Act concerning Hunting by Indians
Resolved that a person be forthwith sent to Captain Joseph Minor of Woodbury and from this Assembly order that he inform the sachems or chief Indians of Pootatuck and Owwaenunggannnunck, our friend Indians, that they have liberty to go to hunting, provided the said Indians give a list or account of their names of Pootatuck Indians to said Captain Joseph Minor of the Indians of Owwaenunggannnunck to Captain Stephen Nobles of New Milford, and that they inform said Indians that we don’t give them any liberty of going out of the bounds of this colony, and also that they, said Indians, be charged that they avoid frightening any English or doing any things, that may have attendancy thereunto, least they make alarms to the damage of some of our towns. They are also to inform said Indians that they are to keep their men so nigh to them and so under their command, that when so ever any of the commission officers of Woodbury, New Milford, or Litchfield shall demand their men, or any one of them, and the said chief Indian can not give them a satisfying account where the Indian or Indians, so absent, are or produce said Indian in sight of the officer so demanding it with in forty-eight hours, if they require it, said Indians, so absenting, shall be suspected mischievous and be seized and brought before some assistant or justice of peace to be examined of his absence, and at least be obliged to pay for the prosecution and examination or stand committed, and further, that the officers do inform said Indians that we have so much dependence on them as our friends,1 that we expect they take all the care possible they can in their hunting to make discovery to our frontiers of any enemy, news, or appearance of enemy that they shall know of.
And said Captain Miner is also directed to inform Farmington Indians they may have the same liberty under the same regulation as abovesaid Indians, that they shall be obliged to give account of the names of their Indians to one of the chief commission officers of Farmington before they go out, and, upon demand and upon the same penalty as abovesaid, be obliged to keep their men within their command, so as to have them
forthcoming when demanded by either of the chief commission officers of Farmington, and ‘tis resolved that for a signal to be known by from our enemies, they, said Indians, shall each of them wear a white list or some other white thing round or upon their heads, and also that if they hear of any number of the enemy coming toward Litchfield, New Milford, etc., they shall immediately inform of it to said towns where the enemy are expected, and repair thither themselves, and be under the command of the commission officers of said town until further order or while said officers dismiss them, which he is hereby ordered to do as soon as the alarm is over.
And ‘tis considered that there be an order go from this Assembly, directing Majors John Clark of Saybrook to inform Saybrook Indians and Niantic Indians,2 Joseph Bradford in [ crossout ] New London, the Mohegans 3 and Stonington Indians and Groton Indians or the chief of their respective companies and that they inform said Indians that they have now liberty to go to hunting and that they wear on their heads a white list or other white thing on or round their heads for a note of distinction from our enemy, and that they inform them that we don’t give them any liberty of walking or hunting beyond the bounds of this colony, and that if they do, they do it at their peril, and that said gentlemen charge them that they be very careful that they don't do anything that have so much as attendancy to affright any of our English, lest they make alarms to the great damage and disturbance of our English towns. They are to inform said chief Indians that they must give said gentlemen the
name of the Indians that belong to them, respectively, and tell them they must keep their men so nigh to them or so under their command, that when so ever it is demanded of them by any of the foresaid gentlemen, or any of the civil authority, or to Captain John Mason of Stonington, where any of their men are, and the said chief Indian can not give a satisfying account where they, or any of them, are, or, if demanded for, to produce any particular Indian in sight within forty-eight hours, and upon their failure thereof, the said Indian or Indians, so absent, shall be held under under suspicion of being mischievous and shall, as soon as may be, be arrested and brought upon examination concerning his or their absence, and at least be obliged to pay the prosecution and examination or stand committed until it be paid or sufficient security given, and Mr. Joseph Bradford, aforesaid, shall give an account of the above act to Captain John Mason of Stonington that he may have inspection over the said Indians. And wheresoever any small party of Indians are in this colony, the civil authority or military officers are directed to give the same notice to the Indians living within their towns and inform them as in this act in all respects.
- 1. The following text was crossed out in the original: that we now remove our scouts out of their way for their hunting and expect
- 2. The name Captain Richard Caswell was crossed out in the original.
- 3. The names Captain Reverend John Griswold and Captain John Mason were crossed out here in the original