Wyandanch and the Dispossession of Indian Land on Long Island, New York:Grand Sachem, Puppet, or Culture Broker?




John Strong 

Abstract: Local Long Island historians in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries contributed to the development of a popular and colorful folk myth that provided a background to their narratives celebrating the colonial history of their English ancestors. The fiction survived, for a time, even in the face of a growing body of studies by archaeologists, historians and anthropologists that revealed no evidence of a material or demographic population base consistent with the existence of the large-scale social structures necessary to sustain a confederacy.  There was, however, evidence of Wyandanch’s influence over the sale of Indian land as far west as Hempstead, New York leading some to conclude that the sachem was a puppet following English orders. This article revisits relevant primary documents for insights into the nature of Wyandanch’s authority and to provide a better understanding of the cultural, economic, and political factors which played a role in the dispossession of Indian land on Long Island.

Keywords: Wyandanch, sachem, Hempstead, Corchaug, treaty, Dutch, Wilhem Kieft, John Underhill, William Sylvester, Richard Nicoll, Quakers, Horse Neck, Oyster Bay, Huntington, Southampton, Southold, Court of Assizes, Alliance Sachem, Grand Sachem, Montaukett Confederacy, Quashawam John Richbell, Charles Street, Benjamin Thompson, William Pelletreau, Lion Gardiner, Richard Woodhull, William Wells, Theophilus Eaton. Pequot War, Kieft’s War

NOTE: This article was developed from a paper presented at the annual ethnohistory conference at Penn State University, October 4-6, 2019.

Scattered references in the Long Island, New York documents referring to Wyandanch as the “sachem of Paumanack” or “chief of Long Island” were seized upon by local historians and journalists in the nineteenth century as evidence of a Montaukett Confederacy governed by a grand sachem.  A closer look at these sources, however, does not support that colorful myth.  Local folklore throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries nevertheless, portrayed Wyandanch as a “Grand Sachem,” who dominated all the Native American tribes on Long Island.  In their defense, it should be noted that they wrote decades before a relevant body of the archaeological and ethnographic research had emerged. The earliest of these historians was Silas Wood. Writing in 1828, he described the Montauketts as “probably the most warlike tribe on Long Island that had overrun the other tribes east of the Canarsie territory and reduced them to some kind of subjugation.”[1]

In this imaginative account, he had the Montauk sachem claiming before the colonial governor of New York that he had conquered these tribes in the past and held sovereignty over them. Wood, as was the custom with many local historians of this era, does not cite his references.  We have no idea where he found this characterization of the Montauketts as a “warlike tribe.”  There were also blatant historical errors in his account.  Wyandanch died five years before the English seized New Netherland from the Dutch in 1664 and established the colony of New York.  Wood and many of his nineteenth century self-identified historians were front-porch story-tellers and local community boosters.

A decade later Benjamin Thompson, one of the more reliable chroniclers of Long Island history, provides a less dramatic but equally flawed, characterization of Wyandanch’s authority in  his classic History of Long Island (1839).  Thompson, a graduate of Yale Medical School and a New York State assemblyman, wrote a  history that went through three editions.  In his 1918  edition, he described Wyandanch as  a sachem of “…so much consequence as to have been acknowledged the Grand Sachem of Paumanacke, as Long Island was sometimes called.”[2] Thompson does not say who made these acknowledgements.

In 1840 David Gardiner (1784-1844), a seventh-generation descendant of Lion Gardiner, published a lengthy article in the Sag Harbor Corrector, describing Wyandanch as the “great sachem of Long Island…. who had under him from ten to fifteen sachems with whom his word was law and over whom he exercised despotic sway.”[3] Gardiner presents no documentation to support this statement.  His son, Alexander, sent the manuscript to Nathaniel Prime, who was working on his history of Long Island at the time.  In his A History of Long Island with Special Reference to Its Ecclesiastical Concerns, published in 1845, Prime acknowledged the pioneering works by Wood, Thompson, and Gardiner.  Prime relied on their assessment, while adding his own imaginative account. The Montauketts, he wrote, were a “royal tribe,” and Wyandanch, its powerful chief, was the Grand Sachem, who sold the English all of his lands.[4]  Prime, apparently did very little original research.  The last of the Montaukett lands, for example, were sold by Wyandanch’s grandson in a very questionable transaction three decades after the sachem’s death.

Henry Hedges, another Yale graduate, who delivered the bicentennial celebration of the founding of East Hampton in 1849, repeated the folklore about the Montaukett’s tribal supremacy and their “royal sachem.”  Hedges, a local history enthusiast, who had served as a New York State assemblyman and Suffolk County county judge, was a fixture at such celebrations.  He lived long enough to deliver speeches at the two-hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the founding of Southampton in 1890 and nine years later at the commemoration of East Hampton’s founding in 1899.  Hedges added his own rhetorical flourishes.  “Worthy was the barbarian chief of immortal fame, the mighty sachem of the island.”[5]  His Montauketts, continued Hedges, “were the most powerful and probably the most numerous tribe of Native Americans on Long Island claiming tribute and service from all the others at the time of settlement.”[6]  Hedges, amidst his many public responsibilities, had little time nor much interest in documenting his narrative.

References to a “Grand Sachem” had become well entrenched in local history narratives by the time Walt Whitman visited Montauk Point in 1861.  In a brief newspaper article, he wrote for the Brooklyn Standard about his trip with friends, the poet referred to “Wyandanch, the great chief of east Long Island who loved and obeyed Lion Gardiner in a remarkable manner.”  Whitman portrays the Montaukett sachem as a “Cooperesque figure,” the loyal  companion to Hawkeye.[7]

The widespread acceptance of this interpretation was demonstrated in 1882 when W.W Munsell published his volume commemorating the formation of Suffolk County in 1682.  He brought together the more prominent local historians, many of whom had transcribed and edited their town records, and asked them to write the histories of their towns for his edition.[8] The book remains one of the more important sources of Long Island history despite the annoying lack of citations.  Perhaps the authors were so close to their primary sources that they felt no need to explain themselves to the general public.  In his introductory chapter on “General Long Island History,” Munsell states, somewhat more cautiously than the previous historians, that “there seems to be evidence that the sachem of this [Montaukett] tribe was conceded the title and functions of the grand sachem of Paumanake.”[9]  As with the others, no such evidence is cited.

All of the town histories, except one, portray the Montauketts as a dominant tribe led by Wyandanch, the Grand Sachem.  The exception is Charles Street who transcribed and edited the Huntington Town records. Street concedes that Wyandanch, at one time in the past, did have “the high-sounding power of chief of all Long Island,” but “left to themselves, the western tribes would not have acknowledged his authority,” suggesting that the tribes were under pressure from the English to accept Montaukett leadership.[10]  “Wyandanch,” said Street, “was a convenient puppet of Lion Gardiner and other white men to use for their advantage.”[11] His assessment goes on to become increasingly harsh calling Wyandanch the “sham emperor at Montauk,” noting that “the absurdity of his claim to supremacy over other Long Island tribes,” is demonstrated in the text of a 1659 gift of land to Lion Gardiner, wherein the sachem speaks of his gratitude to the residents of East Hampton who gave the Montauketts protection from Ninigret’s attacks in 1653.[12] The sachem thanked “our trusty and beloved friends of East Hampton” for “the preservation of our lives, and the lives of our women and children…”[13] This says Street is “…the language of a conquered people shivering in their lodges in fear of their enemies, and not that of a powerful tribe dictating to other tribes.”[14]  Street here makes a prescient observation about the role that the English envisioned for Wyandanch in the settlement of Long Island.  The title of “Grand Sachem,” according to Street may have been part of a strategy to defend against possible English or Dutch rivals who might contest the local town purchases of Montaukett land.

Contemporary scholars have taken a more nuanced view of Wyandanch’s authority, best described by historian, T. H. Breen in Imagining the Past: East Hampton Histories.[15] While Wyandanch may have exercised political hegemony over neighboring tribes, “The Long Island bands never formed a confederacy, and in all probability Wyandanch’s powers were nominal.”[16] Breen never went beyond that to explore the sources of the “nominal” power which enabled Wyandanch to assert influence with some local sachems on western Long Island. This influence was clearly demonstrated by his active role in the twenty-two transactions related to the alienation of Indian land between 1648 and his death in 1659. (see MAP 1). Eleven were purchases of land, seven were confirmations of previous purchases as far west as Huntington, five were leases of grazing land or beaches where drift whales frequently came ashore.  If there was no political structure consistent with the existence of a confederacy under the rule of a grand sachem, what was the source of his “nominal” authority over the other Long Island sachems?  Was it, as Street and some others argued, the English who propped up the Montaukett sachem with their military and economic resources, placing him in the role of a “puppet” sachem or was it, as Breen suggested a bit more complicated?  The best place to begin the search for an answer to this question is with the events leading up to the first significant interaction between the Eastern Long Island sachems and the English.


Governor Kieft’s War: 1640-1644

During the years following the establishment of the first English settlements at Southold and Southampton in 1640, there were troubling concerns both here and back in England. The Irish revolt, a prelude to the English Civil War, broke out in the fall of 1641 out, exacerbating relations between the protestants in parliament and the royalists supporting Charles I.[17] Even more alarming to the English on Long Island were reports a month later of an attack by the Raritan band of the Lenape people on isolated Dutch farmsteads in response to misguided attempt by Governor Willem Kieft to impose a tax on the Native Americans.[18]  Both of these events would lead to increasingly violent conflicts lasting several years.

The English colonies realizing that, unlike the Dutch in New Netherland, they could not depend on help from the mother country in a time of crisis, turned to each other for protection.  A confederation of four New England colonies, Connecticut, Massachusetts Bay, New Haven, and Plymouth had been first proposed in 1638, following the end of the Pequot War, but no agreement was reached for several years.  The English had been watching, with some trepidation, the violent confrontations called “Kieft’s War” that had nearly destroyed the colony of New Netherland.  That conflict had taken a more violent turn in February of 1643 when the Dutch governor, Willem Kieft, ordered an attack on encampments of Tappans and Wiechquaeskecks, two small Hudson River tribes neighboring New Amsterdam who had been raiding Dutch farmsteads.  These tribes had themselves been attacked by an unidentified larger tribe, probably either the Mahicans or the Mohawks, a powerful member of the Iroquois confederacy.  These small tribes had fled south towards the Dutch settlement at Pavonia, across the river from Manhattan and to an encampment called Nechtanck at Corlaer’s Hook near Fort Amsterdam.

Kieft, against advice from some of his council members, decided to take advantage of the opportunity to wield what he thought would be a decisive blow to discourage the intermittent raids by the small tribes around Manhattan and western Long Island.   Kieft was determined, “to make the savages lick their chops.” David De Vries, a plantation owner and wealthy investor in the colony, warned him that “you go to break the Indian’s heads; it is our own nation you are about to destroy.”[19]  The governor could not be deterred.  He sent forth two armed parties to attack the encampments on the night of February 25th 1643.  “At midnight,” wrote an eyewitness, “I heard loud shrieks and went out on the parapet of the fort and looked toward Pavonia. I saw nothing but the flashing of the guns. I heard no more cries of the Indians.  They were butchered in their sleep.”[20]  De Vries’s ominous prediction was nearly realized.  Rather than intimidate the Native Americans, Kieft had enflamed them.

“The unjustifiable outrage,” wrote historian E. B. O’Callaghan, “led to consequences almost fatal to the Dutch….Eleven tribes ….proclaimed open war against the Dutch.”[21]  There were ferocious “scorched earth” attacks on isolated Dutch homesteads, killing whole families, burning homes, crops and slaughtering livestock.  Terrified settlers fled to Fort Amsterdam for safety.  Roger Williams, who was in New Amsterdam awaiting his ship for England to petition for a patent, described seeing the flames from burning buildings, “Mine eyes saw the flames of their towns, the frights and hurries of men, women, children.”[22]

The destructive violence in New Netherland was undoubtedly foremost on the minds of the United Colonies’ representatives from Massachusetts Bay, Plymouth, Connecticut and New Haven when they met in Boston on May 6, 1643 to form a union.  They enumerated their primary concerns as follows,  “Surrounded as we are by…. people of several nations and strange languages, which hereafter may prove injurious to us and our posterity, And forasmuch as the Natives have formerly committed sundry insolences and outrages …and have of late combined themselves against us.”[23] They were also concerned, as noted above, that in times of troubles they might not be able to rely on help from the mother country, torn as it was by a civil war between Parliament and the crown.  Although one of these threats, particularly in the minds of New Haven governor Theophilus Eaton and Connecticut governor, Edward Hopkins, was Dutch imperial expansion on Long Island and southern New England, the two nations shared a cultural bond and, at that time, a common enemy which softened the edges of the rivalry.

During the summer and early fall of 1643, prior to the first official meeting of the United Colonies in Boston, the fighting in New Netherland continued.  Even though the numbers of tribes had decreased, seven from western Long Island were reported to have the resources to support an estimated fifteen hundred people. There ensued a relentless campaign of guerrilla attacks on Dutch farmsteads.[24]  In October, a month after the first official meeting of the United Colonies, Kieft, in desperation, reached out to John Underhill, the Pequot War veteran, for help in leading their troops against the Native Americans.[25]  Underhill, one of the three officers who led the English troops in the Pequot War to a decisive victory, personified the cultural and historical bond between the two nations.  He was married to a Dutch woman he had met while fighting as a volunteer in the Dutch resistance against Catholic Spain during the Thirty Years war.  Underhill, undoubtedly with the encouragement of the United Colonies commissioners, accepted the appointment believing that it was wise to with contain the Native American resistance on Long Island before it spread to New England.[26]  He also expected to be rewarded with a generous grant of Dutch land on western Long Island.  The English commissioners, who were reluctant to commit themselves to an official alliance with the Dutch, were, nevertheless, quite eager to have Underhill volunteer his services to Governor Kieft.  Underhill set to work immediately organizing a troop of Englishmen from the towns under Dutch jurisdiction on western Long Island.

According to E. B. O’Callaghan, Underhill led an attack that fall on Native Americans near the newly established town of Hempstead in what is now Nassau County.[27]  The accounts of that campaign, however, are poorly documented.  Some doubt that it ever happened.  Historian, Allen Trelease, believes that O’Callaghan and John Romeyn Brodhead, who were writing in the mid-nineteenth century, relied on a questionable Dutch source written by Kieft or one of his supporters, which described a dramatic “Battle” near present-day Hempstead resulting in the massacre of one-hundred and twenty warriors.[28]  It is noteworthy that Underhill’s biographer, Henry Shelley, does not mention any such campaign.[29]  Underhill was more likely engaged in preparing his troops for a well-documented major campaign against the Native Americans who had gathered northeast of New Amsterdam at a place called Pound Ridge in what is now Westchester County.

Early in 1644, Underhill launched his attack on the encampment at Pound Ridge.  He led a troop of one-hundred and thirty Dutch and English soldiers in a surprise attack, slaughtering over five hundred men, women and children “in a merciless manner.”[30] Two days later when the troops returned to New Amsterdam, “… a public thanksgiving was ordered for the brilliant success of the New Netherland arms.”[31] Underhill was now celebrated as the hero of two decisive, brutal massacres of native peoples.  As a result of the devastating defeat at Pound Ridge, the Long Island tribes began approaching the Dutch to ask for a peace alliance.

Gauwarowe’s Peace Mission

One of the sachems who first approached the Dutch was Gauwarowe from Matinecough (Matinnekonck), whose village adjoined Marospine (Massapequa) and Siketeuhacky Secatogue along the southern shore of western Long Island.  These villages were tributaries allied to Mechowodt, the influential Massapequa sachem, who had established peaceful relations with the Dutch when they began to expand out onto Long Island.  In 1639 he negotiated the purchase of a large tract of land that included most of present-day Brooklyn and Queens, as well as part of Nassau County.

The 1639 transaction is relevant to our discussion of grand sachems and confederacies because Mechowodt is identified as “the chief sachem” of Marossepinck, Sintsinck, and its dependencies. “Sintsinck” is a name given by the Native Americans to the Manhasset Bay area in present-day North Hempstead, but it is likely a general reference to the area from Flushing Bay eastward to Smithtown Bay, where the Matinecock villages were located.[32]  Cornelis Van Tienhoven, the Dutch Colonial Secretary, writing in 1650, described a village of thirty homesteads called Martinnehouck (Matinecock), on Corn Creek, where it runs into West Harbor (Hempstead Harbor).[33]  He noted that “…in or about this bay, there were formerly great numbers of Indian plantations, which now lie waste and vacant.”[34]  Those villages were undoubtedly the “dependencies” referred to by Mechowodt.  It is noteworthy that the Massapequa sachem makes no claim to be a “grand sachem” over a confederacy. He only claims to represent the groups whose hunting territories were in western Long Island.

Mechogowodt’s peaceful relations with the Dutch ended, perhaps in the aftermath of the massacres at Pavonia and Corlear’s Hook.  He is believed to have been sending raiding parties against the Dutch and may have been killed in one of the conflicts.  Robert Grumet, in his history of the Munsee, thinks it is probable he was killed in the fighting during spring of 1643.[35]  Gauwarowe may have been sent by Mechowodt’s former tributaries to sue for peace because the Massapequas and Secatogues believed that a Massapequa would not be well received by the Dutch.

On April 15, 1644 Gauwarowe, according to the Dutch council minutes, appeared in council and  “…requested… to have peace and to plant in the above mentioned villages, which we grant them, provided they will not injure any of ours and will not suffer the Indians of Rekonhacky, (Rockaway) the Bay (Canarsie or Merrick?) and Marechkawick among them.[36]  Both of those groups, living in the closest proximity to New Amsterdam, were still sending out raiding parties to attack Dutch farmsteads. The Marwechkawick sachems, Seyseys and Numers, had negotiated a land purchase with the Dutch in 1637, but were alienated by the massacres at Corlear’s Hook and Pavonia and the theft of their corn shortly after that. They refused offers of reconciliation from the Dutch replying “Call ye yourselves our friends?  You are nothing but corn thieves.”[37] However, Gauwarowe, whose primary goal was to make peace with the Dutch, complied with that request.

The Anglo-Algonquian Peace Treaty: September 1644

When the United colonies met in Hartford, the following September 1644 Youghco presented himself and his brethren before the commissioners.  Identifying himself as the sachem of Manhansett, “a tributary of the English” he asked that he might receive some “certificate” verifying his status.[38] Although he was clearly the first among the four, he made no claim to be a “grand sachem” nor the sachem of Paumanack.  The commissioners were pleased to comply, issuing a document that reads, “To all whom it may concern, whereas Long Island with the smaller islands adjacent are granted by the Kings majesty of Greate Brittiane to Lord Starling, and by him passed over to some of the English in these united colonies, and whereas the Native Americans in the eastern part of Long Island are become tributaries to the English and have engaged their land to them: and whereas Youghco, Wiantause, (Wyandanch), Moughmaitow, (Momoweta), and Weenagamin  (Witaneymen) do please themselves friends to both the English and the Dutch….”[39]  The initial assertion that King Charles I granted Long Island to Lord Stirling is false, the grant had never passed the royal seals, but that is a story for another time and place.

The certificate continues, making it very clear that the sachems are to be subservient to the English: “…and if it may appear that any of their men in any secret way have become actors in any thing against either the English or the Dutch, upon due notice and proofe… they will deliver all such to deserved punishment, or provide due satisfaction for all injuries donn.”  In exchange, “…the said sagamores and their companies may enjoy full peace without disturbance from the English….whilest they carry themselves in ways of peace without engaging themselves in the quarrels of others or doing wrong in any way.”  The language in this alliance were the words for a tributary, not those of the grand sachem of a great confederacy.  Ironically, it was his status as a tributary of the most powerful military force in the region that gave Youghco influence over the Long Island sachems.

The Dutch Algonquian treaty 1645

Guawarowe’s alliance with the Dutch the previous year may also have encouraged Youghco, Weenagamin, Wyandanch and Momoweta to establish a similar relationship.  They undoubtedly saw an advantage in reminding the English that although they were tributaries, they could not be taken for granted.  An opportunity for this came in the early spring a year later, during the last stages of the Indian conflict, when the Dutch council decided to recruit “friendly Indians into public service, and employ them against the enemy tribes north of New Netherland.”[40]  John Underhill, who had been invited by Kieft to join his council, agreed with this policy and may have made the contact with the eastern sachems.  He was undoubtedly quite familiar with Wyandanch because they were both at Saybrook when the Pequot War ended.  Weenagamin, on behalf of Youghco, Wyandanch, and Momoweta, agreed to take forty-seven of his men on a Dutch ship to locate the enemy, send back a report and then “….to endeavor to beat them with all his force.”[41]  The Dutch promised Weenagamin that he “…shall be rewarded as he deserves.”  He returned from a successful mission with a severed trophy head, several hands, and immediately entered into treaty negotiations with the Dutch.

Weenagamin came before Governor Kieft and members of his council in New Amsterdam, “… declaring to be empowered by his brethren…,” Youghco, sachem of Manhansett, Momoweta, sachem of Corchaug and Wyandanch, sachem of Montauk, to take five other communities west of their east end villages under their protection.  He requested to “….walk in a firm bond of friendship….” with the Dutch and promised that “…Christians ….should experience nothing but every kindness…”[42] The first three settlements were Ouheywichkingh (Dutch variation of “Unkechaug” in English), Sichteyhacky (Setauket), two closely related kinship groups that make up the present-day town of Brookhaven lying west of Southampton, and Sicketauyhacky (Secatogue), a village along the  south shore villages on the western border of the Unkechaug settlements that Gauwarowe had earlier represented in his negotiations with the Dutch.[43]  The fourth was Nisinckqueyhacky  (Nissequogue), a Matinecock settlement, west of the Nissequogue River near present-day Smithtown and the fifth was Rockaway, the Massapequa settlement in the southern half of the town of South Hempstead, that had been “shunned” by Gauwarowe.[44] The Rockaway had now decided to seek an accommodation with the Dutch but did not want to work with Gauwarowe who had Shunned them the year before.

The approach taken by Gauwarowe and Weenagamin to their negotiations with the Dutch reflected the fluid nature of these Algonquian alliances.  The sachems described their relationship with the communities as “taking them under our protection.”  Weenagamin, for example, said that he had taken under his protection Nisinckqueyhacky, a village where the “Matinecock now reside.” He did not say that all the Matinecocks, who occupied the area from the Nissequogue west to present-day Queens, were now tributaries under his protection.  This is a good example of the fluid nature of local identities and is likely related to a pattern of family relationships.

The separate negotiations between Guawarowe and Weenagamin, the two sachems from opposite ends of the island and the Dutch, reflect both the level of social organization in these Algonquian villages as well as the nature of Kieft’s War.  The villages were based on extended family kinship systems rather than on “tribal-based” political structures.  The sachem’s authority rested on his powers of persuasion and his oratory skills. Decisions about war and peace, therefore, were likely to be quite fluid.  The villages listed by Gauwarowe and Weenagamin had likely decided independently to end their war and sought protection in a unified approach to the Dutch.  The war, therefore, was a classic asymmetric confrontation, waged by uncoordinated local war parties against the scattered Dutch homesteads on western Long Island.


Kinship-based Family Hunting Territories.

The negotiations between the Matinecocks, Massapequas, and the eastern sachems in the documents cited above are better understood within the context of the anthropological research by Frank Speck in his advocacy work for the Algonquian bands of the Ottawa valley and by William Christie Macleod for his study of Iroquois and western Long Island Algonquians early in the twentieth century. Speck’s research on the role of family hunting territories for his PhD dissertation (1915) was entered into a legal challenge against the Canadian government’s assertion that aboriginal peoples had no “sense of land possession” and therefore had no basis for their claims.[45] Speck noted that proprietary rights in these territories could, be passed down from one generation to the next through either the maternal or paternal lines of descent.[46]

Speck’s analysis was the subject of debate for the next two decades, but the focus of the disagreements among anthropologists centered around the historical origin of this practice, not the practice itself.  Eleanor Leacock, in her thesis on the Montagnais hunting territories in Canada, argued that these cultural patterns only emerged after contact with the European fur trade in Canada and were not pre-contact, traditional aboriginal cultural institutions.[47]  Edwin Rogers Service (1963) and more recently Harvey Feit[48] disagreed with Leacock, arguing that although the practice was connected with the fur trade, the family-controlled hunting territories had deep prehistoric roots.  Leacock, however, never disputed the existence and significance of family based proprietary structures.

Macleod studied similar residence patterns among the Iroquois in Central New York State and the Algonquians in western Long Island.[49] He found that the hereditary family hunting areas played a large role in the social organization of these communities. The extended family groups shared proprietary responsibility for hunting territories with fairly well-defined boundaries.  Macleod believed that control over the hunting and fishing areas might be quite fluid, shifting within the family following marriages and deaths.  While these kinship structures had a sachem who spoke for them, the authority over their territory was a shared responsibility.[50]  Discussions over decisions relating to these areas could be quite lengthy, often taking place in a large circle which included most of the villagers.[51] Macleod described such a meeting when a group of elders held lengthy discussions over a land transaction.  The meeting took place in a large circle where disagreements about such things as family proprietary rights were “talked out.” There were often disagreements among family members that had to be resolved during negotiations with the English for the purchase of Indian land.  When Wyandanch, for example, was asked to help resolve one such contention between the Hempstead officials and the Massapequa and Matinecock sachems, he used mediation, not the arbitrary force of a “grand sachem.”

What did Wyandanch, his Daughter, and his Life-Time Counsellors Say?

The testimonies given by the sachem, his daughter, and two of his chief counsellors suggest that the traditional role of kinship-based hunting territories in Algonquian culture observed by Frank Speck and William Macleod deserved more attention from scholars, including myself.  These three  related documents, the first in the Southold Town records, the second two in the Smithtown Town records, and a fourth in the possession of Center for Brooklyn History, have to be examined within the larger cultural and political context of the time.

The first document is a testimony by Wyandanch, given in January 1659, at an informal gathering following the close of a town meeting.[52]  The account of the gathering was written by William Wells, one of the three Town of Southold constables who was also a representative elected by Southold to represent the town on the New Haven Colonial court.  Wells agreed to serve as “recorder pro tempore.” According to his account, Wyandanch had “required” the Corchaug sachems to meet him at Southold and then “desired” our present constables, Barnabas Horton, Thomas Moore and Wells himself to attend.  The constables were accompanied by two prominent Southold residents, Lieutenant. John Budd and John Youngs Jr., both of whom were among the founders of the town in 1640, and several other town residents.  The constables appointed Youngs to serve as interpreter, but were informed by Wells that this was not necessary because the Montaukett sachem could, “… declare himself in English sufficiently to our apprehension in any matter debated.”

It was a most curious affair.  Wyandanch, opened the session, speaking forcefully to the Corchaug sachems in the room, asking them to tell the constables “…by what right Corchaug Indians held the lands in their possession …”  Before they could answer Wyandanch spoke, telling them “…that they, nor any of them now or att any time heretofore were proprietors or true owners of the said lands called Corchaug —ffor these lands were his ancestors and descended and came from them to the said sachem and his three brethren who possest the same until the four joined in a deed of gift under their hands and seales diverse years since, whereby they jointly and with one consent gave upp all their right, tytle and interest of in, and unto the said lands called Corchaug…”

This must have puzzled the constables, particularly John Youngs, Jr., who had witnessed the purchases of two tracks of Corchaug lands west of the town from two sachems, Occomboomaquus and Uxcoopesson and a sunksquaw, the wife of Mahahanmuck, in March 1649.  The purchases were made by Theophilus Eaton, the governor of New Haven, for the Town of Southold which was, at that time under New Haven’s jurisdiction.[53]  The constables must have also wondered about Wyandanch’s claim that the lands had been purchased earlier from the four “brethren sachems” because no such deed has ever been found.  Another frustration for historians with Wells’s account is that he did not provide the names of the Corchaug sachems at the meeting.  If the Corchaug sachems involved in the 1649 deed were not present to defend the transaction, the meeting appeared to be of little value.

There followed a brief reference by Wyandanch, almost in passing, that resonated immediately with John Budd and John Youngs Jr.  The Montaukett sachem noted that the purchase of the Corchaug lands in Aquabogue included individual tracts granted to William Wells and Richard Woodhull.  According to Wells’s report, Wyandanch stated that there were, “… diverse other lands therein specified unto Richard Woodhull and William Wells gent’ and their heirs and assignes forever.”  The “value” of the meeting quickly became evident.  Youngs and Budd suspected immediately what it was.  Wyandanch assured the Corchaug sachems that they were free to respond without fear of any reprisals, yet, wrote Wells, they remained “…wholly silent not in the least contradicting what the sachem had averred…”

Youngs and Budd were well aware that Wells and Woodhull were among the aggressive entrepreneurs bent on accumulating Indian land for their own estates, and were viewed with disdain by the New Haven elders who were interested in establishing a permanent settlement.  Wells and Woodhull had been involved with the negotiations between Eaton and the four Eastern sachems when the governor made his purchases of the tract for the Corchaug lands in 1648.  Both men entered claims to tracts of land in the Corchaug land at Aquabogue, but the deeds have not survived.  The New Haven court had issued a strong reprimand to Wells in the spring of 1649.  His actions, they said, were “contrary to an order made in this jurisdiction against which carriage the court showed its dislike.”[54] Wells withdrew his claim at the time, but he apparently had made some arrangement with Wyandanch to reinstate it.

The significant point here, however, relates to Wyandanch’s reference to his authority over the Corchaug lands.  The sachem never made any claim to the title of “Grand Sachem” nor did he mention a “Montaukett Confederacy.”  It is also noteworthy that the Corchaugs made no objection to Wyandanch’s assertion that his proprietary control over the lands on eastern Long Island was based on a family inheritance.


The political landscape shifted in 1662, following the death of Wyandanch three years earlier, when Connecticut finally received its royal charter from the king.  Overnight the New Haven Colony disappeared into Connecticut and, along with the rest of the Connecticut towns, ceased being a community of squatters in terms of under English property law.  Disputes over land title could now be tried in a legitimate court system, an open invitation to go after any of the numerous property titles based on purchases from Native American sachems.  Two years later there was an even more dramatic shift when the English seized New Netherland from the Dutch and established the colony of New York.  Governor Richard Nicolls imported experienced barristers such as John Sharpe, John Rider, and Mattias Nicolls (no relation) to aid in the establishment of a colony-wide court system.  The latter half of the seventeenth century quickly became a “golden age” for real estate lawyers whose cases frequently involved purchases from local sachems who had “resold” land titles to different buyers or, as in the case below, where the original Native American proprietorship was challenged by rival families.


In the second document, dated June 22, 1666, there were two testimonies taken in reference to lengthy court battle between the towns of Huntington and Smithtown over a deed to land claimed by the towns.[55]  The first of the two was a testimony given by Wyandanch’s primary councilor, Pauquatoun, who stated that, Wyandanch, through his grandmother, “…who had lived on that land formerly,” held a proprietary interest in the lands as far east as present-day Oyster Bay.  He also said he had heard the Matinecock sachem, Asharoken, and the Nissequogue sachem, Nasseconsett, both acknowledge that Wyandanch “…might dispose of all that tract of land as he pleased.”

The second testimony in the 1666 document was by Wyandanch’s daughter, Quashawam, who stated that the land in question “was her father’s own land and that those Indians, [named by Pauquatoun] if they were living durst not deny it…” adding that both of them, as well as Tackapousha, the influential Massapequa sachem, were related to her father.

In the third document, dated July 22, 1666, Cockenoe, a well-respected interpreter who was married to the sachem’s sister, testified that a specific tract of land in the contested area called “Catawamuck” had belonged to Wyandanch’s “fathers.”[56]  William Tooker, Cockenoe’s biographer, believes that Catawamuck was present-day Crab Meadow in Huntington.[57]  Cockenoe said that he had “heard old men say so.”  He also affirmed that Pauquatoun and Manecopungun, another of Wyandanch’s close advisors agreed with the “old men.”[58] Manecopungun would play an important role in negotiations between the Montauketts and the Niantics a few years later.[59]

The documents in the 1666 court case and in the conflict over the lands on the north fork of Long Island provide some insight into the complex nature of marriage and descent patterns reflected in the hunting territories.  Pauquatoun, for example, said that Wyandanch’s rights to the Matinecock and Nissequogue lands had come through his grandmother, but does not indicate whether it was his maternal or paternal side.  Cockenoe, however, testified that the sachem’s lands had come “from his fathers.”  Unfortunately, the surviving data on descent in coastal Algonquian kinship systems is too sparse to determine a definitive pattern.  As Anthropologist, Kathleen Bragdon, has noted, “…although both matrilineal and patrilineal systems appear to have been present in Southern New England, determining which, if either, was characteristic of a given group is unlikely.”[60]

Cockenoe’s reference to Wyandanch’s “fathers” may have intended to be a general term for “forefathers” rather than to a lineage system, but it might also indicate that both forms existed on Long Island, as was the case among the Pequots and Narragansetts in Southern New England.[61]  Wyandanch’s grandmother, for example, left her home village and came to live with Wyandanch’s grandfather at Montauk, but his daughter, Quashawam, stayed home where she was joined by her Pequot husband.  The difference in post-marital residence here may be explained by the status of the man and woman involved.  High status individuals such as Wyandanch’s father and his daughter, Quashawam would stay home and be joined by their new spouses.  His grandmother and his Pequot son-in-law, however, understood that the move to Montauk, could bring power, wealth and status to them and their families.  For the Pequot son-in-law, in particular, the marriage would be of great advantage to his family in the aftermath of the crushing defeat his people had suffered in the Pequot War.

The sachem’s kinship connections were the source of the authority within his own community that enabled him to play a role in determining the settlement of disputes over hunting territories, but his influence with the English is another matter.  He gained that influence through his success in resolving difficult contentions as they emerged during the years when the English settlements were expanding.  The traditional hunting grounds were being fenced off for livestock grazing, English hogs were destroying clam banks that provided life sustaining nutrition, and cattle often destroyed corn fields. Wyandanch had demonstrated that he could adapt the personal powers of persuasion, essential to the success of a sachem, to negotiate the settlement of disputes across the cultural divide.

The Emergence of Alliance Sachems on Long Island: 1656-1659

Wyandanch’s emergence from the role of a tributary to become an important intermediary between the English and the Long Island sachems played a significant role in the history of cultural interaction between Native American communities and the newly established English and Dutch settlements on Long Island.  Tackapousha, his counterpart on western Long Island, had established a formal tributary alliance with the Dutch on March 12, 1656, establishing him as the most influential sachem there.[62] That agreement acknowledged him as the “Chief Sachem” over six tribes on western Long Island, His own Massapequa, and the Maskinekang, Secatogue, Meracoke, Rockaway, and Canarsie.

The Rockaways and Secatogues had been dependencies of Tackapousha’s predecessor, Mechowodt, the Massapequa sachem, who negotiated the Dutch purchase of a large tract of land on western Long Island in 1639.  The Secatogues (Siketeuhacky) had aligned themselves with Gauwarowe in 1644, who “shunned the Rockaway because they were still at war with the Dutch.  The Secatogues acknowledged the protection of Weenagamin a year later in a separate peace treaty with the Dutch.  These examples of frequently shifting alliances better define the Algonquian political landscape then such folk-fictions as “grand sachems” or “confederacies.”

Tackapousha’s agreement was similar to the 1644 tributary alliance negotiated by Wyandanch and the eastern sachems.  It is noteworthy that Tackapousha and the other five sachems all made their mark on the treaty.  He was a “chief” sachem, not a “grand” sachem.  The terms imposed by the Dutch were more even-handed than the one imposed on Wyandanch and the eastern sachems by the English.  The agreement by Tackapousha, for example, not to “wrong a Christian,” was followed by a similar pledge from the Dutch that “….likewise if a Dutchman or an Englishman shall wrong an Indian, upon complaint to the Governor, the wrongdoer shall make satisfaction according to Equity.”

Tackapousha’s alliance was put to the test a few months later when magistrates from Brooklyn complained to Stuyvesant prior to his departure on a trip to Fort Albany in September 1656 that, in spite of the peace treaty, they had “…gloomy forebodings, that in the absence of the honorable (director) general, the savages might make some attack…”[63] Although the details are sparse in the Dutch records, it appears that the “gloomy forebodings” arose from a rather mundane event described in the Council Minutes.  Tackapousha sent twelve representatives to the council meeting carrying “….a gray cloth coat, a blanket, two old shirts, which they said, had been stolen by members of the Sicketawach (Secatogue) tribe….”  The sachem, they said was angry and ordered the items to be returned.[64]

The Dutch thanked the men for “the trouble taken by them and told, that their chief had done very well in causing stolen goods to be returned, for else it might create disharmony and quarrels.”  After the speeches were given, the council gave them a pound of powder to deliver to Tackapousha “…as a sign of our good heart, with which they left.: The undramatic incident is a good example, not only of the peacekeeping role of the alliance sachems, but of the importance of forming an alliance with a sachem who had the authority to maintain compliance with his agreements.  Clearly Tackapousha and Wyandanch commanded that necessary level of respect from their fellow sachems.

Anthropologist Anthony Wallace described such individuals as “cultural brokers,” who were “caught between two worlds…mediating between those worlds as a conduit of cultural content.”[65]  Historian, Richard White referred to them as “alliance chiefs” who negotiated the “middle ground” between cultures.[66] These sachems provided access and support when their English or Dutch counterparts wished to negotiate trade agreements and land transactions or to resolve a dispute before it developed into a violent confrontation.  The sachems, both male and female, who were successful in such endeavors quickly gained stature in their own societies.

The success of these sachems often depended on their ability to contest and outmaneuver rival sachems for a favored relationship with the English, as well as to manipulate rivalries between the English and the Dutch.  Wyandanch, for example, had to compete with Uncas, the Mohegan sachem, who had become a close ally of the English in Connecticut during the Pequot War and with Ninigret, the Niantic sachem who was allied with Governor Roger Williams of Rhode Island.  All of these sachems had quickly learned how to manipulate their English allies to serve their own interests.  Roger Ludlow, one of the Connecticut founders, wrote to Roger Williams warning him that these Algonquian sachems seldom missed an opportunity “…to advance their own kingdoms.”[67]

In spite of Ludlow’s suspicions, Wyandanch served as a peacemaker in an incident that occurred during the spring and summer of 1657 when some Shinnecocks launched a raid against the Southampton settlers by burning down several buildings including the homes of the new minister, Robert Fordham and Elinor Howell, the widow of town founder, Edward Howell.  In a panic, the town officials called for help from the Connecticut Court which responded immediately, sending John Mason, the Pequot War veteran along with a troop of nineteen men and orders to investigate the incident and to arrest those responsible.  He was told, in effect, to invoke the provisions of the 1644 treaty.  “You are to require of the Montaukett sachem such damages as you shall find done by any Indian or Indians under him …according law and the articles of agreement between him and us.[68]  He was also instructed not to provoke an engagement by pursuing “any Indians into the woods.”

It was clear that the Connecticut Court wanted a peaceful resolution to the affair and wanted help from Wyandanch.  “If he declares himself willing to attend it … you are …to assist him and his men to go to the plantation of the Indians under him, that have committed this outrage…”  There is no record of the action taken by Mason and Wyandanch, but the Connecticut Court levied a collective fine of seven hundred pounds to be paid over a seven-year period and commissioned Wyandanch to collect it.[69]  This would eventually force the Shinnecock to sell parcels of their lands, a fairly common strategy employed by the English in the latter half of the seventeenth century.[70]

Wyandanch, who had learned how the English legal system worked, appealed to the United Colonies, telling them that one of the people who had been involved had committed suicide to avoid execution and that an African woman had been “fare deeper in that capital miscarriage than any Indians or all the Indians.”[71] The reference to a multiracial uprising against English colonialism raises some very interesting questions but, unfortunately, we have no further information.  The commissioners, after consulting with Mason agreed that the fine was excessive and returned the matter to the Connecticut Court, which agreed to reduce the fine to two hundred pounds over six years.[72]  The incident certainly increased the sachem’s stature and influence among the Algonquian sachems on Long Island.

The episode also convinced the English that Wyandanch could, with a small amount of English support, play an important role as a liaison with the Native Americans on Long Island.  They saw his potential for bringing a semblance of order to the chaotic scramble for Indian land in central Long Island that had heated up in the 1650s.  Between June 1, 1657 and his appearance before the Town of Southold magistrates , Wyandanch negotiated eleven major transactions for the English.  Four were purchases of land (June 1, 1657, July 20, 1657, July 23, 1657, Aug. 17, 1658), one was the clarification of the eastern boundary of the Shinnecock lands (June, 19, 1657), two were confirmations of earlier purchases (June 14, 1657, May 14, 1658), two were land use agreements (May 22, 1658 May 29, 1658), and two were leases of beach rights to drift whales (Nov.13,1658, June 10, 1658).

The Alliance Sachems Go to Hempstead: New Politics and Old Traditions, a Case Study

In the summer of 1657, shortly after the arson incident in Southampton, Wyandanch again demonstrated the importance of his political influence as an Alliance sachem and the significance of his kinship ties with the Algonquian communities in central Long Island.  The sachem and his counsellor, Cockenoe, joined with Tackapousha, the Massapequa sachem, to resolve a continuing disagreement about the boundaries of the tract that the Hempstead settlers had purchased from the Matinecock in 1643.[73]

Wyandanch, however, was not at Hempstead, a town under Dutch jurisdiction, in his capacity as an ally of the English.  He could only have been there because of his kinship interests in the Matinecock lands inherited from his grandmother.  The town was one of four settlements under Dutch jurisdiction on western Long Island with an English population. It must have been an interesting interaction: two alliance sachems resolving a disagreement with the English officials of a town under Dutch jurisdiction.  It was most certainly a challenge to the diplomatic skills of the two Algonquian leaders.  In the years following the original purchase, the settlement had expanded northward into Matinecock territory and eventually all the way to the sound. Although their 1644 Hempstead patent from the Dutch governor included the north shore, Tackapousha, who had assumed jurisdiction over Matinecock territory, made it clear that the 1643 purchase did not include the north shore and had to be “reissued” with additional payments.[74] The Dutch patent, therefore was, in Tackapousha’s view, an overreach.

Wyandanch and Tackapousha were accompanied by Mangoube, the Rockaway sachem, Checkenoe, Wyandanch’s counsellor, and four other local headmen. When Wyandanch asked who spoke for the Matinecock, Tackapousha said that they “had put themselves under him,” apparently referring the 1656 treaty. The text of the confirmation states that it included, all the Native Americans who have an interest in the Hempstead purchase and affirms that “the Montaoke sachem” was among them. The sachems protested that the payment was, “so little,” and that there was not enough to satisfy all of the family members who held proprietary interests in the tract.[75] According to one of the Hempstead officials Wyandanch “desired the Hempstead men to give them more.” This incident demonstrates once again that all of the families with proprietary interests on a tract had to be satisfied.  In response Hempstead added items valued at twelve pounds, bringing the total cost of the goods to forty-two pounds. The goods in the agreement included, cattle, tools, wampum, cloth, powder and lead. In terms of Quashawam’s testimony, the presence of Wyandanch and Tackapousha together in these negotiations is significant, affirming a kinship connection linking the two sachems. On July 4th 1657, once the matter of distribution was settled, the two sachems and their counsellors agreed on a confirmation of original purchase, but left the disagreement over the northern boundary unsettled for the moment.[76]

A year later Wyandanch returned to Hempstead, where he was asked to help resolve contentions about the boundaries of the 1643 deed which had not been settled in the July 4th 1657 agreement.  The surveying method used at the time in the colonies was called, “perambulation,” wherein the two parties engaged in the transaction would send their representatives to “walk” the agreed upon boundaries.  Wyandanch and the sachems proposed to go with representatives of the town and walk off the boundaries marking the trees as they went.  According to historian Bernice Marshall, Gildersleeve and some English settlers accompanying the Native Americans provided wine and gifts as they went along cutting the trees.[77] The two parties came to an agreement on May 11, 1658 that acknowledged, once again that they were satisfied with the payments and went on to locate the boundaries that they had agreed to on their walk.

Unfortunately, “perambulation” had its limitations.  John James, the Hempstead clerk, described the north western boundary of the tract as beginning at “Mattagaretts” (Martin Gerritsen’s) Bay) and running directly south to the Atlantic Ocean.  Historian Martha Flint noted that, “No point has been more difficult to determine than the exact locations of this bay.”[78] She concluded, however, that the bay, named after Martin Gerritsen, a member of Governor Kieft’s council, was present-day Little Neck Bay.  The eastern boundary was marked by Hempstead Bay with a line running south to the ocean through a meadow land called “Maskutchoung” by the Native Americanss.[79] The agreement was signed by Tackapousha, Wyandanch, Checkenoe and three other sachems.

The agreement, however, did not hold.  Disputes soon broke out between the Matinecocks and both Hempstead and Oyster Bay and between the two towns with each other over the use of meadowlands where the boundaries had not been surveyed.  Efforts to mark boundary lines with fences resulted in what historian Bernice Marshal described as “…a long series of vitriolic disputes.”  Hempstead’s western neighbor, Flushing, also complained that, “…our neighbors of Hempstead does make intrusion upon the bounds of our patent.”[80] The Towns of Oyster Bay and Hempstead, did not settle their boundary conflicts until 1879.[81]

The Horse Neck Affair

A few days after the temporary settlement of the Hempstead dispute, Wyandanch came to the Shelter Island estate of Nathaniel Sylvester, a wealthy Barbados sugar plantation owner, who had purchased from Wyandanch’s family the island in Peconic Bay near the Montaukett homelands on the far eastern end of Long Island from Wyandanch’s family.  Samuel Andrews, a Quaker, and one of the founding settlers of the predominantly Quaker community in Oyster Bay, requested a meeting here, in part, because Sylvester openly sympathized with Quaker ideals and gave refuge to Quakers harried by the Boston authorities.  Beginning in the fall of 1656, a series of severe Anti-Quaker laws had been enacted by the court which alarmed Quakers in southern New England and on Long Island.

Andrews wanted to confirm his title to a three-thousand five-hundred-acre tract of grazing land called Caumsett (place of sharp rocks) by the Native Americans and renamed “Horse Neck” by the English who valued it as grazing meadows for their horses and other livestock.[82] The neck, which separated Oyster Bay from Huntington Bay, would become a source of acrimonious disputes between the townships for the next two centuries.  Andrews, concerned about the fate of a title held by a religious dissenter, sought the support of Sylvester and the imprimatur of the Montaukett sachem.  The “title trail” for this tract provides some rather pointed historical ironies as well as relevant insights and into the process of land alienation on Long Island, the nature of aboriginal family hunting territories, and the authority of the two Long Island “chief sachems.”

The trail begins in 1653 when a company of Englishmen from Hempstead, Plymouth, and Springfield, Peter Wright, Samuel Mayo, Daniel Whitehead, Richard Holbrook, Robert Williams and Reverend William Leverich, looking to expand a coastal trading company, discovered that Oyster Bay was deep enough for Mayo’s 120-ton vessel, the Desire to navigate.  The men organized a company which included several others including the families of Nicolas Simkins, Samuel Titus, William and John Washburn, and Thomas Armitage.  They may also had some financial support from Richard Briant (Bryan), a wealthy merchant from Milford, New Haven Colony, who had been was engaged first in the fur trade and then with the West Indies commerce.[83]

Three of the men, Wright, Mayo, and Leverich, all from Plymouth, negotiated with Assiapum (Mohenes) who, according to anthropologist, Robert Grumet, was related by marriage to Tackapousha’s family, thereby linking the Massapequa and Matinecock kinship systems.[84]  The first contact was likely made between Assiapum and William Leverich, who aspired to preach to the Native Americans.  He is depicted seated with two sachems “explaining” the purchase to them in a mural painted by a WPA artist for the Oyster Bay Post Office in the 1930s.  The minister had worked for the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in New England in 1647, but there is no surviving data about his work on Long Island.  It is quite likely, however, that he was familiar with both Assiapum and Asharoken.  If Wyandanch’s daughter, Quashawam, was correct in her 1666 testimony, both men may also have been related to Wyandanch’s family.

Assiapum and his people requested six  coats, six hatchets, six kettles, six hoes, six fathoms of wampum (white), three pairs of stockings, thirty muxes (for wampum manufacture) three shirts, twenty knives, and enough purple (black) wampum beads to purchase goods valued at four pounds sterling in exchange for a tract of land between the Papaquatuck river flowing into the western side of Oyster Bay and the Oyster River (another ground water-fed stream) on the eastern bank.[85] The purchase, which approximates the northeastern area of present-day Oyster Bay, only records the year, 1653.  Local historian, John Hammond, believes that it must have been made prior to April 2, 1653 when the company purchased a second tract located east of the Oyster Bay.[86]  This seems likely because the men were primarily interested in establishing the site on Oyster Bay. These goods, including the wampum, were purchased with funds raised by the whole company.

The transaction did not go well.  Two affidavits filed thirty years later by Nicholas Simkins and Samuel Titus, who had witnessed the negotiations as young men, provide some interesting insights into the details of one of the early purchases on Long Island.  Simkins indicates that the settlers had already begun to move onto the land before it was paid for.  Some of the purchasers, he said, went ahead and laid out twenty lots of six acres each.[87]  This angered Assiapum and his followers, who became, said Simkins, “very unruly and dissatisfied.” The goods, Titus acknowledged, “…should have been paid before, but was [were] not, whereupon the Indians began to be very surly, until they had their pay paid them, as aforesaid.”[88]  The terms, “surly” and “unruly” to describe the justifiable response to the delay in receiving the promised goods, reveals a paternalistic attitude suggesting annoyance over “childish behavior.”

The funds to buy the goods for the Matinecocks were raised by in-kind contributions and a tax on the investors who wanted a parcel of land for a homestead.  Titus, who was nineteen at the time, said that John, his father, and his two brothers slaughtered an ox and contributed one quarter to raise the money.  Richard Bryan, said Titus,  “…helped them to procure the goods to pay the Indians,” and was likely the source of the purple wampum, called by the Dutch, “the source and mother of the fur trade.”  Simkins said that he “…killed the cattle and paid the debt; and when we came to levy the rate for the purchase, it came to eighteen shillings and ten pence.[89]  In contrast to this purchase, the goods promised in the earlier purchases for Southampton by the Lynn Company (1640) and East Hampton by Governor Theophilus Eaton (1648) were made prior to the signing of the agreement.[90]

The second purchase was made by Holbrook, Williams, and Whitehead.  The latter two were among the founders of Hempstead and Holbrook came from Springfield MA.  They met on April 2, 1653 with Asharoken, the Matinecock sachem from Cow Harbor and twenty-two other Matinecocks.  Williams would have been familiar with the some of the Matinecocks because five years earlier he had purchased a small parcel located to the northeast of Hempstead where the present-day village of Jericho is located, and directly south of the tract Leverich and his colleagues had just purchased from Assiapum.  In 1648, Williams had negotiated with Sachems Pugnipan and Asharoken and seven other men who apparently had a proprietary interest in the land (Nanamorrouas, Ponannegan, Mashacur, Perawas, Mannittung, Neponhew, and Pocipupon).[91] There is no evidence that Williams made an effort to occupy the site at the time, but clearly, he intended to “hive out” from Hempstead as soon as he saw an opportunity.  That arrived in 1653 when he joined with the Oyster Bay company.

Asharoken, who was by now quite familiar with the individuals in the company, may well have approached the negotiations a bit warily.  Williams and his companions wanted a parcel of land bordered on the west by the Nachaquetack (Oyster River) and on the east by another small creek called Opcatkontycke flowing into present-day Northport (Cow) Harbor.  These east and west boundaries roughly approximate those of modern-day Huntington.  The North side was to be “with the sea,” which appeared to include the 3,500-acre neck of meadowland jutting out into the Sound.  This, however, would soon become a major source of contention among the English settlers.  Once again, as in Hempstead, the boundaries were to be determined by “perambulation.”  According to the three Oyster Bay men, “…the said sachem doth promise to go or to send someone in twenty days to show and mark out the bounds and in case it prove not according to expectation then this writing to be void and of no effect, but in case it be, then this writing to stand in full force, power and virtue.”[92] There is no indication that this was done.  It would become became a question of basic integrity, or lack thereof, between the representatives of Oyster Bay and Huntington.

The Matinecock proprietors received six coats, six kettles, six hatchets, six hoes, six shirts, ten knives, six fathoms of wampum, thirty muxes, and thirty needles, but no shirts, stockings or black wampum as Assiapum had received for the western tract, but it was evidently received on time.  According to the three Oyster Bay men, Asharoken reserved Caumsett (Horse Neck) for his people, but there is no mention of this reservation in the text of the deed.  Such reservations, however, were not unusual in deeds during the last half of the seventeenth century.  Frequently family proprietors of hunting territories would deny access to favored areas or demand rights to continue hunting and fishing on the land purchased by the English, a form of “usufruct” in English property law.

The deed is one of the more curious land transactions in the chaotic history of the scramble for Indian land on Long Island.  Why the men intent upon establishing a trading post settlement on Oyster Bay would make this second purchase beyond the eastern boundary of Oyster Bay remains a mystery.  There is no evidence that they intended to expand the boundaries of Oyster Bay and there followed an even more puzzling decision by the company.  According to historian, Charles Street, the Oyster Bay company signed over all rights to the tract to the residents of Huntington.[93] Street, in his notation, following the text of the deed, gives no documentation nor explanation for such an unusual grant. He goes on to make a most unusual statement of his own regarding the transfer of the tract to the Huntington residents. “The original assignment seems to be missing, but I think I have seen it in former years, and its execution is attested to by contemporaneous papers” (Ibid.). He does not cite any of these documents. There is no surviving record, for example, identifying the Huntington recipients of the deed.  Jonas Wood, William Rogers, and Thomas Wilkes, the men who purchased the remaining town land in northeastern Huntington in 1656, are not mentioned.[94]

Street’s rather unorthodox admission, however, was never questioned by local historians. William Pelletreau in his History of Long Island (1903) ignores any complications, simply repeating Street’s note that the residents of Oyster Bay “…on the same day on which they made their purchase, they assigned it over to the people of Huntington.”[95] Although it must be noted that there are no surviving town records for those early years, some comment about the unusual nature of the decision by the Oyster Bay men should have been made.

The Huntington men, pleased no doubt to receive the deed, were soon most displeased to learn that, according to the Oyster Bay company, the northern boundary “at the sea” did not include Horse Neck with its rich grazing land.  The neck, according the Oyster Bay company, as noted above, remained Indian land as Asharoken had demanded.  The Huntington farmers had become accustomed to grazing their horses and other livestock there, leading, apparently, to clashes with Oyster Bay farmers.  The sparse records in both towns, unfortunately, provide few details.

Daniel Whitehead, Peter Wright, and Samuel Mayo, in hopes of ending the controversy, met with Asharoken and Assiapum, and twelve Matinecocks on September 20, 1654, and purchased Horse Neck, with a separate deed.[96]  The purchase was consistent with their insistence that the land, as Asharoken had insisted, was still in Native American possession.  They were now asking the Matinecocks to sell it in spite of their reluctance a year earlier.  The sachems came with twelve others, most of whom do not appear to be among those who came the year before, suggesting that these men had more direct proprietorship over the hunting grounds on the neck.  If this were the case, it may also explain why the two sachems could not sell the tract before.  There was no need for a “reserve clause” because Asharoken and those with him in the negotiations did not have the authority to sell Horse Neck.  They would have needed the approval of those whose families held the family rights over the territory.  This, therefore, would not have been a matter of a change of mind about the sale, it was a decision that required the approval of different family members.

The Huntington officials, unfamiliar with Algonquian traditions, protested that this was an act of bad faith on the part of the Oyster Bay men.  They dismissed the Oyster Bay claim that Asharoken had orally “reserved” the tract, arguing that it was included in the 1653 purchase that Oyster Bay had turned over to them.  The neck, therefore, belonged to them in 1654, not to the Matinecocks, who could not be criticized for signing a new agreement and accepting more goods from Oyster Bay.  The Huntington settlers continued to act as though their interpretation was valid and grazed their horses and livestock on the neck, ignoring Oyster Bay protests.[97]  This was possible because there was no effective legal recourse for the fledgling English communities on Long Island. The two settlements were not, at the time, part of any established government, they were independent, illegal, “squatter” entities occupying crown land without the king’s permission.  This is how the matter stood for the next four years, an indication of how arbitrary, chaotic, and quasi-legal the scramble for the Indian lands had become.  It would soon get even more chaotic with less pretense of legality.  Sometime in the early spring of 1658, Huntington decided to abandon its position and challenge the Oyster Bay title by “repurchasing” the neck from Wyandanch under the assumption that as “Grand Sachem” he could override Asharoken’s sale to Oyster Bay.

The “race” for Fort Neck: May 6-14, 1658

The contentions became a bit more complicated when, on May 6, 1658, Samuel Mayo and the Oyster Bay company decided to sell their interests in the neck to Samuel Andrews, another Oyster Bay resident.[98] Andrews paid the Oyster Bay company one hundred pounds, a sizeable profit for them.  This brings us to the May 14, 1658 visit by Andrews to Shelter Island, described by Huntington historian, Charles Street as a “race to seize Horse Neck.”[99] Andrews, hearing that the Huntington officials would try to buy Caumsett directly from Wyandanch, decided to ask the Montaukett sachem to confirm the 1654 purchase from Asharoken, Assiapum and the Matinecocks.  What neither Oyster Bay or Huntington understood was that Wyandanch’s authority rested on his kinship ties with the Matinecocks through his grandmother and his alliance with the English.  The controversy over Asharoken’s undocumented oral “reservation clause” was undoubtedly puzzling to the Matinecocks.

The decision to meet with Wyandanch at Nathaniel Sylvester’s home on Shelter Island, a day’s travel eastward from Oyster Bay, was carefully calculated by Andrews, who wanted the assurance of a friendly, protected, location near Montauk.  The “race” began when Huntington dispatched their own representative, one John Gosby, in an attempt to purchase a new deed directly from Wyandanch.  It was a desperate ploy, based on the assumption that the Montaukett sachem could (and would) unilaterally override Asharoken and the Matinecock men who endorsed the 1654 sale of Caumsett.  Both Oyster Bay and Huntington now argued that Wyandanch did have the powers of a “Grand Sachem.”  As the research by Speck and Macleod make clear, however, that decision would have to be made by the family representatives, usually involving women such as Wyandanch’s grandmother, not by a single sachem

Gosby was empowered to purchase the tract directly from Wyandanch.[100]  But, according to Street, Cosby failed because he arrived a day late.  He framed the episode as a “race: to obtain Wyandanch’s signature, won by an undeserving party.  For Huntington residents this became an engaging local folktale, but it was rather disingenuous of Street who had so vociferously argued that Wyandanch had no such authority.  The Montaukett sachem, as expected, confirmed that Asharoken had indeed sold the tract to Samuel Mayo in July 1654 and that Andrews “repurchased” it from Mayo.[101]  Wyandanch would have understood that Asharoken could not release Horse Neck to the Oyster Bay men in 1653 if the representatives of the proprietors were not present at the signing.  He would have agreed with the Oyster Bay company the Horse Neck remind Matinecock land until it was purchased with the agreement of the Matinecock proprietors who endorsed the 1654 transaction.

Andrews died in 1660 and bequeathed the neck to John Richbell, another of the Town of Oyster Bayfounders, who built a home, planted gardens, and an orchard there while fending off Huntington livestock.  Huntington did not give up, but there was no effective legal remedy at the time.  Although the town voted to place themselves under the jurisdiction of Connecticut in 1660, there were some who opposed the move. There is little evidence that any action was taken and no evidence that Huntington residents brought any actions in the Connecticut Courts.[102] In February of that year, however, Oyster Bay sought to strengthen their case.  John Richbell and Anthony Wright asked Wyandanch’s son, Wyancombone, to confirm his father’s testimony in 1658 that Asharoken and Assiapum had sold Horse Neck to Samuel Mayo and company in 1654.  He agreed, stating that, “Wyandank my father, Great Sachem of Meantient and also of Long Island did confirm….” the transaction between the Oyster Bay company and the two sachems.  The Oyster Bay officials, curiously, did not enter this testimony in their town records nor did they raise it in any of the subsequent legal proceedings.  Charles Street, the Huntington historian who so vociferously rejected the legitimacy of the “Grand Sachem” title, entered it into the Town of Huntington Records, without comment.[103]

The towns were, in effect, independent commonwealths of squatters on Crown land.  New Haven had shown some interest in bringing the town under its jurisdiction but Peter Stuyvesant, the Dutch governor, dismissed their efforts, noting that they had no patent and were not really a viable legal entity.[104]  In the eyes of the newly restored Charles II, both towns were illegal squatters on crown land.  The residents had to wait until King Charles decided to seize New Netherland and established a colonial court system in 1664.  The Montaukett sachem would soon play a posthumous role in the first legal action before the Governor Nicolls’ the newly established colonial administration.


More interesting than Street’s “folk story” to historians were Sylvester’s other guests. Two prominent Southampton residents, John Ogden, and Richard Woodhull, joined Andrews and the Montaukett sachem as guests of Nathaniel Sylvester.  Woodhull and Wyandanch were very well acquainted by this time. They had been involved in the purchases of East Hampton and Aquabogue in 1648, and the southern half of Brookhaven in 1657.  Ogden was also very familiar with Wyandanch.  The two men had been involved with settlements related to the “fire money” fine imposed on the Shinnecock.  Ogden and Woodhull, both active participants in many real estate ventures, had more than a little interest any negotiations involving Wyandanch.  He and Sylvester would later testify about the meeting when the “Horse Neck” case arrived before the Governor in 1665.   Andrews’ decision to engage Sylvester would prove prescient.


The “Grand Sachem’s” Title Goes to Court, 1665  

In the fall of 1664, shortly after the colony of New York was established, John Conkling of Huntington took the long-awaited opportunity to go after John Richbell and the Oyster Bay “occupation” of Horse Neck.  He brought a charge of trespass against Richbell that was  “…to be tried by the special warrant from the governor…”[105] Nicolls, who had no knowledge of the native inhabitants in his new colony, and probably very little about the contentious scramble to obtain their land, ruled in favor of Richbell and, in effect, the authority of Wyandanch’s endorsement.  After listening to the convoluted story of the Oyster Bay “gift” of the Huntington tract to the settlers and the following controversy over Horse Neck based, in part, on the statement made verbally to by Asharoken, it is not surprising that he saw the Wyandanch imprimatur as the best way to resolve the matter.  Nicolls undoubtedly wanted to get on with the serious challenges of establishing a new colony.  Although the records of the proceedings are sparse, there is a reference in the Records of the Court of Assizes to “a verdict of jury for the defendant, plaintiff to pay all costs against Conkling on Sept. 20, 1664.”[106]

Richbell and Oyster Bay, unwilling to let the matter drop and, undoubtedly, much to the dismay of Governor Nicolls, wanted another ounce of flesh.  One of the first cases brought before the newly established New York Colonial Court of Assizes in the fall of 1665, was brought by John Richbell against the Town of Huntington for “unjust molestation.”  The Assizes was the highest colonial court, so called because the most powerful jurists sit assidere (latin origin) beside each other.  Arguing the trespass suit was entirely unfounded, Richbell hired John Rider, who would become, with John Sharp, one of the two most successful real estate lawyers in the colony. Rider argued that Richbell’s title “…was confirmed by the grand sachem, Wyandanch…” and produced the document for the jury.[107]  Conkling’s suit in the face of such conclusive evidence, said Rider, amounted to a form of harassment.

Reverend Leverich, who had negotiated the first Oyster Bay deed with Assiapum in 1653, left the community in 1658 when several of the residents became Quakers, and moved to Huntington in 1658 where he was appointed to serve as their minister.  In spite of his involvement with the founding of Oyster Bay, he had become such a strong advocate of Huntington that he agreed to represent them in the trial.  The reverend restated the assertion that the northern border of the 1653 was the sound and, therefore included Horse Neck, rejecting the claim that Asharoken had made a verbal demand that the neck be reserved for his people.  Leverich, however, was not present when his colleagues negotiated this transaction.  This deed he told the court, “…be more valid, as being more ancient,” and produced the April 2, 1653 deed signed by Asharoken and Assiapum.  Wyandanch’s endorsement, he argued, was not relevant because the neck had already been purchased by Oyster Bay and given to Huntington.

It is possible that Leverich thought biases against Quakers might, as Andrews feared, serve his cause regarding Horse Neck.  The New England Puritans who passed the draconian anti-Quaker laws in Boston while Cromwell was governing the home country, lost their home support with the restoration of the Stuarts. Charles II was no friend of either but he did not persecute the Quakers.  His new governor, Richard Nicolls, saw an immediate political advantage in establishing good relations with William Sylvester when the Puritan towns on eastern Long Island resisted his authority and sought to remain under the jurisdiction of Connecticut and New Haven.  The governor was undoubtedly aware that Sylvester had provided a refuge for Mary Dyer in 1659 when she was banished from Boston after being forced to stand on the gallows with a noose around her neck as a warning.  After staying that Autum as a guest in the Sylvester home on Shelter Island she returned, undeterred, to Boston the following March where the Puritan authorities carried out their threat. Her body was left hanging, it was said, as a flag to warn all dissenters.

Rider, understanding the situation very well, responded with heavy guns. He drew on a very, influential set of witnesses including, Nathaniel Sylvester, Richard Woodhull, John Underhill, the hero of the two major wars against the Native Americanss who had been converted to the Quaker beliefs by his Dutch wife, and all the Oyster Bay Quakers who had drafted the two purchases from the Matinecocks.  Woodhull testified that he had been on Shelter Island “…where the Grand Sachem met them and confirmed the same and that returning homeward, he met John Gosby of Huntington …” who said he was employed by the town, to purchase the said neck of land of the sachem for their town, but hearing of the said confirmation, he said he had come to late, and so returned homeward.”  Nevertheless, the jury of local Presbyterian farmers ruled for Huntington, apparently unimpressed, and perhaps even a bit alienated, by the elite witnesses and the wealthy Quaker living on Horse Neck.[108]

Rider wasn’t finished. He entered an appeal immediately to Governor Nicolls and his council, who were much more impressed with witnesses and with Wyandanch’s confirmation.  The governor was reluctant to antagonize William Sylvester, who could provide him with support on the eastern end of Long Island where his authority was the weakest, nor Underhill, the veteran commander of the two most successful Native American campaigns in New England and New Netherland.  He was also aware that Richard Woodhull, the influential entrepreneur, had played a role in the founding of Southampton, East Hampton and Brookhaven.  The fact that John Richbell, the Plaintiff, was one of the wealthiest men in the colony had also not escaped the governor and his newly appointed ten-member council, who reversed the jury’s verdict without comment.[109]

Nicolls appears to have viewed the matter of Horse Neck in narrow political terms.  Once he shored up his support from Underhill, Sylvester, Woodhull, and the Oyster Bay Quakers, he moved on his larger goal of tightening central control over all aspects of local government, including Indian affairs.  He would soon begin to make “governor’s determinations” to settle disputes between towns and require contested land titles to be resolved in the colonial court.  The first session of the colony’s new high court introduced the governor to the unique nature of the frontier community.  The first trial of the first session turned on the testimony of two Algonquian sachems and the last trial, on October 2, was for witchcraft.  Ralph and Mary Hall of Setauket were charged with the murder of George Wood and the infant child of Ann Rogers.  In this trial, however, to his relief, I imagine, he was quite content to let the jury decision stand.  They dismissed the witchcraft charges against Ralph, but found there were “some suppositions of evidence” against Mary, but not enough to justify the death penalty.  She was released under bond to her husband’s supervision and sent home

The next day Nicolls and his Court of Assizes met with “…the sachems and chiefs of Long Island…” to negotiate an agreement about the process of land alienation.  Nicolls astutely brought together the most influential Native American leaders with some of the most prominent and wealthiest men in the colony.  He made it clear that his centralized approach to land dispossession was the same for both whites and Native Americans. Each individual sachem would henceforth deal directly with him and not through an intermediary “grand” or “alliance” sachem.  There shall be, he said, “no superior sachem upon on Long Island, but that every sachem shall keep his proprietary over his own people as formerly.”[110] The uncertainty about the deeds that had plagued the process in the absence of a central administration with oversight would now be resolved by the governor, not by an alliance sachem.  The sachems who spoke for family groups with interests in particular hunting territories, would deal only with purchasers approved by the governor.  Most of the land was purchased by now, but many of those earlier purchases had to be confirmed, this time by the courts in a “second scramble” that was, indeed, less chaotic, but little more fair, and not all that successful.  This “second scramble” for the confirmation of earlier deeds that began during the administration of Thomas Dongan is another one of those stories for another time.


The documents cited in the text clearly demonstrate that the “Grand Sachem” and the “Montauk Confederacy” were colorful fictions repeated by at least two generations of local historians and “town boosters,” who wanted a colorful background for the story of the European settlement.  By the mid-1970s, however, new research by archeologists such as Lynn Ceci, (1977, 1979) Richard Michael Gramly (1977), Harrington (1977), Gramly and Gwynne (1982) Edward Kaeser (1978) and Williams (1972), revealed that there was no evidence of large settlements with the populations and material wealth indicating the presence of an island-wide confederacy.[111]  The population patterns were more consistent with small village settlements scattered along the coastal areas of Long Island.

There was, however, convincing evidence that Wyandanch, the Montaukett sachem, was involved in land transactions from Hempstead in western Long Island to Montauk on the far eastern end of the island.  How then to account for his influence and power over these sachems on central and western Long Island? Charles Street, the Town of Huntingto historian, as noted had an answer, arguing that Wyandanch became a lackey of the English, eager to do their bidding for the crumbs they threw him.  Indigenous leaders, however, who relied entirely on European support and had no credibility among their own people were of little use in an alliance.  In order to maintain a meaningful liaison between the two cultures the sachems had to have a significant level of trust and respect in their own communities.  Puppets with no credibility among their own people were of little use in an alliance.

Wyandanch’s rivals, Uncas, Miantonomi, and Ninigret, for example, all were able to keep their followers from violating any bargain or agreement they had reached with the English.  Wyandanch demonstrated this level of leadership, for example, when he prevailed upon Tackapousha, Keeoschock, the Secatogue sachem, and the Corchaug sachems to observe land transactions that they may not have been entirely pleased with.  His success in adroitly navigating the English court system to reduce the Shinnecock fine is further evidence that he was able to move across the cultural bounds in the interests of his people.  The source of this authority is suggested by research related to family hunting territories and the testimonies of Wyandanch, his family, and his close advisors.  The Hempstead and Horse Neck case studies provide insights into the two sources of his influence, his family connections with the Matinecock sachems through his grandmother and the support of Lion Gardiner and William Sylvester.  These studies also detail Wyandanch’s role as an alliance sachem as described by Anthony Wallace and Richard White and not a Grand Sachem as claimed by the local historians.



Map 1 p. 5 Locations of Deeds, Conformations, leases, and boundary agreements negotiated by Wyandanch.

  1. April 29, 1648 deed to East Hampton.
  2. April 10, 1655 lease of Montauk grazing lands.
  3. June 1, 1657 deed to five necks of Secatogue land to Jonas Wood.
  4. June 19, 1657 confirms eastern boundary of Shinnecock lands.
  5. July 4, 1657 Confirms 1643 Purchase of Hempstead.
  6. July 20, 1657 Deed to Two Necks (with Wenecoheage’s consent)
  7. July 23, 1657 Deed to Half Neck of Secatogue land (with Keeossechok).
  8. May 11, 1658 Confirms Hempstead’s Northern Boundary.
  9. May 14, 1658 Confirms Asharoken’s deed to Horse Neck
  10. May 29, 1658 ten-year Lease of meadow land in Quogue to Thomas Topping.
  11. June 10, 1658 Lease of beach and Meadow to Lion Gardiner.
  12. August 17, 1658 Deed for three Necks of land to Huntington.
  13. 13, 1658 Whale rights to Napeague Beach.
  14. Jan 30, 1659 Wyandanch confirms the sale of Corchaug Lands.
  15. April 27, 1659 Wyandanch sells Plum Island to Samuel Willis of Hartford.
  16. May 12, 1659 Wyandanch sells Shinnecock land in Quogue to John Ogden,
  17. May 12, 1659 Wyandanch confirms the July 23, 1657 purchase by Jonas Wood. (no. 7 above).
  18. May 23, 1659 Wyandanch and Tackapousha confirm the August 17, 1658 deed (no. 12 above)
  19. May 25, 1659 Confirms Tackapousha’s sale of land to Oyster Bay.
  20. June 8, 1659 Wyandanch sells whale rights on Shinnecock beach to Lion Gardiner.
  21. July 14, 1659 Wyandanch gives Nasseconsett’s land to Gardiner.
  22. July 28, 1659 Wyandanch sells whale rights on Unkechaug beaches to Gardiner.
  23. Summer 1659 Wyandanch sells Maukeehu’s land to Setauket.



[1] Silas Wood, A Sketch of the First Settlement of the Several Towns on Long Island (Brooklyn: Alden Spooner, 1828), 63.

[2] Benjamin F. Thompson, History of Long Island From its Discovery and Settlement to the Present Time 2 Vols.  (New York: R.H. Dodd, 1918 ), 1: 129 .

[3] David Gardiner, Chronicles of the Town of East Hampton, County of Suffolk, New York (New York: William Ewers, 1973), 1.

[4] Nathaniel S. Prime, A History of Long Island From its First Settlement By Europeans to the Year 1845 (New York: Robert Carter, 1845), 91.

[5] Tom Twomy, Awakening the Past: The East Hampton 350th Anniversary Lecture Series (New York: Newmarket Press, 1999), 12-13, 119.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Tom Twomy, Origins of the Past: The Story of Montauk and Gardiner’s Island (New York: Newmarket Press, 2012), 475.

[8] W.W. Munsell, The History of Suffolk County (New York: W.W. Munsell, 1882).

[9] Ibid., 19.

[10] Charles Street, Huntington, in Munsell, W.W. ed The History of Suffolk County (New York: W.W. Munsell), 2.

[11] Ibid.

[12] Ibid.

[13] Ibid.

[14] Ibid.,2

[15] T. H. Breen, Imagining the Past: East Hampton Histories (New York: Addison-Wesley, 1989), 106.

[16] Ibid.

[17] Derek Hirst, England in Conflict, 1603-1660: Kingdom, Community, Commonwealth (London: Arnold Hodder, 2003), 182-4, 202-232.

[18] Paul Otto, The Dutch-Munsee Encounter in America (New York: Berghahan Books, 2006), 115-16.

[19] Edmund Bailey O’Callaghan, History of New Netherland, Volume 1 (New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1966), 266.

[20] Ibid., 268.

[21] Ibid., 276.

[22] Ibid., 270-271.

[23] Ed. David Pulsifer, Records of the Colony of New Plymouth, 9th of the 10 vols. (vols. 9 and 10 are the minutes of the United Colonies) (Reprint 1968 New York AMS Press), 3-4.

[24] O’Callaghan, 287.

[25] Ibid., 289.

[26] Bernice Marshall, Colonial Hempstead: Long Island Life Under the Dutch and English (Port Washington, N.Y.: Ira Friedman, Inc., 1962), 37; Henry C. Shelley, John Underhill: Captain of New England and New Netherland (New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1932), 312-16.

[27] O’Callaghan, 299.

[28] Allen Trelease, Indian Affairs in Colonial New  York: The Seventeenth Century (Reprint The Kennikat Press, 1960)  fn. 54, 79; Ed. J. Franklin Jameson, Narratives of New Netherland, 1609-1664 (New York: Barnes and Noble, 1909), 282.

[29] Shelley, 314-319.

[30] Narratives of New England, 282-284; Edmund Bailey O’Callaghan and Berthold Fernow, eds. 15 vols., Documents Relative to the Colonial History of the State of New York (Weed Parsons: Albany. N.Y., 1856-87) Vol 1, 186-188; O’Callaghan, 301.

[31] O’Callaghan, 302.

[32] William Wallace Tooker, The Indian Place Names on Long Island (Port Washington, NY: Ira Friedman, 1911), 243-244.

[33] Ed. by John Cox, Records of the Town of Oyster Bay (New York: Tobias Wright), Vol 1, 628.

[34] Ibid.

[35] Robert Grumet, The Munsee Indians: A History (Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1995), 33.

[36] Edmund Bailey O’Callaghan and Berthold Fernow, eds., Documents Relative to the Colonial History of the State of New York, 15 vols. (Albany. N.Y: Weed Parsons, 1856-87), 14: 56, 369. Tooker, 243.

[37] O’Callaghan, vol. 1: 270-71.

[38] Records of the Colony of New Plymouth, vol. 9: 18-19.

[39] Ibid.

[40] O’Callaghan (1966), vol 1: 354-55.

[41] O’Callaghan and Fernow, vol. 14: 60; O’Callaghan (1966) vol. 1: 354-56.

[42] O’Callaghan and Fernow, vol. 14: 60.

[43] Tooker, 234.

[44] Ibid. 160, 213.

[45] Siomonn Pulla, “Anthropology or Advocacy? Frank Speck and the Mapping of Aboriginal Territory in Canada, 1500-1950” (PhD dissertation, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada, 2006), 25 ff.

[46] Ibid., 22-24.

[47] Eleanor Leacock, “The Montagnais Hunting Territory and the Fur Trade,” in American Anthropologist 56, no. 5 (October 1954): Pt. 2, Memoir no. 78.

[48] Harvey A. Feit, “Gifts of the Land: Hunting Territories, Guaranteed Incomes, and the Construction Social Relations in James Cree Society,” in Colonial Situations: Essays on the Contextualization of Ethnographic Knowledge, ed. George W. Stocking, Jr. (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press), 109-134; Harvey A. Feit, “Re-cognizing Co-management as Co-governance: Visions and Histories of Conservation at James Bay,” Anthopologica 47, no. 2 (2005), 267-288. Edwin Rogers Service, Profiles in Ethnology (Harper Collins, 1978)

[49] William Christie MacLeod, “The Family Hunting Territory and Lenape Political Organization,” in American Anthropologist, 24, no. 4 (Oct.-Dec., 1922): 448-463.

[50] Ibid.

[51] Ibid., 459.

[52] Records of the Town of Southold, ed. Joseph Wickham Case (Southold: S.W. Green’s Son, 1882), 193-194.

[53] Department of State Book of Deeds Unpublished Documents, New York State Archives Series 453, Vol. 1-9, Office of Secretary of State, Albany, NY, Vol. 2: 210-212; Charles Craven. History of Mattituck. (Mattituck, N,Y, Published by author, 1906) 14-15.

[54] (Thompson 1918 2: 231-32).

[55] Records of the Town of Smithtown, ed. William Pelletreau. 3 vols. Huntington, N.Y.: Long Islander Print. Volume 1: 16-17.

[56] Center For Brooklyn History,  LIHS package 29, #19

[57] Ibid., Tooker, 36.

[58] Center For Brooklyn History, LIHS package 29, #19

[59] John R. Bartlett, ed., Records of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantation in New England (New York: AMS Press, 1968), 10 vols., vol. 2: 270-77.

[60] Kathleen J. Bragdon, Native People of Southern New England 1500-1650 (Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1996), 157.

[61] William Simmons and George Aubin, “Narragansett Kinship,” in Man in the Northeast, Spring 1975, vol. 9: 23; Eric Spencer Johnson, “‘Some by Flatteries, and others by Threatenings’: Political Strategies Among Native Americans of Seventeenth-Century Southern New England” (Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Massachusetts, 1993), 174-183.

[62] Records of the Town of North and South Hempstead ed. Benjamin Hicks 8 vols. Jamaica, N.Y: Long Island Farmer Print, vol. 1: 43-45.

[63] Documents Relative to the Colonial History of the State of New York, Edmund Bailey O’Callaghan and Berthold Fernow, eds., 15 vols. Albany, NY: Weed Parsons, 1856-87, vol. 14: 368.

[64] Ibid., 369.

[65] Robert S. Grumet, ed., Northeastern Indian Lives, 1632-1816 (Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 1996), Introduction, 1-12.

[66] Richard White, The Middle Ground: Indians, Empires, and Republics in the Great Lakes Region, 1650-1815 (New York: Cambridge University, 1991), 36-40.

[67] Winthrop Papers, 7 vols. (Massachusetts Historical Society, 1931; reissued in 1968 by Russel and Russell of Atheneum House), vol. 3: 442.

[68] J. Hammond Trumbull, ed., Public Records of the Colony of Connecticut, 15 vols. (1852; reprint New York: AMS Press, 1968), vol. 1: 296.

[69] Pulsifer, Records of the Colony of New Plymouth, vol. 10: 180.

[70] Ibid.; Trumbull, Public Records of the Colony of Connecticut, vol. 1: 316-317.

[71] Pulsifer, Records of the Colony of New Plymouth, vol. 10: 180.

[72] Trumbull, Public Records of the Colony of Connecticut, vol. 1: 316-317.

[73] Records of the Town of North and South Hempstead ed. Benjamin Hicks 8 vols. Jamaica, NY: Long Island Farmer Print, vol. 1: 12-13; 45-46; 312-313; Naylor Natalie, ed., The Roots and Heritage of Hempstead Town (Interlaken, N.Y.: Heart of the Lakes Press, 1994), 175; Edward J. Smits “News From Lange Eylandt: The 1640s and 50s,” in Naylor, ed., The Roots and Heritage of Hempstead Town, 15-29; Bernice Marshall, Colonial Hempstead: Long Island Life Under the Dutch and English (Port Washington, N.Y. Ira Friedman, Inc., 1962), 27-28; Documents Relative to the Colonial History of the State of New York, vol. 14: 530, 728-729.

[74] Smits, “News From Lange Eylandt,” 22.

[75] Records of the Town of North and South Hempstead, vol. 1: 312-313; Marshall, Colonial Hempstead, 27.

[76] Marshall, Colonial Hempstead, 28-29; Records of the Town of North and South Hempstead, vol. 1: 45-46; Documents Relative to the Colonial History of the State of New York, vol. 14: 416.

[77] Marshall, Colonial Hempstead, 31; Smits, “News From Lange Eylandt,” 22; Records of the Town of North and South Hempstead, vol. 1: 46-47.

[78] Martha Bockée Flint, Long Island Before the Revolution; a Colonial Study (Port Washington, NY: I.J. Friedman, 1967), 128-30.

[79] Documents Relative to the Colonial History of the State of New York, vol. 14: 416-417; Tooker The Indian Place Names on Long Island, 109.

[80] Marshall, Colonial Hempstead, 128.

[81] Ibid., 124.

[82] Records of the Town of Huntington, 1653-1688, ed. Charles R. Street, 3 vols (Babylon: Town of Huntington) vol. 1: 15-16.

[83] History of Milford, Connecticut Compiled and written by the federal writer’s project for the state of Connecticut (Works Progress Administration  1939) 19-20

[84] Grumet, The Munsee Indians, 21-22.

[85] Records of the Town of Oyster Bay, ed. John Cox, 8 vols (New York: Tobias Wright, 1916-1931), vol. 1: 670-671.

[86] Gary Hammond, “The Early History of Oyster Bay,” in Freeholder: Magazine Online (The Oyster Bay Historical Society, 2003), 6.

[87] Records of the Town of Oyster Bay vol. 1: 692; William S. Pelletreau, The History of Long Island vol.2, (New York: Lewis Publishing, 1903), 129.

[88] Records of the Town of Oyster Bay vol. 2: 690.

[89] Records of the Town of Oyster Bay, vol. 1: 692.

[90] Records of the Town of Southampton, ed. William Pelletreau, 8 vols. (Sag Harbor: John Hunt, Printer), vol. 1: 9-11; Records of the Town of East Hampton, ed. Joseph Osborne. 5 vols. (Sag Harbor: John Hunt, Printer, 1887), vol. 1: 2-3.

[91] Records of the Town of Oyster Bay, Cox, vol. 1: 625-626.

[92] Records of the Town of Huntington, 1653-1688, ed. Charles R. Street, 3 vols. Babylon: Town of Huntington, 1887-1889, vol. 1: 3.

[93] Ibid, 2n.

[94] Ibid, 6-7.

[95] Pelletreau, History of Long Island, 174.

[96] Records of the Town of Huntington, vol. 1: 4-5.

[97] Charles Street, “Huntington,” in The History of Suffolk County, 12.

[98] Records of the Town of Huntington, vol. 1: 16n.

[99] Charles Street, “Huntington,” in The History of Suffolk County, 12.

[100] Documents Relative to the Colonial History of the State of New York, vol. 14: 571.

[101] Records of the Town of Huntington, vol. 1: 4-5; 15.

[102] Charles Street, “Huntington,” in The History of Suffolk County, 14.

[103] Records of the Town of Huntington, vol. 1: 20.

[104] Pelletreau, History of Long Island, 129.

[105] Records of the Court of Assizes for the colony of New York, 1665-1682, Peter R. Christoph and Florence Christoph, eds. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1983. 1.

[106] Records of the Court of Assizes, 1; Records of the Town of Oyster Bay, vol. 1: 693-694.

[107] Records of the Court of Assizes, 7-14.

[108] Ibid., 2-3.

[109] Robert C. Ritchie, The Duke’s Province: A Study of New York Politics and Society, 1664-1691 (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1977), 28.

[110] Department of State Book of Deeds Unpublished Documents, New York State Archives Series 453, vol. 1-9, Office of Secretary of State, Albany. N.Y., Vol. 2: 127.

[111] Lynn Ceci, The Effect of European Contact and Trade on the Settlement Patterns of Indians in Coastal New York, 1524-1665:Ph.D diss. City University of New York (published by Garland Publishing Company 1990. Richard Michael Gramly, “Archaeological Investigations at Pipestave Hollow, Mount Sinai Harbor, Long Island: A Preliminary Report,” in The Second Coastal Reader 1900 to the Present . edited by James Truex 173-89, Stony Brook  N.Y.  Mark Harrington (1977) 1924. Ancient Village Site of Shinnecock Indians, Early Papers in Long Island Archaeology Edited by Gaynell Stone 30-64 Srony Brook. SCAA.  ; Richard Michael Gramly and Gretchen Gwynne ; 1979 Two Late Woodland Sites on Long Island Sound, Bulletin of the Massachisetts Archaeologocal Society  Vol. 40(1): 5-19.    and Lorraine Williams Fort Shantok and Fort Corchaug, a Seventeenth Century Cultueal Contact in Long Sound Area Ph.D, Diss, New York City University (1972).

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