Petition of Joseph Bird Joquips to the Connecticut General Assembly Requesting Re-Instatement of Rights

To the Honorable General Assembly of the State of Connecticut to be Holden at New Haven within and for Said State on the Second Thursday of October 18061

The Memorial of Joseph Bird Joquips, an Indian man now resident with the Mohegan Tribe of Indians in the Town of Montville in said State, humbly sheweth that he is a Native of said tribe, born in said Mohegan of parents belonging to said tribe, that he is now about seventy years of age, and has been absent from his said tribe and the place of his nativity about forty-eight years.

That in the time of the French War, so called, when very young, he thinks in the spring of the year 1758, he enlisted as a soldier into the Provincial Troops, raised by the then Colony of Connecticut.  Being discharged at the end of that campaign, the year following, he accepted a Lieutenant's Commission in the Corps of Rangers under the command of Major Rogers and so continued in the service of his Britannic Majesty and the colonies at the taking of Montreal in the year 1760. That from Montreal immediately after, he went in said Corps of Rangers under the command of said Rogers to Detroit, from thence to Michilimackinac, from thence to Fort Pitt, and from thence they returned to Albany.  That from Albany he was ordered and proceeded with said Rangers under said Rogers to Charlestown in South Carolina, that on their arrival there they were ordered on an expedition under Colonel Grant into the Cherokee Country against the Indians of that nation, that at the end of that expedition and about, they returned to Charlestown aforesaid and there the said Rangers separated.  Some went to the Havana.  Some were discharged and returned home, and your memorialist went on board the Ship of War Adolphin, Captain Burd, Commander, bound to London and from thence to the Havana, that on his arrival in England, he was detained there and continued in his commission on half pay and so continued till the time of the American Revolution, when he was requested to accept a captain's commission and enter into the war against his native country, but your memorialist refused to serve in that unnatural contest on which he gave up his commission of lieutenancy in that country and returned to his own country and arrived at Charlestown aforesaid in the year 1774, about a year before hostilities commenced at Boston.

That in that situation he was induced to seek for a settlement and accordingly took up his residence near Hillsborough in North Carolina, where he has usually resided ever since and where he has five children.

During the American War, after the invasion of the Carolinas by the British troops, your memorialist served as a soldier in the American Southern Army, a greater proportion of the time, particularly under Generals Lincoln and Greene, at the conclusion of which, he returned to his settlement near Hillsborough and there usually lived until the month June last, when having been absent from his tribe upwards of forty-eight years he sat out on a visit to Mohegan, the place of his birth as before stated, where he arrived in July following.

That on his arrival there, he found the Mohegan lands belonging to said tribe had been some years since by order and direction of the Honorable General Assembly divided and partitioned to and among the several families and individuals known to compose said tribe, at that time necessarily to the exclusion of himself, as he was supposed then to have been long since dead.

The object of the above statement of your memorialist is to shew Your Honors the reasonableness of his and his said children, being reinstated in the rights of which he and they stand deprived, and in the privileges of members of his native tribe.

A restoration to which will be the conclusion and prayer of his memorial.

Whereupon your memorialist, humbly prays Your Honors to take his case into your wise consideration and thereupon to order and resolve that the overseers of said tribe be authorized and directed to make a new division and partition of said Mohegan lands to and among the families or members of said tribe, including your memorialist, as one in such way and manner as that he and his said children may receive the same share and proportion therein, as they would have had, had they been actually resident there at the time of said division and partition, or that Your Honors would in some other way grant your memorialist such relief in the premises as the justice of his claim requires and Your Honors' wisdom shall direct.

And your memorialist as in duty bound humbly and respectfully prays,

Joseph Bird Joquips
Dated at Mohegan, October 7, 1806

Legislative Action:

In the Upper House, on this memorial granted, that the right and share of the memorialist and of his children be set out and apparted to the memorialist out of the undivided lands belonging to the Mohegan Tribe in the like proportion and manner as partition has heretofore been made of said lands among said Mohegan Indians, and that the trustees of said Mohegan Tribe of Indians be authorized and directed to apart and set out said land to the memorialist, and when so apparted, that the memorialist under the advice and direction of said trustees be authorized and empowered to sell said land.  Passed in the Upper House.  Test, Samuel Wyllys, Secretary.  Concurred in the House of Representatives.  Test, Uriel Holmes, Jr., Clerk

Joseph B. Joquips Petition, Indian Man / Granted House of Representatives / Granted Upper House / Bill / Passed Upper House / Concurred House of Representatives / Joquips / Copy State / $6 / Entered

Cataloguing:

66 a, 66 b, 66 c, 66d, 66 e, 66 f, 84, 85, 86

  • 1. The second Thursday in October was the 9th.
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