Nedson, Thomas, - 1860
Born around 1800, Thomas Nedson was the son of James Nedson and Tyra Apes of Stonington (now North Stonington), Connecticut, and the husband of Mary Shelly. The couple had a number of children, including a daughter, Amanda, and possibly a son, Thomas.
According to Amanda's obituary in 1889, Nedson and his wife were "well-known in Eastern Connecticut as basket and berry peddlers." His name appears on overseer lists from 1830, receiving food, clothing, and funds. The tribe's overseer gave his children spelling books and paid for their schooling in 1835. Three years later, they also acquired two religious testaments. The Nedson family also included at least one cow. In 1838, Nedson was charged for letting Latham Hull care for it.
The documentary record indicates that Nedson was also concerned about Eastern Pequot community affairs. When the tribe tired of their overseer Ezra Hewitt's mismanagement of their reservation land, Nedson added his name to a community petition to the Connecticut General Assembly in Hartford in 1841. Four years later, Nedson received food supplies for when Lemuel Shelly died, suggesting he either provided meals for Shelly's final sickness or that he hosted a funeral meal for Shelly's family and friends. Nedson continued to receive support from tribal accounts until early January 1860, when he died on the 18th in North Stonington, a widower, from exposure and intemperance.
Brown and Rose, Black Roots, 266, 441. "Last of the Pequot Race," The New York Times, August 31, 1889. Sources for this biography also come from the Related Digital Heritage Items listed below.