Mashpee

Mashpee is a town located on Cape Cod, Massachusetts has been the home of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe for approximately 12,000 years.  The Mashpee Wampanoag are one of the original sixty-nine tribes that belonged to the Wampanoag Nation.  Originally, the Marshpee (later called Mashpee) Tribe was under the oversight of English missionaries for nearly 200 years.  The reservation period in Mashpee officially began in 1677 and restricted the freedom of the Mashpee Wampanoag people until 1868.  From that time up until around 1975 the tribal people were in control of the Mashpee town government, were active business owners and the predominant town residents.  As town and federal politics dramatically changed over the years, the tribe maintained its autonomy as a non-profit organization until 2007 when federal recognition was finally granted after a 30-year legal land suit.

The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe has both traditional and conventional leadership and maintains a government-to-government relationship with all federal agencies to support the health, education, and welfare needs of the tribe.  The traditional leadership includes the Chief and his Circle of advisers, Medicine Man, and Clan Mothers.  The Chief and Medicine Man have permanent seats at the Tribal Council table to ensure cultural concerns are included in decision-making. Tribal members seek advice, ceremony, and social justice from these leaders.
 

Economically the tribe has adapted and maintained a number of different survival methods besides hunting, fishing, and planting.  During the 17th and 18th centuries tribesmen were involved in the fur, rope, timber, and sassafras trade.  Then in the 19th and early 20th centuries they engaged in the whaling industry, sailing the Atlantic, Pacific, Arctic and Indian Oceans.  

We are most certain that our many and late misfortunes have come to your knowledge.  However, we most humbly petition to Your Honors, presuming on your good natures, being assured by sundry examples of your compassion on the poor helpless, that you will take pity on the distressed truly deserving your tender compassions on us and set us free by restoring to us our once liberty and that we may enjoy our own property.  Again, we pray Your Honors to consider the many difficulties, disappointments and distresses that we do now meet with which doth reduce us to such necessitous circumstanc

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To the Honorable Senate and the Honorable House of Representatives in General Court Assembled      

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To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

The inhabitants of color of the District of Mashpee again presume to arrest the attention of the Legislature and to lay before them their humble petition and remonstrance.

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To the Honorable the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court Assembled.

The inhabitants of color of the District of Mashpee beg leave to offer with the utmost deference and respect the following observations to the consideration of the Honorable Legislature.

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Commonwealth of Massachusetts     

To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives in General Court Assembled May 25, 1796

The memorial of Walter Spooner, by order of the Board of Overseers of the District of Mashpee, respectfully sheweth,

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To the Honorable the Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, in General Court Assembled

The inhabitants and proprietors of the plantation or District of Mashpee in the County of Barnstable, hereto subscribed, beg leave with the utmost deference and respect, to offer the following observations and petition to the Honorable Court.

To the Honorable the Senate and the Honorable the House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

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To the Honorable the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court Assembled

May it please Your Honors to hear the humble petition of your poor servants and humble petitioners, blacks of the Plantation of Mashpee

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Petition of the proprietors and inhabitants of the Mashpee Plantation, signed by seventy-nine males and ninety-two females on the plantation, and in behalf of seventy-nine males and thirty-seven females who are absent and will not return to live under the present laws.

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To the Honorable the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court Assembled

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