Mohegan Chief

1588 / 95 or 1605 - 1682 / 3


Uncas was the founder of the Mohegans as a band of dissident Pequots who were allied with the English of Massachusetts bay during the early days of colonization.

Uncas (which means "fox" in Pequot) was a Mohegan head chief.

He married a daughter of chief Sassacus, who lead the Pequots.

Uncas then became jealous of Sassacus' power and broke away from the Pequot Confederacy.

He allied with the colonists of Massachusetts Bay and worked to subvert the interests of the Pequots, often with lies and other forms of political intrigue.

Following the Pequot War, during which many of Sassacus' supporters were killed, Uncas assumed leadership over the remnants of the Pequot Confederacy.

He toadied to the English colonists by ceding to them the lands of other tribes.

In 1642, Uncas contended to colonial authorities that Miantinomo, a Narraganset chief, was plotting to kill him.

Miantinomo was jailed for a time, after which he attacked Uncas' village for revenge.

Miantinomo was then captured by the Mohegans and sentenced to die at Uncas' hand in September 1643, an event that hardened the long-standing hatred of the Narragansets for the Mohegans.

Uncas was so enthusiastically anti-Indian that the Puritans told him to desist in spreading rumors about his Native neighbors.

He continued, however, and curried favor with the colonists by supplying them with real and imagined intelligence.

During King Philip's War, he supplied warriors, led by his own son, Oweneco, to support the colonials against Metacom's alliance.

Uncas did not want his people converted to Christianity.

As he got older he was known for insulting men of the cloth.

Uncas became increasingly alcoholic and lost some of his popular support before he died in 1683.



Uncas with family