More Specifics Needed

about Maryland Native Americans


In late December I received a message from a gentleman in California who has read our Maryland project files. He kindly alerted me to the fact that we have neglected to mention the Piscataway tribe in our project. I am most grateful that he took the time to write. I have also asked him to help us fill in this gap in our studies. Though he is just as busy as all of us, he has generously offered to help the students. Below is some of his message text:

In the September "issue" of Geography and Native Americans, you (or someone) gives some interesting general facts of the Native people of Maryland. It would have been better if more specifics had been included. For example, the names of the tribes, important events, and the current situation of Indian people in Maryland.

I am of Piscataway descent, a tribe in Prince George's County. The Piscataways are in the territory they have always occupied. That is very unusual for an Eastern tribe and you should have mentioned that, in my opinion.

In spite of my ancestry, I have no connection with the Piscataways, as I was born and raised in California, so I don't speak on their behalf in any way.

Thanks for listening.
Brian Galloway

Brian responded to my e-mail asking him to help us:

I have quite a lot of information of the early history of the Piscataways. I'd be glad to help in any way I can. Give me some time, since I've just started a new job. For information about modern Piscataway people, contact Peter Lowe of the Maryland Indian Commission at (410) 740-1416.

... The information really is good. It's a surprise to many people to learn that the Maryland tribes still exist and still live in Maryland. It's also encouraging to hear that school children are being taught something besides the old Indian stereotypes.

...Most books about Maryland don't say anything about Indians except that they disappeared from Maryland, which isn't true. The ones who stayed had to "go underground" with their Indian identity, because all eastern Indians were deported to Oklahoma in the 1800s. The Piscataways were thought of as Black, but they always knew they were Indians. Then in the early 1970s, they reorganized as a tribe (non-profit corporation) under state law.

I'd be glad to help. Give me some time to get things together.

...You can give my personal email address to anyone you like:

Right now I don't have a lot of time since I'm also writing a grant application for the Round Valley Tribes of Covelo, California (besides my fulltime job). That takes a lot of my spare time for the next 3-4 weeks. But I will answer every email message I get.

In case anyone's interested, I'm 33 years old and I work as a grant writer/community development planner in Merced County, California. I speak fluent Spanish. Some of my interests are gardening, hiking, fishing, history, singing & guitar, and pets (I have 3 cats, a corn snake, and tropical fish).


Patricia A. Weeg
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