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Indians of Long Island New York

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Indians of Long Island New York

Extracted from :The Antiquities of Long Island by Gabriel Furman – 1874..

History of the Indians on Long Island up to the mid to late 1800s.

26 pages

 

 

 

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At the first settlement of the white inhabitants there was a very numerous Indian population on this island, as is evident from the large portion which Daniel Denton, in his description of New York, printed at London in 1670 (the first work on this colony in the English language, and he an inhabitant of this island), devotes of his work to describing their manners and customs. We have also preserved the names of fourteen of their tribes who were formerly located upon Long Island.

Every few years some discoveries are made in various parts of this island of the remains of these aborigines. On digging a few feet below the surface recently at the Narrows, in Kings County, more than a wagon-load of Indian stone arrow-heads were found lying together, under circumstances calculated to induce the belief that a large manufactory of those articles once ex­isted at this place; they were of all sizes, from one to six inches long, some perfect, others partly finished. There were also a number of blocks of the same kind of stone found in the rough state, as when brought from the quarry; they had the appearance of ordinary flint, and were nearly as hard; not only arrow-heads, but axes and other articles of domestic use were made from these stones.

in queens county.—In this county the Rockaway, Merrikoke, and Marsapeague tribes of Indians were settled on the south side; and the Matinecoc tribe on the north side. The middle of the island seems to have been by common consent the acknowledged boundary between the tribes on the north and south sides. In this county, about the year 1654, a battle was fought between the English, under Captain John Underhill, and the Marsapeague Indians. This is the only con­test of any importance between the English and Indians on Long Island, of which we have any account. The Indians were defeated with con­siderable loss.

in suffolk county.—In this county were the Nissaquage, Setauket, Corchaug, Secataug, Patchogue, Shinecoc and Montauk tribes of Indians. The Manhanset tribe was on Shelter Island, Ram Island, and Hog Island. Tradition asserts they could bring 500 warriors into the field. Most of the tribes of Indians have totally disap­peared like " The baseless fabric of a vision."

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