Cynthia Conent Attaquin

May 13, 1814 – May 1, 1901 | Herring Pond and Mashpee
Framed portrait of Cynthina Conent Attaquin of Mashpee

Cynthia Conant (Conet) was born in 1814 to Phebe Lindsley and John N. Conant (Conet), both members of the Herring Pond Wampanoag community. In 1836, she married Solomon Attaquin, joining a prominent Mashpee family. The couple had three daughters, Melissa, Sarah, and Nancy, and over the years, ran a farm, managed a coastal trading business, and owned the renowned Attaquin Hotel. They lived in a multigenerational household that included, at times, Solomon’s mother Sarah Jones Attaquin, his brother, and his brother’s family.

At the same time, the Attaquins were extremely politically active, with Solomon holding various political and municipal roles and being a respected advocate for the tribe in Boston, and Cynthia actively engaging in statewide petition campaigns. Indicating that she was the likely canvasser collecting signatures, her name appeared first on petitions calling for the end of racial discrimination on Massachusetts railways (1842) and in favor of women’s suffrage (1869). Although Wampanoag women had a voice and vote within their communities, the rest of the country had yet to catch up. Both petitions indicate an awareness of struggles beyond the borders of her community, and a will to do something about it.


1. Conet, Cynthia, 1814-1901. Native Northeast Portal.

2. Senate Unpassed Legislation 1842, Docket 11057, SC1/series 231, Petition of Cynthia Attaquin. Digital Archive of Massachusetts Anti-Slavery and Anti-Segregation Petitions, Massachusetts Archives, Boston MA

3. Journals of the Massachusetts Senate 1869. Tuesday, February 23, 1869. P131.


Desegregation of Massachusetts Railways

1836 - 1843 | Nantucket + Mashpee