PEQUOT

 

Native North Americans whose language belongs to the Algonquian branch of the Algonquian-Wakashan linguistic stock.

The Pequot were of the Eastern Woodlands cultural area.

Originally they were united with the Mohegan, but when Uncas revolted, the Pequot moved southward to invade and drive off the Niantic.

The warlike Pequot, under their chief, Sassacus, had by 1630 extended their territory W. to the Connecticut River.

Numerous quarrels between settlers in the Connecticut valley and the Pequot led to the Pequot War (1637).

The precipitating cause was the murder of John Oldham, an English trader, by the Pequot.

The English under John Mason and John Underhill attacked the Pequot stronghold on the Pequot River and killed some 500 Native Americans.

The remaining Pequot fled in small groups.

One party went to Long Island, and a second escaped into the interior.

A third, led by Sassacus, was intercepted near Fairfield, Conn.; here almost the entire party was killed or captured.

The captives were forced into slavery mainly in New England and the West Indies.

A few Pequot, including Sassacus, who managed to escape were put to death by the Mohawk.

A remnant of the Pequot were scattered among the S. New England tribes; the colonial government later settled them in Connecticut.

See J. W. De Forest, History of the Indians of Connecticut (1851, repr. 1988).