FOUR DIRECTIONS INSTITUTE

 

Niantic

 

 

Ethnie: NIANTIC
Language: Wampanoag
Family: Eastern Algonquian
Stock: Algonquian
Phylum: Algic
Macro-Culture: Eastern Woodlands
Speakers None
       The Niantic were sedentary hunter/ farmer tribes. They were comprised of two divisions, having been divided by the Pequot. The Eastern Niantic lived along the western coast of Rhode Island and the neighboring coast of Connecticut. The Western Niantic were located on the coast from Niantic Bay to the Connecticut River. The western division was nearly destroyed by the Whites. The tribes ultimately joined other cultures.
Aboriginal Locations: Subdivisions (Villages)
CT    Western (2)
RI     Eastern (1)
Present Locations
RI    Absorbed into the Narragansett Indian Tribe, Charlestown
WI   Among Brothertons in northern Wisconsin
Year History
1614 First contact with Dutch traders, devastated by warfare and epidemics; Western Niantic allied with the Pequot; Eastern Niantic allied with the Narragansett 
1620 English settlement at Plymouth
1630 Arrival a of large numbers of Puritans rivaled Dutch in fur trade
1633 English trading post established at Windsor
1634 Western Niantic killed pirate and slaver John Stone while in the act of kidnapping Niantic women and children; English demand for killers was denied
1635 English build Fort Saybrook at the mouth of the Connecticut River
1637 Beginning of Pequot War involving Western Niantic; Endicott expedition killed 14 Niantic and burned their village and later burned a Pequot village; John Mason led army of English, Narragansett, and Mohegan destroyed the Pequot fort on the Mystic River and hunted down fleeing Pequot and Niantics killing or enslaving all but 100 Niantics who were put under the control of the Mohegan 
1655 Some Pequot and Niantics were removed from Mohegan control due to harsh treatment and sent to eastern Connecticut
1675 Narragansett almost exterminated in King Philip's War
1680 Surviving Narragansett and Eastern Niantic settled in Charlestown
1788 Some Western Niantic who had remains with the Mohegan joined the Brothertons to live with the Oneida in upstate New York
1834 Brothertons removed to Wisconsin
Year Total Population CT RI Source
1620 1,500 Dick Shovel
1700 200 100 100 NAHDB calculation
1800 0 NAHDB calculation
1900 0 NAHDB calculation 
2000 0 NAHDB calculation 
Other speakers of the same language:
Massachuset, Narragansett, Nauset, Nipmuc, Wampanoag
Niantic Sites:
Eastern Niantic Indian Tribe History  http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/tribes/narraganset/easternniantichist.htm
Niantic Authors  http://www.ipl.org/div/natam/bin/browse.pl/t201
Niantic History  http://www.dickshovel.com/nian.html
Niantic Nation  http://www.angelfire.com/mi4/polcrt/niantic.html
Ninegret Salt Pond  http://omp.gso.uri.edu/discovery/SaltPond/sphist3.htm
Squash Names for an Indian Word  http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/plantanswers/publications/vegetabletravelers/squash.html
Wampanoag Language  http://www.ethnologue.com/14/show_language.asp?code=WAM
Wampanoag Linguistic Lineage  http://www.ethnologue.com/14/show_lang_family.asp?code=WAM
Western Niantic Indian Tribe History  http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/tribes/narraganset/westernniantichist.htm

Last updated 10/02/05  Copyright 2005 by Four Directions Press