Covenant between Massachusetts Colony & the Nipmuc “Praying Towns,” 1668
Some of these leaders would go on to play key roles in King Philip's War. Ketuhhoonit, known also as Keehood, and Wusamahchkin, known also as Willymachen, leaders at Webquasset, were among those sachems who first gathered at the inland sanctuary of Menimesit to council when war first emerged in summer 1675. Wutasakompanin, known also as Captain Tom, was a leader at Hassanamesit, James Printer's town, engaged in diplomacy at the beginning of the war, and was among those taken by his relations to Menimesit in the fall of 1675, along with James and his family. James's brother, Job Kattenanit, the only man who signed his name on this document, was a teacher at Magunkoag and also at Okkanamesit, which was adjacent to Marlboough. He served as a scout for colonial troops from the beginning of the war. He also traveled to Menimesit, as a informant, and warned colonial leaders about the impending raid on Lancaster, which, despite his effort, resulted in Mary Rowlandson's capture.
The humble submission & subjection of the Native Indians sagamores and people of Nipmuk inhabiting within the bounds of the pattens [patents] of Massachusetts; and neare adjoining unto the English towns seated of Mendam and Marlboroug
We the inhabitants of Quanutusset [Quantisett], Mônuhchogok [Magunkaquog], Chaubunakongkomuk [Chabonokonomum], Asukodnôcog, kesepusqus, wabuhqushish [Webquasset] and the adjacent parts of Nipmuk being convinced of our great sinns & how good it is to turn unto the Lord and be his servants by praying & calling upon his name. We do solemnly, before God, & this Court, give up ourselves so to God. Also we finding by experience how good it is to live under laws & good government & finding how much we need the protection of the English. We doe freely, out of our own motion, and voluntary choice, submit our selves to the government of the Massachusets. To the honored Gen: Court. To the honored Governor, deputy Governor & Assistants to be unto? & protected by them. And we do humbly intreat that we may be favorably accepted. May 19th, 1668.
The mark of Wutasakompanin
The marks of
These have subscribed in the name & with the consent of all the rest
Like many Nipmuc towns, Keehood and Wusamahchkin’s town of Webquasset and its sister town, Quantisset sat at the intersection of multiple inland trails and political jurisdictions. Trails from this gathering place led toward Mohegan country, via the Nipmuck Path and the Quinebaug/Mohegan River; toward the Narragansett country via the Narragansett trail; and toward Kwinitekw, via the Native trail that colonists called "the Bay Path," to Agawam (Springfield) and Nonotuck (Hadley). The "Connecticut path" led south to lower Kwinitekw and northeast from Wabquasset and Quantisset toward the other Nipmuc towns in the agreement, including Manchaug, Chabanakongkomug, Hassanamesit, and Magunkaquog. Thus, this covenant was made with towns that lay directly on the paths that Massachusetts settlers most often took in their inland travels toward Connecticut colony and the Connecticut River Valley.[i]