Guy, James, - 1835

James Warris Guy (   -1835). James Guy was born the son of Guy Warris and Peggy.  In July of 1822, he married Sally Charles, also known as Thankful, in Norwich, Connecticut. 

His new bride was a woman of Pequot and possibly Narragansett ancestry and the documentary record confirms that while living as husband and wife, the Guy household benefited from Thankful’s tribal membership.  Guy and Thankful were reimbursed for assisting other tribal members in need, providing board for an extended period in the mid-1820s to two elders, Ann Wampey and Moses Sunsaman.  

In 1824 the couple successfully petitioned for and received authorization to build a home on the Western or Mashantucket Pequot reservation.  They were also granted the use of a contiguous parcel of land, approximately seven acres in size.  

Unfortunately, by about 1830, the marriage had dissolved for all intents and purposes.  Guy describes how “Thankful became unsteady and dissipated and absconded, and eloped with another man.”   James Guy, however, remained on the Western Pequot reservation, at least for a short time, in the house they had built together, ostensibly managing the small homestead after Thankful’s departure.   Guy eventually moved from the reservation to the Town of Norwich, leaving behind the home and farm he helped to build. 

In early 1835, James Guy sought compensation for improvements made to the property during his nearly decade long tenure there.  He complained of the fact that, although still legally responsible for any debt Thankful might incur, he no longer received any benefit from the tribal funds, nor could he recover his considerable investment in the reservation property.  By his own estimate he had “expended hundreds of dollars on account thereof in improvements” to the property. 

There were apparently no children as a result of his marriage to Thankful Charles and his former reservation home was leased to neighboring families while still referred to in official records as the “James Guy house and lot”.   

Ultimately, his petition for relief amounted to little because on July 1, 1835, five short months after its initial filing, a jury of inquest was called to Norwich to examine Guy’s lifeless body.  Although hardly a young man, his death was considered sudden and untimely and an inquiry into his death determined that he died of “Bleeding at the Lungs or some cause unknown.” 

Brown and Rose, Black Roots, 166; Norwich Vital Records, Marriages, Vol. 5, 266; Connecticut State Library, RG 3, New London County Court Records, Indians 1716-1855; Indian Documents Ms., Pequot, Connecticut Historical Society; Connecticut State Library, RG 3, New London Superior Court Records, Inquests 1711-1875,

James Oguy
James Warris
James Orris Guy
July 1, 1835