In 1818 the Stockbridge Indians initiated a series of land sales to the state of New York in order to finance the relocation of the tribe further west. By 1830, the Stockbridges had engaged in some thirteen land treaties, ceding more than 20,000 acres to the state. By the treaty of October 1, 1825, the tribe ceded another 1,436 acres of its land, including a distinct tract of 361.88 acres on the southern border of the community known by the name of New Guinea. An oft-cited history asserts that the Stockbridges had granted this tract to a colony of freed slaves who arrived circa 1800 from the Mohawk Valley. Here, New Guinea settlers are identified as including the Baldwin, Cook, Fiddler, Mitop, and Welch families. An earlier source corroborates the identification of John Baldwin as a settler on the New Guinea tract, adding also the name of Nathan Pendleton. Literature pertaining to the tract remains sparse, and the assumption that its inhabitants were former African slaves has persisted. That individuals of African descent were living at New Stockbridge is substantiated. As early as 1796, the Reverends Belknap and Morse noted the presence of free blacks in Stockbridge and Oneida villages. Similarly, Stockbridge missionary John Sergeant mentioned preaching to a small nearby settlement of mulattos. The 1825 Stockbridge treaty itself names no occupant of the four New Guinea lots, nor does the associated surveyor’s field book. Other evidence, however, identifies the inhabitants and reveals that the families of New Guinea possessed a more complex heritage than their characterization as freed slaves would suggest. Furthermore, the histories of the New Guinea settlers offer a valuable perspective on racial identity in the Stockbridge and Brothertown Indian communities—particularly in regard to intermarriage with African-Americans—and on racial integration in western New York in the early decades of the nineteenth century.
In recent years, historians have begun to render a fuller picture of a Native American identity as complex and fluid as any notion of an “American” identity itself, as diverse as eighteenth- and nineteenth- century perceptions of “Indian” were typically static and monolithic. Intermarriage with African-Americans represents an important facet of the evolving nature of that identity. At the same time that such intermarriage increased in native communities after the American Revolution—due to declining tribal populations as well as simple proximity—racial sensibilities were developing in American society; more and more preoccupied with racial distinctions, Americans began to categorize people according to heritable and fixed “racial” traits. This emerging ideology had implications for native communities. After the Revolution, “models of Indian citizenship were becoming more English,” and a number of New England tribes moved to restrict acceptance of Africans, largely because of diminishing land and a paucity of eligible men. Intermarriage with Africans became an even more divisive tribal issue in the nineteenth century, influenced in part by the growing insistence in larger society that to be “Indian” required an absence of racial intermixture. Any African descent came to be viewed as eclipsing Indian ancestry. Native Americans with discernible African heritage (and often without) were categorized as black, negro, mulatto, or colored, a practice demonstrated by white and tribal authorities. Both the Brothertown and Stockbridge tribes assimilated this standard, with the Stockbridges in particular manifesting the mutable character of racial consciousness. In 1824 the Stockbridge tribal council formally adopted William Gardner, identifying him as Narragansett. But in 1826 the legislature of New York defined Gardner as “coloured,” and by the 1870s the tribe sought to exclude the Gardners by characterizing the family as “negro.” (This was not the case for Stockbridge and Brothertown Indians of European ancestry.) Despite studies enriching our understanding of the diversity of Native American identity, examinations of the acculturated, multiracial, and multitribal communities of New Stockbridge and Brothertown remain lacking.
Formerly from Massachusetts, the Stockbridges—or Muhheakunnuck as they refer to themselves—are a Mohican tribe that resettled in New York in the mid-1780s. The Stockbridge Mohicans originated as an amalgamation of diverse Algonquian groups living between the Hudson and Housatonic River Valleys. The Stockbridge tribe itself came into existence in 1734 as a Protestant mission community resulting from negotiations between Housatonic-Mohican villages and the Massachusetts provincial authorities. In that year, missionary John Sergeant, Sr., began work in the town of Stockbridge at the invitation of the tribe. In a progressive measure for the era, the Stockbridges shared with their English neighbors the governance of their township. Stockbridge warriors fought with the British during with French and Indian War, but, along with the Oneidas, sided with the American colonists in the Revolution. Despite this history and acculturation, however, the Stockbridges continued to face increasing pressures from white settlers in their Massachusetts home.
In 1773 seven other tribes from New York and southern New England formulated a plan to move west together to land among the Six Nations of Iroquois. Though also Christianized and acculturated, the so-called New England tribes had not been integrated into surrounding white society, and found themselves struggling to survive culturally, economically, and literally after decades of poverty, depopulation (due to disease and participation in colonial wars), and dispossession of their lands. They had come to believe that their vision of a Christian Indian community practicing European habits of agriculture could only be realized apart from whites. They also embraced a calling to Christianize and civilize their Six Nations comrades, and had undertaken missionary work among the Oneidas in the 1760s. Implementing their plan to emigrate, representatives from the seven tribes lamented to the Six Nations that the situation in New England had become so dire as to preclude their remaining there. In 1774 the Oneidas responded by designating a tract southeast of Oneida Lake in Madison and Oneida Counties for use by these various tribes, later to be known collectively as the Brothertown Indians.
The current study concerns the integration of people of African descent in the transplanted, multitribal communities of New Stockbridge and Brothertown—in particular on a specific tract in New Stockbridge—and does not explore this issue among the Oneidas who welcomed them. Beyond the distinct history of tribal relocation and amalgamation, it is also worth noting significant cultural differences between the Stockbridge and Brothertown Indians and their Oneida benefactors. Unlike the Christian communities of New Stockbridge and Brothertown, potent and enduring factions within the Oneida tribe continued to resist the very acceptance of aspects of European culture, including agriculture and Christianity. Still, the Oneidas, too, constituted a multi-ethnic, multiracial community. (This despite disparaging the Brotherton Delawares who joined the Stockbridges in 1802 as “those newcomers from New Jersey, who consist of Indians, mulattoes and some white women connected with Indians.”) In 1796 Belknap and Morse reported that “among the Oneidas there is scarcely an individual who is not descended on one side from Indians of other nations, or from English, Scots, Irish, French, German, Dutch and some few, from Africans.” By welcoming the beleaguered New England tribes among them, the Oneidas sought to bolster their standing with their fellow Iroquois and deflect the State of New York’s acquisitive land efforts. It was also no coincidence that the land they offered stood on the eastern border of their territory, thus serving as a buffer against encroaching white settlement.
The first delegation of New England tribes arrived in Oneida country in the spring of 1775. Two years later, British forces under St. Leger drove out these settlers during the Revolution, and the refugees returned east to live with the Stockbridges in Massachusetts for the duration of the war. They ventured back to Brothertown in 1783, joined now by a number of Stockbridges, who by this time had found themselves maneuvered out of township political power and off their land. The Stockbridge tribe then accepted the Oneidas’ ensuing invitation to join them and began moving to their new home in 1785. The Stockbridges initially lived among the Oneidas without land ownership rights until a treaty at Fort Schuyler (Utica) in 1788 formally granted them a six-mile- square tract along Oneida Creek. There the tribe settled the town of New Stockbridge, where they cleared forests and established farms and built a mill, a school, and a church in which to continue practicing Christianity. With white settlers pushing further west in New York and even onto Stockbridge land, however, the tribe felt compelled to move again, this time intending to live among their historical allies the Delawares in the White River country of Indiana. This hope fell through when the Delawares ceded their land to the United States by treaties at St. Mary’s, Ohio, in October 1818. So the Stockbridges began looking elsewhere for a location for their new home. On August 21, 1821, the Stockbridges and tribes of the Six Nations acquired from the Menominees and Ho-Chunks (Winnebagos) of Wisconsin a vast tract of land at Kaukauna, near Green Bay, then in the Michigan Territory. By an 1825 agreement, the Stockbridges and other tribes of the New York Indians granted an equal portion of these Wisconsin lands to the Brothertown Indians. In preparation for the move to Wisconsin, the Stockbridges began to dispose of their New York property in earnest, with some ten land sales to the state of New York taking place in the 1820s. Notably, none of these sales was sanctioned by the federal government and thus, in violation of the 1790 Trade and Intercourse Act, all were inherently invalid and illegal.
Because of their origins along the Atlantic seaboard, the Stockbridge and Brothertown tribes had interacted with African-Americans, both slave and free, since the seventeenth century. Indeed the Stockbridge community in Massachusetts was to some extent a model of racial integration. In addition to the sharing of town governance with white settlers, by 1783 there were forty blacks living in Stockbridge. Some possessed as much land as their Stockbridge Indian neighbors, and at least one African man had married a Stockbridge Indian woman, which entitled him to tribal land. Ample eighteenth-century evidence also exists of Africans living among tribes that would later constitute the Brothertown Indians. In 1766 the Narragansett tribe “disowned” none other than Sachem Thomas Ninegrett for “marrying a Molatto Woman without ye approbation of ye tribe.” Integration with African-Americans was substantial enough in the eyes of colonial authorities to warrant a prohibition imposed on the New England tribes in 1774 against the bringing of Africans—even those intermarried into the tribes—to their Oneida lands in New York.
In New York, however, Africans were already very much a part of the social fabric of the frontier. Fugitive slaves had long sought refuge among the Iroquois. As early as 1733 royal governor of New York William Cosby asked Six Nations tribes to return to their owners any runaway slaves living among them. Not all Africans on the New York frontier were fugitives. Sir William Johnson found free blacks living on his uncle’s Mohawk Valley estate when he arrived in 1738, and on a visit in 1761, Johnson’s brother Warren reported that “there are many free Negroes here who have good Estates.” Some authorities encouraged intermarriage between Africans and Native Americans. Missionary Gideon Hawley, who began his career at Stockbridge, Massachusetts, in 1752 and later taught Six Nations tribes at Oquaga, New York, wrote that “since a number of Negro’s have married in among Indians, they are become more temperate and more industrious than they were before … as far as I can judge the Indians whose blood has been commixed [with that of Africans] were the most ingenious.” They were, in Hawley’s view, the most capable of civilization.
In February 1826, six individuals filed a petition with the legislature of New York declaring themselves the former proprietors of New Guinea lots one through four in New Stockbridge and asking that the lots be granted to them. Among the petitioners were John Baldwin, George Cook, and Nathan and Joshua Pendleton. Brotherton Delawares Charles Tousey and Jonathan C. Johnston also signed this petition. Later documents establish that neither was a settler on the New Guinea lots. However, Johnston was married to Nancy Fidler, whose surname has been attached to the tract. In their petition, Nathan Pendleton and associates stated that they had “removed into the County of Oneida in the first settlement of the then Wilderness Country, and [were] adopted by the Stockbridge Indians into their Tribe, and they granted us a portion of Land in New Stockbridge.” The petitioners claimed that the October 1825 treaty with the state had sold their land without their consent. Since they did not intend to relocate to Green Bay with the rest of the Stockbridges—because of “age and infirmity”—the men requested permission to remain on their New Guinea lots. Aside from the statement that they had been adopted into the tribe, the men offered no mention of their heritage or place of origin. However, in an intriguing and revealing passage, they stated that “whereas doubts may arise whether your memorialist [sic] are amenable to all the Laws of the State, your petitioners therefore pray that your Honorable Body would pass a Law declaring your petitioners amenable to the Laws of the State as other citizens of this State, and that they may be entitled to all the privileges of other citizens of this state, or such privileges as you in your wisdom may think proper.”
In return for the granting of private land allotments, then, these six individuals intended to separate from the Stockbridge tribe and become, at least to some extent, citizens. This is especially notable in light of the fact that the federal government did not offer citizenship to any tribal group until 1830. Only individuals identified as Indians would have fallen into a nebulous realm when choosing to separate from their tribe and tribal land. They would have had to request the rights and responsibilities not due to them because of that identity, since freed blacks at this time were subject to laws and taxation as were their white neighbors.
A week after this petition, the surveyor general of New York formally identified the settlers on the four lots of the New Guinea tract as Nathaniel, Joshua, and Peter Pendleton; John Baldwin; Henry and George Cook; and Margaret Reid. These four lots represent the entire New Guinea tract, comprising the 361.88 acres detailed in the 1825 field book. Of the inhabitants, only Reid is identified as Indian; the others are all designated as “colored.” Again, it should be noted that contemporary definitions of racial terms do not necessarily apply to historical usage; labels such as “mulatto” and “colored” were often applied to Native Americans. In early nineteenth-century New York, “colored” operated as a comprehensive category for all individuals of mixed racial background. However, as will be demonstrated below, the term used in relation to Native Americans at New Stockbridge was meant to denote some African ancestry.
Further complicating their designation as “colored,” the Baldwins, Cooks, and Pendletons had signed two 1821 petitions describing themselves as “emigrant Indians from various tribes who were legally adopted by the Stockbridge tribe.” These petitions exhibit the multi-tribal character of the New Stockbridge community, with individuals of at least Delaware, Narragansett, and Nanticoke background participating. The emigrants articulated a number of objections. First, they argued that white people were settling on Stockbridge land by way of intrigue, and that some Stockbridges conspired to assist them by barring the emigrants from their legal right to vote in town meetings. Furthermore, “in order to hide their said intrigues more secretly,” these Stockbridges “transact the whole of their business in the Muhheconnuk tongue knowing the admittants not to be thoroughly acquainted with the said tongue.” In one of the petitions, the group complained that town officers were elected in their absence. Thus the petitioners requested that a law be passed guaranteeing them full rights as members of the Stockbridge tribe and requiring that all tribal business be conducted in English. Both petitions stated that because “our said lands have become individual property by being all laid out into individual lots … should any application be made respecting the sale of any part of our lands (unless made by the individual owners) the same may be rejected.” In an assertion of tribal territorial rights, these emigrant petitioners also asked that white “squatters” on Stockbridge land be removed. In response, the Stockbridge Indian superintendents upheld that only English should be spoken in conducting town meetings; they also affirmed that all tribal members have the right of complaint.
Gauging by the number of individuals identifying themselves as emigrant Indians, adoptions into the Stockbridge tribe were not uncommon. The tribal council presided over such matters and recorded the proceedings in the tribe’s “Town Records.” In fact, New York State law prescribed this very protocol, and the Stockbridges themselves cited the pertinent statutes in relation to the adoptions undertaken. The original “Town Records” from this period have not been located, but evidence indicates that they were extensive and detailed; peripheral tribal documents cite the precise dates of adoption of individuals and the acreage of their associated land allotments. By the late 1830s, with the Stockbridges in Wisconsin again facing pressure to cede their land and move further west, adoption became a sensitive tribal issue. In order to limit the Stockbridge polity—and thereby focus the disparate influences in tribal decision making—Sachem John W. Quinney drafted a tribal constitution in 1837 that addressed the matter explicitly and put an effective end to the practice.
A decade prior to the “emigrant Indian” petitions, the 1810 federal census of Smithfield, Madison County, had registered as “other free persons” the neighboring households headed by the following individuals: J. Baldwin, G. Fidler, H. Wealch, W. Wealch, H. Welch, D. Welch, and N. “Pemberton.” Their categorization as “other free persons” signifies only that these families were not slaves and were of some non-European descent. In fact, David and William Welch signed one of the 1821 emigrant petitions (along with New Guinea residents John Baldwin, George Cook, and Nathan Pendleton) detailed above. Organized in 1807, Smithfield is about four miles southwest of the town of Stockbridge and included until 1836 the four lots of the New Guinea tract. It appears that the Fidlers and Welches, while not settled on lots within the confines of the tract strictly identified as New Guinea, were living in proximity to them and were identified with the families upon them, perhaps by a shared heritage of color. In the field book pertaining to lands ceded by the Stockbridge “treaty” of September 16, 1823, surveyor Peleg Gifford named a claimant to a portion of lot number eighteen of the Oneida Tract as Godfrey Fidler. The Oneida Tract adjoined on its western side the New Guinea lots. Furthermore, Lot 18 of the Oneida Tract—the lot claimed by Godfrey Fidler—bordered the lots of New Guinea, where it stood just within the eastern boundary of Smithfield.
The histories of two New Guinea families in particular—the Pendletons and the Baldwins—demonstrate the arbitrary nature of racial categorization and reflect a richer heritage than the designation of “colored” would imply. The Pendleton surname appears in connection with the Brothertown Indians as early as 1796. In that year, the Brothertown peacemakers decided in accordance with tribal custom to bar Sarah Potteogue, a Narragansett, from tribal land because she had married James Pendleton, a man of African and white ancestry. In rendering this decision, the Peacemakers cited the tenth article of the Town Book, that it is “thus agreed by the legal voters of the aforesaid Town that if any of our Indian women or Girls shall marry a Negro or any intermixt with Negro, shall forfeit all right and privilege to the Brothertown Lands and further agreed upon that she or they shall immediately be removed out of the said Town and never thereafter shall be suffered to reside therein anymore.” This law carried implications for Sarah and James’s son, Nathan. (In fact, the Pendleton judgment set the precedent for subsequent Brothertown land—and annuity—claims involving individuals of African ancestry.) Nathan Pendleton had acquired a Brothertown lot by February 1796. The tribe argued that Nathan, because of his partial African heritage, had no right to remain or settle in Brothertown, and forcibly removed him. In response, Nathan leveled a charge of assault and battery, which was decided in his favor in April 1799. Damages were paid, but Nathan Pendleton was not permitted to occupy a Brothertown lot. Nathan Pendleton married Mary Niles, herself a Narragansett. But by Brothertown custom and law, even their sons Joshua and Peter were denied rights to Brothertown lands. As did his Stockbridge and Brothertown neighbors, Peter Pendleton moved to Wisconsin. There, census records categorized his family alternately as white, mulatto, “mixed blood,” and Indian. Underscoring the affinity among the families of New Guinea, Peter Pendleton was married to Sarah Fidler. After the departure of the Stockbridges, Nathan and Joshua Pendleton remained in New York, where federal census returns identified the men as “free colored” and mulatto. However, Nathan Pendleton, Jr., was described in 1847 as the “last of the Stockbridge Indians.”
In New York, the Brothertown Indians issued no lot to any individual named Baldwin. Nor is the surname listed in William DeLoss Love’s appendix of Brothertown families. John Baldwin’s association with the Stockbridge Indians may date to as early as 1780, however, when the Indian proprietors in Stockbridge, Massachusetts voted to grant three acres each to John and Thomas Baldwin. During the War of 1812, John Baldwin served with other Stockbridge warriors from New York. In 1818 John Baldwin signed a Stockbridge treaty as one of the principal men of the tribe. By the time of the 1821 emigrant Indian petitions, a second John Baldwin appeared in Stockbridge documents, identified as John Baldwin, Jr. John Baldwin Senior and Junior cannot be distinguished on succeeding Stockbridge documents, but since they were of presumably the same family line—and likely father and son—they would have been of the same ancestry. At least one of these men continued to participate in Stockbridge tribal affairs through the 1820s, and when the tribe relocated to Wisconsin, at least one John Baldwin went with them, being recorded on a Stockbridge roster there in 1839. Furthermore, on an 1825 agreement, one of the Stockbridge Chiefs identified himself as “Maumonaug, alias John Baldwin.” John M. Baldwin signed a number of Stockbridge documents in the 1820s; the middle initial may represent his Native American name as signed in 1825. None of these documents makes reference to the Baldwins’ being of any African heritage. Furthermore, Aurilla Baldwin, the wife of John Baldwin, Jr., held two lots in Brothertown, New York. In light of the precedent set by the Pendleton case, Aurilla Baldwin’s possession of Brothertown land perhaps undermines assertions of the Baldwin family’s African identity. In 1839 John Baldwin left Wisconsin for Kansas with a faction of Stockbridges, which may explain why no Baldwin received a Stockbridge land allotment under the Act of 1843 or the Treaty of 1856 and none is named on the census accompanying the Treaty of 1848. However, on the 1850 federal census, forty-eight-year-old John Baldwin again appeared among the Brothertown and Stockbridge Indians of Calumet County, Wisconsin, designated as mulatto. Baldwin’s neighbors included fellow New Guinea resident George Cook, as well as Richard Fidler and a number of Welches—all identified as mulatto. Since the category of “Indian” did not exist on the 1850 census return, the enumerator entered no racial designation for many Stockbridge and Brothertown Indians in the surrounding households, the implication being that these individuals were “white”—that is, of no African ancestry. As discussed earlier, the modern understanding of racial terms does not necessarily correspond to historical usage. As a racial designation in the Stockbridge and Brothertown communities, “mulatto” most likely signified a mixed African-Native American heritage. Brothertown founder Samson Occom himself defined a mulatto as “part Negro and part Indian. The elder John Baldwin may have remained in New York after the Stockbridge community relocated to Wisconsin. The 1830 federal census lists a John Baldwin, between the ages of fifty-five and one hundred, as a “free colored person” in Smithfield.
A thinner documentary record exists for New Guinea residents George and Henry Cook. George Cook described himself as an emigrant Indian adopted by the Stockbridge tribe. Later testimony of a Cook descendant corroborates this, identifying Henry Cook as Mohawk. The family was also apparently of African heritage; in addition to being designated as “colored” occupants at New Guinea, George and Henry Cook appeared on the 1830 and 1840 federal censuses as “free colored persons.” By 1850, George Cook had moved to Wisconsin; the federal census for that year recorded him living among the Stockbridge and Brothertown Indians in Calumet County, Wisconsin, with Cook and his household classified as mulatto. However, no one with the surname Cook received a Stockbridge lot under the Act of 1843 or the Treaties of 1848 or 1856.
At least two prominent African-Native American families by the surname Cook had ties to the Stockbridges and neighboring Oneidas circa 1800. Louis Cook (1737?-1814), an African-St. Regis Mohawk Revolutionary War veteran and nemesis of Loyalist Mohawk Joseph Brant, lived with the Oneidas and was adopted by their chief Skenandoah. This perhaps suggests a connection to the Mohawk ancestry of the New Stockbridge Cooks. In addition, two children of noted African-Wampanoag Quaker, mariner and reformer Paul Cuffe, including his son Paul Junior, married members of the African-American Cook family of Westport, Massachusetts. A number of Cuffe family members joined the community at New Stockbridge; indeed Paul Junior wrote his memoirs there. Earlier, Paul Cuffe, Sr., had inquired of his family regarding the status of equality in upstate New York, writing that “you have not Stated whether true Religion flourishes in that Countery, not whether the Children of Africa is Liberated from their gaulding [galling] Chains of Slavery and that our American native neighbours Can be Received in full Communety So as to Say Come brother Come Sister let us unite in Love and go up to the house of the Lord to Send the true and Living God with one heart and mind if you have found this happy Land Sell all that you have and purchase an Everlasting in heritance therin.” Despite such evidence, any connection to the Cooks of New Stockbridge remains speculative.
The mention of the Fidler and Mitop surnames in association with the New Guinea tract merits an additional moment of examination. Brothertown lot assignments include no Fidler, and the surname is not mentioned in Love’s family history of the Brothertown Indians. This is not surprising if the Fidlers were of any African heritage, as the categorization of the G. Fidler household as “other free persons” on the 1810 census implies. No Fidler appears in Stockbridge documents until 1848; the Stockbridge treaty of that year patented to Richard Fidler the lot granted to him under the Act of 1843. Richard Fidler’s grandson testified that Richard was in fact Oneida, Mohawk, and Brothertown. No evidence of the distinctive Mitop surname has been located in Stockbridge records. Nor is the name recorded in the Brothertown lot assignments or Love’s history of that community. However, the surname has a pedigree among the Brotherton Delawares, who joined the Stockbridges in 1802. In fact, Gabriel Mytop participated in the negotiations with the State of New Jersey that created the Brotherton Reservation in 1758, and he received one of the original lot assignments there. Interestingly, a descendant of the Brotherton Delaware Mytop family, Pually Mytop, married New Guinea settler George Cook circa 1814; Stockbridge missionary John Sergeant performed the service.
These histories cast doubt on the identification of the New Guinea settlers as ex-slaves granted land by the Stockbridges. While it is quite possible that James Pendleton was a former slave or descended from slaves, the full ancestry of his son Nathan and grandsons Joshua and Peter Pendleton, all proprietors of New Guinea lots, depicts a more complex history; all three men were triracial but predominantly Narragansett, with Joshua and Peter of less than a quarter African heritage. The expulsion and exclusion of the Pendletons from the Brothertown community does suggest, however, a motive for their affiliation with the Stockbridge Indians and their arrival at New Guinea. Though the origins of the Baldwin and Cook families remain unknown, both identified themselves as Indians adopted by the Stockbridges, and the Baldwins participated extensively in Stockbridge tribal affairs. Even the Fidlers, Mitops, and Welches—families associated by historians with the New Guinea tract though not settled upon it—present documented Native American ancestry. Still, all of these families (except for the Mitops) were also designated by terms that signified some African ancestry. It is this identity that may have brought these families to New Stockbridge.
Brothertown/Mohegan restrictions against blacks date to as early as 1773, when a faction led by Samson Occom signed an agreement mandating that the children of anyone marrying someone of African descent would have no tribal rights. In 1789 Occom and others petitioned on behalf of the tribe to have a Mohegan child of suspected African ancestry—Occom described the boy as “blacker than our Indians and we think he is from guinny partly”—removed from the tribal register in order to prevent “guinney children” from “tak[ing] rite amongst us.” It was a convoluted and divisive tribal issue; other Mohegans accused Occom himself of having admitted mulattos into the community. In addition to the ostracism of individuals of African descent, Brothertown tribal law also forbade the “indulging, harboring or concealing” of fugitive slaves or servants. In his study of Brothertown, William Deloss Love characterized Occom as interested in “preserving the Indian blood in its purity, especially from a mixture with the negro,” believing that intermarriage “wrought degeneracy in both races.” However, a number of historians assert that the racial prejudices of Occom and other tribal leaders reflected issues of authority and resources—particularly concerning diminishing community land—as much as, if not more than, racial purity. Furthermore, in expressing their concerns on such matters, Native Americans simply may have adopted the racial perspective (and associated rhetoric) of the dominant society. Indeed Occom and the other founders of Brothertown may have absorbed Anglo-American racial ideology at Eleazar Wheelock’s Indian Charity School, the very place where the notion of the Brothertown community germinated. In this regard, it is worth noting that Brothertown tribal law did not bar individuals of European-Native American ancestry.
Such prejudices (and the language used to express them) may have provided the terminology itself for the New Stockbridge tract inhabited by Native Americans of African ancestry. Evidence exists of other African-Native American communities named New Guinea. In the late 1700s, an African-Wampanoag community known by that name existed on Nantucket, as did an African-Nipmuc enclave in antebellum Southbridge, Massachusetts. The Brothertown and New Stockbridge communities comprised a number of tribes (and many individuals) from Massachusetts. Thus it is possible that the term “New Guinea” was imported by people arriving from New England.
Ultimately, the Stockbridges offered a more accommodating policy regarding the acceptance of people of African heritage than their neighbors at Brothertown. In addition to the statements of the Baldwins, Cooks, Pendletons, and Welches in the emigrant petitions detailed above, Stockbridge records indicate that the tribe adopted others of African heritage, including William Gardner, the African-Narragansett mentioned earlier, and Michael Wainer, the African-Wampanoag nephew of Paul Cuffe. As a Narragansett, Gardner belonged to one of the tribes that constituted the Brothertown Indians; by Brothertown tribal law, though, his African heritage would have precluded his living in that community. Michael Wainer’s brother Thomas also lived in New Stockbridge, having received two lots in compensation for financial contributions to the tribe. Thomas Wainer stated that in fact he had been invited by the Stockbridge chiefs to join the community. There were limitations to the Stockbridges’ magnanimity. In 1824 the legislature of New York passed at the request of the tribe an act prohibiting “any negro or mulatto” from attending or voting in Stockbridge tribal councils. The act itself acknowledges, however, the notable interracial presence at New Stockbridge. Notwithstanding the act’s prohibition, shortly thereafter the legislature confirmed Stockbridge lots appraised to Thomas Wainer and William Gardner, both “designated as coloured men.” Two months later, New York took the extraordinary step of enacting a law that granted “colored” settlers on lots ceded to the state by the Stockbridges the same rights as whites. The act empowered the “commissioners of the land office to cause letters patent to be issue to the persons … who have been reported by the appraisers of lands in New Stockbridge, as colored persons, for the lots set to their names as occupants, in the same manner as grants of land are authorised to be made to those who have been so reported, as white persons settled on said lands.” Thus the state of New York codified the measure of inclusion offered individuals of African descent—on the New Guinea tract and beyond—by the Native American community of New Stockbridge.
1.ï¿½ The legality of these putative “treaties” is discussed below.
2.ï¿½ Recorded Indian Deeds and Treaties, 1703–1871, series A0448, 52, New York State Archives, Albany. The New Guinea tract was just south of the contemporary community of Munnsville.
3.ï¿½ James H. Smith, History of Chenango and Madison Counties, with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Some of its Prominent Men and Pioneers (Syracuse, N.Y.: D. Mason, 1880), 709.
4.ï¿½ L. M. Hammond, History of Madison County, State of New York (Syracuse, N.Y.?, 1872), 740. Hammond mistakenly identified Baldwin and Pendleton as whites who settled in New Guinea after its sale by the Stockbridges.
5.ï¿½ James Oberly, A Nation of Statesman; the Political Culture of the Stockbridge-Munsee Mohicans, 1815–1972 (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2005), 58.
6.ï¿½ John Sergeant, entries of May 29, 1803, and August 1, 1803, Journals Concerning Harvard Grants for Work among the Indians, 1790, Harvard University Archives, Cambridge, Mass. John Sergeant, Jr. (1747–1824) served as missionary to the Stockbridges first in Massachusetts and then in New York. He carried on the efforts of his father, John Sergeant, Sr. (1710–49), who began missionary work among the Stockbridges in 1734.
7.ï¿½ The field book indicates only that there were six or seven houses on the tract. Surveyor Peleg Gifford described the lots as follows: Lot 1: 84.44 acres, one frame house and barn, some 40 acres improved, a “middling” lot. Lot 2: 81.45 acres, one or two log houses, a “pretty good” lot. Lot 3: 92.41 acres, no residences listed, an “uneven” lot. Lot 4: 103.58 acres, several log houses, 40–50 acres improved, a “middling” lot. Peleg Gifford, “Field Book for the New Stockbridge Purchase of 1825,” May 1825, in Land Survey Field Books, series A4019, vol. 34, New York State Archives.
8.ï¿½ Daniel R. Mandell, “Shifting Boundaries of Race and Ethnicity: Indian-Black Intermarriage in Southern New England, 1760–1880,” Journal of American History 85, no. 2, (1998): 466–501. Mandell argues that African-Native intermarriage was common in Native American communities after the Revolution and widespread by the turn of the century. Typically it involved African men and Indian women, in part because for at least a period in New England, children born to a native woman and an African man were considered free. David Silverman argues that intermarriage increased among Wampanoags in the early nineteenth century—largely due to diminishing numbers of eligible Native American men—at the same time that race became a central issue in native life as in white America. David J. Silverman, Faith and Boundaries: Colonists, Christianity, and Community among the Wampanoag Indians of Martha’s Vineyard, 1600–1871 (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2005), 223–24. See also William B. Hart, “Black ‘Go-Betweens’ and the Mutability of ‘Race,’ Status, and Identity on New York’s Pre-Revolutionary Frontier,” in Andrew R. L. Cayton and Fredrika J. Teute, eds., Contact Points: American Frontiers from the Mohawk Valley to the Mississippi, 1750–1830 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1998), 94. For an expansive study of Native American-European intermixture, see Thomas N. Ingersoll, To Intermix with Our White Brothers: Indian Mixed Bloods in the United States from Earliest Times to the Indian Removals (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2005).
9.ï¿½ John Wood Sweet, Bodies Politic: Negotiating Race in the American North, 1730–1830 (Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003), 178–79.
10.ï¿½ On the use of such terms as mulatto, black, Negro, and colored for Native Americans, see Jack D. Forbes, Africans and Native Americans: the Language of Race and the Evolution of Red-Black Peoples (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1990), and Thomas L. Doughton, “Unseen Neighbors: Native Americans of Central Massachusetts, a People Who Had ‘Vanished,’ ” in Colin G. Calloway, ed., After King Philip’s War: Presence and Persistence in Indian New England (Hanover, N.H.: University Press of New England, 1997), 208ff. Ruth Wallis Herndon and Ella Wilcox Sekatau examine Rhode Island authorities’ practice of designating Native Americans as “black” and otherwise in “The Right to a Name: The Narragansett People and Rhode Island Officials in the Revolutionary Era,” in ibid., 118, 125ff., 132. Similarly, David Silverman tracks the racial categorization of a number of mixed-race men of Native American heritage through the nineteenth century. Here the men are variously described as black, colored, mulatto, and mixed. “A Cross-Comparison of Official Descriptions of the Race/Complexion of Martha’s Vineyard Indians,” in Silverman, Faith and Boundaries, Appendix B, 288–90. David Mandell, too, finds suspect characterizations minimizing Native American identity. Mandell, “Shifting Boundaries,” 471.
11.ï¿½ “Copy of the Adoption of William Gardner,” October 1839, box 1, folder 1, John C. Adams, Papers, 1870–1906, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives, Madison. New York (State), Laws of the State of New York, Passed at the Forty-Ninth Session of the Legislature, Begun and Held at the City of Albany, the Third Day of January, 1826 (Albany, N.Y.: printed by E. Croswell for William Gould, 1826), February 18, 1826, chap. 50, 36. In 1895 Sachem Zachariah Miller identified William Gardner as “negro by blood and race.” Affidavit of Zachariah Miller concerning William Gardner, Stockbridge Indian Papers, #9185, Doc. 511, Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library, Ithaca, N.Y.
12.ï¿½ Consider the case of John W. Newcom. On April 26, 1827, the New York legislature passed an “Act for the Relief of John W. Newcom, of the Stockbridge tribe of Indians,” confirming Stockbridge lots to Newcom and describing him as an “educated Indian of the Mohekunnuk or Stockbridge tribe.” United States, Laws of the Colonial and State Governments, Relating to Indians and Indian Affairs, from 1633 to 1831 (Washington, D.C.: Thompson and Romans, 1832), 125. Newcom was in fact the son of an Englishman and a Stockbridge mother. Petition of Stockbridge Chief and Warriors, February 6, 1826, Petitions, Correspondence, and Reports Relating to Indians, 1783–1831, series A1823, 41:349–51, New York State Archives, Albany.
13.ï¿½ Alan Taylor characterizes Mohican as “a partially reinvented, culturally synthetic, and ethnically and geographically diverse people that was not identical with its Mahican predecessor.” Alan Taylor, “Captain Hendrick Aupaumut: The Dilemmas of an Intercultural Broker,” Ethnohistory 43, no. 3 (Summer 1996): 432. In particular, Mohican comprises Mahican, Housatonic, Esopus, and Wappinger groups among others. Stockbridge Sachem Hendrick Aupaumut provides a survey of the early history of the nation in “Letter from the Stockbridge Indians to the President of the United States, November 20, 1820,” in Henry O’Reilly, Selections from Papers Relating to the Six Nations, 1789–1820, vol. 14, New-York Historical Society, New York.
14.ï¿½In May 1734 Housatonic Sachem John Konkapot expressed his qualified willingness to have a missionary instruct the tribe in Christianity and in reading and writing English. In July of that year, the tribe gave its consent. Samuel Hopkins, Historical Memoirs Relating to the Housatonic Indians (New York: repr. W. Abbatt, 1911), 15–18. Hopkins provides a detailed account of the creation of the mission community at Stockbridge. Sachem Hendrick Aupaumut narrates the story of how the Stockbridges came to embrace Christianity in John Sergeant, Journals concerning Harvard Grants for Work among the Indians, 1790–1809, entry dated August 4, 1803. Aupaumut recounts that the Stockbridges initially explored Christianity only in the village where he had been born, Wnahktukook (later known as Stockbridge), and that only those people from this Christianized village remained a tribe. See also William DeLoss Love, Samson Occom and the Christian Indians of New England (Boston, Mass.: Pilgrim Press, 1899), 232–34; T. J. Brasser, Riding on the Frontier’s Crest: Mahican Indian Culture and Culture Change (Ottawa: Mercury series, National Museums of Canada, 1974); and Laura E. Conkey, Ethel Boissevain, and Ives Goddard, “Indians of Southern New England and Long Island: Late Period,” in William C. Sturtevant and Bruce G. Trigger, eds., Handbook of North American Indians: Vol. 15, Northeast (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution, 1978), 181.
15.ï¿½ This experiment was less successful in practice. Lion Miles found that “there was little Indian participation in Stockbridge…. There was never any unanimity in the town meeting, and the majority did not rule.” Lion G. Miles, “The Red Man Dispossessed: The Williams Family and the Alienation of Indian Land in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, 1736–1818,” The New England Quarterly 67, no.1 (March 1994): 75.
16.ï¿½ The seven tribes represented were Mohegan, Narragansett, Montauk, Pequot (from two distinct enclaves), Niantic, and a primarily Tunxis group from Farmington, Massachusetts. Despite their close association with the New England tribes, the Montauks were from Long Island. Joseph Johnson and Laura J. Murray, To Do Good to My Indian Brethren: The Writings of Joseph Johnson, 1751–1776 (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1998), 168ff. See especially Joseph Johnson’s speech to the Oneidas, January 20, 1774, ibid., 206–10. Johnson, the son-in-law of the Reverend Samson Occom, was along with Occom and David Fowler one of the founders of Brothertown. Love details the “Seven Settlements of Christian Indians” in Samson Occom, 188ff.
17.ï¿½ Joseph Johnson described the Christian New England Indians as “leading [their] Western Brethren, by [their] example in the ways of industry, in the ways of husbandry, in the way of Civility, and above all in the ways of godliness.” Johnson to New York Congress, August 26, 1775, quoted in Johnson and Murray, To Do Good to My Indian Brethren, 171. Regarding the earlier missions to the Oneidas, see Love, Samson Occom, 89, 86, 109, 254. Love provides extended excerpts from Occom’s journals recounting these efforts. Occom was joined in this work by schoolmaster Hezekiah Calvin, a Brotherton Delaware. Occom also records that in 1786 a number of Stockbridges attended his sermons to the Oneidas, further emphasizing the connections among the Christian tribes at New Stockbridge and Brothertown.
18.ï¿½ Proclamation of Guy Johnson, October 4, 1774, in William Johnson, The Papers of Sir William Johnson, Digital Edition ([Albany, N.Y.]: New York State Library, 2008), 13:684. Guy Johnson, nephew and son-in-law of Sir William Johnson and his successor as superintendent of Indian affairs, states that the previous year the seven tribes of New England had petitioned the Six Nations through William Johnson for land to live upon. The Oneidas granted them a tract, the boundaries of which the Oneidas and chiefs of the New England Indians had determined. At the joint request of the Oneidas and the New England Indians, Johnson by this proclamation formally certified the grant, its boundaries, and the rights inherent to it. The agreement granted the land to the New England tribes and “their posterity forever, without power of alienation to any subject.” A slightly different transcription of the proclamation—including the certification of the transaction by the Oneida chiefs—appears in Love, Samson Occom, 222. Love recounts in detail the process by which the New England Indians obtained the land among the Oneidas, including extensive transcriptions of pertinent documents. Ibid., 207–30.
19.ï¿½ Marion Johnson Mochon, “Stockbridge-Munsee Cultural Adaptations: ‘Assimilated Indians,’ ” Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 112, no. 3 (June 1968): 196ff.
20.ï¿½ “Oneida Indian petition to John Taylor, February 27, 1806,” Oneida Indian Documents [manuscript], 1787–1833, Ayer MS 658, Newberry Library, Chicago, Ill.
21.ï¿½ Jeremy Belknap and Jedidiah Morse, Report on the Oneida, Stockbridge, and Brotherton Indians, 1796 (New York: Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation, 1955), 7–8.
22.ï¿½ Sweet, Bodies Politic, 319–20; Taylor, “Captain Hendrick Aupaumut,” 440.
23.ï¿½ Love, Samson Occom, 225.
24.ï¿½ Ibid., 231–32, 240–42, 247.
25.ï¿½ For a detailed study of the dispossession of the Stockbridges in Massachusetts, see Lion G. Miles, “The Red Man Dispossessed.”
26.ï¿½ The Oneidas adopted the Stockbridges and promised them a tract of land six miles square. Love, Samson Occom, 244. Some 420 Stockbridges then made the move to New York. See T. J. Brasser, “Mahican,” in Sturtevant and Trigger, eds., Handbook of North American Indians: Vol. 15, Northeast, 206–08; and J. N. Davidson, Muh-he-ka-ne-ok: A History of the Stockbridge Nation, (Milwaukee, Wis.: S. Chapman, 1893). The Oneidas’ offer of land may have been a gesture in recognition of the Stockbridges’ earlier assistance against another tribe. Electa F. Jones, Stockbridge Past and Present, or, Records of an Old Mission Station (Springfield, Mass.: S. Bowles, 1854), 85.
27.ï¿½ Oberly, A Nation of Statesmen, 20. By the September 22, 1788, treaty, the Oneidas ceded all of their New York lands, with portions set aside as reservations, including tracts designated for the Stockbridges and the “New England Indians” of Brothertown. By the treaty of July 20, 1811, the Oneidas then relinquished to the state of New York all right or claim to the lands occupied by the Stockbridges and Brothertowns. New York (State). Legislature, Report of Special Committee to Investigate the Indian Problem of the State of New York, Appointed by the Assembly of 1888 (Albany, N.Y.: Troy Press, 1889), 237, 278. In 1813 New York enacted a law formally naming the Stockbridge tract “New Stockbridge” and mandating that it “be and remain to the said Stockbridge Indians and their posterity forever, but without any power of alienation, or right of leasing or disposing of the same, or any part thereof.” “Act relative to the different tribes and nations of Indians within this state,”April 10, 1813, New York (State), Laws of the State of New York, Passed at the Forty First Session of the Legislature Begun and Held at the City of Albany, the Twenty Seventh Day of January, 1813 (Albany [N.Y.]: printed by J. Buel, printer to the state, 1818).
28.ï¿½ Charles Kappler, ed., Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1904), 2:170–74.
29.ï¿½ A subsequent treaty with the Menominees in 1822 extended this acquisition to two million acres. Treaty of 1821 between the New York Indians and the Menominees and Winnebagos, and Treaty of 1822 between the New York Indians and the Menominees, Heath Manuscripts, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives, Madison.
30.ï¿½ Agreement between the New York Indians and the Brothertown Indians, January 8, 1825, in “Memorial of the Stockbridge Nation of Indians in Wisconsin,” United States, Senate Document 189, 27th Congress, 2nd session, February 10, 1842, 25. For the purposes of this agreement, the “New York Indians” consisted of the Stockbridges, St. Regis, Tuscaroras, Munsees, and the First Christian Party of Oneidas.
31.ï¿½ Land treaties with Native Americans are the exclusive prerogative of the federal government. “An Act to Regulate Trade and Intercourse with the Indian Tribes” prohibited the transfer of Indian lands to individuals or states except by federal treaty. Section 4 of the act states that “no sale of lands made by any Indians, or any nation or tribe of Indians in the United States, shall be valid to any person or persons, or to any state, whether having the right of pre-emption to such lands or not, unless the same shall be made and duly executed at some public treaty, held under the authority of the United States.” United States, Statutes at Large of the United States of America, 1st Cong., 2nd sess., Act of July 22, 1790, chap. 33, 137–38.
32.ï¿½ The Stockbridges “granted the said lot to Hunnibel a negro man who married an Indian woman upon which lot said Hunnibel lives.” Indian Proprietors Records, p. 79, Town Clerk, Town of Stockbridge, Mass. Cited in Patrick Frazier, The Mohicans of Stockbridge (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1992), 238n16. A “free negro” man identified only as Cuffy had acquired “divers tracts of the Indians’ lands.” In 1763 Cuffy loaned Jacob Etowaukaum, a Stockbridge Indian, forty pounds so that Etowaukaum could purchase his release from an Albany jail. In return, Etowaukaum granted Cuffy a deed for fifty-eight acres. Cuffy also “took deeds” of Captain Konkapot and other Stockbridges for nearly ninety additional acres. Though Cuffy’s surname is not given, he apparently died without heir, leaving his property to Deacon Samuel Brown. Thus Cuffy offers no direct connection to any African-Native American individuals later belonging to the tribe. “Report of the general court committee appointed to travel to Stockbridge to examine conflicts between the English and Indian Inhabitants,” Massachusetts Archives, 33:277, Massachusetts State Archives. Cited in Frazier, Mohicans of Stockbridge, 180n35.
33.ï¿½ The Narragansetts leveled two other charges against Ninegrett: that he ignored advice from the tribe and sold tribal land without permission. William Johnson, The Papers of Sir William Johnson, Digital Edition, 5:152. For extensive evidence of African and Native American intermarriage in New England, see Mandell, “Shifting Boundaries.”
34.ï¿½ The deed for the tract granted by the Oneidas to the New England tribes stipulated that the land “shall not be possessed by any persons, deemed of said Tribes, who are descended from or have intermixed with Negroes, or Mulattoes.” Though this deed did not explicitly concern the Stockbridges, it pertained directly to the tract upon which they would soon settle, and thus the restriction against Africans technically applied to them as well. Proclamation of Guy Johnson, October 4, 1774, in William Johnson, The Papers of Sir William Johnson, Digital Edition, 13:684.
35.ï¿½ E. B. O’Callaghan, ed., Documents Relative to the Colonial History of the State of New York; Procured in Holland, England and France (Albany, N.Y.: Weed, Parsons, 1855), 5:965. Cited in Hart, “Black Go-Betweens,” 98n.
36.ï¿½ Fintan O’Toole, White Savage: William Johnson and the Invention of America (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005), 290. Johnson referred to these people as “Willigee Negroes” for the creek running through their lands. Hart, “Black Go-Betweens,” 97.
37.ï¿½ Gideon Hawley to [unknown], ca. 1795, quoted in John Wood Sweet, Bodies Politic, 302–03. At Stockbridge, Hawley also taught Mohawks, Oneidas, and Tuscaroras, and worked under the guidance of Jonathan Edwards. He then served as missionary to the Six Nations at Oquaga, 1754–56, and at Mashpee, Massachusetts, 1758–1807.
38.ï¿½ “Petition of Nathan and Joshua Pendleton, John Baldwin, Jonathan C. Johnston, George Cook, and Charles Tousey for authority to hold lands,” February 9, 1826, Petitions, Correspondence, and Reports, 41:333.
39.ï¿½ “Articles of agreement between the Brotherton Delawares and the Stockbridge Indians,” September 23, 1823, Brown County (Wis.) Register of Deeds, A: 325–327. By this agreement the Stockbridges adopted the Brotherton Delawares, a remnant group of Lenapes who had sold their reservation in New Jersey and joined the Stockbridges in 1802. This group is not to be confused with the Brothertown Indians living nearby.
40.ï¿½ Death certificate of Adelia Johnston Fidler, Oswego County (N.Y.).
41.ï¿½ The first documented Native Americans to receive United States citizenship were the Choctaws, by the 1830 treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek. Charles Kappler, ed., Indian Affairs, 2:310–19.
42.ï¿½ According to the February 15, 1826, statement of Surveyor General Simeon DeWitt, Lot 1 was divided among Nathaniel Pendleton, colored, Margaret Reid, Indian, and John Baldwin, colored; Lot 2 between John Baldwin, colored, and George Cook, colored; Lot 3 between Joshua and Peter Pendleton, colored; and Lot 4 among Henry Cook, colored, and Joshua and Peter Pendleton, both colored. Petitions, Correspondence, and Reports, 41:337–38.
43.ï¿½ On federal censuses for 1790–1840, for example, the category of free colored served for all non-white taxpayers. For a more extensive discussion of this matter, see Forbes, Africans and Native Americans, 90, 199, 250, 263. The practice of designating Native Americans by various racial labels is also examined in Doughton, “Unseen Neighbors,” 208ff, and Herndon and Sekatau, “The Right to a Name,” 118, 125ff, 132.
44.ï¿½ “Petition of Emigrants from other tribes relative to exclusion of from certain privileges, etc.,” in Petitions, Correspondence, and Reports, 41:259, 231. The first petition is addressed to Governor DeWitt Clinton and dated January 26, 1821. It is signed by twenty-one individuals. The second, signed by twenty-six individuals and dated January 29, 1821, is addressed to the legislature. Fellow New Guinea petitioners Jonathan C. Johnston and Charles Tousey, both Brotherton Delawares, also signed the emigrant petitions.
45.ï¿½ The specific tribal affiliations of the following signatories have been ascertained. As stated above, Jonathan C. Johnston and Charles Tousey were Brotherton Delawares. Simon and Zebulon Rhodes were Narragansett brothers from Rhode Island, adopted into the Stockbridge tribe on May 30, 1805, and March 12, 1812, respectively. See the Petition of Sampson Marquis, Peacemaker, and Jacob Seth, town clerk, December 26, 1827, Petitions, Correspondence, and Reports, 41:383–84, 387. The Welch participants were of African, Nanticoke, Narragansett, and Delaware descent. Applications of Elizabeth Louisa Welch and Almira Brushell, #183 and #691 respectively, “Records Relating to the Kansas Claims of the New York Indians,” Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, RG 75, Entry 903, National Archives, Washington, D.C. (The author thanks Brothertown Indian Nation Tribal Genealogist Caroline Andler for the Brushell citation.)
46.ï¿½ The superintendents’ response is dated February 1, 1821. Petitions, Correspondence, and Reports, 41:234.
47.ï¿½ “Copy of the Adoption of William Gardner,” (see n. 11).
48.ï¿½ Article 8 of “An act for the relief of the Indians residing in New Stockbridge and Brother-town” (1792) states “that it shall and may be lawful of said inhabitants, at any of their said public meetings, by a majority of votes, to admit any Indian or Indians of any other tribe or nation to become an inhabitant or inhabitants of the said town, to enjoy equal privileges with the other Indians of the same town, the votes respecting the admission of such person or person, to be first entered into the clerk’s book.” United States, Laws of the Colonial and State Governments, Relating to Indians and Indian Affairs, 70. However, later Stockbridge documents refer specifically to adopting tribal members according to the seventeenth section of an “Act relative to the different tribes and nations of Indians within this state,” passed April 10, 1813, which authorized the Stockbridges by a plurality of votes “to admit any Indian of any other tribe or nation to become an inhabitant of New Stockbridge, and to enjoy the same privileges with them.” New York (State), and John W. Edmonds. Statutes at Large of the State of New York: Comprising the Revised Statutes, As They Existed on the 1st Day of July, 1862, and All the General Public Statutes Then in Force, with References to Judicial Decisions, and the Material Notes of the Revisers in Their Report to the Legislature (Albany, N.Y.: W. C. Little, 1863), 4:346. This act is referred to in “Petition of etc. for grant of lands to John W. Newcomb. Remonstrance and report,” Petitions, Correspondence, and Reports, 41:343–57. The “Emigrant Indian” petitioners’ claim of legal adoption also cited a law passed by the New York legislature. “Petition of Emigrants from other tribes relative to exclusion of from certain privileges, etc.,” Petitions, Correspondence, and Reports, 41:259, 231.
49.ï¿½ In 1827 Stockbridge tribal authorities stated that brothers Simon, Zebulon, and Joseph Rhodes were members of the Narragansett tribe of Rhode Island, Simon duly admitted to the Stockbridge tribe on May 30, 1805, and Zebulon on March 12, 1812, with both adoptions recorded in the “Records of the Stockbridge Nation.” Joseph Rhodes was admitted October 5, 1806, and at that time had fifty acres set to him. According to the petition, the Rhodes brothers enjoyed full rights and privileges in the tribe. “Petition of Simon and Zebulon Rhodes for land and remonstrances etc.,” Petitions, Correspondence, and Reports, 41:381–89.
50.ï¿½ James Oberly asserts that the 1837 Constitution terminated the adoption of outsiders with full tribal rights. Nation of Statesmen, 62. Article Three, Section Three of the Constitution’s “Frame of Government” states, however, that the First Magistrate and the Council shall “establish a Rule by which members from other Nations may be received into this Nation.” Declaration of Rights and Frame of Government (1837), transcribed in Oberly, Nation of Statesmen, Appendix A, 211. It may be that this stipulation permitted Quinney and his supporters the authority to impose in practice an end to the adoption of individuals from other tribes.
51.ï¿½ United States, Bureau of the Census, Third Census of the United States, 1810, M252, roll 28, p. 877, National Archives, Washington, D.C.
52.ï¿½ Petitions, Correspondence and Reports, 41:231. No Fidler—or Mitop, another surname attached to New Guinea—signed either petition.
53.ï¿½ The author thanks Smithfield Town Historian Donna Burdick for insight regarding the historical boundaries of the town.
54.ï¿½ The field book alternatively identifies this tract as the “Oneida Creek Tract,” but it is not the tract by same name that borders Oneida Lake. A second portion of the lot was claimed by Thomas Dean, who may have been the same man who served as Brothertown Indian agent. Peleg Gifford, “Field Book of the Survey and Allotment of land ceded to the people of the State of New York by the Stockbridge Indians,” September 1823, in Land Survey Books, series A4019, 31:50, 72, 87, New York State Archives, Albany.
55.ï¿½ Peleg Gifford’s map of the sales of March 1821, February and August 1822, dated November 19, 1823, shows the borders of the Oneida Tract. Madison County Map 269–612, Division of Land Utilization, Office of Real Property. New York State Office of General Services. Lot 18 appears on the western edge of this tract. The field book of 1825 states that the New Guinea lots begin at the southwest corner of Lot 13 of the Oneida Tract.
56.ï¿½ “Brothertown Indians Record Book, 1788–1901,” typescript, 31–32, in Brothertown Indians, Records, 1788–1810, 1901, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives, Madison. “An Act Relative to Lands in Brothertown,” passed by the New York legislature on March 31, 1795, provided for the survey and allotment of the Brothertown lands. The Brothertown commissioners were charged with determining which members of the community were entitled to lots. New York (State), Laws of the State of New York Passed at the Sessions of the Legislature 3, 1789–1796 incl. (Albany, N.Y.: Weed, Parsons, 1877), 585.
57.ï¿½ “Brothertown Indians Record Book, 1788–1901,” 32.
58.ï¿½ See the claims of Isabella Schooner, Jerusha Hull, and William Peters. Jerusha Hull, a woman of African-Native American ancestry, married Thomas Hull, an African American. On the 1810 federal census for Smithfield, the J. Hull household of seven people, all listed as “other free persons,” appears in Smithfield along with the Baldwins, Fidlers, Pendletons and Welches. By 1823, Jerusha Hull had obtained possession of a lot in New Stockbridge. William Peters tried an interesting tack in his claim. Though married to the “daughter of a woman who was part negro,” he argued that he would have been entitled to fifty acres if he had not married. The Brothertown superintendents and attorney did not indulge this logic; instead, they prohibited Peters from possessing Brothertown land based on the Pendleton precedent, which had explicitly concerned only women marrying men of African descent. Thus the precedent expanded to include any tribal member who married a person of African heritage. In 1804 the superintendents and peacemakers extended this prohibition even further, stipulating that women barred from possessing Brothertown land would be excluded from receiving tribal annuities as well. Report of the Brothertown Superintendents, July 24, 1801, p. 41, and Meeting of the Superintendents, July 26, 1804, p. 44, Brotherton Indian Records, Special Collections and Archives, Hamilton College Library, Clinton, N.Y.; Peleg Gifford, “Field Book of the Survey and Allotment of land ceded to the people of the State of New York by the Stockbridge Indians,” September 1823, in Land Survey Books, series A4019.
59.ï¿½ “Brothertown Indians Record Book, 1788–1901,” 50–52, 54.
60.ï¿½ Love, Samson Occom, 353.
61.ï¿½ United States, Bureau of the Census, Sixth Census of the United States, 1840, M704, roll 580, p. 128; Seventh Census of the United States, 1850, M432, roll 1009, p. 488; Eighth Census of the United States, 1860, M653, roll 1437, p. 415; Ninth Census of the United States, 1870, M593, roll 1745; p. 101; Tenth Census of the United States, 1880, T9, roll 1,452, p. 75; Wisconsin Territory, Secretary, Wisconsin Territory Census for 1846 (Salt Lake City, Utah: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1980), film 1293920, Family History Library, Salt Lake City.
62.ï¿½ In 1840 Nathan Pendleton, age fifty-five to one hundred, was in Marshall, New York (the former location of the Brothertown community), identified as “free colored.” Joshua Pendleton appeared in nearby Lenox, Madison County, in 1850, classified as mulatto. United States, Bureau of the Census, Sixth Census of the United States, 1840, M704, roll 315, p. 317; Seventh Census of the United States, 1850, M432, roll 526, p. 230. In petitioning the noted abolitionist and philanthropist Smith for financial assistance, Nathan Pendleton, Jr., provided the names of several character witnesses, one of whom added the following postscript: “Mr. Nathan Pendleton, the author of the above, is the last of the Stockbridge Indians remaining here. He has been since my acquaintance a sober and industrious man and sustained a fair character and as far as I know has given a true version of his history.” Evidence indicates that Nathan Pendleton, Jr., was the son of Joshua Pendleton. Nathan Pendleton, Jr., to Gerrit Smith, March 31, 1847, Gerrit Smith Papers, box 29, folder Pel-Pen 1822–74, Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Library, Syracuse, N.Y. The author thanks Smithfield town historian Donna Burdick for the reference to this document.
63.ï¿½ “Statement of the Assignment of Lots to the Brothertown Indians,” pp. 47–63, Brotherton Indian Records. This document provides an extensive roster of lot assignments from 1795 into the 1840s. See also Brothertown Indians Collection, 1788–1810 (photocopy), New York State Library, Albany, and “Register of the Appropriations of Lands to Indian Families and Individual Indians,” September 26, 1795, New York (State), Department of State, Field Books, 1762–1845, Series A0452, Book 27, 195, New York State Archives.
64.ï¿½ However, Love indicates that Montauk Brothertown Indian Aurilla Peters married John Baldwin. (This is the younger John Baldwin, as will be discussed shortly.) Love, Samson Occom, 357.
65.ï¿½ The Indian Proprietors Records include land apportionment, meeting proceedings, and lot surveys. The 1780 grant to John and Thomas Baldwin offers no additional details pertaining to them, so their identity cannot be ascertained. By the same vote the proprietors also granted three acres each to seven other men, six with Native American surnames. Throughout the Proprietors Records, African-Americans are identified as “Negro”; no such designation is applied here to the Baldwins. It is also worth noting that Thomas Baldwin signed both 1821 emigrant Indian petitions with John Baldwin. Indian Proprietors meeting of May 26, 1780, Indian Proprietors Records, 1749–1790, p. 153, Town Clerk, Stockbridge Town Hall, Stockbridge, Mass.; “Petition of Emigrants from other tribes relative to exclusion of from certain privileges, etc.,” in Petitions, Correspondence, and Reports, 41: 259, 231.
66.ï¿½ Affidavit of John Sergeant, June 5, 1820, O’Reilly, Selections, vol. 14. A corroborating document in this collection, the affidavit of John Reed, dated June 6, 1820, also includes John Baldwin as a Stockbridge warrior. Reed testified that these men were Stockbridge Indians, residents of New Stockbridge, who entered service in the fall of 1813.
67.ï¿½ Stockbridge Treaty of July 14, 1818, Recorded Indian Deeds and Treaties, 23.
68.ï¿½ The appearance of a John Baldwin on the roster of Stockbridge warriors in the War of 1812 distinguishes John Junior from John Senior. The 1850 federal census identifies John Baldwin—who according to Love’s Samson Occom married Montauk Brothertown Indian Aurilla Peters—as born in 1801. Thus John Baldwin, Jr., would have been too young to serve as a warrior in 1813. A controversial genealogy identifies the men as father and son, and of multi-tribal ancestry. Franklin Elewatum Bearce, … From Out of the Past; The Bearce Family, Franklyn Bearce; Who Our Forefathers Really Were, a True Narrative of Our White and Indian Ancesters [!] (1935).
69.ï¿½ See the documents of March 16, 1829, and April 18, 1829, in Recorded Indian Deeds and Treaties, 67, 69, 81. Both of these documents were signed in New York by John M. Baldwin. In Petitions, Correspondence, and Reports, see the petitions of September 26, 1818, p. 155; January 19, 1822 (signed by John M. Baldwin), p. 183; January 16, 1821, p. 229; January 20, 1826, pp. 326–29; February 6, 1826, pp. 343–67 (signed by John M. Baldwin). In Wisconsin, a roster of heads of families intending to emigrate west of the Mississippi in accordance with the treaty of September 3, 1839, includes John Baldwin. Stockbridge Indian Papers, #9185, Doc. 24. The full treaty and accompanying roster are in Kappler, Indian Affairs, 2:529–31.
70.ï¿½ Thomas T. Hendrick signed the same 1825 document as Thomas Tautuakeem Hendrick. Agreement of January 8, 1825 in “Memorial of the Stockbridge Nation of Indians in Wisconsin,” United States, Senate Document 189, 25. For other documents signed by John M. Baldwin, see the previous note.
71.ï¿½ Neither lot was originally assigned to Aurilla Baldwin. She inherited part of lot 106 from her grandmother, Elizabeth Peters, in 1828. In 1825 the Brothertown superintendents designated part of lot 3 to Aurilla under her married name of Baldwin. Love, Samson Occom, 357; “Statement of the Assignment of Lots to the Brothertown Indians,” p. 47, Brotherton Indian Records.
72.ï¿½ Stockbridge Indian Papers, #9185, Doc. 25; Kappler, Indian Affairs, 2:574–82 and 2:742–55. By the terms of the treaty of September 1839, the Kansas emigrants gave up all rights to Stockbridge land in Wisconsin. Kappler, Indian Affairs, 2:529–31.
73.ï¿½ United States, Bureau of the Census, Seventh Census of the United States, 1850, M432, roll 994, p. 92. In fact, John Baldwin and his household of five free colored persons first appeared again among the Brothertown Indians of Calumet County on the 1840 census. United States, Bureau of the Census, Sixth Census of the United States, 1840, M704, roll 580, p. 3. A number of the Kansas emigrants returned to Wisconsin. Oberly, Nation of Statesmen, 68.
74.ï¿½ Love, Samson Occom, 60. In eighteenth- and nineteenth-century America, “mulatto” was often employed to identify a person of African-Native American—and sometimes Native-American and white—ancestry. Forbes asserts that the term mulatto was used to describe anyone of perceptible African heritage. Forbes, Africans and Native Americans, 90–91. Forbes also contends that on the federal census of 1850, the racial category of “M” stands for “mixed,” 200.
75.ï¿½ Here, Baldwin’s next-door neighbor is Richard Fidler. United States, Bureau of the Census, Fifth Census of the United States, 1830, M19, roll 93, p. 419.
76.ï¿½ Petitions, Correspondence, and Reports, 41:231, 259, 333.
77.ï¿½ Henry Cook’s great-grandson identified him and his wife Nancy as Mohawk. Application of John Richard Fiddler, #921, “Records Relating to Kansas Claims of New York Indians.” Of note here also is the intermarriage between the Cook and Fidler families.
78.ï¿½ George Cook appears in Smithfield in 1830 and Stockbridge in 1840. Henry Cook appears in Marshall, Oneida County—the home of the Brothertown Indians—in 1830. United States, Bureau of the Census, Fifth Census of the United States, 1830. M19, roll 93, p. 418, and roll 99, p. 133; and Sixth Census of the United States, 1840, M704, roll 295, p. 119.
79.ï¿½ United States, Bureau of the Census, Seventh Census of the United States, 1850, M432, roll 994, p. 92.
80.ï¿½ “Biography of Lewis Cook,” as related by Eleazer Williams, in Franklin B. Hough, Papers, 1840–1885, New York State Library; William Beauchamp, “Lewis Cook,” in “St. Regis Indians and Five of the Six Nations,” Beauchamp MSS, item 344, p. 62, New York State Library, Albany.
81.ï¿½ Pardon Cook married Alice Cuffe; Polly Cook married Paul Cuffe, Jr. Lamont D. Thomas, Rise to Be a People: A Biography of Paul Cuffe (Urbana, Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1986), 161. A Massachusetts Senate report in 1861 recorded a number of Cooks living in various Indian communities in the state. John Milton Earle, Report to the Governor and Council Concerning the Indians of the Commonwealth Under the Act of April 6, 1859 (Boston, Mass.: William White, 1861). Earle was appointed by an act of 1859 to “to examine into the condition of all Indians and the descendants of Indians domiciled in this Commonwealth.” In addition to his report, Earle included an appendix enumerating some fifteen hundred individuals of native descent.
82.ï¿½ Paul Cuffe, Jr., Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Paul Cuffe, a Pequot Indian: During Thirty Years Spent at Sea, and in Travelling in Foreign Lands (Mashantucket, Conn: Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center, 2006). Paul Junior’s older sister Mary married African-Wampanoag Michael Wainer. Their sons Thomas and Michael were living in New Stockbridge by 1815. Rosalind Cobb Wiggins and Paul Cuffe, Captain Paul Cuffe’s Logs and Letters, 1808–1817: A Black Quaker’s “Voice from within the Veil” (Washington, D.C.: Howard University Press, 1996), 363ff.
83.ï¿½ Paul Cuffand Rhoda Wainer, February 2, 1813, quoted in Wiggins, Captain Paul Cuffe, 236. Gardner Wainer was also the son of Paul Cuffe’s older sister Mary.
84.ï¿½ Kappler, Indian Affairs, 2:574–82.
85.ï¿½ Application of John Richard Fiddler, #921, “Records Relating to Kansas Claims of New York Indians.”
86.ï¿½ Samuel Hazard, Pennsylvania Archives (Philadelphia: printed by J. Severns, 1853), 3:341ff. Brotherton Map, 1759, Special Collections, Alexander Library, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J.
87.ï¿½ Testimony of Polly Doxtater, March 22, 1854, Brown Co. (Wis.) Justice of the Peace, in John C. Adams, Papers, 1870–1906. The author expresses gratitude to Brothertown Indian Nation Tribal Genealogist Caroline Andler for this citation.
88.ï¿½ Mandell, “Shifting Boundaries,” 475.
89.ï¿½ Samson Occom et al. to Richard Law, December 5, 1789, Samson Occom Papers, Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford.
90.ï¿½ Benjamin Uncas to Thomas Fitch, May 18, 1765, William Samuel Johnson Papers, Connecticut Historical Society, cited in Johnson and Murray, To Do Good to My Indian Brethren, 173.
91.ï¿½ Book of Brothertown Records, quoted in Pomroy Jones, Annals and Recollections of Oneida County (Rome [N.Y.]: published by the author, 1851), 266–67.
92.ï¿½ Love, Samson Occom, 284, 176.
93.ï¿½ See in particular Mandell, “Shifting Boundaries,” 474ff.
94.ï¿½ Mandell argues that Occom and others “became sensitive to Anglo-American views on race” while attending Moor’s Indian Charity School under Eleazar Wheelock. It was these students who led the effort to establish Brothertown, which they viewed as “a purely Indian effort.” Mandell, “Shifting Boundaries,” 477. Other white authorities such as Gideon Hawley channeled their biases toward encouraging Native American-African intermarriage. Hawley did not feel the same about European-Native American intermixture. Sweet, Bodies Politic, 302–03. Eleazar Wheelock suggested to Samson Occom in 1771 the idea of settling as Christian Indian missionaries among the Six Nations. Love, Samson Occom, 207.
95.ï¿½ John Johnson married “a white woman, whence came the white blood, distinctly visible in this family.” Johnson received Lot 104 at Brothertown, and both he and his son John served as peacemakers. Love, Samson Occom, 350. The 1855 Wisconsin State census identifies the Brothertown Indians as mostly mixed race, Indian and white. Wisconsin, Wisconsin State Census, 1855 (Salt Lake City: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1979), vols. 1–3, film 1032686, items 2–4, Family History Library, Salt Lake City.
96.ï¿½ Frances Ruley Karttunen, The Other Islanders: People Who Pulled Nantucket’s Oars (New Bedford, Mass: Spinner Publications, 2005), 78ff. Doughton, “Unseen Neighbors,” 214.
97.ï¿½ “Copy of the Adoption of William Gardner” (see n. 11). In 1800 William Gardner appears in Augusta, Oneida County, just south of the New Guinea lots, with his household of four identified as “other persons except Indians not taxed.” United States. Bureau of the Census, Second Census of the United States, 1800, M32, roll 23, p. 185. The Stockbridge Indians reserved a lot for Michael Wainer by the treaty of September 16, 1823. Here the Stockbridges specifically identified Wainer as a Stockbridge Indian. Recorded Indian Deeds and Treaties, 32. Regarding the Wainer family, see Thomas, Rise to Be a People, 166, 122n6.
98.ï¿½ New York (State), Journal of the Assembly of the State of New-York; at Their Forty-Ninth Session (Albany: E. Croswell, 1826), January 26, 1826, 356–57.
99.ï¿½ “An act to provide for the appointment of peace-makers and town clerk for the Stockbridge Indians, and for other purposes,” New York (State) and John W. Edmonds, ed., Statutes at Large, vol. 4, chap. 177, 365.
100.ï¿½ New York (State), Laws of the State of New York, Passed at the Forty-Ninth Session of the Legislature, February 18, 1826, chap. 50, 36.
101.ï¿½ “An Act to provide for the colored persons who are occupants of lots in New Stockbridge,” ibid., April 11, 1826, chap. 145, 133.
By Christopher Geherin