Petition of Vine Utley

To The Honorable General Assembly of The State of Connecticut to Be Holden at Hartford in Said State on The First Wednesday of May A.D. 18331

The Petition of Vine Utley of the Town of Lyme in New London County in said state humbly sheweth that your petitioner is a regularly licensed and practicing physician and for more than twenty years last past has resided and practiced physic in said Town of Lyme.  That in the East Society of said town the remnant of the Niantic Tribe of Indians reside consisting at present of about 20 souls.  That in the year 1821 and for several years previous thereto George Griswold, Esq. was the overseer of said tribe of Indians duly and regularly appointed by the General Assembly in the year 1813 or 1814. That afterwards Peter Comstock of said Lyme was appointed overseer to said Indians since which he has continued to be and now is their overseer.  Your petitioner further states that in the year A.D. 1807 and for every subsequent year to the present he has been and now is in the habit of rendering his services as a physician and of furnishing the medicine to the Indians of said Tribe.  Your petitioner further states that on the 21st day of March 1821 during the time George Griswold, Esq. was the overseer to said Indians.  Your petitioner presented his accounts to said overseer against the several individuals in said tribe to whom he had furnished medicines and on whom he had attended.  That of the accounts so presented to said overseer your petitioner’s account against the following named individuals of said tribe were by said overseer allowed and approved and the balance liquidated and signed by said overseer to wit,

From 22nd May, 1807 to March 21st, 1821
$ 27.26
From 19th July, 1811 to 4th  March, 1815
From February 3rd, 1800 to September 8th, 1820
From July 19th, 1801 to July 18th, 1819
From August 4th, 1814 to March 21, 1821

That said several accounts were all allowed and approved of on the 21st March, 1821 and would at that time have been paid and satisfied by said George Griswold, Esq., agent and overseer as aforesaid, but at that time there was not any funds in his hands belonging to said tribe, but a petition was then pending before the proper tribunal for leave to sell some of the land of said Indians to pay the several amounts due from them, which petitioner was afterwards granted and land sufficient was sold to raise an amount more than sufficient to pay all the debts due from them, and that of the avails of said sale of land there is now money belonging to said Indians at interest.  Your petitioner further offers that shortly after the adjustment of said accounts and before the sale of said lands said Peter Comstock was appointed overseer to said tribe.   That after the appointment of said Comstock as overseer he presented said accounts to him for payment.  And has from time to time urged the payment of the same but although said Comstock does not deny the correctness of the claim yet he declines paying the accounts and has [ illegible ] intimated that they were now barred by the statute of limitations.  Your petitioner further states that the whole amount stated in said accounts is now due your petitioner except the sum of five dollars fifty eight cents which sum was paid on said accounts by said Comstock on 28, June 1831.  As it is not in the power of your petitioner and never has been in his power to institute a suit to compel the payment of his claim and as he has no legal remedy to compel the payment of that which has been acknowledged to be justly due to him and which he is now ready to prove.  He prays the Honorable Assembly to take his case into consideration, inquire into the truth of the facts aforesaid and on finding them true to order and direct the overseer of said Niantic Indians to pay to your petitioner the several sums in said accounts mentioned and interest thereon since the 21st day of March 1821 or grant such relief as to said General Assembly shall seem meet and proper.

And your petitioner as in duty bound will ever pray,


Vine Utley

Dated Lyme, April 22, 1833

To the sheriff of the County of New London, his deputy or to either constable of the Town of Lyme in said County.  Greeting, by authority of the State of Connecticut you are hereby commanded to summon Peter Comstock, Esq. of said Lyme, overseer of the Niantic Tribe of Indians, to appear if he sees fit before the Honorable General Assembly of the State of Connecticut to be holden at Hartford in said state on the first Wednesday of May A.D. 1833, then and there to show reason if any he have why the prayer of the foregoing petition should not be granted.

Signed by,

Edward R. Warren, Justice of Peace

Dated at Lyme, April 22, 1833

I hereby acknowledge due and legal service on the within petition

Peter Comstock, Overseer of the Niantic Tribe of Indians

April 22, 1833

Legislative Action:

Petition of Vine Utley / Number 2 / May 1833 /   In Senate, May 1833, Petitioner has leave to withdraw, Samuel H. Huntington, Clerk / House of Representatives, May 1833, Referred to a Select Committee of Three, Loren P. Waldo, Clerk / Huntington2, Hull of North Stonington, and Brown of Preston / House of Representatives, May 1833, Leave to withdraw given, Loren P. Waldo, Clerk / In Senate, May 1833, referred to Select Committee / Messrs. White and Nichols, Samuel H. Huntington, Clerk



  • 1. The first Wednesday in May 1833 is May 1.
  • 2. The name Clark, most likely that of Zelotes, representative of Colchester, was crossed out here.