This post is another in my ongoing blog series that acknowledges the ancestral lands on which the National Archives’ buildings are situated across the country. This series of acknowledgements is a simple way to offer our recognition and respect to the people who once lived on these lands.
The Pittsfield Federal Records Center is located in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, which is situated on the ancestral lands of the Mohican peoples.
“Pophnehonnuhwoh, later known as Captain John Konkapot, was born around 1690. He was a member of the Turkey Clan of the Muh-he-con-neok (Mohican) nation. Archeological evidence suggests that his ancestors lived for centuries in what is now known as upstate New York, with lands extending east across the mountains into modern Massachusetts, Vermont, and Connecticut. Up to 30,000 Mohicans lived in widespread communities of longhouses and wigwams before Henry Hudson (c. 1565-1611) sailed his ship up the river that now bears his name into the heart of Mohican territory in 1609. Mohicans greeted the strangers on Hudson’s ship warmly, offering gifts of furs, food, and tobacco. Hudson and his crew reported news of the region’s bountiful natural resources and friendly “River Indians” back to Europe, encouraging more exploration and exploitation. By the time of Konkapot’s birth only 80 years later, the Mohican population was dwindling and destabilized by deadly epidemics, war with the Mohawk for control of the fur trade, and an influx of European colonists.” From Pophnehonnuhwoh (Captain John Konkapot): A Mohican Sachem
Enter your address in this interactive map of Traditional Native Lands to see who once lived where you are now.
My thanks to Anne R. Price, Move Coordinator, Pittsfield Federal Records Center, and Stefanie Hutchins, Chief of Staff, Agency Services for providing information and images for this post.
For additional information:
The Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Indians website