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[F14876]. IYHANNOUGH. (Thannough-S6)(HYANNO).
Sachem of the White Indians of Massachusetts.

Born about 1565 on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

The Pilgrims described Iyanough as follows: "Iyanough, a man not exceeding twenty-six years of age, but very personable, gentle, courteous, and fair conditioned, indeed not like a savage, save for his attire. His entertainment was answerable to his parts, and his cheer plentiful and various."

The name means `Captain, or one who imitates.' Of the name IYANNOUGH, Otis says that all the early writers, except Thatcher, dropped the aspirate H at the beginning, and wrote the name Iyanough, Yanno, or Janno. The popular pronunciation of the name indicates that the orthography of Mr. Thatcher's Hianno is the best. The name lingers also in that of Hyannis Port.

When the pilgrims arrived in 1620 IYANNOUGH was Sachem of the Mattakeeset or Mattachee Indians. He was sometimes called Sachem of Cam-ma-quid (Sandy Neck or Long Point), because during some part of the year he resided there. His territory included what is now known as the East Parish in Barnstable, a part of West Barnstable, and the easterly part of Sandy Neck, South and West Yarmouth, and that part of Hyannis in Barnstable which is situated east and northeast of Lewis' Bay.

Iyanough was the chief sachem of the the Cummaquid tribe. The Pilgrims had landed in his area when they were searching for the Nausets. He told them that young John Billington, whom the Nausets had found lost in the woods and taken, was just fine.

He gave the Pilgrims a big dinner with entertainment. He then came aboard the shallop and sailed with the Pilgrims leading them to the Nausets. When they arrived, the tide was out and they could not come ashore, but Iyanough swam ashore to inform Aspinet--the chief sachem of the Nausets--of the Pilgrims arrival.

After the Pilgrims left the Nausets, the wind did not allow them to get home directly, and so they ended up back with Iyanough again. The Pilgrims being very thirsty, Iyanough led an expedition in search of some fresh water for them to drink. The Cummaquid tribe held another celebration of singing and dancing. The next day Iyanough gave them the water they needed, and the Pilgrims made their way back to Plymouth.

Iyhannough's wife was a daughter of CANONICUS, the ruling Narragansett of that Period. (S4,S8).

A little distance northwesterly from Barnstable's Old Town is a swamp and fresh water pond, called by the Indians Mattakeese Swamp. Mattakeese is compounded from the Indian for `old or poor,' `ese' is a diminuative term, meaning less or little, the terminal `et' means place or here is the place. The English translated this quite litterally to Old Fields. On the borders of that swamp was sitiated "Iyannough's Town." It was so named by Winslow, and it was there that Winslow and his companions were sumptuously entertained by Iyannough. This was the summer residence of Iyannough and his tribe. Sandy Neck, which was on the opposite side of the Harbor was also his recidence part of the year. Iyannough's Town was where they had their planting fields, and being near the seashore, where at the last of May and beginning of June an abundance of the species of crab known as the horsefoot, and called by the Indians se-quun-nocks (Black Crabs) were taken and used to dress their corn fields, a practice taught to the Pilgrims. In the winter the Indians removed their wigwams to the forest, so that they had access to large quantities of wood for warmth. They usually removed to South Sea, which was the southern part of Barnstable, in the winter; and selected a sheltered place in the forest to erect their wigwams.

As an evidence of the friendship and hospitality of the Cape Indians, it is said that when the ship Fortune in 1621 touched at Cape Cod, the Indians carried word of her approach to the settlers at Plymouth.(S7).

In the month of July, 1621, John Billington, a boy from the Plymouth colony, was lost, for whom the governor caused inquiry to be made among the Indians. He was found at Nauset (Eastham), where he had been carried and kindly sheltered by the natives, who found him wandering in the woods of Sandwich. A boat was dispatched to bring the boy, but was compelled to anchor over night at Cummaquid (Barnstable harbor). Here, Iyanough, the sachem of this part of the Cape, displayed a friendship that could well be denominated a reproof for the acts of Hunt and others who had so unceremoniously taken unbecoming liberties among the tribes of the Cape. He assisted in the recovery of the boy, and promised his friendly adhesion to the colony.(S7).

The incident of the lost boy-strayed from Plymouth and found among the Nausets-when Iyanough with his warriors assisted in the search, and the Nauset sachem, Aspinet. so promptly delivered the boy to the English, is another proof of their friendliness. The various kind offices of Iyanough upon the departure of the whites-the festival. the filling of their rundlets with fresh water, and the taking the bracelet from his neck and placing it upon the leader of the party-are matters of record in the pilgrim history. (S7).

In 1622 the colonists were compelled to go to the Cape Indians for corn. They sailed around the Cape, along southerly, anchoring in a harbor at Chatham, and obtained eight hogsheads of corn and beans. During that and subsequent years corn was obtained of the Indians at Sagamore hill, Mattacheese, and other places on the north side.(S7).

He became fearful for his safety over an unfortunate incident with the pilgrims in 1623 and fled into the swamps to hide. While there he contracted a fever from which he died, in 1623 in East Barnstable, Massachusetts. (S?).

Iyanough died before March 1623 of a disease which swept Cape Cod early that year. {S8}.

About this time [MAR 1623] a plot [against the colony] was suspected, which was really an outgrowth of Captain Standish's former suspicion [That they were in danger from the Indians] and resulted in the slaughter by the English of four prominent sachems, the head of one of whom was borne to Plymouth and set up on a pole over the fort. The news of such unwonted massacre spread among the natives of the Cape, causing them to feel that no confidence could be placed in those they had befriended, and that any and every one was liable at any moment to become a victim of false accusation, to swell the list of those who had fallen by such a spirit of extermination. Several of the Cape tribes left their abodes, took to the woods and swamps, contracted diseases, and many of the most friendly sachems, including the venerable Iyanough, miserably died.(S7).

(Daughter of CANONICUS).
Daughter of CANONICUS.

  1. John Hyano (IHYANNOUGH). He apparently inherited, not immediately upon his father's death but later on, at least part of the tribal lands controlled by his father. He made a gift of part of his land to Nicholas Davis for a trading post. His son witnessed the gift. He married No-Pee. Highyannough went to sleep in 1641 past 87 years of age; so states the Zerviah Newcomb's Diary.(S4). John Hyano, the younger was undoubtedly meant, as Iyanough died in 1623. [NOTE: The dates don't match. If Iyhannough was 26 years old when the Pilgrims met him, his son John could not have been 87 years old in 1641].
  2. Maxanno. married Quaiapen.