Written and researched by Richard Gifford

This research is ongoing. Please contact Westport Historical Society with comments/questions.

GENEALOGICAL TABLES (SIMPLIFIED) — Individuals with Biographical Entries in Boldface Type



Dorcas (—) married  Nathaniel Quebbin                Resided: Slocum’s Neck, Dartmouth

   –Margaret Quebbin married (—) Wainer           Resided: Division Road, Dartmouth

                —Michael Wainer (ca1748-1815) m.  3) at Dartmouth in 1772 Mary Slocum/Cuffe (1753-1804)

                  — Paul Wainer (1776-1833) m. Chloe (Dodge) Cuffe (ca1776-1862). Resided: Westport

—-Asa F. Wainer (1813-1878) b. Westport, d. NB m. at Westport 1840 Mary Jeffrey (ca1820-1892) b. & d. NB

—John Wainer (1782-1869) m. 1) at Westport 1812 Avis Auker (1792-<1821); m. 2) at North Bridgewater in 1821 Mary Easton (1795-1872). Residence: Westport. John & Mary buried Beech Grove.

—-David F. Wainer (1825-1910) b. & d. Westport m. at Dartmouth in 1850 Lydia Wainer (1828-1917) b. Stockbridge NY, d. NB, both buried Beech Grove. Residence: Slocum Road, Dartmouth.

—Michael Wainer [Jr] (1793-1876) b. Westport, d. Dartmouth, m. 1) in 1814 in Dartmouth        Rhoby Auker (1793-<1838) b. Dartmouth, d. Stockbridge, NY

            —-Lydia Wainer (1828-1917) m. David F. Wainer as above

                . . . m. 4) at Westport in 1806 Mary (Amos) White (ca1771-1827)

                   — Rodney Wainer (ca1809-1868) b.& d. Westport.





(—) Mingo m. Richard Gonduary (=Quanneway?)

   –Mercy Gunway (=Quanneway?) of Little Compton m. at LC 1736 Caesar Easton. Resided: Titticut Reservation, Middleborough.

–Moses Easton ( Forge smith,  m. at Norton, MA 1769 Rosanna Prince. Resided: Westport, Dartmouth, New Bedford.

    Rev. Peter Easton (1787-1824) Minister, m. at Westport 1819  Rhoda Cuffe; buried Beech Grove, Westport. Resided: Hartford, CT; Dartmouth.  Pastor, Talcott Street Congregational Church, Hartford 1821-23.

                   —Charles Easton (b.ca1800) m. at NYC? Sally Booth      Resided NYC & New Bedford

                                —-Charles F. Easton (1824-1906) b. NYC d. Fall River m. Marie Antoinette Leggett

—–William Edgar Easton (1861-1935) Playwright, author of Dessalines (1892) and Christophe (1903), b. NYC, d. Los Angeles, CA. Resided New Bedford;  Austin, TX; Los Angeles, m. at Travis Co, TX in 1888 Mary Elizabeth Thornton

–James Easton (1754-1830)  Foundry and forge owner,  d. North Bridgewater (Brockton), buried Melrose Cemetery, Brockton, m. Sarah Dunbar (1756-1833)

                —Sarah A. Easton (1789-1837) b. North Bridgewater, d. Boston, buried Melrose Cemetery, Brockton,  m. Robert Roberts (1781-1860) b. Charleston, SC, d. Boston, buried Woodlawn Cemetery, Everett, MA; author, The House Servants’ Directory (1827)

   — Benjamin Franklin Roberts (1815-1881) m. Adeline Fowler, resided  Boston,     Chelsea, Lynn, buried Mt. Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge. Author, Report of the Colored People of the City of Boston on the Subject of Exclusive Schools. Publisher, The Anti-Slavery Herald; publisher, The Self-Elevator.  Printer, book publisher,  activist.

—-Sarah Roberts (b.1843). Named plaintiff, Roberts v. City of Boston (1848), establishing “separate but equal” doctrine in school desegregation cases, cited as authority by US. Supreme Court in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896); overruled in Brown v. Board of Education (1954).

                                — Mary Easton (1795-1872) m. John Wainer as above

—Rev. Hosea Easton (1799-1837) Author, Address to the Coloured People of Providence, Rhode Island on Thanksgiving Day (1829); author, A Treatise on the Intellectual Character and the Civil and Political Condition of the Colored People of the United States (1837); lecturer, activist, minister, b. North Bridgewater, d. Hartford, CT; buried Old North Cemetery, Hartford; pastor, Talcott Street Congregational Church, Hartford (1831-1836); pastor, Colored Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, Hartford (1836).

   —-Sampson Easton (b.ca1830) m. Louisa (—). Proprietor, Easton Academy of Music, Hartford.

—–Hosea Easton (1851-1899) Musician, comedian. Resided in Sydney, Australia. Buried in Waverly Cemetery, Sydney.


-?Quonowin       1674 seller, with “squaw sachem” Wetamo and others, of land near Taunton River

   –?John Quannua          1706 purchaser of two 20 acre tracts of undivided Dartmouth land

— Peter Quaniwell (ca1735->1795) b. Tiverton?; d. Dartmouth; m 1) at Tiverton in 1760 (as Peter Quaneway) Mary Ephraim; m. 2) at Dartmouth in 1793 Martha Job.

   —-Joseph Quaniwell (ca1763-1834) b. Dartmouth; d. New Bedford, m. at Dartmouth in 1788 (as Joseph Quannawin) Hannah (Richmond) Peckham (ca1759-1834) b. Dighton or Westport, d. New Bedford

                —–Pamelia Quaniwell (ca1790->1821) m. Simeon Jeffrey (ca1790-1821)

                   ——Mary Jeffrey m. Asa F. Wainer as above


-?Jeffrey    1674 signer, with Mainokum and other “Indians of Dartmouth” pledging loyalty to Plymouth Colony

   –Joseph Jeffrey (ca1725-ca1760)  d. at sea, m. at Acoaxet ca1750 by John Simon, Indian minister to Amy Hinckley (ca1730->1811), b. Acoaxet. Resided: Clark’s Point, New Bedford.

                — Thomas Jeffrey b. New Bedford, m. at Dartmouth in 1769 Deborah Simon, b. Acoaxet?

                   —- Simeon Jeffrey m. Pamelia Quaniwell as above

                                — Mary Jeffrey m. Asa F. Wainer as above



   Amos    Listed as indentured servant in estate of Edward Richmond of Little Compton (1696); devisee of one half of 16 acre lot at Acoaxet under the will of Joseph Church of LC (1712)

–Amos Amos  Bound out to John Gifford of LC (1757). m. at Tiverton Congregational Church  in 1764 Rebecca Hinckley, b. Acoaxet

—Mary Amos (ca1771-1827) m. 1) at Westport in 1792 Joseph White; m. 2) at Westport in 1806 Michael Wainer




James Easton (1754-1830)

Sarah Dunbar (1756-1833)                            Parents of Mary (Easton) Wainer

James Easton[1] probably grew up on the Titticut Reservation (in Middleborough), where his father was involved in several land transactions. James Easton first appears in the records as a soldier in the American Revolution in 1776, constructing the fortifications on Dorchester Heights, under the supervision of Gen. Washington. Easton’s future father-in-law, Sampson Dunbar, was involved in the same activity. After the withdrawal of the British from Boston, Easton was reassigned to the company of Capt. James Allen in Col. Simeon Cary’s regiment, this unit assigned to defend upstate New York in 1777 against the invasion forces of Gen. John “Gentleman Johnny” Burgoyne, which were attacking southward along the west shore of Lake Champlain with the ultimate intention of linking up with Gen. Clinton’s forces, then ensconced in New York City, thus splitting New England off from the remainder of the rebelling colonies.

James Easton was reported killed in action in the regimental return on July 6, 1777, but fortunately this was not the case. There was only one action taking place on the day of Easton’s reported death, the capture of Ft. Ticonderoga by the British. The reason why the regiment considered him dead may be gleaned from the account provided by William Cooper Nell, the nation’s first professional African-American historian, in his Colored Portraits of the American Revolution. Facing overwhelming numbers, the Americans had decided to abandon Ft. Ticonderoga. But in order to delay a close pursuit by the British of the retreating American column — burdened with stores, ammunition and  the fort’s cannon — which might result in a disaster, the Americans decided to deceive the British by leaving a force of just four men inside the fort, with but a single instruction: fire the one remaining cannon on the approach of the British to make them think that the fort was still occupied.

For this suicide mission one man was selected by lot from each of the regiment’s four companies, and one of the unlucky four was James Easton. Historian John C. Miller gave an account of what happened next:

The rebels made good their getaway, all the British saw of the garrison was a cloud of dust kicked up by the fleeing Americans. Guns, cannon, ammunition and provisions they found in plenty, but of rebels none but four soldiers who had been left behind to fire a large cannon at the British when they came within range. But even this suicide squad was found dead drunk by a cask of Madeira.[2]

That Easton and his companions were more interested in the Madeira than the cannon may have a wise choice, for if the British would have been fired upon they may have killed the tiny garrison. As it was, Easton would have numbered among the 228 prisoners reported captured by the British for the entire engagement, and probably endured prolonged imprisonment, as the next record of him anywhere does not appear until more than three years later, when he was admitted as a member of the Church of Christ of North Bridgewater[3].

Some time after the war Easton took up the trade of blacksmithing, assisted eventually by four of his sons. William Cooper Nell (whose father was involved with James’ son James Jr and son-in-law Robert Roberts in various Boston anti-slavery societies of the 1830s) gives an account of Easton’s business activities in these years.

Mr. Easton was a manufacturing blacksmith, and his forge and nail factory, where he also made edge tools and anchors, was extensively known for its superiority of workmanship. Much of the iron work for the Tremont Theatre and Boston Marine Railway was executed under his supervision. Mr. Easton was self-educated. . .and was welcome in the business circles of Boston as a man of strict integrity, and the many who resorted to him for advice in complicated matters styled him “the Black Lawyer.”

In March 1801 Easton was one of four men appointed “Culler of Hoops and Staves” for the City of Boston, in which capacity he certified the work of Boston’s blacksmiths. As Price points out:

Any person chosen for such an important city position would have to be generally recognized as an expert in their field and for a man of color to receive such an appointment during that era — – in spite of customary prejudice and discriminatory treatment — would indicate that he possessed a more remarkable expertise than normal.

By 1814 Easton had constructed a foundry, at which time his land holdings were at 54 acres. In October 1816 James Easton Jr., having “just returned” from a weeklong stay with the Cuffe and Wainer families in Westport, wrote to Paul Cuffe requesting a $1000 loan, to be secured by Easton real estate, in order to establish an “institution” for educating workers at the Easton forge/foundry complex. While there is no recorded reply from Cuffe, less than two months later a mortgage was given to Samuel Rodman (brother-in-law of William Rotch Jr) in the amount of $2000. The Eastons established a sort of factory school which combined training in vocational trades with academic study. Among the alumni of this school were James Easton’s nephew Benjamin F. Roberts and the Boston civil rights activist and author Robert Benjamin Lewis.

While Easton’s forays into the white business world were, at least at first, reasonably successful, his relationships in practicing his religion met with resistance. In 1780 Easton had been accepted into membership in the Church of Christ of North Bridgewater, but problems arose when in 1789 the church was rebuilt, the new building containing a “Negro porch”[4] where people of color were supposed to sit. Easton had paid a rental for his family’s pew on the main floor, but after the redesign pressure was put on him to forfeit his pew and sit with the other people of color. This Easton refused to do, and he arrived one Sunday to find his pew coated with tar. The next Sunday Easton arrived at the church with a wagon full of seats for his family — removing the tar-coated pew, they sat in the seats they brought with them in the aisle space. Price regards this act as the first “sit-in” protest by people of color in American history.

Hostility towards the Easton family continued, resulting in their joining the Baptist Church in Stoughton, but even there problems arose, and by the time of his death James Easton appears not to have been a member there, and shortly after James’ death his wife was removed from the membership rolls. A factor which might explain some of the hostility occurred in 1818, when James’ son Caleb Easton married Chloe Packard, who at the time was 4-5 months pregnant. Chloe was the daughter of one of the town’s prominent white families, and this marriage may have proved a bridge too far in testing the townsfolk’s appetite for assimilation with the Eastons.[5]


Caesar Easton

Mercy Gunway (=Quanneway?)               Paternal grandparents of Mary (Easton) Wainer

Caesar Easton was either a freed slave of the Easton family of Newport or the son of a freed slave of the Eastons. Rev. Hosea Easton wrote that he was “of the third generation removed from slavery,” which would indicate that Caesar was not born into slavery.  The Eastons were one of the original families settling Newport[6]: both Easton’s Beach and Easton’s Point are named for this family. Nicholas Easton served as President (i.e. governor) of Rhode Island Colony from 1650-54 and as Governor from 1672-74. His son John Easton served as governor and his son Peter Easton was treasurer. The Eastons had converted to Quakerism in the 1660s, and by 1701 the last of the Easton’s slaves had been manumitted. In 1736 one Caesar Easton “of Rhode Island” [i.e. Aquidneck Island] crossed the Sakonnet River to marry Mercy Gunway “of Little Compton” in the bride’s hometown. The surname Gunway is problemetic, as no other person with such a surname appears in any area town. Perhaps the surname is a variant spelling of Quanneway, a family  appearing in several Tiverton records of the mid-1700s, as will be discussed further in connection with the ancestry of Mary (Jeffrey) Wainer. 

By 1748 Caesar Easton was living at the Titticut Reservation, where he purchased 90 acres from his in-laws, Richard & Mingo “Gundoury,” with Richard listed as “Negro” and Mingo as “Indian.”[7]  An additional purchase at Titticut was from four Indians, among them  John Simon, who later appears as an “Indian justice” and minister at Acoaxet. By the late 1700s the sons of Caesar Easton had dispersed to the towns of Taunton, North Bridgewater and Westport.[8]  


Rev. Hosea Easton (1799-1837)     Brother of Mary (Easton) Wainer

Rev. Hosea Easton was a minister, lecturer and author, his major work being A Treatise on the Intellectual Character and the Civil and Political Condition of the Colored People of the United States, published shortly before his death. By the time of his death he was the most influential African-American abolitionist in the country, but within ten years  the abolitionist movement had changed course, leaving Easton largely forgotten and  a mere footnote in abolitionist history.

Easton moved to Boston to study for the ministry, but his first pastorate was at the Talcott Street Congregational Church[9] in Hartford, the first  black church in that area. Its first pastor had been Paul Cuffe’s son-in-law (and Hosea’s first cousin) Rev. Peter Easton, who served from 1821 to 1823. The church had been founded, as had many of the first wave of black churches throughout New England, because blacks were unable to enjoy  the benefits of full participation in the existing churches. In the basement of the church Hosea started  the first school for black children to be established in Hartford.

Hosea Easton’s pastorate was anything but untroubled. Two race riots, one lasting four days and both stemming from incidents outside the church, took place in 1834-35, and the homes of several nearby church members were burned down. In 1836 Rev. Easton built a new church, the Colored Methodist Episcopal Zion Church on Elm Street, but this church was burned down in another act of arson.

It is against this background of personal experience that Easton’s writing should be understood. He was an abolitionist in the traditional sense, but for him the problem was much wider. The North was, by this time, relatively free of slavery, but the problem of racial prejudice persisted in its absence. Without attacking the underlying problem of prejudice, the elimination of slavery throughout the land would provide only partial relief.

One of Easton’s chief villains was the American Colonization Society, which he saw as sustaining the slave system that its leadership (including Madison, the first ACS president) claimed it was trying to end. In his Address to the Coloured Population of Providence, Rhode Island on Thanksgiving Day (1829) he condemned the ACS’

. . .diabolical pursuit where they will steal the sons of Africa, bring them to America, keep them in bondage for centuries, then transport them back to Africa by which means America gets all her drudgery done at little expense.

Another of Easton’s targets were the northern abolitionists[10] who would shed crocodile tears for the oppression of blacks who lived a thousand miles away in slavery, but too often turned a blind eye to the oppression of blacks in their own communities. For Easton, one did not have to “look away down South in Dixie,” as the song goes, to see racism, he could see it from his front window. The fate of the two black populations were uncoupled: the elimination of slavery in the South would not mean the elimination of prejudice in the North, and the most likely result of emancipation would be that prejudice would replace slavery in the South and thus would reign supreme throughout the land. And it would be hard to argue with Easton that, as history unfolded in the decades after his death, through Reconstruction and beyond, this is exactly what happened.

Moreover, the abolition of slavery would by itself be only the first step, hinting at what in modern discourse we would call “reparations”:

. . .emancipation embraces that the emancipated must be place back where slavery found them, and restore to them all that slavery has taken away from them. Merely to cease beating the colored people, and leave them in their gore, and call it emancipation, is nonsense. Nothing short of an entire reversal of the slave system in theory and practice — in general and in particular — will ever accomplish the work of redeeming the colored people of the country from their present condition.

Easton’s view may seem obvious today, but it was not widely held in his time, either among white or black abolitionists. More representative was the view expressed in 1870 by his brother-in-law Benjamin F. Roberts (whose role as the leading figure in ending segregation in Boston’s schools will be discussed in another installment), like many others still dizzy with post-Juneteenth euphoria, but who in more sober times had been the publisher of two Boston abolitionist newspapers:

The new era to the black man places him on an equal footing with all other men in this country. As liberty, equality and fraternity are not now limited to color or previous condition, the great avenue to success is open, and the prosperous future depends on the proper exertion of all people to merit their share in the general distribution of all mental, physical and moral business resources. It is “the good time to come.” We must improve it, if we are not to be left in the rear. Sympathy, after this, for anyone on account of color, will be a thing of the past. Every man must now figure for himself.

Hosea Easton died at age 38 of unknown causes. In his Treatise, published shortly before his death, he may have touched upon one cause:

The effect of these discouragements are everywhere manifest among the colored people. I will venture to say, from my own experience and observation, that hundreds of them come to an untimely grave, by no other disease than . . .oppression.




William Edgar Easton (1861-1935)  First cousin twice-removed to Mary (Easton) Wainer

A great-grandson  of James Easton’s brother Moses, William Edgar Easton was born in New York City but spent much of his early life in New Bedford. His own life story seems sufficiently exotic to have formed the basis for one of his plays. His mother was Marie Antoinette Leggett, born in New Orleans to a Creole family having ancestral roots in Haiti. He grew up in a household where both French and English were spoken. His father, Charles F. Easton, was a barber in New Bedford. William’s mother died when he was 14, and care of his education was assumed by a mysterious “godmother,” a certain Baroness de Hoffman. William was educated at LaSalle Academy in Providence, the  Seminaire St. Joseph de Trois-Rivieres, Quebec and at the College de St. Croix in St. Cesaire, Quebec.

Easton went from Canada to Austin, TX in the early 1880s, where he married and became an organizer and speech writer for the Republican Party (his father-in-law was active in Texas Republican politics and held several local offices).[11] By 1901 Easton relocated to Los Angeles, where he lived the remainder of his life. He held a variety of clerical jobs and also wrote speeches for the Republican and Progressive Parties, and he seems to have prospered.[12]

In a 1930 interview in the NAACP magazine The Crisis, Easton made a few references to his more remote ancestry, claiming that he was descended from James Easton of Revolutionary War fame, but it is clear that he was in fact descended from James’ brother Moses[13]. Easton also dropped the name of Capt. Paul Cuffe several times, in such a way as to suggest a descent from his as well (through Rev. Peter Easton, presumably, whose children by Rhoda would indeed be Paul Cuffe descendants). Rev. Peter Easton’s own ancestry is uncertain to some extent, as no birth record can be found, but it would appear that Peter Easton was a great-uncle of the playwright, a brother of William’s grandfather Charles Easton.

 Until William Easton’s time (and continuing, in point of fact, well after his time) the portrayal of blacks on the stage, or in songs or literature, consisted of simple-minded, buffoonish characters acting out in clownish fashion an assortment of negative racial stereotypes. William Edgar Easton set out determined to change the depiction of blacks on the American stage, and his main characters would be heroic figures. Written in blank verse, his two plays share other characteristics of Shakespearean drama (including playing fast and loose with historical fact in order to heighten dramatic impact). His first play, Dessalines, debuted in 1893 in Chicago[14]. Co-starring Henrietta Vinton Davis, the foremost African-American actress of her time, the play depicted the life of Gen. Jean Jacques Dessalines, who led Haitian revolutionary forces to victory after the imprisonment of Touissant L’Ouverture. In his preface to Dessalines, Easton himself gives the best explanation of what he hoped to accomplish:

The Negro alone fails to immortalize his distinguished dead, and leaves to the prejudiced pen of other races the office, by which a proper conception of duty to posterity, very properly becomes his duty. Indeed we have excellent caricatures of the Negro in his only recognized school of legitimate drama, i.e. buffoonery. But the author of this work hopes to see a happier era inaugurated by the constant production of legitimate drama, written exclusively for Negro players and meeting, he hopes, with the full endorsement of the brother in white. Othello, once the pride of the ambitious colored histrionic, has sadly metamorphosed his once singularly dark complexion and now holds the boards the victim of a very mild case of sunburn.

Easton’s second play, Christophe, was based on the life of Henri Christophe, Haiti’s second ruler. Christophe (paralleling Shakespeare’s Henry IV) had attained power by deposing his predecessor and former ally, Dessalines. Supposedly written with Henrietta Vinton Davis in mind, the actress again co-starred in the 1911 debut of Christophe at the Lenox Casino in Harlem.  


Hosea Easton (1849-1899)            Great-nephew of Mary (Easton) Wainer

Grandson of Rev. Hosea Easton, Hosea grew up in Harford, where his father, Sampson Easton owned The Easton Academy of Music on Commerce St., where he made and repaired banjos, fiddles and other instruments. The Hartford Courant reported an incident in 1861 when “Sam” Easton rescued a woman who had fallen into the nearby Connecticut River. Braving the icy waters, Easton rescued the woman and carried her to the river’s bank. Upon regaining her composure, the woman stared at her rescuer then, realizing his race, rewarded him with a slap across the face.

A banjo prodigy, Hosea Easton joined the Original Georgia Minstrels. Unlike most minstrel groups, who were white men performing in blackface, the Original Georgia Minstrels were black men. No less a contemporary authority on political correctness than William Lloyd Garrison gave his seal of approval to the group (the dour Garrison didn’t say he enjoyed the music or humor, but he did assure readers that the performance contained no offensive material). His musical numbers interlaced with comedic patter, Easton accompanied the group on an international tour to China, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand. The Sydney Mail reported that Easton “draws considerably on theology and temperance for his witticisms.” The Daily Telegraph called him “one of the cleverest and most versatile colored comedians we have ever had in this country.”

Easton was so impressed with Australia that he decided to make Sydney his permanent home. He branched out into “serious” acting, with a 1924 account from the Adelaide Sport stating

The original “Uncle Tom” in Uncle Tom’s Cabin was the famous Hosea Easton, when Douglas was Simon Lagree and Belle Douglas (who years afterward married Jack Parsons) played Little Eva, who was taken from her death bed by the angels. Hosea was great in the old man parts and met for years with much success in all the States.

Easton became a celebrity in his adopted country — even when arrested for assault, the newspaper account referred to him as “the famous banjo player, Hosea Easton.” His funeral in Sydney was attended by 2000 people, and accounts of the funeral procession from the church to Waverly Cemetery, accompanied by his musician friends, seem to depict what we would recognize as a New Orleans style “jazz funeral.”



Margaret Quebbin

Dorcas Quebbin    Mother and maternal grandmother of  Michael Wainer

In the 1859 Wainer land claims case, John Wainer testified

I remember my grandmother. Her name was Margaret Quebbin. She was a full-blooded Indian. She lived part of the time in Dartmouth and part of the time in Westport.  She lived about one and half mile west of Slocumb’s River, near where Naomi Quance lived.[15] My great-grandmother was Dorcas Quebbin, she was reputed to have lived down by Slocumb’s.[16]

 The earlier ancestry of this line of the Quebbin family is clouded.  One intriguing possibility is connection to Peter Quakin a/k/a Osomehow, the brother of Mamanuah, the Acoaxet sachem at the end of the 1600s. There are numerous variants of this surname (Quaquin, Kewaquin, etc) but in several land records the surname was spelled Quabin and Cuabin, which phonetically is very close to Quebbin. In the earliest deed where Michael Wainer purchased property, he was called “Michael Wainer of Dartmouth, mustee man alias Michael Quaben.”

One other set of circumstances should be taken into account. In the Wainer land claims case presented to the Massachusetts legislature in 1859, the claimants (Rodney Wainer, Asa Wainer and unspecified others) claimed ownership of eight specific farms, in whole or in part. The four Dartmouth farms (John Wing, Samuel Brightman[17], Otis Slocum and Samuel Barker) were claimed on the basis that Wainer ancestors had occupied these lands over an unspecified length of time. The four “Westport”[18] farms were claimed on a different basis: in addition to possession, the Wainer ancestors had once held deeds to these Westport properties, and these properties “had never been sold, transferred or alienated.”

Unfortunately there is no indication in the surviving record that any such deeds were introduced into evidence, nor is any mention of such deeds made in the arguments that were recorded.[19] Since the names of the Wainer ancestors who held these deeds are not given, we would seem to be at a dead end at determining who they were. But if we had a list of all Indian grantees of Acoaxet lands, then somewhere on that list must be at least one Wainer ancestor.  The list of Indian grantors and grantees of Acoaxet is a limited one, and if the Wainer claims had merit then at least one of the grantees must be a Wainer ancestor. The list is as follows:

Peter Quakin/Kewaquin/Queaquin etc a/k/a Osomehow/Osomehue. Brother to Mamanuah. Signer of 1674 agreement, with brother Pasotoquo, acknowledging their brother Mamamnuah to be “sachem and chief proprietor of Sakonnet lands.” (This agreement is filed in Bristol County Deeds/Fall River). Not listed as a grantee in the indices, he is the grantor in a number of deeds to white settlers. His land was in the area north and east of Quicksand Pond, much of it within Little Compton.  Peter or his son Pope Quakin a/k/a Pope Idiohe sold  parcels to white settlers Thomas Butts[20], Henry Head and John Wilbore. It is possible that Peter Quakin somehow received his land from “Stephen the Indian,” as the land appears to be in the same area but no Stephen is listed anywhere as a grantee or grantor.

Alderman: The Indian who shot King Philip. Col. Benjamin Church wrote that as a reward for his actions, he was given King Philip’s severed right hand, which was marked by a scar where a gun Philip had shot misfired (a common occurrence in the days of the flintlock). According to Church, Alderman preserved the hand in a pail of rum and after the war carried it around to taverns, where in exchange for a penny he would display it to the curious. In 1685 Mamanuah deeded to Alderman, who then resided at Nonquit,[21] a 100 acre parcel, bordering the WLCT/St. Vincent de Paul property on the Little Compton side.  

John Mamamuah             Son of Mamanuah; grantee from Mamanuah..

William/Will Mamanuah                Son of Mamanuah; grantee from Mamanuah.

Howdee               Grantee from Mamanuah. In the Wainer land claims case  Charles Manchester, who lived on Old Harbor Road, testified that until the 1830s an Indian named Jacob Howdy lived along the west side of the West Branch, about one mile north of the Abraham Manchester farm (south end of Old Harbor Road), which would be in the approximate area in Acoaxet of the 30 acres conveyed to Howdee. In 1829  the New Bedford Mercury noted the death of Sarah Howdee of Little Compton, “the last of the Sakonnet tribe”

Isaac the Indian Preacher: grantee from Mamanuah. A one third interest in his 40 acres appears to be conveyed in the 1740s by one Isaac Crocker, “Indian man of Little Compton” to Perez Richmond.[22] As noted below, testimony in the 1813 case of Dartmouth v. Westport from Charlotte White’s mother would indicate that Isaac the Indian Preacher’s grandson was Joseph Jeffrey.

Stephen the Indian a/k/a Nocanow : Not listed in deeds as a grantee, but listed as an abutter to the properties of John Mamanuah. The area between Cockeast and Quicksand Ponds was referred to both by its “English name,” Stephen’s Neck, and by its “Indian name,” Newtinnick[23]. Since Stephen the Indian’s land is shown by land records to have been located between Quicksand and Cockeast Ponds, it would be a fair assumption that Stephen’s Neck was named for him. Stephen was reputed to be a brother of Mamanuah. If that is true, then  Peter Quakin a/k/a Osomehow  would also have been a brother and he may have inherited or acquired the land of Stephen, who  is not listed in any deeds as grantor. In 1673, Steven alias Nucano and Wittamo [Weetamoo] witnessed a deed executed by Tatamonock, Ben alias Petononowet[24], and William alias Ijasack[25] to Hugh Cole of Swansea for land along the Taunton River, partly bounded by a “Great pond” called Wattupogue [Watuppa].

Jonatus, Sam Parackus, Sue Codimonk (sister of Jonatus): Perhaps heirs of Stephen the Indian, these three sold land in 1696 located between Cocoest (Cockeast Pond) and Nanoquachings (Richmond Pond).

An intriguing entry in Dartmouth Vital Records is the 1773 marriage of Margreat Waner, Indian to Newport Gardner, Negro man. The possibility exists that the groom is Newport Gardner a/k/a Occramer Marycoo (1746-1826), who arrived in Newport as a slave in 1760. Gardner founded the Free African Union Society in 1780, the first association started by Africans in America. Proprietor of a music school in Newport, in 1802 he became America’s first published African-American composer, of the song “Crooked Shanks.” He died in Liberia in 1826, leading a group of 31 African-Americans who planned to establish a colony there.

That Newport Gardner in Dartmouth is the same one  is an open question. The Newport resident is known to have had a wife named Limas, but there is no marriage record to Limas, and the 1783 birth of their eldest child Silva Gardner (1783-84) does not preclude an earlier marriage to a different wife.

It seems likely that, whoever the groom was, this Margreat Waner would have been a daughter of Margaret Quebbin and a sister of Michael Wainer, the latter’s own first marriage (to Deborah Pequit) taking place in Dartmouth in 1769, making Michael a contemporary of Margreat (Waner) Gardner. Michel Wainer gave the name Gardner Wainer to one of his sons in honor of this relative.

Another entry in Dartmouth Vital Records merits attention, the 1795 marriage of Sarah Wayner to Pero Russell, “black people.” Russell is said to have operated a “restaurant” somewhere in Dartmouth where diners enjoyed his house special, roasted skunk. He is perhaps the ancestor of the Pero family of Westport, although other possible ancestors (e.g. Pero Howland, Pero Coggeshall) exist.[26] The 1795 marriage year of Sarah seems to make more likely  the prospect that she was the daughter of Michael Wainer than of Margaret Quebbin.


Mary Amos (ca1771-1827)[27]        Last wife of Michael Wainer, mother of Rodney Wainer. Likely the daughter of Amos Amos, who first appears in Little Compton records in 1757, bound out to John Gifford, who lived on John Dyer Road west of the area of Meeting House Meadow and the Jehu burial site mentioned below.[28] In March 1764 Amos “Ammons” and Rebecca “Hinely” were married at Tiverton Congregational Church; the prior month marriage intentions had been issued in Dartmouth to Amos Amos and Rebecca Hinckley[29], both “Indians.” An anonymous Nantucket merchant account ledger from 1764-65 mentions Joseph Salisbury[30] of Dartmouth and his Indians Isaac Monet and Amos Amos.[31]

The father of Amos Amos  may have been the servant mentioned in the 1711 will of Joseph Church of Little Compton, brother of Col. Benjamin Church, who devised “to my Indian boy Amos one half of a 16 acre lot at Coakset.” The 1696 inventory of the estate of  Edward Richmond, a neighbor of Church, lists Indian servants Peter Awashonks[32], John Ahamo[33] and Amos, the remaining time on their indentures valued at 3 pounds each.

The father of Rebecca Hinckley was probably Daniel Hinckley, “an Indian who became an effective preacher of Christianity and teacher at Coaxset.”[34] In 1698 Revs. Grindall Rawson and Samuel Danforth, representing an English missionary society, conducted a survey of Christianized Indians, visiting both the Sakonnet village[35] and the Acoaxet village:

At Cokesit in Little Compton, Daniel Hinckley hath taught here four years, twice every sabbath. Eleven families are his auditors; most of the men can read, and many young ones. . . can say their catechisms. Of this number, three persons are in full communion with the church settled at Nukkehummes [Dartmouth][36]. A person called Aham is schoolmaster here, and we are informed performs his work well. Here are also two persons improved as rulers. Preaching here, the two forementioned teachers, at our direction, prayed very soberly and understandingly.

 In 1792 Mary Amos married at Westport Joseph White[37], a brother of Charlotte and brother-in-law of Paul Cuffe’s brother John. By this marriage she appears to have had two daughters, including Hannah White who married Peter Quaniwell, “people of color,” in Westport in 1810. Peter Quaniwell sold a 10 acre parcel on the north side of Adamsville Road in the area opposite the Cornell Road intersection to John Cory[38], including a shoemaker’s shop and a house “which I have built and now occupy.” Peter Quaniwell died at the notorious Dartmoor Prison in England in 1815, where he was held after being seized during the War of 1812 from the Dartmouth merchant shop Walker.[39]    Peter Quaniwell was the uncle of Pamelia (Quaniwell) Jeffrey (ca1790-<1821), wife of Simeon Jeffrey of New Bedford, who were the parents of Mary (Jeffrey) Wainer (1819-1887), wife of Asa F. Wainer, a woman whose prolific Native-American ancestry as will be discussed further.

Mary White was “of Little Compton” when she married Michael Wainer in Westport in  1806, indicating that she had perhaps returned to her roots in the waning days of the postwar Sakonnet “village” on John Dyer Road. In the Wainer land claims case witness Charles Manchester[40] testified

The [maternal] grandmother [of Rodney Wainer] lived on land recently occupied by Abraham Manchester,[41] about a mile from the sea and a mile from the West River. About a mile to the north, near the river, lived an Indian named Jacob Howdy. It might be 30 years ago. Rodney’s mother lived a little way over the line, in Rhode Island. It was generally reputed that these were Indian lands.

Rawson and Danforth in their 1698 visitation left an account of the Sakonnet village in earlier times:

The first assembly dwells at Saconet; Samuel Church[42], alias Sohchawahham, has for more than one year past endeavored their instruction, and is best capable of any in that place to perform that service. He has ordinarily forty auditors [and often] many times more; of these above twenty are men. Divers here are well instructed in their catechisms, and above ten can read the bible. Here are likewise two Indian rulers, John Tohkukquanno[43] and Jonathan George[44], the first of which is well spoken of.

In 1727 Rev. Richard Billings, pastor the UCC church in Little Compton who occasionally preached to the Indians at the John Dyer Road location, estimated the Indian population at 200[45]. In 1740s when Little Compton was annexed by Rhode Island its Indian population was stated to be 86. In 1762 Rev. Ezra Stiles[46] of Newport numbered at 105 the combined Indian population of Tiverton, Little Compton and Dartmouth. Stiles found that only 37% of the adult population were males. In the 1774 military census Little Compton had 25 Indians, 15 of them living in white households.  Bayles states “In the next eight years their whole number was reduced to thirteen and probably some nine tenths of the present [1888] population have never seen a resident Indian.”

Testifying about events at the Acoaxet village location ca1750, a witness  in an 1813 case[47], Quash  Anthony[48] said

When we got to Perez Richmond’s [the later Abraham Manchester farm] where Amy Hinckley[49] lived. . .[the bride and groom, Amy Hinckley and Joseph Jeffrey[50]] went to John Simon the Indian minister to be married, and myself and another went a different way to buy cakes for the wedding and we returned nearly at the same time to Perez Richmond’s where we had the wedding fare.

Another deponent in the same 1813 case where Quash Anthony testified was the mother of Charlotte White:

I, Eliza White of Westport. . . testify and say that about sixty-one or two years since I was at a wedding and present when Joseph Jeffry was married to Amy Hinckley by John Simon an old Indian minister, and further saith. . .that I have frequently been informed that the grandfather of the said Joseph Jeffrey had a Real Estate in that part of Dartmouth now called Westport, and was an inhabitant of said Westport, and was an Indian minister[51] and that I have been informed that the said Joseph Jeffry after his marriage with the said Amy Hinckley to that part of Dartmouth [that is] now New Bedford on lands belonging to Benjamin Russell on Clark’s Neck. . .

It is possible that both Mary Amos and her husband Michael Wainer have Native-American roots in the same location. Witness Marlborough Wood testified, accurately, in the Wainer land claims case that Michael Wainer had once lived at the place owned at the time of this testimony by Charles Tucker [i.e. the site of Davoll’s Store at Russells Mills].

John Wainer’s grandfather [i.e. Michael’s Wainer’s father] lived, occupied and owned  land on the west side of the West River in Westport. I was quite an old man, and had been married some time[52], when he died. He occupied the land to his death.

                In Bayles’ History of Newport County, Rhode Island (1888), George Hussey Gifford (b.1831) related to Bayles certain landmarks on his farm (inherited from his father, Nathaniel Gifford, and one of the four “Westport” farms of the Wainer land claims case)

Northeast of Potter’s Corners, on the farm of George H. Gifford, is the grave of Aaron Succenash[53], who with his wife Mary lived there since the place has been owned by the Gifford family [ca1740?]. The site of his house and his grave are a few rods south of Mr. Gifford’s, and on the east side of the highway. The field, now a meadow, contained also the wigwam of Wainer, an Indian who married Mary White. Their son Rodney, a man of remarkable physique, was a whaler, remembered by persons now living.

Gifford lived in the ca1750 house, probably built by his great-grandfather Canaan Gifford,  still in existence at 195 John Dyer Road. North of the house was a field called “Meeting House Meadow”[54] and to its west beyond the brook was the burial place of Jehu, an Indian minister.[55] This Indian meeting house appears to be the one visited by Peleg Burroughs as late as the early 1790s.

Simeon Jeffrey (ca1790-1821)

Pamelia Quaniwell (ca1790->1821)         Parents of Mary (Jeffrey) Wainer, wife of Asa F. Wainer and mother of Adoniram L., Asa F., James V. and Ira Wainer, all residing on the Paul Wainer portion of the Michael Wainer farm[56] in Westport, and Chloe (Wainer) Cook, wife of Benjamin P. Cook, the latter the son of Capt. Pardon & Alice (Cuffe) Cook.  Simeon Jeffrey committed suicide by hanging himself at the New Bedford Alms House while being held a prisoner for stealing candles.[57]


Joseph Quonwell (ca1763-1835)

Hannah (Richmond) Peckham (d.1835)  Maternal grandparents of Mary (Jeffrey) Wainer.

They were married (he under the name of Joseph Quanowin, she as Hannah Peckham) in New Bedford in 1788. In 1816 Joseph Quonwell shipped on the brig Orion, age 53, born Dartmouth, residing at New Bedford, height 5’6”, colored complexion. Joseph lived in the Clark’s Point area, where he owned land.

In 1794 Joseph Quoniwon of Dartmouth and Hannah Quonuel were patients of Dr. Eli Handy.[58]

Peleg Burroughs’ Journal[59] mentions in 1778 “Hannah Richmond, a young Injin woman about 19.” In 1785 in New Bedford Hannah married Pomp [Pompey] Peckham, who apparently died shortly after the marriage.

Peter Quoniwell (ca1735-<1810)

Martha Job         Maternal great-grandparents of Mary (Jeffrey) Wainer.

Peter Quanneway married in Tiverton in 1760 Mary Ephraim. He married second in Dartmouth in 1763, as Peter Quonowin, “mulatto man of Tiverton” Martha Job, “Indian woman of Dartmouth.” Martha Job and her mother had both lived in Dartmouth, but their roots can be demonstrated to reach back to Martha’s Vineyard, and the Segal & Pierce book describes those antecedents. Peter might be related to Keziah Quanneway, listed in the 1774 RI Military Census.

Peter Quanawell was a creditor of the estate of William Durfee in Tiverton in 1769. In 1777 Peter Quannaway enlisted as a private in Capt. Benjamin Wilcox’ company (made up mostly of Westporters) and was involved in a “secret expedition to Rhode Island.” [the Prescott raid?] In the early 1780s Peter Quonwell made several land purchases in the area adjoining the Smith’s Neck Friends Meeting in Dartmouth. In 1795 Peter Quonwell of Dartmouth posted a notice in The New Bedford Medley that his wife “Mather. . .has eloped from my bed and board, these are to forbid any person from trusting her, as I will not pay any debt of her contracting.”

                Some insight into the origins of Peter Quaniwell may be gleaned from a 1798 account submitted to the state by the Town of Dartmouth for “bording” provided to Peter’s son John Quannewin (b.ca1771) and also “2 shirts, 1 pair woollen breaches, 1 pair shoes, 1 pair stockings, jacket.”

From the best information we can deduct that . . .John Quannewin’s father and mother was born in Tivertown in the State of Rhode Island and cum into the Town of Dartmouth since A. D. 1767 and has not gained any settlement in sd Dartmouth nor in this Commonwealth. . .[and that] John Quanewill aged 27 years was born of woman who married a man from the State of Rod Island deceast and is a cripple and have never gained a legal settlement in this town. . .[60]


London Richmond (d.1816)

Deborah Pegin                  Maternal great-grandparents of Mary (Jeffrey) Wainer

London Richmond was a freed slave of Col. Sylvester Richmond (1698-1783) of Acoaxet and Dighton. In his genealogy The Richmond Family(1897), Joshua Richmond wrote of Col. Richmond:

He had a large number of slaves and long before the Revolution liberated and settled them in Dartmouth woods. There is a ridge of land in that town that was settled almost wholly by negroes who were the emancipated slaves of Col. Richmond.

In all probability these statements apply to just one ex-slave, London Richmond, who served in a militia company from Dighton during the Revolution, while he was still enslaved, and sometime after the war, perhaps not until Col. Richmond’s death, at a time shortly before all slavery was made illegal in Massachusetts anyway, he gained his freedom and — without any assistance from his former master appearing in the record — purchased in his own name  a 2 acre parcel from Robert Earle located east of Main Road in the vicinity of Dunham’s Brook, near the ridge of the Rt 88 corridor. Joshua Richmond seems to have gained the impression that all of the “negroes” living to London’s east (the Cuffes, Wainers and Cooks) were the descendants of former slaves of the Richmonds.

While entrusting his Acoaxet farm[61] to the management of others, Col. Richmond moved to Dighton in 1723, where he became a colonel in the British Army, high sheriff of Bristol County, and representative to the General Court.[62]   When Col. Richmond died, a relative was engaged to travel to Little Compton and Acoaxet to notify “friends” of the colonel’s demise, these friends specified to include the colonel’s “Negro family,” several of whom traveled to Dighton to attend the colonel’s funeral, the estate reimbursing them for their travel expenses.[63]

Dartmouth VR have Deborah “Pegon” and London Richmond filing intentions in 1757, and 25 years later again filing intentions in Dartmouth in 1782 as “Lonnon” [no last name], Negro man and Deborah Pegan, Indian woman.[64] When London Richmond died in 1816, he made bequests to William Cuffe and Paul Cuffe Jr. and named Paul Wainer executor and devised to him his real estate.[65]

[1] The most comprehensive account of James Easton and his family is to be found in the dissertation of George R. Price, The Easton Family of Southeastern Massachusetts: The Dynamics Surrounding Five Generations of Human Right Activism (University of Montana 2006).

[2] Miller, Triumph of Freedom (1948).

[3] In the 1860s North Bridgewater was renamed Brockton.

[4] I.e. a gallery dedicated to seating people of color. At around this time the UCC church of Little Compton — the town where James Easton’s parents were married — underwent a similar redesign, where the people of color (most of them still slaves) were sequestered in the gallery while the white congregants occupied pews on the main floor.

[5] This was not the only marriage between white and black in the extended Easton family. Caleb’s brother also married a white woman, and when that woman became a widow she married, as his second wife, Robert Roberts, whose first wife was Sarah Easton. This later marriage put Benjamin F. Roberts in the awkward position of having as his stepmother the same white woman who was formerly his aunt.

[6] The first house to be built in Newport was erected in the vicinity of Farewell St. in 1640 by Nicholas Easton.

[7] The Mingo family — ancestors of Polly Johnson, William Mingo, etc. —  just like the Quanneways, does have some connections to  1700s Little Compton and Tiverton, but whether it refers to the same family is unclear.

[8] In two 1793 deeds, Moses Easton is described as a “forge smith currently residing in Westport.” It would appear likely he was involved with the Rotch forge on Forge Road.

[9] Located at the NE corner of Talcott and Market Streets. In modern times the site of the church has been a parking garage. When I worked in downtown Hartford in the early 1990s, I used to park in this garage. Today, one would never guess that this site was near the center of any neighborhood: the routing of Interstates 84 and 91 through downtown Hartford, together with the construction of Constitution Plaza, has obliterated all traces of the black neighborhood that was centered on Front Street, as well as the Italian neighborhood that was situated to its south.

[10] Garrison, who Easton admired, and a few others would have been exceptions. Garrison had his eyes open to prejudice anywhere, including (in The Liberator’s 1840s interviews of Pardon Cook and John Wainer) right here in Westport. 

[11] These were the waning days of the Reconstruction governments, and soon thereafter the “Redeemers” would achieve in Texas what had already taken place in most of the South, the replacement of the scalawag and carpetbag “black Republicans” by Democrats whose first order of business would be establishing a Jim Crow regime.

[12] In the 1930 census his house, which he owned, was valued at $15,000, an impressive value for its time.

[13] In two 1793 deeds relating to real estate in Dartmouth, Moses Easton is referred to as a “forge smith now residing in the Town of Westport.” He did not appear to have owned real estate in Westport. Circumstances would suggest that he was employed at the Rotch forge on Forge Road, perhaps invited by Josiah Leonard of Taunton, who supposedly supplied the technical expertise to his two Westport partners (William Gifford and Lemuel Milk) when they constructed the forge in 1789. (William Gifford of Westport, a miller, was involved in two Dartmouth real estate transactions with Moses Easton). William Rotch Jr acquired the forge property in 1795 and built the granite forge which remains a part of Westport Factory #2. Later, Moses Easton lived on the south side of Kempton St./Route 6 in Dartmouth. In what television commercials would call “an IRS nightmare”, in 1817 this property was seized by the federal government for non-payment of the “direct tax” — which totaled forty-four cents. The property was sold at auction and apparently never redeemed by the Eastons.

[14] Staged at the same time as the Columbian Exposition was taking place, some saw the locale as a sort of protest against the Exposition’s failure to acknowledge the cultural contributions of African-Americans in its exhibits.

[15] Naomi (Quance) Abel, widow of Nehemiah Abel Jr and mother-in-law to Paul Cuffe. She lived on the Dartmouth side of Division Road about halfway between the Slade’s Corner Road and Cross Road intersections. 

[16] In the context of this case, “down by Slocumb’s” probably refers to one of the four farms the Wainers claimed,  the Otis Slocum farm, which was on both sides of the north end of Barney’s Joy Road and included Great Neck. Otis Slocum was supposedly the last in the line of Slocums to own Cuttyhunk.

[17] Like so many other aspects of the Wainer land claims case, the presentation was botched, and Brightman was listed as owner of one of the Westport farms. In fact he lived on the east (Dartmouth) side of Division Road in a house, no longer in existence, located just north of the Brightman family cemetery, about midway between the intersections of Cross and Slade’s Corner Roads. Likewise, Nathaniel Gifford is listed as owner of one of the Dartmouth farms, but in fact lived in a ca1750 house built by his grandfather and still in existence at 195 John Dyer Road in Little Compton, his land extending from west of John Dyer Road easterly across the state line to the west side of Old Harbor Road, Westport.

[18] Two of the “Westport” farms, the adjoining farms of Nathaniel Gifford and John Dyer, were mostly in Little Compton. The failure to specify this fact by the claimants’ attorneys may have been an innocent oversight, or it may have been a recognition of the precarious jurisdictional situation of petitioning the Massachusetts legislature to make an award based on properties that were partly located in a different sovereign state.

[19] Many of the arguments made in the case are of doubtful relevance and others have no relevance at all. I will give one example. Lengthy arguments center on the validity of the 1652 deed from Massasoit to the Dartmouth Proprietors (whether it was properly executed, whether Wamsutta had the authority to sign the deed, etc.). No one, apparently, observed this simple fact: the deed from Massasoit has no connection to the contested “Westport” farms because they were all in Acoaxet, which was not part of Old Dartmouth but of Little Compton until 1743. Acoaxet land was purchased from Mamanuah, not Massassoit, and was purchased and distributed by the Sakonnet Proprietors, not the Dartmouth Proprietors.

[20] Peter’s son Pope Quakin was the indentured servant of Thomas Butts, mentioned in Butts’ 1702 will, which gave to wife Elizabeth “my Indian man named Pope” and the inventory assigns to Pope a value of 4 pounds.

[21] The area around Nonquit Pond, west of Tiverton Four Corners.

[22] In The Richmond Family of Acoaxet (1907), Henry Worth asserted that Isaac the Indian Preacher was the same person as Alderman, and went by the name Isaac Alderman and lived in Acoaxet. Worth rarely made mistakes, but here he is almost certainly wrong. There is no contemporary deed or other writing that contains the name Isaac Alderman. Isaac the Indian Preacher is called either by that name or simply Isaac. Moreover, he is likely the “Isacke” who signs as a witness the deed from Mamanuah to Alderman of land at Adamsville. That deed has Alderman living at Nonquit, not Acoaxet.

[23] The area between Cockeast Pond and the West Branch was called “Barker’s Neck” by the English and “Curaest Neck” or “Kaukoisett” by the Indians (the name Cockeast probably originated as a corruption of these Indian names, as did, perhaps, the name Acoaxet itself).

[24] A man of several aliases, Tokammana (brother of Awashonks, husband of Weetamoe) was also known as Sachem Ben and Pettanonowett, the last sometimes Anglicized to Peter Nunuit.

[25] Possibly the same person as Isaac the Indian Preacher above and/or the Isacke who witnessed the 1685 deed from Mamanuah to Alderman.

[26] The name Pero, like the names Cuffe, Quash, and Quaco, was an Ashanti “day name” and thus found commonly in this area.

[27] Birth year estimated as 21 years before her first marriage. Death year inferred from the 1827 appointment of Nathan C. Brownell as guardian for her minor son, Rodney Wainer.

[28] Marjorie O’Toole, If Jane Should Want to be Sold p. 22. In 1757 an epidemic decimated the Indian population of Little Compton. In the 70 years previously there had been only two town indentures of Indians, but in that year alone there were three.

[29] Likely the sister  of Amy (Hinckley) Jeffrey, discussed below.  The surname Hinckley was probably adopted as an honorific to Thomas Hinckley, a governor of Plymouth Colony.

[30] Prior to living in Dartmouth, Joseph Salisbury lived in Little Compton. See Benjamin F. Wilbour, Little Compton Families. Salisbury’s daughter Abigail was the wife of Canaan Gifford, neighbors of John Gifford who Amos Amos was bound out to and grandfather of Nathaniel Gifford, whose farm was one of the 8 claimed by the Wainers in 1859.

[31] R. Andrew Pierce, Dartmouth & Westport Wampanoags and Africans (Sept. 18, 2017).

[32] Son of Awashonks. Probably the  Peter Washunk whose four granddaughters occupied lots at Watuppa Reservation on the 1763 Terry map.

[33] Probably the “Aham” recorded as “school master” at Acoaxet by Rawson & Danforth in 1698.

[34] Donald S. Smith, The Names of Some of the Indians Who Once Resided in Westport, Massachusetts (1600-present); “The Westport List” (manuscript, 1987)

[35] In 1698, the Sakonnet village was probably north of Snell Road. Some time in the following decades the village would have moved about 2 miles east to its John Dyer Road location.

[36] Nukkehummees may refer to the area later called Quanachee, i.e. along Horseneck Road in Dartmouth in the area of the DNRT Slocum’s River Preserve and Dartmoor Farm. This area is known to have have an Indian meeting house established by 1710 (in later years Paul Cuffe’s father-in-law Nehemiah Abel conducted religious services there).

[37] There is evidence that through his mother, Elizabeth (David) White, Joseph White was descended from another original settler at Watuppa Reservation, Job David, through Job’s son Solomon David(Joseph had brothers named Job White and Solomon White).

[38] John Cory was the son of Glasgow Cory & Violet Slocum, both freed slaves. He later lived on Wing Street in New Bedford and married, as her second husband, Phebe (Quaniwell) Williams, widow of Benoni Williams and sister of Peter Quaniwell. John Cory once testified that in the 1820s he served on a merchant voyage to Charleston, SC on a vessel chartered by  the merchant Richard Johnson (son-in-law of Paul Cuffe and, by the time of his death in the 1850s, perhaps the wealthiest person of color in the area, if not the United States). Upon arrival armed police took the two  men of color (Johnson embarked as supercargo, Cory as ship’s steward) to the Charleston jail. Johnson was allowed to purchase a ticket for a packet leaving immediately for New York, but Cory did not have this option. Upon incarceration Cory noticed that all his fellow prisoners were black men and in the tradition of  hoosegow protocol inquired “What are you guys in for?” Cory learned that all seven of them were, like him,  merchant sailors of color who were held in jail until the moment their ships departed the dock on their return voyages.

[39] WFMV/2 pp. 781.

[40] Charles Manchester (1792-1882) lived on the west side of Old Harbor Road (Spicer house?) about midway between the two Indian villages of earlier times. Shortly after this testimony, through his marriage to a daughter of Abraham, Charles’s son Capt. Fobes W. Manchester became the owner of the Abraham Manchester farm referenced in the testimony.

[41] I.e. the Perez Richmond/Abraham Manchester farm at the south end of Old Harbor Road. This Abraham was the grandfather of the Adamsville general store owner of the same name.

[42] “”Old Sam Church” is listed on the 1762 Terry map of Watuppa Reservation as an original settler, with the notation that he left “no posterity.”

[43] Surname probably a derivative of Tokamanna/Tatakama/etc., a brother of Awashonks and fourth and final husband of Weetamoo, the squaw sachem of the Pocassets. In the 1780s Peleg Burroughs noted a Martha Tokammanah living in this area.

[44] Perhaps the Sakonnet called “Honest George” in the Benjamin Church memoirs. Jonathan George is noted as an original settler of Watuppa Reservation on the 1763 Terry map.

[45] Billings was presumably including the Indian population of Acoaxet, at that time still part of Little Compton.

[46] In later years Stiles served as President of Yale College.

[47] Dartmouth v. Westport (1813), excerpts from the deposition testimony compiled by Andrew Pierce in his Dartmouth & Westport Wampanoags and Africans. The case involved financial responsibility, as between the two towns, for  Amy  Jeffrey — presumably the one married at Acoaxet —  who was by that time living in Dartmouth, and Dartmouth was attempting to pin the financial responsibility for her upkeep on Westport, her alleged “last place of settlement”. 

[48] A slave of William Anthony, who lived on Smith’s Neck Road and was  an ancestor of Susan Brownell Anthony.

[49] Probably the daughter or granddaughter of the Acoaxet Indian preacher Daniel Hinckley and a sister of Rebecca (Hinckley) Amos, the mother of Mary (Amos) (White) Wainer.

[50] As will explained in another installment, this pair, Joseph & Amy (Hinckley) Jeffrey were probably the great-grandparents of Mary (Jeffrey) Wainer, wife of Asa Wainer (Paul Wainer’s son and Rodney Wainer’s nephew). Moreover, the minister John Simon referred to here as living near the Perez Richmond farm was likely the father or grandfather of Deborah (Simon) Jeffrey, who was in turn the paternal grandmother of Mary (Jeffrey) Wainer. John Simon lived to the west of what is still labeled “Simon’s Brook” on modern maps, which crosses Old Harbor Road in the vicinity of the “Old Indian Burying Ground” shown on the 1871 map of Westport and continues south, crossing Brayton Point Road to empty into Richmond’s Pond. John’s granddaughter Martha Simon, living on Sconticut Neck in Fairhaven, was interviewed in the 1850s by Henry David Thoreau, Thoreau relating that an unnamed “Quaker neighbor” of Martha’s informed him that John Simon had received the land at Sconticut Neck in exchange for “better land in Westport.” [This in not exactly what happened, but it’s close]. Martha (with her tortoise-shell  cat looking on) was the subject of the Albert Bierstadt painting “The Last of the Narragansetts,” which now hangs in the Rogers Library in Fairhaven. It thus appears that Mary (Jeffrey) Wainer was  a first cousin once-removed of Martha Simon.

[51] The grandfather of Joseph Jeffrey, who is said to be both a landowner in Westport and an Indian minister there, would seem to be “Isaac the Indian Preacher” who was deeded land by Mamanuah. 

[52] Marlborough Wood was married in 1790.

[53] Aaron Succenash served In the 1st Rhode Island Regiment and his name is inscribed on the monument in Portsmouth commemorating the Battle of Rhode Island. If Jane Should Want to be Sold p. 172. His son Simon Succenash married Deborah Richmond, a daughter of London & Hannah (Pegin) Richmond, the latter pair being great-grandparents of Mary (Jeffrey) Wainer.

[54] Probably the field containing the parking area for Simmons Mill Preserve.

[55] In 1771 George’s great-grandfather Canaan Gifford received reimbursement from the Little Compton Town Council for providing food and supplies to Sarah Jehu and Alice Jehu, respectively the widow and daughter of Jehu.

[56] Listed at 150 acres in the 1816 inventory of the estate of Michael Wainer, It can be portrayed as an L-shaped farm. The southeast section (the eastern part of the horizontal axis of the L) lies east of Drift Road and is bounded N by the S boundary of 1504 Drift — the National Register’s misattributed “Paul Cuffe house” — and S by the area of Great Island View Road. Totaling 30+  acres, it was owned for much of the 19th century by Rodney Wainer (20 acres, later owned by Rodney’s nephew Michael Wainer III, still later by Michael III’s niece Ethel (Riley) Roberts and her husband John, still later by their son John E. Roberts) and Jeremiah Mastin —about 10 acres and an additional small house lot willed to his mother, the larger part purchased from his uncle, Thomas Wainer, later owned by Jeremiah’s sister Mary Jane (Mastins) Smith and still later by Abby (Winters a/k/a Mastins) Nicholson and her husband Lysander, the latter a grandson of Pardon Cook. West of Drift between Sowle’s Way and the Tillinghast Tripp Cemetery was the area of Paul Wainer’s farm,  25 (later 27) acres.  Moving westward to the elbow of the L was the John Wainer farm, 49+ acres, for the most part still owned  by descendants of both Michael Jr & John Wainer. On the vertical axis of the L, stretching northward all the way to the SW corner of 1301 Drift (in earlier times the SW corner of Paul Cuffe’s “Allen lot”) were three wood lots, from north to south of 8 acres (owned originally by Paul Wainer), 25 acres (owned originally jointly by Jeremiah Mastins, Rodney Wainer and Thomas Wainer’s son David), and 12 acres (originally owned by Michael Wainer Jr).

[57] Segal & Pierce, Wampanoag Families of Martha’s Vineyard Vol. 2 [hereafter “WFMV/2”] p. 781

[58] Handy records, WHS.

[59] Burroughs was the minister at what we know as the Old Stone Baptist Church in Adamsville. He spent a great deal of time ministering to local people of color, often visiting their homes. Among  people of color mentioned in his Journal, some with great frequency, were Glasgow Cory (who performed odd jobs for Burroughs), Fear Slocum (Paul Cuffe’s sister, who took in Burroughs’ washing), and Hannah Sunks (mother of Polly Johnson and sister-in-law of Paul Cuffe’s sister Ruth). In later records Old Stone recorded as members Paul Cuffe’s wife Alice, their daughters Mary Phelps and  Rhoda (widow of Rev. Peter Easton), who was married in the “new” church (built 1835) in 1849 to her last husband, John Taylor; Paul Cuffe’s sister-in-law Jane Cuffe (wife of John) and Jane’s sister Charlotte White.

[60] Land records from the early 1700s show a family named Quannin or Quanwin owning several tracts of land in the northern parts of Old Dartmouth (there are 14 mentions of this family in Crane’s Field Notes). A descent of this branch of the Quanwells from the early-1700s landowners is not established, but would seem likely.

[61] Col. Richmond’s Acoaxet farm  lay to the west of the farm of his nephew Capt. Perez Richmond (the Abraham Manchester farm, mentioned elsewhere) and on the west side of Simon’s Brook,  extending southerly into the area between Quicksand and Richmond Ponds.

[62] The political connections of the Richmonds in both RI and MA were legendary. It seemed like an impossible task for a white male Richmond of that era to avoid being named a judge, militia colonel, sheriff, legislator, or at a bare minimum a justice of the peace.

[63] As explored further in If Jane Should Want to Be Sold, you would be hard put to find a book with more examples   romanticizing human bondage, with its tales of industrious, devoted slaves overseen by kindly, beneficent masters, than can be found in The Richmond Family.  Representative is one is told of Col. William Richmond (nephew of Col. Sylvester), who owned Treaty Rock Farm in Little Compton and was reputed to have entrusted the management of his farm to his slave named Saul. One day a farmer appeared leading an ox that he wished to sell the colonel. The colonel explained that Saul was away from the farm on an errand, and the colonel couldn’t possibly make such a weighty  decision as to whether to buy the ox until Saul had an opportunity to examine the beast, and giving the colonel his opinion as to its fitness and value.

[64] Since London was still enslaved as of 1757, perhaps the couple felt that the earlier marriage was invalid if London lacked his master’s permission. It appears that both of their daughters were born well before 1782. (If Peleg Burroughs’ age assessment of the “young Injin woman” Hannah Richmond was correct, she would have been born ca1759).

[65] It was a curious will in that London’s two living daughters received only $1 each. In the 1833 inventory for the estate of Paul Wainer, the “London lot” valued at $26 was listed among the real estate.