Browse Biographies

Click here for an alphabetical list.

Sussex, Rebecca, 1781 -

Rebecca Sussex was born on March 30, 1781, the daughter of Isaac and Sarah Sussex. As a young woman, she signed a December 1807 petition requesting an alteration in the form of government at Mashpee.   The following year she was enumerated as a head of household in an 1808 census at Mashpee with two children.  Rebecca Sussex was married to John Jones by 1811, the year their son, William, was born.  Rebecca and John went on to have at least three more children, Nancy, Isaac, and Thomas.

Sever, Juba

Juba Sever married Lydia, a Mashpee woman prior to 1785.  The couple raised a family in their household in the Great Neck region of Mashpee, having at least two children, Lydia and, possibly, James.  Juba and his family were enumerated in Mashpee censuses in 1793 and 1800.  By 1808, while Juba and his wife Lydia still lived in Great Neck, there were no children enumerated in the household. 

Sever, Lydia, 1785 - 1866

Lydia Sever was born July 7, 1785, the daughter of Juba and Lydia Sever.  At some point prior to 1833 Lydia married Abraham Jackson.  Lydia, along with about one hundred others, signed a May 21, 1833 petition complaining of outside interference in governmental and religious affairs at Mashpee. The following year she was a signatory on the January 1834 Mashpee petition written by William Apes.

Amos, Esther, 1819 - 1877

Esther Amos was born at Mashpee circa 1819, the daughter of Elisha and Bathsheba Amos. As a young teenager, Esther along with about one hundred others, signed a May 21, 1833 petition, drafted by William Apes, complaining of outside interference in Mashpee governmental and religious affairs, in particular the unjust extraction of wood resources on tribal lands, lack of access to the meetinghouse and the role of Phineas Fish as missionary.  She was also a signatory on the January 1834 Mashpee petition written by William Apes.

Austin, Harriet, 1816 -

Harriet Austin was born circa 1816, the daughter of William and Lucy Austin.  Although not a resident of Mashpee at the time, she was a signatory on the January 1834 Mashpee petition written by William Apes.  Her name was added to that of 288 other Mashpee residents and community members complaining of a number of longstanding grievances against the overseers and the Congregational missionary to the tribe.

Pocknet, Joshua, 1815 -

Joshua Pocknet was born December 17, 1815, the son of Benjamin and Lois Pocknet.  Although not a resident of Mashpee at the time, he was a signatory on the January 1834 Mashpee petition written by William Apes.  His name was added to that of 288 other Mashpee residents and community members complaining of a number of longstanding grievances against the overseers and the Congregational missionary to the tribe.  He was listed as a member of the Mashpee community in a census that same year, aged 19.

Apes, William, 1798 - 1839

William Apes, the son of William and Candace Apes of Colrain, Massachusetts, was a minister, orator, and author of the first full-length autobiography by a Native person.  In that volume, he described himself as being black, white, and Indian. When Apes was young, his family removed closer to their ancestral Mohegan and Pequot communities in southeastern Connecticut. As a young boy, he was removed from his grandparents' care and raised as an indentured servant in several white households in New London County.