They had a notion of one great and good God|
over the rest of their gods, called Cauh-lun-too-wut
—Samson Occum (c. 1760)
The Ocean on the south and the East river
on the north side, which separates this Island
from Manhatans Island as far as Hellgate,
and it is called Paumanok or Long Island
and runs one-hundred miles of ocean.
"To say something of the Indians," Denton says,
"there's now but few upon the Island and
"those few no ways hurtful to the English
"but rather serviceable to them;
"and it is to be admired,
"how strangely they have decreast by the Hand
"of God, since the English first came to settle;
"and it hath been generally observed,
"a Divine Hand makes way for the English
"removing or cutting off the Indians."
They had the gods of the four corners of the earth
—north, south, east, west—
and there was a god over their corn,
another over their beans, pumpkins and squash;
one god over their homes, another of the fire,
one god over the sea, another of the wind,
one day-god, another was the night-god,
and there were four gods over the four seasons.
And Poggatacut, Sachem of Munhassett, Wayandanch,
Sachem Meuntacut, Momowetow, Sachem of Corchake,
Nowedonah, Sachem of Shinecoke, the said Sachems
having sould unto the worship'll Theophilus Eaton,
Esquire, Governour of the Colony New Haven,
and the worship'll Edward Hopkins, Esquire,
all the Land lyinge from the bounds of the Inhabitants
of Southampton, unto the East side of Napeak,
next unto Meuntacut high Land, with the whole breadth
from Sea to Sea, which the Inhabitants of Southampton
have and do possess, for and in consideration of:
twentie-four looking glasses
One hundred mugs
And, in consideration thereof, the forenamed Sachems
doe give upp unto the said Purchasers,
all rights and Interest in the said Land,
to them and their heirs forever.
Each made his mark: turtle, snake, buck-horn, skunk.
The sun went down, and a paleface moon hove in sight.