Tribal History
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Golden Hill Tribe: A Persistent Presence   


1659 - Reservation is established at Golden Hill, in present day Bridgeport, for Pequannock tribe of Paugussett confederation, giving them name Golden Hill Paugussetts.  in 1680, the tribe receives a second reservation at Corum Hill in Huntington. 

1760 - Settlers reclaim all but six acres of Golden Hill reservation, forcing Indians out.  Two years later, only the John Sherman family remains.  But neighbors continue to take the family's land.  In 1763, Sherman complains to the General Assembly and is later five 12 acres next to the original reservation as well as land in Stratford. 

1790 - Federal law bars Indian land transactions without consent of Congress. 

1800 - Golden Hill reservation is taken away again.  The Pequannocks (later Paugussetts) Corum Hill reservation is sold by overseers to pay the tribe's debt.  Forty years later, the tribe receives 20 acres near Bridgeport, but the land is taken back over the years. By 1875, only one-quarter of an acre remains. 

1801 - Tom Sherman, Jr. replaces his father, Tom Sherman, as Chief of the Tribe.

1802 - Tribal reservation lands in Bridgeport sold by the order of the Connecticut General Assembly.

1802,1803,1804 and 1806 - Accounting filed by Josiah Lacey, Guardian of the Estate of the Golden Hill Indians.

1809,1812,1813,1816,1817, and 1818 - Accounting filed by Elijah Burritt, Guardian of the Estate of the Golden Hill Indians.

1812 - Tribal lands in Seymore sold.

1821 - Connecticut statute enacted requiring Overseer for Tribe.

1825 - F. Limon Stone, Agent and Superintendent of Indian lands in Orange sold lands belonging to the Tribe.

1831 - Elijah Burrill, as Overseer of the Tribe, sold property owned by the Tribe in Bridgeport.

1836 - Inventory of the Estate of Golden Hill Indians prepared by Smith Tweedy, Overseer.

1841 - Upon the petition of Tribal leaders Ruby Mansfield and her daughter, Nancy Sharp, the Overseer for the Tribe, Smith Tweedy, purchased 19 3/4 acres of land for the Tribe in Trumbull.

1849 - Smith Tweedy, as Overseer, purchased land in Bridgeport.

1849 - Census of Golden Hill Tribe showed twelve persons.

1849 - William  Sherman becomes Chief of the Tribe.

1854 - Overseer Dwight Morris sold the 19 3/4 acres in Trumball.

1862 - Russell Tomlinson, Overseer of the Tribe, sells lands belonging to the Tribe in Bridgeport.

1875 - Tribal Chief William Sherman purchased 1/4 acre in Trumball contiguous to the 19 3/4 acre reservation.

1876 - Connecticut statute promulgated regarding the support of the Golden Hill Tribe of Indians.

1879 - Tribe identified in Federal census as "Fairfield Indians".

1886 - William Sherman deeds the 1/4 acre to Rowland B. Lacey, Agent for the Golden Hill Tribe.

1888 - Connecticut statute reenacted regarding support of the Golden Hill tribe of Indians.

1890 - Tribe identified in Federal census as "Fairfield Indians".

1902 - Connecticut statute reenacted regarding support of the Golden Hill tribe of Indians.

1918 - Connecticut statute reenacted regarding support of the Golden Hill tribe of Indians.

1920 - Federal census shows continuing existence of Tribe in Fairfield County.

1925 - (approximately) - Nine year old Aurelius H. Piper walks from Trumbull to Maine by himself, since he can not adjust to or accept prejudice against Indians in Connecticut.

1933 - Connecticut statute reenacted regarding the support of the Golden Hill tribe of Indians.

1933 - Ethel Sherman Piper Baldwin (Peters) named Chieftess Rising Star by George Sherman in a huge ceremony on the Trumbull reservation.

1933 - Cheiftess Rising Star petitioned to have Raymond Beckwith named Overseer of the Tribe and the Trumbull reservation is rededicated.

1935 - The Tribe is placed under the jurisdiction of the State of Connecticut Park and Forest Department.

1938 - George Sherman dies and Edward Sherman (Chief Black Hawk) moves to the Trumbull reservation and takes on leadership of the Tribe, along with Chieftess Rising Star.

1939 - In response to and attempt to sell the Trumbull reservation, Attorney General of Connecticut issues formal written opinion that the 1/4 acre is Tribal land and can not be sold by the State Park and Forest Commission.

1941 - The Tribe is placed under the jurisdiction of the State Welfare Department.

1948 - Tribe identified in "Annual Report of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution: Surviving Indian Groups of the Eastern United States.

1951 - Julia B. Farrar committed suicide since Chieftess Rising Star refused to allow Julia's husband to become Tribal member.

1954,1956,1957,1958 and 1959 - State Welfare Department reports on Indian funds, including the Tribe.

1959 - Aurelius H. Piper, Jr. named Chief Big Eagle and joined the leadership of the Tribe.

1961 - Connecticut statute defines "Indian" including members of the Golden Hill Tribe.

1973 - Jurisdiction over the Tribe is transferred to the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection.

1973 - Tribal council formed by Chief Big Eagle.

1974 - 1976 - War over the Trumbull 1/4 acre reservation.

1974 - Chief Black Hawk dies and Chief Big Eagle moves to the Trumbull reservation. and takes over leadership of the Tribe.

1976 - Connecticut Governor Ella Grasso certifies to the United States Office of Revenue Sharing that the Tribe is eligible for revenue sharing as it has a recognized governing body which exercises substantial government functions.

1977 - Chief Big Eagle wrote a letter to the entire Connecticut congressional delegation asking for mediation of the New England Indian land claims.

1979 - Tribe receives Federal Housing and Urban Development grant to purchase Colchester reservation in 1981.

1981 - Chief Big Eagle dissolves Tribal council and Tribe returns to traditional form of government.

1985 - Quarter Acre of Heartache is published regarding war over the 1/4 acre.

1985 Franz Wojciechowski's first book regarding Tribe is published.

1988 - Tribe request Federal government to bring land claims on behalf of the Tribe.

1991 - Aurelius H. Piper, Jr. named Chief Quiet Hawk and given the position of Council Chief by Chief Big Eagle.

1992 - Franz Wojciechowski's second book regarding the Tribe is published.

1992 - First land claim suit filed in Federal court.

1993 - Chieftess Rising Star dies at the age of 100 winters.


Why Should We, As Americans Support the Golden Hill Indian Tribe?

1.  They have the right under the United States Constitution to seek redress of any wrong in the highest courts of our land and are only pursuing what is their right under the law.

2.  They have the right to pursue any legal economic development that can right the wrongs that have been done throughout history, by creating economic independence and social stability for their tribe.

3.  What Golden Hill intends to do with their economic development plan is what Indians have done since time immemorial, that is share what is legally theirs with this community so that we can all benefit as citizens of this state and the United States of America.

4.  Helping the Golden Hill Tribe is helping ourselves.  Helping them preserve their culture and heritage is also preserving our history as Americans.   For it is undeniable that without the Indians help in the beginning, the foundation of this country would not exist.



Copyright � 1999 Golden Hill Paugussett Nation