|Ninigret Salt Pond|
From which important but relatively unknown part of early American history did Ninigret Pond gets its name?
Until the mid-nineteenth century, Ninigret Pond was called Charlestown Pond. In 1853 the pond was renamed Ninigret, for the Native American sachem of southern Rhode Island's Niantic nation. Ninigret lived at the same time of the seventeenth century as King Philip. King Philip was the powerful native leader of the Wampanoag tribe who encouraged other tribes to rebel against the British takeover of native lands. The native uprising that followed is known as King Philip's War.
Ninigret gave shelter to the Narragansett sachems as well as other native people who chose not to fight with "Metacomet", the native name for King Philip. Due to the large number of deaths that resulted from King Philip's War and disease epidemics, the surviving native people from across southern Rhode Island and eastern Connecticut joined to form the Narragansett tribe of southern New England.
Ninigret's family had close relations with both their native people as well as the colonists. It was the result of these relationships that Native American life began to change. The Ninigret family lived in a similar fashion to the colonists- they resided in "fine houses", were formally educated, and were married in an Anglican church. The controversial death of "King Tom", the last sachem of the Ninigret family, occurred in 1769 or 1770. From then on, the Narragansett tribal council, an elected form of government, was recognized by the state of Rhode Island.