Watch this space for posts highlighting documents from the Project’s electronic collection. Whether they be correspondence, tribal petitions, court proceedings, governmental reports, or personal journal entries, the selected items will give a glimpse into what was going on in New England Indian country on any particular day. Featured documents will include a link back to the entry in the New England Indian Papers Series so you can read a transcription and browse the collection for related materials.
Our first entry is a Nehantic memorial (1728) from the Connecticut State Library’s Connecticut Archives Collection, Indian Series I, (RG 001, Early General Records).
In the spring of 1728, two Nehantic Indians, Mazzeen and Wanshawbaug, wrote to the Connecticut General Assembly on behalf of the rest of the Tribe. Presented on May 9th, their petition voiced a complaint against the encroachment of their English neighbors, one that had been going on for at least two decades. Mazzeen and Wanshawbaug asked the Connecticut legislature to appoint Captain Stephen Prentiss of New London and Mr. Thomas Lee of Lyme to assist them in keeping trespassing animals and colonists off tribal land and to see that an animal pound be built to keep the unruly creatures in check. Both the Upper and Lower House of the Assembly approved the measures, but as the documentary record of the ensuing decades reveals, this did little to stop the problem.
For the transcription and browsable image, click here.