British-Allied Indians


The Mohawk are one of the original five nations of the Iroquois Confederacy formed between the mid fifteenth and late sixteenth centuries with the Seneca, Cayuga, Oneida and Onondaga, who became the six nations in the early eighteenth century when they were joined by the Tuscarora, who had moved up from North Carolina. The Mohawk are probably the Iroquois nation whose name remains most associated, in the popular imagination, with the wars that were fought in eastern North America during the eighteenth century. The Iroquois had a fierce reputation as warriors and while most of the "Woodland Indian" tribes were drawn into alliances with the French, the Iroquois were either closely allied to the British, or remained neutral.

The Stockbridge Mohicans

The Stockbridge Mohicans were descended from Housatonic and Mahican Indians who settled at Reverend John Sergeant's mission and school at Stockbridge, western Massachusetts, established in the 1730s. They were one of the more "assimilated tribes" wearing much European-style clothing and living in towns of board houses, many attending church and school. From the beginning of the French & Indian War they served in warrior bands, but also within provincial regiments and ranger companies. Captain Jacob Cheeksaunkun raised a company of 45 "Stockbridges" with Lieutenant Jacob Naunauphtaunk and Ensign Soloman Uhauamvaumut.

The Stockbridge Mohicans' day-to-day Europeanised appearance was considered to be less intimidating to the enemy, and, in common with the Mohegans of Connecticut, they were ordered to revert to their traditional Indian wear for war. They were issued muskets, powder horns and bullet bags, shirts and blankets; they wore centre-seam leggings and moccasins. In ranger companies they were issued the same equipment as their fellow rangers. Hair styles varied from a simple scalp-lock to worn long. The strips of red cloth tied around the barrels of their muskets were an expedient to avoid incidents of "friendly fire". Piercing appears not to have been much in evidence, if at all, paint and tattooing were not common. Pack FIW PP3 represents Captain Jacob Cheeksaunkun, dressed in the same style as his men, distinguished as an officer by his silver gorget and proudly sporting his presentation red ostrich plume.