Overview: In the Matter of Hannah Rushick

In late spring of 1799, a deathly-ill transient Indian woman, Hannah Rushick, entered the Town of Woodbridge, Connecticut and fell upon its expense as a town pauper.  After her death, the town's selectmen sought to recover their expenditures by exploring whether she had any resources, like land, to satisfy her debts.  In 1801, the selectmen petitioned the Connecticut General Assembly for financial assistance.  Their request was accompanied by certifications from several towns with known Native populations indicating that Hannah was not a recognized member of the community or owned land there.  The Legislature ultimately rejected Woodbridge's petition.