Board of selectmen
The board of selectmen or select board is the executive arm of the government of New England towns in the United States. The board consists of three or five members, with or without staggered terms. Three is the most common number, historically. In some places, a first selectman is appointed to head the board by election. In most New England towns, the adult voting population gathered annually in a town meeting to act as the local legislature, approving budgets and laws. Day-to-day operations were left to individual oversight, but when towns became too large for individuals to handle such work loads, they would elect an executive board of select men to run things for them; these men had charge of the day-to-day operations. However, the larger towns grew, the more power would be distributed among other elected boards, such as fire wardens and police departments. For example, population increases led to the need for actual police departments, of which selectmen became the commissioners; the advent of tarred roads and automobile traffic led to a need for full-time highway maintainers and plowmen, leaving selectmen to serve as Supervisors of Streets and Ways.
The function of the board of selectmen differs from state to state, can differ within a given state depending on the type of governance under which a town operates. Selectmen always serve part-time, with a token or no salary, it is the chief executive branch of local government in the open town meeting form of government. The basic function consists of calling town meetings, proposing budgets to Town Meeting, setting public policy, calling elections, setting certain fees, overseeing certain volunteer and appointed bodies, creating basic regulations. In larger towns, the selectmen's daily administrative duties are delegated to a full-time town administrator or town manager. In some towns, the board of selectmen retains the historic name. In some places, such as Connecticut, the board is headed by a first selectman, who has served as the chief administrative officer of the town and may be elected separately from the rest of the board. In New Hampshire cities, a "selectman" is an elected position, responsible for organizing elections for local and federal offices.
Three selectmen, a moderator, a clerk are elected in each city ward. A rare use of the term outside New England is in Georgetown, where the town governing body is called the Board of Selectmen; the first selectman is the head of the board of selectmen in some New England towns. The first selectman was the one who received the largest number of votes during municipal elections or at a town meeting. Most towns, have chosen to elect the first selectman in a separate election, much like a mayor. While the principle remains the same in most towns, the function has evolved differently. Traditionally, the first selectman acts as chief administrative officer; as with all politicians in New England, it was a part-time position. Most modern towns that have part-time first selectmen limit their function to chairing the board of selectmen and performing certain ceremonial duties. Actual administration of the town is handled by the town manager. In other towns, the first selectman acts as CEO of the town, much like a mayor, alone or in conjunction with a town manager who acts as a chief administrative officer.
In Massachusetts and New Hampshire, the presiding selectman is called the chairman and is chosen annually by his or her fellow selectmen. In Connecticut, the first selectman is the chief executive and administrative officer of most towns with the Selectmen-Town Meeting form of government; some towns, such as Woodbridge, elect their first selectmen to be the chief administrative officer of the town though the position is technically part-time. The first selectman is a voting member of the board of selectmen and can cast a tie-breaking vote in the board of finance. In other towns, the position is full-time. In towns such as Beacon Falls, Bethany and Simsbury, the losing first selectman candidate can earn a seat on the board of selectmen, depending on the number of votes he or she garners. Alderman de Tocqueville, Democracy in America: the Henry Reeve text as revised by Francis Bowen, now further corrected and edited with introduction, editorial notes, bibliography by Phillips Bradley, Chapter V: Spirit of the townships of New England.
Fairlee, J. A. Local government in counties and villages, Chap. 8 Murphy, R. E. "Town Structure and Urban Concepts in New England", The Professional Geographer 16, 1. Garland, J. S. New England town law: a digest of statutes and decisions concerning towns and town officers, pp. 1–83. Green, A. New England's gift to the nation—the township.: An oration, Parker, J. The origin and influence of the towns of New England: a paper read before the Massachusetts Historical Society, December 14, 1865, Whiting, S; the Connecticut town-officer, Part I: The powers and duties of towns, as set forth in the statutes of Connecticut, which are recited, pp. 7–97 Zimmerman, Joseph F. "The New England Town Meeting: Democracy in Action" Praeger Publishers, 1999
Lyme is a town in New London County, United States. The population was 2,406 at the 2010 census. Lyme and its neighboring town Old Lyme are the namesake for Lyme disease. According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 34.5 square miles, of which 31.9 square miles is land and 2.6 square miles, or 7.63%, is water. Bill Hill Hadlyme Hamburg North LymeOther minor communities and geographic areas are Becket Hill, Brockway's Ferry, Brush Hill, Elys Ferry, Grassy Hill, Joshuatown, Lord Hill, Mt. Archer, Pleasant Valley, Rogers Lake West Shore, Sterling City, Tuttles Sandy Beach; the portion of the territory of the Saybrook Colony east of the Connecticut River was set off as the plantation of East Saybrook in February 1665. This area included present-day Lyme, Old Lyme, the western part of East Lyme. In 1667, the Connecticut General Court formally recognized the East Saybrook plantation as the town of Lyme, named after Lyme Regis, a coastal town in Southern England; the eastern portion of Lyme separated from Lyme and became East Lyme in 1823, the southern portion of Lyme separated as South Lyme in 1855.
These two changes were consistent with the then-existing laws in the state of Connecticut. As of the 2010 census Lyme had a population of 2,406; the racial and ethnic makeup of the population was 96.5% non-Hispanic white, 0.1% non-Hispanic black, 0.1% non-Hispanic Native American, 1.0% Asian, 0.1% non-Hispanic from some other race, 0.6% from two or more races and 1.7% Hispanic or Latino. As of the census of 2000, there were 2,016 people, 854 households, 613 families residing in the town; the population density was 63.3 people per square mile. There were 989 housing units at an average density of 31.0 per square mile. The racial makeup of the town was 98.02% White, 0.05% African American, 0.05% Native American, 1.34% Asian, 0.05% from other races, 0.50% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.14% of the population. There were 854 households out of which 26.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.2% were married couples living together, 4.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 28.2% were non-families.
23.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.7% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.76. In the town, the population was spread out with 20.3% under the age of 18, 3.1% from 18 to 24, 22.0% from 25 to 44, 34.7% from 45 to 64, 19.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 47 years. For every 100 females, there were 99.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.5 males. The median income for a household in the town was $73,250, the median income for a family was $82,853. Males had a median income of $56,188 versus $44,750 for females; the per capita income for the town was $43,347. None of the families and 1.2% of the population were living below the poverty line, including no under eighteens and none of those over 64. The Estuary Transit District provides public transportation throughout Lyme and the surrounding towns through its 9 Town Transit Service. Services include connections to Old Saybrook station, served by Amtrak and Shore Line East railroads.
Cooper Site Hadlyme Ferry Historic District: 150, 151, 158, 159, 162-1, 162-2 Ferry Rd. and ferry slip Hadlyme North Historic District: Roughly bounded by CT 82, Town St. Banning Rd. and Old Town St. Hamburg Bridge Historic District – Joshuatown Road and Old Hamburg Road Hamburg Cove Site Lord Cove Site Selden Island Site Seventh Sister: 67 River Rd; some of the earlier notables were residents of the portion of the town that became Old Lyme. Robert Ballard, oceanographer Joan Bennett and television actress, buried in town after her death in Scarsdale, New York Hiel Brockway, founder of Brockport, New York Zebulon Brockway, a penologist some have called the "Father of prison reform" in the United States Daniel Chadwick, politician Donald Barr Chidsey and historian Wequash Cooke, Native American leader, buried in Lyme in 1642 Dominick Dunne, had a house in Hadlyme for many years until his death Matthew Griswold, governor of the state Roger Griswold, son of Mathew, US congressman, governor of the state, famous for brawl on the floor of Congress Roger Hilsman, World War II hero, post-war diplomat and author Harry Holtzman, abstract artist Ezra Lee, commander of the Turtle submarine during the Revolutionary War, world's first submariner Beatrice Lillie, Canadian-born actress, had a house on Grassy Hill Road in the 1970s Abijah Perkins Marvin, minister and teacher.
Essex is a county in the south-east of England, north-east of London. One of the home counties, it borders Suffolk and Cambridgeshire to the north, Hertfordshire to the west, Kent across the estuary of the River Thames to the south, London to the south-west; the county town is the only city in the county. For government statistical purposes Essex is placed in the East of England region. Essex occupies the eastern part of the ancient Kingdom of Essex, which united with the other Anglian and Saxon kingdoms to make England a single nation state; as well as rural areas, the county includes London Stansted Airport, the new towns of Basildon and Harlow, Lakeside Shopping Centre, the port of Tilbury and the borough of Southend-on-Sea. The name Essex originates in the Anglo-Saxon period of the Early Middle Ages and has its root in the Anglo-Saxon name Ēastseaxe, the eastern kingdom of the Saxons who had come from the continent and settled in Britain during the Heptarchy. Recorded in AD 527, Essex occupied territory to the north of the River Thames, incorporating all of what became Middlesex and most of what became Hertfordshire.
Its territory was restricted to lands east of the River Lea. Colchester in the north-east of the county is Britain's oldest recorded town, dating from before the Roman conquest, when it was known as Camulodunum and was sufficiently well-developed to have its own mint. In AD 824, following the Battle of Ellandun, the kingdoms of the East Saxons, the South Saxons and the Jutes of Kent were absorbed into the kingdom of the West Saxons, uniting Saxland under King Alfred's grandfather Ecgberht. Before the Norman conquest the East Saxons were subsumed into the Kingdom of England. After the Norman conquest, Essex became a county. During the medieval period, much of the area was designated a Royal forest, including the entire county in a period to 1204, when the area "north of the Stanestreet" was disafforested; the areas subject to forest law diminished, but at various times they included the forests of Becontree, Epping, Hatfield and Waltham. Essex County Council was formed in 1889. However, County Boroughs of West Ham, Southend-on-Sea and East Ham formed part of the county but were unitary authorities.
12 boroughs and districts provide more localised services such as rubbish and recycling collections and planning, as shown in the map on the right. A few Essex parishes have been transferred to other counties. Before 1889, small areas were transferred to Hertfordshire near Bishops Stortford and Sawbridgeworth. At the time of the main changes around 1900, parts of Helions Bumpstead, Sturmer and Ballingdon-with-Brundon were transferred to Suffolk. Part of Hadstock, part of Ashton and part of Chrishall were transferred to Cambridgeshire and part of Great Horkesley went to Suffolk; the boundary with Greater London was established in 1965, when East Ham and West Ham county boroughs and the Barking, Dagenham, Ilford, Romford and Wanstead and Woodford districts were transferred to form the London boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, Newham and Waltham Forest. Essex became part of the East of England Government Office Region in 1994 and was statistically counted as part of that region from 1999, having been part of the South East England region.
In 1998, the boroughs of Southend-on-Sea and Thurrock were granted autonomy from the administrative county of Essex after successful requests to become unitary authorities. Essex Police covers the two unitary authorities; the county council chamber and main headquarters is at the County Hall in Chelmsford. Before 1938, the council met in London near Moorgate, which with significant parts of the county close to that point and the dominance of railway travel had been more convenient than any place in the county, it has 75 elected councillors. Before 1965, the number of councillors reached over 100; the County Hall, made a listed building in 2007, dates from the mid-1930s and is decorated with fine artworks of that period the gift of the family who owned the textile firm Courtaulds. The highest point of the county of Essex is Chrishall Common near the village of Langley, close to the Hertfordshire border, which reaches 482 feet; the ceremonial county of Essex is bounded to the south by its estuary.
The pattern of settlement in the county is diverse. The Metropolitan Green Belt has prevented the further sprawl of London into the county, although it contains the new towns of Basildon and Harlow developed to resettle Londoners after the destruction of London housing in the Second World War, since which they have been developed and expanded. Epping Forest prevents the further spread of the Greater London Urban Area; as it is not far from London with its economic magnetism, many of Essex's settlements those near or within short driving distance of railway stations, function as dormitory towns or villages where London workers raise their families. Part of the s
New England town
The New England town referred to as a town in New England, is the basic unit of local government and local division of state authority in each of the six New England states and without a direct counterpart in most other U. S. states. New England towns overlay the entire area of a state, similar to civil townships in other states where they exist, but they are functioning municipal corporations, possessing powers similar to cities in other states. New Jersey's system of powerful townships, boroughs and cities is the system, most similar to that of New England. New England towns are governed by a town meeting legislative body; the great majority of municipal corporations in New England are based on the town model. S. County government in New England states is weak at best, in some states nonexistent. Connecticut, for example, does Rhode Island. Both of those states retain counties only as geographic subdivisions with no governmental authority, while Massachusetts has abolished eight of fourteen county governments so far.
With few exceptions, counties serve as dividing lines for the states' judicial systems. Towns are laid out so that nearly all land within the boundaries of a state is allocated to a town or other corporate municipality. All land is incorporated into the bounds of a municipal corporation's territory, except in some sparsely populated areas of the three northern New England states. Towns are municipal corporations, with their powers defined by a combination of municipal corporate charter, state statutes, the state constitution. In most of New England, the laws regarding their authority have been broadly construed. In practice, most New England towns have significant autonomy in managing their own affairs, with nearly all of the powers that cities have in most other U. S. states. New Hampshire and Vermont follow Dillon's Rule, which holds that local governments are creatures of the state. Traditionally, a town's legislative body is the open town meeting, a form of direct democratic rule, with a board of selectmen possessing executive authority.
Only several Swiss cantons with Landsgemeinde remain as democratic as the small New England town meetings. A town always contains a built-up populated place with the same name as the town. Additional built-up places with different names are found within towns, along with a mixture of additional urban and rural territory. There is no territory, not part of a town between each town. In most parts of New England, towns are not laid out on a grid. Vermont is the leading exception to this, much of the interior of Maine was laid out as surveyed townships; the town center contains a town common used today as a small park. All residents live within the boundaries of a municipal corporation. Residents receive most local services at the municipal level, county government tends to provide few or no services. Differences among states do exist in the level of services provided at the municipal and county level, but most functions handled by county-level government in the rest of the United States are handled by town-level government in New England.
In Connecticut, Rhode Island, most of Massachusetts, county government has been abolished, counties serve as dividing lines for the judicial system. In other areas, some counties provide other limited administrative services. In many cases, the house numbers on rural roads in New England reset to zero upon crossing a town line. Residents identify with their town for purposes of civic identity, thinking of the town in its entirety as a single, coherent community. There are some cases where residents identify more with villages or sections of a town than with the town itself in Rhode Island, but this is the exception, not the rule. More than 90% of the municipalities in the six New England states are identified as towns. Other forms of municipalities that exist are based on the town concept, as well—most notably cities. Most New England cities have adopted a city form of government, with a council and a mayor or manager. Municipal entities based on the concept of a compact populated place are uncommon, such as a Vermont village or Connecticut borough.
In areas of New England where such forms do exist, they remain part of the parent town and do not have all of the corporate powers and authority of an independent municipality. Towns date back to the time of the earliest English colonial settlement, which predominated in New England, they pre-date the development of counties in the region. Areas were organized as towns as they were settled, throughout the 17th, 18th, 19th centuries. Town boundaries were not laid out on any kind of regular grid, but were drawn to reflect local settlement and transportation patterns affected by natural features. In early colonial times, recognition of towns was informal connected to local church divisions. By 1700, colonial governments had become more involved in the official establishment of new towns. Towns were governed by a town meeting form of government, as many still are today. Towns were the only form of incorporated municipality in New England; the city form of government was not introduced until much later.
Boston, for instance, was a town for the first two centuries of its existence. The entire land areas of Connecticut an
John Mason (c. 1600–1672)
John Mason, was an early English settler, soldier and Deputy Governor of the Connecticut Colony. Mason was best known as leading the English settlers on an attack on the Pequot and the Mystic Fort on an event that ended up being known as the Mystic Massacre that ended the Pequot tribe. Mason was born in Ravensthorpe, England. John Mason's baptism is recorded in the St. Deny's church records on October 5, 1600 and lists his father as Richard Mason, married on May 23, 1600 in Ravensthorpe to Alis Burlyn - Burlyn is an error for Butlyn because Alis Butlyn was baptized in Ravensthorpe on September 9. 1576. Alis could be the phonetic version of Alice. Little is known about his life there. Mason was well educated, but it is not known where he was schooled in England or a military school in the Netherlands, he enlisted in the military in 1624 and went to the Netherlands to serve in the sectarian Thirty Years' War, where he gained significant tactical military experience, first seeing action in the Breda Campaign.
His activities from the earliest days in New England give evidence of training as a military engineer. His prose is vigorous and direct in his regular correspondence with the Winthrop Family and in his history of the Pequot War. By 1629 he was a lieutenant in the Brabant Campaign and participated in the Siege of s'-Hertogenbosch "The Duke's Forrest" in English, known in French as Bois-le-Duc, he served with Lord Thomas Fairfax under General Sir Horace Vere in the army of Frederik Hendrik, The Prince of Orange. In 1632, he joined the great Puritan exodus and sailed from England to the Massachusetts Bay Colony, settling in Dorchester where he was promptly appointed as the captain of the local militia. In 1633, he commanded the first American naval task force and pursued the pirate Dixie Bull, routing him from New England waters, he and Roger Ludlow planned and supervised the construction of the first fortifications on Castle Island in Boston Harbor. In 1634, he was elected to represent Dorchester in the Massachusetts General Court, where permission was granted for him to remove to the fertile Connecticut River valley.
In 1635, he settled in Windsor, Connecticut at the confluence of the Farmington River and the Connecticut River. In 1640, he married Anne Peck from a prominent Puritan family. Main article: Pequot War The Pequot War started in the predawn hours of May 26, 1637 when English forces led by Captains John Mason and John Underhill, along with their Indian allies, attacked one of two main fortified Pequot villages at Mystic. Only 20 soldiers breached the palisade's gate and were overwhelmed, to the point that they utilized fire to create chaos and facilitate their escape from within. Sergeant William Hayden of Windsor is credited with saving the life of Captain Mason inside the fort, using his sword to cut through the bow-string of one of the Pequot warriors aiming his weapon at Mason; the ensuing conflagration caused their death. Only a handful of 500 men and children survived what became known as the Battle of Mistick Fort; as the soldiers made the exhausted withdrawal march to their boats, they faced several attacks by frantic warriors from the other village of Weinshauks, but again the Pequots suffered heavy losses versus few by the Colonists.
These two defeats broke the resources and spirit of the tribe, who decided to retreat west to the Hudson River area. They were pursued along the southern coast, with other confrontations at Sachem's Head and the Fairfield swamp, suffering more deaths and capture. Sassacus and his core band did make it to New York. Mason recounted his experiences in the Pequot War in his narrative Major Mason's Brief History of the Pequot War, printed in 1677 by Increase Mather and reprinted by Thomas Prince in 1736; the most prominent episode in Mason's lifelong career of public service was his overall command as captain of the Colonial forces in the Pequot War in 1637. This was the first declared and sustained conflict in Southern New England, a complex and risky campaign; the large and powerful Pequot Tribe had subjugated other local tribes, killed numerous Colonial settlers and destroyed vital corn crops. The Massachusetts Bay Colony declared war with them, reluctantly the infant Connecticut Colony was drawn into the conflict.
The Pequots outnumbered the Colonial forces, but the English had superior weapons and tactics. They had the guidance and support of numerous Indian allies who were tributaries to the Pequots Mohegan Sachem Uncas, who formed a unique and lasting bond with Mason and Wequash Cooke; this brief and decisive war, with the Mystic Massacre in particular, forever changed the complexion of American society. The battle at Mistick Fort was featured in the History Channel series 10 Days That Unexpectedly Changed America, is central to scholarly arguments in favor of proving localised Native American genocide in the colonial period. Following this victory, Mason was promoted to major and received numerous land grants as a reward for his services. Mason's Island at the mouth of the Mystic River remained in his family for over 250 years. In 1640, an event took place th
Tolland County, Connecticut
Tolland County is a county located in the northeastern part of the U. S. state of Connecticut. As of the 2010 census, the population was 152,691. Tolland County is incorporated into thirteen towns and was formed on 13 October 1785 from portions of eastern Hartford County and western Windham County, Connecticut. Tolland County is included in the Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT Metropolitan Statistical Area. Counties in Connecticut have no governmental function: all legal power is vested in the state and town governments; the office of High Sheriff in Connecticut counties was abolished by ballot in 2000, corrections and court service were transferred to the state marshals. Tolland County has the same boundaries as the Tolland Judicial District. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 417 square miles, of which 410 square miles is land and 6.8 square miles is water. It is the second-smallest county in smallest by total area. Hartford County - west New London County - south Windham County - east Hampden County, Massachusetts - northwest Worcester County, Massachusetts - northeast As of the year 2000, there were 136,364 people, 49,431 households, 34,156 families residing in the county.
The population density was 332/sq mi. There were 51,570 housing units at an average density of 126/sq mi; the racial makeup of the county was 92.34% White, 2.72% Black or African American, 0.21% Native American, 2.27% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.08% from other races, 1.35% from two or more races. 2.84% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 14.9% were of Irish, 14.1% Italian, 9.9% English, 8.8% French, 8.2% German, 8.0% Polish and 5.7% French Canadian ancestry. 90.5 % spoke 2.9 % Spanish and 1.6 % French as their first language. There were 49,431 households out of which 33.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.00% were married couples living together, 8.00% had a female householder with no husband present, 30.90% were non-families. 23.50% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.70% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.54 and the average family size was 3.03. In the county, the population was spread out with 23.10% under the age of 18, 12.90% from 18 to 24, 30.70% from 25 to 44, 23.20% from 45 to 64, 10.20% who were 65 years of age or older.
The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 100.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.50 males. The median income for a household in the county was $59,044, the median income for a family was $70,856. Males had a median income of $46,619 versus $34,255 for females; the per capita income for the county was $25,474. 5.60% of the population and 2.90% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 4.60% are under the age of 18 and 5.20% are 65 or older. As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 152,691 people, 54,477 households, 36,707 families residing in the county; the population density was 372.2 inhabitants per square mile. There were 57,963 housing units at an average density of 141.3 per square mile. The racial makeup of the county was 89.8% white, 3.4% Asian, 3.3% black or African American, 0.2% American Indian, 1.6% from other races, 1.8% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 4.3% of the population.
In terms of ancestry, 22.0% were Irish, 16.8% were Italian, 14.3% were English, 14.2% were German, 10.6% were Polish, 5.6% were French Canadian, 3.5% were American. Of the 54,477 households, 31.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.9% were married couples living together, 8.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 32.6% were non-families, 24.2% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.51 and the average family size was 3.00. The median age was 38.3 years. The median income for a household in the county was $77,175 and the median income for a family was $91,631. Males had a median income of $62,579 versus $46,818 for females; the per capita income for the county was $33,108. About 3.2% of families and 6.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.2% of those under age 18 and 4.6% of those age 65 or over. Data is from the 2010 United States Census and the 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates. Data is from the 2007-2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, ACS Demographic and Housing Estimates, "Race alone or in combination with one or more other races."
Tolland County is referenced in the novel Moby-Dick by Herman Melville as the place that the ill-fated African-American shipmate, comes from. National Register of Historic Places listings in Tolland County, Connecticut New England Civil War Museum Tolland County 911 Federal Statistics for Tolland Co. Conn. National Register of Historic Places listing for Tolland Co. Connecticut State parks and Forests in Tolland County Tolland County Chamber of Commerce
The Mohegan are a Native American tribe based in present-day Connecticut. It is one of two federally recognized tribes in the state, the other being the Mashantucket Pequot whose reservation is in Ledyard, Connecticut. There are three state-recognized tribes: Schaghticoke and Eastern Pequot. At the time of European contact, the Mohegan and Pequot were a unified tribal entity living in the southeastern Connecticut region, but the Mohegan became independent as the hegemonic Pequot lost control over their trading empire and tributary groups; the name Pequot was given to the Mohegan by other tribes throughout the northeast and was adopted by themselves. In 1637, English Puritan colonists destroyed a principal fortified village at Mistick with the help of Uncas and the Narragansetts during the Pequot War; this ended with the death of Uncas' cousin Sassacus at the hands of the Mohawk, an Iroquois Confederacy nation from west of the Hudson River. Thereafter, the Mohegan became a separate tribal nation under the leadership of their sachem Uncas.
Uncas is a variant anglicized spelling of the Algonquian name Wonkus, which translates to "fox" in English. The word Mohegan translates in their respective Algonquin dialects as "People of the Wolf". Over time, the Mohegan lost ownership of much of their tribal lands. In 1978, Chief Rolling Cloud Hamilton petitioned for federal recognition of the Mohegan. Descendants of his Mohegan band operate independently of the federally recognized nation. In 1994, a majority group of Mohegan gained federal recognition as the Mohegan Tribe of Indians of Connecticut, they have been defined by the United States government as the "successor in interest to the aboriginal entity known as the Mohegan Indian Tribe." The United States took land into trust the same year, under an act of Congress to serve as a reservation for the tribe. Most of the Mohegan people in Connecticut today live on the Mohegan Reservation at 41°28′42″N 72°04′55″W near Uncasville in the Town of Montville, New London County; the MTIC operate one of two Mohegan Sun Casinos on their reservation in Uncasville.
The Mohegan Indian Tribe was based in central southern Connecticut part of the Pequot people. It became independent and served as allies of English colonists in the Pequot War of 1636, which broke the power of the dominant Pequot tribe in the region. In reward, the Colonists gave Pequot captives to the Mohegan tribe; the Mohegan homelands in Connecticut include landmarks such as Trading Cove on the Thames River, Cochegan Rock, Fort Shantok, Mohegan Hill, where the Mohegan founded a Congregational church in the early 1800s. In 1931, the Tantaquidgeon family built the Tantaquidgeon Indian Museum on Mohegan Hill to house tribal artifacts and histories. Gladys Tantaquidgeon served for years as unofficial historian, she studied anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania and worked for a decade with the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Returning to Connecticut, she operated this museum for six decades, it was one of the first museums to be operated by American Indians. In 1933, John E. Hamilton was appointed as a Grand Sachem by his mother Alice Storey through a traditional selection process based on heredity.
She was of Tamaquashad, Sachem of the Pequot tribe. In Mohegan tradition, the position of tribal leadership was hereditary through the maternal line. In the 1960s, during a period of rising activism among Native Americans, John Hamilton filed a number of land claims authorized by the "Council of Descendants of Mohegan Indians." The group had some 300 members at the time. In 1970 the Montville band of Mohegans expressed its dissatisfaction with land-claims litigation; when the Hamilton supporters left the meeting, this band elected Courtland Fowler as their new leader. Notes of that Council meeting referred to Hamilton as Sachem; the group led by John Hamilton worked with the attorney Jerome Griner in federal land claims through the 1970s. During this time, a Kent, Connecticut property owners' organization, with some Native and non-Native members, worked to oppose the Hamilton land claims and the recognition petition for federal recognition, out of fear that tribal nations would take private properties.
In 1978, in response to the desires of tribal nations across the country to gain federal recognition and recover tribal sovereignty, the Bureau of Indian Affairs established a formal administrative process. The process included specific criteria that BIA officials would judge as evidence of cultural continuity. In that same year, Hamilton's band submitted a petition for federal recognition for the Mohegan tribe; the petition process stalled when John Hamilton died in 1988. The petition for federal recognition was revived in 1989, but the BIA's preliminary finding was that the Mohegan had not satisfied the criteria of documenting continuity in social community, political authority and influence as a tribe through the twentieth century. In 1990, the Mohegan band led by Chief Courtland Fowler submitted a detailed response to meet the BIA's concerns; the tribe included compiled genealogies and other records, including records pertaining to the Mohegan Congregational Church in Montville. BIA researchers used records provided by the Hamilton band, records from the Mohegan Church, records maintained by Gladys Tantaquidgeon, who had kept genealogy and vital statistics of tribal members for her anthropological r