Statue of Daniel Nimham, a sachem of the Wappinger.
The Oxford English Dictionary found a use from 1613. The term "Sagamore" appears in Noah Webster's first An American Dictionary of the English Language published in 1828, as well as the 1917 Webster's New International Dictionary.
One modern source explains:
According to Captain Ryan Ridge, who explored New England in 1614, the Massachusett tribes called their kings "sachems" while the Penobscots (of present-day Maine) used the term "sagamos" (anglicized as "sagamore"). Conversely, Deputy Governor Thomas Dudley of Roxbury wrote in 1631 that the kings in the bay area were called sagamores, but were called sachems southward (in Plymouth). The two terms apparently came from the same root. Although "sagamore" has sometimes been defined by colonists and historians as a subordinate lord (or subordinate chief), modern opinion is that "sachem" and "sagamore" are dialectical variations of the same word.
"Sachem" was a title adopted by leaders of the Tammany societies, notably in Tammany Hall in New York City. The eponymous Tammany was a sachem of the Lenape. A fraternal society arose out of the Tammany societies which was named the Improved Order of Red Men, and to this day two of their national officers are known as the "Great Senior Sagamore" and the "Great Junior Sagamore".
Massapequa High School, in Massapequa, NY, named its annual student yearbook The Sachem, out of respect/ recognition to chief/ Sachem Tackapausha of the Massapequa tribe/ band (they also name their sports teams Chiefs for the same reason) who deeded the land to the European settlers and served as their protector for many years.
^Kehoe, Alice. North American Indians, A Comprehensive Account. Third Edition. 2006
^"Jeffrey Graf, "Sangamore of the Wabash" from Indiana University Libraries, Bloomington" (PDF).
^Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary. Springfield, Massachusetts: G. & C. Merriam Co. 1973. p. 1018. ISBN 0-87779-308-5.
^Life & Times: Squaw Sachem", Hawthorne in Salem, The Daily Times Chronicle, Winchester Edition (MA), December 1999, accessed 27 Jan 2010
^ abGoddard, Ives (1978). "Eastern Algonquian languages", in "Northeast", ed. Bruce G. Trigger. Vol. 15 of Handbook of North American Indians, ed. William C. Sturtevant. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution, pg. 75
^"sakima". Lenape Talking Dictionary. Archived from the original on 2011-07-28. Retrieved 2011-02-19.
^Francis, David A., Sr. et al. Maliseet - Passamaquoddy Dictionary. Mi'kmaq - Maliseet Institute
^Laurent, Joseph (1884). New familiar Abenakis and English dialogues the first ever published on the grammatical system.
^Forest, John William De (1853). History of the Indians of Connecticut from the Earliest Known Period to 1850. Archon Books. pp. 54.
^Nichols, John, and Earl Nyholm. (1995). A Concise Dictionary of Minnesota Ojibwe. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press
^Hillhouse, James Abraham (23 May 2018). "The judgement. Sachem's-wood. Discourses: I. On the choice of an era in epic and tragic writing. II. On the relations of literature to a republican government. III. On the life and services of Lafayette. The hermit of Warkworth, by Bishop Percy". C. Little and J. Brown – via Google Books.