Cushoy

Cushoy was the son of the Wangunk sunksqua, Towwehashque, and the grandson of Sowheage, the great 17th century Wangunk leader.  He was the husband of Tyke, whose Christian name was Mary.  He became leader of the Wangunk community after the death of his kinsman Peetoosoh, his uncle’s son.  His name appears on land deeds as early as 1713.  In he 1728 represented the tribe in monitoring a colonial survey to extend a road into the Wangunk reservation on the east side of the Connecticut River.   From 1740 to 1751 he and members of his family began to purchase title or common rights in Wangunk land from other tribal members, especially those who contemplated emigrating from the Wangunk community.  In his later life, he turned over his leadership responsibilities to his son Tom (d. 1755).By 1756, however, Cushoy was lame, sick, and unable to work and requested to sell part of his land to pay his expenses and maintain his care, the expenses of which were assumed by the selectmen of the Town of Middletown.  Blind and destitute, Cushoy died at the town’s almshouse.  He was survived by his widow Tyke and several children and grandchildren, among them Ben Cushoy (d. 1778) and John Cushoy (living 1776).  Most likely his sons Daniel Kichenoos and Nab Shilon had predeceased him.  Joseph Barrett, Indian Proprietors of Mattebeseck and Their Descendants (n.d.) Timothy Ives, “Restructuring the Wangunk Reservation Land System: A Case Study of Native and Colonial Likeness in Central Connecticut,” Ethnohistory, vol. 58, no. 1 (Winter 2011). 

Born: 
c. 1685
Died: 
1763