2007-08-09 / Letters to the Editor

Chief Sachem and the 350th

I would guess that many people believe the 350th Celebration marks the anniversary year of the purchase of Jamestown by colonists from the local Indian leader, Conanicus. This is not accurate. Conanicus died years before 1657, and the name "Jamestown," (in Rhode Island) did NOT exist until 1678, when it was incorporated.

We will be celebrating next week the 350th anniversary of the purchase of Quononaqutt Island, by Benedict Arnold, William Coddington, and others, from the Chief Sachem and Commander of the Indians of Narragansett, Cashanaquont. The purchase price? "One hundred pounds Sterling and several gifts of value beforehand received." April 17, 1657.

The Land Agreement, the contract among the 100 colonists on how they would divide up the island, was also written in 1657, but ratified the following year.

Source of information: RI State Archives (Transcribed copy of recorded deed of sale) and Jamestown Town Hall (Land Evidence, Book 1, page 11).

Nancy Logan


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