John Eliot's First Indian Teacher and Interpreter Cockenoe-de-Long Island

and The Story of His Career from the Early Records

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Published: 1896
Language: English
Wordcount: 12,754 / 46 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 51.5
LoC Category: CT
Downloads: 369
Added to site: 2007.12.27
mnybks.net#: 19523
Genre: Biography

This little work is a brief résumé of the career of an Indian of Long Island, who, from his exceptional knowledge of the English language, his traits of character, and strong personality, was recognized as a valuable coadjutor and interpreter by many of our first English settlers. These personal attributes were also known and appreciated by the inhabitants of some parts of Connecticut and Massachusetts, by the Commissioners of the United Colonies of New England, and by the Governor of the Colony of New York, all of whom found occasion for his services in their transactions with the Indians.

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Island sound off Westport, Conn., near the mouth of the Saugatuck river, bears his name in the possessive as "Cockenoe's Island" to this day, as will be noted by consulting a Coast Survey chart. That the name was bestowed in his time is proven by the record "that it was agreed (in 1672) that the said Island called Cockenoe is to lie common for the use of the town as all the other Islands are."[22] This island is one of the largest and most easterly of the group known as the "Norwalk Islands," or as they were designated by the early Dutch navigators, the Archipelago.[23] The fact that his name is displayed on this deed for Norwalk, and as the name for this island, has been a puzzle to many historians; but that it does so appear is easily accounted for, when we know what his abilities were, and why he was there.

On September 2, 1652,[24] the fall of the year that he was at Norwalk, he appeared before the Commissioners of the United Colonies of New England, then assembled at Hartford, as their r

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