Where in the Hudson Valley Contest: “Rock Solid” Memorial Commemorates Life of Wappinger Indian Chief Daniel Nimham

A member of the Wappinger tribe is remembered for helping the Colonial cause



Photograph by Frank Roberts

This broad-faced boulder sits at the junction of two heavily traveled state roads, and is embellished with a plaque commemorating the life of Daniel Nimham, the Wappinger Indian chief who gave his life for the American Revolutionary cause.

A native of the Fishkill Creek region near the hamlet of Wiccopee, Nimham was made chief sachem of the Wappinger people around 1760, following in the footsteps of two Nimham sachems before him. With his grasp of the English language, which he learned from a family in neighboring Beacon, Nimham became a fierce defender of what was right. Twice he went to court to reclaim lands stolen from the Wappinger people during the French and Indian War, even traveling as far as England in 1766 in hopes of pleading his case before King George. (Unfortunately, he never saw the king, and ultimately the case was dropped.)

Upon his return to the colonies, Nimham volunteered to fight for the Colonial side during the American Revolution. The chief fought with his son, Abraham, who was appointed the captain of the Stockbridge Warriors, a company of Mohican, Wappinger, and Munsee Indians serving with the Continental Army. Daniel and Abraham served with George Washington at Valley Forge and later with the Marquis de Lafayette; coincidentally, a memorial to the French general is located just down the road from this commemorative marker.

This crossroads cenotaph was erected in 1937 by the State of New York to pay homage to Nimham, whose life was cut short during the Battle of Kingsbridge in what is now Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx.

Can you identify the Valley hamlet that is home to this monument? Submit your answer as a comment in the box below. The first reader with the correct response wins a prize. Good luck!

» Give up? Find the contest answer in our March 2013 issue
» Read more Where in the Huson Valley contest questions

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