New Feature: This Week in New England Native Documentary History


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.


We are pleased to welcome visiting Native scholar, Rachel Sayet, to the Yale community.  Funded by a grant from the Library’s Standing Committee on Professional Awareness (SCOPA), Rachel will work with Project editors to identify and annotate selected material from the Beinecke’s Ezra Stiles papers from a tribal perspective for publication in the New England Indian Papers Series Electronic Archive.

A member of the Mohegan Tribe, Rachel is currently a library assistant at the Mohegan Tribal Library in Uncasville, Connecticut.  A former writer/curator for the Writing of Indigenous New England Project at the University of New Hampshire, she has been a reader for the Harvard Review, a curatorial research assistant for the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard University, and a publications intern for the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.  At the Peabody Museum, she was student curator of an exhibit on the archaeology of Harvard Yard and created the online exhibit, Digging Veritas.  Rachel holds a M.A. in anthropology from Harvard University, and a B.S. from Cornell University. For additional information about Rachel, click here.



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About the Collections

The New England Indian Papers Series contains New England Native materials from institutions around the world.  With over 1,000 items presently available, exploring the past is possible at the click of a mouse.