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The Mohicans were, during the 16th century and the beginning of the 17th century, a functional confederation of several branches of Native Americans. The Dutch named them Mahican. They had lands on both sides of the Hudson River. For unknown reasons, parts of the confederation chose to spread eastward toward Connecticut, thus weakening the confederation considerably. The Mohicans who migrated east later became known as the Pequot tribe. As these Mohicans moved east, they encountered many other peoples, and were able to subjugate each of these. Thus they named themselves "Pequot": The Destroyers.

When the Pequot chief Sassacus began his war with the English, chief Uncas allied himself with Sassacus. In the meantime, Uncas had a worthwhile trade with the English, and wanted no war with these people. Therefore Uncas and his allies deserted the Pequot and founded the Mohegan branch. These two branches thenceforward faced each other with continuing hostility. In the following war Uncas advanced [re-invented?] himself as a true ally of the English, and was a great force toward the destruction of his erstwhile people. But Sassacus and some other Pequots managed to flee from the massacre. He went with his followers back to the Mohicans, with whom he hoped to hide. However, the Mohicans, in the meantime, had become subject to the Mohawks, who had conquered them. The Mohawks beheaded Sassacus and sent his head to Boston as proof of their loyalty.

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