Browse Biographies

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Fagins, Lucretia, 1805 - 1877

Lucretia Fagins was born circa 1805 near her tribe’s land, the Mashantucket (Western) Pequot reservation in what is currently defined as southeastern Connecticut. Today, the reservation is in Mashantucket, CT, adjacent to Ledyard, North Stonington, and Preston, CT. Over the course of her life, Lucretia participated in tribal affairs and raised multiple children with her traditions. Both of her marriages were to Pequot men and she would ultimately become the matriarch of several larger Pequot families. 

Daniels, Mark, 1782 - 1871

Mark Daniels was born in Middletown, Connecticut about 1782.  Whether he was born into slavery or indentured to servitude is unclear, but in November of 1804, he ran away from his master, David Birdesy of Middletown.  In the runaway notice, the 22-year-old Daniels was described as five feet four inches tall, "very much scarred in the face and the little finger on his right hand crooked up." Three years later, Daniels' obligations to David Birdsey were terminated; he was freed.

Chesebrough, Silas, 1786 - 1845

Silas Chesebrough (November 19, 1786-June 14, 1845) was the son of William Chesebrough and Esther Williams of Stonington, Connecticut.  As an ensign in Captain John Hull's 4th Company of the 30th Regiment, Chesebrough was part of the forces defending Stonington Point when it was attacked by the British in 1814.  The following year, he let two of his cattle out in the Eastern Pequot Indian Town pasture for the benefit of Clor Williams. 

Hill, Betsy, - 1833

Either by birth or by marriage, Betsy Hill was a member of the Hill family of the Eastern Pequot community.  Her relationship to Nathan Hill, another tribal member of the same generation, is presently unknown. Betsy died of freezing on or near March 4, 1833, the day when expenses for her burial were noted by Ezra Hewitt, the tribe's state-appointed overseer.

New London County Superior Court, Inquests, 1711-1875, C.S.L.


Nedson, Elsa

Eastern Pequot Elsa Nedson first appears in the historical record as receiving funds from the state-appointed overseer in the summer of 1828.  By October of that year, she fell ill and was boarded and cared for by Betsy Tikens, perhaps a relative.  A month later, she recovered enough to provide similar service to James Abner when he took sick and was dying.  

Smith, Earl, 1894 -

William Earl Smith was born in Westminster, Maryland on February 27, 1894.  He married Phoebe Sebastian, an Eastern Pequot woman, and raised a family in Hartford, Connecticut, where he worked as a janitor, a government employee in the WPA, and an actor. U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942, Ancestry. Federal Enumeration of Connecticut (Hartford, 1930, 1940), Ancestry. Obituary of Phone Smith, Hartford Courant.

Sebastian, Phoebe, 1892 - 1986

Born on the Eastern Pequot reservation, Phoebe Esther Sebastian was the daughter of Francisco Sebastian and Mary McKinney.  She married William Earl Smith and raised a family in Hartford, Connecticut.  She died in Hartford, Connecticut in 1986.

Obituary, Hartford Courant, April 14, 1986.  Federal Enumeration of Connecticut (Hartford, 1930), Ancestry.

McKinney, Mary, 1854 - 1931

Mary E. McKinney, a Shinnecock woman, was the daughter of Bloomfield McKinney and Frances Sands.  Mary was a domestic servant in the household of Catherine Crary in Mystic, Connecticut in 1870.  Two years later,  she married Francisco Sebastian on July 20, 1872, in Groton.  The couple had ten children: Francisco, Jr. (Frank), Mary E., Jesse, Calvin, Catherine, Phoebe E., Charles, Benjamin, Ella, and Frederick. In 1910, Mary lived in Richmond, Rhode Island, and worked as a laundress out of her home.  

Federal Enumeration of Rhode Island (Richmond, 1910), Ancestry.