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The Unkechaug Indians of Eastern Long Island: A History [NOOK Book]

Overview

Few people may realize that Long Island is still home to American Indians, the region’s original inhabitants. One of the oldest reservations in the United States—the Poospatuck Reservation—is located in Suffolk County, the densely populated eastern extreme of the greater New York area. The Unkechaug Indians, known also by the name of their reservation, are recognized by the State of New York but not by the federal government. This narrative account—written by a noted authority on the Algonquin peoples of Long ...

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The Unkechaug Indians of Eastern Long Island: A History

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Overview

Few people may realize that Long Island is still home to American Indians, the region’s original inhabitants. One of the oldest reservations in the United States—the Poospatuck Reservation—is located in Suffolk County, the densely populated eastern extreme of the greater New York area. The Unkechaug Indians, known also by the name of their reservation, are recognized by the State of New York but not by the federal government. This narrative account—written by a noted authority on the Algonquin peoples of Long Island—is the first comprehensive history of the Unkechaug Indians. Drawing on archaeological and documentary sources, John A. Strong traces the story of the Unkechaugs from their ancestral past, predating the arrival of Europeans, to the present day. He describes their first encounters with British settlers, who introduced to New England’s indigenous peoples guns, blankets, cloth, metal tools, kettles, as well as disease and alcohol. Although granted a large reservation in perpetuity, the Unkechaugs were, like many Indian tribes, the victims of broken promises, and their landholdings diminished from several thousand acres to fifty-five. Despite their losses, the Unkechaugs have persisted in maintaining their cultural traditions and autonomy by taking measures to boost their economy, preserve their language, strengthen their  communal bonds, and defend themselves against legal challenges. In early histories of Long Island, the Unkechaugs figured only as a colorful backdrop to celebratory stories of British settlement. Strong’s account, which includes extensive testimony from tribal members themselves, brings the Unkechaugs out of the shadows of history and establishes a permanent record of their struggle to survive as a distinct community.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This book is the most comprehensive analysis to date of Unkechaug history. John Strong has provided vast evidence to dispel misrepresentations, distortions, and intentional falsehoods concerning the Unkechaug. He makes the case for why we are still here and why we never left.” Chief Harry B. Wallace Unkechaug Nation
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780806189499
  • Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
  • Publication date: 2/14/2013
  • Series: Civilization of the American Indian Series , #269
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 1,229,813
  • File size: 11 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

John A. Strong is Professor Emeritus of History and American Studies at Long Island University. He is the author of numerous publications, including The Montaukett Indians of Eastern Long Island, Algonquian Peoples of Long Island from Earliest Times to 1700, and “We Are Still Here!”: The Algonquian Peoples of Long Island Today. He recently served as an expert witness in the federal court case Gristedes Foods v. Poospatuck (Unkechaug) Nation.
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix

Preface xi

Acknowledgments xvii

1 The Ancestors 3

2 The Early Contact Period, 1550-1665 36

3 Dispossession and Survival, 1667-1700 64

4 The Unkechaugs' New World, 1670-1755 103

5 Survival and Transformation in the Unkechaug Community, 1750-1800 132

6 From Wigwams to Log Cabins, 1800-1874 162

7 Reinforcing and Defending Cultural Identity, 1880-1936 194

8 Modern Times at Unkechaug, 1940 to the Present 236

Appendix: Jefferson's Vocabulary of the Unquachog Indians 281

Notes 285

References 295

Index 319

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