The Mahican (/məˈhiːkən/ or Mohican /moʊˈhiːkən/) are an Eastern Algonquian Native American tribe that was Algonquian-speaking. As part of the Algonquian family of tribes, they were related to the abutting Lenape, who occupied territory to the south as far as the Atlantic coast. The Mahican occupied the upper Hudson River Valley (around the confluence of the Mohawk River, where present-day Albany, New York, developed) and into western New England centered on present-day Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and lower Vermont. After 1680, due to conflicts with the Mohawk during the Beaver Wars, many were driven southeastward across the present-day Massachusetts western border and the Berkshires to Berkshire County around Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

Since the forcible relocation of Native American populations to reservations in the American West during the 1830s, most descendants of the Mahican are located in Shawano County, Wisconsin. Decades later they eventually formed the federally recognized Stockbridge-Munsee Community with registered members of the Leni Lenape people and have a 22,000-acre (89 km2) reservation.

Following the disruption of the American Revolutionary War, most of the Mahican descendants first migrated westward to join the Iroquois Oneida on their reservation in central New York. The Oneida gave them about 22,000 acres for their use. After more than two decades, in the 1820s and 1830s, the Oneida and the Stockbridge moved again, pressured to relocate to northeastern Wisconsin under the federal Indian Removal program.[1]

The tribe identified by the place where they lived: "Muh-he-ka-neew" (or "People of the continually flowing waters.")[2] The word Muh-he-kan refers to a great sea or body of water, and the Hudson River reminded them of their place of origin, so they named the Hudson River "Seepow Mahecaniittuck," or the river where there are people from the continually flowing waters.[3] Therefore, they, along with other tribes living along the Hudson River (such as the Munsee, known by the dialect of Lenape that they spoke, and Wappinger), were called "the River Indians" by the Dutch and English. The Dutch heard and wrote the term for the people of the area variously as: Mahigan, Mahikander, Mahinganak, Maikan and Mawhickon, which the English simplified later to Mahican or Mohican, in a transliteration to their spelling system. The French, adopting names used by their Indian allies in Canada, knew the Mahican as the Loups (or wolves); similarly, they referred to the Iroquois as the "Snake People" (or "Five Nations"). Like the Munsee and Wappinger peoples, the Mahican were related distantly to the Lenape people, who occupied coastal areas from western Connecticut and western Long Island to the Delaware River valley to the south.

In the late twentieth century, the Mahican joined other former New York tribes and the Oneida in filing land claims against New York state for what were considered unconstitutional purchases after the Revolutionary War. In 2010, outgoing governor David Paterson announced a land exchange with the Stockbridge-Munsee that would enable them to build a large casino on 330 acres (130 ha) in Sullivan County in the Catskills, in exchange for dropping their larger claim in Madison County. The deal had many opponents.

Mohican distribution map
Historic territory of the Mahicans
Total population
c. 3,000
Regions with significant populations
 United States (Shawano County, Wisconsin)
English (originally Mahican)
Moravian Church
Related ethnic groups
Lenape, Mohegan, Pequot


The Mahican were living in and around the Hudson River (or Mahicannituck, their name for it) at the time of their first contact with Europeans traders along the river in the 1590s. After 1609 at the time of the Dutch settlement of New Netherland, they also ranged along the eastern Mohawk River and the Hoosic River. In their own language, the Mahican identified collectively as the Muhhekunneuw', "people of the great river".[4] The Mahican territory was bounded on the northwest by Lake Champlain and Lake George.


Mahican villages were fairly large. Usually consisting of 20 to 30 mid-sized longhouses, they were located on hills and heavily fortified. Their large cornfields were located nearby. Agriculture and gathering of nuts, fruits and roots provided most of their diet, but was supplemented by the men hunting game, and fishing. Mahican villages were governed by hereditary sachems advised by a council of clan elders. A general council of sachems met regularly at Shodac (east of present-day Albany) to decide important matters affecting the entire confederacy.[4] In his history of the Indians of the Hudson River, Edward Manning Ruttenber described the clans of the Mahicans as the Bear, the Turkey, the Turtle, and the Wolf, with the Wolf serving as a defensive shield in the north against the Mohawk.


Mahican Confederacy

The Mahican were a confederacy of five tribes and as many as forty villages.[4]

  • Mahican proper, (lived in the vicinity of today's Albany (Pempotowwuthut-Muhhcanneuw – "the fireplace of the Mahican Nation") west towards the Mohawk River and to the northwest to Lake Champlain and Lake George)
  • Mechkentowoon (lived along the west shore of the Hudson River above the Catskill Creek)
  • Wawyachtonoc (Wawayachtonoc – "eddy people" or "people of the curving channel," lived in Dutchess County and Columbia County eastward to the Housatonic River in Litchfield County, Connecticut, main village was Weantinock, additional villages: Shecomeco, Wechquadnach, Pamperaug, Bantam, Weataug, Scaticook)
  • Westenhuck (from hous atenuc – "on the other side of the mountains," the name of a village near Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Often called the "Housatonic people," they lived in the Housatonic Valley in Connecticut and Massachusetts and in the vicinity of Great Barrington, which they called Mahaiwe, meaning "the place downstream")[5]
  • Wiekagjoc (from wikwajek – "upper reaches of a river," lived east of the Hudson Rivers near the city of Hudson, Columbia County, New York)[6]

Conflict with the Mohawk

Land deed, May 31, 1664, Willem Hoffmeyer purchase of 3 islands in the Hudson River near Troy from three native Mahicans - Albany Institute of History and Art - DSC07971
Land deed, May 31, 1664, Willem Hoffmeyer purchase of 3 islands in the Hudson River near Troy from three native Mahicans - Albany Institute of History and Art

The Algonquians (Mahican) and Iroquois (Mohawk) were traditional competitors and enemies. Iroquois oral tradition, as recorded in the Jesuit Relations, speaks of a war between the Mohawk and an alliance of the Susquehannock and Algonquin (sometime between 1580 and 1600). This was perhaps in response to the formation of the League of the Iroquois.[7]

In September 1609 Henry Hudson encountered Mahican villages just below present day Albany, with whom he traded goods for furs. Hudson returned to Holland with a cargo of valuable furs which immediately attracted Dutch merchants to the area. The first Dutch fur traders arrived on the Hudson River the following year to trade with the Mahican. Besides exposing them to European epidemics, the fur trade destabilized the region.[4]

In 1614, the Dutch decided to establish a permanent trading post on Castle Island, on the site of a previous French post that had been long abandoned; but first they had to arrange a truce to end fighting which had broken out between the Mahican and Mohawk. Fighting broke out again between the Mahican and Mohawk in 1617, and with Fort Nassau badly damaged by a freshet, the Dutch abandoned the fort. In 1618, having once again negotiated a truce, the Dutch rebuilt Fort Nassau on higher ground.[8] Late that year, Fort Nassau was destroyed by flooding and abandoned for good. In 1624, Captain Cornelius Jacobsen May sailed the Nieuw Nederlandt upriver and landed eighteen families of Walloons on a plain opposite Castle Island. They commenced to construct Fort Orange.

The Mahicans invited the Algonquin and Montagnais to bring their furs to Fort Orange as an alternate to French traders in Quebec. Seeing the Mahicans extended their control over the fur trade, the Mohawk attacked, with initial success. In 1625 or 1626 the Mahican destroyed the easternmost Iroquois "castle". The Mohawks then re-located south of the Mohawk River, closer to Fort Orange. In July 1626 many of the settlers moved to New Amsterdam because of the conflict. The Mahicans requested help from the Dutch and Commander Daniel Van Krieckebeek set out from the fort with six soldiers. Van Krieckebeek, three soldiers, and twenty-four Mahicans were killed when their party was ambushed by the Mohawk about mile from the fort. The Mohawks withdrew with some body parts of those slain for later consumption as a demonstration of supremacy.[9]

War continued to rage between the Mahican and Mohawk throughout the area from Skahnéhtati (Schenectady) to Kinderhoek Kinderhook.[10] By 1629, the Mohawk had taken over territories on the west bank of the Hudson River that were formerly held by the Mahican.[11] The conflict caused most of the Mahican to migrate eastward across the Hudson River into western Massachusetts and Connecticut. The Mohawks gained a near-monopoly in the fur trade with the Dutch by prohibiting the nearby Algonquian-speaking tribes to the north or east to trade.


Many Mahican settled in the town of Stockbridge, Massachusetts, where they gradually became known as the "Stockbridge Indians." Etow Oh Koam, one of their chiefs, accompanied three Mohawk chiefs on a state visit to Queen Anne and her government in England in 1710. They were popularly referred to as the Four Mohawk Kings.

Mohawk king engraving
The Mahican chief Etow Oh Koam, referred to as one of the Four Mohawk Kings in a state visit to Queen Anne in 1710. By John Simon, c1750.

The Stockbridge Indians allowed Protestant missionaries, including Jonathan Edwards, to live among them. In the 18th century, many converted to Christianity, while keeping certain traditions of their own. They fought on the side of the British colonists in the French and Indian War (also known as the Seven Years' War). During the American Revolution, they sided with the colonists.[12]

In the eighteenth century, some of the Mahican developed strong ties with missionaries of the Moravian Church from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, who founded a mission at their village of Shekomeko in Dutchess County, New York. Henry Rauch reached out to two Mahican leaders, Maumauntissekun, also known as Shabash; and Wassamapah, who took him back to Shekomeko. They named him the new religious teacher. Over time, Rauch won listeners, as the Mahicans had suffered much from disease and warfare, which had disrupted their society. Early in 1742, Shabash and two other Mahican accompanied Rauch to Bethlehem, where he was to be ordained as a deacon. The three Mahicans were baptized on February 11, 1742 in John de Turk's barn nearby at Oley, Pennsylvania. Shabash was the first Mahican of Shekomeko to adopt the Christian religion.[13] The Moravians built a chapel for the Mahican people in 1743. They defended the Mahican against European settlers' exploitation, trying to protect them against land encroachment and abuses of liquor.

On a 1738 visit to New York, the Mahican spoke to the Governor Lewis Morris concerning the sale of their land near Shekomeko. The Governor promised they would be paid as soon as the lands were surveyed. He suggested that for their own security, they should mark off their square mile of land they wished to keep, which the Mahican never did. In September 1743, still under the Acting-Governor George Clarke the land was finally surveyed by New York Assembly agents and divided into lots, a row of which ran through the Indians' reserved land. With some help from the missionaries, on October 17, 1743 and already under the new Royal Governor George Clinton, Shabash put together a petition of names of people who could attest that the land in which one of the lots was running through was theirs. Despite Shabash's appeals, his persistence, and the missionaries' help, the Mahican lost the case.[14] The lots were eventually bought up by European-American settlers and the Mahican were forced out of Shekomeko. Some who opposed the missionaries' work accused them of being secret Catholic Jesuits (who had been outlawed from the colony in 1700) and of working with the Mahican on the side of the French. The missionaries were summoned more than once before colonial government, but also had supporters. In the late 1740s the colonial government at Poughkeepsie expelled the missionaries from New York, in part because of their advocacy of Mahican rights. Settlers soon took over the Mahican land.[15]

Revolutionary War

Stockbridge 1778
Von Ewald sketch of a Stockbridge Militia Mahican warrior who fought on the Patriot side in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War

In August 1775, the Six Nations staged a council fire near Albany, after news of Bunker Hill had made war seem imminent. After much debate, they decided that such a war was a private affair between the British and the colonists (known as Rebels, Revolutionaries, Congress-Men, American Whigs, or Patriots), and that they should stay out of it. Mohawk Chief Joseph Brant feared that the Indians would lose their lands if the Colonists achieved independence. Sir William Johnson, his son John Johnson and son-in-law Guy Johnson and Brant used all their influence to engage the Iroquois to fight for the British cause. The Mohawk, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca ultimately became allies and provided warriors for the battles in the New York area. The Oneida and Tuscarora sided with the Colonists. The Mahican, who as Algonquians were not part of the Iroquois Confederacy, sided with the Patriots, serving at the Siege of Boston, and the battles of Saratoga and Monmouth.

In 1778 they lost fifteen warriors in a British ambush at the Bronx, New York, and later received a commendation from George Washington.[16]

Later, the citizens of the new United States forced many Native Americans off their land and westward. In the 1780s, groups of Stockbridge Indians moved from Massachusetts to a new location among the Oneida people in western New York, who were granted a 300,000-acre (120,000 ha) reservation for their service to the Patriots, out of their former territory of 6,000,000 acres (2,400,000 ha). They called their settlement New Stockbridge. Some individuals and families, mostly people who were old or those with special ties to the area, remained behind at Stockbridge.

The central figures of Mahican society, including the chief sachem, Joseph Quanaukaunt, and his counselors and relatives, were part of the move to New Stockbridge. At the new town, the Stockbridge emigrants controlled their own affairs and combined traditional ways with the new as they chose. After learning from the Christian missionaries, the Stockbridge Indians were experienced in English ways. At New Stockbridge they replicated their former town. While continuing as Christians, they retained their language and Mahican cultural traditions. In general, their evolving Mahican identity was still rooted in traditions of the past.[17]

Removal to Wisconsin

In the 1820s and 1830s, most of the Stockbridge Indians moved to Shawano County, Wisconsin, where they were promised land by the US government under the policy of Indian removal. In Wisconsin, they settled on reservations with the Lenape (called Munsee after one of their major dialects), who were also speakers of one of the Algonquian languages. Together, the two formed a band and are federally recognized as the Stockbridge-Munsee Community.

The now extinct Mahican language belonged to the Eastern Algonquian branch of the Algonquian language family. It was an Algonquian N-dialect, as were Massachusett and Wampanoag. In many ways, it was similar to one of the L-dialects, like that of the Lenape, and could be considered one.

Their 22,000-acre reservation is known as that of the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Indians and is located near the town of Bowler. Since the late twentieth century, they have developed the North Star Mohican Resort and Casino on their reservation, which has successfully generated funds for tribal welfare and economic development.[18]

Land claims

In the late twentieth century, the Stockbridge-Munsee were among tribes filing land claims against New York, which had been ruled to have unconstitutionally acquired land from Indians without Senate ratification. The Stockbridge-Munsee filed a land claim against New York state for 23,000 acres (9,300 ha) in Madison County, the location of its former property. In 2011, outgoing governor David Paterson announced having reached a deal with the tribe. They would be given nearly 2 acres (0.81 ha) in Madison County and give up their larger claim in exchange for the state's giving them 330 acres of land in Sullivan County in the Catskill Mountains, where the government was trying to encourage economic development. The federal government had agreed to take the land in trust, making it eligible for development as a gaming casino, and the state would allow gaming, an increasingly important source of revenue for American Indians. Race track and casinos, private interests and other tribes opposed the deal.[18]

Representation in media

James Fenimore Cooper based his novel, The Last of the Mohicans, on the Mahican tribe. His description includes some cultural aspects of the Mohegan, a different Algonquian tribe that lived in eastern Connecticut. Cooper set his novel in the Hudson Valley, Mahican land, but used some Mohegan names for his characters, such as Uncas.

The novel has been adapted for the cinema more than a dozen times, the first time in 1920. Michael Mann directed a 1992 adaptation, which starred Daniel Day-Lewis as a Mohican-adopted white man.

Notable members


  1. ^ EB-Mohicans "Mohican" (history), Encyclopædia Britannica, 2007
  2. ^ Stockbridge, Past and Present; Electa Jones
  3. ^ "Mohican Oral Tribal History as recorded by Hendrick Aupaumut" and printed in Stockbridge, Past and Present by Electa Jones.
  4. ^ a b c d Sultzman, Lee. "Mahican History"
  5. ^ Donald B. Ricky: Indians of Maryland Past and Present, Verlag: Somerset Pubs, 1999; ISBN 978-0403098774
  6. ^ Allen W. Trelease, William A. Starna: Indian Affairs in Colonial New York Indian Affairs in Colonial New York: The Seventeenth Century the Seventeenth Century, Seite 8, University of Nebraska Press; 1997, ISBN 978-0803294318
  7. ^ Brandon, William. American Heritage Book of Indians, (Alvin M. Josephy, ed.), American Heritage Pub. Co. 1961, p. 187
  8. ^ "Mahican Confederacy", The History Files
  9. ^ Parmenter, Jon W., "Separate Vessels", The Worlds of the Seventeenth-Century Hudson Valley, (Jaap Jacobs, L. H. Roper, eds.) SUNY Press, 2014, ISBN 9781438450971 p. 113
  10. ^ Reynolds, Cuyler. Albany Chronicles: A History of the City Arranged Chronologically, J.B. Lyon Company, 1906 This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  11. ^ Burke Jr, T. E., & Starna, W. A. (1991). Mohawk Frontier: The Dutch Community of Schenectady, New York, 1661–1710, SUNY Press. p. 26
  12. ^ Calloway, Colin (1995). The American Revolution in Indian Country: Crisis and Diversity in Native American Communities. Cambridge University Press. pp. 88–107. ISBN 978-0-521-47149-7.
  13. ^ Dunn (2000). The Mohican World 1680-1750. pp. 228–230.
  14. ^ Dunn (2000). The Mohican World 1680-1750. pp. 232–235.
  16. ^ Aupaumut, Hendrick. "From George Washington to Captain Hendrick Aupaumut, 4 July 1779".
  17. ^ Dunn, Shirley (2000). The Mohican World 1680-1750. Fleischmanns, New York: Purple Mountain Press, Ltd. p. 213.
  18. ^ a b Gale Courey Toensing, "Seneca Upset Over N.Y. Casino Agreement", Indian Country Today, 26 January 2011


External links

Delaware languages

The Delaware languages, also known as the Lenape languages, are Munsee and Unami, two closely related languages of the Eastern Algonquian subgroup of the Algonquian language family. Munsee and Unami were spoken aboriginally by the Lenape people in the vicinity of the modern New York City area in the United States, including western Long Island, Manhattan Island, Staten Island, as well as adjacent areas on the mainland: southeastern New York State, eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and coastal Delaware.

Eastern Algonquian languages

The Eastern Algonquian languages constitute a subgroup of the Algonquian languages. Prior to European contact, Eastern Algonquian consisted of at least 17 languages, collectively occupying the Atlantic coast of North America and adjacent inland areas from what are now the Maritimes of Canada to North Carolina. The available information about individual languages varies widely. Some are known only from one or two documents containing words and phrases collected by missionaries, explorers or settlers, and some documents contain fragmentary evidence about more than one language or dialect. Nearly all of the Eastern Algonquian languages are extinct. Miꞌkmaq and Malecite-Passamaquoddy have appreciable numbers of speakers, but Western Abenaki and Delaware are each reported to have fewer than 10 speakers after 2000.

Eastern Algonquian constitutes a separate genetic subgroup within Algonquian. Two other recognized groups of Algonquian languages, Plains Algonquian and Central Algonquian, are geographic but do not refer to genetic subgroupings.

Four Mohawk Kings

The Four Indian Kings or Four Kings of the New World were three Mohawk chiefs from one of the Five Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy and a Mahican of the Algonquian peoples, whose portraits were painted by Jan Verelst in London to commemorate their travel from New York in 1710 to meet the Queen of Great Britain. The three Mohawk were: Sa Ga Yeath Qua Pieth Tow of the Bear Clan, called King of Maquas, with the Christian name Peter Brant (grandfather of Mohawk leader Joseph Brant); Ho Nee Yeath Taw No Row of the Wolf Clan, called King of Canajoharie ("Great Boiling Pot"), or John of Canajoharie; and Tee Yee Ho Ga Row, meaning "Double Life", of the Wolf Clan, also called Hendrick Tejonihokarawa or King Hendrick. The Mahican chief was Etow Oh Koam of the Turtle Clan, mistakenly identified in his portrait as Emperor of the Six Nations. The Algonquian-speaking Mahican people were not part of the Iroquois Confederacy. Five chiefs set out on the journey, but one died in mid-Atlantic.The four Native American leaders visited Queen Anne in 1710 as part of a diplomatic visit organised by Pieter Schuyler, mayor of Albany, New York. They were received in London as diplomats, being transported through the streets of the city in Royal carriages, and received by Queen Anne at the Court of St. James Palace. They also visited the Tower of London and St. Paul's Cathedral.

In addition to requesting military aid for defence against the French, the chiefs asked for missionaries to offset the influence of French Jesuits, who had converted numerous Mohawk to Catholicism. Queen Anne informed the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Tenison. A mission was authorized, and Mayor Schuyler had a chapel built the next year at Fort Hunter (located near the Mohawk "Lower Castle" village) along the Mohawk River. Queen Anne sent a gift of a silver Communion set and a reed organ. The Mohawk village known as the "Lower Castle" became mostly Christianized in the early 18th century, unlike the "Upper Castle" at Canajoharie further upriver. No mission at the latter was founded until 1769, when William Johnson, the British agent to the Iroquois, built the Indian Castle Church. It still stands.To commemorate the diplomatic visit to London, the Crown commissioned Jan Verelst to paint the portraits of the Four Kings. These paintings hung in Kensington Palace until 1977, when Queen Elizabeth II had them relocated to the National Archives of Canada. She unveiled them in Ottawa.

Ghent (CDP), New York

Ghent is a census-designated place (CDP) in the town of Ghent in Columbia County, New York, United States. The population of the CDP was 564 at the 2010 census, out of a total town population of 5,402.

The community is located northeast of the city of Hudson.

Ghent was originally the site of a Mahican Native American village known as Squampamock, Scom-pa-muck or Squampanoc.

Hendrick Aupaumut

Hendrick Aupaumut (1757-1830) was a Mahican historian and diplomat, born among the Stockbridge Indians in Massachusetts, who were originally from the Hudson River Valley. He was a soldier at the time of the American Revolutionary War, in which he served on the American side as a captain of Mahican warriors. He wrote a history of the Mahican people, and defended them to President Thomas Jefferson in a letter. He worked with the United States in its exchanges with tribes further west, hoping to negotiate peace, but was, ultimately, unsuccessful, because of powerful settler interests. With the other Stockbridge Indians, he moved westward to avoid increasing settler violence, until they relocated to their present reservation of Stockbridge-Munsee Community in Wisconsin. His notable works include a History of the Mahican people, and a narrative of his diplomatic attempts in his embassy to the Western Indians.

John Wannuaucon Quinney

John Wannuaucon Quinney (1797 – July 21, 1855) was a Mahican (also Stockbridge) diplomat, and was nicknamed "The Dish".

Kinderhook Creek

Kinderhook Creek is a 49.0-mile-long (78.9 km) tributary to Stockport Creek, an inlet of the Hudson River in the United States. From its source in Hancock, Massachusetts, the creek runs southwest through the Taconic Mountains into Rensselaer County, New York, and then into Columbia County. It flows through the towns of Stephentown, New Lebanon, Nassau, Chatham, Kinderhook and Stuyvesant to its mouth at Stockport Creek in the town of Stockport.

Kinderhook Creek has a drainage area of over 329 square miles (850 km2).

List of place names of Native American origin in New England

The region of New England in the United States has numerous place names derived from the indigenous peoples of the area. New England is in the Northeastern United States, and comprises six states: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Listed are well-known names of towns, significant bodies of water, and mountains. This list is a work-in-progress, and is not meant to be comprehensive, as several thousand names exist.

Mahican-Mohawk Trail

The Mahican-Mohawk Trail is a long-distance hiking trail that is under construction.Originally a trail used by Native Americans, the Mahican-Mohawk Trail faded away as the automobile became popular and subsequently, the Mohawk Trail was constructed. In 1992, after some research by Williams College students, volunteers started to reclaim the trail.

There are currently multiple sections open in western Massachusetts, including one that follows the old New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad grade. It is estimated that 40 miles (64 km) of trail are currently open. A large portion of the open trail is located in Mohawk Trail State Forest and South River State Forest.

Upon completion, the trail is projected to reach from the Connecticut River to the Hudson River.

Mahican language

Mahican (also known as Mohican) is an extinct language of the Eastern Algonquian subgroup of the Algonquian language family, itself a member of the Algic language family. It was spoken in the territory of present-day eastern New York state and Vermont, by the Mahican people.

Mohawk people

The Mohawk people (who identify as Kanien'kehá:ka) are the most easterly tribe of the Haudenosaunee, or Iroquois Confederacy. They are an Iroquoian-speaking indigenous people of North America. The Mohawk were historically based in the valley of the Mohawk in present-day upstate New York west of the Hudson River; their territory ranged north to the St. Lawrence River, southern Quebec and eastern Ontario; south to greater New Jersey and into Pennsylvania; eastward to the Green Mountains of Vermont; and westward to the border with the Iroquoian Oneida Nation's traditional homeland territory. As one of the five original members of the Iroquois League, the Mohawk were known as the Keepers of the Eastern Door. For hundreds of years, they guarded the Iroquois Confederation against invasion from that direction by tribes from the New England and lower New York areas. Their current major settlements include areas around Lake Ontario and the St Lawrence River in Canada and New York.

In the Mohawk language, the people say that they are from Kanien'kehá:ka ("flint stone place"). The Mohawk became wealthy traders as other nations in their confederacy needed their flint for tool making. Their Algonquian-speaking neighbors (and competitors), the people of Muh-heck Haeek Ing ("food area place"), a name transliterated by the Dutch as Mahican or Mahican, referred to the people of Ka-nee-en Ka as Maw Unk Lin, meaning "bear people". The Dutch heard and wrote this term as Mohawk, and also referred to the Mohawk as Egil or Maqua.

The French colonists adapted these latter terms as Aignier and Maqui, respectively. They also referred to the people by the generic Iroquois, a French derivation of the Algonquian term for the Five Nations, meaning "the snake people". The Algonquians and Iroquois were traditional competitors and enemies.

Mohegan, West Virginia

Mohegan (also Monegan) is an unincorporated community on the Tug Fork River in McDowell County, West Virginia, United States. It sits at an altitude of 1,230 feet (375 m).

The community was named after the Mahican Indians.

Queechy Lake

Queechy Lake is a lake in Canaan, Columbia County, New York. Situated near the Massachusetts state border, the lake is 40 feet (12 m) deep and contains a surface area of 141 acres (0.57 km2).

The name comes from the Native American Mahican name Quis-sich-kook, of unknown meaning.The lake is located near two major roads, New York State Route 295 and New York State Route 22. Among the present fish species are brown bullhead, brown trout, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, chain pickerel, pumpkinseed, bluegill, rock bass, rainbow trout, black crappie and yellow perch. Queechy Lake is a natural body of water; however, sometime prior to 1910, the water levels were raised as a result of the construction of a dam along the Stony Kill, a tributary of Queechy Lake. The purpose of the dam was to store water that would supply mills located downstream. In the early 19th century, a summer of dry weather contributed to decreased water levels, which exposed a muddy surface at the lower end of the lake.

Roeliff Jansen Kill

The Roeliff Jansen Kill is a major tributary to the Hudson River. Roeliff Jansen Kill was the traditional boundary between the Native American Mahican and Wappinger tribes.Its source is in the town of Austerlitz, New York, and its mouth is at the Hudson River at Linlithgo in the town of Livingston. The stream flows for 56.2 miles (90.4 km) through Dutchess and Columbia counties before entering the Hudson River about 5 miles (8.0 km) south of Hudson.Most of the watershed lies in Columbia County, although parts of the northern Dutchess County towns of North East, Stanford, Pine Plains, Milan, and Red Hook are within the stream's watershed of approximately 212 square miles (550 km2). A major tributary is Shekomeko Creek.

Schodack, New York

Schodack is a town in Rensselaer County, New York, United States. The population was 12,794 at the 2010 census. The town name is derived from the Mahican word, Escotak. The town is in the southwestern part of the county. Schodack is southeast of Albany, New York.

Shekomeko, New York

Shekomeko (41°55'41"N 73°35'58"W) was a historic hamlet in the southwest part of the town of North East, New York (USA) in present-day Dutchess County. It was a village of the Mahican people. They lived by a stream which Anglo-Americans later named Shekomeko Creek, after their village.

In 1740, Moravians from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, founded a Moravian mission at Shekomeko. Slowly they began to convert the Mahican, and in 1743 built a chapel. With their conversions, the Mahican community became the first Native American Christian congregation in the present-day United States.Some of the colonists resented the Moravians' work on behalf of the Mahican; others accused them of being secret Jesuits who were working to rouse the Mahican against the settlers on the side of the French. The New York colony had passed a law against the Roman Catholic Jesuits in 1700.

The Moravians were called before colonial government officials in Poughkeepsie, but supporters also testified on their behalf. The colonial government finally expelled them from New York at the end of 1744, "under the pretense of being in league with the French". One of the missionaries died in early 1745 and was buried at Shekomeko. Disheartened, the Mahican left the settlement and went to other areas, and the English colonists took over the Mahican land.Located by County Route 83, the hamlet of Bethel is now located there, in the town of Pine Plains, formed in 1823 from part of North East.

Stockbridge-Munsee Community

The Stockbridge-Munsee Community also known as the Mohican Nation Stockbridge-Munsee Band is a federally recognized Native American tribe formed in the late eighteenth century from communities of so-called "praying Indians" (or Moravian Indians), descended from Christianized members of two distinct peoples: Mohicans from the praying town of Stockbridge, Massachusetts, and Munsees. Their land-base, the Stockbridge-Munsee Indian Reservation, is 22,000 acres located at 44°53′55″N 88°51′42″W in Shawano County, Wisconsin. It encompasses the towns of Bartelme and Red Springs. Among their enterprises is the North Star Mohican Resort and Casino.

In settlement of a large land claim in New York, where the tribe had occupied land in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, in 2010 the state of New York agreed to give the tribe 330 acres in Sullivan County in the Catskills and two acres in Madison County (their former territory). This was in exchange for dropping their larger claim for 23,000 acres of land in Madison (near the city of Syracuse), which they had occupied in the early 19th century. The state granted the tribe the right to develop the Catskills property as a gaming casino. The deal is controversial and opposed by numerous interests, including other federally recognized tribes in New York. The tribe dropped their bid for a gaming casino in New York in June 2014, given a high level of competition from other developers for sites in Orange County, which is closer to the metropolitan market. Another land claim was dismissed by the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in June 2014.

Stockbridge Militia

The Stockbridge Militia was a Patriot, American military unit from Stockbridge, Massachusetts which served in the American Revolutionary War. This Massachusetts militia unit was composed of American Indians, mostly Mahican, Wappinger, and Munsee from the Stockbridge area. While most northeastern tribes, such as Joseph Brant's Mohawks, aligned themselves with the British, the Stockbridge tribes cast their lot with the colonies. Led by Jehoiaikim Mtohksin and Abraham Nimham, they were the first American Indian, Patriot soldiers to fight against the British, during the American Revolutionary War.

Twin Lakes (Connecticut)

The Twin Lakes of Salisbury, Connecticut are Lakes Washinee and Washining, whose supposed identities as twins seem in conflict with their dissimilar size and shape. However, they are called the "twin lakes" not because of their size and shape, but because of their namesakes, two daughters of a Mahican chief.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.