Wappinger Indian Divisions

Sub-tribes, bands and divisions of the Wappinger Tribe of Indians.


Kitchawak (perhaps akin to Chippewa Kichŭchǐwǐnk ‘at the great niybtaub.’ (W. Jones). Apparently a band or small tribe, or, as Ruttenber designates it, a “chieftaincy” of the Wappinger confederacy, formerly residing on the east bank of the Hudson in what is now Westchester County, New York. Their territory is believed to have extended from Croton river to Anthony’s Nose.  Their principal village, Kitchawank, in 1650, appears to have been about the mouth of the Croton, though one authority 1 locates it at Sleepy Hollow.  They also had a village at Peekskill which they called Sackhoes.  Their fort, or “castle,” which stood at the mouth of Croton river, has been represented as one of the most formidable and ancient of the Indian fortresses south of the Highlands.  Its exact situation, according to Ruttenber, was at the neck of Teller’s, called Senasqua.  The Kitchawank were a party to the treaty of peace made with the Dutch, August 30, 1645.


Mattabesec (from massa-seguēs-et, ‘at a [relatively] great rivulet or brook. Trumbull). An important Algonquian tribe of Connecticut, formerly occupying both banks of Connecticut river from Wethersfield to Middletown or to the coast and extending westward indefinitely. The Wongunk, Pyquaug, and Montowese Indians were a part of this tribe. According to Ruttenber they were a part of the Wappinger, and perhaps occupied the original territory front which colonies went out to overrun the country as far as Hudson river. The same author says their jurisdiction extended over all southwest Connecticut, including the Mahackeno, Uncowa, Paugusset, Wepawaug, Quinnipiac, Montowese, Sukiaug, and Tunxis.


Manhattan (‘the hill island,’ or ‘the island of hills,’ from manah ‘island’, -alin ` hill.’-Tooker). A tribe of the Wappinger confederacy that occupied Manhattan island. and the east bank of Hudson river and shore of Long Island sound, in Westchester county, New York. Early Dutch writers applied the name also to people of neighboring Wappinger tribes. The Manhattan had their principal village, Nappeckamack, where Yonkers now stands, and their territory stretched to Bronx river. From their fort, Nipinichsen, on the north bank of Spuyten Duyvil creek, they sallied out in two canoes to attack Hendrik Hudson when he returned down-the river in 1609. Manhattan island contained several villages which they used only for hunting and fishing. One was Sapohanikan. The island was bought from them by Peter Minuit on May 6, 1626, for 60 guilders’ worth of trinkets 2 Their other lands were disposed of by later sales.

Consult further:

  1. Ruttenber, Indian Tribes Hudson River. 77, 1872.


  1. N.Y. Doc. Col. Hist., xiii, 24, 2882[]
  2. Martha J. Lamb, Hist. City of N. Y., 1, 53, 1877.[]

Hodge, Frederick Webb, Compiler. The Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. Bureau of American Ethnology, Government Printing Office. 1906.

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