Watson F. Hammond

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Watson F. Hammond (May 24, 1837-December 9, 1919) [1] was the first Native American to sit in the Great and General Court of Massachusetts. [2] [3] [4]

Native Americans in the United States Indigenous peoples of the United States (except Hawaii)

Native Americans, also known as American Indians, Indigenous Americans and other terms, are the indigenous peoples of the United States, except Hawaii. There are over 500 federally recognized tribes within the US, about half of which are associated with Indian reservations. The term "American Indian" excludes Native Hawaiians and some Alaska Natives, while Native Americans are American Indians, plus Alaska Natives of all ethnicities. Native Hawaiians are not counted as Native Americans by the US Census, instead being included in the Census grouping of "Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander".


Early life

Hammond was born in 1837 in the North End of Boston, Massachusetts [3] to John Hammon of Sag Harbor, Long Island and Catherine F. Hammond. [3] [1] a Montauk Indian He had two siblings, Frances C. Hammond and John Hammond. [1] John owned over 50 acres of land on Mashpee Neck on Cape Cod. [3] John died when Watson was seven, and Watson was sent to live with an uncle in Mashpee at the Attaquin Hotel. [3]

North End, Boston Neighborhood of Boston in Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States

The North End is a neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, United States. It has the distinction of being the city's oldest residential community, where people have continuously inhabited since it was settled in the 1630s. Though small, only 0.36 square miles (0.93 km2), the neighborhood has nearly one hundred establishments and a variety of tourist attractions. It is known for its Italian American population and fine Italian restaurants. The district is a pending Boston Landmark.

Sag Harbor, New York Village in New York, United States

Sag Harbor is an incorporated village in Suffolk County, New York, United States, in the towns of East Hampton and Southampton on eastern Long Island. The village developed as a working port on Gardiner's Bay. The population was 2,169 at the 2010 census.

Long Island island in New York, United States of America

Long Island is a densely populated island off the East Coast of the United States, beginning at New York Harbor approximately 0.35 miles (0.56 km) from Manhattan Island and extending eastward into the Atlantic Ocean. The island comprises four counties in the U.S. state of New York. Kings and Queens Counties and Nassau County share the western third of the island, while Suffolk County occupies the eastern two-thirds. More than half of New York City's residents now live on Long Island, in Brooklyn and Queens. However, many people in the New York metropolitan area colloquially use the term Long Island to refer exclusively to Nassau and Suffolk Counties, which are mainly suburban in character, conversely employing the term the City to mean Manhattan alone.

Professional career

At the age of 14, Hammond sailed to the north Pacific Ocean on board the Liverpool, a whaling ship out of New Bedford, Massachusetts. [3] The ship, under the command of Captain Weston Swift, hunted bowhead whales for 20 months. While in the bay of Port Clarence, the ship struck a reef and began to sink. [3]

New Bedford, Massachusetts City in Massachusetts, United States

New Bedford is a city in Bristol County, Massachusetts, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 95,072, making it the sixth-largest city in Massachusetts. New Bedford is nicknamed "The Whaling City" because during the 19th century, the city was one of the most important whaling ports in the world, along with Nantucket, Massachusetts and New London, Connecticut. The city, along with Fall River and Taunton, make up the three largest cities in the South Coast region of Massachusetts and is known for its fishing fleet and accompanying seafood producing industries as well as having a high concentration of Luso Americans.

Port Clarence village in County Durham, England

Port Clarence is a small village now within the borough of Stockton-on-Tees and ceremonial county of County Durham, England. It is situated on the north bank of the River Tees, and hosts the northern end of the Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge.

They were rescued by the ship Helen Augusta, a ship sailing from Holmes Hole, Martha’s Vineyard. [3] They were towed to a Russian port on St. Lawrence Island, in the Bering Sea, more than 167 miles away. [3] The ship was not salvageable, so the cargo was loaded onto the Helen Augusta. The Liverpool was then set on fire and sank, while Watson sailed home on the Helen Augusta. [3] Following his maiden voyage, he spent the next 15 years working as a seaman. [3]

Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts Census-designated place in Massachusetts, United States

Vineyard Haven is a community within the town of Tisbury, Massachusetts on Martha's Vineyard. It is listed as a census-designated place (CDP) by the U.S. Census Bureau with a population of 2,114 as of the 2010 census.

St. Lawrence Island island in the Bering Sea in Alaska, United States of America

St. Lawrence Island is located west of mainland Alaska in the Bering Sea, just south of the Bering Strait. The village of Gambell, located on the northwest cape of the island, is 36 miles from the Chukchi Peninsula in the Russian Far East. The island is part of Alaska, but closer to Russia than to the Alaskan mainland. St. Lawrence Island is thought to be one of the last exposed portions of the land bridge that once joined Asia with North America during the Pleistocene period. It is the sixth largest island in the United States and the 113th largest island in the world. It is considered part of the Bering Sea Volcanic Province.

Bering Sea Marginal sea of the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Alaska, Eastern Russia and the Aleutian Islands

The Bering Sea is a marginal sea of the Pacific Ocean. It comprises a deep water basin, which then rises through a narrow slope into the shallower water above the continental shelves.

Watson loved the outdoors and was a successful cranberry famer on the Mashpee River. [3] He was also an inventor, and patented a cranberry separator in 1883. [3]

Mashpee River river in the United States of America

The Mashpee River is a 4.8-mile-long (7.7 km) tidal river on Cape Cod in Mashpee, Massachusetts.

Personal life

In 1869 he married Rebecca C. Amos, the daughter of “Blind Joe” Amos, the famous Baptist preacher. [3] [4] Together they had seven children: Jeremiah Hammond, Nellie W. Hammond, Chief Lorenzo (Len) Tandy Hammond, Edith L. Hammond, Charles N. Hammond, Elizabeth Hammond, Charles H Hammond, Alice C Hammond, and Caroline (Carrie) F Pells. [1] The oldest, Charles, became a teacher and Town Clerk in Mashpee. [3] Lorenzo, was known as Chief Little Bear of the Wampanoag nation. [3] [4] He is buried near the Mashpee Indian Meeting House. [3]

Wampanoag ethnic group

The Wampanoag, also rendered Wôpanâak, are an American Indian people in North America. They were a loose confederacy made up of several tribes in the 17th century, but today many Wampanoag people are enrolled in two federally recognized tribes: the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head in Massachusetts.

Elected official

Watson held every office in Mashpee: town clerk, moderator, selectman, surveyor, and treasurer. [3] [4] He was also the leader of the Mashpee people in addition to being a deacon of his church and a manager of Attaquin Hotel. [3] In 1885 he was elected to serve in the Great and General Court of Massachusetts, representing both Barnstable and Mashpee. [3] Like most of the voters of town of Mashpee, Hammond was a Republican, but there were far more voters in Barnstable. [3] The incumbent, Capt. Zenas E. Crowell of Hyannis was retiring. [3]

Hammond beat “Cranberry King” A. D. Makepeace, the Democratic candidate, by a margin of 77 votes out of 432 cast. [3] His victory party was hosted by the Republican boss, General John Reed at the Samuel Hooper House in Cotuit . [3]

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  1. 1 2 3 4 Coon, Nancy D. "Watson F. Hammond" . Retrieved January 29, 2018.
  2. Green, Eugene; Sachse, William; McCaulley, Brian (2006). The Names of Cape Cod. Arcadia Press. p. 118. ISBN   978-1-933212-84-5.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 "FIRST NATIVE AMERICAN LEGISLATOR ON BEACON HILL". The Barnstable Enterprise. June 1, 2012. Retrieved January 29, 2018.
  4. 1 2 3 4 "COTUIT'S INDIAN CHIEF LITTLE BEAR". The Barnstable Enterprise. April 20, 2012. Retrieved January 29, 2018.