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Pequot War

PEQUOT WAR

PEQUOT WAR (1636–1637). Tensions between English settlers and Pequot Indians, who inhabited southeastern New England and had made enemies among many other Indian tribes, developed by the early 1630s. These tensions escalated when Pequots killed English colonists and traders in 1633 and 1636. After the murder of an English captain on Block Island in 1636, both sides began to prepare for further hostilities. While English troops arrived to strengthen Saybrook Fort, located at the mouth of the Connecticut River, some Pequot Indians attacked Wethersfield further north, killing nine. This event led the general court of the recently settled river towns—Windsor, Hartford, and Wethersfield—to declare war on the Pequot Indians in May 1637.

Under English and Mohegan command, white and Indian troops allied against the Pequot and courted support from the Narragansett Indians. After a two-day march, the party surprised and burned the Pequot fort near present-day Mystic. Only seven Indians escaped the slaughter. English forces attacked a second Pequot stronghold two miles away the same night.

In response, hundreds of Pequot Indians decided to flee the area rather than stay and fight. The English and their allies pursued them and caught up with the group in Sasqua Swamp, near present-day Southport, Conn. The ensuing battle resulted in the capture of about 180 Pequots. The Pequots' Indian enemies adopted many of the captives into their own tribes and killed many of those who initially escaped. The war decimated the Pequot tribe as a formal political unit until the twentieth century, when Pequot descendants reorganized in southern New England.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Kupperman, Karen Ordahl. Indians and English: Facing Off in Early America. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 2000.

Nobles, Gregory H. American Frontiers: Cultural Encounters and Continental Conquest. New York: Hill and Wang, 1997.

George MatthewDuther/s. b.

See alsoColonial Settlements ; Colonial Wars ; Frontier ; Indian Warfare ; New England Colonies ; Tribes: Northeastern .

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"Pequot War." Dictionary of American History. . Retrieved August 24, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/pequot-war

Pequot

Pequot (pē´kwŏt), Native North Americans whose language belongs to the Algonquian branch of the Algonquian-Wakashan linguistic stock (see Native American languages). The Pequot are of the Eastern Woodlands cultural area (see under Natives, North American). Originally they were united with the Mohegan, but when Uncas revolted, the Pequot moved southward to invade and drive off the Niantic. The warlike Pequot, under their chief, Sassacus, had by 1630 extended their territory west to the Connecticut River. Numerous quarrels between settlers in the Connecticut valley and the Pequot led to the Pequot War (1637). The precipitating cause was the Pequot's murder of John Oldham, an English trader. The English under John Mason and John Underhill attacked their stronghold on the Pequot River and killed some 500 Pequot.

The remaining Pequot fled in small groups. One party went to Long Island, and a second escaped into the interior. A third, led by Sassacus, was intercepted near Fairfield, Conn., where almost the entire party was killed or captured. The captives were forced into slavery, mainly in New England and the West Indies. A few Pequot, including Sassacus, who managed to escape were put to death by the Mohawk. A remnant of the Pequot was scattered among the southern New England tribes; the colonial government later settled them in Connecticut. Today they live on two reservations in SE Connecticut. At Ledyard the Mashantucket Pequot established (1992) a casino, which has proved to be one of the largest and most profitable gambling establishments in the world; they also sponsor an elaborate tribal museum. In 1990 there were 679 Pequot in the United States.

See J. W. De Forest, History of the Indians of Connecticut (1851, repr. 1988); K. I. Eisler, Revenge of the Pequots: How a Small Native American Tribe Created the World's Most Profitable Casino (2001).

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Pequots

PEQUOTS

PEQUOTS, an Eastern Algonquian-speaking people, were located in what is now southeastern Connecticut when the Dutch began trading with them in the early 1600s. When the English replaced the Dutch after 1630, they sought control of trade and land and came into conflict with the Pequots in 1636. In 1637 the English and Indian allies attacked a Pequot village and killed some 600 Pequots. The war ended in 1638 when captured Pequots were sold as slaves or given to the English allies, the Mohegans and Narragansetts. The tribe's lands and name were taken away.

But the Pequots did not disappear. Instead, two tribes emerged, one at Noank and later Mashantucket, and the other at Paucatuck and later in Stonington. The two tribes continue to occupy their colonial-state reservations, although in the nineteenth century Connecticut passed laws reducing their acreage. The tribes have continuously governed their affairs, maintained their independence, and supported their members. In 1976, the Mashantucket Pequots filed a lawsuit to recover the land lost by state


action, and in 1983 they were federally recognized and their land claim settled. The other Pequot community also filed a land suit, then split into two groups, each petitioning for federal recognition.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Campisi, Jack. "The Emergence of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe, 1637–1975." In The Pequots in Southern New England: The Fall and Rise of an American Indian Nation. Edited by Laurence M. Hauptman and James D. Wherry. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1990.

Conkey, Laura E., Ethel Boissevain, and Ives Goddard. "Indians of Southern New England and Long Island: Late Period." In Handbook of North American Indians. Edited by William C. Sturtevant et al. Vol. 15: Northeast, edited by Bruce G. Trigger. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution, 1978.

JackCampisi

See alsoTribes: Northeastern ; Wars with Indian Nations .

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Pequot

Pe·quot / ˈpēˌkwät/ • n. (pl. same or -quots) 1. a member of an American Indian people of southern New England. 2. the Algonquian language of this people, closely related to Mohegan. • adj. of or relating to this people or their language.

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"Pequot." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 24 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Pequot War

Pequot War. See Native American Wars: Wars Between Native Americans and Europeans and Euro‐Americans.

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"Pequot War." The Oxford Companion to American Military History. . Encyclopedia.com. 24 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Pequot War." The Oxford Companion to American Military History. . Retrieved August 24, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/pequot-war