Chronological listing of Massachusett Sac’hems

The Northeastern Massachusett (the Pawtuckets) Territorial Sac’hems


Grand Sac’hem, Nanapashamet Ruled the Northern Massachusett until his death in a battle with the Tarratines in 1619. His territory stretched from the  Piscataqua River (New Hampshire) in the North all the way south to the Charles River. Nanapashamet was a kinsman of Chickataubut.

His wife (recorded only as Squaw Sac’hem or Queen of the Massachusetts) ruled in his stead until his sons reached their majority.

The sons of Nanpashamet, Wonohaquahain, (Sagamore John by the English) Montowampate (Sagamore James), and Wenepoykin (Sagamore James) had their father’s territory divided between them. All of these rulers of the Northern Massachusett have stories. Of the three only Wenepoykin survived early adulthood leaving him the sole ruler of The Northern Massachusett Territories.                                                                                                 Sources:  Samuel Drake, 1832; History of Lynn, Alonzo Lewis, 1829


The Southeastern Massachusett (the Neponsets) Sac’hems


The Grand Sac’hem Chickataubut ruled Massachusett territory from what is now Boston all the way down to the cape (where Nauset territory began) to the southeast and all the way to the west to Central MA (Worchester) where Nipmuck territory began. Chickataubut was the principal ruler of the Massachusett Tribe  when the English first settled in Massachusetts. He had much interaction with the English and signed treaties with both the Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay Colonies before he died in 1633 of smallpox. The English solution to the Indian problem.

Sac’hem Kut’shamakin brother of Chickataubut ruled the Neponsets in the minority of Chickataubut’s son Wampatuck. It was under kut’shamakin that John Eliot first preached the gospel to the Neponsets. It was also under his rule that the Neponsets were forced from their ancestral lands over the Blue Hills to Ponkapoag.


Old Ahauton was petty (local) sac’hem of Ponkapoag and signed many English deeds along with Wampatuck. Records show others by the same name (most probably his sons) also later served in that role.


Josiah Wampatuck or (by the English) Josiah Chickataubut successor to his father, and a great warrior became the Principal Sac’hem of the Massachusett Tribe when he came of age. Lands controlled by him are shown by the records of the many deeds he signed. In 1665 he signed a deed for the area around Quincy, a seat of his father and home to the Massachusett Fields. He died in a prolonged, retaliatory attack on the Mohawks in upstate New York in 1669.

Daniel Chickataubut, Squamong, Wampatuck’s brother ruled after Wampatuck’s untimely death. During his rule the long contest which had subsisted between Wampatuck and Metacom (called by the English, Phillip of Mt. Hope) in relation to the boundary line between their lands was settled on July 12,1670.


The next hereditary Sac’hem of the Massachusett Tribe was Charles Chickataubut, son of Josiah Wampatuck and grandson of Chickataubut. Long after the King Philip’s war was over in 1676 and the Wampanoag Tribe was utterly destroyed, Phillip’s people killed or sold into slavery and all their lands taken by the English, the Massachusett Tribe was still in business and being led by its hereditary Sac’hems.  We know this because in 1695 hereditary Massachusett Sac’hem Charles Chickataubut of Ponkapoag signed the deed for Boston and neighboring Islands in the Massachusett Territory.

The descendants of Chickataubut continued to live at Ponkapoag for hundreds of years ruled by hereditary Sac’hems. The last recorded hereditary Sac’hem at Ponkapoag before the Commonwealth passed the enfranchisement act of 1869 ending tribal recognition for all the tribes of the Commonwealth was Jeramiah Bancroft.                                                                                                                                                                     Sources and references: the writings of  Samuel Drake; Daniel Huntoon; Daniel Gookin