Creates Poospatuck Reservation
and English settlers arrived on Long Island in the 1600s, the
Poospatucks ("where the waters meet"), members of the
Unkechaug tribe ("people from beyond the hill"), inhabited
the area between present-day Patchogue and Westhampton. The tribe
was noted for its production of top-grade wampum, made from shells.
In 1700, William "Tangier" Smith, lord of the Manor
of St. George in Mastic, designated a riverfront tract of land
in present-day Mastic as Poospatuck land. But in 1730, the Smiths
reclaimed 100 acres. Other questionable land deals followed, and
the area decreased to about 55 acres. Today, the Poospatuck Reservation
is the smallest in New York State. Approximately 270 of the remaining
450 Poospatucks live on the reservation. It maintains sovereign
status with its own constitutional government led by tribal chief
Harry B. Wallace, elected in 1994, and a six-member council. Unkechaug
tribe member Abby Langhorne is shown here in a 2002 photo.