Larry is not counted among the official Nine because in the morning he was released before any charges were brought against him, presumably as police realized he was a minor. Unofficially he is our number 10.
Today Larry lives in Falmouth and works as a commercial shell fisherman. He has five children and four grandchildren.
At the time of the raid Larry Baulbuena was a 16 year old on summer break from Falmouth High School. He recalls attending the gathering during the day and eating and swimming in the pond with his cousins and being impressed with the long house structures that were being celebrated. Later that night he participated in the drumming but recalls that at the time of the raid the drum was quiet as he sat at the fireside talking with some of the other men.
“Lights were coming from all directions and I didn’t know the reason why so my first thought was to get out of there,” Larry said. “I ran down the path that used to go behind the American Legion hall.”
That is where Larry was detained by police and taken into custody.
Lincoln said he crept the woods behind the old fire barn and saw the police force in the Legion Hall lot where he noticed Brad Lopes cuffed and seated on the steps. When he realized there was little he could do in the face of the massive police presence, “That’s when I started calming down.”
Lincoln was not arrested that evening but police had seen him in the tent and issued a warrant for his arrest so he appeared in court with the others.
Today Lincoln lives in Bellingham Washington where he is independently employed doing home and landscape maintenance. He has two grown children, a daughter Star who also lives in Washington, and a son Jason who lives in Arizona. He has one grandson. Lincoln has not been home to Mashpee in more than a decade but misses his home and family and hopes to return soon.
Lincoln sent this photo to his mother Janet Hendricks a short time after he traveled west to Washington state more than 35 years ago. He wrote the following about his adventure with some Lummi tribesmen in what he called a “II Man War Canoe.” His prose was sweet and descriptive and handwriting a careful, legible script laid out on the unlined surface of the back of the photo as follows:
I met some canoe pulling buddies from the Lummi team and they gave me a few pictures like this. I was surprised. The paddles’ upside down to push off from the shoreline, just got going out to practice.
That field trip I was telling you about on the phone was out-a-sight, we saw 15 and 20 pound salmon running up a river about the size of Mashpee River! There was hundreds of them running like herring! I grabbed one by the tail and picked him up.
In July of 1976 Lincoln Hendricks was 22 and earned his living shell fishing. Lincoln had attended the daylong tribal gathering at 12 Acres in Attaquin Park. He recalls running over to his grandmother Delscena’s onion patch to pick fresh onions to contribute to the feast. That evening Lincoln participated in the drumming but was resting and nearly asleep when bright lights flashed through the tent to wake him.
“I got up and a guy came running at me with riot gear and a big old baton. I took off running.”
He ran to the landing and then circled back to his grandmother’s house where he got his hunting rifle.
“I had never in my whole life grabbed a gun against people, only for hunting. But I was in defensive mode. I felt like I was getting a gun to defend my people. That never happened before. They made me do that.”
In the summer of 1976 Willard “Billy” Pocknett was 25 and working as a carpenter. Billy had attended the daylong tribal gathering at 12 Acres in Attaquin Park and remained into the evening to participate in the drumming. At the time of the raid Billy was sitting by the fire tending to it. He actually saw the police cruisers coming and was curious about what they were doing there. Billy was wacked with a nightstick multiple times and when he asked why he was hit the officer who struck him did not respond.
Billy Lives in Mashpee where he is an active tribe member and was the first Elder elected to lead the Elder’s Council. Currently employed at the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Community & Government Center as the Facilities Manager Billy has been married to his childhood sweetheart Donnella for more than 45 years. They have raised two daughters and have four grandchildren.
In the summer of 1976 Martin “Bruzzy” Hendricks was 22 and working as a carpenter for a local construction company. Bruzzy had attended the daylong tribal gathering at 12 Acres in Attaquin Park and remained into the evening to participate in the drumming. At the time of the raid Bruzzy was sitting in his car enjoying the warm summer evening on the pond with a friend. When an officer approached his car he got out an immediately disclosed that he was carrying his hunting knife. The knife was taken and the non-native friend was allowed to leave the scene as Bruzzy was taken into custody. The hunting knife was never returned to him.
Bruzzy lives in Mashpee where he is a member of the Wakeby Lake Singers. He retired from the Mashpee Department of Public works after 35 years in 2013. He raised two daughters and has five grandchildren.
Earl “Chiefy” Mills Jr.was 21 years old in the summer of 1976. He was a student of agriculture at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst on summer break. Chiefy had enjoyed the festivities of the day on July 28, 1976 and participated in drumming that night. At the time of the raid at 12 Acres in Attaquin Park he was asleep in a tent. He recalls being startled awake, physically abused, hand cuffed by police and loaded into a police van where he and others were sprayed with mace.
Chiefy earned his degree in soil science management.
Today Chiefy lives in Mashpee and is a member of the Wakeby Lake Singers drum group. He is employed as a postal delivery driver for the Mashpee Post Office where he has worked for more than 25 years. He has three grown children and two grandchildren.
Derek Mills was startled awake by the crackling sound of police walkie talkies barking as the task force advanced through the woods to the pond side camp.
“I tried to wake up the other guys,” he recalled, “I told em, ‘cops are coming. We gotta get out of here’.”
Derek was 21 years old that summer and working as a shell fisherman. He also worked on the longhouse structures erected as part of the cultural education program on 12 Acres and attended the community feast to celebrate their accomplishments. He recalls everyone having a real fine time and lots and lots of food, “chowder and fish and duck roasting on the open fire.”
Later that evening he participated in the drumming.
game suppers and other social events, buttons with the slogan “Free Mashpee Nine” sold, but in truth Lew worked in exchange for a hot meal and a soft bed to sleep for the night.
His formidable defense began with insisting the men be allowed to swear on the pipe and not a bible before giving testimony. His relentless questioning of officers and town officials would expose both a bias against the tribe and a motive for the actions of the police leading to a verdict of not guilty for all of the men.
When Lew died suddenly in 1994 at the age of 56 it was a loss felt across Indian Country and certainly here in Mashpee.
“I kept missing the beats and Chiefy would laugh but I kept at it,” he said. “It was a good thing for us to be learning about our culture.”
He said the raid came without warning. “If they didn’t want us camping there they could have come and asked us to go home.”
Derek didn’t even bother to look for his shoes before he took to the path on his tender feet. Half way down the trail he saw an officer coming toward him and stepped quietly aside but was sure he would be caught. Somehow he was invisible to the officer who passed him right by and proceeded to the scene.
He was one who got away but was nonetheless scarred by the incident.
From the woods Derek could hear the sounds of the others being arrested and the campsite being destroyed, tables of food being toppled and tents torn to shreds.“They didn’t need to do that,” he said. “None of it.”
When the shock and awe of the raid on 12 acres subsided a grass roots campaign of activism swelled in the Mashpee Wampanoag community. It did not take long for word to spread of an injustice in Mashpee throughout Indian Country and for the American Indian Movement to engage their resources and share the name of Lew Gurwitz, a Cambridge attorney who came to the defense of eight of the nine. (Harry “Sonny” Joseph retained his own attorney.)
Lew was quickly and whole-heartedly embraced by the Mashpee Wampanoag. He got to work on the defense of the nine documenting the unnecessary brutality and destruction that took place in the raid and the obvious inconsistencies in the numerous and diverse law enforcement accounts.
The trial that began late in December of 1976 did not wrap up until the end of May in 1977 during which Lew became a constant figure in Mashpee. Fundraisers were held to pay legal fees, bean and
Only eight of the Nine were Mashpee Wampanoag, but no one would deny that Harry "Sonny" Joseph was truly one with us at heart. He was certainly happy and proud to be among us whether down on the bay shellfishing, camping by the fire on the pond or cooking up a feast at June's place. Hard to believe its been nearly five years since he passed on. He will be missed, but fondly remembered among the Mashpee Nine.