Petition of the Mohegan Indians to the Connecticut General Assembly Requesting Encroachment on Indian Land

To the Honorable General Assembly of the State of Connecticut to be Holden at Hartford within and for Said State on the Second Thursday of May Next1[1

The petition of the Mohegan Tribe of Indians in said state humbly sheweth that whereas the said tribe of Indians have from the first settlement of this country by the English been their professed friends and brothers and always conducted themselves as such; and by means thereof have been from the first settlement of this state, taken under their particular friendship, care, patronage, and protection.  And in order to secure them therein, wise and beneficial laws have been enacted to prevent their becoming a prey to artful and designing men, among which laws they consider that as a most essential and beneficial one which prevents their contracting any legal debts, whereby their property has in a great measure been secured from the ravages of designing men.  Yet notwithstanding said law, there has never been an instance, we presume, that an Indian has taken the advantage of said law to get rid of any just and honest debt, which has been approved of as such by our overseers.  And whereas we understand that a petition is about to be presented to Your Honors by some unjust, wicked, and designing men for a repeal of said law, that we may be left open to their insidious designs.  We, therefore, pray that Your Honors would not withdraw your protecting hand from being over us by a repeal of said law and thereby leave us exposed to ruin and destruction.

And your petitioners as in duty bound shall ever pray,

In behalf of said Tribe

Henry Quaquaquid
Samuel Ashbow
John Cooper      
Moses Meazon
Robert Ashbow
Dated at Mohegan, April 8, 1791

We, the subscribers, overseers of the Mohegan Tribe, are fully of opinion that the repeal of the law relative to their contracting debts would be highly injurious and prejudicial to said tribe and would leave them exposed to be soon devoured and become a prey to designing, avaricious, and artful men.

Overseers

Richard Law
William Williams
William Hillhouse
James Haughton 

Endorsement:

Memorial of the Mohegan Indians to be kept on file / May 1791

Cataloguing:

41a, 41b, 41c, 41d

  • 1. The second Thursday of May in 1791 was the 12th.
Tribes