The Wappinger were ruled by a sachem. The most well-known was Chief Daniel Nimham, their last sachem, who traveled to Boston in 1775 to declare his allegiance to the Patriot cause. The Chief and his son Abraham joined the Stockbridge Militia Company which was comprised of men from the Munsee, Mohican and Wappinger tribes. Daniel, Abraham and several dozen men lost their lives on August 31, 1778, while on a scouting expedition in the Bronx, NY. -Courtesy of Wappinger Historical Society
Wappinger, confederacy of Algonquian-speaking Indians in eastern North America. Early in the 17th century the Wappinger lived along the east bank of the Hudson River from Manhattan Island to what is now Poughkeepsie and eastward to the lower Connecticut River valley.
Traditionally, the Wappinger were semisedentary, moving seasonally between fixed sites as food resources required. They depended largely on corn (maize), cultivated by women, for their subsistence; this was supplemented by hunting, fishing, and collecting wild plant foods. The tribes were divided into bands, each governed by a sachem (chief) and a council of elders.
Pressure from Dutch settlers caused the Connecticut Wappinger to sell their lands and join other Algonquian-speaking tribes elsewhere in what are today the United States and Canada. The western bands refused to do so; they fought the Dutch between 1640 and 1645, suffering severe losses. In 1756 the majority of the Wappinger remaining in Westchester county joined the Nanticoke at Chenango, N.Y., and then merged with the Delaware; others joined the Stockbridge-Munsee tribe.
To learn more about the Wappinger people and other local history, visit:
Mount Gulian Historic Site in the Town of Wappinger or visit them online