Nimham (1724-1778) was a chief of the Wappinger Indians and was
the most prominent Native American of his time living in the Hudson
The Wappingers descended from ancestors who
were forced to part with their best lands during the preceding
century, and who roamed the hills and valleys of Putnam and
Chief Nimham learned to speak English and used
his multi-cultural skills to defend his people’s rights
in the courts of London and New York. When betrayed by the British
Crown, he joined the rebel army and found common cause with
colonists who were struggling to free themselves from royal
Nimham and a group of his fellow Wappinger’s fought for
the American cause during the Revolution. They served with George
Washington at Valley Forge and later fought with General Marquis
de Lafayette's troops. They fought at Bunker Hill and at Monmouth.
Unfortunately, all hope for fairer treatment
under the Americans, ended in August of 1778 when Daniel Nimham
and 50 of his fellow Wappinger’s were killed by Loyalist
and British Dragoons in the Battle of Kingsbridge in the Bronx.
A monument to his sacrifice marks the spot near Indian Field
in Van Cortland Park.
It is said that once each year during his 38
years as Sachem, Daniel Nimham would stand on the very Mountain
given his name and claim the mountains and valleys we see today
as the land of his people.