Keeter, Simon (1792)

Simon Keeter and his wife, Bethiah, had a large family at Mashpee, by 1776, numbering six children in their wigwam(s) at Great Neck.  Rev. Gideon Hawley performed a community census of Mashpee in 1793, in which he noted that Simon Keeter's family was an ancient one and  " has a number of children, several of whom are married and about him or yet in the family- others are minors".  A similar census conducted in 1800, found the household of the widow Bethiah Keeter, age 60, and her children and grandchildren, numbering about 20, living in several wigwams or houses near to one another.

Simon Keeter and others within the larger community, were active in efforts to overturn two Acts of the Massachusetts General Court of 1788 and 1789 that they felt limited the tribe's self-governance.  The removal of the minister Gideon Hawley from the affairs of the tribe was part and parcel of these efforts.  Simon signed two petitions to this effect in 1792.  Later he signed his name, along with 21 other Mashpeee men, to a 1795 petition, an eloquent complaint about the community's loss of liberty in the wake of the Revolutionary War.  Sometime between 1795 and 1800, Simon Keeter passed away.

Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988, Vol. 1, Ancestry; 1776 Mashpee Census, Unbound Papers of Gideon Hawley, MHS, Boston, MA; 1793 Mashpee Census, Autograph File, Houghton Library, Harvard University; 1800 Mashpee Census, Ms. 48: SPG, Account of Indians, Box 2, Folder 16, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA; Misc. Bound Docs. 1808, MHS, Boston, MA; Petition of Elijah Pocknet and Other Mashpee Indians to the Legislature of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; 1792.01.14.00; Petition of Sarah Mye and Other Mashpee Indians to the Legislature of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 1792.05.28.00; Petition of Noah Webquish and Other Mashpee Indians to the Legislature of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 1796.02.22.00.

Died: 
bef. 1800
Tribes
Ethnicity