Hartford, Samuel Stone and the Saukiogs
Hartford is named after the home town of one of its founder, Samuel Stone of Hertford England....which is fine...I mean can you imagine if they had named the town after its other founder Thomas Hooker? Hooker Connecticut. Not good. It is however, somewhat better sounding than the towns first name, Saukiog (After the Indians that lived there)
Hooker and Stone led a group pf Holy than Thou Puritans from Cambridge Mass. (Then called Newtowne) to Hartford but Hooker usually gets all the glamour. Hartford still has a Hooker Day Parade and in fairness, Stone was, more or less, an assistant to Hooker.
Lets go back a moment to the Saukiogs (meaning Black Earth but were better known in the area as the Tunxis, who were actually a sub tribe of the Saukiogs) ), the native Indians we discussed earlier. At the time when Hooker and company arrived, the local Saukiogs chief was a fellow named Sequassen. It was Sequassen, in 1636, who sold what is today Hartford and West Hartford to the English. As for Sequassen, he held on to his own area, roughly the area that is now Farmington.
There was a method to Saquassen selling the land (Which actually didn't belong to him but....) His neighboring tribe were the Podunks, who lived across the Connecticut River in what is now East Hartford, Glastonbury, and South Windsor. The Podunks had been leveled by
a measles outbreak in 1614, when the Dutch explorer, Adriaen Van Block, (AKA Block Island) showed up and contaminated everyone. The illness killed at least one-third of the Podunk population.
A third tribe, the much feared and hated Pequot tribe, the problem child of the Indian world of 17th century Connecticut, were taking advantages of the Podunk's bad luck and were warring with them. So, a Podunk chief, Wahginnacut, traveled up to Massachusetts in 1631 and invited the English colonists who were living there to move on down to Hartford and start a new settlement. It was his theory that the English would protect him from the Pequot, who were moving in from the southeast corner of the state. Next to them were the equally aggressive Mohegans, another problem for the Podunk and the Tunxis.
So while the English settlement may have helped the Podunk, they didn't do much for Sequassen and his Tunxis (Saukiog) tribe. The Saukiogs (sometimes spelled Sickaog or Suckiaug)warred bravely with the Pequot and the Mohegans, and caught the worst of it, being defested in battle several times. So Sequassen sold nearby realestate and relied on the fire power and military acumen of the English. The Saukiogs, who spoke an Algonquian dialect and were part of the Algonquin confederation, remained friendly with the colonists and lived near Hartford until about 1730. They subsequently joined the Mattabeseck and, after 1650, the Pocumtuc tribes.
There were, at best only 5,000 members of the tribe, probably less by 1630 due to epidemic and wars with the Iroquois and English. For the most part, the Pocumtuc were destroyed during the King Philip's War (1675-76). After that mixed group of about 600 Pocumtuc and Nipmuc relocated to present day New York on the Hudson River while thers went to Canada.
As for, Samuel Stone, he died on 20th July 1663, aged 61.
Hartford as a village in or around 1640
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