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Stockbridge Indian Memorial

Indian Field honors Chief Abraham Ninham and 17 Mohican Indians who died here during a mission to aid the Americans in the Revolutionary War. Chief Abraham Ninham and his group fought in many Revolutionary War battles, from Boston to Philadelphia, and they tracked the British throughout the Bronx, reporting their movements to the Americans. On August 31, 1778, Chief Ninham and the Stockbridge Mohicans crossed over British lines and traveled along the Mile Square Road, today’s Van Cortlandt Park East. They were soon discovered and found themselves surrounded by British and Hessian troops. The British cavalry pushed the group to Van Cortlandt’s woods, where the battle ended with the death of Chief Ninham and 17 other Stockbridge Mohicans. The clash was the only revolutionary battle to occur entirely within the bounds of today’s Van Cortlandt Park.

The battle took place on the farmland of the Devoe family, a wealthy Bronx family who were congregants at the First Reformed Dutch Church and descendants of Daniel Turner, who acquired the lower section of the Fordham Patent of 1676. The family buried the Mohicans in large pits and covered Chief Ninham’s grave with a cairn, a stone mound traditional to Scottish burials. On June 14, 1906, the Bronx Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution erected a large cairn and a plaque to honor the sacrifice of Chief Ninham and the 17 Native Americans, and the site became known as the Stockbridge Indian Memorial.