Sachem Aquash of the Montaukett


Aquash was a Montauket and became a Sachem of the Montaukett in 1683. His father, Mousup, was also a Montaukett Sachem. Aquash later changed his name to Wyandanch after his ancestor.


September 30th, 1683

The Montaukett Sachem was Aquash (Aquaas)1

September 30, 1684

Aquash was identified as the Montaukett Sachem in the town’s clerk record.

At this time, the older Sachem, who may have been Mousup, was preparing his son, Aquash, to assume authority over Montaukett affairs. In this agreement, the town trustees agreed to pay Montaukett Sachem four pounds per year in perpetuity for grazing rights on Montauk.

The following year, the trustees paid Aquash, identified only as “the young sachem,” twenty shillings, four pounds of sugar, and a dozen pipes. There was no mention this time of the “great sachem.”2

July 1687

The East Hampton trustees representing the thirty-nine investors met with the Montaukett Sachem, who identified himself as Wyandance. Although there is no confirming document, the Sachem was probably the former Aquash, who had now taken the name of his famous ancestor.

His counselors, Sassakataka, Obediah, and Cockenoe, accompanied him. Manecopungun and MAssaquats may have died because they disappear from the record at this time.

The proprietors under the supervision of the trustees purchased the remaining Montaukett land for one hundred pounds and added a counterbond granting the Montauketts the right in perpetuity to reside at Montauk. The counterbond obligated the town trustees to protect the Montaukett residence rights.3

Name change

Aquash changed his name to Wyandance around 1687. The practice of changing names to mark a transition in life or in response to a dream causes considerable confusion for historians. English and Dutch frequently noted aliases in their documents which enable historians to confirm a particular name change. Other times historians must make an educated guess.

  1. David Bunn Martine, Long Island Timeline, 2010[]
  2. John Strong, The Montaukett Indians of Eastern Long Island, 2001 pp 55[]
  3. John Strong, The Montaukett Indians of Eastern Long Island, 2001 pp 56[]