The Winnesoccum Disaster
by Ned Heite
Winnesoccum was a gathering of Native Americans in 1742 in the Pocomoke Swamp of Maryland. It marked the beginning of the last phase of the emigration of traditional Native American culture from Delmarva.
The 1742 aborted uprising at a place called Winnesoccum on the Pocomoke in the present Worcester County apparently was led by some outsiders who were loyal to the French. They gathered several groups of local people, who appear to have been both traditional and acculturated Native Americans, at Winnesoccum.
The people who were then living along the Indian River were called the "Indian River Indians" and probably were Assateagues. The Nanticoke were still in their earlier home country on the Nanticoke River and Broad Creek. Some of the white settlers became suspicious when they discovered the Native population had suddenly disappeared.
The Indian River doctor, who had a reputation as a clever herbalist, was cooking something. Someone told the Maryland officials that it was cough remedy. The Maryland officials believed that it was poison for white settlers' wells. (See C.A. Weslager's Delaware's Forgotten Folk.) A flurry of "treaties" ensued, which were actually capitulations. The names on these documents are extremely useful for tracing Native populations during the period.
Within the following few years, traditional elements moved out of Delmarva and the Indian towns were abolished. Many moved north to join the Nanticoke and Conoy who then were living at the present town of Nanticoke, near Wilkes-Barre, PA, on the Susquehanna, in the Wyoming valley area. These emigrants eventually moved north and by the time of the Revolution were under British protection at Fort Niagara. It is said that when the Nanticoke passed through Bethlehem and Easton, PA, the householders closed themselves up in their houses because the Nanticoke brought their dead with them. Must have smelled pretty ripe.
There is another story that says they gathered the bones of their dead and placed them in an ossuary at the old Indian town on Broad Creek, Delaware, before they moved. The Nanticoke practiced a burial ritual that involved exposing the corpse in a charnel house and then on special occasions burying the bones, then reburying them in ossuaries. The Powhatan in Virginia had a similar custom. There is an account of English settlers being invited to the taking up of Powhatan's bones.
Some chose to stay and blend into the surrounding society. There are, today, people in this area with surnames that appear on the documents (Puckum and Coursey come to mind), which tends to suggest that there was a very deep split in the community at the time of the emigration.
Many of the remaining Nanticoke moved over to Indian River, and probably to other areas, when they lost their rights to their home reservations. At Indian River they joined the people already there, who were mostly Assateagues. During those times of turmoil and movement, populations were quite fluid, and Indian River was an
attractive place to settle.
The history of Native American people is clouded by the fact that any Christian person who was not white was called a mulatto. In the minds of officialdom in those days, an Indian was a non-Christian person who lived in the woods and subsisted by hunting. Once he was baptised he became a mulatto.
For example there is the case of William Cambridge, who received one of the Indian towns by patent from the Maryland authorities. He continued to live there but his son sold the farm and moved west. In Tennessee members of the Cambridge family successfully proved in court that they were Indian and not black, which entitled them to fre public education. In Maryland, Cambridge had been called a mulatto, which was the common title for Christian Indians.
PLOT IN THE SWAMP
More about Winnesoccum from Weslager in Delaware's Forgotten Folk:
The student of archaeology properly thinks of the Delmarva Indians as a primitive, neolithic people. They can be truly called prehistoric in the chapters of their existence prior to about 1600. Only then do they enter the pages of written history. They were a simple, unaggressive and superstitious folk, yet nevertheless very resourceful. They lived in fear of the stronger and more warlike Iroquois-speaking Indians who dwelt north of them in New York and in parts of Pennsylvania. When first confronted by parties of white explorers they scampered away like shy children. They were not unlike the illiterate natives that one might find today living on an uncharted Pacific island. They had not developed reading or writing. They knew nothing about the wheel-an indispensable accessory to the development of a civilization.
The Indians of the Delmarva Peninsula did not wander around aimlessly, but inhabited villages or towns situated on the banks of running streams. Each family occupied its own hut with its own garden. The village had its 'leader and his advisory council for peace and war. The procuring of food and the protection of the home was the most important duty of the men. The women made the clothing, prepared the food, watched the crops, and cared for the children. The people were deeply religious and believed in one supreme God or Manito, with lesser deities who had jurisdiction over the various departments of everyday life. Elaborate ceremonies were presented in honor of the deities at different times of the year, with a main ceremony held in the harvest season.
Because of their environment, the major occupations of the Indians of the Peninsula were fishing and farming. Hunting to them was an activity to fill the gap between the planting of one crop and the harvesting of another. In this respect they were unlike the Indians of the Great Plains, who were essentially huntsmen.
The Delmarva peoples fished with bone hooks, stone-tipped spears, and nets woven from wild grasses. They tilled the soil with stone spades, digging sticks, and other crude stone age tools. In hunting they employed the bow and arrow, stone axe and stone knife, and other accessories of stone, wood, bone, and shell. They cooked their food in vessels of stone or clay. Metal tools and implements were unknown to them before the coming of the whites.
The whites, with their more advanced techniques, first came in small numbers. They were generally treated hospitably and welcomed to the land. Then as more and more Europeans appeared in the New World, the natives realized that they were facing a white invasion.
The Indians living on the Delaware Bay side of the peninsula were exploited primarily in order to gain control of their lands. Such tributaries of the Delaware River as Appoquinimink Creek, Christina and Schuylkill Rivers were avenues followed by the traders to reach the Susquehanna River and to barter with the Susquehannock (also called Minquas) who were rich in beaver pelts. The mouths of these rivers constituted natural gateways to the Minquas country. Rivalry between Swedes, Dutch, and English to control the gateways to the beaver trade caused each to negotiate separately with the Indian owners of the land. These dealings were characterized by intrigue as one nation tried to turn the Indians against the other. The Indians who thought of the white men as their friends gradually became aware that the white man's motive in soliciting their friendship was solely for personal gain.
The Delaware River Indians found that the corn, beans, fish, and hops which they had for trade were not wanted in the European market. The goods then in demand were beaver and otter pelts. Unfortunately, the northern parts of the Peninsula were not as richly endowed with beaver as the Susquehanna country. Moreover in parts where there were beaver, it seems that the local Indians were not as proficient as the Minquas in trapping the animal. The whites became stronger with the importation of soldiers and new settlers who erected forts at the gateways to the Minquas country. It was no longer necessary to solicit the friendship of the Indian neighbors. The whites forgot how the local tribes had befriended them when they were few in number, and thought of them only as an obstacle to their progress. They were not only ungrateful, but vindictive.
Along Chesapeake Bay, where the English early established a foothold, the major conflict with the Indians was over land matters. The colonists were land hungry, and the raising of tobacco and other agricultural products required the acquisition of large cleared tracts. The natives were slowly pressed back, and eventually found themselves helpless to rout the invader, who was equipped with superior weapons and who had settled himself at points of vantage which could be readily protected.
On the Delmarva Peninsula in 1742, after a hundred years of white pressure, the southern Indians made one final attempt to unite and free themselves of their oppressors. This incident has escaped notice by most historians, and yet it marks the climax in the relationship between whites and Indians. It is, in my opinion, the most important single event in Indian history on the Delmarva Peninsula, and the turning point in shaping the Indian's destiny.
The conspiracy began when Messowan, a Shawnee war captain, with twenty of his warriors appeared at Chicacoan Town, an upstream Indian settlement on the Nanticoke River. The Shawnee were not native to the area, but had moved up to the Susquehanna Valley to escape the advance of the white man. They had migrated from South Carolina and Tennessee. Messowan and his party were then residing at Conoytown on the lower Susquehanna River under the protection of Iroquois-speaking Indians. The Shawnee wanted to avenge themselves on the whites, and Messowan had traveled many miles for this meeting. He held conferences for two days with Sam Panquash, Dixon Coursey, and Simon, great men of the Nanticoke tribe. He outlined to them the details of a plot devised by the French, the Iroquois, and his Shawnee brethren to attack the English colonies. Messowan desired the assistance of the Nanticoke and their confederates in the revolt, and he asked Panquash to assemble all the Eastern Shore Indians. Panquash consented, and dispatched messengers to the head men of all the tribes calling them to a secret war conference.
The meeting place selected was an island hidden in the mid-die of the Great Pocomoke Swamp, known to the Indians as Winnasoccum. Silently, while their white neighbors slept, the Indians left their villages and made their way to the swamp. Among those present, in addition to Panquash and his Chicacoan people, were Indians from Indian River in Delaware; also Indians from a Nanticoke Town on Broad Creek under their leaders, Simon Alsechqueck, and an Indian chief called Captain John. Robin Hood and Hopping Sam had brought their followers from a village of the Choptank tribe then located at Locust Neck. The Indians living on the Pocomoke had come to the conference with their leaders, John Wittonguis, Jeremy Peake, George Pokahaum, and Bastobello. History does not reveal how the latter Eastern Shore Indian acquired a Spanish name, which freely translated means "beautiful enough." We naturally wonder if there was Spanish blood in his veins. Once again we sense evidence of a possible Moorish or Spanish admixture with the Indians.
Several hundred men, women, and children assembled at Winnasoccum. Their clothing was half-English, half-Indian, typical of the dress of the natives of 1742 who were then assimilating European customs. Most of the men carried bows and metal-tipped arrows. The jasper arrow points of their fathers had found a more deadly substitute in the brass and copper brought by the Europeans. Some carried guns on their shoulders. In a log hut, deeper in the swamp, there was an arsenal of guns, powder and shot, and hundreds of brass-tipped arrows which had been treated with poison.
Careful study of the early documents reveals that on the first day of the powwow, Messowan, the Shawnee leader, addressed the gathering. He told how the Shawnee had been driven from their southern homes by the English and were now living temporarily on land owned by their friends, the Susquehannock. The Shawnee, he said, were no longer weak and divided but had reorganized their forces. They had been waiting for a long time to strike back at their enemies and the chance had at last come, now that the French would assist them. He stated that if all the Indians stood shoulder to shoulder and fought together they would be victorious over the English. He promised that five hundred Shawnee warriors would come down the Chesapeake, traveling by night, sleeping in the woods by day, and join the Eastern Shore tribes. Together in the dark of night they would launch one surprise attack in Somerset County and another in Dorset County, thus dividing the outnumbered English defenders. Meanwhile their French and Indian allies would attack in the north. The two forces, striking in combination, would overcome the English. Then they would kill and scalp every man, woman, and child of English descent.
When Messowan had finished, he asked for an expression from the great men present. In characteristic Indian fashion, they first deliberated on everything that Messowan had related. Then, after much thought, they arose one by one to express themselves.
For four days the swamp echoed with orations. No contemporary .accounts of the content of the speeches have been preserved. But with our knowledge today of the events leading up to the meeting, we can be certain of some of the thoughts that were expressed.
The aged speakers probably told how they had greeted the Englishman as a friend and welcomed him into their huts and gave him food and water and a bed of corn-husk mats to sleep on. The Englishman said that he was grateful and asked if he, might hunt in the woods and fish in the streams. He gave the Indians in return, as tokens of good faith, presents of beads and matchcoats. The Indians were willing to share their hunting and fishing grounds and make a place for the white brother to build a cabin. They believed that both could live together in peace. After a while, more Englishmen came and the Indians gave their white brothers more cleared land for cornfields and allowed them to hunt in the woods. Before long there was no cleared land remaining, and the Indians were forced to take their families deeper into the forest and to clear new land for their own cornfields.
The native concept of land ownership and tenure did not conform with English ideas, and when the land was sold, the Indians did not know that they were giving up their rights to hunt and fish on the lands.
Later more and more white men came and they gave the Indians rum to drink. The rum made them drunk and they did not know what they said or did. While the Indians were drunk, the whites cheated them out of their lands. When the Indians refused to go, the English threatened to shoot them. Their wig-wams were set on fire and the white man's dog was unleashed at their heels. Finally the Indians were forced to move to the headwaters of the streams where the land had not been cleared. The fur-bearing animals grew scarce. The English hunter killed the game indiscriminately with his gun and sent the skins on boats to far away lands. The Indians were hungry and cold. In the winter they could not find enough skins to cover their naked bodies. These and many other things were doubtless related by the Indian leaders which we today know were true.
The speaker for the Choptank Indians might have told how his people had been driven up the Choptank River from their villages. Now they lived on a plot at Locust Neck, above present Cambridge, a meager part of the vast territory they had once owned. Yet they had always befriended the English. On one occasion they turned over to the English authorities a Wiccomiss Indian who had murdered a white man. They knew the Indian had wronged the whites and were willing that he should be punished.
The Nanticoke speakers probably explained how the Indians had once occupied the populous towns of Nautaquack, Nause, Arseek, Saropinagh, and Kuskarawaoke, and other villages on Nanticoke River. They had been forced from their homes and driven upstream where they were now seated in one small community on Broad Creek and another on Chicacone Creek. The whites were occupying the sites of their former villages.
Each chief told a story of conquest, disease, exile, and oppression due to the white man's avarice. They were particularly bitter because of the intoxicating liquors that the whites had given to their braves. As we know today, the Nanticoke, Pocomoke, and Indian River Indians in July 1721 had directed a petition to the English asking that the authorities prevent the traders from bringing rum among them. Their plea was to no avail.
After each speaker had taken his turn, and the powwow was in its sixth and final day, eyes were turned to an old woman, Queen Weocomocus, ruler of the Indian River Indians. Up until now she had remained silent, and none of her delegation had joined in the discussion. The aged Queen directed her spokesman, Robin, to communicate her thoughts to the gathering. Robin was the bravest and most intelligent of the Indian River Indians. His native name was Ahatchwoops, as we know from the old deeds and petitions which he signed, but he was known to the English as King Robin and Robin the Interpreter. He had not only a fine command of the Indian tongue, but he could speak the English language fluently. Robin's story must have been a dramatic one, told in the firelight while shadows of the moss-hung cypress played on his face.
The story which Robin probably told is one which history has verified in detail in the Maryland Archives, and is of great importance to our story of the Delaware mixed-bloods.
Robin said that his forefathers lived in what is now the seaboard part of Worcester County, Maryland, south of the Delaware state line. They were called Assateagues and were friendly with the Nanticoke, Choptank, and other Eastern Shore tribes. The Assateague tribe was strong and numerous and exercised jurisdiction over at least eight smaller bands.
The English settled on the Assateague hunting grounds, just as they had done on the Indian lands elsewhere on the Delmarva Peninsula. The Assateague Indians resented this encroachment, but remained peaceful until the English leader and Indian hater, Captain Edmund Scarburgh, led his soldiers against them. The Indians retaliated in their own defense and received the reputation of having shed much English blood and of being enemies of the Province. As new settlers came to the Peninsula from the Virginia mainland, the Assateague found themselves under unending pressure. The whites confiscated their cleared lands. They raided the cornfields and ravished the Indian women. They destroyed fish weirs and robbed animal traps. In June 1717, the 4 Indians of Copanquo Town on the Pocomoke River "complained of the hardships imposed by the English and obstructing their hunting and fishing and setting traps on their grounds for taking Raccoons & other Vermin."
A white man once robbed the sacred tomb or Chiacason House of one of their kings and pilfered the beads and furs that had been laid in reverence beside the bones of their dead sachem. This, the worst sacrilege of all, like the other crimes against the Indians, has been recorded in the Maryland provincial documents.
Sometime after 1686, when white pressure became unbearable, one of the Assateague bands, then occupying a place in Maryland called Buckingham (between present Berlin and Newark in Worcester County), was forced to cede its lands to the English. The Indians packed up their belongings and moved north to a place called Assawoman on Dirickson Creek, leaving some of their kin behind. This wandering band sojourned at Assawoman until the influx of white settlers forced them further north. With other Indians who had joined them, they moved to Indian River in Delaware where they became known as the Indian River Indians. Finally in 1705 they settled at the head of Indian River near present Millsboro. They lived undisturbed only for a short time until the white man settled on Indian River in increasing numbers and began to confiscate their lands.
Robin may have reminded his listeners that in 1705 he had directed a petition to the Maryland authorities humbly requesting that the Indian River Indians be permitted to remain on the land where they then lived. The authorities, recognizing the injustice that had been done, received the petition favorably. They set aside a thousand acres on Indian River called Askecksy as a reservation for the Indian River Indians. The Indians were required to make an annual token payment of five otter and five beaver skins to the Maryland government.
Robin concluded by saying that even as he spoke, the English settlers living on Indian River were scheming to take away what remained of the Indians' reservation. They had already been duped into selling six hundred acres of their land to William Burton and his son Joshua. Robin said that only four hundred acres remained, and that the English were also trying to take that. it is a matter of official record that the Burtons shortly gained control of these remaining four hundred acres. From the English viewpoint, the Burtons' transactions with the Indians were legal and binding, and the purchases were recorded honestly and openly. Later the Indians realized that they had relinquished their rights to the land for a pittance and had no authorization to live or hunt on the property.
After Robin had finished his address, it was clear to the Indians that the time had come when they must oppose the whites with their full, united strength. The Shawnee chieftain, Messowan, had given them an opportunity to join forces with him and fight for their rights. The final decision was that they would accept the offer and would ally themselves with Messowan and drive away the English, thus regaining their lands.
The session terminated in a ceremonial dance accompanied by much shouting and shooting off of guns. The medicine man, a member of the Indian River delegation, known to the scribes of the day as the "Indian River Doctor" assumed leadership of the ritual. We can imagine that he disguised himself in a mask and animal-skin costume befitting his station as an herbalist and sorcerer. He was noted far and wide among the Indians as a brewer of poisons, and on this occasion he was called upon to do his worst. It has been recorded that he brewed poison in an iron kettle and intended to use it to poison the drinking water of the English settlers.
History does not tell us the nature of the ceremonies, except that two deerskin drums were used to beat out the tempo for the Indian River Doctor's chant and dance. The scene probably closed with the moon drifting behind the clouds as the fire died out. The dancers, sleek with perspiration, war paint streaking their faces, rolled to the ground in fatigue.
While the plotters were whooping, dancing, and brewing poison at Winnasoccum, the colonists on the Eastern Shore were not as uninformed as the Indians believed. The whites had observed the disappearance of the Indians, and their suspicions were aroused. If the men alone had departed, the colonists might have been led to believe that a hunting party was gathering, but with the Indian women and children also absent, it was apparent to them that something was wrong. The news was communicated to the authorities. Soldiers were dispatched to round up the Indians. The entire plot was exposed. The conspirators were seized and imprisoned before their Shawnee allies had time to join them. We need not speculate about the events which followed, since they are written into the court records of the day.
In the subsequent investigation, some of the Indians, fearful of imprisonment or death, were coerced to inform against their leaders. Damaging testimony was given on the witness stand and by signed depositions from Jemmy Smaihommoney, Jemmy Pasimmons, and Abraham Ashquash of the Choptank tribe. The Indians called Patrick, Dick, Peter Monk, and Sam Isaac, all of Chicacone Town, testified, as did Indian Anthony, Jacob Pattashook, Jemmy Cohonk, and others. All of the plans for the intended massacre were laid before the English authorities. The evidence against the plotters was clear and undeniable.
The leading conspirators were then separately questioned as to the part each played in the revolt against the Crown. Naturally, in self-defense each denied that he had planned to participate in an attack on the English. Some maintained that they had gathered in the swamp solely to hunt. They could not answer why their wives and children had accompanied them, when pressed for a reply. Others claimed that they had assembled to elect a new emperor. They insisted that the Shawnee Indians had visited them on a mission of peace and that there was no truth in the accusation that they and the Shawnee planned an attack.
When confronted with witnesses who testified that poison was brewed at Winnasoccum, the Indian leaders gave naïve explanations. They admitted that the Indian River Doctor had brewed a concoction but would not admit that it was poisonous, nor that it was to be used to contaminate the English wells. Panquash, the head man of the Chicacoan Nanticoke, testified that the Indian River Doctor had brewed a harmless cough medicine. Panquash said he had drunk some, which "cured him of a heavy cold." Dixon Coursey said that he had drunk a quantity of the potion and that it "nourished him and made him supple.
The Indian named Captain John confirmed Coursey's statement. He said that he too had been ill and had quaffed some of the liquid to make him well. Robert Nandum, a Somerset County Indian, testified that he also consumed some of the liquor to make himself well. Bastobello, the great man from the Pocomoke with the Spanish name, said that he imbibed the concoction to "make his stomach good and keep off fever and ague"!
It did not seem to occur to these chiefs that the authorities might question why all of them seemed to need the benefit of the Indian River Doctor's cures at the same time and for different ailments. The authorities were not as gullible as the Indians might have believed. It was promptly ordered that Panquash, Coursey, Pattashook, Joshua, Simon, Captain John, Robin Hood, Robert Nandum, Chinehopper, and Hopping Sam, the leaders, be continued in the custody of the sheriff of Ann Arundel County for further examination.
After weighing the question of punishment, the authorities agreed that since no harm had been done it would be unfair to impose a severe sentence. Perhaps they also felt that a troublesome Indian situation might develop in the province unless they freed the prisoners. In any event, it was decided to try diplomatically to win the Indians over to their side and thus prevent further trouble. On July 24, 1742, a treaty of peace was drawn up wherein the Indians promised to return to their homes peacefully and give up their plans of insurrection. The treaty, copies of which are still in existence, bears the signatures or marks of Bastobello, John Wittonguis, Jeremy Peake, and George Pokahaum, Chiefs of the Assateague and Pocomoke Indians; Simon and Captain John, Chiefs of the Broad Creek Indians; Robin Hood and Hopping Sam, Chiefs of the Locust Neck (Choptank) Indians; John Coursey and Chinehopper, Chiefs of the Chicacoan Indians, and Tom Hill and Robin, Chiefs of the Indian River Indians. Old Queen Weocomocus was not present at the trial or at the signing of the treaty. The authorities probably felt that Robin could act in her behalf. The Indian River Doctor seems to have disappeared entirely and is heard of no more.
The Indians humbly returned to their villages under the suspicious eyes of the whites. The colonists were not in sympathy with the action of the authorities in freeing the culprits and felt they should be severely punished. They thought of the Indians as barbarians who might murder them in their beds. It did not occur to the settlers that the natives, with full justification, were exercising their natural rights in defending their homeland from invaders. If the situation were reversed, the whites would have felt differently. Nevertheless, greater efforts than before were exerted to rid the Peninsula completely of the pagan Indians or at least to denationalize them and render them harmless for all time. Thus the road was paved for their national breakdown and amalgamation with other races. The episode at Winnasoccum was the straw that broke the camel's back.
DURING the three decades following the expose in 1742 of the plot at Winnasoccum, hundreds of the Eastern Shore Indians left the Peninsula. The whites made living unbearable, and to find peace the Indians had no alternative except to take their departure. Their lands were gone; their villages destroyed; their numbers greatly reduced. They paddled up the Chesapeake in their log pirogues, a few families at a time, and found haven under the protection of their former enemies, the Five Nations Iroquois (later to be called the Six Nations). They settled temporarily along the Susquehanna River, where the Conoy, Shawnee, Twightwee, and other expatriated tribes were then living. The land on which these refugees settled was the ancestral home of the Susquehannock Indians (known also as Minquas or Conestoga), although the entire Susquehanna Valley and the tribes then residing there were under the domination and protection of the Five Nations. The Five Nations were a powerful confederacy, and after conquering their enemies they absorbed them. Thus the peninsular migrants were swallowed up by alien tribes, and their own identities were eventually lost in the broad designation of the generic term "Nanticoke" which was given to them. This term eventually became used to include the Conoy of the Western Shore as well as the wanderers from the Delmarva Peninsula.
No victor was ever more gracious in his treatment of the vanquished than the Iroquois in adopting the Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia Indians and giving them a new home safe from their enemies. The Pennsylvania settlers were also more kindly in their treatment of the Nanticoke Indians than the English settlers of Delaware and Maryland had been. Although the Indians' great Quaker friend, William Penn, had by this time left the Province, his kindly influence lingered for many years in the hearts of his successors. One of the Pennsylvania governors told a Nanticoke Indian delegation who had called to pay a friendly visit: "We shall not fail to take care of you as we do our Brethren as long as you merit our protection." Once one of the aged Nanticoke chiefs, too feeble to walk, was given a horse by the governor. Others from time to time were given clothing and food.
The only item of the Nanticoke migration which seemed worthy of note at the time was that they carried along with them the scraped bones of some of their honored dead. It is probable that these remains were those of chiefs or great men, which had been removed from the Chiacason Houses, or mortuary temples. The bones, according to Heckewelder, an eyewitness, created no little stench as they were carried through the streets of Bethlehem, in 1750. Brinton, a noted Indian scholar, said that some of the Nanticoke bones were reburied near present Towanda- a town named for an Indian word meaning "where to bury our dead."
Reference to Winnesoccum in the
Proceedings and Acts of the Maryland General Assembly, 1740-1744, Volume 42, pp 654-5
29 June - 1 July 1742
Also see -- THE ASSATEAGUE INDIANS: WHAT BECAME OF THEM?
"In 1742, on the pretense of making an emperor, every Indian on the Eastern Shore disappeared into the marshes. Investigation revealed that a number of chiefs had become involved in a plot for a general uprising, fomented by a errant Shawnee chief, Messowan. The provincial government dissolved the empire, making the title of Emperor merely honorary, and placed each town directly under its own authority. Thereafter there was much agitation for permission to emigrate, and by the end of the decade a large part of the tribe had moved to the Susquehanna and become tributary to the Iroquois. This group moved slowly northward, and their descendants are now in Ontario, Canada.
Of those who stayed in Maryland, one group lived on the Choptank reserve until 1798, when the State, having purchased all but 100 acres of their land, parceled out this remainder among the four or five families left. The last survivor of the group is said to have died some time in the 1840s. Another remnant of the tribe, retaining little of its native culture, has survived near Indian River in Delaware."
Agreement between the British and the Chicacoan Indians of Maryland:
Result of the Winnesoccum incident
"Articles of Peace and Amity"
24 July 1742
Proceedings and Acts of the Maryland General Assembly, 1740-1744, Volume 42, pp 651-3