Hitting the Jackpot by Brett Duval Fromson
The Inside Story of the Richest Indian Tribe in History

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In 1637, Puritan settlers in Connecticut were at war with the Pequot Indians. In retaliation for a Pequot raid, Captain John Mason led an assembled militia of English and Indian allies in an attack on a Pequot fort that left over four hundred Pequots dead. Within two years, the Pequot tribe was all but extinguished. It would remain that way for the next 350 years. In 1973, the last remaining descendant of the Pequots to live on the tribal reservation, Elizabeth George Plouffe, passed away, but not before imparting the advice to her grandson Richard "Skip" Haywood: "Hold on to the land." These words would instigate a thirty-year legal and political drama that would lead Hayward and his relatives to re-create the Pequot tribe and become the richest Indians in history. Hitting the Jackpot uncovers a labyrinthine tale of legal maneuverings, back-room political dealings, and ethnic reinvention. Fromson details the process by which today's Pequots gained tribal recognition, hired top lawyers to claim thousands of acres of land, gained the right to open a $1.2 billion-a-year operation, and distilled the barest traces of Pequot lineage into a full-fledged tribe with over six hundred tribal members.

About Brett Duval Fromson

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Fromson was chief markets writer for TheStreet.com. Fromson is the general partner of The Margin of Safety Fund, a value-oriented private investment partnership.
Published September 1, 2003 by Atlantic Monthly Press. 320 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Humor & Entertainment. Non-fiction

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Recognition in the mid-1970s by the Connecticut state government, then under Gov. Ella Grasso, if only for the purposes of revenue sharing, helped the Pequot tribe reestablish itself as a political entity, though its spokesman identified only 32 men, women, and children, “most his close relations...

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With the help of shrewd pro bono lawyers, Hayward successfully landed federal assistance for Pequot reservation housing, but his biggest coup came when lawyers for the Pequots were able to settle a federal land claim suit that legitimized them as a tribe, allowing them to skirt a federal vetting ...

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