a reservation on the coast of Mashpee Township, Barnstable County, Massachusetts. The reservation was established in 1660 for the Christian Indians of the Vicinity, known as South Sea Indians, but it was afterward recruited from all south east Massachusetts, and even from Long Island. In 1698 they numbered about 285, and their population generally varied from 300 to 400 up to the 19th century. They intermarried with blacks and afterward with Hessians; in 1792 the mixed-bloods formed two-thirds of the whole body,...

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