Tribal History


History of the Indians of Connecticut from the Earliest Known Period to 1850.
by John W. DeForest
pages 66-67, Hartford, 1853

"The names of some of the early sachems of this tribe have been preserved in a genealogy of the Uncas family, as it was made out by Uncas himself in 1679. The first whose name is mentioned was Tamaquashad, of whom no particulars are given, but who must have lived about the time when the Pequots first established themselves in Connecticut, or perhaps when they first set out on their pilgrimage from the Hudson. The next in succession was Muckquntdowas, who lived at a place call Awcumbucks, situated in the heart of the Pequot country. His wife was named Meekunump, and he had two children; Woipeguand, who became sachem after him; and a daughter, called like her mother, Meekunump, who was married to Oweneco, the father of Uncas. Woipeguand married a daughter of Wekoum, chief sachem of Narragansett; and, when he died, was succeeded by his son, Wopigwooit. Wopigwooit was the same with that Wapequart mentioned by the Dutch authors, and undoubtedly, also, with that Pekoath, who is spoken of by Winthrop.* The son of Wopigwooit was Tatobam, otherwise called Sassacus, the most famous and the most unfortunate of the Pequot grand sachems.

About ten years previous to the war of the Pequots with the English, that is about 1626, Uncas, the son of Oweneco and Meekunump, married a daughter of Sassacus, thus connecting himself still more closely with the royal line of his tribe. The claims which he in this manner acquired and strengthened, afterwards contributed to the downfall of his nation, but finally resulted in raising Uncas himself to considerable influence, and to independent power. In fact, this Uncas, son of Oweneco a Pequot sagamore, and father of another Oweneco like himself a Mohegan sachem, will be one of the most remarkable, and one of the most important characters, who ever will occupy a place in the succeeding narrative.

Thus closes my account of the names, positions and strength of the aboriginal tribes of Connecticut, as I have been able to gather it from what seemed the most reliable authorities...

* At the time Winthrop penned this, Connecticut had been settled; and he probably mistook the name of the tribe for that of the chieftain. Such mistakes might easily occur in the intercourse between the English and the natives, neither of whom had much knowledge of each other's language. Pequot or Pequod is not, perhaps, more unlike Pekoath than it is to Pequin or Pequetan, by both which names this tribe is mentioned in early writings of New England."