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Wyandanch's Gift

Source: 
Newsday.com

After Englishman Lion Gardiner rescued the kidnaped daughter of Wyandanch in 1653, the grateful Montaukett chief gave the settler land between Huntington and Setauket.

The deed seen here is a duplicate of the 1659 document that sealed the exchange. It was copied by hand in 1665 for public record.

 
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The deed's text appears below (spellings are updated for ease of reading). Wyandanch, his son and wife used marks to sign the deed. Richard Smith, founder of Smithtown, was a witness. Notes in the margin reveal the subsequent transfer of the land from David Gardiner, Lion's heir, to Smith in 1665.

East Hampton, July 14th, 1659.

Be it known unto all men both English and Indians, especially the inhabitants of Long Island, that I, Wyandanch, sachem of Paumanack, with my wife and son Wyankanbone, my only son and heir, having deliberately considered how this twenty-four years we have been not only acquainted with Lyon Gardiner, but from time to time have received much kindness of him, and from him not only by counsel and advice in our prosperity, but in our great extremity, when we were almost swallowed up of our enemies -- then, we say, he appeared to us, not only as a friend, but as a father, in giving us his money and goods, whereby we defended ourselves, and ransomed my daughter and friends.

And we say and know that by his means, we had great comfort and relief from the most honorable of the English Nation here about us. So that, seeing we yet live, and both of us being now old, and not that we at any time have given him anything to gratify his love, care and charge, we having nothing left that is worth his acceptance but a small tract of land, we desire him to accept for himself, his heirs, executors and assigns forever.

Now that it may be known how and where this land lyeth on Long Island, we say it lyeth between Huntington and Setauket, the western bound being Cow Harbor [now Northport], easterly Acataamunk, and southerly, across the Island to the end of the great hollow or valley, or more than halfway through the island southerly; and that this is our free act and deed, doth appear by our hand marks under written.

Signed, sealed and delivered in the presence of

[Signed] Richard Smith, Thomas Chatfield, Thomas Talmage,
and Wyandanch, Wyankanbone, the Sachem's Wife [with their marks]

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This page last updated September 22, 2003.