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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 ?
25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Today the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) announced the dissolution of their previous licensing agreement for the use of the MGM Grand brand at Foxwoods Resort Casino.
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.
26 /PRNewswire/ -- The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation today issued the following statement:
11 /PRNewswire/ -- The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation today announced that John O'Brien, President of Foxwoods Resort Casino, has tendered his resignation, effective January 18, to pursue other interests.
18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation (MPTN) and MGM MIRAGE announced today that they have signed and entered into a series of agreements to implement their multi-faceted strategic alliance, first announced in April 2006, encompassing a major new destination hotel/casino resort adjacent to Foxwoods Resort Casino and the development of additional gaming and non-gaming projects, both at Mashantucket and outside of Connecticut.
The ceremony featured remarks by Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy, Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Chairman Rodney Butler and Foxwoods President & CEO Scott Butera; a dedication to Foxwoods employees who have served the casino for more than 20 years; and a presentation of 20thanniversary cupcakes courtesy of the resort casino's Executive Pastry Chef Franck Iglesias.
In the tradition of continued excellence, Mashantucket Pequot Gaming Enterprises has been awarded the coveted AAA-Four Diamond Award, this time for its newest hotel, MGM Grand at Foxwoods.
We couldn't be more thrilled to be partnering with Perini Building Company," said Michael Thomas, chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation.
In 2002 the Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation in southeastern Connecticut was deemed a sovereign nation by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, paving the way for the tribe to develop a casino.
One of the region's most fascinating attractions is the tribe-owned Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center in Mashantucket.
The Pequot Museum is presenting Neetypawees: Dolls as Ambassadors of Native Culture, a new exhibit featuring historic and contemporary dolls from the Museum's collection.
Slot Promotions are on tap for the Labor Day weekend and the Pequot Museum continues Comic Art Indigene, an exhibition examining how a generation of Native artists has embraced comics as an expressive medium.