Petition of Chappaquiddick Indians to the Massachusetts General Court

To His Excellency, Francis Bernard, Esq., Captain General and Governour- in- Chief,  in and over His  Majesty’s Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England, andto the Honourable, His Majesty’s Council and the Honourable House of Representatives in General  Court Assembled
The humble petition of Indians of Chappaquiddick in the county of Dukes County as natives unto the Island of Chappaquiddick in the County humbly sheweth, we the Indian inhabitants of Chappaquiddick in Dukes County, we humbly beg that Your Excellency and Honours would take our distressed conditions into your wise considerations and we pray grant us some speedy relief or we shall be ruined past remedy.  For we beg leave to inform Your Excellency and Honours that, notwithstanding the report of the General Court’s Committee relative to this place and the proceedings thereon, notwithstanding our remaining, Your Excellency and Honours, by our petition lately offends the people of Edgartown, as if they took the delay of this matter as the fittest opportunity to destroy us, seem to double their diligence to our disadvantages.  And employing one certain Indian as we suppose to cut our wood in great quantities and convey the same to the water from whence they, the English, take it.  And unless there is some speedy stop put unto, our wood will be gone, upon which we must leave the island to our destroyers.  And this Indian, which they the English employing to cut our wood, so he employing like manner another Indian, that they, the English, might have somewhat against us to the General Court.  We humbly beg to Your Most Gracious Majesties why or shall we all suffer for one or two men’s sakes?
Moreover, the English having enclosures on the Island so they care not whether the creatures are taken off by planting time or not, whereas our lands being in common if we plant in season we are sure to have our corn destroyed by the English cattle they running on the island often until sometime in June. Therefore, we beg to Your Excellency and Honours would consider our sore, distressed conditions.  Upon the whole, the importance of this matter to us compels us to repeat our prayers and beg that our last petition, as well as this, may have so much regard paid as belongs to the cries of an injured and helpless people. 
And we as in duty bound shall ever pray.
Joel Joelmark1
James Robbinmark 
Mark Curdoodymark 
Sarah Jethromark 
Bethiah Duchmark 
May 27, 1768
Petition of Chappaquiddick Indians / June 1768
470, 471
  • 1. In the original, the signatory list was divided into two columns, one for men and the other for women. Here they are combined into one column, the two are separated by a line space.