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Passings

May 12, 1988

John E. Hamilton; Indian Activist

John E. Hamilton, 90, who called himself leader of the Mohegan-Pequot Indian Nation and conducted a marriage ceremony for kidnaped newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst. Hamilton, called Chief Rolling Cloud, was known for his involvement in lawsuits seeking the return of land to his southeastern Connecticut tribe. In the 1930s, Hamilton founded the American Indian Defense Assn. to protect Indian rights and remained its head for decades. Hamilton became a national figure in the early 1970s because of his practice of "adopting" people into the Mohegan-Pequot Nation. Among them was Hearst, kidnaped in the early 1970s by the radical Symbionese Liberation Army. At the time, Hearst was being sought by the FBI for a bank robbery and firearms violations. Hamilton, blaming the crimes on a spell cast by Hearst's captors, named her "Brave Heart." In 1979, Hearst and Bernard Shaw were married in San Francisco in a ceremony conducted by Hamilton. In New London, Conn., on Tuesday.

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