Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Unkechaug Indians of Eastern Long Island

John Strong’s The Unkechaug Indians of Eastern Long Island is a detailed, fascinating account of this tribe, which currently resides on a state recognized reservation, known as Poospatuck, near Mastic.

Strong takes a very positive approach to chronicling the history of these people.  Of course, he goes into detail about their decimation due to European disease, the disruption of their old folk ways as they began to participate in the English economy and the illegal and quasi-legal land deals which robbed them of their land.

But rather than strictly catalog the loss and victimization, Strong illustrates how  Unkechaug people integrated into the English and American economy, using their connections with prominent local families to protect their interests, and seeking redress in the English and later American legal system when wronged.

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