Canonicus I, - 1647

A descendant of Tashassuck, a prominent leader of southern Rhode Island, Canonicus was sachem of the Narragansett during the early 17th century, who shared leadership with his younger brother Mascus during the early colonization of New England.  Responding to an alliance in 1622 between the Pilgrims at Plymouth and the Wampanoag, who were traditional enemies of the Narragansett, Canonicus sent a bundle of arrows tied with a snakeskin to William Bradford as a threatening message.  Ten years later, it was reported that he was planning an invasion of the Wampanoag.  By 1638, Canonicus was sharing power with his nephew Miantonomo, the son of Mascus, and both of them signed the deeds to Providence and Aquidneck.  Reportedly, Canonicus' orations were known for their displays of wisdom and spectacle.  He died on June 4, 1647 and was survived by his son Mixan.  Campbell and LaFantasie, Sachems and Sanaps, 8-9.  Fisher and Silverman, Ninigret, 6. 

June 4, 1647