Parsons, Benajah, - 1833

Dr. Vine Utley sought compensation from the Connecticut General Assembly for medical services provided to a Niantic Indian named Benajah Parsons through the period of August 4, 1814 to March 21, 1821.  Dr. Utley was ultimately unsuccessful in his attempt, his petition being rejected.  Benajah Parsons next appears several years later in the records of the state appointed overseer for the Niantic Indians from June of 1828 until his death in July of 1833.  These accounts include considerable expense for cloth, thread, and buttons over that five- year period, in addition to the more typical expenses for food and other sundries, suggesting that perhaps Benajah was engaged in some sort of textile occupation.

In March of 1833 Benajah had taken ill, apparently as a result of complications from frostbite suffered over the winter.  Overseer Peter Comstock spent a half day " seeing to Benajah when he was sick and making provisions" for him.  Dr. Austin F. Perkins performed surgery on the afflicted limb on March 26, 1833 and attended to him with visits, advice and medicine nearly every day for the next month.

On July 13th, Benajah was found dead in Waterford on the turnpike that led to New Haven.  The tribe was billed by Henry Gardiner, Jr. for supplying two people to watch over the Benajah's body in his house and for a shroud and candles. The coffin, horse, and wagon used to carry the body and the burial itself were also charged to the tribe's fund.  John M. Latham dug the grave for Benajah at the Black Point burial ground.

In a sad, almost cruel, testament to the very particular nature of the accounting system associated with the management of the tribe's financial affairs, almost a year to the day of Benajah's death, the tribe was charged $2.00 for a crowbar that was lent to him 18 months earlier and never returned. CT General Assembly: Rejected Bills; NLCC: PbS, Indians, Niantic; NLCSC: Inquests

July 13, 1833