Wappani

Wappani

The Wappani, or Wappinger, (from the Algonquian for "easterners") were a group of Native Americans whose territory in the 17th century spread along the eastern side of the Hudson River. Based in Dutchess County, they ranged south to Manhattan and east into parts of Connecticut.cite book|title=Encyclopedia Americana|year=1920|pages=256] They were most closely related to the Lenape and Mahicans, all speaking Algonquian languages. Like the Lenape, the Wappani were not organized into cohesive tribes for most of their history; instead, they formed approximately 18 loosely-associated bands.cite book|title=Indian Affairs in Colonial New York|author=Trelease, Allen|year=1997|isbn=080329431X]

European relations

First contact with Europeans came in 1609, during Henry Hudson's expedition. [Cite book|title=The Indian Tribes of North America|author=Swanton, John R.|year=2003|pages=47]

During Kieft's War in 1643, the various Wappinger groups united against the Dutch, attacking settlements throughout New Netherland. The Dutch, however, were allied with the Mohawk and the Wappinger were thoroughly defeated by 1645. [cite book|title=Profiles in Folly|author=Axelrod, Alan|pages=229-236|publisher=Sterling Publishing Company|year=2008|isbn=1402747683] More than 1500 Wappinger were killed in the two years of the war. This took a devastating toll on the Wappinger, whose population in 1600 was estimated at 3,000.

After the war, the confederation broke apart and many of the remaining Wappingers left their native lands for the protection of neighboring tribes. In 1765, the remaining Wappinger in Dutchess County sued the Philipse family for control of the land, but lost their case. Their loss meant the Philipses could raise the rents on white tenant farmers, an action which in turn sparked riots across the region. [cite book|title=Colonial New York: A History|author=Kammen, Michael|pages=302|publisher=Oxford University Press|year=1996|isbn=0195107799] [cite book|title=The Human Tradition in the American Revolution|author=Steele, Ian K.|year=2000|pages=85-91|isbn=0842027483|publisher=Rowman & Littlefield]

In 1766 Daniel Nimham, a Wappinger sachem from Stockbridge, was part of a delegation that traveled to London to petition the crown for land rights. [cite book|title=Transatlantic Encounters: American Indians in Britain, 1500-1776|author=Vaughan, Alden|year=2006|pages=177|publisher=Cambridge University Press|isbn=0521865948]

Many Wappani served as part of the Stockbridge Militia during the American Revolution. Following the war, most of the surviving Wappani moved west to join the Stockbridge-Munsee tribe.

Named bands

The named bands, or sachemships of the Wappani included:cite web
url = http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/newyork/newyork4.htm
title = New York Indian Tribes
accessdate = 2008-09-19
]
*Wappinger proper, a sachemship whose members lived on the east side of Hudson River, in present day Dutchess County, New York
*Hammonasset, an eastern sachemship at the mouth of the Connecticut River, in present day Middlesex County, Connecticut
*Kitchawank, northern Westchester County, New York
*Mattabesec, present day New Haven County, Connecticut
*Massaco, along the Farmington River in Connecticut
*Menunkatuck, along the coast in present day New Haven County, Connecticut
*Nochpeem, in southern portions of present day Dutchess County, New York
*Paugusset, along the Housatonic River, present day eastern Fairfield County and western New Haven County, Connecticut
*Podunk, east of the Connecticut River in eastern Hartford County, Connecticut
*Poquonock, western present day Hartford County, Connecticut
*Quinnipiac, in central New Haven County, Connecticut
*Recgawawanc
*Sicaog, in present day Hartford County, Connecticut
*Sintsink, east of the Hudson River in present day Westchester County, New York
*Siwanoy, coastal Westchester County into southwestern Fairfield County, New York
*Tankiteke, central coastal Fairfield County, Connecticut north into Putnam County and Duchess County, New York
*Tunxis, southwestern Hartford County, Connecticut
*Wecquaesgeek, southwestern Westchester County, New York

Legacy

The Wappinger are the namesake of several areas in New York, including:
*The town of Wappinger
*The village of Wappingers Falls
*Wappinger Creek

References


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