By the time of European contact. approximately 75,000 to 100,000 natives lived predominately in Southern New England. They governed themselves under a strong monarchy through the maternal line. The tribes held agriculture, fishing and hunting
resources and land in common. They traded extensively across the continents, establishing a sophisticated barter economy. For the most part, the tribes lived in peace with one another through treaty relationships. There was conflict with the Mohawk of the Iroquois confederacy and some of the larger New England tribes for domination in the region. (Source: Teacher Resource Guide, The Native Americans of Connecticut, publ. Connecticut State Department of Education)
When John Davenport and his followers arrived in New Haven the fourteenth of April 1638 the area was settled by the Quinnipiac tribe. Its' Sachem was Mamouquin. According to Rolin Osterweis in
Three Centuries of New Haven,
Local tribes had been weakened almost to extinction by a series of scourges: Pequot raiders from the east, Mohawk marauders from the west, and finally the deadly plague. The tribe headed by Momauguin numbered only 47 braves: while Montowese , sachem of the little group to the northeast of the harbor, commanded but ten warriors. From these two chiefs Davenport and Eaton purchased tracts of land covering the original towns of New haven, East haven,Branford, North Branford, North Haven, Wallingford, Cheshire, and parts of Orange, Woodbridge,Bethany Prospect, and Meriden" (Osterweiss, p.10).
Students will read and interpret the original contract that John Davenport
made with the Quinnipiacs thorough their Sachem Mamouquin.
Students will discuss if this was fair.
I will provide the original contract which is available form the New Haven Colony Historical Society. It is quite long. I will assign each section to a pair of students. Students will practice and interpret their section and prepare to read to class. When students have recorded their responses to this contract and we have discussed I will read from Roland Osterweiss an historians response to the contract.(Osterweiss, p.10) We will compare our responses to the historians.
Other Lessons for this unit will include the Native American lifestyle.
Students will explore the lifestyle of the Native Americans.
Students will determine how and where they lived.
Students will identify the various tribes of the region and describe the relationships
they had with each other.
Students will describe how the Native Americans lived, how they governed, what they ate.
Students will describe the relationship the Indians had with the colonists 1630.
There are many resources for lessons on the Native Americans. I would contact the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and arrange a field trip. I will use the Teacher Resource Guide, The Native Americans of Connecticut holding on and Moving Forward published by the Connecticut State Department of Education-2000.