Browse Biographies

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Chesebrough, Silas, 1786 - 1845

Silas Chesebrough (November 19, 1786-June 14, 1845) was the son of William Chesebrough and Esther Williams of Stonington, Connecticut.  As an ensign in Captain John Hull's 4th Company of the 30th Regiment, Chesebrough was part of the forces defending Stonington Point when it was attacked by the British in 1814.  The following year, he let two of his cattle out in the Eastern Pequot Indian Town pasture for the benefit of Clor Williams. 

Hill, Betsy, - 1833

Either by birth or by marriage, Betsy Hill was a member of the Hill family of the Eastern Pequot community.  Her relationship to Nathan Hill, another tribal member of the same generation, is presently unknown. Betsy died of freezing on or near March 4, 1833, the day when expenses for her burial were noted by Ezra Hewitt, the tribe's state-appointed overseer.

New London County Superior Court, Inquests, 1711-1875, C.S.L.

Nedson, Elsa

Eastern Pequot Elsa Nedson first appears in the historical record as receiving funds from the state-appointed overseer in the summer of 1828.  By October of that year, she fell ill and was boarded and cared for by Betsy Tikens, perhaps a relative.  A month later, she recovered enough to provide similar service to James Abner when he took sick and was dying.  

Smith, Earl, 1894 -

William Earl Smith was born in Westminster, Maryland on February 27, 1894.  He married Phoebe Sebastian, an Eastern Pequot woman, and raised a family in Hartford, Connecticut, where he worked as a janitor, a government employee in the WPA, and an actor. U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942, Ancestry. Federal Enumeration of Connecticut (Hartford, 1930, 1940), Ancestry. Obituary of Phone Smith, Hartford Courant.

Sebastian, Phoebe, 1892 - 1986

Born on the Eastern Pequot reservation, Phoebe Esther Sebastian was the daughter of Francisco Sebastian and Mary McKinney.  She married William Earl Smith and raised a family in Hartford, Connecticut.  She died in Hartford, Connecticut in 1986.

Obituary, Hartford Courant, April 14, 1986.  Federal Enumeration of Connecticut (Hartford, 1930), Ancestry.

McKinney, Mary, 1854 - 1931

Mary E. McKinney, a Shinnecock woman, was the daughter of Bloomfield McKinney and Frances Sands.  Mary was a domestic servant in the household of Catherine Crary in Mystic, Connecticut in 1870.  Two years later,  she married Francisco Sebastian on July 20, 1872, in Groton.  The couple had ten children: Francisco, Jr. (Frank), Mary E., Jesse, Calvin, Catherine, Phoebe E., Charles, Benjamin, Ella, and Frederick. In 1910, Mary lived in Richmond, Rhode Island, and worked as a laundress out of her home.  

Federal Enumeration of Rhode Island (Richmond, 1910), Ancestry.

Sebastian, Francisco, 1852 - 1900

Francisco Sebastian was the son of Emmanuel Sebastian and Tamer Brushell of the Eastern Pequot community in North Stonington, Connecticut.  In the summer of 1870, he was employed on William Healy's farm.  Two years later, at age 21, he wed Mary E. McKinney, a Shinnecock woman, on July 20, 1872, in Groton.  At that time, Francisco was working as a ship's steward.  After his marriage, he returned to farm labor.  Francisco and Mary had ten children: Francisco, Jr.

Sebastian, Emeline, 1865 - 1942

Tamer Emeline Sebastian was the daughter of Brazilian mariner Emmanuel Sebastian and Tamer Brushell, an Eastern Pequot woman.  She married first Joseph H. Swan, a man from Madagascar.  The couple had a daughter, Sarah "Sadie" Swan.  She later married her second husband, fellow Eastern Pequot, Calvin Williams, the community's religious leader.