Battle of Saybrook (American Indians Ready Reference)
Article abstract: Defeat in this battle, actually a nine-month siege of Fort Saybrook, led to the destruction of the Pequots as a power in the Northeast.
The roots of the Battle of Saybrook are found in the 1634 treaty between the Pequots and Massachusetts Bay. The treaty granted the Pequots trade with Massachusetts and peace with the Narragansetts. In exchange the Pequots were required to deliver a specified amount of wampum to Massachusetts. When the Pequot wampum delivery did not meet expectations, Massachusetts officials viewed the wampum delivery as proof of the Pequots’ subordinate status. John Winthrop, Sr., former and future governor of Massachusetts, said that the Pequots relinquished their right to Connecticut to Massachusetts in 1635. This claim provided the justification necessary for Massachusetts to involve itself in the settlement of the Connecticut Valley, a region beyond the boundary of the Massachusetts royal charter. Working in conjunction with the Saybrook Company, Massachusetts officials built Fort Saybrook at the mouth of the Connecticut River.
In July, 1636, John Winthrop, Jr., nominal governor of Fort Saybrook, met with the Pequots and issued an ultimatum. Winthrop demanded that the Pequots meet English expectations regarding wampum demands and hand over the killers of Captain John Stone. Winthrop knew that Western Niantics had killed Stone a few years earlier; his demands were not meant to be...
(The entire section is 547 words.)
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