The Quinnipiac Tribe
Fort Wooster Park
Sacred grounds of the Quinnipiac Indians and one of the earliest reservations in the New World
Battle site of the American patriots against the British forces during the invasion of New Haven on July 5, 1779
Location of a hilltop beacon to warn of approaching enemy ships during the War of 1812, site of earthen ramparts and a black powder cellarThe Quinnipiac Tribe
This coastal Algonquian tribe numbered about 250 members when the English colonists arrived in 1638. They practiced a variety of activities: fishing, clamming, farming of beans, squash & corn, gathering of nuts, berries & roots and hunting game animals & birds. They lived in wigwams covered with rush mats, skins or bark. Travel was by foot or dugouts. Clothing consisted of tanned hides decorated with feathers, porcupine quills & shell beads.[ back ]
On November 24, 1638, the Quinnipiac leaders: Montowese, Sawseunek, Momaugin, Sugcogisin, Carroughood, Weesaucuck and Shaumpishuh signed a treaty with the Rev. John Davenport and Theophilus Eaton, which designated the east side of the harbor as a reservation of 1200 acres for the Native Americans.
The Indian population gradually dwindled, some of the men serving in Great Britain's colonial wars. East Haven farmers pressured the Quinnipiacs to sell their reservation land. Many of the tribe migrated to Farmington to join the Tunxis Indians. In 1773 the last of the reservation land was sold. The Quinnipiacs as a tribe were gone forever from the area; however, as late as the mid-1800s, some members returned in the summer to fish, clam, sell baskets and help farmers with haying.