Attaquin, Solomon, 1810 - 1895
Solomon Attaquin was a politically active member of the Mashpee community, serving for some time as the District Clerk. He was born January 27, 1810, the eldest son of Ezra and Sarah Jones Attaquin. Solomon, age 25, was enumerated with his parents and nine siblings in a 1834 Mashpee census and was a signatory on the January 1834 Mashpee petition written by William Apes. Solomon signed along with 288 other Mashpee residents and community members outlining a number of longstanding grievances against the overseers and the Congregational minister, Phineas Fish. Solomon is listed among 40 other voters at Mashpee in a December 1835 report of Daniel B. Amos in which there is an annotation, written faintly in pencil, that there were an additional 20 voters who were absent at sea and that it was thought that "all who are absent are opposed to Rev. Fish”. Solomon was a signatory on additional petitions in 1839, 1840, 1844, and 1847 regarding infringements on the community's autonomy, religious freedom and hunting practices.
During the late 1850s and early 1860s Solomon Attaquin was an active correspondent with John Milton Earle, noted newspaperman, abolitionist, and politician, in particular Earle served as the state commissioner on Indian Affairs. In these letters Attaquin provided information regarding the Mashpee community and sought to promote the sovereignty of tribe, while at the same time positioning the community to accept the removal of restrictions regarding the ownership in severalty of Indian lands.
Yet another Mashpee census performed in 1862 found Solomon, age 52, married to Cynthia Conet. His household included their six-year-old daughter Nancy Attaquin, his mother, the 73-year-old Sarah Jones Attaquin, as well as, his brother, sister-in-law and nieces and nephews. Solomon died at Mashpee March 16, 1995 at the age of 87. Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988, Vol. 1. Ancestry; Petition of the Mashpee Indians to the Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 1834.01.29.00; Harvard University. Corporation. Papers relating to the Marshpee Indians, 1811-1841: Harvard University Archives; Petition of Ebenezer Attaquin and Other Mashpee Indians to the Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 1839.03.01.00; Massachusetts Archives, Unpassed House Legislation, No. 714, March 1840; Petition of Solomon Attaquin and Other Proprietors of the Mashpee Tribe to the Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 1844.02.00.00; Petition of Oaks Coombs and Other Mashpee Indians to the Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 1847.01.25.00; John Milton Earle Papers, Box 2, Folder 2, Correspondence from Charles Marston concerning historical data on Mashpee Indians, Cape Cod, American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, Mass.
Image courtesy of Mashpee, The Story of Cape Cod's Indian Town by Francis G. Hutchins, Amarta Press, 1979, page 127