Memorial of Ben Uncas

Unto the Honored the Assembly of the Colony of Connecticut to meet at Hartford, May 9, A.D. 1754                     

The Petition of Benjamin Uncas, Sachem of Mohegan, and the other Indians of said Tribe humbly showeth that the Honored Assembly was pleased some years ago to nominate and appoint Colonel Samuel Lynde, Colonel James Wadsworth, and John Richards, Esqs., to assist our sachem in leasing out our land, and to have the charge and oversight of Mohegan, that we suffer no damage or encroachments from our tenants or other of our neighbors.  We sincerely return you our hearty thanks for the paternal care you have always showed us and hopes you will continue us under your fatherly care and protection.  And we desire firmly to keep and stand to the covenants made by our fathers to your predecessors, and we bless God we live under such a kind, mild, and indulging a government.

The Honored Colonel Wadsworth has been pleased to decline concerning himself with our affairs and excuses himself on account of his age and distance from us.  Therefore, we pray you would be pleased to nominate another in his room.   And if the Honorable Assembly would please to indulge us to name one ourselves, Pygan Adams, Esq., is the person all our eyes is fixed on, and as he is a man, not only of honor, justice, equity, and truth, but also of zeal for the cause and honor of God and an affection for our tribe. We, therefore, can not but hope but he will also be agreeable to Your Honors.  What the more endears him to us is that he is the worthy son of our late venerable and faithful pastor, the Reverend Mr. Eliphalet Adams, deceased, who for many years showed a great regard and concern for us and from whose hands we received many favors. We sincerely wish you may be assisted and directed in all your administrations and that this colony may flourish under your wise, auspicious, and prudent government.

May it, therefore, please the Honorable Assembly to nominate and appoint Pygan Adams, Esq., of New London in room of Colonel Wadsworth, Esq., to join with Samuel Lynde, and John Richards, Esqs., to assist and direct us in managing our Mohegan Lands,1and your petitioners shall ever pray, etc.

Benjamin Uncas

Zachary Johnson, his mark

John Tantaquidgeon

Moses Meazon

John Uncas, his mark

Simon Choychoy

            Notation:                      The General Assembly to meet at Hartford, May 9, 1754

            Legislative Action:        In the Upper House, Hezekiah Huntington, Esq., is appointed one of the overseers of the Mohegan Indians and their affairs in the room of Colonel Wadsworth (who has declined further concerning himself therein) and a bill is ordered to be brought in accordingly.  Test, George Wyllys, Secretary.  Concurred in the Lower House.  Test Elihu Chauncey, Clerk

Number 14 / Memorial of Ben Uncas, etc. / May 1754 / Passed Upper House May 30 a.m. / Passed Lower House / Bill / Passed Upper House / May 30 p.m. / Passed Lower House

  • 1. At this point in the text the following was crossed out in the original : and as we are desirous to be acquainted with the laws of the government, we humbly beseech you to so order  us a law book to be lodged in the hands of our schoolmaster, to be read to us as [ illegible ] as needful