“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Northampton in Hampshire County, Massachusetts — The American Northeast (New England)


Nonotuck Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Michael Herrick, March 30, 2022
1. Nonotuck Marker
For Native Americans of Southern New England in the 17th century, life was centered in the village, a kinship grouping of extended families rarely numbering more than 300 to 500. There were no formal "tribes," but cooperation among villages took place when circumstances demanded. Yet there was a series of interconnected homelands spread along the entire length of the Connecticut River Valley. The Native American settlement at what is now Northampton was called Norwottuck, or Nonotuck, meaning: "the midst of the river." It consisted of a core area where clan meetings and elders' councils were held.

As Europeans increasingly controlled access to the viable hunting, fishing and planting grounds, American Indians adapted as best they could. But it was an uneasy accommodation for all parties. In response to the growing permanent presence of the colonists in the valley, Indians negotiated agreements reserving to themselves long standing traditional rights. In this way they tried to remain connected to meeting places spoken of in their traditions, to places where the bones of their ancestors were buried, to places where they could continue
Nonotuck Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Michael Herrick, March 30, 2022
2. Nonotuck Marker
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to fish and plant corn.

Steady pressure from English settlements reduced the traditional homelands of Native Americans, and destroyed the populations of game and fur-bearing animals. The defeat of Metacom in King Phillip's War of 1675-76 put an end to large-scale armed resistance to English settlement, but not to Indian habitation. Though many Native peoples sought refuge elsewhere, some never left their homelands, choosing to make themselves less visible by moving beyond the fringes of colonial settlements. This strategy of avoidance helped ensure a continued Indian presence in the valley up until the present day, but that presence often went unrecorded.

Historic Northampton Museum & Education Center
46 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA 01060

( photo captions )
—   Moccasins, c. 1682, from the collections of Historic Northampton
—   On September 24, 1653. "Chickwallop, alias Wawhillowa, Neessahalant, Nassicohee, Riants, Pasqualant, Assellaquompus and Awonusk the wife of Wulluther all of Nanotuck," negotiated an agreement with the English for the land that became Northampton
—   Wampum was produced and controlled by Native Americans and became a means of exchange in trade with Europeans. This example dates from1660 and is on display at Historic Northampton Museum.
Topics. This historical marker is
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listed in this topic list: Native Americans. A significant historical date for this entry is September 24, 1653.
Location. 42° 19.176′ N, 72° 37.816′ W. Marker is in Northampton, Massachusetts, in Hampshire County. Marker is at the intersection of Pleasant Street (U.S. 5) and Main Street (Massachusetts Route 9), on the right when traveling south on Pleasant Street. Located in front of the Hampshire County Courthouse. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 99 Main Street, Northampton MA 01060, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Shays' Rebellion (here, next to this marker); Hampshire County (here, next to this marker); Daley & Halligan (here, next to this marker); Northampton Gulf War Monument (a few steps from this marker); First Meeting House (a few steps from this marker); Calvin Coolidge (within shouting distance of this marker); The Old Bank (within shouting distance of this marker); Shop Row (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Northampton.
Also see . . .  Historic Northampton Museum & Education Center. (Submitted on April 3, 2022, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.)
Credits. This page was last revised on April 3, 2022. It was originally submitted on April 3, 2022, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut. This page has been viewed 152 times since then and 54 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on April 3, 2022, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.

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Mar. 23, 2023