Memorial of Ben Uncas

Unto the Honorable General Assembly of the Colony of Connecticut now Presently Sitting at Hartford, May 20,1760

The memorial of Ben Uncas, sachem, with his council of the Mohegan tribe of Indians, humbly sheweth that a party of Indians, most of them not Mohegans but by marriage indulged to live amongst us, about sixteen months ago, instigated by persons called the Mason party, did set up another sachem and withdrawn their allegiance from Ben Uncas, our right and lawful sachem, approven of by Your Honors.

That said party are of a restless, fractious spirit, constantly contriving against the peace, prosperity, and good order of this tribe, our honorable and worthy overseer in the spirit of meekness tried their utmost to unite us and have their retur[ torn ] to their duty, but they obstinately refused, [ illegible ]r they are so       [torn ] set against the kind and merciful government we [ torn ] that they say they don’t regard this Honorable Assembly [ torn ].  That said party sent up Henry Quaquaquid last spring [ torn ] William Johnson, and this spring said Quaquaquid and [ illegible ] [ torn ] went up with letters to the knight who returned with t[ torn ] their Norwich friends and is informed, given them encouragement of using his interest at home for them, and is to send over Quaquaquid and Ashbow in Mohawks’ dress to London, and Samuel[ torn ] is now up to Sir William with a fresh pacquet.

We also would observe to Your Honors that said Indian[ torn ] won’t attend the Reverend Mr. Jewett’s lectures amongst us, and [ torn ] utmost to discourage others and refuse to have their children [ torn ] educate, they are of a cross, quarrelsome spirit and does [ torn ] they can to frustrate the pious design of our good benefactors.

That our firewood begins to be scarce and is what we are very desirous to save and husband, but Henry Quaquaquid and other Indians by his advice and example makes waste and havoc, cuts it themselves, and sells it to White peoples, and gives liberty to others to cut it, and carry it to the river, and it is not in our power to stop them, for they pay no regard to us nor our guardians, so that if these Indians’ Wheeler, etc., don’t be effectually stopped, we or our posterity can’t live on Mohegan for want of wood.  May it therefore please this Honorable Assembly to take our broken divided miserable case into your serious consideration, and if you regard the peace, prosperity, and welfare of this poor tribe (who always been ready to serve this colony) to dec[ torn ]        effectual to curb the insolence of these Indians [ torn ] as they won’t unite with us, that you pass [ torn ] some act to deprive them of the privileges they enjoy by living amongst us, if they won’t live loyal subjects to your present sachem, and to take what further steps to frustrate their design.  We look upon ourselves under the paternal care of this Assembly, and like children when they are hurt, oppressed, and wronged, fly to you, our common father, for redress, having nowhere else to go for relief hoping that you will hear the cries of your obedient, hopeless children.  May your bowels move with pity to us.  Also pass an act to prevent the total destruction of our wood and what you in your great wisdoms in both cases shall judge right and your memorialists shall, etc.

Signed in our name by our sachem, Benjamin Uncas

Legislative Action:        In the Lower House, Colonel Christopher Avery, Colonel Joseph Pitkin, Colonel Elihu Chauncey, and such gentlemen as the Upper House shall join are appointed a committee to take into consideration the matters contained in this memorial and report their opinion thereon to this Assembly in their present sessions.  Test, Abraham Davenport, Clerk.  In the Upper House, Matthew Griswold, Esq., is appointed to join the committee of the Lower House in the affair above mentioned. Test, George Wyllys, Secretary

Memorial for the Mohegan tribe of Indians / No. x / 1760 / Continued Lower House / Upper House / May 31 a.m. / Committee’s report / Bill / Passed Upper House / June 5 a.m. / Passed Lower House / Entered

Cataloguing:                103a, 103b