« VorigeDoorgaan »
“ After this event the nation broke up: some bear. In addition to these means of liveli. joined the Potatucks; some went to the country hood Chuse and his followers made an annuof the Six Nations; some perhaps migrated to Scatacook; and of those on the eastern bank al excursion to the sea-side. Their mode of the river very few remained about their of living was somewhat different from that ancient seats. In 1774 the Milford part of of the crowds that now annually go down the tribe was reduced to four persons, who lived the same valley for the same purpose. on a small reservation at Turkey Hill, now in The Indians used to say they were “ going the township of Derby.
“The Naugatuck Indians, or the band to down to salt,” and the same phraseology which I shall give that name, resided at the has been, to some extent, continued to the falls of the Naugatuck, about five miles above present day. Chuse and his companions its confluence with the Housatonic.”
were in the habit of going down the river Jo or Joseph Mauwehu was the son in a sail-boat, and when they arrived near of a Pequot Indian, who was the king or the mouth of the stream, they made a tent sachem of the Scatacook tribe of Indians in of the sail of their boat, and enjoyed the Kent. His father placed him in the family sea air and sea food for two or three weeks. of one of the settlers of Derby, where he They were not probably encumbered with lived until he was twenty-one. When Jo as many packages, extra band-boxes, etc., arrived at his majority his father presented as the “ Flora M'Flimseys” of the present him with a tract of land in the northern day, who make similar excursions, not part of the town of Derby, now called Sey- with the view of encamping on Milford mour. Here he collected a few followers shore, but to spend a few weeks at that about him, over whom he exercised the charming resort, the Ansantawae House on rights of a sachem. Jo was here known Charles Island, nearly opposite the original by the name of Chuse, tradition stating sea-shore resort of the natives of the that he received this nick-name from his Naugatuck Valley. It is highly probable peculiar pronunciation of the word choose. that the early excursionists down the val
Chuse built his wigwam near the falls of ley, unlike those of the present day, were the river in the present town of Seymour. quite satisfied with “nothing to wear." The white population at that time was That must have been an independent very small, but soon after increased. This and agreeable sea-side life of Chuse and settlement was long known by the name his party ; and besides, the Indians exhibof Chusetown. This chief seems to have ited a degree of tact which made their sumbeen a kindly-disposed Indian, and is re- mer excursions profitable. With all our ported to have lived on the most amicable boasted advancement of the present day, terms with the whites in his neighborhood, few are able to make a summer trip to any supporting himself mostly by the products known watering-place a source of revenue. of hunting and fishing. Chuse, with all The Indians found in the vicinity of Milford his amiable qualities, had one failing not an abundance of oysters and clams; of the entirely unknown at the present day among latter they collected large quantities, which the civilized race who have monopolized they boiled, and dried in the sun. These the hunting grounds of the sachem; that were afterward strung and carried with was a decided preference for strong drink them on their return home, affording a over water. He seems to have been of considerable stock of provisions for the that class who
water is very well remainder of the year. These clams were in its way; but for a steady drink give me also a considerable article of traffic with rum." “He used to come, when he was the natives of the interior, who were glad thirsty, to a fine spring, bursting from a to exchange their dried venison for the solid rock at the foot of a hill; and there products of the sea-shore. This appears he would sit down on the bank by the side to have been the earliest barter trade of that spring, and drink the sweet water known in this valley, and certainly exhibas it gushed from the rock, and praise it, its business tact as inherent to the natives, and say that if there was only another as well as to their successors. Hence, in spring, just such a spring, of rum, flowing more ways than one, the earlier sea-side by the side of it, he would ask for nothing excursions of the people of the Naugatuck more, but should be perfectly happy." Valley paid a better per centage than those
Chuse was a bold hunter, and a large, of the present day. athletic man. He used to kill, in this vicin Barber, in his “ Historical Collections ity, deer, wild turkeys, and occasionally a 'of Connecticut,” traces the origin of the
name of Naugatuck to Chusetown.
Chuse remained at this place fortysays the name was originally Nau-ko- eight years, and then removed to Scatatunk, which signifies in the Indian language, cook in Kent, whither most of the Derby One Large Tree, and was so named from Indians went. He died at Scatacook at a large tree which formerly stood near the age of about eighty. He had ten Rock Rimmon, about three fourths of a children, one of whom, his youngest mile north of the falls of the Naugatuck, daughter, Eunice Mauwehu, was living at in the present town of Seymour.
the latter place about ten years since. There was formerly a large Indian An interesting story is related of an burial ground at Seymour; the graves, in Indian having been accidentally killed by accordance with the Indian custom, were a white man about the time of the first setcovered with small heaps of stones. This tlement of Seymour. Noah Durand, the land was purchased in the early part of white man, and John Sunk, the Indian, the present century, and every vestige of were hunting deer upon opposite sides of the Indians has been unfortunately de- the river. It was in the dusk of a sumstroyed:
mer's evening, at the hour when the deer Barber relates an ingenious contrivance were in the habit of going down into the of the people here for traveling before river to cool themselves. The bushes there were any roads. The Indians as were thick
upon the borders of the stream, well as the whites attended “meeting" at and Durand, hearing a rustling among Derby. “ Those of the whites who died them on the opposite side of the river, here were conveyed on horse litters to be aimed his gun in that direction and fired. buried at Derby. These litters were made The Indian shrieked, as he received the by having two long poles attached to two charge, “You have killed me.” Durand horses, one of which was placed before instantly rushed across the river to his the other; the ends of the poles were assistance, and brought water to the dying fastened, one on each side of the forward Indian in his shoe. He drank it and exhorse, and the other ends were fastened pired. This occurred about one mile beto the horse behind. A space was left low the bridge at Seymour. “A kind of between the horses, and the poles at this arbitration was afterward held upon this place were fastened together by cross case by the white people and the Indians. pieces, and on these were placed what. One of the Indian witnesses remarked ever was to be carried.”
that he never knew of deer wearing red
stockings before.' The Indians, how- was the widow of John Hatchet. She ever, appeared satisfied that their coun- died about thirty-five or forty years since, tryman was killed by mistake, and ever and was about one hundred years old. She afterward made Mr. Durand's house their was known to have said, many years bestopping place.”
fore her death, that she remembered when A lady friend in Derby has at my re the main street of Derby was only a foot quest kindly furnished me with some rec- path on the river bank. She was nearly ollections of the last of the Indian race in six feet in height, and her invariable dress this vicinity, from which I extract the fol- was a blanket worn after the Indian manlowing with the song of Magawiska : ner, and a black hat, the gift of a neigh
Of the once numerous remnants of the boring farmer. She alone, of all that native Indian tribes, who in the olden time remained of her kindred, retained the upfrequented the Valley of the Naugatuck, right form and stately tread of her race. but few remain at the present day. As Though degraded and debased by intemelsewhere in the frontier and middle perance, she still retained almost to the states, their glory has departed. A few close of her centennial life many of the of mixed descent may be found, but in the peculiar Indian traits, and these were stunted and bloated figure, reeling with in- often strikingly apparent when questioned temperance, not a vestige of the by-gone of early events in the history of her family " Indian warrior race,
and tribe. It had been said by an aged Whose light forni rose in lofty grace."
woman, who, though younger than herself,
remembered her in her youth, that she was About the close of the last century, by the daughter of a chief at Chusetown the arrangement made by the state gov- (Humphreysville,) and that she was seen ernment, certain tracts of land in each when young dressed in an Indian blanket, towi were appropriated to the Indians. trimmed with silver fringe, and with a The reservation in Derby was located in head dress of feathers and wampum. the southern part, at a place called Tur- This was repeated to her, and she was key Hill, near the bank of the Naugatuck asked if it was so; with her customary River, and at this place were collected ugh,” she planted her oaken stick upon nearly all that remained in the town. The the ground, and resting her hands upon only one among them worthy of notice it, like one of G. P. R. James's heroes of
later days, “ she fell into a fit of thought." and was made prisoner at the capture of She raised her head after a while, and Fort Washington, on York island, in 1776. passing her brawn and bony fingers over In defense of this fortress, he is reputed her eyes, as if to clear away the mists of to have behaved with great gallantry. He the past, she said, “I've forgot; so long remained in captivity two years. At
length he was exchanged, and his unbroken At another time she was asked, “What spirit was once more given to the service did the Indians call these rivers, the Hou- of his country. satonic and the Naugatuck?" she replied, Shortly after he was appointed to the " You do not speak it right; you must command of some boats on Long Island say Naugatuck, Ousutenuck." Her usual Sound, formerly used in the whale fishery, reply at receiving a gift was, “Arumshe- but now fitted out to annoy the enemy, as moke,” (Thank you kindly.) “Now you opportunity might offer. In this limited must say Ta-putney,” (You are welcome.) but dangerous sphere of action, he gave
The song of Molly or Magawiska, (an earnest of a mind and spirit, which, under Indian name given her, her own being un other circumstances, would probably have known,) was written by Doctor J. Hard- developed more important results. year some years before her death; he On one occasion a British armed schoonwas a physician of talent and respectabil- er was lying in the Sound. She was enity, and a native of Derby.
gaged in transporting provisions from the
country to New York, where the British THE SONG OF MAGAWISKA, THE LAST OF
army was then stationed. Lieutenant Hull
proposed to some of his companions, of DESERTED and drear is the place
the town of Derby, to go out and capture Where the huts of my fathers arose ;
the schooner. Alone, and the last of my race, I watch where their ashes repose.
On the evening appointed, twenty men,
placing themselves under the command of The calumet now is no more ;
Lieutenant Hull, embarked in a large boat, The hatchet no longer is red; The wampum our warriors wore
similar to those used in carrying wood to Now molders along with the dead. the city of New York. The men lay conOnce we listen'd to hear the war-song,
cealed in the bottom of the boat; and the As we floated on Naugatuck's wave;
dusk of the evening favoring the decepThen the arm of the hunter was strong, tion, it had the appearance of being loaded
And the soul of the warrior was brave. with wood. As they approached, the senNow lonely and drear is the place
tinel on deck hailed them. Where the huts of my fathers arose ; Lieutenant Hull, who was steering, anAlone, and the last of my race,
swered the call, but continuing his course, I watch where their ashes repose.
came quite near the vessel, without exDerby seems to have been a patriotic citing suspicion, when, by a sudden moveplace in the war of the Revolution. ment, he drew close alongside of her. Among the natives of this town, whose His men, well armed, sprung on the deck. names have been prominent in the annals | The commander of the schooner was sleepof the republic, are those of General ing below, and aroused by the firing of Humphreys, the friend and aid de camp the sentinel, he made an attempt to gain of Washington ; General William Hull, a the deck, but was instantly shot dead. brave and useful officer of the war of the The Americans immediately fastened Revolution, who tarnished his hitherto down the hatches, took possession of the unsullied reputation by the surrender of vessel, and carried her in triumph up to Detroit to the British in the last war. Derby.* Commodore Isaac Hull, the gallant hero Another story is related of Lieutenant of the Constitution,” was also a native of Hull's success in circumventing a small Derby.
party of the enemy whom he met at a place Some interesting stories are related of called “the Cove," about three miles west Joseph Hull, the father of Commodore of New Haven. He succeeded in making Hull. In early life he engaged in the West India trade; at the commencement of the war of the Revolution, he received debted to the biography of General William
For the foregoing account the writer is inthe appointment of lieutenant of artillery, Hull, by James Freeman Clarke.
them believe that he had a considerable within his power, and he might have inarmed force stationed at a little distance, stantly decided the victory by raking her, and actually forced them to return to New but that he let the opportunity pass in orHaven. The party were extremely ex der to give her another chance to return asperated when they learned that his pre- his fire. Commodore Hull, on seeing this tended American force was all a ruse, and published, wrote at once to Professor Silthat they had been driven back by a single liman, and declined in full to receive any
credit for such supposed generosity. He Lieutenant Hull, although exceedingly said, “ However beautiful might appear circumscribed in his sphere of action, cer such magnanimity, I am obliged to distainly exhibited great bravery and ability. claim it altogether. My duty was to take But it was left to his distinguished son, the ship, and I did it as soon as possible." Commodore Isaac Hull, to exhibit his gal In the letter to which I refer, he goes lantry and ability in a more extended field. on to give an account of the engagement; He it was whose skill and bravery first he states that the “Guerriere" commenced gave the American people a confidence in her fire at a considerable distance, but their prowess on the sea. Early in life with little effect. Not a gun was dishe adopted the profession of a seaman, charged on board the “ Constitution” for and soon after was placed in command of a considerable time. Lieutenant Morris a vessel. He occupied this position at the came to him repeatedly to say, that he first establishment of the navy, and at that found it almost impossible to restrain his time received the appointment of lieutenant. men; the balls of the enemy were dropping
The first of his gallant exploits which fast about them. At last, when within attracted the attention of the public, was pistol-shot, he gave the command so anxthe admirable seamanship which he dis- iously expected by his men: “Now," said played in his escape from a British squad- he, “give it to her! Give it to her!” ron, consisting of one ship of the line, four The action lasted thirty minutes ; and at frigates, a brig, and a schooner, one frigate the time the “Guerriere" surrendered, she being within gun-shot. This occurred on had not a spar standing above her decks, the 17th July, 1812. He left the Chesa and her hull below and above water was peake Bay on the 12th of the same month. completely shattered. The chase continued for sixty hours, dur Professor Silliman further added, that ing which time the gallant crew remained Professor Morse was at that time a student steadily at their posts. The enemy is of art in London ; a fellow-student called said to have expressed great admiration one morning at his room in Somerset of the skill with which Captain Hull ma House, and presented him with a morning neuvered his vessel and effected his es paper, containing the official announcecape. .
ment of the surrender of Detroit by GenThe brilliant achievement of Commo- eral Hull, saying, “I have the honor to dore Hull on the 19th of the ensuing announce to you the surrender of your month, in command of the Constitution, in distinguished fellow-countryman, General her engagement with the “ Guerriere,” is William Hull, at Detroit.” The young too well known to require recapitulation American felt that this was most uncour. here. In conversation with the venerable teous on the part of his English fellow.. Professor Silliman, a few days since, he student; but he was enabled to balance mentioned to me some interesting facts, the account the next day, by calling upon which I quote as accurately as possible him, and announcing the brilliant achievefrom his own words. In Mr. Silliman's ment of Commodore Hull in taking the work, published some years since, entitled | Guerriere. “ A Tour from Hartford to Quebec," he Professor Silliman further remarked, relates a conversation which he held with that the universal joy and exultation a British officer in Canada, who expressed throughout the country when the news great admiration for Commodore Hull, and of Hull's victory over the “Guerriere" especially for the magnanimity which he became known, was unparalleled. exhibited in the celebrated engagement The following account of a singular between the “Constitution" and Guer- phenomenon which occurred in this town, riere."
officer stated at at one is from a letter published in the Connecmoment the “Guerriere” was completely i ticut Gazette, under date of Derby, Feb