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The San Francisco call. [volume] (San Francisco [Calif.]) 1895-1913, December 04, 1910, Image 16

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85066387/1910-12-04/ed-1/seq-16/

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nee I oweimi t>and
Which Owned Long
Island Before T r
Coiiimbus 1 ouched
Gur Shores, Pro
nounced Legally Ex
tinct by the Supreme
Court— Only Two
Now Alive.
Uf« -jHE Montauk tribe cf Indiana la officially.;
end legally dead. It Is so writ In' the ;
records, tad the wavea belting tjalnsf
Iht Jjor.g Island shore moan it sas "a"
' requiem. Before Columbus or Cabot sef, .
tsil for th« hemisphere sonriewihere^far away to the
Unknown west the ancient Montauks, Indiana alike ;
cf toad cad eea, were wont to greet the sun as.lt;!'
roa4 with emiling race from out the deep or. tosi
their weath.er-tas.ned heads when the waves welled
£a stormy tumult. Now. from the . deck of the
passing liner one may \u25a0 picture the bent figure that .
oace typ'fied de grandeur of a race that was.' •*
I/ong Island, . In the days before the coming: iof '
the Dutch, was called Island of Shells. It was the '
aboriginal treasure-house, • the home of - that which •
«pelled wealth. Wampum grew thereon as the gold
c«-ca In the rocks. Wampum was Indian money.
It waa made from the stock or stem of the peri-
%-inkle. P&Que was a medium of exchange, of.
lesser value. It was cut from the purple heart of
th* fcard clam jshelL Some bronze-face financier ."
the flat that the sandbanks were, to be .tha,
tribal depositories, and from that time on, for ren
eration after generation. Montauk was at once the
Bours* and the Well street of Indian • operations.
The fame of the tribal opulence was wafted on" the ;
vlrds to the lands of the Mohicans, the Pequots
end the Najragansetts, Vhexeat there was much
•wonder. "When a Boft-eyed maiden gave her heart
to * leaa-shanked buck the old 1 olka would empty *
Into their honeymocn canoe several feet of se-
Iscied vrampum and send them on their happy, way
full of the Rockefeller tplrlu
Wealth carried with It responsibilities In «tho«» .
old days as it does to-day. Sachem Wyan-
Cance was the great auditor of hla tribe. His -
O. K. was necessary on all transactions from a
dicker for a cajioe-load of bluefish to an Instal
ment purchase o! a bung-alow site on a shoal Inlet.
He was called In the Montauk fiTalect a to-to-cnua,
\u25a0which in niofiern phrase is a tightwad.
One day, when Long Island Sound lay warm. and
placi'l, two-s'jere or more of Pequota, who. lived '
on the Connecticut chore, bundled. into their canoes
ard paddled over to the headlands . of llontaiik. ,~
They sent word to the Island sachem, to come
out with some of his strong-armed boys and
«. walloping. On receipt of this challenge there.
was some pooh-poohing. The Montauks sent the
millionaire (wampum) cc-mpany to meet the hated
end poverty stricken Peguots. It was a sad affair. :
The MontauJis were trimmed. That night when
the Pequots pointed their barks for Connecticut,
they carried with them a portion of their "neigh
bors' bankroll.'* •-^
It dlda't take lons for the news: to get; around^
that the. Montauks had all of sunny side' of
Easy street In the way of ready cash. A consld-
erable ' tribß of ambitious and hopeful Indians^.
known as the Narragansetts. occupied among other J
places. '.what Is now fashionable Xetvport" They
bathed; at such times as It seemed absolutely,, nec
essary, on what Is now called Bailey's Beach. It
• is sald,- ; .too. i that they j had. a clubhouse | somewhere v
•near the presentslte of the Casino: Well, the Xar
• ragansetts having- heard"/ that *.it ;was >llke taking .a \u25a0} .
-lemon; stick fr.oma 'chlld~at-a kiadergarten-door.UP: •
\u25a0make; the | Montauks .; part .with: their, money,, sent
part of the naval v reserve : of the time to make a "
..demonstration on the l3lajid;. /\u25a0\u25a0\u25a0.' "'•.\u25a0"•\u25a0 '. . ' '-,';'
,I:' This; time \thel Montauks weren't bo easy. •\u25a0They; .
.met the -Narraga'nsetts 'on > the': beach f and- fought ;
thein : 'untllTdark. .'Just' -.ho'w/ many. fell\pn . that oc- .
,casion [Vrtil never^be/ known,'- forV the tide carried^
'. the" bodies * of \u25a0: the ; slain^ out' to" - sea \u25a0 and they never -„
'came i back • to 'be '-, counted. , SOme time thereafter,', or
'\u25a0; about v 1641, : an " : understandlns was.. 'arrived' 'at ;by..
• which vthe! Montauks' and^the^Narragansetts'cot ;;
- along' •without further .fighting. . , \u25a0 • \u25a0-':". V ' , • :>
..'•". The, citadel' of Montauk .authority stood -at -.what V
Is ; known;; as. Fort :; Hill, vlt" was ; set s lwith- stone,;
towers at" each • of". lts *f our corners and "; was.'' a ;•:
• fortress which!- never once : ,was' taKen ; by en}VnemyJ : ;
Bachem Wyandance himself ;• lived ; ln : regal ''Bemi- \u25a0
savagery In a wig wain • half as > large as . b side-show - :
tent at a ""circus,"' a" short ': from "'thej clta'del. v
Wyandance '\u25a0 was '"one of •. our f .'earliest 1 Beau \u25a0 Brum- >.
dels. ".. He enjoyed fmeetlng4peapl3.:;The Dutch; had . "r
begun -to dicker J with 1 the "Indians by this •time, rand '
-the "sachem "•' never^^ missed^'^n .opportunity r ." to get
down to -New Amsterdam* to : talk things "over ;wlth Zi
. the Governor and *Cowc^V!He'/.wwe»pn^th^ose^vble^
'\u25a0• casions -va' deerskin ;tunlc.^le€sings . and.;"moccasins;.-
• \ of buckskin and' a-head-dreßs ; decorated with ?f eath- ';
• \u25a0 ers from - sea , birds." . Also,"! lie'entwined ; himself 'with ':.
..,! belts J which j hV : ' Invariably:, kept; filled" with o^wam-;^
>:•] pum. : : Not : : infrequently r he.; 'carried -Vas ;. much %as '\u25a0
'":) $10,000 .with him- in his : liind ; of money. .' On the Dutch '
scales^ it.; was- worth abbut'»Bo. ? cents.> \u25a0 "\u25a0 -\ V ' \u25a0 ,
«.«-u On \u25a0' one ;'of -'-these' (visits'^ to /'Neiw;' .Amsterdam" tthV.Nj
;v.; v . chief lot ; .the y Mbn'tauka !'! ' met* j with / Tamara'ud, ?! or •
\u25a0 Tammany, , : . then \B abbem jj o f ,- the" Alson'qulns; ; *: Tarn- \u25a0• C
' "_manyT v s tuck; around > "the^ Montauk V chief % all?; the'^
;time*;he^.was/.ln-' town; ' The Q story /.of ithe'i'Mon-^ \u25a0
~ '. tauk's -.treasure-behest^appealed vto 'Tammany. ' ; -r^ln-}i :
~ -deed/; -It ,*fnay^ .have \ .been-j sometMng^ more'; than' ; g6s--i
-* - «Ip • that .Tammany \ wan ted ; to '; marry'- into . th e?Mofl-;!
. f' taukTtribe^, \u25a0 . ';; i._ •' " ;\u25a0;•\u25a0 ;. : ( : '. ; ;.; . . . , : ".,[— \u25a0:;:.- : -
V,. 1 ;^ t : !!^ h ,* a^ a A : !- th . e iMontauka Jof . figratinV.age.-.,
• were : summoned' to; council, \u25a0 their; number exceeded V'*
- ;>lx." Kundfed;^iWaxfareT'and.'slckriess'^made'ieuch'v .
• ;gTea*J;,lnroajla_ : ' during-; th«'*n%if'; three ]?, generations'.-;
- : that, ... Instead 5 of ; . Increasing : ( In •' number, " they/- 1 had •- \u25a0"•
'. beconieaeMrthan- t two}:hundred^ln^l769.;/Aii I;iS29;a-;1 ;iS29;a-;
roll; call iwas/answered^byj only; thirty^'and^
-jforty.iyearspther*aiterj r t£ere^were|6nly^t - \u25a0 '•-
: \' 2 .1: T^*i i»*'t .real • council '' of j the ."tribe ".was* convened.
|i»ltJ^^pa^'yentles: Chief David '.i'haraoh' wen: .
• t'oi^^|£peou"ncll arrayed: in all the .""ancient 'V'pliiniery .---'
of jthe Montauks,'; \u25a0' and his f followers theVr
places' in', a; Eemi-circle around .him.'..- Ke "passftd .
.the'; pipe "from: one ., to another in. silence, -ajjd -then '"
• addressed them -as the father of the; tribe. Could .
, it -be, -he.-a^ked, \u25a0 that^he. tribe, .which "-hadJlivetl'Tfor }:\u25a0
centuries- In .', happiness ; -oh Long; Island, was.
-to.- '^extinction? '.What -had "the '.tribesman -'
:to''sa>.?: Nothing. It Vas ; late afternoon'., 'T,ho' chief X
\u25a0^wed!his'head\and:with. the. others in- silence. ' .
B>Uafad Jay the- sun". went do wn. v Then the chief arose, '. I
\u25a0'fblde'd.hls cloak- about- him, ' made' a signl'that the '
F : '*i'.^? (V *,^ \u25a0 - ' - : \u25a0 ** * \u25a0 \u25a0\u25a0\u25a0<\u25a0*-.-. j --'. : " - \u25a0 *- \u25a0-'-\u25a0 .* *. , \u25a0 .\u25a0 "* *-,**' i* *\u25a0 f \u25a0 * " k \u25a0 ftncl only blend or \u25a0 imported \u25a0 £ind doxricstic tobicco^™^cvcr * - *
had ,d,one •tts > .worfe £ -a2XpaS»ed-2witi|^mea»
%Si«i^rt^. i> stirid& r tnto^tfi&' shadows. The others . folio tVe'cL
' lS^ >^lr^a* i century more or less" tha Montauk In
,'JdiaA landi have been in litigation. Deeds bearing
;- date pf 1550 "were shown in court during the several
-- hearings. .What the tribe might have succeeded'
• In'.'accomplLshins, had it been able to count its
\u25a0/• people on 1 the fingers of two hands, and prove that
•tfiey* s£ili ' lived . together under tribal conditions,
need 'not lead to. speculation here. A living tribe
held. many broad and valuable acres by ancient!
•deeds. Tha 'tribe had ceased to exist, and the
. property was lost to them.

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