Pequots, Or Pequods, a tribe of Indians of the Algonquin family, occupying at the time of the settlement of the country a tract of 30 by 15 or 20 in., extending from Niantic river to We-capaug in Rhode Island. They were called by the Dutch Sickenames, and seem to have branched off from the Hudson river Mohegans about the beginning of the 17th century. They soon conquered most of the tribes in Connecticut, and in 1633 sold to the Dutch the site of a fort on the Connecticut river. The next year they entered into a treaty at Boston, and made peace with the Narragansetts. But being disappointed in the trade which they expected from the English, they soon became hostile, and expeditions against them under Endicott and Gardiner made them unrelenting enemies. They attacked Wethersfield, and killed many settlers. An expedition under Mason was sent against them from Hartford in May, 1637. It was joined by Uncas, chief of the Mohegans, a branch of the Pequots. A Pequot fort near the present Groton was surprised early in the morning, entered, and fired. In the desperate struggle amid the burning wigwams, several hundred men, women, and children perished. Mason at once withdrew, pursued- by the Pequots of another fort, who however were repulsed.
The remnant of the tribe continued the war till they were defeated and nearly annihilated at Fairfield swamp. Sassacus, their chief, fled to the Mohawks, who killed him. Many of the Pequots were sold as slaves in the West Indies, and the remnant of the nation divided among three neighboring tribes, and all attempts to gather them as a tribe were repressed by arms. Two bands, however, gathered in time, one near New London, and one on the Pawcatuck. They were recognized in 1655, and laws were made for them. In 1667 Connecticut placed one band in Ledyard and one in North Stonington. They rendered good service in Philip's war, and in expeditions against the French. In 1776 each band numbered 150; in 1848 there were 16 Stonington and 28 Groton Pequots. Some removed to New York with the Brotherton Indians, and emigrated to Wisconsin, where a few of the great Pequot nation still are, the best and most thrifty of all.