The Dutch and English both, either from necessity or conven-
ience, resorted to the use of this Indian money, and the value of it
was fixed either by law or custom. Jn the early stages of the set-
tlements, three black beads or six white ones passed for a penny.
Bells made of wampum were exchanged at the treaties between
different tribes, as symbols to perpetuate the memory of the tran-
The same causes that diminished the numbers and prevented the
increase of the Indians, contributed to retard their progress in im-
provement and civilization.
The religious notions of the Long Island Indians, are preserved
in a communication of Sampson Occum, an Indian minister, which
is published among the collections of the historical society of Mas-
They had a plurality of gods, but believed in one great and
good being, who had the control over all the rest. They believed in
an evil spirit, and had their conjurers or pawaws. They believed
in a future state of existence, and that there would be a distinction
according to their behavior here.
They made sacrifices to their gods, and performed such other
acts of worship, as are common among the Indians in general.
Their conjurers were said to have intercourse with the evil spirit,
and by the Duke's laws of I6G5, it was enacted " that no Indian
should be suffered to pawaw or perform worship to the devil in any
town within the^government.
The language of the Monlauk Indians is supposed to have been
the common language of all the Long Island Indians, and differed
but little from that of the Narraganset, the Massachusetts, and other
New England tribes.
Of the measures adopted to preserve peace with the Indians.
The Indians on Long Island, seem to have been less troublesome
to the whites, than those north of the sound.
STATE OF NEW-YORK. 259
It does not appear that they ever formed any general combina-
tion against the first settlers, or materialy interrupted the progress
of their improvements. The records of that period, furnish no
account of any general war against the Long Island Indians, by the
Dutch or English.
There is no reason to believe that this exemption from Indian
hostilities was owing to a better disposition, or milder character of
the natives of the Island. Individuals and small parties were some-
times troublesome to the settlers.
In 1649, a murder was perpetrated at South Hampton, and the
town was greatly alarmed at the hostile appearance of the Indians
for several days, and several murders were committed in the Dutch
towns, in 1652.
The towns were frequently jealous of them.
In 1645, the town of South Hampton ordered one half of their
military company to bring their ams to meeting with them every
Lord's day alternately for some time.
In 1651, the town of East Hampton ordered the inhabitants to
bring their arms widi them on the Lord's day, under the penalty
of 12d. for every neglect, and other towns are said to have done
The Indians sometimes committed depredations on the property
of the whites.
In 1657, they did considerable damage to the people of South
Hampton, and in 1631 four Indians plundered a store in Hunting-
ton, and threatened the lives of the family. The first settlers in
every part of the Island, were in the practice of guarding their
cattle which run at large, and it might have been to prevent the de-
predations of the Indians, as well as to guard them against injuries
from wild beasts and other accidents.
In 1657, the Montauks committed depredations, and burnt a
number of houses at South Hampton, and the people were obliged
to betake themselves to their arms, and stand on their own defence.
Capt. Mason crossed the sound to quell the disturbance, and im-
posed a fine of 700/. on the Indians, as a remuneration for the
damages, and as a punishment for the aggression.
The chief sent a messenger to the Commissioners, and alleged
260 HISTORY Ol- THE
ihat the damage was occasioned by a mischievous Indian, who had
since destroyed himself and a negro woman, and prayed that he
might be relieved from the fine, which was referred to the general
court of Connecticut.
In Johnson's " Wonder Working Providence," it is stated that
when the English first commenced their settlements on Long Island,
" the Indians did much annoy their cattle with the multitude of dogs
they kept, which ordinarily were young wolves brought up tame,
continuing of a very ravening nature."
The security of the whites must be ascribed to the means they
employed, to preserve peace with the Indians.
The English and the Dutch both endeavored to secure uninter-
rupted peace with the Indians, by treaty.
The reception of the Indians on the east end of the Island, un-
der the protection of the Commissioners of the united colonies, in
1644, and their subsequent appointment of the IMontauk chief,
grand sachem of the Long Island Indians, must have augmented
the influence which he before possessed over more or less of the
Indian tribes on the Island, and must have enabled and disposed
him to curb any disposition manifested by them to annoy, or inter-
rupt the whites.
In 1643, the year before the Dutch war with the Indians north
of the sound, the Dutch Governor made a treaty with Pennowits,
sachem, as is supposed of the Maiinecock Indians.
In 1656, the Dutch Governor made a treaty with Tackapausha,
the sachem of the Marsapeague Indians, and the representative of
five other tribes.
Thus the Dutch un ihu wtist end, and the English on the east
end of the Island, maintained a constant friendship with the natives
in their respective neighborhoods, and while they were friendly
with each other, the Indians from one end of the Island to the other
were friendly with both.
IJoth the English and the Dutch on Long Island, respected the
riglitsof the Indians, and no land was taken up by the several
towns, or by individuals, until it had been fairly purchased of the
chiefs, of the tribe who claimed it.
The consideration given for the land was inconsiderable in value,
STATE OF NEW-YORK. 261
and usually consisted of different articles of clothing, implements
of hunting and fishing, domestic utensils, and personal ornaments ;
but appears to have been such in all cases, as was deemed satisfac-
tory by the Indians.
The first purchase of Hundngton in 1653, comprised nearly six
miles square ; the consideration paid to the Indians consisted of six
coats, six bottles, six hatchets, six shovels, ten knives, six fathom
wampum, thirty muxes, and thirty needles.
The first purchase of East Hamptom embraced about thirty
thousand seven hundred and twenty acres, and the articles given in
payment consisted of twenty coats, twenty-four looking glasses,
twenty-four hoes, twenty-four hatchets, twenty-four knives, and one
' hundred muxes.
The first purchase of Oysterbay embraced upwards of twenty
thousand acres, for which the first purchasers gave six Indian coats,
six kettles, six fathom of wampum, six hoes, six hatchets, three
pair stockings, thirty awl blades, or muxes, twenty knives, three
shirts, peague 4/. sterling.
The decrease of the Indians is sometimes represented as if the
whites were blameable for purchasing their lands. The decay of
their numbers is a consequence of the settlement of the country by
an agricultural people ; the improvement of the country must dimin-
ish the game, lessen the means of their support, and drive them
into the interior, with the wild beasts that furnish their sustenance,
while they retain the character of hunters. Providence certainly
never designed that the earth should be kept desolate by erratic na-
tions, but should be so used as to afford support to the greatest
numi)er of human beings.
The United States, as the Briush government formerly did, per-
mit the Indians within the limits of their political jurisdiction, to re-
tain their own customs, to choose their own rulers, to make trea-
ties, and preserve their relations with each other. They are not
-subject to our laws, and are not required to perform the dudes of
citizens ; they are suffered to retain their independence, subject to
our protection and control, so far only as their own welfare and the
public safety require.
The government concedes to them the right of occupation, and
262 HISTORY OF THE
claims the right of soil, or ultimate domain. It suffers no advantage
to be taken of the necessities or in)becility of individuals, by the
fraud or avarice of our own citizens.
An Indian territory belongs to the tribe or nation, and cannot be
sold by individuals. The alienation of their territory is a national
act, and can only be done by treaty. The extinguishment of In-
dian claims, therefore, is an act of sovereignty, and no purchase
made by an unauthorized individual is of any validity, nor was any
purchase ever considered as legal from the first settlement of the
country, which was made without authority, until it was confirmed
by patent, or some other act of government.
Both powers endeavored to prevent the evils which usually re-
sult from the use of spirituous liquors by the Indians.
The Dutch governor in 1643, and the English governor in 1665,
prohibited the sale of spirituous liquors to them.
Id 1656 the town of Jamaica imposed a fine of thirty guilders on
any onie who should sell strong drink to an Indian.
The number and character of the Indians rendered it prudent
for the first settlers to guard against surprise, and to be prepared to
resist any attack by them. The several towns required every man
to furnish himself with arms and ammunition, and to assemble at an
appointed place in case of an alarm. In some of the English towns,
a. block-house, or small fort, was erected as a place of security in
time of danger.
The people of Gravesend, in the infancy of their settlen>ent, en-
closed their village with palisadoes.
The Dutch governor in 1645, and the English governor in 1665,
forbid the sale of arms and ammunition to the Indians.
In 1041 the town of South Hampton resolved, that if any one
should sell any warlike implements to the Indians, he should forfeit
his whole pr-rsonal efTects. In 1650 the town of East Hampton
resolved, that whosoever shoidd sell powder, lead, or shot, sword,
or fiint, to any Indian, he should be liable to the penalty of twenty
shillings, and if any one should sell a gun or pistol to one, he should
pay ten pounds sterling.
It may have been partly in consequence of the destruction of
thÂ«ir warriors, in their recent wars, and of their military spirit being
STATE OF NEW-YORK. 263
broken by their subjection to successive conquerors ; but it was
principally by cultivating the friendship of the chiefs, and particu-
larly of the grand sachem of the whole, by respecting their rights,
and treating them with uniform justice and kindness, by preventing
excitement by artificial means, and by rendering success hopeless
by withholding the means necessary to insure it, that the whites
were exempted from any hostile combinations of the Long Island
The following comprises the remarks of Mr. Wood on the Mo-
heakanneew and Huron languages, &c.:
It is supposed that there were only two original Indian languages
ill the United States, north of the Roanoke ; the Delaware and the
Iroquois. The languages of the different tribes of New England,
and most of the tribes from the Mississippi to Nova Scotia, are only
different dialects of the Delaware language.
The structure of the Indian languages is different from that of all
known languages, ancient or modern ; and there is a great analogy
in this respect, between those that are radically distinct.
The Indian language^' have no substantive verb, and have no dis-
tinction of genders. The nouns are not varied to distinguish be-
tween male and female, but between animate and inanimate things.
They admit of prefixes and suffixes, and sometimes blend several
words together, so as to make a whole sentence of a single long
These languages are made up of these combinations ; not only
pronouns, but adjectives, conjunctions, and adverbs, are combined
with the verb, and produce a great variety of forms of expression,
and render them peculiarly copious and expressive.
The following Indian words are taken from a manuscript of the
late John Gardiner, esq. deceased, who took them down from ihfe
lips of the Montauk chief, and is the only specimen of the language
that could be obtained.
Massakeat raund great good spirit
Machees cund evil spirit
Seaunskq queen nucquit one
Wonnux white man neeze two
HISTORY OF THE
a round clam
a long clam
Eeagh or eage
a little child
roast corn pound-
und sumana Inshun wewachura.-
â€”Great spirit give
At the time the above words were taken down, there were no
more than seven persons among them who could speak the language,
and it may now be considered as extinct.
From the following table exhibiting the same words in the Mas-
sachusetts, Narraganset, and Montauk languages, it is evident that
they are all kindred languages, and that they are, with very little
variation, the same dialect.
STATE OF NEW- YORK.
Keagh or eage
The foregoing extracts we have taken from the Hon. Silas
Wood's Sketch of the first settlement of Long Island. We have
supposed that they could not fail to interest most readers. Mr.
Wood has collected a mass of intelligence in relation to the Indians
who formerly resided on that island, which he has arranged in a
methodical manner. Nearly the whole may be said to be new, as
what had been published before was confined to some insulated
facts, without order or method.
Mr. Wood has been at great pains in examining public and pri-
vate collections of papers belonging to individuals, and has, per-
haps, collected every thing respecting the ancient inhabitants of
Long Island that is extant.
The following is an imperfect vocabulary of the Powhatan lan-
guage, constructed from fragments of that language found in the
travels of Captain John Smith, the founder of the state of Virgi-
nia. The reader, on comparing some of the words, will find that
they agree with some of the words in Mr. Wood's Sketch of Long
HISTORY OF THE
A priest, elder
A kin? : also t
Qni-youk-n-surk, or Qni-yough-
captain, &-c. Every town had
A captain or leader. The head
of a canton.
God. Okees is the plural.
A species of gods, who were sup-
posed to be inferior to the Okees.
The priests, after death, were
supposed to be transformed into
Quiyoughcosughes, who in the
other world held subordinate
An elder, a priest, &c.
The town, place, or habitation, of
the priests. The place where
sacrifices were offered.
Altars made of stones, upon which
tobacco, Â«fcc. were offered ; a
pile ; a heap.
House of the town ; a storehouse,
STATE OF NEW-YORK.
Canowe, or Canoe
Houses ; habitations.
Clothing ; skins or garments.
Shoes. The Powhatans, & others,
wore shoes made of deer skins
Beds ; places of rest ; a bed.
Fire ; heat.
A sword ; the plural is Monakoo-
A target or shield.
A tomahawk ; a small axe or axes.
To pick ; a pick.
Knives ; a knife.
Iron, brass, silver, &,c.
Woods ; forests.
Leaves, weeds, or grass.
A canoe ; a little boat.
Land ; the ground.
A stone or rock.
A cuckold ; the husbandof an adul-
Flesh ; meat.
The worst of the enemies.
The best of friends.
HISTORY OF THE
Rawre, or Rawra
Nokc, or Nock
Ustatahamcn, or Ustatahamcna
I myself; I.
Strangers ; also English ships.
Winter ; cold weather.
Spring ; putting out of the leaves ;
leaving of the trees.
The earing of corn.
The harvest and falling of the
leaves ; frost time.
A dish of victuals made of scorch-
ed corn boiled with beans.
A basket which was used as a
sieve : a sieve.
A kind of bread made of corn meal
baked in hot ashes ; bread is the
White beads ; beads.
A dish of food p-eparcd from the
grouts of corn (which would not
pass through the temmes,) by
Food prepared from burnt corn
made into lirolli.
STATE OF NEW-YORK.
To make ; also a chain.
A fruit resembling the lemon ; the
A plumb resembling a raedler ; a
A grape of the size of a cherry; the
A small fruit with a husk like a
chesnut growing on little trees :
the fruit itself is like an acorn.
A berry much like the English
gooseberry ; a gooseberry.
Drink made of water mixed with
walnuts pulverized ; it was milk
white ; beverage.
Berries, resembling capers, grow-
ing in wet valleys, &>c.
A plant resembling a beet; it is
edible when roasted.
A root growing in marshes, and of
the size of a potatoe ; it was
roasted and eaten.
A medicinal root.
A kind of grass which was fabri-
cated into thread.
Small roots which when dried and
powdered turn red ; these were
used for swellings, ointment,
A root of the size of the finger, and
as red as blood.
Little ; small.
What call you it, &c.
HISTORY ()V THE
*Aroughcuii, or Raiowcuii
Come, bring, &.c.
To lie ; to tell a falsehood.
Get you gone; begone.
Stay ; staid ; he staid.
In how long a time. In how ma-
A great way hence.
To dwell ; he lives, &:.c.
Now ; at this time.
Hither ; here.
To bid ; he bids.
To run ; run.
Not ; and.
To do ; do you.
An animal like a wild cat ; the
The flying scpiirrel.
Our people have borrowed the words moccasin, tomahawk, ca-
noe, racoon, opossum, and mus(jiiasli, from the Powhatan or Mo-
iieakanneew langua,!j;e. â€” See the words jnockasin, lomahack, ca-
nowc, aroughcun, or arougbcund, opassom, and mussasscus, or
The word Pone, in common use among the Virginians, is from
the Powhatan word Ponap. The Powhatans called bread made
of corn meal baked in hot ashes Ponap.
STATE OF NEW-YORK.
Powow, a dance ; also a priest or magician ; also Culheag, a log-
Sachem in the same language is Saunchem.
Samp, pounded corn, is from Seaump, a Montauk word.
Weeckwaum, is the word from which we have derived Wigwam,
an Iridian house.
Wampum, money. Wampum was composed of small beads made
of shells, strung on belts or in chains. They were perforated.
They were white, purple, blue, black, &.c. A belt of wampum
was often bestowed as a token of friendship. In treaties it was con-
sidered a confirmation. Belts were always exchanged on such oc-
On comparing the Powhatan names of places with the Moheak-
anneew names, the reader will find most of the terminations alike.
The uck, the ack, the eck, the ock, and the ick, correspond. Names
of places having such terminations, are now common in Virginia,
Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New-York, and
New England. Words ending in up, cus, co, on, en, ag, um, unt
et, ank, ink, unk, ut, ant, an, nd, and agh, are similar. Many of
these are also common. The reader, by comparing the names of
some places, will find them the same, or differing slightly. He will
also find words alike except the last syllable. The structure of
the words denoting the names of places is analogous, and such as
would not occur were they not derived from the same language.
A small collection of Agoneasean words.
ilegh . . Eleven.
aunlegh . Twelve
HISTORY OF THE
Egh . . .
I, mo, &.C.