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The Indians of Connecticut
by Harold Clayton Bradshaw (reprint)
From the INTRODUCTION
At the coming of the white settlers to Connecticut the aborigines were divided into several tribes. The strongest of which were the Pequots, a warlike people, who, at some previous date, had migrated from the vicinity of the Hudson River. They had subdued the other tribes, seizing a section of country in the vicinity of the mouth of the Thames river for themselves and exacted tribute from the neighboring tribes. They owned about five hundred square miles of land and numbered about six hundred warriors. The Narragansetts including the Nehantics, these latter living near the Connecticut River's mouth and the former occupying the whole of what is now Rhode Island, were, it seems, originally all one tribe. They were able to muster about twelve hundred warriors. The River Tribes, including the Podunks, the Windsor and Hartford Indians, and the Wangunks could not have numbered in excess of six hundred warriors. Along the shore between Milford and Madison resided the Quinnipiacs who controlled New Haven Bay and the little rivers emptying into it. They only numbered about fifty men. To the north of them a very small tribe with only ten men controlled a strip of country between the Housatonic and the Connecticut Rivers. The Paugussetts and the Wepawaugs lived on either side of the Housatonic river along the shore, and controlled a strip of country almost to the present boundary line of Massachusetts. About the mouth of the Hammonasset River dwelt a weak tribe known as the Hammonassetts. On the Farmington River some eight or ten miles west of the Connecticut River resided a tribe known as the Tunxis and numbering less than an hundred men. In the vicinity of what is now Middletown lived the Wangunks and on the eastern side of the Connecticut in the section known as East Windsor and East Hartford the Podunks were located. In what now is known as Tolland and Windham counties several small communities of Nipmucks were scattered about.
With the names of these tribes in mind and a general idea as to their location we will be better able to visualize the later history of the natives. Early authors including Trumbull are disputed by DeForrest in his seemingly carefully written book entitled, "The History of the Connecticut Indians". His authorities as far as this writer has been able to verify them are all valid, and his conclusions conservative. For this reason most of the statistical facts in this paper will be drawn upon his authority. the author
According to the estimates of Mr. DeForrest the total population of Connecticut at the coming of the first settlers could not have exceeded seven thousand people. On that basis the largest possible number of warriors would be approximately twelve hundred. These figures are small compared to those offered by Trumbull, who estimates the total population as high as twenty thousand. The lower figure seems more nearly correct in the light of the evidence produced in the book.*
- TABLE OF CONTENTS
Foreword -- 3
Introduction -- 5
Indian Life and Customs -- 9
The Relation of the first white settlers with the Indians, prior to the Pequot War -- 16
The Pequot War and following events -- 20
The Growing unrest of the Indians and King Philip's War -- 25
Missionary Attempts among the Indians -- 30
The Moravian Missions at Shekomeko and Pachgatgoch -- 46
The passing of the Indian in Connecticut -- 52
Conclusion -- 57
A Glossary of Indian names and places -- 59
Bibliography -- 61
***** The Indians of Connecticut is a 7.5'x10.5" perfect-bound Trade Paperback, fully footnoted, with a glossary and bibliography. $8.95
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