Thursday, August 14, 2008

Gathering Of Family Of Interpreter And Friend Of Uncas: The Reunion At The Stanton-Davis Homestead 2008

By Ken Davison

Mohegan tribal members and members of the Unity Drum spent a day last month with the descendants of Thomas Stanton at the Davis-Stanton homestead in Pawcutuck, Ct.

The homestead is the oldest house in that region and still many of its original furnishings, including the table where Uncas and Thomas Stanton sat while preparing Uncas' will. Stanton was the interpreter general for the crown colonies of New England and was deeply trusted by Uncas.

Stanton descendants spoke to the gathering about their relatives and during the breaks asked Mohegans informally about their history.

Whit Davis, a descendant of Thomas Stanton, is the proprietor of the farm which has been worked every year since 1654. Whit, by the way, listens to the Unity Drum's songs all the time while driving in his truck and an observer noted Whit singing along in the back of the tent while the Unity Drum performed for the reunion.

Whit regulary joins Mohegans at the Tribe's cultural week festivities, where he makes his famous Johnny Cakes for tribal members. Readers may have noticed his photo that was posted on this site a few days ago. In that photo, Whit is patting Charlie Strickland on the shoulder. Charlie was also at the gathering as part of the Unity Drum group.

Whit openly says that he is honored by the bonds that continue between his family and the Mohegans. Other Mohegan tribal members are also involved on a volunteer basis in helping to make the homestead a museum that will someday be open to the public.

Stephanie Fielding took photos of the gathering, which are posted above this article. Stephanie is spearheading the effort to revitalize the Mohegan language, a language that determined how Stanton lived in the 1600's.