Saturday, July 18, 2009

In the 'Hood

The report, compiled by Connecticut-based historian James Lynch and paid for by the town of Halifax, concludes that the Mashpee tribe "has never maintained a tribal political or social presence within the Town of Middleboro."

- From the Cape Cod Times Casino Foes Fed Ammunition
Once again a surrounding community has stepped up to oppose a Middleboro casino.

So let's hear it for all of Middleboro's nosey nieghbors - who've paid for expensive experts, formed task forces, compiled exhaustive lists of concerns, fought for the right to have an anti-casino fundraiser on town property, organized, created web sites, put out newsletters, written editorials and letters, made calls, talked to their reps, held forums and who've come out to meetings, conferences, rallies and hearings, who've debated, held signs, made signs, gotten up early, stayed up late, juggled schedules and lives, put careers on hold, raised money and donated, who've crunched numbers, groomed databases, asked questions, made statements, performed extensive research, blogged, educated, entertained, revealed the truth, withstood the slings and arrows of their critics, answered the call, never gave up, stayed involved, stuck together, lent their tireless support to the anti-casino cause and it's people - and who never even once got the chance to vote on whether they wanted a casino.
Anti-casino advocates in Middleboro have long claimed the Wampanoag ties to the town are bogus, accusing the tribe's investors of reservation shopping.
Think again. Anti-casino advocates are everywhere.

And while we're at it - let's hear it for that guy from Middleboro, Frank Dunphy, who was always there for us.


Anonymous said...

Illusions of casino gold dimmed the nightskies and vision of Mboro supporters to the extent they failed to ask even the basic questions.Another good example.

Blinded by greed!

Anonymous said...

I know more about IGRA,impacts, adiction,Carceri,slot machines,casinos,racinos,lopsided lobbyists,politicians who lack spines,low wage workers,casino shopping, paid cheerleaders and a whole bunch of other things thanks to you making me think.
Two years ago I thought "what's the big deal?"
It's not just Mboro, but what about Palmer?There even less able to cope.Keep blogging I need to keep knowing its just wrong and why.
I met Frank.We need more like him.

Anonymous said...

What an inflammatory title!
Interesting reading.
Beth Ellen

Sam said...

Residants of Mboro were forced to do there own research call towns in Ct elsewear by books to find informashun
BOS should have alowed public forems insted of buldozing
5 members of that BOS wont be fogeten by me - 1 wayne perkens 2 steve spetero 3 adam bond 4 marcia brunele 5 pat roger and others like jack heley brien giovni ruth jefry nele rosinthel hail brown
wear did democracy go?

Anonymous said...

The bad news just keeps piling up for the Tribe.

Anonymous said...

I know that I am not alone in saying that some Middleboro residents are eternally grateful to our nosy neighbors. In the midst of the awe inspiring Kool-aid drinking it was extremely nice to find people who didn't believe the hogwash either.

So, thanks to everyone behind the scenes and to the voices in the front that never quit yelling.

Gladys Kravitz said...

Anons. 11:40 and 10:06,


Anonymous said...

I have not read any of the report, however, I know for certain there is no way anyone can make that claim. Nemasket was a very important stop on the way for the Pokanockets to Mt Hope. Massasoit, Alexander, and Phillip all fished here, and spent many days in the Cedar Swamp. The land was sold by Massasoit and again by Alexander. Edward Winslow may ... Read Morehave saved Massasoit's life in Nemasket, which led to the information from Massasoit about the impending attack of the Massachusett tribe, which led to Standish's raid in Weymouth (Wessagusset ) which scared the Indians so much that all tribes flocked to Massasoit. The sly Sachem in one move allied himself with the Englsih and united the tribes into one nation, thus, he became more powerful than the Narragansetts, their larger rival tribe. Once the tribes were united, Massasoit called them all the new Wampanoag Nation.

Gladys Kravitz said...

Anon. 10:35,

You should read the report. It's very thorough. It carefully disects Grabowski's conclusions and reveals additional information.

However, regarding Nemasket's location as a pit stop on the Wampanoag highway, you may want to read the following from page 54 and 55 of the report.

To begin with, the main transit route between the Indian villages of Patuxet (Plymouth) and Sowwams (Pokanoket, the “Plimouth Path”), ran through Middleboro and the then village of Nemasket. It was part of the pre-contact Indian path network that was transited by the likes of Winslow, Bradford, and Gookin. Plymouth served as the transit nexus with the “Sandwich Path”, which ran from the lower Cape to Plymouth (Patuxet) and the “Great Massachusetts Bay Path” and the path to Pokanoket (Sowwams).99 There was no direct path between Cape Cod and Nemasket which suggests that no direct economic or subsistence activities were maintained between Nemasket and the villages of the two Cape Cod sachemdoms, some direct forty to eighty miles distant. There was also evidence, circa 1623, that communication between Plymouth and Nemasket was sparse. Drake (1849)100 noted,

For many years the settlements of the English in Plymouth Colony were confined to the seacoast, and to such portions of the interior as had been depopulated by the fearful pestilence, which had swept through the country shortly before their arrival on the New England shores. Hence it was that territory of Namasket, comprising the Indian villages of Namasket and Titicut, which seemed to have escaped the almost universal desolation, notwithstanding its proximity to Plymouth [Patuxet]

The fact that Nemasket and Titicut escaped, unlike the later 1633 epidemic, the smallpox epidemic is suggestive that neither village had substantive contact with either Plymouth (Patuxet) or the Cape Indians during the epidemic. The epidemic followed paths of contact or trade routes from Newfoundland south. It would appear that both populations resided in relative social isolation from these paths of contact thus escaping the epidemic as did the tribes of southern New England. At the same time, this epidemic, following the Sandwich path to Cape Cod, carried the smallpox to those Indian populations residing there. Thus the planned attacks upon Plymouth and Wessagusset by the Cape tribes and the Massachusett were pre-empted. It also argues against the Pokanoket/Wampanoag exerting political influence upon the Cape sachemdoms.

Anonymous said...

Here is the thing, I don't agree with the premise of the argument, which Indians of that era 'owned' land and claimed right to that specific area of land. Every fact in there, I can find 10 more. I could list the volumes of information I have personally read, just start with the back of the Mayflower book by Nathanial Philbrick, read it, and make up your own mind instead of relying on “Trust Us We’re Experts.” (side note- everyone should read those books, both Mayflower and Trust us we’re experts.)

The Wampanoag Nation encompassed all of Middleboro. This is their ancestral homeland, and, if not for pox, typhus, and other diseases that were hear long before the first pilgrim, that wiped out his warriors, Massasoit would have had much more land today than the land in Mashpee. They would have had to deal on a fair basis as human beings with the Indians. This is something Roger Williams forced those Puritans/Pilgrims to do. Although in most cases it was a gesture and not really with the welfare of the Indian population in mind. The land put into trust for them would have happened in 1709 not 2009. The atrocity of the Phillips war, the enslavement through religious promises, the genocide on the women and children committed by the English is a fact kept out of whether or not the Mashpee Indians have rights to Precinct street land. On the slaves return from the Caribbean a few summers ago, they should have had the land given to them.

I guarantee they lived on the exact site they want to build the casino. I have the physical proof in artifacts I have seen and touched. How about Squanto? He came home from London to his tribe being decimated by small pox and the remaining few members "resided in the swamps west of Plymouth common" That is here in Nemasket. Why? The Indians regarded the swamps as spiritual safe havens to retreat to. A place to perform Pow Wow's, a process where they would exhaust discussion and reasonable arguments over the next course of action. They would have lived in the swamps that is now called Hockomock and Cedar Swamp aka Cumberland Farm Development prospects.

Casino is bad, but the Casino is using the Wampanoag nation as a smoke screen for tax and law incentives. Obviously it has everything to do with crooks and greed. However, this is their ancestral lands. This is their home as much as it is ours. I say give them the land, and dump the casino. Partner with the Wampanoag’s and use it as a base to create a grassroots movement for conservatism in the commonwealth. Right down Thompson Street they are expanding the Oak Point retirement colony. If ever there was an example of greed, crooked dealing, deception, and the absolute destruction of a local ecosystem, it is right there.

Anonymous said...

I like the part where he says "Thus the planned attacks upon Plymouth and Wessagusset by the Cape tribes and the Massachusett were pre-empted." By what? Smallpox?

This is a total fairy tale. The attacks on Wessagusset fort thwarted the Massachusett attack on Plymouth. And the attacks on Wessagusset were mostly due to the fact that the nitwits from England who were there could not take care of themselves, and were stealing from the local tribe. It got so desperate at the fort that even some English were taken by Massachusett and used as slaves. The remaining ones in Wessagusett that were there when Myles Standish came up from Plymouth were weak and useless.

How was the attack pre-empted? Well not so romantic as the writer would lead to believe I am afraid. Actually, Myles Standish sat down to dinner in a Wigwam with two Massachusett warriors after going to Wessagusett fort. Standish remembering the slight the warrior from Massachusett (Pecksuot) had said to him at the Manomet meeting; (Which was something about how short Standish was) leaped up, grabbed the knife off the warrior Pecksuot and proceeded to brutally stab him to death, as told by the Indians with such ferocity that the other warrior shocked did not react in time before he was killed.

This one act had devastating consequences on all the tribes in the area. Many tribes fled for fear of Standish, English small pox (thanks to Squanto lies) and Pokanocket rule. A domino effect that made Massasoit supreme Sachem, and the death of many of the other tribes sachems, including any Nausets and Mashpees. Many Indians died that winter because they never got the chance to plant their crops. So because “Captain Shrimp” as Thomas Morton of Merrymount called him, killed those warriors and few others after that, the Pilgrims secured their future and caused the death of thousands of natives. The next few generations capitalized on that and grabbed all the land in the area. Until of course the King Phillip War.

Point is, all those tribes are Wamponoag, they all have right to that land. Spinning history will never change that.

Gladys Kravitz said...

Dear RogerWilliamsWasMyUncle,

If you read Mayflower then you no doubt read that

Today, the sums paid for Massasoit's lands seem criminally insignificant. However, given the high cost of clearing Native land the high value the Indians attached to English goods, the prices are almost justifiable. Certainly, the Pilgrims felt they were paying a fair price, and their descendants later insisted that they 'did not possess one foot of land in this colony but what was fairly obtained by honest purchase of the Indian proprietors'

Now they want it back. To do something like this, hundreds of years after the fact, and for the purpose of 'gaming' in which THE CURRENT RESIDENTS of surrounding communities aren't even given the chance to VOTE on whether they want it or not, it can hardly be wrong to debate, in detailed scholarly minutea, that the current Mashpee Wampananoag Tribe is entitled to this land or not.

Which they're not. They never wanted that land until they thought they could build a big fat done deal of a casino on it.

I don't know if you've read my previous post, Six Degrees of Suffolk Downs, but it's amazing what people will do and say in the name of casino greed.

And no, I don't believe any 'expert' on face value, including Philbrick (the author of Mayflower) or Lynch or Grabowski.

The point is, the IRA was designed to right the wrongs, which had been designed to right the wrongs committed against western and southern tribes, not northern ones whose history is completely and utterly different, and which, I suspect, figured into the recent SCOTUS decision.

These tribes, consisting of perfectly intelligent adults, sold their land to colonists. It was not taken away by force or deception. The rest is history.

The whole purpose of the Non-Intercourse Act which gave compelled the Feds to take land into trust for the Indians was designed to protect Indians from opportunists who would take it from them through deception or by force, or pay less for it than it was worth. The idea that modern day New England Indian Tribes still need the Federal Government's protection from unscrupulous colonial opportunists is absurd.

Now the opportunists use the same law to tribes, elected officials, and the hopelessly dim to build casinos in densely populated residential regions.

BTW, the incident you mention at modern-day Weymouth, while horrifying, was exactly the action that solidified Massasoit's bond with the Pilgrims. It wasn't out of fear - it was out of respect that the Pilgrims had honored their treaty with him.

The modern-day Mashpee have gotten their Federal recognition. They receive Millions in Federal Aid.


My friend Bumpkin, in a recent post noted how they are apparently indignant and feel rushed over the 7 years they have been given to consider the issue of Cape Wind, and yet feel perfectly OK with the THREE MONTHS Middleboro and the region got to digest the news of a casino.


Nocasino said...

Can't stop smiling.

It's About The MONEY! said...

Why are we delving into gossip that transpired 300 years ago when no one really kept records?
If we were talking about something really, really important that might be one thing.
What we're talking about is whether wealthy casino investors have a right to construct a massive casino on land, escape all state and local taxes, regulations and control, enrich mostly the Tribal Council (that has trouble governing itself), and sit on their butts.
Get a life folks!
It's about the MONEY!
Heritage and Roots be damned!

Anonymous said...

BTW, the brutal murder of two Massachusett warriors while under the guise of negotiation by a maniacal, possible Napoleon complexed, religious zealot was because Massasoit told them of the impending attack. Massosoit told them of the attack because Winslow saved his life by scraping away the typhus filled pus sores on his mouth and lips and feeding him jam preserves possibly right here in Nemasket. Then Winslow scraped them away from the rest of Massasoit's people who were also sick. Much to Winslow’s chagrin mind you. The treaty was not as powerful as the Pilgrims thought, and they even started the process of negotiating with the Narragansett. If not for the guts of Bradford sending back the arrow sack filled with bullets, then the Narragansett’s would have attacked and overrun the colony regardless of Massasoit.

Winslow’s act was really what saved the Pilgrim’s. Massasoit mastery of manipulation as well, because he went from fearing the Narragansett to becoming the most powerful tribe in the region, he united all the tribes into the Wampanoag Nation.

It was most assuredly out of fear the other Indians in the area kept cover. Until the King Phillip War.

After the Pilgrims, the next generation of English were much different than the first, Bradford often lamented about the godlessness of the next arrivals. Their supreme Preacher, Robinson, who was back in Leiden, strongly condemned the madman Standish and the action. He offered they should have negotiated first with the Massachusett, for coexistence.

You quote Philbricks opinion. I stated look at the back of his book at his Bibliography and read for ones self any one of the hundreds of references he used. Philbrick postulated they spent a fair amount given the circumstances, which were; if the original Pilgrims offered anything it was a sacrifice because they had nothing. Especially after sending loot back to London. You compare what they had sent back to settle their debt to what they paid for land, you will see they knew exactly the deal they were getting. Plus, the amount they spent meant nothing really to the Native Americans, because their concept of land was different than that of the English. They migrated as the wilderness provided. It is a fallacious argument meant to justify any guilt people have today. The English stole the land, murdered the Indians, enslaved them, sold them and shipped them out of New England, burned their homes, killed, tortured and raped their families and then corralled what remained, put them into designated areas to live, treated them less than human even though one Indian John Sassomon graduated from Harvard.

The land you speak of was sold by Massasoit and Alexander. However, the concept of land selling was only brokered because of Roger Williams; otherwise the English would have taken it outright like they did to Pequot and Mohegan. Plus, land deals had to be approved by the Plymouth court, first intended to protect the Indians at the suggestion of Roger Williams, then meant to take the land. Alexander sold land to Rhode Island, which, pissed off the elite in Plymouth because they said he could not do that. They sent Winslow’s kid, Josiah, out to pick him up to appear in front of the court. They picked him up fishing at Monponsett Pond, just up the line from us. Eventually Alexander died, leaving Phillip in charge, who knew they had killed his brother.

Anonymous said...

I feel it is absurd to think it is not their land, as a matter of fact, the land we are talking about, (Actually most acres in Middelboro), comes deeded from those days right before and after King Phillip. Phillip who sold it all to pay for a war he needed to fight because the English were taking away his freedom and pushing him the brink.

It is a major problem with our town. Huge tracks of land in the hands of greedy selfish people. These lands get deeded through crooked deals in back rooms from the age of Nemasket and end up in childrens, childrens wills, till we get to today. Some of that land was worthless due to the fact it was landlocked, but now, it is worth big dollars. Some of it is not even owned, it is just maintained and the taxes paid, therefore they consider it theirs because, in their minds a fair price was paid back in the day and they were not around then anyway. It is criminal, but, it goes on unabated in Middleboro as it has since those days.

It is their homeland, regardless of the casino. From Cape to Boston to Providence, it is their homeland.

Gladys Kravitz said...


Oh yes there was that time when a couple Pilgrims saved Massasoit on his deathbed. Imagine that. White people helping an Indian. You can't possibly mean that all whites weren't maniacal bloody thirsty killers.

We obviously read the same book but took from it different messages. Oh well.

The Pilgrims got along with the Indians... their children and the Puritians who came after were another story.

My point, which I wish you would try to understand, is that the Indian Regulatory Act was written to right the wrongs intended to right the other wrongs done to certain tribes at certain times. It was not a blanket law and was NOT created to give anyone who could prove American Indian ancestry a casino or even LIT.

If you or the Mashpee Wampanoags want to consider this region their homeland, whatever...

But they wanted a casino, and therefore put their tribe's culture and history on the table and into this Federal process whereupon it would be examined in detail.

I didn't do it. It was their choice.

As for history's treatment of people during war - it's a long and bloody one without even talking about Indians. In parts of the world women and girls are still kept in various types of bondage and deprived of basic human rights. That this occurs in the 21st century angers me more than an ethnically diluted, deeply disfunction Cape Cod Tribe who never cared about Middleboro until they got casino stars in their eyes.

I'm sorry about how the Indians all across this country were treated. But I also know that numerous attempts to help them or to right those wrongs always made things worse.

150 years ago, slavery was still legal in this country. Now we have a black president. This wasn't acheived by making different laws for blacks, but by continually striving equality for all Americans.

One Nation, many cultures, one law.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Glays!

The Mashpee have not "maintained" a tribal or social presence in Middleborough. They live in Mashpee, let them build a casino there.

RogerWilliamsWasMyUncle, You might want to check the registry of deeds. The land in Middleborough was bought and paid for. Massasoit and later, Phillip needed guns and money to protect themselves from OTHER TRIBES, they made themselves powerfull by selling their land and aligning with the settelers, when that didn't work out for Phillip, he attacked and burned as many settlements as he could, Midleborough included, but was eventually defeated. The argument that Massasoit, or Phillip did not understand the concept of English property law is bogus.

Anonymous said...


Direct from the summary of evidence that the Mashpee Wampanoag supplied to the federal government in order to prove they've been a tribe since historical times:

"The evidence established that since first sustained contact to the present, they comprised a distinct community from non-members in and around the town of Mashpee on Cape Cod Massachusetts."

Oh, and it gets better.

One of the criteria for recognition is that the current members must be descendants of a historical indian tribe or from historical tribes which combined and functioned as a single autonomous political entity.

The evidence submitted by the tribe showed that "the Wampanoag Indians were residing in Mashpee, Barnstable County at the time of first sustained historical contact in the 1620's." (quoted from the report). Further reading of the summary shows that the tribe never left Cape Cod.

Nothing in the way of evidence THAT THEY SUBMITTED supports the claim that the current members of this tribe ever had anything to do with the land in Middleboro.

And in order for the Middleboro land to be considered the tribe's initial reservation, the current members of the tribe must be descendants of the indians that lived, hunted or buried thier dead on that land.

They can't say, "yes that's my land because my sister's brother-in-law's great-grandfather was a second cousin to the neice of an uncle whose great-grandmother was the daughter of an Indian from another tribe who lived in the area."

I think if there were another story to tell, the tribe would have told it prior to applying for land to build a casino. Its funny that thier history has changed since the arrival of a casino developer.

carverchick said...

My friend Bumpkin, in a recent post noted how they are apparently indignant and feel rushed over the 7 years they have been given to consider the issue of Cape Wind, and yet feel perfectly OK with the THREE MONTHS Middleboro and the region got to digest the news of a casino.



On another note....maybe RogerWilliamsWasMyUncle needs to look up the definitionn of Nation.

Great blog as usual, Gladys. Thanks for always being there!

you totally rock

Gladys Kravitz said...

Back at ya, CC. Back at ya.


And thanks for all that Carver, most notably in the form OF YOU, but also that of some your wonderful town folk and officials, have done for the cause.

Anonymous said...

Those damn settlers!
More than 300 years ago,the damn Pilgrims made provisions that land purchases from the Indians had to be approved.If you look at the names of those land purchases,you won't see John Smith purchase.You see stuff like 'Little Lot Men's Purchase.'
Uncle,Get your history straight because it's not all there.The damn Pilgrims had their faults and they also foresaw the need to prevent land squabbles.
White men have/had their faults but were you here more than 300 years ago to require reparations?
Get a life and get an education instead of depending on the largesse of wealthy casino investors who are leeching off your heritage for a free ride.
I worked 3 jobs to put myself through college to get a better job.And you?

Anonymous said...

If the BIA considers the ability of a tribe to govern itself, that alone would disqualify this motley crew.

Anonymous said...

Its because of you that we have read some of the books available from non-casino sources that provide a wealth of information not available any wheres else.
The Tribe wont get there casino because of your steadfast devotion to the issue.
You have awakened others in the state like us that slots and casinos are bad.
If you weren't there, we would have believed "It's Inevitable."
To Palmer: It's not INEVITABLE! And you don't want it!"

Anonymous said...

Halifax -- Thank you!
We knew it you proved it and we apreciate it.

Anonymous said...

Bet they just hate it that the opponents were right.

Anonymous said...

The panic and PR by the Tribe is amusing.Since investers cut off $$$ that must mean they have to depend on DIY articals.Watch where the comments come from like uncle.