The Niantic Nation
Written and researched by Margaret Odrowaz-Sypniewska, B.F.A.

This is Ninigret, Sachem of the Nianti Indians
of Rhode Island. Ninigret was also made Sachem
of the Narragansets (by the British) as a gift
for keeping the Niantics out of King Phillip's
War in 1675. He refused Christianity saying that
the missionaries had to make the English "good" first.

The Pequot War:

The Niantic Nation was wiped out by disease and warfare. The Mohegans, Narragansetts, and Niantics were enemies of the Pequots. They joined Captain John Mason in his May 25, 1637 raid on the Pequot village. Six hundred (600) Pequots were murdered that day. As a sort of retribution, the Pequots later killed the family of the Mohegan sachem, Uncus (this event inspired James Fenimore Cooper's book The Last of the Mohicans).

The Pequot people lived in the Connecticut (land on the long tidal river in Algonquian) River Valley. Pequot meant destroyers and they were a warlike tribe.

The Pequots fled, led by Sassacus, and ran into Mohawk territory, where they were beheaded. The Mohawks sent their scalps to white soldiers to prove that the Mohawk were enemy of the Pequots. The Pequots that survived were sold as slaves to the Mohegan, Narragansetts, and Niantics as a reward for helping the colonists. The Wampanoags allied with the Mohegans, Niantics, Sasonnets, and Massachusetts (at the place of the great hill in Algonquian) tribes (D'Apice, Rita and Mary, The Algonquian. Vero Beach, Fl.: Rourke Publications, Inc., 1990).

My connection to the Niantic seems to be with the Occuish family. Phillip Occuish was a Niantic Indian. He was born in 1716 and was converted to Christianity in 1740. He had been educated well, and later became a Baptist minister. I have many ministers in my family. Phillip conducted services in his own home. In 1761, he had four sons and three daughters. His widowed mother was also living with him (age 70). Phillip owned land in Lyme in 1764 (Lyme Land Records, XI, 253). Phillip died on March 20, 1789 (Allen, American Biographical Dictionary)

I also found a Lydia Cuish (changed from Occuish) who was baptised and admitted to the East Lyme Baptist Church on January 21, 1800. Lydia died in 1808.
Phillip, Jr. moved to Brothertown, Oneida County, New York circa 1799.
Rhoda Cuish/Crush was said to be the grandaughter of Phillip of Lyme. She married (1) ? Charles of Groton in Lyme on November 29, 1792 (Griswold, Andrews, Justice Records) (2) Daniel Wauby of Brothertown, New York in 1818 (Lyme Land Records, XXV, 472).
Sally Cuish was another grandaughter of Phillip. She lived in Oneida County, New York; and received land from Phillip Occuish/Cuish in 1824 (Ibid, XXIX, 262).

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