Pocasset and Pokanoket Placenames, Wampanoag Country
However, English men viewed the Wampanoag territory with an eye to division, seeking deeds and conducting surveys through which parcels of land could be allotted for sale and patrilineal inheritance. For example, in seeking title from Ousamequin and Wamsutta in 1652 to “Sowams and parts adjacent,” Plymouth settlers sought to cut the planting peninsulas into “necks” which could be used for “mowable land” and pasture, and eventually, divided into lots for plowing and planting furrows. With the deed, they laid claim to salt and freshwater meadow on either side of the “great river” of Sowams, drawing an imaginary line from Moskituash brook, the estuary stream that flows into Popanomsat (now Bullock’s Cove) and the Seekonk (or Providence) River, to the planting ground of Kickemuit.
Beyond Kickemuit and Toowooset, to the east, was Weetamoo’s homeland of Pocasset, including Mattapoisett, where Weetamoo spent much of her childhood. Paths moved east to Shawamet, across the Kteticut river (a crossing often made by canoe “ferry”) to the planting grounds at Assonet, which hosted spring herring runs at the narrows near Assonet Bay. Trails led east and south through the dense woods and marshes of the Pocasset hunting grounds to Weetamoo’s town at the falls of Quequechand. The river’s source was the ponds of Watuppa, with streams and trails leading south to the Acoaxet river and the adjoining coastal rivers of Sakonnet, Apponaganset and Achushnet, interconnected Wampanoag communities with prime shellfish gathering and fishing places.