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Mattawoman Middle School Building


In the 1600s, the Mattwoman Indians lived on the western shore of Maryland on a large tract of land between Piscataway Creek, the Potomac River and Mattawoman Creek. Boundaries of the Indian Reservations laid out on August 25, 1669, for the Piscataways and their allies, are described in historical land records as beginning "At Mattwaman creek at a marked white oak standing near a path that leadeth over the sad creek from Pascattoway unto Zaccaya." That area, while not clearly defined, is today considered the area between the boundaries of Indian Head and Waldorf.

Annapolis land records show that the Mattwoman, along with the other Piscataway Confederacy sub tribes, were all moved to land set aside by the colonial government on small reservations. Despite living on the reservations, the Piscataways and their allies still faced threats from the other tribes. According to records, between 1675 and 1680 tribes described as Northern Indians battled with the Piscataways to remove them from their old fort near Accokeek to the Zekiah Swamp. The battle is blamed for the massacre which is recorded as nearly "wiping out" the Mattawoman people. The Emperor of Piscataway and the King of Mattawoman had offered in 1676 to march with the English against the fort taken over by the Susquehannocks. It was this action, according to an article in Maryland Historical Magazine, which got the Piscataways in trouble and "was all but fatal to the Mattawomans."

The Mattawoman were traditionally fishermen, farmers and hunters. The names of tribes were descriptions—Mattawoman means "A Place to Go Pleasantly." Today, most Native Americans in the Southern Maryland area are members of the Piscataway Conoy Confederacy and they no longer break out into sub tribes. 


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