St Clair Cemetery, Mt Lebanon, Allegheny Co, PA

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Monday, September 29, 2008

Chief Who, You Say?

It's another one of those mailman moments. Over the weekend, another envelope appeared out of his truck and into my eager hands. Now this one was a surprise.

The letter was from a grandson of one of the cousins who had dropped by to see us about six years ago. This grandson was on the visit with his grandfather as we sat and talked genealogy. We had been trying to decipher some old floppies that reportedly had information going back to Charlemagne. I've yet to find anyone who can break into these floppies. (The author has since passed.)

This young man, who is a now a grown up man, was kind enough to send some updated information on the family. He has linked his bloodline to that of Chief Wampage II of the Siwanoy Indians of Westchester County, New York.

I've not heard of this Chief, so I was eager to learn the significance of this. In my quick (and admittedly, not thorough) research, I find Chief Wampage signed a treaty under the "Treaty Oak" with Thomas Pell for something like 50,000 acres of land extending from the Bronx area to the Hutchinson River.

Of interest in my readings was the name Anne Hutchinson. Wampage is said to have murdered her himself when a group of Indians came calling on the settlers. Hutchinson has quite a story, and it is one worth reading. She was the daughter of Francis Marbury, and she reportedly had a brilliant mind. She was a devout Believer and went as far as to hold Bible studies in her Massachusetts home for both men and women. She stood trial for being a "strumpet" and later moved down to the New York area with her husband, William Hutchinson.

She's a fascinating woman. At her trial, it is reported she said, "You have no power over my body, neither can you do me any harm. I fear none but the great Jehovah, which hath foretold me of these things, and I do verily believe that He will deliver me out of your hands…."

I urge you to find a book or just look online for her story. What a woman. What a time she lived in. What a fate she suffered.

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