Thursday, September 28, 2017

Making the Past into the Present

Published September 27, 2017. Last updated 02:03 p.m., September 26, 2017

What do the skills of modern pharmacist and the pre-Colonial history of Connecticut have in common? Rich Kalapos, that’s what. Rich, who is the town historian of Deep River, is a retired pharmacist who has pursued the study of Connecticut’s Native American inhabitants as a hobby for many years.
Now, there is a chance for everybody else to learn about the Native Americans who lived in this area at the time of the first contact with Europeans. The land trusts and historical societies of Essex and Deep River are sponsoring two lectures on the indigenous people of the Connecticut River Valley.
On Wednesday, Oct. 4, anthropologist and archaeologist Lucianne Lavin, director of research and collections at the Institute for American Indian Studies in Washington, Connecticut, will highlight the Wangunks, a powerful tribe that lived on both sides of the Connecticut River.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Remember the Mayflower

By Silvio Canto, Jr.
September 18, 2017

It started when a group of people boarded the Mayflower in 1620:
In a difficult Atlantic crossing, the 90-foot Mayflower encountered rough seas and storms and was blown more than 500 miles off course. 
Along the way, the settlers formulated and signed the Mayflower Compact, an agreement that bound the signatories into a "civil body politic." Because it established constitutional law and the rule of the majority, the compact is regarded as an important precursor to American democracy. 
After a 66-day voyage, the ship landed on November 21 on the tip of Cape Cod at what is now Provincetown, Massachusetts.

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Friday, May 13, 2016

STEPHEN HOPKINS (1581 – 1644) Jamestown Colonist and Pilgrim on the Mayflower | FORGOTTEN NEWSMAKERS

STEPHEN HOPKINS (1581 – 1644) Jamestown Colonist and Pilgrim on the Mayflower | FORGOTTEN NEWSMAKERS:

When the opportunity for freedom and independence brought settlers to the Jamestown colony, Stephen Hopkins, a merchant from Hampshire, England, missed the first two chances to go.  But, when the Virginia Company was looking for recruits a third time, Hopkins was ready.  At 28 years old, he left his pregnant wife, Mary, and three children to join the Third Supply expedition to the New World.  When a hurricane hit them and the colonists were forced to make a detour, Hopkins’ rebel spirit almost cost him his life.
When they set sail in May 1609, Hopkins was aboard the Sea Venture, the flagship vessel of seven ships. They were commissioned to bring desperately needed supplies and more settlers to the Jamestown colony.  He signed on as a servant.
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New book examines the life of Captain Thomas Wiggin

New book examines the life of Captain Thomas Wiggin - News - - Portsmouth, NH:

Thomas Wiggin, captain and governor in Colonial New Hampshire, was an accumulation of moral values, religious principals, political and European conflicts, and all the desires typical for a man of his era, says Joyce Elaine Wiggin-Robbins. With a heritage as a son of the clergy, being well educated, with a history of advantageous networking, Thomas would become the example of the discipline and strength needed to establish a home in the New England wilderness of the 17th century.
In her book, “Shadow Echo Me” (published by Xlibris), Joyce Elaine Wiggin-Robbins chronicles this remarkable man’s life in a place of wide-open opportunity and freedoms, explaining why men like him became the backbone of the future United States of America.
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A Mayflower for the modern age

Brett Phaneuf, a Massachusetts expat living in Plymouth, England, happened to be meeting with local officials about a project when the talk turned to the 400th commemoration of the Mayflower sailing to the New World.
One of the embarkation ports for the Pilgrims, the Plymouth, England, side of the celebration will include a reenactment of the voyage to the other Plymouth with a replica Mayflower. An anthropologist and entrepreneur who runs a company that makes undersea research vessels, Phaneuf thought the anniversary version of the Mayflower lacked imagination.
“The problem with a 17th-century ship is when you’re done with it, you have a 17th-century ship,” Phaneuf said. “So I said, instead of thinking of the last 400 years, why not think about the next 400 years?”

So Phaneuf worked with designers to create a futuristic vessel that looks like a cross between a spaceship and catamaran — and that will sail itself. He dubbed it the Mayflower Autonomous Research Ship, or MARS, and has convinced the city to add the ship to the commemoration, which will include its own transatlantic voyage in September 2020.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Wangunks, 'Lost Tribe' Of Lower Connecticut River

 MIDDLETOWN — Gary O'Neil, a descendant of the Wangunk tribe, describes his Native American ancestors as a ghost people, fast fading into history.
"We are the lost tribe of Connecticut," he said. "People didn't even know we existed."
Now, the Wangunks — the indigenous people of Middletown and Portland at the bend in the Connecticut River — are being rediscovered.
Wesleyan University students examined 17th and 18th century Middletown records to piece together the little-known story of these Algonquian peoples of the lower Connecticut River.

Five Lost Languages Rediscovered in Massachusetts
American history has just been slightly rewritten. Previously, experts had believed that the Native Americans of central Massachusetts spoke a single language, Loup (pronounced “Lou,” literally meaning “wolf”). But new research shows that they spoke at least five different languages.
“It's like some European families where you can have three different languages at the dinner table,” says Ives Goddard, curator emeritus and senior linguist in the department of anthropology at the Smithsonian’s Natural Museum of Natural History. “There was probably a lot of bilingualism. A question that is raised by there being so many languages is 'how did that work?' How did they manage to maintain five different languages in such a small area?"