Miller, John, 1771 - 1821
John Miller was an Eastern Pequot from Stonington (present-day North Stonington), Connecticut. Amos Miller, another community member who had signed a tribal petition in 1766, most likely was a relation, perhaps a father or an uncle.
As a young man, John Miller was a plaintiff in a November 1795 suit against a person named Lord for unpaid wages. While the details of the case are unclear, it is possible, given Miller’s long maritime career, that it stemmed from work aboard one of the many vessels arriving and departing the busy port of New London.
Like many Eastern Pequot men, John Miller spent a number of years in the maritime trade. He applied for and received a Seamen’s Protection Certificate in New London in October of 1797. By his own account, he was twenty-six years old and was born in Stonington. While it is likely that Miller participated in a number of voyages over the ensuing decade, it wasn’t until 1807 that he appeared on a crew list. By this time, he was residing in Stonington, 36 years old, no longer a young man. He sailed out of New London on December 23, 1807, aboard the schooner Phebe destined for Surinam.
Eight years later Miller was residing in Montville, presumably on or near the Mohegan reservation, as he had at some point married Molly George, the granddaughter of elder Mohegan, John Cooper. Together they had one son Lemuel O. Miller. At the end of May in 1815, he departed New London on another voyage, this time aboard the brig Fame headed for Guadalupe.
It was not long after this voyage that Miller took ill and died at the Mohegan community in the Town of Montville. According to the attending physician, Dr. Philemon Tracy of Norwich, Miller suffered for some time of dropsy, an accumulation of fluids in the body, perhaps a symptom of an underlying heart or kidney disease or both. It was the state-appointed overseer of the Eastern Pequot Tribe that secured the medical care for Miller while he lived at Mohegan.
Unfortunately for Dr. Tracy, it wasn’t until 1826, five years after the fact, that he was fully compensated for the services he provided, and this only after submitting numerous petitions and memorials to the Connecticut General Assembly for the same.
NLCC:Files, November 1759, Miller v. Lord, Box 3, folder 2; Protection Certificates, Mystic Seaport,1797; Crew Lists, Mystic Seaport, 1807; Crew Lists, Mystic Seaport, 1815; Learned Hebard Papers, CSL; Petition of Dr. Philemon Tracy (1821.05.01.00), CSL, Passed Legislation, RG2: Gen. Ass. NA, 1822-1868 Box 1, 99-138; Unpassed Legislation, RG2: Gen. Ass. NA, Rejected Bills 1808-1869 Box 1, folder 6, 43-45 and Box 2, folder 7, 7-10.