George, Amy, 1774 - 1833
Amy George was born circa 1774. Although little is known of her parentage or early life, she was a long-time resident on the Western or Mashantucket Pequot reservation in what was then North Groton, Connecticut. In 1819, she, along with 25 other tribal members, signed a petition to the General Assembly seeking a new overseer to assist in managing their affairs. Evidence suggests that at some point prior to December 1819,1 when she was in her mid to late forties, she married Mark Daniels, a freed Black man from Middletown, From then, Mark Daniels begins to appear with regularity in the records of the state-appointed overseer for the Western Pequot as a provider of goods and services to the Pequot community and also as leasee of a portion of reservation land. Considering her age at the time of their marriage it is likely the two did not have children together. She did however have at least one child from a previous marriage2, as her grandson, John Nedson, lived with the couple for some time. Amy Daniels appears in the State appointed overseer ledgers beginning in 1819 until 1833 as receiving goods and services paid for by the tribe.
Located in the northern portion of the reservation, adjacent to the farm of Captain Henry Hallet, the Mark and Amy Daniels farmstead consisted of the Molly Cujep Place, the Cujep Pasture, School House Lot, and the Benjamin George Lot, more than 70 acres total. Although much of that land was leased, at least some of it may have included a lot to which Amy had rights through descendancy. The cost of leasing land was offset with improvements such as making fences and stonewalls to enclose the fields and pastures, as well as planting fields.
Like that of some of their neighbors, the Daniels household played a role in boarding and nursing tribal members in need. Beginning in December of 1817 and continuing for decades, the record shows that it served as a place where tribal members could be cared for and Mark Daniels was often compensated for this service. Moses Sunsamon, Anne Wampey, Sally Pierce, Sarah Meazon, John Nedson, as well as, a multitude of unnamed people were cared for in that house sometimes for years on end.
In 1825 Amy Daniels put her name to a request for the appointment of a new overseer. She, along with 18 others, petitioned the New London County Court for the discharge of Overseer Elisha Crary and the appointment of Erastus Williams in his stead. The petition noted that although Amy Daniels was not present for the reading and signing of the petition, she still supported it
On February 7, 1831, Amy participated for the last time in community legal affairs. She, along with eight other men and women from the community, put her name to another petition to the New London County Court praying to retain Overseer Erastus Williams whom the tribe considered well suited to the job.
Given the fact that her husband was also a lay exhorter and their house served as the center for some religious meetings on the reservation, it is quite likely that the "Sister Amy" that William Apes references in his 1831 work amongst the Pequots is Amy Daniels.
It appears that Amy George Daniels took ill in the first or second week of November 1833. Beginning in October of that year the records of the state-appointed overseer include bills for medical visits, advice and medicine for "Amy Mark".
Not quite a month later, in December of 1833, Amy Daniels was enumerated in a private census of tribal members living on the reservation. Erastus Williams, having just concluded his tenure as overseer, described Amy, in a letter to William Williams, as a 59 year old Pequot woman living in a the household with her grandson, John Nedson, and an elderly Ann Wampey. Presumably her husband Mark Daniels, although not a member of the tribe, was also in the household.
A November 19, 1834 bill from J. Fanning to the overseer for a coffin coincides with Amy's sickness and her subsequent disappearance from the historical record. She would have been approximately 60 years old.
1. This may have been a common law marriage. The documentary record, at this point, begins to include references to Amy Daniels and, occasionally, Amy Mark. The 1830 census includes a female aged 36-54 as living in the Mark Daniels household.
2. This being considered, it is possible that George was a married name.
CHS, William Samuel Johnson Papers, III, 100: December 13, 1833 Letter from Erastus Williams to William T. Williams; Petition of the Western Pequots to the Connecticut General Assembly, 1819.04.24.00; Connecticut State Library, Connecticut Archives, Indians, Series 2 (1666-1820), Vol. 1, Doc.21; NLCC:PbS, Indians, Mashantucket Pequot; O’Connell, On Our Own Ground, 152.