Historic Pelham

Presenting the rich history of Pelham, NY in Westchester County: current historical research, descriptions of how to research Pelham history online and genealogy discussions of Pelham families.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

There Were No Native Americans Known as Siwanoys

The headline for today's posting may seem provocative.  Yet, the topic is a fascinating one, since it really is not clear whether there is any reliable evidence to support the widespread assumption that the Native Americans who once lived in the area of Pelham were known as "Siwanoys."  The post below, lays out the evidence and concludes that the term “Siwanoy” mistakenly emerged as a short-hand reference to local Native Americans who did not refer to themselves by any such appellation and may not even have used such a term.

In 1848, local historian Robert Bolton, Jr. claimed that the Native Americans who lived in and around the shores of today’s Pelham and Pelham Bay Park were a band called “Siwanoys”.  He made his assertion in the seminal two-volume HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY, presumably repeating local tradition.[1]   Since at least then, many scholars, professional archaeologists, anthropologists, and local historians seem merely to have assumed that a band of Native Americans known as “Siwanoys” populated the area in and around Pelham.[2]

The notion has seeped into popular culture.  Pelham has a Siwanoy School.  There is a Siwanoy Place.  Nearby are the Siwanoy Country Club and the Siwanoy Trail.  Tradition says that Siwanoy Native Americans signed a deed with Thomas Pell in 1654 selling him the lands that later became Pelham and surrounding areas. 

Clearly, Native Americans had a rich and lasting impact on Pelham and its lore.  But, were those Native Americans “Siwanoys?”

Were There “Siwanoys”?

Native Americans unquestionably inhabited Pelham and surrounding areas long before Europeans settled the area.  There are, however, serious doubts about whether there ever was a distinct group of Native Americans that might properly be labeled “Siwanoys”.  According to Ives Goddard, a noted scholar on the topic:

“Some early deeds suggest that the [Long Island] Sound-shore residents were not organized in political groups distinct from their western neighbors, but evidence has been claimed nevertheless for a Siwanoy group extending east from the Bronx River . . . However, the name Siwanois is found only among early information of a general nature, not linked to specific individuals . . . The political groupings and proper designations for the Sound-shore Indians of Westchester and Fairfield counties thus remain obscure.”[3]

The same author notes as well that to add to the confusion, “the Siwanois on Block’s 1614 map . . . are located in northeastern Massachusetts”.[4]   The map the author describes is a map ascribed, in part, to the Dutch navigator Adriaen Block whom many believe to be the first European to sail into Long Island Sound in 1614.  His map depicts “Sywanois” as located in northeastern Massachusetts – not the area that comprises today’s Westchester County, New York.  

In contrast, there is another well-known 17th Century map by Nicolaes Visscher entitled “Novi Belgii Novæque Angliæ : nec non parties Virginiæ tabula multis in locis emendate / per Nicolaum Visscher nunc apud Petr. Schenk Iun.”  That map contains a reference to the area that the Dutch knew as “Freelandt” (also Vreelant, Vreedlant and Vreedlandt) – where Englishmen sponsored by Thomas Pell settled near an area known today as Westchester Square in the Bronx – as well as a reference to “Siwanoys” within the area around today’s Pelham.[5]   In short, reliance on deeds and maps alone does not seem to resolve this issue definitively one way or the other.

Detail from Visscher Map; Long Island is Across the Bottom.
In a large area that some believe encompasses today's Pelham,
the Map refers to "Siwanoys."  To the left of that reference, arguably
nearer the area that encompasses today's Pelham, the Map
refers to "Wichqaskeck" (see infra).

Noted anthropologist and Lenape scholar, Dr. David Ostreicher has stated that his research suggests that the term “Siwanoy” did not apply to a specific tribal band.  Rather, a word sounding much like “Siwanoy” was used by Native Americans to refer to other Native Americans nearby.  “It was a loose term used to describe people who lived in an area and surrounding lands extending as far south as Delaware and as far north as New York, Connecticut or even – as suggested above – northeastern Massachusetts.  No one today knows whether the term “Siwanoy” had any meaning to the Native Americans who lived in the area.  Dr. Ostreicher, however, indicates that “[i]t is guessed that the roots of the word ‘Siwanoy’ come from one of three other words meaning southerner, sea salt or wampum.”[6]

It seems most probable that during the early to mid-19th century or even much earlier, the term “Siwanoy” mistakenly emerged as a short-hand reference to local Native Americans who did not refer to themselves by any such appellation and may not even have used such a term.  Nevertheless, a brief survey of the scholarly work in the area seems in order.

The Case for “Siwanoys”

A number of serious scholars and academics have considered the issue and, typically, have accepted without presentation of proof or basis (other than reliance on other authors’ conclusions) that there existed a Native American group that they have labeled “Siwanoys.”  The conclusions of a few of the more notable such authors are addressed below.

     Edward Manning Ruttenber

In his seminal work HISTORY OF THE INDIAN TRIBES OF HUDSON’S RIVER[7]  published in 1872, Edward Manning Ruttenber concluded that the Wappingers consisted of nine “chieftaincies”:  Reckgawawancs (generally known by the generic name of Manhattans), Weckquaesgeeks, Sint-Sinks, Kitchawongs (or Kicktawancs), Tankitekes, Nochpeems, Siwanoys, Sequins, and Wappingers proper.[8]   Ruttenber devotes substantial attention to the Siwanoys in his work.

Ruttenber repeats the widely-referenced conclusion that the Siwanoys were “one of the seven tribes of the sea-coast” and claims that the “chieftaincy” was “one of the largest of the Wappinger subdivisions.”[9]   He says that the Siwanoys occupied the north shore of Long Island Sound and ranged from Norwalk to the neighborhood of Hell-gate, a distance of 24 miles, although “[h]ow far they claimed inland is uncertain."[10]   According to Ruttenber:

“their deeds covered the manor lands of Morrisania, Scarsdall [sic] and Pelham, from which were erected the towns of Pelham, New Rochelle, East and West Chester, North and New Castle, Mamaroneck, Scarsdall, and parts of White Plains and West Farms; other portions are included in the towns of Rye and Harrison, as well as in Stamford.  There is also some reason for supposing that the tract known as Toquams and assigned to the Tankitekes, was a part of their dominions.  A very large village of the chieftaincy was situated on Rye Pond in the town of Rye.  In the southern angle of that town, on a beautiful hill now known as Mount Misery, stood one of their castles.  Another village was situated on Davenport’s Neck.  Near the entrance to Pelham’s Neck was one of their burial grounds.  Two large mounds are pointed out as the sepulchres of the sachems Ann-Hoock and Nimham.  In the town of West Chester they had a castle upon what is still known as Castle Hill neck, and a village about Bear swamp, of which they remained in possession as late as 1689.  Their ruling sachem in 1640, was Ponus, whose jurisdiction was over tracts called Rippowams and Toquams, and the place of whose residence was called Poningoe.  He left issue three sons, Omenoke, Taphance and Onox; the latter had a son called Powhag.  In 1661, Shansockerell, or Shanorocke, was sachem in the same district, and, in 1680, Katonah and his son Paping appear as such.  Of another district Maramaking, commonly known as Lame Will, was sachem in 1681.  His successor was Patthunck, who was succeeded by his son, Waptoe Pattunck.  The names of several of their chiefs occur in Dutch history as well as in the early deeds.  Among them are Ann-Hoock alias Wampage, already noticed, who was probably the murderer of Ann Hutchinson, and Mayane, spoken of in 1644 as ‘a fierce Indian, who, alone, dared to attack, with bow and arrows, three Christians armed with guns, one of whom he shot dead; and, whilst engaged with the other, was killed by the third,’ and his head conveyed to Fort Amsterdam.  The occurrence served to convince the Dutch that in offending against the chiefs in their immediate vicinity, they were also offending against the chiefs in their immediate vicinity, they were also offending those of whose existence they had no previous knowledge.  Shanasockwell is represented as ‘an independent chieftain of the Siwanoys,’ of the island called Manussing.”[11]

     Frederick Webb Hodge

In his widely-cited HANDBOOK OF AMERICAN INDIANS NORTH OF MEXICO[12], Frederick Webb Hodge in 1910 concluded that there once existed an Algonquian Confederacy known as  “Wappinger” that consisted of nine “tribes”:  Wappinger proper, Manhattan, Weckquaesgeek (see “Wiechqueaskeck” below), Sint-sink, Kitchawanc, Tankiteke, Nochpeem, Siwanoy and Mattabesec.[13]   Regarding the Siwanoy, Hodge says:

Siwanoy (from their having been a seacoast people, their name may be a corruption of Siwanak, ‘salt people,’ a dialectic form of Suwanak, a name applied by the Delawares to the English.—Gerard).  One of the principal tribes of the Wappinger confederacy, formerly living along the N. shore of Long Island sd. from New York to Norwalk, Conn., and inland as far as at least White Plains.  They were one of the seven tribes of the seacoast and had a number of villages, the principal one in 1640 being Poningo (J.M.)”[14]

     More Recent Scholarship of John Reed Swanton and S.F. Cook

The work of more recent scholars to consider the topic has begun to suggest that efforts to identify specific Native American groups and to settle on an accurate nomenclature for each may be in vain.  For example, in 1952, John Reed Swanton published his work The INDIAN TRIBES OF NORTH AMERICA.[15]   There he tried two different approaches.  He compiled a list of what he called “subdivisions,” “sachemships” or “sachemdoms” and a separate list of “villages” although he provides no source citations for his list of villages.[16]   

Swanton lists the following seven sachemships:  Wappinger proper, Wechquaesgeek, Sintskink, Kitchawank, Tankiteke, Nochpeem, and Siwanoy.[17]

In a work published in 1976 by University of California entitled THE INDIAN POPULATION OF NEW ENGLAND IN THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY[18], S.F. Cook recognized the confusion resulting from the difficulties of identifying specific Native American groups that formed the so-called “Wappinger Confederacy” of Western Connecticut and the Lower Hudson Valley accurately.  He wrote candidly:

“The Wappinger Confederacy consisted of a group of tribes which extended from Poughkeepsie to Manhattan on the Hudson River and thence eastward to the Connecticut.  The component tribes were some eight or ten in number and were themselves split into subtribes some of which may have been single villages.  The earliest names were applied by the Dutch at a time when knowledge of Indian ethnic organization was very rudimentary.  A later nomenclature was employed by the English, who saw the Indians from a different geographical and political standpoint.  The result has been considerable confusion in the definition of native groups, which even now has not been clarified.”[19]

Cook purports to avoid the issue altogether for purposes of his population study, choosing “to bypass terminology as far as is practicable, and also to avoid controversy relative to intratribal affiliation.”[20]   In apparent violation of that stated intent, though, he tries to make sense of the various groups within the Wappinger Confederacy identified by authors such as Ruttenber, Hodge and Swanton to assign purported population figures to “component parts of the Wappinger Confederacy” including:  Tunixis Group, Podunk, Mattabesec-Wongunk Group, Menunketuck and Quinnipiack, Pangusset, Siwanoy Group, Sint-Sink, Kitchawanc, Nochpeem, Wappinger proper, Weckquaesgeek, and Manhattan.[21]

Cook concludes that the approximate population of the group he references as the “Siwanoy” during the 17th century was about 1,800 Native Americans.[22]   He further details the many references in the literature to the various villages and settlements that authors have described as “Siwanoy” settlements.[23]

     Where Is the Evidence?

Careful scrutiny of the work of these authors and others including Robert Bolton, Reginald Pelham Bolton, Alanson Skinner, William Ritchie and many, many others shows that none details actual evidence showing that the Native Americans in the area in and around today’s Town of Pelham were referenced at any pertinent time as “Siwanoys.”  Rather, each author seems to rely on other authors to form a “consensus” over time that a group properly known as “Siwanoys” once existed – all traced as far back, at least for now, to the first edition of Bolton’s History of Westchester County published in 1848 in which Bolton, likewise, asserted the existence of a group known as “Siwanoys” without providing evidence other than the assertion that many Native Americans who signed deeds and the residents of many local settlements were “Siwanoys.”[24]

If Not “Siwanoys” Then Who?


Even more recent scholarship seems to treat the issue with more care.  It indicates that a group of Native Americans with shared cultural traits that included a language known as the Munsee dialect lived in an area that encompassed a large portion of New Jersey, Manhattan and Staten Island, portions of the Hudson Valley and all of the area of today’s Pelham and Pelham Bay Park northward toward Connecticut and western Long Island.[25]  

Dr. Paul Otto, Professor and Chairman of the Department of History at George Fox University has studied the Munsees extensively and has published a seminal work on the topic:  THE DUTCH-MUNSEE ENCOUNTER IN AMERICA.[26]  In that work, he cautions:

“There exists some difficulty in finding a suitable term to describe the Indian participants in this story.  Although the terms Munsees, Indians, native people or inhabitants, and Native Americans will usually be used, none of these accurately reflect the aboriginal sense of self-identity and thus they tend to be anachronistic.”[27]  

Dr. Otto argues that the native inhabitants of the lower Hudson valley and the surrounding region “can be grouped as the Munsees because of their shared cultural traits and the use of the Munsee dialect.”[28]   He continues:

“The term Munsee means ‘people of the Minisink,’ Minisink referring to an area surrounding the Delaware Water Gap, where one particular band of Munsees lived and where many of the people sharing the Munsee dialect came to dwell in the eighteenth century after selling the remainder of their lands to Europeans.  Although sometimes considered a branch of the Lenapes or Delawares, with whom they shared an ethnic and linguistic heritage, the Munsees more closely associated with that group in the eighteenth century and beyond.  The Lenapes (defined here as those who spoke the Unami dialect) comprised those Woodland Indians who, at the time of contact with Europeans, lived South of the Munsees in the region surrounding the Delaware Bay and River.  Together, their territory includes all of modern New Jersey, and portions of northeast Delaware, southeast Pennsylvania, and southeast New York.”[29]

Even Dr. Otto admits, however, that there is no consensus among experts regarding the proper use of the terms Munsee, Lenape and Delaware.[30]   Indeed, trying to link various Native American groups through dialect is a particularly difficult task since little information about the language and dialects spoken in the area of Southern New England.  As one who has studied the issue has noted:

“[t]he dialectology of southern New England is problematic due to a lack of data from much of the area.  None of the languages have been spoken for about a hundred years, and most have not been spoken for over two hundred years.  We have no linguistic records at all for many groups, while the documentation of several other groups is quite meager.”[31]

Nevertheless, there seems to be a consensus among modern scholars that the Munsee dialect was spoken in the area in and around today’s Town of Pelham.[32]   However, some use the term “Proto-Munsee” to refer to Native Americans whose descendants have since become known as Munsees.[33]


Dr. Otto further notes that those to whom experts refer today as Munsees did not group themselves as a nation, a tribe or even on the basis of small-scale villages.  Rather, “their sociopolitical groups can be defined in a number of levels including villages, districts and maximal groups.”[34]

The Munsees, according to Dr. Otto, organized themselves most commonly in villages and related territories.  He notes, however, that villages or even groups of villages also “claimed sovereignty over larger territories such as tracts and districts.”[35]   Such local associations could form into what Otto labels as “maximal groups” when the need for “broad cooperation or consultation” arose.[36]  

Significantly for present purposes, the Munsees “used unique names to identify these various groupings (usually at the village level or close to it) by which the Dutch knew them and recorded in their observations.”  These included a host of groupings among which were the Wiechqueaskecks.[37]

Early Dutch and English records indicate that the Munsee band or group known as Wiechquaeskecks ranged in an area on the mainland north of Manhattan from the Hudson River to the Long Island Sound, well north toward today’s Connecticut border and, perhaps, a little beyond.[38]   The area included most, if not all, of the lands acquired by Thomas Pell in 1654.

Some who have considered the issue have concluded that there was, in fact, a series of such groups in the area that included not only the Wiechquaeskecks, but also a group known as Siwanoys.  Reginald Pelham Bolton, for example, considered the Siwanoy to be a “sub-division” of the Wapanac “tribe” which he believed to be part of the Mohican “group” that, in turn, was part of a local band of “Algonkian” speakers known as “Weck-quas-kecks or Wick-quas-keeks.”[39]   Others, however, consider the inclusion of a regional group known as “Siwanoys” among the “Wappingers” to be “controversial.”[40]

Still others have reached a different conclusion.  One local historian, Reginald Pelham Bolton, studied the issue carefully in the early 20th century.  Bolton concluded that the Native Americans in the area of Pelham and surrounding environs are properly known as “Siwanoys” and that “friendly parties of the Weckquaesgeek” – a group distinct from the Siwanoys – merely “visited in summer.”[41]   According to Bolton, the “territory of the great chieftancy of the Siwanoy” extended “from Five-mile river on the east to Hunts point on the west, and from this shore-line inland, bounded west by Bronx river as far as Croton river.”[42]

As the foregoing suggests, the various taxonomies for local “intratribal affiliations” attributed to various scholars in the last century or so has not resolved the issue.  To the contrary, there remains “considerable confusion in the definition of the native groups, which even now has not been clarified.”[43]

Evidence That Wiechquaeskecks Lived in or Near Pelham

Historical references provide evidence that the Native Americans who populated the area in or near Pelham after European contact were the grouping known as Wiechquaeskecks.  

It seems clear that at least as late as 1676, Native Americans continued to live on Pell’s Neck (also known as “Anne Hookes Neck” and today’s Rodman’s Neck in Pelham Bay Park) and used it to farm.[44]   Official records refer to “Wyckerscreeke Indyans” as “planting on Mr. Pells Land at Anne Hoockes Neck”.[45]   Similarly, records at a Court of Assizes dated October 11, 1675 provide “that the Indyans at Mr. Pells bee ordered to remove within a ffortnight to their usuall Winter Quarters within Hell Gate upon this Island”.[46] 

The reference to “Wyckerscreeke” is significant.  The term “Wyckerscreeke” as well as the terms “Wickerscreek”, “Wickerscreeke”, “Wickersheck” “Wiskerscreeke”, “Witqueschreek” and “Wyquaesquec” are among more than fifty commonly-used colonial-era spellings of “Wiechquaeskecks”.[47]

The fact that Native Americans remained in the area after Thomas Pell acquired the lands by deed dated June 27, 1654 should come as no surprise. The deed itself clearly indicates that the Native Americans who sold the lands would remain nearby.  As set forth more fully below, one section of the deed provided that two English representatives and two Native Americans would re-mark the boundaries of the purchase each year:

 “Articles of Agreement
We also as lovinge neighbours & ffriends doo mutually ingage our Selves to send too men off Each yr one Day in ye Springe every yeare to marke ye Bounds of Ye Land yt a Right Knowledge may be kept wh out injury to Either side. . . Indyan Wittnesses +Marke Cockho +Mark Kamaque +Marke Cockinsecawa . . . ”[48]

Interestingly as well, one of the signers of the Pell Deed on June 27, 1654 was Annhook.  As noted long ago by local historian Robert Bolton, Annhook later signed at least two “Weckquaesgeek deeds for territory within that chieftaincy” suggesting the possibility, of course, that Annhook may have been Wiechquaeskeck himself (or, alternatively, very closely aligned with that grouping.[49]

It seems strongly possible, though it may never be established, that the Native Americans who signed the Pell deed in 1654, were not “Siwanoys” as local lore tells us, but rather were part of the grouping known as Wiechquaeskecks referenced as living on John Pell’s lands on Anne Hookes Neck twenty-two years later in 1676.  In any event, it seems likely, as Dr. Paul Otto has concluded, that those who inhabited the area in and around today’s Pelham can most certainly be referenced as “Munsees” because of their shared cultural traits and the use of the Munsee dialect.


 [1]  See, e.g., Bolton, Jr., Robert, A HISTORY OF THE COUNTY OF WESTCHESTER FROM ITS FIRST SETTLEMENT TO THE PRESENT TIME , Vol. I, pp. ix, 65, 517 (NY, NY:  Alexander S. Gould 1848).

[2]   See, e.g., Bolton, Reginald Pelham, Snakapins, A Siwanoy Site At Clasons Point in CONTRIBUTIONS FROM THE MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN INDIAN HEY FOUNDATION, Vol. V, No. 4, Part II, pp. 75 – 126 (NY, NY:  1919). Skinner, Alanson, Exploration of Aboriginal Sites at Throgs Neck and Clasons Point in CONTRIBUTIONS FROM THE MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN INDIAN HEY FOUNDATION, Vol. V, No. 4, Part I, pp. 46 – 74 (NY, NY:  1919); Swanton, John R., THE INDIAN TRIBES OF NORTH AMERICA, pp. 45, 46, 47 (Washington, D.C.:  U.S. Gov’t Printing Office 1952) (Smithsonian Institution Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin 45); Bolton, Reginald Pelham, New York City in Indian Possession in INDIAN NOTES AND MONOGRAPHS, Vol. II, No. 7, pp. 219, 254 (NY, NY:  Museum of The American Indian Heye Foundation 1920) (One of A Series of Publications Relating to the American Aborignes).

[3]  See, e.g., Goddard, Ives, Delaware in Handbook of North American Indians:  Volume 15, Northeast, 213, 214 (Trigger, Bruce G., ed.; Washington, D.C. The Smithsonian Institution 1978) (citing De Laet  1909:44; Ruttenber 1872:  77-85; Bolton 1920:  246-69).  

[4]  Id. at 237 (citing Stokes 1915-1928, 2:  C. pl. 23).  

[5]  An interactive digital image of the map is available via search in the Library of Congress American Memory collection.  See The Library of Congress, American Memory - Map Collections:  1550-2003 http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/gmdhtml/gmdhome.html (visited Jan. 29, 2014; search for “Visscher”). 

[6]  Notes of presentation by Dr. David Oestreicher delivered at St. Paul’s Church National Historic Site, 897 South Columbus Ave., Mount Vernon, NY 10550 on Jan. 13, 2007; copy in files of the author.


[8]  Id. at 77-85.

[9]  Id. at 81.

[10]   Id.

[11]  Id. at 81-82 (footnotes omitted).

[12]   Hodge, Frederick Webb, ed., HANDBOOK OF AMERICAN INDIANS NORTH OF MEXICO, Part 2 (Washington, D.C.:  Government Printing Office 1910) (Smithsonian Institution Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin 30; hereinafter “Hodge, Part 2”).

[13]  Hodge, Part 2 at 913. 

[14]   Id. at 585.  According to Hodge,  “Poningo” was the “principal village of the Siwanoy in 1640, situated near the present Rye, Westchester co., N.Y.”  Id. at 279 (citing Ruttenber, Tribes Hudson R., 367 (1872)).

[15]    Swanton, John Reed, THE INDIAN TRIBES OF NORTH AMERICA (St. Clair Shores, MI:  Scholarly Press 1978) (Smithsonian Institution Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin 145; hereinafter “Swanton”).

[16]    See id. at 44-48.

[17]    See id.  Swanton lists the Manhattan as a sachemship of the Delaware.  See id. at 33, 49.

[18]    Cook, S.F., THE INDIAN POPULATION OF NEW ENGLAND IN THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY (University of California Press:  Berkeley, Los Angeles London 1976) (Vol. 12 Publications in Anthropology).

[19]    Id. at 60.

[20]    Id. 

[21]    See id. at 61-74.

[22]  Id. at 74.

 [23]   See id. at 69-70.

[24]   See Bolton, Jr., Robert, A HISTORY OF THE COUNTY OF WESTCHESTER FROM ITS FIRST SETTLEMENT TO THE PRESENT TIME , Vol. I, p. 513 (NY, NY:  Alexander S. Gould 1848) (asserting, without citation or evidence, that “it is well known” that “a tribe of the Mohegans called Siwanoys” held possessions that extended from Norwalk to the neighborhood of Hellgate).

[25]   For a map showing the approximate area encompassed by Munsee territory in the early 17th century, see Otto, Paul, THE DUTCH-MUNSEE ENCOUNTER IN AMERICA:  THE STRUGGLE FOR SOVEREIGNTY IN THE HUDSON VALLEY, p. 3 (NY, NY & Oxford, England:  Berghahn Books 2006) (“Map 1:  The Dutch-Munsee Frontier”).

[26]   Id. 

[27]    Id., p. 4.

[28]   Id.

[29]   Id.

[30]   Id., p. 20, n. 7.

[31]   Costa, David J., The Dialectology of Southern New England Algonquian, 38 Papers of the Algonquian Conference 81, 81 (Winnipeg, Canada:  University of Manitoba Sep. 2007), available at < http://www.myaamiaproject.net/documents/costa_biblio/costa-pac.pdf> (copy in author's files). 

[32]   See id. at 82, Map 1 (“The languages of southern New England”) which agrees with Otto and his work.


[34]   Id., p. 4 (citing Grumet, Robert, “We Are Not So Great Fools”:  Changes in Upper Delawaran Socio-Politico Life, 1630-1758, pp. 23-28 (Ph.D. diss., Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, 1979)).

[35]   Id., p. 4.

[36]   Id.

[37]   Id., pp. 4-5.  Extensive research of period records has revealed to this author more than fifty different spellings of the label for this Munsee group.  This work will follow the custom of more recent scholarship including that of Dr. Otto by referring to the group as “Wiechquaeskecks”.

[38]   For a helpful map showing the approximate area inhabited by Munsee groups or bands including the Wiechquaeskecks in the early 17th century, see id., p. 5 (“Map 2:  Munsee Bands in the Early Seventeenth Century”).

[39]   Bolton, Reginald Pelham, THE INDIANS OF WASHINGTON HEIGHTS IN ANTHROPOLOGICAL PAPERS OF THE AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY VOL. III:  THE INDIANS OF GREATER NEW YORK AND THE LOWER HUDSON, p. 78 (NY, NY:  Sep. 1909) (Edited by Clark Wissler), available at http://books.google.com/books?id=JpKUUPtdJtcC&dq=Siwanoy%20Indians&pg=RA1-PR1#v=onepage&q=Siwanoy%20Indians&f=false.

[40]   See Pritchard, Evan T., NATIVE NEW YORKERS:  THE LEGACY OF THE ALGONQUIN PEOPLE OF NEW YORK, 405 (Council Oak Books 2007).

[41]    Bolton, Reginald Pelham, New York City in Indian Possession in INDIAN NOTES AND MONOGRAPHS, Vol. II, No. 7, pp. 219, 254-55 (NY, NY:  Museum of The American Indian Heye Foundation 1920) (One of A Series of Publications Relating to the American Aborignes).  This conclusion, however, forces Bolton to concoct a strained and unlikely conspiracy by the Wiechquaeskecks, going so far as accusing them of “putting over” a sale to the Dutch in 1649 of land that was really occupied by the Siwanoys, see id. at 264-65, although a more likely explanation seems to be that the area was occupied, and deemed owned, by the Wiechquaeskecks – not a group that later came to be labeled “Siwanoys.”  Bolton similarly must surmise that a supposed Siwanoy “brave” known as “Ann-hook” (i.e., Anhõõke) supposedly “retired from the Weckquaesgeek” and “probably migrated” after he signed the deed to Thomas Pell “and took up his abode with the Weckquaesgeek, for in 1682 and 1684 he was party to Weckquaesgeek deeds of sale of their land to Philipse.”  Id. at 322.

[42]   Id. at 259.

[43]   See Cook, S.F., Western Connecticut and the Lower Hudson Valley:  The Wappinger Confederacy, Ch. 5 in THE INDIAN POPULATION OF NEW ENGLAND IN THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY, Vol. 12 of University of California Publications in Anthropology, pp. 60-61 (University of California Press 1976).

[44]   See Hough, Franklin B., ed., A NARRATIVE OF THE CAUSES WHICH LED TO PHLIP'S INDIAN WAR, 0F 1675 AND 1676, BY JOHN EASTON, OF RHODE ISLAND. WITH OTHER DOCUMENTS CONCERNING THIS EVEN IN THE OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE OF NEW YORK. PREPARED FROM THE ORIGINALS, WITH AN INTRODUCTION AND NOTES, pp. 165-66, 169-70 (Albany, NY: J. Munsell 1858) (1676 references to the “Application of Mr. John Pell . . . concerning the Indyans living upon his Land at Anne Hookes Neck” and “The Wyckerscreeke Indyans having made Suite to the Governor that the Restraint of their going into and passing to and fro in ye Sound in Canooes may be taken off, in regard to their planting on Mr. Pells Land at Anne Hoockes Neck or ye Islands adjacent”).  See also id., pp. 77-78 (“and the next Morning went myselfe in my Pinnace as farre as Mr. Pells, to the Indyans there”).

[45]   Id., pp. 169-70.

[46]   See id., pp. 92-95.

[47]   See Bolton, Reginald Pelham, The Indians of Washington Heights in Wissler, Clark, ed., ANTHROPOLOGICAL PAPERS OF THE AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY, VOL. III., HUDSON-FULTON PUBLICATION. THE INDIANS OF GREATER NEW YORK AND THE LOWER HUDSON, p. 78  (NY, NY:  American Museum of Natural History Sep. 1909) (referencing the “Wick-quas-keek, or, as the name became corrupted in colonial times, Wickers-creek”).  For examples of references to the assorted spellings of Wiechquaeskeck that include or resemble “Wyckerscreeke”, see, e.g., Hough, Franklin B., ed., A NARRATIVE OF THE CAUSES WHICH LED TO PHLIP'S INDIAN WAR, 0F 1675 AND 1676, BY JOHN EASTON, OF RHODE ISLAND. WITH OTHER DOCUMENTS CONCERNING THIS EVEN IN THE OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE OF NEW YORK. PREPARED FROM THE ORIGINALS, WITH AN INTRODUCTION AND NOTES, pp. 169-70 (Albany, NY: J. Munsell 1858); Hodge, Frederick Webb, ed., HANDBOOK OF AMERICAN INDIANS NORTH OF MEXICO, Part 2, p. 930 (Washington, D.C.:  Government Printing Office 1910) (Smithsonian Institution Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin 30) (citing  “Doc. of 1671, ibid., XIII, 460, 1881”); Mashantucket Pequot Research Library, Connecticut Tribes and Bands Mentioned in Historical and Contemporary Sources:  A Bibliography (visited Sep. 30, 2009)   (citing “Speiss Ms, 20; Douglas; Hodge, V2, 929-30).

[48]  The whereabouts of the original deed are unknown.  An important copy of the document exists, however.  Scholars believe the copy is in Thomas Pell’s handwriting.  That copy is on display in the Thompson-Pell Research Center located near the Fort Ticonderoga National Historic Landmark in Ticonderoga, New York.  For an image of the document and a transcription of its text, see Appendix 1.  See also Bell, Blake A., THOMAS PELL AND THE LEGEND OF THE PELL TREATY OAK, Appendix A, pp. 59 et seq. (Lincoln, NE:  iUniverse 2004).

[49]   Bolton, Reginald Pelham, “New York City in Indian Possession” in INDIAN NOTES AND MONOGRAPHS, Vol. II, No. 7, p.257 (NY, NY:  Museum of the American Indian Heye Foundation 1920) (stating Annhook “took part in 1682 and 1684 in Weckquaesgeek deeds for territory within that chieftaincy, to which he had probably removed”). 

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At 6:09 PM, Blogger Peter M. Fellows said...

Excellent work as usual Blake. Let me add this reference in case you haven't seen it before:

1671 October 30. “Negotiations for the land claimed by the Wykerscreek Indians from Monussing to Harlem river and from John Richardson’s cross to Wyckerscreek; price asked by the Indians. [Calendar of Council minutes pg. 15]

I suspect "John Richardson's cross" is a reference to where the Westchester Path crossed the Mamaroneck River and 'Richardson' meant 'Richbell'

I am pretty sure I saw it recorded as "John Richbell's Crosse" but I would have to look that up.

At 7:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great article, Thank you.

At 12:35 PM, Blogger Alison's cousin said...

A very enlightening article. I am a direct descendant of Anna "Wampage" Pell through Tredwell, Skinner, Greenleaf, Hunnicutt. I have often wondered about Anna, told, as a child, that I was descended from an "Indian princess". If Wampage alias Ann Hooke actually was the fierce warrior who killed Ann Hutchinson, why would Thomas Pell have married his daughter, eventually having 11 children? Was this an arranged marriage to promote peaceful relations among Pell and the local inhabitants?
To marry Pell wouldn't Anna have to be baptized as Christian before that event? Records? Is Anna her Christian name and/or taken from her father's alias Ann Hooke? After having 11 children there must be thousands of descendants who must be wondering what their Native American heritage is through Thomas Pell and Anna. Anyone like to comment? Bonnie Lee Hunnicutt korbankat@gmail.com


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