Petition of the Town of Hartford vs. Overseers of the Groton Tribe of Indians

To the Honorable the General Assembly of the State of Connecticut to Be Holden at New Haven within and for the State of Connecticut on the First Wednesday of May 18221

The petition of the Town of Hartford in the County of Hartford by selectmen of said town humbly sheweth that on the twelfth day of February in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifteen, one Sarah Nannapoom, otherwise called Sarah Meazon, daughter of Abigail Meazon of the Pequot Tribe of Indians (that branch thereof which is resident and planted in the Town of Groton in New London County) came into the Town of Hartford aforesaid, and was there providentially taken sick, and being infirm and weak by reason of her great age, she there languished until the 20th day of January AD 1821 when she died.  That said Sarah was during said period under the care and charge of the selectmen of said Hartford, and maintained in meat, drink, medicine, nursing, clothing, and other necessaries for the support of life and her personal comfort, to the great age of 97 years, at the proper expense and cost of said town, said cart with funeral charges amounting to three hundred and fourteen dollars.  That said Sarah was of the Groton Tribe of Indians so called, and properly belonged thereto and was at her decease interested in the undivided lands of said tribe, and is and of right ought to be chargeable upon the joint and common property of said Groton Tribe of native Indians.  That said property consists of about one thousand acres of valuable land lying in the northwestern part of said town and said Sarah had no other estate beside her undivided share in said common lands.  The number of adult Groton Indians is small, although the exact population of said tribe is unknown to your petitioners.  Said tribe are under the oversight and guardianship, and have been so for two years last past, of Eneas Morgan and Stephen Billings, Esquires, both of said Groton, who have been duly notified of the claim, expenditures, and account of said Hartford for the support of said Sarah, but said overseers have for reasons unknown to your petitioners neglected to reimburse said expenses or any part thereof or in any manner to indemnify said Town of Hartford.  Therefore the petitioners have no remedy at law neither against said overseer, nor against said common land or the interest of said Sarah Meazon or Nannapoom thereon, nor have the said Town of Hartford any other remedy than by the interposition of the Honorable Assembly to grant them redress.  The petitioners therefore humbly pray that said assembly will inquire into the matters aforesaid and all the facts connected therewith, and order and decree that said overseers pay to said Town of Hartford said sum of $314 so expended for the support and funeral charges of said poor Indian woman, and interest and that so much of the land of said Groton Tribe be sold in such manner as shall be deemed reasonable and proper, as may raise said sum with incident charges of sale or in some other way, by payment of said sum out of the State Treasury or otherwise, grant the petitioners relief in the premises.

And they in duty bound will pray,

Selectmen of Hartford by them attended

 

Dated at Hartford, June 26, 1821

To the Sheriff of New London County or his deputy or either constable of the Town of Groton within said County

Greeting:  By authority of the State of Connecticut you are hereby commanded to summon and give notice to Eneas Morgan and Stephen Billings, Esquires, both of said Groton, to appear (if they see cause) as overseers of the Groton Tribe of Pequot Indians before the Honorable General Assembly of the State of Connecticut next to be holden at New Haven within and for the State of Connecticut on the first Wednesday of May AD 1822.  That is to say to appear before said Assembly on Tuesday next following said Wednesday.2

Then and there to show cause, if any they have, why the prayer of the petition foregoing should not be granted.  Hereof fail not, but due service (and by copy) and return make.

Dated at Norwich, June 27, 1821 

Two dollars duty are paid upon this petition, certified and signed by

James Lanman, Justice of the Peace for New London County

Groton in the jurisdiction of New London County, July 17, 1821.  By virtue of the within petition, etc. to me directed.  I have summoned the within named Eneas Morgan by giving him a true and attested copy of the within petition and likewise have summoned the within named Stephen Billings, Esq.  by leaving a like copy at his last and usual place of abode as they are overseers to the within named tribe of Indians; at the General Assembly next to be holden at New Haven as within directed if they see cause to appear at said General Assembly.

Travel to make serve copies, etc.  $ 1.50

Attest, Elijah Ames, Sheriff, Deputy for New London County

Legislative Action:

Petition of the Town of Hartford v. Overseer of Groton Tribe of  Indians / House of Representatives 1823, Continued, Attest, Nathan Johnson, Clerk / General Assembly May 1822 , Number 2 / Entered May 2, 1822, Thomas Day,  Secretary / House of Representative, Referred to a select committee of three namely Buckley3, Eaton, and Collins, Attested, Nathan Johnson, Clerk / House of Representative, Continued,    Attest, Nathan Johnson, Clerk / In Senate May Session 1822, Continued,  Attested, William Boardman,  Clerk / May 1823  Number 1 / House of Representatives, Referred to Messrs. Alsop, Jonathan Baldwin and Shubael Griswold, 3,  Attest, Nathan Johnson,  Clerk / Granted with liberty [ illegible ], Attest, Nathan Johnson,  Clerk / In Senate 1823,   Granted,   Attest, Wm W. Boardman, Clerk

Cataloguing:

48

  • 1. The first Wednesday of May 1822 was May 1st.
  • 2. This would have been the 7th of May.
  • 3. It is unclear at this point who Bucklery was.