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Daniel Nimham (1724-1778) was the last chief or sachem of the Wappinger and was the most prominent Native American of his time in the Hudson Valley. Prior to Henry Hudsons arrival in 1609, the Wappinger People lived on the eastern shore of the Muhheakantuck "the river that flows both ways" from the City of Manhattan, New Yorkmarker north to the Town of Rhinebeck, New Yorkmarker, east into Fairfield Countymarker, Connecticutmarker. The Wappinger were allied with the Mohican People in the north, and by the 1700s many had moved north to the mission at Stockbridge, Massachusettsmarker. Although some of the Wappinger lands were sold justly, many landgrabbers took advantage of the native people and exaggerated the amount of land agreed upon.

Daniel Nimham may have learned to speak English through the family of Catherina Brett who lived in what is now the Town of Beacon, New Yorkmarker. She was friends with the Nimham's and allowed the Wappinger to stay on her land after they had been sold. Because of Nimham's multicultural skills, he went to court on numerous occasions to defend his people’s land rights.Daniel Nimham took over as sachem of the Wappinger People around 1745.

In 1766, he, his wife and three other Wappingers traveled to Englandmarker to speak with King George III of Great Britain. Although he and his group were treated very well, he never had a meeting with the King directly, however he did speak with someone who was in the parliament who agreed to contact the governor in Albany, New Yorkmarker. When he returned he went to court but lost the case.

His son Abraham Nimham (born in 1754) was appointed captain of the Stockbridge Militia by General George Washington.

Daniel and Abraham Nimham and his fellow Stockbridge Warriors fought for the American cause during the Revolution. They served with Washington at Valley Forgemarker and later with General Marquis de Lafayette's troops. In August 31, 1778, the Nimhams and fifty of their fellow Wappinger were killed by Loyalist and British Dragoons in a battle at Cortlandt Ridge in what is now Van Cortlandt Parkmarker in the Bronxmarker. A stone monument to the Stockbridge Warriors who sacrificed their lives for the American cause marks a trail to the battlefield.


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