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Articles / Quinnipiac Factual Milestones

Factual Milestones
Iron Thunderhorse, March 2007

I. Pre-Historical Highlights (25,000 BP to 12,000 BP)

Ice Age Primer.

The Ice Age in New England began about 2 million years BP. The most recent advance (known as the Wisconsin Glacier) began about 24,000 years BP and it receded 13,000 years BP, a mere thousand years before our ancestors began to settle in the Greater New Haven region known as Quinnipiac.

The receding glaciers melted and the sediment from mineral being swept by the glaciers created moraines. 12,000 years BP there was a giant lake (known as the Connecticut Lake) a hundred miles long with a waterfall 300 times greater than Niagara Falls. This was created by glacial dams catching monstrous amounts of melting glacial runoff. Eventually the ocean level rose above the surface and swallowed up Lake Connecticut replacing it with sea water.

During MESAZOIC times major lava upheavals occurred and covered the entire Connecticut Valley. East Rock, West Rock, and Sleeping Giant were all created as a result of basalt flows where magma became trapped below the surface and pushed its way through long seams in the crust and hardened into what is known as traprock, with high levels of iron ore. This is why when it rains East Rock, West Rock, and Sleeping Giant turn blood red.

Fossils from the dinosaur periods include many varieties. The Stegomus, a fossil of a Triassic period reptile was found near the banks of the QUINNIPIAC RIVER. It is interesting to note that this area was known as “The Dragon” by the colonists who undoubtedly heard the Quinnipiac tales of when HOBBOMOCK, the Quinnipiac Stone Giant battled with Kiti-skook (Great-Horned-Serpent). The tale says that as the monster snake fled, its winding path allowed the ocean waters to follow and Hobbomock stomped his foot hoping to divert the snake’s retreat and this became a major bend in the winding Quinnipiac River.

Immediately following the glacial retreats and the Ice Age, animals and plants began to return to this region (circa 12,000 to 10,000 years BP). Complete skeletal remains of mastodons have been found just over the CT/NY border at Hyde Park. Our ancestors have handed down tales of giant bears, giant beavers, and giant elephants. Mishamicko, Great Beaver lived at Beaver Pond, the only fresh water Pond in Greater New Haven, and Beaver Hills is its ancestral domain.

Artifacts at College Woods below East Rock date back to this period (12,000 BP to 10,000 BP). Artifacts at the Burwell-Karako site at East Haven at our ancestral burial grounds date back to 8,000 years BP. Six camps were studied in 2002 at Madison, CT and four of these pre-historical camps and villages date back to 7,000 years BP near Hammonasset Beach. Dozens of other sites throughout Connecticut date back demonstrating a 10,000 to 12,000 year history in our ancestral homeland.

For more information please consult We The People Called Quinnipiac, QTC PRESS, Chapter 1 “Roots of the Algonquian Family Tree”, and see also http://www.wesleyan.edu/ctgeology/Glacial/GlacialGeology.html.

Arumshemocke, Thank you very kindly for your interest in our heritage.

II. Historic period Highlights (1000 AD to 2000 AD)

900 -- 1100 Algonquian migrations spread from Canada into the lower Atlantic region.
1200 -- 1500 PEA-A R-dialect dominant in the Dawnland.
1524 Giovanni da Verrazzano explores Atlantic Coast.
1614 Adrian Block explores Long Island Sound and dubs our region ‘Rodenbur’.
1624 Dutch West India Company sets up its corporation in New Netherlands with office on Governor’s Island off the coast of Manhattan.
1630s to 1690s Many Treaty Deeds negotiated throughout western CT.
1638 -- 1639 Quinnipiac bands (sub-tribes) at New Haven, East Haven, North Haven , Branford/Guilford enter into first three Treaties.
1639 1200 acre reserve negotiated at Mioonkhtuck (East Haven) often called first reservation in USA.
1639 Nepaupuck arrested for murder. Confesses to being a War Captain admits guilt and chooses beheading over death by fire (because Fire was a mandoo)
1646 Pawquosh, a Quinnipiac Powwau whipped for blasphemy. He said Jesus was not the only one to ascend to heaven whereas he had witnessed shamans doing this too.
1650 New Haven Court rules against seaman who struck a Quinnipiac Indian with a club and broke his arm. Court ordered man to pay doctor’s fee to mend arm, fined him.
1650s Dutch West India Company, Director Joannes de Laet records trade transactions with the ‘Quiripey’.
1657 Colony demands Quinnipiac kill all its prized dogs because they were killing English swine that roamed free.
1664 Colonist named Thorpe admits stealing venison from a Quinnipiac named OURANCE. Court ordered restitution of 2 bushels of corn. Thorpe also paid 20 shillings to Court and was placed in the stocks.
1675 100 Quinnipiac and Mohegan Warriors join 350 English troops and defeat Narragansett/Pequotoog at The Direful Swamp Fight.
1699 Schaghticoke Indians form their own settlement in NW CT after migrating from Derby/Turkey hill.
1700 -- 1750 Groups of Quinnipiac are relocated to Stockbridge, MA with Tunxis allies, and Brotherton at Oneida, NY.
1729 Gideon Mahwee, Cockenoe and Sqantz sign Deed at New Fairfield land.
1745 James Mahweeyeuh Sr. Sachem at Mioonkhtuck at East Haven passes away at Cheshire, CT.
1758 James Jr. aka Mennauqush (son of James Mahweeyeuh) dies at Naugatuck (Turkey Hill, Derby).
1770 Charles, last Mioonkhtuck Sachem found frozen to death one mile north of East Haven meeting house.
1773 Last parcel of Quinnipiac 1200 acre reserve sold off at public auction. 50 acres in Waterbury promised as part of transactions but English do not honor agreement.
1774 -- 1776 Quinnipiac and Tunxis refugees form part of the Revolutionary Sons of Liberty troops with Schaghticoke cousins and serve as soldiers, and guides.
1787 December 6th, Ezra Stiles of Yale College records Sarah Mahweek (Mahwee) and compiled word list of PEA-A dialect as it was pidginized. Sarah informed Stiles that she was born at East Haven (Mioonkhtuck Band) and Blaire S. Rudes, Ph. D. confirmed it represented the Quinnipiac language known as Quiripi.
1791 Thomas Jefferson records word list of the UNQUACHOG at Long Island as part of Quiripi language.
1800 -- 1850 Yale professors, students and clergy dig up the graves at Quinnipiac ancestral burial grounds. Prominent families obtain valuable goods from those graves including Charles Hervey Townshend.
1840s -- 1850s Descendants of Quinnipiac resurface along the shores of Greater New Haven. West Pond Bill of Mortality at Guilford, CT records numerous Indian names.
1859 William Riechel records PEA-A place-names from Eunice Mahwee, Sarah’s granddaughter at the Schaghticoke reservation in Kent, CT.
1881 James Hammond Trumbull publishes book on Connecticut Indian place-names.
1897 Connecticut census shows over two hundred Indians still registered in Connecticut with 25 being registered at New Haven long after declared extinct.
1900s Frank G. Speck traces the migrations of Indian family names from CT origins to refugiums and back to CT where they had intermarried to survive.
1903 Frank G. Speck records PEA-A dialect vocabulary from James Harris, who learned it from the Mahwee family.
1912 Mercy Nonsuch, last person to leave Nehantic res. at Old Lyme, CT and marries an Abenaki at St. Francis.
1920s Elizabeth ‘Sakaskantawe’ Mahweeyeuh-Brown marries her 3rd husband, J. Skeezucks, a Nehantic/Narragansett who returned from Wisconsin.
1950s -- 1960s Sakaskantawe teaches her great grand-nephew Billy (Iron Thunderhorse) about 100 words of the PEA-A language and starts him on his training.
1970s Connecticut Indian Affairs Council (CIAC) Chair Paulette Crone-Morange appoints Iron Thunderhorse as her legal and cultural advisor.
1980s Iron Thunderhorse and Todd Howland team up to defend Schaghticoke Indians of Kent, CT by filing an AMICUS BRIEF on their behalf. Significant Decision ensues.
1980s -- 1990s Iron Thunderhorse is mentored by Algonquianists to qualify him as a linguist.
1989 Iron Thunderhorse, Dianne Hawkthunder LaFrance and others incorporate ACQTC and gain 501(c)(3) tax exemption status.
1997 Dr. Blaire Rudes publishes study on language.
2000 QTC PRESS publishes 100 page language guide.
2000 RETURN OF HOBBOMOCK celebration held at Bay View Park at Stony Creek, CT brings descendants of the Quinnipiac together from all over USA.
2001 -- 2004 Iron Thunderhorse invited to write exclusive 100 column series on Quinnipiac language, lore and history to be published in THE BRANFORD REVIEW.
2002 ACQTC defends parks and sovereignty in lawsuit against City of Stamford and Greenwich and developers. Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and Iron Thunderhorse look over 1957 letter donating land and agree it was to be for public use and developers back out. ACQTC wins suit.
2004 -- 2005 QTC Press publishes major literature on history, language and lore.
2006 Spring Grand Opening of the Quinnipiac Dawnland Museum, Archives and Library.
2006 -- 2007 295 page revised expanded edition of Language Guide published, hardcopy and on CD-ROM. WE THE PEOPLE CALLED QUINNIPIAC, first book on Quinnipiac published in over 100 years hardcopy and on CD-ROM.
2007 ACQTC re-inters ancestral remains at new secret burial grounds and awaits decision to re-inter other remains from NAGPRA request to university.
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