The Mohicans of Stockbridge

By Patrick Frazier | Go to book overview

13
LEARNING THE KING'S LIMITATIONS

Plans had been under way since the summer of 1765 to finance a trip to England to represent the Wappinger case. After Samuel Monrow went to jail, Daniel Nimham hired a Connecticut lawyer named Asa Spalding, who proposed a sort of lottery. Nimham would issue tickets at £5 apiece to the emigrants and rebellious tenants in Dutchess County, or anyone else with an interest. When his territory was recovered, Nimham would give each ticketholder free and clear title to 250 acres of it, for an additional payment of £20. Spalding hoped to sell five hundred tickets. If Nimham won his case, the Wappingers would retain half their claim.1

The outcome of this proposal is not known, but in May of 1766 the Stockbridges arranged a deal with William Gregg, Jr., a well-to-do New Englander. Nimham, Jacob Cheeksaunkun, Solomon Uhhaunauwaunmut, and John Naunauphtaunk would serve as tribal delegates to the king for all the New York claims. Gregg would lay their case before George III and other officials. Since they expected to spend a long time in England, Gregg further agreed to support them there for three years, providing £30 New York currency a year and "meat, drink, apparel, lodging and washing fitting gentlemen," and to pay for their trip home. Gregg, in turn, would receive a deed or, for ten shillings a year, a 999-year lease to a twelve-mile-square tract of land of his choosing. Solomon, John, and Jacob (but not Daniel) also would act as Gregg's servants while they were in England. The four Indians signed the contract with Gregg on

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