I lived in Lakeville for a while, though specifically it is Assawompsett, Pocksha, Great Quitticus and Little as they are called. Huge irregular blocks of ice amid the sand and gravel of the glacial outwash plain has left a topography of kames, drumlins and kettle holes, meltwater lakes, ponds and streams, with an upland mix of beech wood and oak, the occasional thirty foot holly sited as a gem in a near leafless early winter scene. So too the sunset sides caught a photographer’s eye, a relentless wind piling thin ice on shore to display the color. It was crossing over a bluff on an isthmus between the Quitticus’ that I nearly tripped over a few worn and broken, neglected stones. Barely parts of their words could still be read.
USGenWeb Lakeville, MA – Squeen Cemetery
INDIAN CEMETERY on east bank of Little Quittacus Pond
Listed below is a compilation gathered by Charles M. Thatcher in the late 1800s of some stones in the cemetery.
F __, I. F. (Israel Felix)
“To the Memory of Jean Squeen, who died April 13th, 1794 in the 23rd year of her age.
Also of Benjamin who died at sea April 22nd, 1799, in his 26th year. Children of Lydia Squeen a native”.
“To the Memory of Lidia Squeen, who died in 1811, age 72”.
Probably Lydia Tuspaquin, and not too surprising for this land begs to seek the traces of ancient foot and portage trails. But it was years later after the town had preserved it, that I walked the high ground of nearby Betty’s Neck between Assawompsett and Pocksha.
(Before continuing please click the “-” 4 times to zoom out the Google map.)
Betty’s Neck is Nahteawamet.
Betty is Assowetough.
She is the daughter of a Massachusett named John Sassamon, an educated Christian convert teaching there to whom the land was conveyed by deed of gift by Tuspaquin, the Black Sachem of the Assawamsett.
So Betty inherits the land given by Tuspaquin, whose wife is the sister of Massasoit, Sachem of the Wampanoag, and gives it to her daughter, Mercy Felix, who is married to Benjamin Tuspaquin, the grandson, and whose great uncle is Metacom, the second son of Massasoit, apparently to the outrage of other family members.
Metacom is King Phillip.
USGenWeb Lakeville, MA – Indian Graves on Betty’s Neck
LANG: Patty, an indian woman, died previous to 1850.
ROSIER: John an indian, drowned in Assampsett Pond Feb. 1851, age 57 years, 4 mos..
SASSAMON: A grave on bank of the Pond in the same vicinity, probable that of John Sassamon the first indian missionary - was murdered & pushed under the ice Jan. 29th, 1675.
John Sassamon, translator, adviser to Metacom, went missing, his informing on purported war preparations to the Plymouth Colony had not stayed secret. Soon three Pokanoket of Montaup were indicted that they “Att a place called Assowamsett Pond, willfully and of sett purpose and of malice fore thought, and by force of armes, did murder John Sassamon, an other Indian, by lying violent hands on him, and in striking him, or twisting his neck until hee was dead, and to hide and conceale this theire said murder, att the time and place aforesaid, did cast his dead body through a hole in the iyce into said pond.” – ‘Ply. Col. Rec., Vol V.’
Montaup is Mount Hope, now Bristol, RI.
They were found guilty and executed, an exertion of Colonial power that others considered an insult to Native sovereignty, to be dealt with as their custom. Hostilities commenced immediately.
Zerviah Mitchell’s Wampanoag history 1878
And today the photographer remains astounded, ever imagining the depths to which the power of history may be tripped over.
(Gotta do it, please click the Google “–” to zoom two more times.)
Your comments, and corrections, are certainly welcome.