Shantup, Samuel, 1779 - 1857
Little is known of the parentage or early life of Samuel Shantup. According to his May 1804 Seaman’s Protection Certificate, Shantup was born in Stonington ( likely the portion that was later to become North Stonington ), 23 years old, and five feet ten inches tall. The extent of his maritime career is unknown, but by 1820 Jedediah Morse, in his travels through the region, noted Samuel Shantup along with Cyrus Shelly, Samuel Shelly, and James Nedson as the principal men in the tribe.
At the beginning of June 1829, Shantup appeared before the Peacemakers at Brothertown, Wisconsin Territory to make an application for a lot of land there. It wasn’t until June of 1831 that Samuel Shantup first appeared in the ledgers of the state appointed overseers of the Eastern Pequots. He continued receiving goods and services from the overseers periodically for the next 26 years.
Samuel Shantup was a signatory on an February 8, 1839 Eastern Pequot petition requesting the removal and replacement of overseer Ezra Hewitt due to his inattentiveness and mismanagement. The following year Shantup’s household on the reservation was enumerated in the federal census as consisting of three individuals: a male age 36-55, a male age 24-35 and a female age 24-35. While it is highly probable that the older male was Samuel Shantup, it is unknown who the other two individuals were. Samuel Shantup was a signatory on another Eastern Pequot petition for the removal and replacement of overseers in January 1841.
Records indicate that Shantup had exclusive use rights to at least one parcel of land on the reservation. In 1846 not only did the overseer purchased oats and clover seed to sow on Shantup’s lot but also hired a team and men to plow and sow the oats. Additional entries over the years reference the leasing of “the Samuel Shantup lott so called” as well as the plowing and fencing of his garden.
Samuel Shantup likely traveled far and wide while engaged in the seafaring life, but in 1850 he undertook a journey of a different nature, to the new State of Wisconsin. He leased out his lands on the reservation, receiving the rents in advance in order to cover his expenses. The purpose of his trip was not expressly stated in the record, but chances are he went to visit family and friends in the Brothertown Indian community in Manchester, WI, near Fond du Lac on Lake Winnebago. By June 1851 he had returned safely to his reservation home. His house may have suffered neglect in his absence as the overseer paid for repairs shortly after his return and an entirely new house was built for him in March and April of 1853.
On September 1, 1857, Samuel Shantup died in North Stonington, presumably on the reservation. His record of death indicated that he was unmarried and 78 years old. The cost of the coffin and expenses associated with his burial were charged to the Tribe later that month.
Protection Certificates, Mystic Seaport; Caroline K. Andler, "The Brothertown 'Keepers of the Peace' or 'Peacemakers' Court Record Book 1797 to April 1843," genealogy.com; Deforest, History of the Indians of CT, 442- 3; NLCC: PbS: Indians, Eastern Pequot; Eastern Pequot Overseer Records from March 18, 1834 to June 11, 1835; Brown and Rose, Black Roots, 368; Stonington Historical Society, Mss.; 1840 US Federal Census, North Stonington
Died:September 1, 1857