Eastern Pequot Community Records, 1820-1850

Eastern Pequot Community Records, 1820-1850

This collection of 41 digital heritage items includes manuscript ledgers/accounts, receipts, invoices, bonds, and petitions associated with five different overseers for the Eastern Pequot tribe during the 30-year period between 1820 to 1850.

More than half of these digital heritage items are the annual reports to the New London County Court, tallying the expenses and income of the community as provided by the overseer.  In some cases, and depending on the individual agent, these ledgers or accounts can contain a surprising level of detail, especially in instances where they can be paired with corresponding invoices.  In general, the rental of reservation land to neighboring non-natives is the primary source of tribal income and is used to offset expenses such as food, supplies, and other necessaries billed to the tribe over the course of a given year. 

These records span a time period in which there are several significant cultural and historical events relevant to Eastern Pequot history, some of which are reflected in the documents themselves.  Similar to those of the neighboring Mashantucket community, this collection contains evidence of the continued connection between Brothertown Indians of Eastern Pequot descent and the larger Eastern Pequot community that remained in Connecticut.  Not only is there the return of Brothertown Indians to the Eastern Pequot reservation to either visit or to collect funds that are due them, but documents show that in at least one instance, there is a very late stage (1850) emigration from Eastern Pequot to the Brothertown community, newly established in Wisconsin.  Of course, these overseer records were penned in the context of other more local religious and temperance movements that emerged from the Second Great Awakening of which the Eastern Pequot were also a part.

Perhaps most importantly, juxtaposed against these broader historical happenings, these records provide a glimpse into the day-to-day lives of members of the Eastern Pequot community in and around the reservation.  Highlighted in these materials are the economic realities associated with obtaining adequate food, housing, education, and healthcare on a much-diminished land base and in the face of a difficult to navigate State bureaucracy. 

Equally significant, the overseer records, as well as the biographies of the people associated with them, show the increasing presence of African Americans and People of Color in a shared social space with both the Eastern and Mashantucket Pequot as neighbors, friends, members of the same church, or sometimes spouses or partners.

Transcriptions, annotations, biographies, cultural narratives, and scholarly commentaries, as components of each digital heritage item, serve to add context and perspective, and allow a researcher to see beyond the columns of credits and debits and into the lives of the ancestors of today’s Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation.

Readers can access Eastern Pequot Community Scholarly Commentaries here:

Below there are two entry points into the digital heritage items collection.  The first is an interactive timeline with contextual information including the appointment of overseers as well as a number of other important community events.  The second is a listing of the contents of the collection, linking directly to relevant Digital Heritage Items.

To explore similar overseer records from the Mashantucket Pequot Community, click here.

Access a StoryMap to read about the circumstances that led up to the unfortunate death of an Eastern Pequot tribal member in 1847 and the fate of his attacker.  Click here.

 

Items in Collection: 
1828.10.21.00_page1.JPG
Community
Native Northeast Research Collaborative, Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation
Category
Work, Poverty, & Economy, Culture & Society, Politics, Power, & Sovereignty
Summary
A confirmation of payment for board and care provided Anna Nedson and her children
1828.12.05.00_page1.JPG
Community
Native Northeast Research Collaborative, Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation
Category
Work, Poverty, & Economy, Politics, Power, & Sovereignty
Summary
A bill and corresponding reciept for coffins for Anna Nedson, Nabby Hue, and James Abner
1829.04.01.01_page1.JPG
Community
Native Northeast Research Collaborative, Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation
Category
Work, Poverty, & Economy, Politics, Power, & Sovereignty
Summary
A confirmation of payment for goods provided to Cyrus Shelly, Jr. and Anna Nedson
1829.04.15.00_page1.JPG
Community
Native Northeast Research Collaborative, Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation
Category
Work, Poverty, & Economy, Culture & Society, Politics, Power, & Sovereignty
Summary
A confirmation of payment for board and care provided Philena
1831.08.00.00_page1.JPG
Community
Native Northeast Research Collaborative, Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation
Category
Work, Poverty, & Economy, Politics, Power, & Sovereignty
Summary
A bill for a pair of shoes purchased for Tyra Apes Nedson
1832.06.13.00_page1.JPG
Community
Native Northeast Research Collaborative, Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation
Category
Work, Poverty, & Economy, Politics, Power, & Sovereignty
Summary
A bill for shoes and cloth provided to Prudence Fagins
1821.09.27.00_page1.JPG
Community
Native Northeast Research Collaborative, Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation
Category
Work, Poverty, & Economy, Politics, Power, & Sovereignty
Summary
A bill for a pair of shoes purchased for Cyrus Shelly
1825.03.10.00_page1.JPG
Community
Native Northeast Research Collaborative, Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation
Category
Work, Poverty, & Economy, Politics, Power, & Sovereignty
Summary
A bond for the assurance of the faithful care and management of the Tribe's lands, etc.
1827.12.05.00_page1.JPG
Community
Native Northeast Research Collaborative, Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation
Category
Work, Poverty, & Economy, Politics, Power, & Sovereignty
Summary
A bond for the assurance of the faithful care and management of the Tribe's lands, etc.
1829.04.16.00_page1.JPG
Community
Native Northeast Research Collaborative, Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation
Category
Work, Poverty, & Economy, Politics, Power, & Sovereignty
Summary
A bill and corresponding reciept for coffin for Esther Waugs
1834.02.10.00_page1.JPG
Community
Native Northeast Research Collaborative, Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation
Category
Work, Poverty, & Economy, Politics, Power, & Sovereignty, Arts & Abstract Ideas
Summary
A recommendation of Amos Hull, Matthew Brown, Andrew Chapman, and Thomas P. Wattles, Selectmen of North Stonington, to the County Court of New London for the appointment of Ezra Hewitt as Overseer to the Eastern Pequot Indians
1834.03.24.00_page1.JPG
Community
Native Northeast Research Collaborative, Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation
Category
Work, Poverty, & Economy, Politics, Power, & Sovereignty
Summary
A bond for the assurance of the faithful care and management of the Tribe's lands, etc.
1841.01.27.00_page1.JPG
Community
Native Northeast Research Collaborative, Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation
Category
Work, Poverty, & Economy, Geography, Land, & the Environment, Politics, Power, & Sovereignty
Summary
A request by the tribe that Overseer Ezra Hewitt be removed from service due to negligence and be replaced with either Charles Wheeler or Gurdon S. Crandall
1841.02.01.00_page1.JPG
Community
Native Northeast Research Collaborative, Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation
Category
Work, Poverty, & Economy, Geography, Land, & the Environment, Politics, Power, & Sovereignty
Summary
A response to the Eastern Pequots petition by Selectmen Latham Hull, Peleg Clarke, John D. Gallup, and George W. Bentley asking that Overseer Ezra Hewitt remain in his position
1844.07.17.00_page1.JPG
Community
Native Northeast Research Collaborative, Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation
Category
Work, Poverty, & Economy, Politics, Power, & Sovereignty
Summary
A bond for the assurance of the faithful care and management of the Tribe's lands, etc.
1816.06.01.00_page1.jpg
Community
Native Northeast Research Collaborative, Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation
Category
Work, Poverty, & Economy, Geography, Land, & the Environment, Culture & Society, Politics, Power, & Sovereignty
Summary
A summary of cattle let out on the Eastern Pequot pasture for the benefit of tribal members
1841.01.27.01_page1.JPG
Community
Native Northeast Research Collaborative, Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation
Category
Work, Poverty, & Economy, Politics, Power, & Sovereignty
Summary
A summons from Ansel Coats, JP, to Constable Cyrus Crary with Crary's return