Lois Philips was a Pequot woman who lived, for a least part of her life, on or near the Mashantucket tribal lands. On October 15, 1799 she married fellow Pequot, Benjamin Charles, although records seem to suggest that they lived as common law husband and wife prior to this formal union. In the summer of 1811 , Lois’ husband, Benjamin, died, at the age of 35, of heat exhaustion while in the neighboring Town of Norwich.
Records show that the widow Lois Charles received goods and services from the State appointed Overseer of the tribe as early as March of 1818, ostensibly as a reservation resident. In September of the following year, the Overseer noted that he helped in “securing crops of Lois Charles”. Later purchases of seed corn and planting potatoes give some indication of what might have been among the crops that Lois cultivated in her home garden or fields. An 1820 bill from Dr. Daniel King to the Overseer of the tribe indicates that Lois had a least one child, a daughter. Both Lois and her daughter received attendance and medicine from Dr. King in March of that year. Subsequent bills from Dr. King indicate continued medical care to Lois in 1821. During this same period neighboring non-Native, John Wilcox, a tenant on tribal lands, billed the Overseer for goods and services provided Lois, in particular, a pound of fish and the cost of plowing her garden.
After October of 1821 Lois Charles no longer appears in the documentary record. While she could have remarried and moved away, it is possible, given her contemporaneous health issues, that the coffin made, around that time, by Jesse Bedent for “one of the Tribe” might have been for Lois.
CSL, MV 974.62. L5lger, "Marriages performed in North Groton by Robert and Amos Gere, JP.", p. 36; Brown and Rose, Black Roots, 72; CSL, MV 970.1 P31, Papers relating to the Pequot Indian Tribe, Receipt of Ebenezer Morgan, Overseer of Indians to P. Holdredge; CHS, Ms 27960 Geer & Morgan Families Papers, 1717-1850, Folder 19; Western Pequot Overseer Account from May 1813 to February 8, 1820, 1820.02.08.00; Bill from Dr. Daniel King to Eneas Morgan and Stephen Billings, Overseers to the Western Pequot Indians, 1820.03.00.00; Bill from Dr. Daniel King to Eneas Morgan and Stephen Billings, Overseers to the Western Pequot Indians, 1821.02.10.00; Bill from John Wilcox to Eneas Morgan and Stephen Billings, Overseers to the Western Pequot Indians, 1822.03.09.01; Bill from Dr. Daniel King to Eneas Morgan and Stephen Billings, Overseers to the Western Pequot Indians, 1822.03.06.00