Marshall Historical Society

An Old Indian's Story
[Newspaper article: no source, no date]


All who have interested themselves the history of Oneida county have some knowledge of the Brothertown Indians, the remnants of various tribes in New England and Long Island, some of whom settled in the town of Marshall before the revolutionary war and some after its close. But it is, perhaps, not generally known that all but one of them have been gathered to their fathers. Of the 600 Brothertown Indians who at one time occupied the reservation in the town of Marshall, given to them by the Oneidas, Romance Wyatt is the only one left to tell the story of his people. He still lives in the town of Marshall, about two miles southwest of Deansville. The other day a SENTINEL, reporter met Wyatt in Deansville and listened to an interesting story concerning him and his tribe. The casual observer would not take him to be an Indian, but a close look reveals the features of the race. He has the copper color, high cheek bones and clear eyes; and his hair, which is allowed to grow to his shoulders, it is straight, glossy and black, with the exception of a gray hair here and there. The only beard is ... of whiskers, sprinkled with gray, on his chin. His early education was not neglected, and in his talk he uses good language. Wyatt is over 63 years old, but he is still rugged and hearty. He gave the following sketch:

My father's name was Thomas Wyatt. I was born in the town of Marshall and have always resided here. My parents died when I was quite young, and I was reared by Cynthia Dick, an Indian woman. I was sent to school and received a good district school education. In 1838 and 1839 I went to school to James Hanchett who now resides in Deansville. When I was old enough to take care of myself I went on the canal. The first year I was a driver. The next year I was promoted to the position of steersman. In those days a canaller sometimes had to fight his way along the towpath. I never picked a fight, but when they crowded me into a fuss I always came out first beat. Sometimes I would get a black eye, but the fellow who gave it to me would always get two. When the war broke out I quit the canal and went to the front as a recruit in the 26th New York Infantry. I was afterward transferred to .....

[remainder missing]

Index | Brothertown articles
Web master: 2010 - Marshall Historical Society