Mahican. The name means "wolf." This tribe is not
to be confused with the Mohegan of Connecticut (q. v.), though the names
are mere varieties of the same word. Also called:
Akochakanen, meaning "Those who speak a strange tongue." (Iroquois name.)
Canoe Indians, so called by Whites.
Hikanagi or Nhikana, Shawnee name.
Loups, so called by the French.
Orunges, given by Chauvignerie (1736), in Schoolcraft (1851-57, vol. 3, p. 554).
River Indians, Dutch name.
Uragees, given by Colden, 1747.
Connections. The Mahican belonged to the Algonquian linguistic family, and spoke an r-dialect, their closest connections being with the southern New England Indians to the east.
Location. On both banks of the upper Hudson from Catskill Creek to Lake Champlain and eastward to include the valley of the Housatonic. (See also Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Wisconsin.)
Mahican proper, in the northern part of the territory.
Mechkentowoon, on the west bank of Hudson River above Catskill Creek. Wawyachtonoc, in Dutchess and Columbia Counties and eastward to the
Housatonic River in Connecticut.
Westenhuck (or Housatonic?), near Great Barrington, Mass.
Wiekagjoc, on the eastern bank of the Hudson River near Hudson.
Aepjin, at or near Schodac.
Kaunaumeek, in New York about halfway between Albany and Stockbridge, Mass.
Kenunckpacook, on the east side of Housatonic River a little above Scaticook. Maringoman's Castle, on Murderer's Creek, at Bloominggrove, Ulster County. Monemius, on Haver Island, in Hudson River near Cohoes Falls, Albany County. Nepaug, on Nepaug River, town of New Hartford, Litchfield County, Conn. Peantam, at Bantam Lake, Litchfield County, Conn.
Potic, west of Athens, Greene County.
Scaticook, 3 villages in Dutchess and Rensselaer Counties, and in Litchfield
County, Conn., the last on Housatonic River near the junction with Ten Mile River.
Wequadnack, near Sharon, Litchfield County, Conn.
Wiatiac, near Salisbury, Litchfield County, Conn.
Wiltmeet, on Esopus Creek, probably near Kingston.
Winooskeek, on Lake Champlain, probably at the mouth of Winooski River, Vt.
Wyantenuc, in Litchfield County, Conn.
History. The traditional point of origin of the Mahican was in the West. They were found in occupancy of the territory outlined above by the Dutch, and were then at war with the Mohawk who, in 1664, compelled them to move their capital from Schodac near Albany to the present Stockbridge. They gradually sold their: territory and in 1721 a band was on Kankakee River, Ind., while in 1730, a large body settled close to the Delaware and Munsee near Wyoming, Pa., afterward becoming merged with those tribes. In 1736 those in the Housatonic Valley were gathered into a mission at Stockbridge and were ever afterward known as Stockbridge Indians. In 1756 a large body of Mahican and Wappinger, along with Nanticoke and other people, settled in Broome and Tioga Counties under Iroquois protection. In 1788 another body of Indians drawn from New York, Connecticut, and Rhode Island, including Mahican, settled near the Stockbridges at Marshall, N. Y. The Stockbridge and Brotherton Indians later removed to Wisconsin, where they were probably joined by part at least of the band last mentioned. A few Mahican remained about their old home on Hudson River for some years after the Revolution but disappeared unnoticed.
Population. Mooney (1928) estimates that there were about 3,000 Mahican in 1600; the Stockbridges among the Iroquois numbered 300 in 1796, and 606 in 1923, including some Munsee. The census of 1910 gave 533 Stockbridges and 172 Brotherton. The census of 1930 indicated about 813.
Connection in which they have become noted. The Mahican tribe has probably attained more fame from its appearance in the title of Cooper's novel. "The Last of the Mohegans," than from any circumstance directly connected with its history. There is a village called Mohegan in the northern part of Westchester County, N. Y., and another, known as Mohican in Ashland County, Ohio, while an affluent of the Muskingum also bears the same name.
Mohegan. (See Connecticut.)
Montauk. Meaning "uncertain."
Connections. The Montauk belonged to the Algonquian linguistic family and spoke an r-dialect like that of the Wappinger.
Location. In the eastern and central parts of Long Island.
Corchaug, in Riverhead and Southold Townships.
Manhasset, on Shelter Island.
Massapequa, in the southern part of Oyster Bay and Huntington Townships.
Matinecock, in the townships of Flushing, North Hempstead, the northern part of Oyster Bay and Huntington, and the western part of Smithtown.
Merric, in the eastern part of Hempstead Township. Montauk proper, in Southampton Township.
Nesaquake, in the eastern part of Smithtown and the territory east of it. Patchogue, on the southern coast from Patchogue to Westhampton. Rockaway, in Newtown, Jamaica, and Hempstead Townships.
Secatogue, in Islip Township.
Setauket, on the north shore from Stony Brook to Wading River.
Shinnecock, on the coast from Shinnecock Bay to Montauk Point.
Aquebogue, on a creek entering the north side of Great
Ashamomuck, on the site of a White town of the same name in Suffolk County. Cutchogue, at Cutchogue in Suffolk County.
Massapequa, probably at Fort Neck.
Mattituck, on the site of the present Mattituck, Suffolk County.
Merric, on the site of Merricks, Queens County. Montauk, above Fort Pond, Suffolk County.
Nesaquake, at the present Nissequague, about Smithtown, Suffolk County. Patchogue, near the present Patchogue, Suffolk County.
Rechquaakie, near the present Rockaway.
There were also villages at Flushing, Glen Cove, Cold Spring, Huntington, Cow Harbor, Fireplace, Mastic, Moriches, Westhampton, and on Hog Island in
History. The Montauk were in some sense made tributary to the Pequot, until the latter were destroyed, when they were subjected to a series of attacks by the Narraganset and took refuge, about 1759, with the Whites at Easthampton. They had, meanwhile, lost the greater part of their numbers by pestilence and, about 1788, most of those that were left went to live with the Brotherton Indians in New York. A very few remained on the island, whose mixed-blood descendants are still officially recognized as a tribe by the State of New York, principally under the name Shinnecock.
Population. Including Canarsee, the Montauk are estimated by Mooney (1928) at 6,000 in 1600. In 1658-59 an estimate gives about 500; in 1788, 162 were enumerated; in 1829, 30 were left on Long Island; in 1910, 167 "Shinnecock," 29 "Montauk," and 1 "Possepatuck." In 1923, 250 were returned, including 30 Montauk, 200 Shinnecock, and 20 Poospatock (Patchoag).
Connection in which they have become noted. The name of the Montauk is perpetuated in that of the easternmost point of land on Long Island, a post village in the same county, and one in Dent County, Mo. They were among those tribes most active in the manufacture of siwan or wampum.
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