Category Archives: Simsbury Public Library

William R. Young

Young, William R. Connecticut Valley Indian. Springfield, MA: Museum of Science, 1969.

Young presents important connections between individual tribes/bands and larger native “nations” or loose groups. The Massacoes, and Tunxis, are placed within the Mattabesec-Wappinger group, one of the nine main Algonquian sub-tribes. Young’s conclusions help to imagine the socio-economic relationship these loosely related bands around Simsbury must have had with one another.

Mathias Spiess

Spiess, Mathias. The Indians of Connecticut. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1933.

Mathias writes about Connecticut natives in pre-contact times in relation to dominating outside tribes, and then describes the history behind the different English settlements in the Connecticut and Farmington River Valleys. The author tries to connect each tribe, and is one of the only authors so far who have claimed the Massacoe had absolutely nothing to do with the Tunxis natives.

George S. Roberts

Roberts, George S. Historic Towns of the Connecticut River Valley. Schenectady, NY: Robson & Adee Publishers, 1906.

In this book, one can find a description of the histories of mostly every major town in the Connecticut River Valley. Roberts specifically provides the history of Farmington and Bloomfield, which used to be called Wintonbury, and included parts of Simsbury. The author mentions an Indian Deed of 1660 that describes the land as wilderness.

Mary E. Guilette

Guilette, Mary E. American Indians in Connecticut: Past to Present. Aetna Life and Casualty, 1979.

In her book, Guilette gives an overview of tribes and customs in Connecticut throughout time. The author does a great job at providing information about population estimates in Connecticut at the time of settler-native contact, distinguishes between the different tribes of Connecticut and then describes native ways of life.

John W. DeForest

DeForest, John W. History of the Indians of Connecticut. Hartford, CT: WM. Jas. Hamersley, 1852.

DeForest tells the history of the natives in Connecticut. Along with giving a greater historical context to the surrounding Farmington Valley region, DeForest includes important facts and speculations about the Tunxis and Massacoe tribes. This includes population and relationship between the two.

Simsbury, 1670-1970

Simsbury, 1670-1970. Simsbury, CT: Chamber of Commerce, 1970.

This small booklet was produced to commemorate Simsbury history over three hundred years. Although short, it does provide a brief overview of Simsbury history, and also gives some general information about natives in Connecticut at the time of English settlement.

Mark Williams

Williams, Mark. The Brittle Thread of Life. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2009.

Williams’ book is an important historical work about Salmon Brook, once a part of the original Simsbury. The author gives a history of the settlement of Simsbury, and eventually how the settlement of Salmon Brook came to be. Additionally, the fate of the Massacoes is discussed, with Williams suggesting massive death by disease and departure from the area.

William M. Vibert

Vibert, William M. Three Centuries of Simsbury: 1670-1970. Simsbury, CT: Simsbury Tercentenary Committee Inc, 1970.

Vibert covers almost all areas of Simsbury and Massacoe history. He gives details on Massacoe territory, villages, burial grounds, food, weapons and native legends.

Noah A. Phelps

Phelps, Noah A. A History of the Copper Mines and Newgate Prison at Granby, Conn., also, of The Captivity of Daniel Hayes, of Granby, by the Indians, in 1707. Hartford, CT: Tiff & Burham, 1845.

Phelps recounts the history of Newgate Prison and the copper mines in Granby, and also tells the story of Daniel Hayes. The story of Hayes capture and eventual return to Granby is the most related part of the text to the research. After harming a native’s dog in Weatogue, Hayes is captured and brought to Canada. Perhaps the most interesting part of the text is that Phelps includes the assertion that the problems with natives had ended long before this incident.