Squaw Sachem (translated into Lady Chief) owned a large portion of land, which encompassed much of present-day Charlestown, Arlington, Medford, Malden, and Winchester. She was married to Nanepashemet (translated to “New Moon”), who was the Sachem of the Pawtucket Confederation of Indian tribes until his death in 1619. Squaw Sachem, whose name has been lost to history, ruled after his death with her sons: Wonohaquaham (Sagamore John), Montowampate (Sagamore James) and Wenepoykin (Sagamore George).
Squaw Sachem, her sons, and other leaders in the area struggled to live peacefully with the massive influx of Puritan settlers after 1630. The Puritans arrived to the region during a time of constant war between the Pawtucket and the Tarratines (Abnakis) of Maine. An unidentified disease killed a large part of the population further weakening the Pawtucket and rendering them unable to stop the Puritan migration. The British colonization of the Americas began in 1607 in Jamestown, Virginia when one hundred settlers founded the first permanent English settlement in North America. However, repression under King Charles I in England led to the migration of 20,000 Puritans to New England between 1629 and 1642. Knowing that the settlers would seize it anyway, Squaw Sachem sold part of her land to maintain peace.
In 1636 and 1639, she sold land to a young man named Jotham Gibbons, son of Edward Gibbons. Jotham was a mariner and lived primarily in Bermuda. His daughter, Love, inherited the farm following his death in 1658. After her second marriage to Reverend John Fowle, she moved to Bermuda. Love’s children divided the 480-acre farm among themselves after her death in 1701. Her eldest son, John, inherited a large part of the estate and built a home (known as the Fowle-Reed-Wyman house) around 1706. A year later in 1707, John Fowle sold his home as well as 85 acres of land to Daniel Reed, a yeoman. Yeomen were non-slaveholding, family farmers.
Next: Arrival of the Reeds in America