The Nipmuc or Nipmuck people are descendants of the indigenous Algonquian peoples of Nippenet, 'the freshwater pond place', which corresponds to central Massachusetts and immediately adjacent portions of Connecticut and Rhode Island. The tribe were first encountered in 1630, when John Acquittamaug arrived with maize to sell to the starving colonists of Boston, Massachusetts. The colonists introduced pathogens such as smallpox as well as diseases such as alcoholism, to which the Indians had no prior encounter. With the passage of increasingly harsh laws against Indian culture and religion, the loss of land, legally and illegally, to growing English colonists, many of the Nipmuc joined Metacomet's rebellion in 1675, the results of which were disastrous. Many of the Nipmuc were interred on Deer Island in Boston Harbor and perished and others were executed or sold into slavery in the West Indies.
Contributions by Nintala, Boston, and Parkwells.