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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).

References in periodicals archive ?
BANKING AND CREDIT NEWS-December 28, 2017-Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation extends forbearance agreement
The Mashantucket Pequots and the State of Connecticut were primary stakeholders in the litigation, but other significant parties played a role in the outcome.
As part of a larger project examining the population status, habitat needs, and home ranges of significant predator and prey species in suburban Connecticut, the Mashantucket Pequot Nation decided to evaluate the status and habitat use of the New England cottontail (Sylvilagus transitionalis) on tribal lands.
A recorded narration relates the saga of the Pequots, on whose land the Rainmaker kneels.
Competition also came from native entrepreneurs such as the Pequots, "whose geographic location between coastal wampum and hinterland furs .
When I heard the story during the 1960s and 1970s, Mason was presented as a hero, and his statue stood in the middle of Pequot Avenue in Mystic.
Ello despertaba la envidia de sus vecinos, quienes cada vez que se atrevian atacaban a los pequot e invariablemente acababan derrotados por la mejor organizacion militar de estos.
Pequots were massacred 300 years ago, enslaved--and produced offspring--with Blacks 200 years ago and have been economically deprived ever since.
At the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center, a compelling series of films on "The Importance of Water" continues with documentaries entitled Keepers of the Water and Together We Stand.
390) Wynn and his big-league gambling compatriots pointed out that the state treasury was missing out on the gambling boom at Foxwoods because the Pequots were not required to pay taxes on their casino's profits or their personal earnings.
He describes the state's 1855 auction of most of the reservation lands granted to these Pequots two centuries earlier.
About the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation The Mashantucket Pequots are a native Algonquin people in southeastern Connecticut who endured centuries of conflict and survive today on the oldest continuously occupied reservation in the U.