Petition of Charles and Esther Cooper

To The Honourable General Assembly of The State of Connecticut to Be Held at Hartford in Said State on The first Wednesday of May A.D. 18311

The petition of Charles Cooper and Esther, his wife, of the Town of Montville and County of New London and of Mohegan in said County, humbly sheweth; that the petitioners are the owners of about two hundred acres of land lying in said Mohegan in said Montville and that they are members of and belong to the Mohegan Tribe of Indians.  They would further state that their land lies in several tracts or parcels, on no one of which is there a dwelling house of any sort except a little miserable hut on a small tract of land on the west side of the River Thames and near thereto, in which house there are two rooms only and the house is so old and decayed so to be totally unfit to live in and which is more than one mile from any wood on the land of the petitioners.  They would further state that they own a tract or lot of land containing sixteen acres, which came to said Esther by descent from her brother,2 which is separate from all their other lands, by lands of the white people, and which last named lot is bounded easterly by land of Peleg Church,3 a white man, southerly by land of James Stoddard, a white man, and westerly by land of John Tantaquidgeon and northerly by land of the heirs of Joseph Horsecoat, which described tract of land they wish liberty to sell and to vest the avails thereof in a comfortable dwelling house to be built on the west side of the turnpike road leading from Norwich to New London, near their woodlands, to enable them to escape perishing with cold, they having suffered dreadfully by cold and for wood the last winter, their wood being so far from them as to render it impracticable for them to get.  And their house in which they were compelled to stay with five young children,4 is more like a barn or hovel than a dwelling of human beings.  The petitioners would therefore pray said Assembly to inquire into the facts aforesaid and on finding them to be true to grant to them liberty, power, and authority to sell said described tract of land of sixteen acres under the direction of some suitable person or to authorize and empower such person to sell said sixteen acre lot and to give and execute an authentic deed of the same and direct the avails thereof to be expended by some proper person in building a comfortable dwelling house for the petitioners on their land near to their woodland, that they may be enabled to spend the residue of their lives in comfort or in some other way grant them relief in the premises.

And they as in duty bound will ever pray,

Charles Cooper
Esther Cooper, her mark
In presence of George Hill                       
Dated at Mohegan, April 26, 1831

Legislative Action:

1831 / Petition of Charles Cooper and another / No. 53.,  May 1831 / [ illegible ], Joint Committee, Sherwood Raymond, Hewitt, 5Daboll / House of Representatives, May Session 1831, Referred to Joint Committee of three on part of this House namely Messrs. Sherwood Raymond, Hewitt, and Daboll, Attest.,  Charles P. Huntington, Assistant Clerk / In Senate, Concurred in and the Honorable Roger Huntington joined, Attest., Charles M. Emerson,  Clerk / House of Representatives 1831, Granted, Attest., Charles P. Huntington,  Assistant Clerk / In Senate, 1831 Concurred, Attest., Charles M. Emerson, Clerk / Ralph Hurlbut,  Groton



  • 1. The first Wednesday of May in 1831 was May 4.
  • 2. It is unclear which of Esther's brothers this person is.
  • 3. In 1807, Esther Pegee, along with Josiah, Ann, and Elizabeth Horsecoat sold Church this parcel of land at Mohegan. Montville LR 11: 403.
  • 4. Those children may have been Joshua, Henry, Peter George, Charles, and Ezekiel.
  • 5. The note regarding the Joint Committee is written in pencil