AUGUST 31, 1778


Bitter towards the British over land claims, the Wappinger Indians of Stockbridge, Massachusetts, joined the Continental Army in 1775.  Ethan Allen sent them to seek alliances with the Six Nations and the Shawnees.  Sachem Daniel Nimham became a captain; his son, Abraham, commanded the Stockbridge Indian Company.  In 1778, Americans controlled from White Plains north; British held New York City.  What is now Yonkers to the Bronx was a no man’s land.  The Company patrolled this area to gather intelligence.  On August 31, a Continental force ambushed a Hessian company.  In response, a British force of over 500 trapped the 60-warrior Company near the Bronx.  After a fierce fight, only 17 warriors survived, devastating to the Wappinger community.  Afterwards, survivors and families of the slain were denied bounty-lands offered to all white soldiers.  By 1785, the Stockbridge Indians were forced to move to Oneida Country in central New York and later, with the opening of the Erie Canal, to Wisconsin. 

Source:  Laurence M. Hauptman, “The Road to Kingsbridge: Daniel Nimham and the Stockbridge Indian Company in the American Revolution,” American Indian Magazine, Fall 2017.  Retrieved 7/11/2019,
Drawing:  Johann von Ewald (1744-1813), 1778.  Member of the Stockbridge Militia.  Public Domain in U.S.:  Pre 1/1/1925.  Public Domain elsewhere where copyright term is author’s life plus 100 years or less.