Indians of Grafton, Massachusetts  
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The Grafton Indians
The original Grafton people
Last updated  7-27-2001


Chief Cisco of Narragansett -died 1896? Any photos exist of him?


Purchase of land from Indians
The treaty and exact copy of original deed in which the"40 Petitioners" purchased 7500 acres called Hassanamisco from the Indian natives in 1727 for 2500 Pounds. 
8 years later in 1735 this land was incorporated as Grafton. 

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Page 1&2
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Page 3&4
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Page 5&6
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Page 7&8

Guardians of Indians - Lists of accounts and correspondence
From the Massachusetts Archives
Two pages found that pertain to Grafton

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Page 1
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Page 2

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Photo courtesy of Cheryl Watching Crow
and Description from same photo for sale by another party

Photographic Print of a group of men, women and children dressed in Indian garb. Photographic image 4.5"X 6.5" on deckle-edge photograph printing paper 4.9"X 6.9" ( Grafton, Mass. Ca. 1944). In ms. ink on verso: "Some of the descendants of John Elliot's Praying Band of Indians Celebrating the 290 Anniversary. They met on the Common and where this Congressional Church and A&P store now stands. This is from what the Congressional Church of Grafton was first formed. Taken by Mr. & Mrs Davis and presented to Your Church by Sarah M. Cisco Sullivan.
The village of Hassanamesitt (various spellings) was founded as one of John Elliot's Praying Indians villages in 1654. The region was settled by Whites in the early 18th century and became the town of Grafton. See Frank Speck's "A Note on the Hassanamisco Band of Nipmuc," pp 49-56 in "Mass Archeol. Soc. Bull" 4 (1942-43). 

One of the individuals in the church photograph above  is a grandfather of Thomas Doughton , Carl O. Bates [Chief Suncloud]. We are hoping someone will be willing to identify the individuals in the picture. 


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Nipmuc Historic Photo
Photo and description courtesy of Thomas Doughton

 Photograph of the Algonquin Indian Council [of New England] taken at Providence in the early 1920s. In the front row, directly in front of elderly man with white beard, seated, is Sarah Cisco Sullivan, mother of Zara Cisco Brough. In the center of the photograph is an elderly man in suit with small headress; he is Chief James Lemuel Cisco, the father of Sarah Cisco Sullivan.
This photograph is from my own collection; there is a duplicate at the Haffenreffer Museum in Providence; and, the same image is on the cover of AFTER KING PHILIP'S WAR: PRESENCE AND PERSISTENCE IN INDIAN NEW ENGLAND, edited by Colin Calloway [University Press of New England, 1996]. 


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Hassanamisco Reservation Sign
Brigham Hill Rd., Grafton 

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Marker at Indian Burial Ground
Old and Indian Cemetery - Oak St. 

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News clipping about the Old Longhouse in Grafton


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Photo and description courtesy of Sandie, "Raven Wings"
The Cisco Long House, on the Hassanamisco Indian Reservation in Grafton, Massachusetts. The family originally lived in a cave that forms past the cellar of the present house.  The long house was built over the cave in the early 1500’s.  In the 1620’s it was remodeled to look like the house of the Pilgrims. That is Zara Cisco standing in front of the long house. 


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Recent photo of Longhouse


Zara (Sara) Cisco

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Princess Whiteflower
(Zara Cisco Brough)
Postcard 1968 "Present Head of Hassanamisco Tribe" 
The following description courtesy of Sandie, "Raven Wings"
Princess White Flower, (Zara Cisco) a direct descendent of “James the Printer” 
This tribe was Rev. Eliot’s second band of praying Indians.  “James the Printer,” who attended Cambridge School (now Harvard University) assisted Rev. Eliot in translating and printing the Indian Bible. 


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Zara (Sara) Cisco running for planning board

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Zara Cisco Brough obit @68 yrs old


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1956 news article about Nipmucs
(Large file  392k) 


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Narragansett Chief Autograph - Great Oak 

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Left: Contains Obit News Clipping of Chief Thunder Bird - George ? 
Right: Nipmuc Chief Autograph - Thunder Bird 


See Book section of this website for more sources of information on the Nipmucs. 

Also See Links Below

Contents Page

Will of Ammi Printer
(died 1740)

Unseen Neighbors
Native Americans of Central Mass.

Narragansett Indian information

Massachusetts Indian Census of 1859  (by Tribe)
(Caution, Large File)

Massachusetts Indian Census of 1859 (by Name)
(Caution, Large File)

Nipmuc Indian Association Of CT.
(Excellent Nipmuc Indian Resource)


Grafton Indian Census Listings
The Worcester County Mass Census is now on line for 1920
Grafton MA Census of 1920 "CISCO"
Census Listings ED82-27

James Cisco 73
 Emma (?) 63 wife
 Samuel 23
Horaes ? 26


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Chief Natachaman Walter Vickers in 1994 
Photo courtesy of Cheryl Watching Crow Stedtler

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1991 Powwow at Hassanamesit (Grafton) 
Photo courtesy of Cheryl Watching Crow Stedtler

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1991 Powwow at Hassanamesit (Grafton) 
Photo courtesy of Cheryl Watching Crow Stedtler

                      May 2004 350th Anniversary at Old Hassanamesit Village 

Table for translating Nipmuc to English

Also for more information/genealogy on the Nipmucs, please contact
Cheryl Watching Crow Stedtler at