Pequot in New Zealand | Signing The Treaty of Waitangi | New Zealand history | Native Land Court

By Lara Trace Hentz

When I was editor of the Pequot Times in Connecticut, we had a visit from a Maori woman descended from Peter George. It was fascinating to meet her!

Here is a look at this interesting and devastating history…

 

Illustration of whalemen by Francis Allyn Olmsted. Gen MSS Vol 151, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Yale University.

A Pequot in New Zealand?

Geomap: Peter George, Mashantucket Pequot Whaler

This story map is about Peter George, an American Indian whaleman, citizen of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe, and part of a whaling and seafaring dynasty that emerged from the Mashantucket Pequot Reservation in second half of the eighteenth century.

Peter was born in 1805, in the midst of social, political, and religious upheaval, and knew at an early age that there was little opportunity for the Pequots who remained on the tiny reservation in southeastern Connecticut. ,Like his father, uncle, and old brother, Peter went to New London and found work as a mariner. Peter’s seafaring career began by the time he was twenty-one years old and continued until he was nearly fifty.  He was on eight known whaling voyages, bringing him to whaling grounds of the Falkland Islands, sometimes refered to as the ”Brazil Banks,” the south Atlantic, or “East Cape” of New Zealand, and the Pacific Ocean.

Between his voyages, Peter married twice, had children, built a house, and was involved in tribal affairs. Later in his life he was called “Captain” Peter George, an acknowledgement of a life spent at sea. Peter died at his home on the reservation in the summer of 1861 at the age of 56.

Story Chapters

  1. 1. 1805 – Peter George, Son of Peter and Polly
  2. 2. 1819 – “As Long as Wood Grows and the Water Runs”
  3. 3. 1826 – False Accusations
  4. 4. 1827 – The Port of New London
  5. 5. 1832 – Work and Marriage
  6. 6. 1831-1833 – Dirty Work
  7. 7. 1832-1833 – Whaling Off the Coast of New Zealand
  8. 8. 1833-1834 – At Home on Mashantucket
  9. 9. 1834 – Return to the Sea on the Ship Neptune
  10. 10. 1839-1842 – Incidents On A Whaling Voyage
  11. 11. 1848-1852 – Falkland Islands and New Goods from a Deserter
  12. 12. 1849-1852 – The Giants of Patagonia
  13. 13. 1856 – Pequot Land Sale
  14. 14. 1857 – Suing the Overseer for Tribal Membership
  15. 15. 1861 – Peter’s Death
  16. 16. 1913 – Peter’s Legacy

Printable Version

Peter George, Mashantucket Pequot Whaler

Chapter 1

Peter George, Son of Peter and Polly

1805; Mashantucket, CT

In 1805, Polly Apes George, the wife of Peter George, gave birth to their second son, Peter. At the time of young Peter’s birth, several Pequot families had just finished their move to Brothertown, New York as part of a religious migration. Peter’s father (also Peter) and uncle, Benjamin George, who were considered among the “Cheifs and Councellors” of the Pequot Tribe, remained at Mashantucket with their families.  Providing for their families was challenging as reservation lands continued to shrink.  There were opportunities off the reservation and most Pequot men, including elder Peter and Benjamin, went to New London to find work as mariners.

Chapter 2

“As Long as Wood Grows and the Water Runs”

1819; Old State House, Hartford, CT

After several Pequot leaders removed to Brothertown, the State of Connecticut appointed overseers began to manage the affairs of the tribe, as Indian people were widely viewed by whites as unable to do so.  Though in practice earlier, the system was formalized in 1821.  These men were required to manage the rent of tribal land, the accounting of provisons and other necessities allocated to tribal members, and to maintain a list of tribal member names.  Problems with the white overseers at Mashantucket led to a string of petitions by members of the Pequot Tribe to remove corrupt and opportunistic men as their “guardians” and replace them with more honorable people.

 

Chapter 3

False Accusations

1826; New London, CT – Courthouse

While his brother Peleg was away (possibly at sea), Peter was accused of an adulterous relationship with his brother’s wife, Lucretia.  The complaint was brought by a member of one of the families renting Pequot land.  A warrant was issued and Peter was arrested and brought before the local justice of the peace.  Several in the Pequot communicty served as witnesses in the case and Peter was eventually found “Not Guilty in manner and Form as is alleged.”  It is unclear what precipitated this false accusation, but many of the overseers and neighbors of the Pequot engaged in retaliatory activities following Pequot complaints to the General Assembly.  In one instance, an outgoing overseer provided a list of people in the tribe and all members of the Goerge family were excluded.

Chapter 4

The Port of New London

1827; New London, CT Waterfrong

New London’s whaling fleet grew rapidly during the 1820’s and signing on board of a whaler meant good pay for a successful voyage.  Peter was already considered a “seaman” by the time he departed for his first known whaling voyage in October 1827 aboard the ship Friends.  He was about 5’7 1/2″ tall and identified by various customs officals as “dark,” “yellow,” and “Indian.”  Working on a whaler was physically demanding.  In port, preparation involved loading ballast and stocking the ship with supplies for the hunt as well as the food and water necessary for long periods of time at sea.  At sea, men climbed rigging to raise and lower sails, maintaining and repairing sails, ropes, and deck areas.  Although there is no record of Peter’s official position, we know from records that his brother was a cooper. Might Peter have also held this position?

The image above shows a scrimshawed sperm whale tooth, carved with image of the ship Friends.  Script below sea reads: “Friends of New London Chaseing Whales.”

 

Chapter 5

Work and Marriage

1832; “North Groton” / Ledyard

On May 2, 1832, Peter George married Lucy Fagins, an Eastern Pequot from North Stonington.  On that same day he boarded the ship Palladium of New London, bound for the East Cape (New Zealand).  This situation was a typical one for whaling wives and families as fathers, husbands, brothers and sons often left home for months and even years.

Chapter 6

Dirty Work

1831-1833; Off the Coast of New Zealand

Although we do not know exactly what Peter’s position was on the ship Palladium, we do know that whaling was dangerous and dirty work.  Peter most likely joined the rest of the crew in small whaleboats like the model pictured. The crew would chase the whale and use a harpoon and killing lance to capture and eventually kill it.  The whale would then be towed back to the ship, where it was “cut in” and “tried out.”  The oil rentered from the whale was an importnant source of lighting in the 19th Century.

Chapter 7

Whaling Off the Coast of New Zealand

1832-1833; Off the Coast of New Zealand

This was Peter’s second voyage on the Palladium as it returned to the East Cape whaling grounds off the coast of New Zealand.  Peter left New London this time with a familiar face, that of his cousin Solomon Apes.  Only a few vessels had noted this particular destination prior to the Palladium visits.  This time period coincided with increased European and American interaction with and settlement amongst the Maori tribes of New Zealand.  By 1840, the Treaty of Waitangi (New Zealand’s founding document) had been crafted, which quickly resulted in escalating tension over land rights.

The year before the treaty was signed, Elisha Apes (Solomon’s brother), a crew member of the New London whaler Ann Maria, mutinied off the coast of New Zealand over the captain’s abuse of the ship’s boy.  Eventually, an agreement was made and Apes put ashore at Port Otago.  Soon after, he married a local Ngai Tahu woman and they had many children. Apes and his children were active in Maori land claims and some were well known sheep shearers and shore whalers. Most of Apes’ decendants remain in New Zealand to this day.

Apes never left New Zealand, but did his whaling relatives ever visit?

Chapter 8

At Home on Mashantucket

1833-1834; Off Shewville Road, Mashantucket, CT

Peter remained at Mashantucket for nearly two and a half years and was noted in a December 1833 tribal census — “age 28, part white.”  During his stay, he planned to build a house, but for unknown reasons, he sold the timber intended for that purpose.  Eventually, in early 1834, the tribal overseer commissioned a house to be built for Peter in the northwestern part of the Mashantucket Pequot Reservation.

Chapter 9

Return to the Sea on the Ship Neptune

1834; South Atlantic Ocean

In June 1834, Peter returned to sea – fittingly – aboard the ship Neptune of New London on a whaling voyage to the South Atlantic.  Peter’s cousin, Elisha Apes, as well as Isaac Hazard (a Narragansett Indian) and Thomas Smith (a Mohegan Indian) were also aboard the nearly two-year voyage.  Soon after his departure, a daughter, Lucy Ann George was born.

Chapter 10

Incidents On A Whaling Voyage

1839-1842; Galapagos Islands

By age 34, Peter was a seasoned whaleman having been on at least five whaling voyages.  For eight years, he would only be on the land between voyages for a total of thirteen months.  It is clear that the sea had become home.  During this time, in October 1839, he joined the crew of the bark ship North America of New London along with George Cotrell (also Mashantucket Pequot), and John Uncas (a Mohegan).  Headed to the Pacific Ocean, the voyage would last for two and a half years.

On this voyage was a young Yale graduate, Francis Allyn Olmsted – a passenger and observer- on his way to a warmer Pacific climate to relieve a chronic illness.  Olmstead kept a journal on board that he later published in 1841 as “Incidents on a Whaling Voyage.”

Peter and his crewmates would have seen or participated in nearly everything that Olmsted recorded and illustrated, including the sea chanties Ho, Ho, and Up She Rises and Nancy Fanana.  (To hear these songs, look for the two chanties on side bar, under Related Resources.)

Chapter 11

Falkland Islands and New Goods from a Deserter

1848-1852; Falkland Islands

On November 3, 1848, Peter George was among the crew of the ship Hudson with his nephew, Amos W. George, and Peter Babcock (Mashantucket Pequot), as it departed Mystic.  Marine journals report that the Hudson was bound for the Falkland Islands on a whaling voyage.  Though no crew list or logbook has been located for this voyage, other documents inform us of events that took place on board the vessel.

A little more than a year into the voyage, one of the crewmembers deserted the vessel, leaving behind all of his belongings.  Subsequently, an auction of his possessions was conducted and a list created as “An Account of Articles Sold At Auction Belonging to J.M. Oat – Found After his Disertion, December 30th 1849.”  The items purchased by Peter George were one duck frock and a dictionary; by Amos George, one pair duck pants, one pair of boots, one flint, and a lot of books and tracts; by Peter Babcock, one vest, one pair of duck pants, one flannel shirt, twenty four heads of tobacco and one bottle.

Chapter 12

The Giants of Patagonia

1849-1852; Puerto San Julian, Argentina

Later in the voyage, while at “Port Santa Cruz” (now Puerto San Julian, Santa Cruz Province, Argentina) with its “tender,” schooner Washington, the ship Hudson welcomed aboard for nearly a month, Benjamin F. Bourne.  Bourne, who was a mate aboard the New Bedford schooner John Allyne earlier in 1849, had just escaped 97 days of captivity with the Indians of Patagonia.  The accounts he shared with the crew of the Hudson soon made it into wider newspaper circulation around the Atlantic.  His account was such a sensation that in 1853, he published a book about his experiences called The Giants of Patagonia.

This was Peter’s last confirmed voyage.  He may have been on part of another voyage on the ship Kensington out of New Bedford, and his absence between May 1853 and January 1855, might suggest such a scenario.  He was also on town expense in Groton for unknown reasons, so he may have taken ill after his return on the Hudson.

Chapter 13

Pequot Land Sale

1856; Mashantucket, CT

In 1855, the Connecticut General Assembly appointed a committee to investigate the condition of the “Pequot Indians of Ledyard.”  They reported that there were but thirteen tribal members, living in five houses dispersed across some 900 acres:  mostly females – “some quite aged” while others “had chosen Negroes for companions.”

The committee reported that “it is not presumption to suppose, judging from the past, that they will soon become extinct” and recommended that some 700 acres of Mashantucket be surveyed, subdivided, and sold at public auction, with the proceeds going into a fund for tribal support.  The remaining 179 acres would be designated as a “reservation for the use and benefit of Indians.”  The General Assembly passed an act in June 1855, authorizing the land sale.  Pequots, including “Capt. Peter George,” twice submitted a petition to the General Assembly protesting Connecticut’s illegal sale of tribal land.

Chapter 14

Suing the Overseer for Tribal Membership

1857; Courthouse, New London, CT

After the Pequot Land Sale, some tribal families were denied rights as citizens of Mashantucket and prevented from accessing tribal resources.  Outraged, tribal members sued the overseer in April 1857 for the acknowledgement of their rights.  Peter George, his sister Sally George Babcock, and her children were among the plantiffs.  Following testimony in which they provided a genealogical history of their family, the New London Superior Court resolved the suit in their favor.

This was significant, as access to tribal resources mattered more than ever.  Now in his 50s, Peter was aging, and after many years at sea, he had returned to the land.  Living on the land and no longer earning a seaman’s lay must have been somewhat foreign to Peter.  He was now cohabitating with another Pequot, Caroline Wheeler, and after the court case, began to recieve the benefits of tribal resources including access to cash for necessities, meat, potatoes, and dairy products in the winter, and seed corn, beans, and guano for fertilizer in the spring for planting.  Clothing, supplies and shoes were also provided.

Chapter 15

Peter’s Death

1861; Tribal Cemetery, Mashantucket, CT

At the outbreak of the Civil War in early 1861, many Pequots were still whaling in the Pacific Ocean.  At home, Peter was sick.  On Febrary 6th, a doctor went to the reservation “for attendance and medicine for Peter George.”  In late May, the tribal overseer visited him.  By August 4th, Peter died.  He was 56 years old.  Caroline’s daughter, Jane Wheeler, went “to Norwich after Coffin for Peter and notifying friends” of his death.  Though no marked stone identifies his burial location, Peter was likely interred at the tribal burying ground known as “Peter’s Hill Cemetery.”

Chapter 16

Peter’s Legacy

1913; Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History

In 1913, Yale Peabody Museum anthropologist, George Grant MacCurdy, visited the Pequots at Mashantucket.  While there, he purchased from Jane Wheeler a whalebone handled knife.  Who made this knife?  Did Jane inherit the knife from her mother and Peter?  Did it come from another Pequot whaleman?  What other objects did Pequot whalemen like Peter leave behind?

Perhaps the whalebone handled knife went along with stories like this:

“My grandmother [Elizabeth George Plouffe] would tell us stories about how Pequots at one time were whalers, and this was even during the time the reservation was there and they used to come down here to Mystic and they used to go aboard the old whaling ships, like the Charles W. Morgan . . . and they would go out to sea.  Sometimes they would be gone for three, six months and sometimes a year at a time.  And then the Pequots would come back and they would (in the area after they’d finished their whaling voyage and then come back to the reservation), they would go back to the house, because it was the center of activity.  And in those days they called the old house “the beehive.”  And they would come back with their stories, and my grandmother said she could remember some of these stories from the time when she was a child, that her mother [Martha Hoxie] used to tell her because her mother was a child at that time.  Martha Hoxie used to tell my grandmother how that when she was a kid when the men would come back from the whaling voyages and sometimes, well, oftentimes they’d bring back their bottles with ’em, and they would sit around jawing about their experiences, they’d get a little tipsy.  And they’d get started getting a little loud and my great-grandmother, Martha Hoxie, would get a little nervous because she was a kid at the time, about their being loud and whatnot and she would run underneath her mother’s [Jane Wheeler] hoop skirt and hide.  That was her place of refuge.” – Richard A. “Skip” Hayward, 1995

Related Resources

Historical Background:  The Treaty of Waitangi (Māori: Tiriti o Waitangi) is a treaty first signed on 6 February 1840 by representatives of the British Crown and various Māori chiefs from the North Island of New Zealand. It resulted in the declaration of British sovereignty over New Zealand by Lieutenant Governor William Hobson in May 1840.

Interactive reproduction of the 1840 Waikato-Manukau copy of the Treaty of Waitangi

SEE: Waikato-Manukau treaty copy | NZHistory, New Zealand history online

Those who explained the treaty to Māori generally stressed the advantages of bringing British settlers under the control of the Crown, which some chiefs had been asking for since 1831. They played down the impact of the British acquisition of sovereignty and its likely consequences for Māori. Missionary assurances that the treaty would be of benefit to Māori probably helped to overcome the caution of many chiefs. Some chiefs, especially in Northland, saw the treaty as a sacred bond or covenant directly between themselves and Queen Victoria. Many who signed were devout Christians who made no distinction between the Crown and the teachings of Christianity. Many Māori had clear expectations of how they would benefit.  A sharing of authority would enhance chiefly mana. The country would be protected from acquisition by other foreign powers. A kawana (governor) would control Europeans, especially those buying land, who were causing trouble in some areas. The treaty would bring settlement, and with it both more markets for essential Māori services and desired trade goods.

Some chiefs realised that change was inevitable. The clock could not be turned back; the treaty was a way into the future.

Source: Signing the treaty – Treaty signatories and signing locations | NZHistory, New Zealand history online

Native Land Court created, 30 October 1865

Native Land Court at Ahipara (Alexander Turnbull Library, 1/2-026780; F)

 

The Native Land Court was one of the key products of the 1865 Native Lands Act. It provided for the conversion of traditional communal landholdings into individual titles, making it easier for Pākehā to purchase Māori land.

Coming little more than a year after the Waikato War, this legislation was to achieve what many believed had not been accomplished on the battlefield – acquiring the land necessary to satisfy an insatiable settler appetite. The operations of the Land Court affected Māori more than those of any other colonial institution. When old rivalries were played out in court, the ultimate beneficiaries were Pākehā.  Historian Judith Binney described the Native Lands Act as an ‘act of war’.

The Court was required to name no more than 10 owners, regardless of the size of a block.  All other tribal members were effectively dispossessed.  The newly designated owners held their lands individually, not communally as part of (or trustees for) a tribal group.  They could manage it, and sell it, as individuals and for their own benefit.

The first chief judge of the Court, Francis Fenton, maintained that judgements could only be based on evidence before the Court – so all claimants had to attend, whether they wanted to or not. Many Māori racked up large legal bills as a consequence. Those coming from out of town also faced the costs of food and accommodation. Lawyers, shopkeepers, surveyors and the like granted Māori credit while they awaited the outcome of their case. These expenses forced many Māori to sell the land they had been defending in order to settle their debts.

This process of alienating Māori land concerned some settler politicians. Former Attorney-General Henry Sewell had protested against the government’s policy of confiscating the land of Māori deemed to be ‘in rebellion’. Back in office in 1865, he asserted that the Native Land Court was designed to:

destroy if possible, the principle of communism which ran through the whole of their institutions, upon which their social system was based, and which stood as a barrier in the way of all attempts to amalgamate the Native race into our own social and political system.

Māori landholdings declined dramatically in the late 19th century. Between 1870 and 1892, 2 million ha of Māori land was transferred to Pākehā ownership. Whereas at the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840 Māori owned almost all of the North Island, by 1892 they owned little more than a third, and a quarter of this was leased to Pākehā. Another 1.2 million ha of Māori land would be sold by 1900.

Source

I am also sharing another post of Maori photos… and an art exhibit about this.

Louise Erdrich on ‘LaRose,’ and the Psychic Territory of Native Americans | In The Veins @BlueHandBooks #NoDAPL

By Lara Trace Hentz  (poet-writer) (founder of Blue Hand Books)

I am remiss in mentioning I’m in the new poetry anthology IN THE VEINS (released 2-1-2017) and last year I did mention the poetry book TENDING THE FIRE by Chris Felver that is coming out in 2017.   Louise and I are both that book.  NICE!

Louise’s bookstore BIRCHBARK BOOKS (top photo) in Minnesota carries some of our Blue Hand Book titles. I am very grateful to her for this. Supporting me as a small press and publisher helps me publish new Native authors.

click logo to visit them

I founded Blue Hand Books in 2011 to give back to my community, right after I did my memoir One Small Sacrifice.  Since then we have published 18 books, with four volumes in the Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects book series. (TWO WORLDS was the first anthology.)  In the Veins is Volume 4.  A portion of the proceeds from this poetry book edited by Patricia Busbee will be sent to the Standing Rock Water Protectors Camps (#NoDAPL).

Here is one of my poems from IN THE VEINS

…When People of the First Light saw ships and strangers disembark

…When the conqueror ran out of the woods firing loaded guns

…When they loaded some of us onto slave boats in shackles

Then a trickle becomes a river then a flood

…When an Indigenous mother loses her child at gun point

…When her child is punished by a nun, kicked in the neck

…When her child dies in residential school, buried in an unmarked grave

Then a trickle becomes a river then a flood

…When a black sedan enters the rez and children run and hide, afraid

…When a Cheyenne adoptee is a small boy, watching westerns on TV, he is told he is Indian

…When a Navajo adoptee is taken at the hospital and disappears, raised by Mormons

Then a trickle becomes a river, then a flood ….. of tears.

The people who chained, who murdered, who hacked, who raped, who hated their way across North America… they are still here, too.

ebook-cover-vein

Read an IN THE VEINS excerpt HERE.  My Ojibwe scholar friend blogger Dr. Carol A. Hand (who I interviewed on this blog) and my dear friend and Unravelling anthology co-editor MariJo Moore and many many other Native American and First Nations poets (some of them famous or soon-to-be) contributed prose and poems for this beautiful new book. If you love poetry, you will love this… LINK to BUY from BHB.

COMING SOON! Blue Hand Books is publishing a brand new novella by Barbara Robidoux, author of Sweetgrass Burning.

WE ARE NATIVE WOMEN – 23rd March to 31st May 2017 – Rainmaker Gallery

 

Her Empire is Her Reality, Sierra Edd

“Dooming a person’s existence to that of a stereotype is worse than never having lived at all.”


Shan Goshorn

The artworks in this exhibition depict women of all ages, strong, powerful, nurturing, caring, desirable, provocative, dangerous, real and supernatural. It highlights individual and communal struggles, concerns and life choices of women from several Native cultures across the continent.

“From a very young age, Chemehuevi women are taught that their innate strength as a woman and life giver is all-powerful, maybe sometimes even supernatural, and we are respected as equals in Chemehuevi society. We hold power in government and historically in battle. This unique perspective shows up throughout my art. It is always my intention to visualize this inherent Chemehuevi belief in the all-powerful, supernatural strength of women.” Cara Romero

Featured artists include Cara Romero (Chemehuevi), Shan Goshorn (Cherokee), Marla Allison (Laguna Pueblo), Shelley Niro (Mohawk), Kali Spitzer (Kaska Dena & Jewish) and Zoe Urness (Tlingit & Cherokee), Alison Bremner (Tlingit), Sierra Edd (Navajo/Diné) and Debra Yepa-Pappan (Jemez Pueblo & Korean).

Source: WE ARE NATIVE WOMEN – 23rd March to 31st May 2017 – Rainmaker Gallery

Last year’s exhibit

Why an Apache Artist’s Photos Are Inextricable from His Activism | What the people of the Amazon know that you don’t | TED Talk

Standing Fox, a leader of the Apache Stronghold movement, talks about how activism plays an important part in his life as an Apache artist.

What do you hope to communicate to non-Indians through your work?

Standing Fox, “Untitled”

SF: I think that the people in the US tend to forget how rich the culture is on this land. A lot of people go out of this country to volunteer and help other people in need. I want them to know that there are issues in their backyard, on their land. I think it’s very important to know who the original people are here, and to have respect for them. We need help too. I want to show the beauty within this land. I want people to see more than just images of Indians protesting, more than an Indian on Instagram holding up a picture of a poster saying WE ARE STILL HERE. We of course have to do this in order for us to protect the culture and the way, but I feel that it is my job to push the beauty of our culture to the world, by saying this is what we are about, and this is what we are trying to protect.

Source: Why an Apache Artist’s Photos Are Inextricable from His Activism

***What the people of the Amazon know that you don’t

This lost Native language of Massachusetts is waking up again | What is Bermuda’s Connection to the Pequot

This lost Native language of Massachusetts is waking up again

READ: This lost Native language of Massachusetts is waking up again PRI´s The World | First Nations Blog – FIRST NATIONS

AND THIS:

By Lara Trace Hentz  (She Covers the Trail)

AQUAY!  Hello, greetings to you in Pequot!  BERMUDA Greeting :: Yo Ace Boy! (Hello good friend!)

This blog still has the theme:  “What you’re not supposed to know” (regarding cracking open Indian history, especially here in New England.)

I have also used this headline:

I don’t know why we don’t know this stuff

It’s heinous how the historic narrative calls American Indians/Native Americans “disappeared, the vanished, relics of the past,” but you will see in these stories, tribes do manage to survive every attempt to erase them and their culture, language and history right here in Massachusetts and Connecticut.

(above video) Jessie Little Doe’s work has helped revitalize and resurrect the Wampanoag language.  I interviewed her many years ago.  What was almost lost forever has been re-claimed, thanks to Jessie.

I blogged here in 2011 about Brinky Tucker who is a historian and descendant of the New England Indians who were sold into slavery into Bermuda.  He authored “St. David’s Island, Bermuda, Its People, History and Culture” – published in 2009, (not on Amazon – but it should be!)  The history of Bermuda involves slavery of Indigenous people… [Book cover, top photo: Tall Oak Weeden (Wampanoag-Pequot) and Brinky Tucker (Bermuda Indian)]. See: Brinky Tucker on Bermuda Indian History

BACK STORY: …relative isolation lasted until the 1930s, when a bridge was constructed connecting St. David’s Island with the rest of Bermuda.  Although there was intermarriage and cohabitation with African slaves, European colonists, and imported Carib Indians, these descendants of New England tribes passed on “origin stories” that connect five St. David’s families, stories about an Indian slave woman named Susannah who claimed to be the granddaughter of King Phillip and traditions of chanting and drumming at a hillside location called Dark Bottom.  After the 1834 emancipation, most former slaves stayed on St. David’s and continued to intermarry with each other.

“Most of the St. David’s Islanders today are of mixed blood,” says St. Clair Tucker, or Brinky, as he prefers to be called, one of the founding members of the St. David’s Island Indian Committee. “The first Indian slave arrived on our shores in 1616, and for the next 200 years the English developed a very profitable slave trade with Africans and Native Americans. Documents prepared by the English indicate that Pequots, Wampanoags, Narragensetts, Cherokees, Mohegans, Carib, Arowacks and Indians from Central and South America were sold here.  The only trading port was in St. George’s, about 150 yards from St. David’s….”

In 2002, the Mashantucket Pequot had ceremony to reconnect with their enslaved ancestors, their brothers and sisters found in Bermuda.  Brinky and family members came to Connecticut to meet their Pequot cousins (that’s when I met him) and the next year the Pequot traveled to Bermuda.  Making this connection made new history and friendships that continue to this day.

For decades, tribal culture is its own power and lives in the blood, and shows itself in song, dance and language.

When I spoke with Brinky, he’d met with Pequot tribal council who asked simply, “What do you want?” You might guess the world’s richest tribe was skeptical at first of this history connection.  That is the worrisome part.  Tribes themselves are often unaware of the slavery and mixing that happened in prior centuries, even in Bermuda.

Then-Chairman Michael J. Thomas, a Mashantucket tribal leader, went to St. David’s Island in Bermuda to reconnect with Brinky and other Bermuda Indians.

Brinky told the Bermuda newspaper:

“The Native American involvement in Bermuda over the years has been very significant,” he said. “They weren’t always well treated. Some of the stories aren’t pleasant, but it’s better that we know our history.”

He added that the English colonists who originally enslaved the Pequot Indians might well be surprised that their descendants are now celebrating their links to a troubled time. “The English kept great records,” he said. “Little did they know that we’d read them.”

 THEY LOOKED LIKE US
from MANY HOOPS

St. David’s was completely isolated in those early days; in fact, it remained accessible only by boat until as late as 1934.

Beginning around 1616 Wampanoag, Pequots, Narragansetts, Cherokees, Mohegans, Carib, Arowacks and Indians from Central and South America were sold in Bermuda.

“Tall Oak” Weeden and a delegation of Wampanoag Indians and Mashantucket Pequots went in search of their people from the slavery era.

They traveled to St. David’s Island in Bermuda.  There they met a small clan claiming to be descended from New England Indian slaves shipped to the island centuries ago.  Weeden’s group was convinced it was true when they saw the faces, dances and ceremonies of the St. David’s Indians.

“I was struck by how much they looked like us,” said Michael J. Thomas, a Mashantucket tribal leader.

According to local legend, the wife and son of King Philip might have been among those on St. David’s.  After the king’s death, his wife, Wootonekanuske, is said to have married an African.  This kept alive the genealogical line with Indians in New England. The Pequots plan to dig even further into slavery’s hidden history, Thomas said.  “What’s to be learned is a more accurate perception of Colonial-era history,” he said. “It helps people to understand our insecurities of today.”

If you are into history, here is a link to a short paper about Bermuda’s Native American DNA ancestry. HERE

From Restless Natives, from the Bermuda newspaper THE BERMUDIAN here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Pequot War of 1634 to 1638 saw the English colonists of Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay join forces with the Narragansett and Mohegan tribes in an attempt to unseat the Pequot, who enjoyed economic and political power in what is now southeastern Connecticut.

“The colonists has guns,” Tucker said.  “The Indians had bow and arrows.”

Captain Anthony White, the largest landowner in Bermuda at the time, purchased these 80 Native Americans. They were sent to live on St. David’s Island and put to work as farmers, boat builders, labourers and fishermen. From that point, the connection between Native Americans and St. David’s was established- and aided, over the following years, by the island’s close proximity to the local slave market.

“When they were brought here, the trading port was St. George’s,” Tucker explained. “Slaves were sold in the square, and masters from St. George’s and St. David’s got the first pick.”

*** Virtual: St David

On the island of St David, a cultural mishmash represents the diversity of Bermudian culture.  The Carter House is a testament to the varied groups of people who settled here, exploring the history of the English, black West Indians, Spaniards, Portuguese, Native Americans and even Scottish and Irish prisoners of war (carterhousemuseum.org).

 

P.S. I left the Pequot Times in 2004.  (I quit and moved to Massachusetts).  The monthly newspaper continued barely another year and then folded.  Massive layoffs by the Pequot Tribal Government shut it down.  That was a huge loss for the tribe and for Connecticut…. and for history.

Melissa, Medicine Woman for the Mohegan tribe, named me “She Covers the Trail.”  My Native friend English professor poet Ron Welburn keeps in close contact with Brinky and has visited him.  Brinky and I exchange Christmas cards.

ojibwe_style_moccasi_cover_for_kindleP.S.S.– If you have any interest in Native authors (and you should), go visit www.bluehandbooks.org – we just published Ojibwe Style Moccasin Game, a handbook by Charles Grolla on how to play the oldest Ojibwe game, given to man by makwa (bear.)

***VERY IMPORTANT

“Who Belongs?” in Indian Country Conference Convenes March 9–10, 2017  TUCSON, ARIZONA – The “Who Belongs? From Tribal Kinship to Native Nation Citizenship to Disenrollment…

READ: A First: Tribal Leaders, Academics to Convene to Discuss Tribal Disenrollment – Native News Online

“First Daughter and the Black Snake” Lights the Path

LA PROGRESSIVE’s Dick Price wrote: Besides being a masterfully conceived, thoroughly engaging film, what makes “First Daughter” so moving is the heartening solution it offers in these dark times.

There are two videos at this link…

READ: “First Daughter and the Black Snake” Lights the Path – LA Progressive

Speechmaking: Talk of the Nation – BackStory with the American History Guys

It’s 150 years since Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address – so we’re taking a tour of some of the highs, and lows, of American speechmaking, and asking what makes some in endure.

Guests Include:

American school students read speeches by Indians?  Americans needed redemption about Indians?

A MUST LISTEN: Talk of the Nation – BackStory with the American History Guys

From Around the Web

Speechmaking by 60sScoop (top photo) Ottawa

How About First Americans First? | Resistance Camps Spread* | Pequot’s Secret History | HUNAP | RUMBLE

America First? How About First Americans First?

Indian Country is now a target and so many Trump supporters are emboldened by an administration that does not know how to say no to those who would trample on constitutional rights.  This will be true for many who run federal agencies, state governments, oil, gas, and coal producers, and the Congress. In their mind: Indian Country has had it too good for too long.  Imagine that.  Native journalist Mark Trahant is keeping track of t-rump HERE

westerman

***

Indigenous-Led Pipeline Resistance Camps Spread Across the U.S.* Direct opposition to fossil fuel extraction projects continues to spread throughout the USA. Resistance camps mirroring the #NoDAPL …

READ: Indigenous-Led Pipeline Resistance Camps Spread Across the U.S.* | Hwaairfan’s Blog

***********

17detectoristalt-superjumboRemarkable for New England! I know Pequot Museum Research Director Kevin Mc Bride (wearing glasses in left photo)! (Top Photo: NY Times)

watch this

He is the first Indigenous student to serve in that role in the organization’s 104-year-old history.

READ: SpearChief-Morris Becomes First Indigenous Student President of Harvard Law School’s Legal Aid Bureau | Harvard University Native American Program (HUNAP)

At Sundance 2017: A World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for Masterful Storytelling was presented to: RUMBLE: The Indians Who Rocked The World

(Directors: Catherine Bainbridge, Alfonso Maiorana) — This powerful documentary about the role of Native Americans in contemporary music history—featuring some of the greatest music stars of our time—exposes a critical missing chapter, revealing how indigenous musicians helped shape the soundtracks of our lives and, through their contributions, influenced popular culture. Cast: Robbie Robertson, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Martin Scorsese, Tony Bennett, Steven Tyler, Iggy Pop.

I just ran into Cherokee poet-historian Ron Welburn last weekend and he didn’t mention he was in this movie – what a humble guy.

Director Alfonso Maiorana, Producer Christina Fon, Filmmaker Chris Eyre, Musician Ricky Medlocke, Rapper Taboo, Executive Producer Ernest Webb, Executive Producer Tim Johnson and Director Catherine Bainbridge attend the World premiere of RUMBLE: The Indians Who Rocked the World by Alfonso Maiorana and Catherine Bainbridge, an official selection of the World Cinema Documentary Competition at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. © 2017 Sundance Institute | photo by Abbey Hoekzema.
Director Alfonso Maiorana, Producer Christina Fon, Filmmaker Chris Eyre, Musician Ricky Medlocke, Rapper Taboo, Executive Producer Ernest Webb, Executive Producer Tim Johnson and Director Catherine Bainbridge attend the World premiere of RUMBLE: The Indians Who Rocked the World by Alfonso Maiorana and Catherine Bainbridge, an official selection of the World Cinema Documentary Competition at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. © 2017 Sundance Institute | photo by Abbey Hoekzema.

FAA Complicity in Violence Against Standing Rock Water Protectors #NoDAPL

 

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Protector efforts to thwart the development of the pipeline has been met with violence and surveillance by police. In order to track the Water Protectors, police and Energy Transfer Partners use helicopters, planes, and drones to photograph, monitor and harass. In some cases, the helicopters are used for more direct action against Water Protectors.

dsc-0126-jpg-1484939637This nine-part series will illuminate the FAA’s complacency and the role the FAA’s concession played in the violence against Water Protectors. A listing of the other eight articles is at the bottom of this article.

READ: FAA Complicity in Violence Against Standing Rock Water Protectors – Native News Online

UPDATES:

The number of arrests surpassed 600 this week, as 16 were arrested Monday and Tuesday in confrontations near the camp.

The Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux also are fighting the pipeline work in court, with the next hearing set for Feb. 28. In the meantime, hundreds of pipeline opponents have continued to occupy a camp near the drilling site in North Dakota.

State and federal authorities have told the few hundred people remaining in the camp to leave by Wednesday (today). Authorities want the area cleaned and closed before spring floodwaters wash tons of trash and debris into nearby rivers, including the Missouri River, and cause an environmental disaster.

The tribe launched a cleanup effort in late January. The state and Corps were continuing Friday to try to line up additional contractors to speed up the work, according to Corps Capt. Ryan Hignight and Mike Nowatzki, spokesman for Gov. Doug Burgum.

“We’re running out of time,” Hignight said. “We need to ensure that the land is remediated as soon as possible.”

Some in camp think the flood fears are overblown and that authorities are trying to turn public sentiment against them.

“We’re all working hard to get the lower (flood-prone) grounds clear,” said Giovanni Sanchez, a Pennsylvania man who has been at the camp since November. “I think they’re just trying to find any reason to get us out of here.”

The latest spring flood outlook from the National Weather Service, issued Thursday, calls for minor flooding in the area. The outlook doesn’t include flood risks associated with river ice jams, which can’t be predicted.

[SOURCE]

Army veterans return to Standing Rock to form a human shield against police | #NoDAPL

A growing group of military veterans are willing to put their bodies between Native American activists and the police trying to remove them

DAPL goes to court –> As work continues on the Dakota Access Pipeline, the Associated Press reports that a federal judge in Washington, DC, will hear arguments later today about whether or not construction should be halted while lawsuits filed by the Standing Rock Sioux against the pipeline play out.

Meanwhile, The Guardian reports that military veterans from across the country are planning to stand in support of the Native Amerians and block the pipeline. “The growing group of military veterans could make it harder for police and government officials to try to remove hundreds of activists who remain camped near the construction site and, some hope, could limit use of excessive force by law enforcement during demonstrations,” Sam Levin writes. Elizabeth Williams, a 34-year-old air force veteran, tells Levin, “We are prepared to put our bodies between Native elders and a privatized military force. We’ve stood in the face of fire before. We feel a responsibility to use the skills we have.”

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000485145915&hc_ref=NEWSFEED

Teach the Children Well | Vermont’s Abenaki History | Eugenics target Pirate Families and Indians?

Lucy Cannon Neel, Chairperson of the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs presented at the Benson Village School on December 21, 2016. Lucy shared about the history and continued presence (of Indians in Vermont)…

READ: Teach the Children Well

Vermont eugenics: When our branding wasn’t so sweet | Rutland Reader

[AMAZING Truth!]

Excerpt: …Founded in 1925 by University of Vermont zoology professor Henry F. Perkins, the Eugenics Survey of Vermont was built on the “belief in the existence of racial stereotypes,” and “accepted the myth that certain people (particularly those of northern Europe) possess a monopoly of desired characteristics, and thought that human differences were invariably caused by heredity.”

Armed with these beliefs, Perkins and his supporters went out into the hills and valleys of Vermont searching for, studying and analyzing the so-called data on the “pirate families,” those who lived on houseboats and had French-Canadian ancestry; “gypsy families,” those with the dark-skin of African-American, Abenaki or French-Canadian descent; “chorea families,” those with the illness Huntington’s Chorea; and other “defectives.” [Hunting them down? OMG]

The categorization of these “inadequates” included: illiterate, illegitimate, insane, thief, queer, pauper, immoral, dishonest, rapist, sex offender, syphilitic, untruthful, epileptic, twin, stillborn, dependent, alcoholic, speech defect, “just not right,” harelip, “a little odd,” sloppy, light-fingered, “smoked and chewed at age 12,” wild, wanderer, cruel, deserted husband or wife, one-eyed, tuberculosis, poor memory, breach of peace, shiftless, degenerate.     [OK OK… I am several of these, including illegitimate/adopted. How about you?]

***top photo is the spooky Vermont State Hospital in Waterbury, VT. (UVM / photo)

The Eugenics Survey of Vermont

seems pretty recent to me

Source: Vermont Eugenics

darkness-under-water-book-cover darkness-under-water-book-info-jpegI met Beth, the author of The Darkness Under The Water (on this very topic) at the Wisconsin Book Festival in 2009…I love her book!

Footnote:  Well well well… A Zoology Professor was in charge of eugenics in Vermont – this explains so much… His worldview of Indians was obviously “wild savages.”  Again, I bet you never heard this news/history in your textbooks and I know how this kind of BAD His-Story shocks people in a bad way.

We’re in the Trump years, and anything can (and will) happen.

PS: My ancestry includes French Canadian from Quebec/Ottawa which makes me so very happy to be alive…  Pirate Lara/Trace who is still “a little odd…”

***OH GOD — ONE MORE THING!!! (with a warning – I was sick reading this)

EUGENICS: ‘Reprograming the Human Genome’, The Hidden History of Bar Harbor, MAINE…William E. Castle was an organizing member of the Second International Congress of Eugenics (New York, 1921) which in 1922 dissolved into the American Eugenics Society (AES) which was funded by America’s powerful industrial elite.

THIS

Breaking News: #StandingRock #NoDAPL

READ: US Army Corps to Issue Easement for Completion of DAPL – Native News Online

https://www.facebook.com/confluencedocumentary/videos/1358973087486299/

 

 

VICELAND’s “RISE”: Features Standing Rock | Trump hangs portrait of Andrew Jackson

READ: VICELAND’s New Docu-series “RISE” Premieres Tonight: Feature Standing Rock – Native News Online

 WATCH VICELAND (2 parts)

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Hi everyone, these new actions are ones to watch… Have a good weekend… xox LT

Native Americans expect nothing good from Trump… | What’s LOVE got to do with it | Are things getting weird enough?

…but will the media pay attention at all?

READ: Native Americans expect nothing good from Trump… | USA | Al Jazeera

READ: Performative Sovereignty and DAPL (#NoDAPL)

LOVE?

Last year saw a victory for a US President running on a platform of hatred, and a UK vote to leave the EU on a platform of fear. Both campaigns painfully revealed how deeply divided both the United States and the United Kingdom are, and how conflicted our ideas of justice have become.  But 2016 also marked the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare. And if anyone understood what comprises the bedrock of justice, Shakespeare did: Love.

READ: What’s Love (and Shakespeare) Got to Do with It? – BLARB

***

Things getting weird enough for you?

How about this… the CIA dumped truckloads of files onto the ‘Net in early January and all of a sudden people like you and me can read just how spooky the CIA has been and could be (of course secretly).  This is where our tax money goes?

If you don’t believe me – watch a clip The Men Who Stare at Goats… 🙂

CIA Docs Reveal Agency’s Longtime Obsession With UFOs, Magic 

(REPORT) — The juicy bits of the CIA’s massive document dump may have centered on their overt use of torture against detainees and the internal debates underpinning that policy, but it’s far from the only thing in there that warrants a second look.  The documents also include substantial information about CIA obsession with UFO sightings, policies for using invisible ink, and their determined investigation into magicians.

Reports on the UFOs described some 20% of sightings as “unexplained,” and sought more cooperation from the Pentagon in documentation of such sightings, particularly pushing to ensure that all high-ranking Air Force commanders were briefed on the rules for reporting about them.

The CIA showed concern both about the “national security” implications of flying saucers, and the intelligence ramifications of them, with the advisory committee urging “close attention” be paid both to Russian actions with respect to UFOs, and public opinion within the US about them.

With respect to magic, the CIA appears to have become intensely interested in the phenomenon in the late 1960s and early 1970s, with one 1969 document about a “self-educated magician” in Soviet Georgia who was able to perform “miracle” healings through the laying of hands.

The CIA’s interest in magic got a lot bigger in short order, and within a few years they were bringing in television psychic Uri Geller, who famously used to bend spoons on TV with the power of his mind.

Incredibly, the CIA was quickly convinced that Geller had real powers, and tried to move into remote viewing, the attempt to conduct surveillance on sites they don’t have access to via supernatural means.

By Lara Trace Hentz

So why are we hearing about all of this now? (My brain beeps… the CIA is unleashing secret files we never thought we’d see.  Woohoo, maybe t-rump scared them silly…)

I am sure many of you are already FULL of news, as in brain bloated and ready to explode.  Me, too.
My cousin Charlie and I have been emailing tidbits and I wanted to share a quote that I sent to him:
 
“…Trump’s behavior is so upsetting to his opposition that our elected representatives are willing to sign off on people they might ordinarily see as excessively radical because they’re so terrified of what Trump might do without an experienced and paternal figure like “Mad Dog” Mattis or Rex Tillerson in there to reign him in.
“…It’s classic good cop-bad cop. The more unhinged Trump appears the more comforting his generals look,  the more reassuring a three or four-star general appears… And the people who need to know that know that (like the CIA who use that.)
An Outsider’s Sojourn II posted this about the CIA as organized crime [Edward Curtin is a writer whose work has appeared widely. He teaches sociology at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.  His website is edwardcurtin.com.]
T-rump is already 10 steps ahead of us, and it’s remarkable (and not) to see how he was (s)elected…
But I have this really sick feeling ::: they start a fire in your front yard (24/7 news, KellyAnne/Spicer weirdness) while they do their work in your backyard.  We are seeing this in action now.  It’s actions not words (and executive order signings) that we need to watch… Distraction is rampant…
They have used this tactic on Indians since treaty times. I learned about this from a Northern Cheyenne friend in Seattle. It really works! He used the example of the Indian Barbie doll (in the early 90s) which had people really upset while sovereign treaty rights were being violated. Now Winona LaDuke is signalling this:

We are dealing with a ROGUE (a real mobster with no training to be president). He could be manipulated (even blackmailed) by other rulers to commit human rights horrors (and vice versa – t-rump has cameras in his hotels too.)

This guy REALLY has the nuke codes… the most terrifying thought of all…

P.S.  On another note I read an old playboy MUST READ interview where t-rump listed off men he looked up to… all studio heads and business guys from the golden age of Hollywood and show business..

Aaaah, that figures… (it’s insight into who t-rump really is)

https://filthy.media/donald-trump-playboy-interview

AND PAID TO CLAP ::: The press reported cheering (^?^) at Donald’s press conference and at his address at the CIA memorial, and it turned out to be his staffers, an entourage of fawning sycophants paid to clap. It’s funny, at first. Then you realize that it’s a grotesque headgame that is only going to get worse.  READ: Why Trump brings clapping, laughing sycophants to his press events and appearances / Boing Boing

#NoDAPL update | YES! Special Report

How to Help #NODAPL Tribe: http://standwithstandingrock.net/donate/

From The Hill:

Trump takes action to move forward with Keystone, Dakota Access pipelines

The Spirit of Standing Rock on the Move People from more than 300 tribes traveled to the North Dakota plains to pray and march in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux. Back home, each tribe faces its own version of the “black snake” and a centuries-old struggle to survive.

More than 300 tribes have sent representatives to the North Dakota Plains in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux, each one them temporarily leaving behind their own tribe’s historic struggles to survive.

READ: YES! Special Report

Keystone XL Pipeline Revived

Here.