Sowheage, - 1649

Son of the grandsachem Altarbaenhoot, Sowheage was sachem of the Wangunk, Mattabesecs, and the Connecticut River Indians in the early seventeenth century.  Marriages to several women from neighboring tribes formed a cohesive alliance of Connecticut River and Southwestern Connecticut shoreline tribes.  His eldest son was Sequassen, sachem of Suckiog; his eldest daughter was Warwarme (Wawaloam), one of the wives of Miantonomo.  His other children were Sepunnamo, Seacut, Turramuggus, Monotwese, and Wesumpsha.

As the lucrative fur trade economy spread through southeastern Connecticut in the early 17th century, Sowheage’s control over his territory was lost under an aggressive expansion of Pequot jurisdiction over the River Indians.  Around 1631 he approached the Massachusetts Bay colonists with an invitation to settle amongst his people.  Subsequently, Sowheage agreed to English settlement at Pyquaag, what would become Wethersfield, Connecticut. 

However, angered with the breach of several of the contractual obligations of the colonists, he encouraged an attack on the town by the Pequot on April 23, 1637, a factor that contributed to the outbreak of the Pequot War.  After the hostilities ended, he retained unsettled relations with the English.   

At his death around 1649, he was survived by his children Seacutt, Turramuggus, Montowese, Sequassen, Sepunnamo, and Wesumpsha, as well as several others relations -- Weckpistic, Spunnoe, Sachemus, Tacomkuit, Pashamnas, Puccaca, Rachioskes, and Pewampskine.

Cave, The Pequot War, 38, 50, 58.  Kathering Hermes, Repairing Hartford's Indigenous Past, History@work, March 25, 2019, https://ncph.org/history-at-work

Alias(es)
Sequin
Died: 
c. 1649