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(pē`kwŏt), Native North Americans whose language belongs to the Algonquian branch of the Algonquian-Wakashan linguistic stock (see Native American languagesNative American languages,
languages of the native peoples of the Western Hemisphere and their descendants. A number of the Native American languages that were spoken at the time of the European arrival in the New World in the late 15th cent.
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). The Pequot are of the Eastern Woodlands cultural area (see under Natives, North AmericanNatives, North American,
peoples who occupied North America before the arrival of the Europeans in the 15th cent. They have long been known as Indians because of the belief prevalent at the time of Columbus that the Americas were the outer reaches of the Indies (i.e.
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). Originally they were united with the MoheganMohegan
, Native North Americans whose language belongs to the Algonquian branch of the Algonquian-Wakashan linguistic stock (see Native American languages). Also called the Mohican, they were the eastern branch of the Mahican. In the early 17th cent.
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, but when UncasUncas
, c.1588–c.1683, chief of the Mohegan. Uncas was a subchief of the Pequot, but because of trouble with the chief, Sassacus, he withdrew with his followers and formed a separate tribe, the Mohegan. These people flourished under Uncas's leadership.
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 revolted, the Pequot moved southward to invade and drive off the Niantic. The warlike Pequot, under their chief, Sassacus, had by 1630 extended their territory west to the Connecticut River. Numerous quarrels between settlers in the Connecticut valley and the Pequot led to the Pequot War (1637). The precipitating cause was the Pequot's murder of John OldhamOldham, John
, c.1600–1636, colonist in New England, b. England. A trader, he emigrated to Plymouth in 1623 but was banished (1624) because of his opposition to the strict government.
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, an English trader. The English under John MasonMason, John,
c.1600–1672, American colonial military commander, b. England. He was an army officer before emigrating (c.1630) to Massachusetts and then (1635) to Windsor, Conn.
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 and John UnderhillUnderhill, John,
c.1597–1672, military commander in the American colonies, b. England. In 1630 he accompanied John Winthrop (1588–1649) to Massachusetts Bay, and in 1637 he distinguished himself as a commander with John Mason (c.
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 attacked their stronghold on the Pequot River and killed some 500 Pequot.

The remaining Pequot fled in small groups. One party went to Long Island, and a second escaped into the interior. A third, led by Sassacus, was intercepted near Fairfield, Conn., where almost the entire party was killed or captured. The captives were forced into slavery, mainly in New England and the West Indies. A few Pequot, including Sassacus, who managed to escape were put to death by the Mohawk. A remnant of the Pequot was scattered among the southern New England tribes; the colonial government later settled them in Connecticut. Today they live on two reservations in SE Connecticut. At Ledyard the Mashantucket Pequot established (1992) a casino, which has proved to be one of the largest and most profitable gambling establishments in the world; they also sponsor an elaborate tribal museum. In 1990 there were 679 Pequot in the United States.


See J. W. De Forest, History of the Indians of Connecticut (1851, repr. 1988); K. I. Eisler, Revenge of the Pequots: How a Small Native American Tribe Created the World's Most Profitable Casino (2001).

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References in periodicals archive ?
The Pequot War also resulted in the devaluation of wampum as a form of legal tender among the colonists.
Pequot will take over Interliant's consulting, managed messaging/collaboration, managed hosting and managed security businesses together with its UK operations and certain liabilities.
Unfortunately, because the book deals with real people and real issues the book does more of a disservice than a service to serious scholarship, either about the Pequot or gaming.
But because of Cabazon, the MADD bill opened the door to full-scale casino gambling on Pequot land.
"The Media and the Tribes" was the topic of a workshop sponsored by the Connecticut Pro Chapter of SPJ and held at the new Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center in Mashantucket, Conn.
According to a company spokesperson, Hartford Ballet has the right to use the production, which was funded by a $500,000 grant from the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe.
Or "the Pequot Massacre" of 1636, when our Puritan ancestors (well, I am stretching my ancestry a little), in an expedition led by Captain John Mason, set fire to a village of Pequot Indians on the Connecticut shore of Long Island Sound?
The Mashantucket Pequot Tribe, which opened Foxwoods Resort Casino five years ago, is the largest revenue provider to the state after the federal government.
"We're not Pequot" says public affairs coordinator Debra Croswell.
To say that the 318 members of the Connecticut Mashantucket Pequot Indian tribe--half of whom are Black --have hit the jackpot is an understatement.
The current headquarters will be occupied by the Mashantucket Pequot tribal nation, owner of Foxwoods Resort Casino.