Native Americans in Maine
Note each bibliography section is alphabetical and separate
from the others. Due to the lengthy annotations following many of
the citations the traditional all inclusive bibliographic format has been
modified and the bibliography subdivided into several sections.
Table of Contents for the Annotated Bibliographies on Native Americans
Damariscotta Shell Middens
Indian Pandemic of 1617-1619
Pathways and Canoe Routes
Petroglyphs in Maine
For information on Native Americans
outside of Maine, also check our Archaeology bibliography page.
Axtell, James. (1985). The invasion within: The contest
of cultures in colonial North America. Oxford University Press, NY,
Banks, Ronald R., Ed. (1969). A history of Maine:
A collection of readings on the history of Maine, 1600-1970. Third edition.
Kendall/Hunt Publishing Co., Dubuque, Iowa. IS.
Baker, Emerson W., Churchill, Edwin A., D'Abate, Richard
S., Jones, Kristine L., Konrad, Victor A. and Prins, Harald E.L., Eds.
(1994). American beginnings: Exploration, culture, and cartography in
the land of Norumbega. University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, NB. IS and also W.
- See annotations in the Maine history:
- A great read and the most important of all recent texts on the cartography
of the Maine coast.
- The many contributors express a wide range of opinions about Maine's ethnohistory
in the years of exploration and early settlement.
- See annotations in the Maine history:
principal sources bibliography as well as our comments in the text of Norumbega
Bartlett, Stanley Foss. (1937). Beyond the Sowdyhunk. Falmouth Book House, Portland, ME. IS.
Baxter, James Phinney, Ed. (1884). Sir Ferdinando Gorges
and his Province of Maine. 3 vols. Hoyt, Fogg, and Donham, Portland,
ME. Reprinted in 1890 as The life and letters of Sir Ferdinando Gorges.
Prince Society Publications, 18 - 20, Boston, MA. Reprinted in 1967,
Baxter, James P. (1891). The campaign against the
Pequakets. Maine Historical Society Collections 2. Series 2. pg.
- See annotations in the Maine history:
Baxter, James Phinney. (1906). A
memoir of Jacques Cartier: Sieur de Limoilou: His voyages to the St. Lawrence. A Bibliography and a facsimile of the manuscript of 1534 with annotations,
etc. Dodd, Mead & Company, New York, NY.
- "One hundred and fifty Penobscot Indians, converts of Thury, the Jesuit
priest, set out on this expedition, and were joined by a body of Indians
from the Kennebec. Traveling on snow-shoes, the expedition reached
York, which, in the early dawn, they attacked and destroyed; Dummer, the
venerable minister of York, was shot dead at his door, and his wife subjected
to the hardships of a captivity which she did not survive. One of
the savages it is said arrayed himself in the clerical garb of the dead
minister, and delivered a mock sermon to his howling associates." (pg.
- "The country of the Pequakets was to be Lovewell's objective point.
The principal seat of this tribe was upon the shores of the Saco, near
the present village of Fryeburg. The Pequakets had in former wars
been active against the English, and were considered especially dangerous
to the settlements exposed to their attacks. Their premeditated treachery
at the time the Casco treaty was made, and their subsequent cruelties had
not been forgotten..." (pg. 363).
- "So great was the terror inspired by Lovewell's attack upon them, that
the savages abandoned their seat at Pequaket and took up their abode in
Canada." ... "To Lovewell, then, we may accord the honor of having ended
a war, which might have been prolonged for years and caused much bloodshed
and suffering, by his brave fight at Pequaket." (pg. 371).
Berkhofer, Robert. (1978). White Man's Indian: Images
of the American Indian from Columbus to the present. Alfred A. Knopf,
NY, NY. IS.
- "Like many other Indian tribes of North America, the Hochelagans used no
salt whatever in their food, which comprised game and fish, maize, beans,
peas, pumpkins, cucumbers, and wild fruits." (pg. 33).
- "And we having arrived at the said Hochelaga, more than a thousand persons
presented themselves before us, men, women, and children alike, the which
gave us as good reception as ever father did to child, showing marvelous
joy; for the men in one band danced, the women on their side and the children
on the other, the which brought us store of fish and of their bread made
of coarse millet, which they cast into our said boats in a way that it
seemed as if it tumbled from the air." (pg. 161).
- "There are within this town [Hochelanga] about fifty long houses of about
fifty paces or more each, and twelve or fifteen paces wide, and all made
of timbers covered and garnished with great pieces of bark and strips of
the said timber, as broad as tables, well tied artificially according to
their manner." (pg. 164).
- "Likewise they have granaries at the top of their houses where they put
their corn of which they make their bread, which they call carraconny,
and they make it in the manner following: they have mortars of wood as
for braying flax, and beat the said corn into powder with pestles of wood;
then they mix it into paste and make round cakes of it, which they put
on a broad stone that is hot; then they cover it with hot stones, and so
bake their bread instead of in an oven. They make likewise many stews
of the said corn, and beans and peas, of which they have enough, and also
of big cucumbers [crooked-neck squash] and other fruits. They have
also in their houses great vessels like tuns, where they put their fish,
namely eels and others, the which they dry in the smoke during the summer
and live upon it in the winter. And of this they make a great store,
as we have seen by experience. All their living is without any taste
of salt." (pg. 164-165).
- This book is now in Google
Book and the entire text is searchable.
- See more annotations for this
citation in the Ancient Pemaquid bibliography.
Biggar, Henry P., Ed. (1911). The Precursors of Jacques
Cartier, 1497-1534: A collection of documents relating to the early history
of the dominion of Canada. Publications of the Public Archives of Canada,
#5, Ottawa, Canada.
Biggar, Henry P., Ed. (1922-1936). The works of Samuel
de Champlain. 6 vols. Reprinted in 1971 by Toronto University Press,
Toronto, Canada. X (partial xeroxed copy only).
Biggar, Henry P. (1937). The early trading companies of
New France: A contribution to the history of commerce and discovery in
North America. University of Toronto Library, Toronto, Canada.
- See annotations in the New England
and US History: Antiquarian bibliography.
Bourque, Bruce J. (1989). Ethnicity on the Maritime Peninsula,
1600-1759. Ethnohistory. 36(3). pg. 257-284. IS.
Bourque, Bruce J. (1995). Diversity
and complexity in prehistoric maritime societies: A Gulf of Maine perspective.
Plenum Press, NY. IS.
- "Challenges Speck's classification of Maine's Native Peoples. Discusses
French understanding of tribal identities vs. Speck classifications." (Ray, The
Indians of Maine, pg. 31).
- This is among the most important of all essays pertaining to the interpretation
of the ethnohistory of Maine and the maritime provinces. The "Bourquian
era" of Maine's ethnohistory can be dated from the publication of this
- Bourque's version of Maine's ethnohistory remains virtually unchallenged
since the publication of this article; almost all commentary and museum
exhibitions have utilized his term "Etchemins" to describe the ethnicity
of the indigenous population of the central Maine coast east of the Saco
River at the time of contact with Europeans.
- Extensive excerpts from this landmark essay are commented on in the main
text of this publication (Norumbega Reconsidered).
Bourque, Bruce J. (2001). Twelve
thousand years: American Indians in Maine. University of Nebraska Press,
Lincoln, Nebraska. IS.
- Beginning with a site-specific analysis of the Turner Farm site on North
Haven Island, Bourque explores the ethnohistory and life-style adaptations
of Maine's Native American maritime communities over a period of five millennia.
This is the first of two comprehensive publications by Bourque on Native
Americans in Maine and contains an excellent bibliography and photographs
of lithic, bone, shell and ceramic specimens from this site.
- "The Turner Farm site is located on North Haven Island, one of the Fox
Island group in Penobscot Bay off the central Maine coast. Large-scale
excavations there during the 1970s, followed by over a decade of analysis,
have produced a body of data that, in its age, size, and comprehensiveness,
is probably unparalleled among coastal sites in North America. It
spans five millennia, from 5000 B.P. to the early historic period, and
includes 6,500 catalogued artifacts of stone, bone, and fired clay, as
well as 1,800 bone samples from which over 20 thousand vertebrate specimens
have been identified. ...the Turner Farm data set is doubly useful, for
it provides a record of human coastal adaptation during the entire recent
Holocene epoch at a single location." (pg. vii.).
- "The discovery of the Susquehanna tradition cemetery was a landmark event
for eastern North American archaeology. There, for the first time,
were preserved the uncremated human remains and bone technology of a people
whose now boneless cemeteries have often been encountered in the Northeast,
and whose technology so closely resembles that found among Archaic peoples
throughout much of eastern North America (Appendix 3). ... A comparison
of the isotope values from this sample with others from central coastal
Maine ranging in age from 4300 to 400 B.P. revealed one of the biggest
surprises of the whole project: the site's Susquehanna tradition occupants,
surrounded by the riches of the sea, apparently made little use of them,
consuming less marine protein than any other coastal population known to
us." (pg. 2).
- "Ground slate point technology in the Northeast still has not been reliably
traced back before about 5500 B.P., although a few variable and generalized
specimens have been recovered from various contexts dating to about 7000
B.P. After about 5500 B.P. the technology ramified throughout much
of the Northeast with specimens occurring as far west as Michigan, eastward
down the St. Lawrence Valley, along its tributaries, and up and down the
Atlantic coast from northern Labrador to the Kennebec River. It was
during this post-5500 B.P. florescence that distinct styles developed.
Although no ground slate points have been found at the Turner Farm site
(and very few have been found in the handful of other early shell middens
either), the presence there of bayonets made of swordfish rostra provides
a new perspective on the possible origins of the ground slate point." (pg.
- "Radiocarbon dates then available suggested that the Moorehead phase dated
between about 4500 and 3800 B.P. A few habitation sites, including
shell middens, were identified as having Moorehead phase components, and
evidence for swordfish hunting was noted from some of these sites.
I saw the Moorehead phase as characterized by discrete cemeteries of red
ocher-filled graves -- often richly furnished -- a sophisticated heavy
woodworking technology, ground slate bayonets, plummets, and nonutilitarian
symbolic artifacts." (pg. 223).
- "The analyses presented in Chapters 4 and 5, as well as data from other
sites discussed below, reflect my increasing confidence that the historic
roots of the Moorehead phase extend back to Middle Archaic populations
in the Gulf of Maine region to the south of both the Gulf of St. Lawrence
and the domain of the Laurentian tradition. What follows is a summary
of the Moorehead phase origin debate." (pg. 225).
Bourque, Bruce J. and Cox, Steven L. (Fall 1981). Maine State
Museum investigation of the Goddard site, 1979. Man in the Northeast.
22. pg. 3-27. IS.
- The most comprehensive and up-to-date summary of the ethnohistory of Native
American communities in Maine in the pre-historic as well as in the historic
period. Bruce Bourque is Maine's preeminent archaeologist; this text
supplements and expands his previous publication Diversity and Complexity
in Prehistoric Maritime Societies, which remains a basic reference
for exploring Maine's Native American pre-history.
- Bourque begins his historic survey by noting the traditional emphasis on
predictable sequence and cultural continuity in previous accounts of Native
Americans in Maine. Bourque instead postulates the existence of complex
and dynamic Native American communities, which experience "...rapid population
expansion, culture change and innovation that strain against explanations
based upon passive cultural adaptation. (pg. xvi).
- "In my view, the primary explanation for the cultural dynamism of the Maine
region is the long standing importance of the sea and the rich resources
it provided." (pg. xvi).
- "A second factor that contributed to Maine's cultural dynamism is its geographical
situation. Maine is positioned astride a larger geographic formation
known as the Maritime Peninsula..." (pg. xvi).
- Bourque's description and photographs of ceramic fragments (chapter III,
The Ceramic Period) located during his archaeological explorations provide
the best summary available of pottery production in the late prehistoric
- Chapters VI, VII and VIII are the strongest parts of Bourque's comprehensive
survey of Native American's in Maine, and provide an excellent summary
of each of the Indian Wars and the era of missionary activity that followed.
These chapters will be particularly useful for secondary school teachers
preparing courses on Maine history or Native American history as a component
of the Native Education Bill.
- Of a more controversial nature is Bourque's description of the Native American
communities in the Maritime Peninsula just before and at the time of contact
with Europeans (Chapter IV, An Introduction to the Historic Past). "The early French sources name four ethnic groups on the Maritime Peninsula.
As is the case for colonized peoples throughout the world, however, the
names used by the French were not generally those these groups used for
themselves. Eastward from the Gaspé and St. John River lived
the Souriquois, who were apparently named for a river called the Souricoa..."
- "West of the Souriquois, between the St. John and Kennebec Rivers, lived
the Etchemins... By 1605 members of this group were also engaged
in the fur trade and in providing guides to the French. In the late
seventeenth century, the Etchemins came to be referred to by the French
as the Maliseets (or Malicites) between the St. John and Penobscot Rivers
and as the Canibas between the Penobscot and the Kennebec Rivers." (pg.
- "West of the Kennebec and as far to the southwest as Massachusetts lived
a third people, whom the Souriquois referred to as Almouchiquois -- literally
'dog people' -- with whom they had been at war. This group's territory
began at the Androscoggin River, which John Smith later named the Almouchicoggin.
They were linguistically and culturally distinct from their neighbors to
the east, wearing different clothing and hairstyles, using some dugouts
in addition to birchbark canoes, and practicing horticulture. The
French soon abandoned this epithet, and the calamitous epidemics and warfare
that broke out during and soon after their initial visit so disrupted the
region that it is unclear who, if anyone, remained in former Almouchiquois
territory." (pg. 106-107).
- "Champlain later described a fourth group, the Abenakis, who lived eight
days travel south of the newly founded settlement of Quebec at Norridgewock,
on the Kennebec River. They lived in 'large villages and also houses
in the country with many stretches of cleared land, in which they sow much
Indian corn.'" (pg. 107).
- "In later years, as all the region's coastal populations became increasingly
oriented to Quebec, the term Abenaki was extended to all, even the Micmacs
at times. The Abenakis proper, however, remained distinct enough
to be distinguished from their neighbors until around 1700." (pg. 107).
- Bourque's brief chapter IV adds a particularly interesting element to his
comprehensive survey of Native Americans in Maine by either contradicting
or ignoring traditional English sources. Local Maine historians such
as William Williamson, Francis Greene, Rufus King Sewall and many others provide a description of Native American communities in
central coastal Maine at the time of contact that differs radically from
Bourques. Maine's town and state histories as well as its literature
are filled with descriptions of the Wawenoc Indians as living in a series
of robust semi-sedentary villages in the heart of Mawooshen between the
Penobscot and Kennebec rivers prior to and during the early years of European
contact. Bourque alleges that Etchemins lived in this region and
that the Canibas living to the north on the Kennebec River were also Etchemins.
While Bourque consistently presents arguments for ethnohistoric complexity
as well as dynamic change, the reduction of all communities living east
of the Saco River to the convenient label of Etchemin is a radical simplification
of a much more complex ethnohistorical reality, and one that contradicts
the huge body of written and oral history of thousands of English settlers
and their descendants. In one brief paragraph Bourque has eliminated
one of Maine's most important Native American communities of the late prehistoric
past. Is this because the Wawenoc Indians had no significant role
to play after 1620, having been decimated both by Micmac (Tarrentine) massacres
and the epidemics that followed? (See Bourque's comments on the Bessabez
and the Tarrentines quoted below.)
- Bourque's description of the ethnohistory of Native American communities
in Maine in the 15th and 16th centuries in the central coastal region is
contradicted by his description of the Bessabez in the excerpt on page
119. English sources frequently note the alignment of the Etchemins
with the Tarrentines in their conflict with Native Americans living west
of the Penobscot - conflicts that arose as a result of the intense European
demand for furs. Bourque quotes from Sir Ferdinando Gorges (below) but also fails to mention the confederacy of Mawooshen that Gorges
along with so many other English sources describe, and which Gorges is
essentially describing in this excerpt. The only Native American
description of Mawooshen, printed by Samuel Purchas in 1626, is reprinted
in its entirety in the Appendix.
- Bourque's description of Etchemin's living to the east of the Almouchiquois
and the Androscoggin River cuts Mawooshen into two diametrically opposed
halves, not only eliminating the Wawenoc Indians from our history texts
but contradicting without adequate explanation a huge body of historical
narrative by English speaking writers. The controversy thus delineated
in this brief chapter makes Bourque's book all the more interesting; how
boring it would be if there was nothing to disagree with in this fast moving
narrative of Twelve thousand years: American Indians in Maine. Bourque
and other writers continue to refer to surviving Native American communities
in the maritime provinces by the designations these communities use to
describe themselves: Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, Maliseet, Micmac.
The elimination of Wawenocs from our history texts and the description
of Canibas as Etchemins constitute a new ethnohistorical interpretation
of Maine's protohistoric past that needs further documentation.
- "Early English explorers in the Gulf of Maine described a rivalry that
reflects the emergence of European influence there during the late sixteenth
and early seventeenth centuries. On one side was Bessabez, the supreme
Etchemin sagamore whom English sources describe as the preeminent leader
of a domain that extended from Frenchman's Bay at least to Saco and possibly
as far west as Lac Mégantic in Quebec. On the other side was
a group that lived to the east of Bessabez. Known to the English
as Tarrentines and to the French as Souriquois, they were mainly the ancestors
of those who would later be called Micmacs. In 1658 Sir Ferdinando
Gorges, a prime backer of the 1607 effort to colonize present-day Popham,
described the rivalry and its causes as follows: [Bessabes] had under
him many great Subjects ... some fifteen hundred Bow-Men, some others lesse,
these they call Sagamores....[He] had many enemies, especially those
to the East and North-East, whom they call Tarrentines.... [H]is
owne chief abode was not far from Pemaquid, but the Warre growing
more and more violent between the Bashaba and the Tarrentines,
who (as it seemed) presumed upon the hopes they had to be favored of the French who were seated in Canada[.] [T]heir next neighbors, the Tarrentines surprised the Bashaba and slew him and all his People near about
him." (pg. 119).
- One particularly interesting aspect of the controversy Bourque inadvertently
highlights in chapter IV pertains to a most important contemporary study
of Native Americans in New England which Bourque omits in his bibliography, Kathleen
Bragdon's Native People of Southern New England. Bragdon
postulates three patterns of settlement in southern New England:
- An inland culturally conservative hunting and gathering society with little
or no focus on semi-sedentary villages -- very similar to the mobile hunting
and gathering Etchemins Bourque postulates as living in central coastal
Maine and on the Kennebec River.
- River valley based sedentary villages with horticultural activities, a
description one would think would aptly apply to the Canibas Indians living
on the Kennebec River as well as the Native American communities living
on the Saco River at the time of European contact, and one which coincides
with Champlain's observations when he first visited this area in 1604/5.
- Of most importance, Bragdon postulates a third settlement type that she
calls "conditional sedentism" -- semi-sedentary communities relying upon
the extensive marine resources of the southern New England coastal area.
- One of the ironies of Bragdon's important text is her rejection of the
use of tribal designations, which she strongly advocates at the beginning
of her book. Bourque must to some extent agree with her since he
drops reference to all of the Native American tribes who did not survive
contact with Europeans in significant numbers (Wawenoc, Cannabis, Pigwacket,
etc.) Both Bourque and Bragdon then also follow the politically correct
and probably safest course of action and carefully refer to all the tribes
surviving in significant numbers in the historic period by the tribal designation
they themselves use: e.g. Pequot, Pennacook, Penobscot, and Passamaquoddy.
- Bragdon's more complex model of settlement patterns in New England contrasts
with the more pervasive oversimplified view of Native communities in Maine
as being either wandering hunters and gatherers living east of the Saco
River or horticultural communities from the Saco River west. One
can't help ask the question in view of the huge antiquarian literature
on the Wawenoc Indians: Isn't there at least a reasonable possibility that
the robust semi-sedentary marine resource dependent communities of coastal
southern New England extended further than Saco and included the central
coastal communities of Maine so prominently documented in Samuel Purchas'
description of Mawooshen? In fact, aren't many of the communities
described in this important early narrative located in tidewater locations
that exactly match Bragdon's description of non-horticultural coastal
communities dependent on marine resources? In an era of global warming,
before the little ice age, circa 1350, why wouldn't these semi-sedentary
communities also characterize the central coast of Maine? Aren't
the presence of these communities verified by the extensive shell heaps
and other archaeological sites that Bourque has so carefully documented
in his lifetime of research on the Maine coast? Would Bourque contend,
in fact, that the huge shell heaps of the Damariscotta River and those
scattered about the coastal reaches of Maine including Frenchmans Bay,
result from the activities of mobile hunting and gathering Etchemins lacking
semipermanent village sites?
- While skipping over the interesting descriptions of the Native American
communities of coastal Maine contained in both Purchas' narrative of Mawooshen
(1623) and Dean Snow's (1980) Archaeology of New
England, Bourque inadvertently comments on their demise by including
a Jesuit map of 1715 illustrating the last of the semi-sedentary Native
American communities in New England at Pigwacket (Saco River), Narakamogou
(Androscoggin River), Amaseconti (Farmington Falls, Sandy River), Norridgewock
(Kennebec River), Panawamské (Penobscot River) and Meductic (upper
St. John's River). (pg. 182). These villages, rather than being
located at the head of tide, reflect the fact the Native Americans had
withdrawn from coastal locations and were making a last stand at riverine
locations well inland from their original tidewater village sites.
- What would William Williamson (1832) say
about this revisionist view of ethnohistory which substitutes Etchemins
for the Wawenocs and identifies the Kennebec Indians as Etchemins?
Was the Confederacy of Mawooshen really cut in half in the manner described
by Bourque? Would Dean Snow also agree with
this new paradigm, which cuts the communities he describes after Purchas
in The Archaeology of New England into two diametrically opposed
components? Doesn't the cultural and linguistic differences noted
by Bourque for the Almouchiquois also describe the Wawenoc Indians?
Didn't Champlain encounter some horticultural
activity when he visited the Wawenocs at Wiscasset in 1604? Didn't
he note their radical cultural differences from the more eastern tribes
during this visit? Didn't George Waymouth also note this difference when he encountered the coastal Indians near
Pemaquid? Didn't Samoset, who greeted the Pilgrims, share the cultural
characteristics of the Almouchiquois rather than the Etchemins? Is
the history of the Native American communities living between the Kennebec
and the Penobscot in the 15th and 16th centuries (and earlier) so simple
that it can be described as Bourque does in just one sentence?
- Bourque was recently the source of a justifiably adulatory review article
in the Bangor Daily News (Alicia Anstead, Nov. 17/18, 2001, pg. E1-E2).
Bourque is quoted thusly "Bourque might say that 'change' is part of his
underlying thesis in 'Twelve Thousand Years.' Based on his own research,
analysis and interpretation fusing archaeology and history, he posits that
Maine was the site of dynamic and divergent cultural traditions, and that
native people were at the vanguard of those shifts." and "'There
is a perception that the people were isolated here and not in touch with
the rest of the world,' said Bourque. 'Prehistorically, they were
in touch with people all over North America. And natives here were
in on the earliest visitors from Europe. There was a connectedness.
All people who have ever lived here were connected to much larger regions.
Maine's perception of itself has never been more isolated than it is today.
Maine was important and Indians were players up here for a long, long time.'"
These comments contradict Bourque's easy identification of most indigenous
residents of central coastal Maine in the late prehistoric period as being
simply Etchemins whose primary location has always been the Passamaquoddy
and Medutic areas.
Bourque, Bruce J. and Whitehead, Ruth
Holmes. (1985). Tarrentines and the introduction of European trade goods
in the Gulf of Maine. Ethnohistory. 32(4). pg. 327-341.
- "By far the most intense Archaic component preserved at the site is one
which can be referred to the Moorehead phase (Bourque 1971:78-81).
- It is characterized by small, narrow stemmed points,
small stemmed and usually barbed ground stone points, plummets, adzes,
gouges and pecking stones (Plate I:f-n)." (pg. 7).
- "The culture/historical sequence of the ceramic period in Maine is known
only in broad terms." (pg. 12).
- "The archeological evidence at hand from the Goddard site indicates that
it was a major summer village during the period of Norse visits to North
America and that its population participated in extensive trade networks
ultimately reaching as far north as Ramah Bay, Labrador. The archeological
sample from the site is unusually large. These factors suggest several
possible scenarios which could have led to the [Goddard] coin's deposition."
- Bourque is referring to the notorious Norse coin found at this location.
Bragdon, Kathleen J. (1996). Native
people of southern New England, 1500 - 1650. University of Oklahoma
Press, Norman, OK. IS.
- A key document for students of the contact period in Maine history.
Bourque and Whitehead contend that the numerous trade goods found in the
possession of 15th century Native American inhabitants of coastal Maine
derived not from direct contact with English, Basque, French or other traders
or fishermen, but only from Micmac traders (Tarantines) who were intermediaries
between the coastal natives and the European visitors. This revisionist
interpretation insists such contacts did not take place until after 1600.
- See our comments on this contemporary view of Maine history in the Ancient
Pemaquid: Voyages of Humphrey
Gilbert, etc. section.
Brasser, T.J. (1978). Early Indian
European contacts. In: Handbook of North American Indians, vol.
15. Trigger, Bruce G., Ed., Smithsonian
Institution, Washington, D.C.
- "The anthropological and historical literature on southern New England
has also been obscured by the use of various sociopolitical labels, most
notably the term tribe, to characterize the nature of governance
and sociopolitical organization in that region. ...The reality of this
vaguely conceived entity in 'prehistoric' North America has been vigorously
questioned by numerous scholars, and its applicability in southern New
England is likewise questionable." (pg. xvi).
- "In summary, archaeological evidence for the Late Woodland period suggests
three distinct settlement types, associated with specific eco-regions:
estuarine 'conditional sedentism' based on reliance upon a wide variety
of marine and estuarine resources; riverine village-based sedentism, with
a heavier dependence on corn-beans and squash horticulture; and a culturally
conservative uplands lacustrine adaptation. Whether some or all uplands
peoples were connected in some way to coastal or riverine groups is unclear;..."
- "Many scholars have suggested, for example, based on the descriptions of
early explorers and settlers, that the Natives of southern New England
occupied settled village sites, dependent on maize horticulture.
In opposition to this 'ethnohistorical' model, Ceci and others have more
recently argued that maize horticulture and settled village life in coastal
regions were in fact a response by Native people with a band-like sociopolitical
organization to the development of trading relations with Europeans, but
that prehistorically such Natives were part of mobile groups with egalitarian
social structures." (pg. xviii).
- "Native people soon observed that certain European explorers were absolutely
without conscience regarding Native property or persons. Dozens of
people were captured and transported to Europe and especially England during
the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, and only a handful
ever returned. Sailors looted Native graves, and stole their seed
corn, tools, and household goods. Exploring parties deployed vicious
dogs, discharged guns, and built forts, displaying their hostility with
every gesture (Brasser 1978:80-83)."
- "Three related issues continue to occupy archaeologists and ethnohistorians
studying the fifteenth through the seventeenth centuries A.D. in
southern New England: the extent and onset of reliance on maize horticulture,
the nature of settlement, and the level of sociopolitical integration there."
- "Both the expansion of the Hopewellian-Ohioan state to the west and the
arrival of Europeans in the Northeast have been invoked as causes in the
development of complex societies in coastal southern New England (e.g.,
Thomas 1979:400; Ceci 1990). ...it is
clear that the forces leading to complexity in southern New England were
in operation centuries before the European presence was established there."
- "Both Eleanor Leacock and Karen Sacks suggest that gender asymmetry is
due to women's loss of control over the means of production and over their
own labor--losses resulting from the expansion of production for exchange
and the emergence of hierarchical societies." (pg. 51).
- "If, particularly in the contact period, accumulation of capital in the
form of wampum and other scarce goods facilitated a patrilineal organization,
women's status (with the exception of that of sachem women) among the Ninnimissinuok
may well have been on the decline, particularly in coastal regions." (pg.
- "It is difficult not to conclude, for example, when examining descriptions
of women's habitual work among the Ninnimissinuok, that their status was
not commensurate with their important contributions to the indigenous economy."
- "Fragile and bounteous, estuarine ecosystems comprise some of the most
unique and significant environments of southern New England. Generally
semi-enclosed coastal bodies of water with connections to the open sea,
estuaries are characterized by varying mixtures of fresh, brackish, and
salt waters. ...True estuaries consist of multiple zones, beginning with
the water column itself, then extending inland over mudflats exposed only
at low tide, which merge with an intertidal zone where marsh grasses flourish,
succeeded in turn by a zone of mixed salt and freshwater plant species."
- "Once called 'ecotones,' or 'regions of transition between two or more
diverse communities' (Odum 1971:157), estuaries are now celebrated for
their remarkable biotic diversity. Dincauze (1973, 1974), Barber
(1979), and Kerber (1984) argue that estuaries represent uniquely rich
habitats for human populations because of the way in which they link diverse
ecosystems. Zones ranging from terrestrial to freshwater riverine,
freshwater marsh, and salt marsh, are all easily accessible within a relatively
narrow strip running from the sea inland. The estuarine ecotone also
benefits from what E. P. Odum calls the 'edge effect,' or 'the tendency
for increased variety and density at community junctions' (1971:157).
Estuaries and other intertidal regions are associated with a number of
diverse habitats of great importance to Native subsistence and diet, including
the water column itself, the strandflats, tidal rivers, and salt marsh."
- "The focus on settlement near estuaries, which manifests itself with the
stabilization of sea-level rise, was accompanied through time by an increasing
diversification of resource use, as well as increased cultural modification
of the landscape. ...Ceramics, frequently associated with sedentism in
the archaeological and ethnographic literature, are manifestly unsuited
to a mobile way of life, being both fragile and cumbersome, and although
traditionally associated with maize horticulture, appear long before maize-use
can be documented in southern New England." (pg. 64).
- "The arrival of maize in coastal southern New England has been called a
'non-event' in the sense that it had little immediate effect on settlement
patterns or on previously established subsistence practices." (pg. 83).
- "It appears that the richness and diversity of coastal estuaries both permitted
and encouraged large, conditionally sedentary populations, but that the
carrying capacity of these estuarine regions was ultimately surpassed,
putting stress on natural resources and necessitating the adoption of alternative
food-producing strategies." (pg. 86). Horticulture then becomes a
necessary adjunct to estuarine adoption.
- "The archaeological data suggest that the tripartite model of settlement
was overlain, or interconnected by, intraregional networks of trade, and
that territorial boundaries were established in order to control that trade
and protect vital resources within constricted environmental settings.
Both trade and the desire to protect restricted resources may have served
to encourage the coalescence of territorially based 'ethnic' groupings
and the rise of chiefly families and hereditary leadership..." (pg. 101).
Braun, Esther K. and Braun, David P. (1994). The first
peoples of the Northeast. Moccasin Hill Press, Lincoln, MA. IS.
Brereton,John. (1602). A brief and true relation of
the discovery of the North Viriginia, etc. made this present year 1602,
by Captain B. Gosnold, Capt. B. Gilbert, etc by the Permission of the Hon.
Knight, Sir W. Raleigh. In MaHSC, 3rd series, vol 8, pgs. 83-123.
Brockman, Mark E. and Georgiady, Jeffrey. (2005). Prehistoric lithic resources of the coastal volcanic belt, Washington County, Maine. Maine Archaeological Society Bulletin. 45 (1). pg. 5-23. IS
Burrage, Henry S., Ed. (1887). Rosier's relation of
Weymouth's voyage to the coast of Maine, 1605. Gorges Society, Portland,
Burrage, Henry S., Ed. (1906). Original narratives of
early English and French voyages 1534-1608. Charles Scribner's Sons,
NY, NY. Also reprinted in 1930 as Early English and French voyages,
chiefly from Hakluyt, 1534-1608. Reprinted in 1969.
- See our information file for a reproduction
of James Rosier, A True Relation of Captain George Weymouth his Voyage.
Made this Present Yeere 1605.
Burrage, Henry S. (1914). The beginnings of colonial Maine
1602-1658. Marks Printing House for the State of Maine, Portland, ME.
- See annotations in the New England
and US History: Antiquarian bibliography.
Burrage, Henry S. (1923). Gorges and the grant of the
Province of Maine, 1622. Printed for the state, Augusta, ME.
- See annotations in the Maine History:
Byers, Douglas S. (1959). The Eastern
Archaic: Some problems and hypotheses. American Antiquity. 24. pg.
Cadillac, Antoine de la Mothe, Sieur de. (1930). "Memoir
on Acadia" . In W.F. Ganong, ed. "The Cadillac Memoir on Acadia
of 1692.", Collections of the New Brunswick Historical Society, no. 13,
New Brunswick , Canada. pp 77-97.
- "The Micmac, once makers of pottery and tillers of corn, had abandoned
both arts when the French arrived, and, with their neighbors to the north,
were living examples of the Archaic stage of culture." (pg. 234).
- "The fact remains that until 1936 the dwelling places of the people who
buried their dead with red ochre were never excavated. ...In recent years
these formerly mysterious people have begun to fit into their proper place
in the Northeast. Sites at Ellsworth Falls have been instrumental
in accomplishing this feat." (pg. 243).
- An extensive description of the Ellsworth Falls site begins on page 243.
- "On a larger scale the same principle applies to the entire Boreal Archaic.
This would include Frontenac, Brewerton, Vosburg, Vergennes, Tadoussac,
the Moorehead complex, Newfoundland Aberrant, and the Old Stone culture
of Labrador. All show points in common. They are as familiar
as a contemporary class picture from another school -- the clothes and
poses are familiar, but the faces are different." (pg. 254).
Calloway, Colin G., Ed. (1991). Dawnland Encounters:
Indians and Europeans in northern New England. University Press of
New England, Hanover, NH. IS.
Campeau, Lucien. (1967). La premiere mission d'Acadie
(1602 - 1616). Presses de l'Universite Laval, Quebec, Canada.
Champlain, Samuel de. (1922). The works of Samuel de
Champlain. Edited by H. H. Langdon and W. F. Ganong. 6 Vols. Champlain
Society, Toronto, Canada.
Charlevoix, Pierre F.X. de. (1900). History and genreal
description of New France. 6 vols. F. P. Harper, New York.
- There are numerous editions of the works of Samuel de Champlain.
The Langton and Ganong edition is the definitive edition and is the one
reprinted by the University of Toronto Press in 1971 under the auspices
of the Champlain Society and edited by H. P. Biggar.
This edition is electronically accessible at: The
Champlain Society (http://www.champlainsociety.ca/). This edition
is the sole source cited by Bourque in his definitive Twelve Thousand
- Champlain began compiling his first volume in 1599, volume II in 1603,
volume III in 1613, volume IV, V and VI in 1632.
- Another frequently cited edition of Champlain's work is that compiled by Grant in 1914.
Cronon, William. (1983). Changes
in the land: Indians, colonists, and the ecology of New England. Hill
and Wang, NY, NY. IS.
Davies, James. (1880). Relation of
a voyage to Sagadahoc, 1607 - 1608. American Journeys Collection. Document
No. AJ-042. Reprinted in 2003 by Wisconsin Historical Society Digital Library
and Archives. www.wisconsinhistory.org. X.
- Among the most important of all information sources about the lifestyles
and environmental impact of New England's indigenous inhabitants prior
to contact with European explorers, traders and settlers.
Day, Gordon M. (1962). English-Indian contacts in New England. Ethnohistory.
9(1). pg. 24-40. X.
- This is the same document as the one cited below by DeCosta. James
Davies was the navigator of Gilbert's vessel the Mary and John, and is
almost certainly the author of the first part of this relation. The
Rev. B. F. DeCosta was the person who discovered the manuscript in London
in 1875; the document has now been reprinted a number of times.
- A copy of this is available in the Davistown Museum library.
- Davies Relations has also been reprinted by the Hakluyt Society (1849),
the Massachusetts Historical Society (1880), in New American World:
A documentary history of North America (1979) and in David and Alison
Quinn's The English New England Voyages 1602 - 1608.
Day, Gordon M. (1981). The identity of the Saint Francis
Indians. Canadian Ethnology Service Paper no. 71. National Museum
of Man Mercury Series, Ottawa, Canada. pg. 237-247.
- "...the central problem of New England ethnohistory, namely, that of identifying
the ethnic units within the region, establishing their affinities, locating
them at the time of discovery, and following their movements, their partitions,
regroupings, and mergers through the violent dislocations which followed
European contact." (pg. 26).
- "The English also exhibited a tendency to create a distinct band for each
river, village, or fishing camp as their acquaintance with the country
grew. Perhaps we should, pending the unraveling of the nomenclature
by a concordance of historical and linguistic data, place more trust in
the entities recognized by the French among their northern New England
allies and in those recognized by the English among the southern New England
coastal tribes." (pg. 26).
- "Of course, King Philip's War, that cataclysm in New England history, changed
everything. When the smoke had cleared away, southern New England
contained only what might be called reservation Indians, who had made some
kind of peace with the English, and northern New England would contain
southern New England refugees for the next one hundred and twenty-five
years." (pg. 28).
- "...we can not profitably study the effect of European contact on New England
Indian cultures unless we know what the pre-contact cultures were and unless
we can identify the several entities with which they were associated.
When we can surely identify our ethnic units, we shall have a framework
on which to hang the data of ethnographic studies." (pg. 32).
Day, Gordon M. (1995). Western Abenaki dictionary.
Canadian Museum of Civilization, Hull, Quebec, Canada.
- "The Pennacooks, among many other New England tribes, came as refugees
to the St. Francis, Odanak community." (Ray, The
Indians of Maine, pg. 34).
- See the annotations for Day's In Search of New England's Native Past below.
Day, Gordon M. (1998). In
search of New England's Native past: Selected essays by Gordon M. Day.
Foster, Michael K. and Cowan, William, Eds. University of Massachusetts
Press, Amherst, MA. IS.
DeCosta, Benjamin F., Ed. (1880). The Sagadahoc Colony. Proceedings
of the Massachusetts Historical Society, 18. pg. 82-117.
- Essential background information for understanding the destination of any
Wawenocs who survived the 1616 pandemic, this book of essays contains important
information about Maine's Arosagunticook and Androscoggin tribes, among
- "Saint Francis, ... was founded as a Catholic mission in the 1660s.
From the beginning, the majority of its inhabitants were Western Abenaki
refugees, who arrived there from various locations in the New England interior
during the colonial wars of the eighteenth century and well into the nineteenth
century." (pg. 1).
- "...he established, ... the fundamental role of groups in the middle and
upper Connecticut River valley (the Sokokis, Penacooks, and Cowasucks), with
some increments from the Eastern Abenaki area, [italics added] in building
the Saint Francis community in its early stages." (pg. 23).
- The focus of most of the text is on the Western Abenaki; there is only
one reference to the Wawenocs, which, unlike the Penobscots, are not shown
on the map on page 29.
- "The plagues of 1616-1619 and 1633-1634 killed thousands of people in southern
New England and countless more in the interior. But it was really
the disastrous King Philip's War (1675-1676), named for the Wampanoag leader
who rallied New England's Indians to take up arms against the English,
that began the final dispersal of interior groups such as the Sokokis,
Penacooks, Pocumtucks, Pigwackets, and others to the west and north, swelling
the ranks of refugees at the village of Schaghticoke, a haven created for
them on the Hudson River by New York governor Edmund Andros, and at the
French missions, including Saint Francis, in Quebec. Well into the
eighteenth century, Saint Francis received refugees from Maine; the upper
Connecticut River valley; Schaghticoke; and especially Missisquoi, near
present-day Swanton, Vermont." (pg. 9).
- "To complicate the historian's task further, there were reverse movements
of people at different times from Saint Francis back to Schaghticoke and
Missisquoi." (pg. 9).
- "Because most of interior New England underwent severe dislocations and
depopulation before the groups involved were documented, locations that
persisted throughout the period, such as Missisquoi, Schaghticoke, and
Saint Francis, have assumed special importance for the historian and dialectologist."
- "The impression that Saint Francis was settled by people from central and
western Maine derived some of its impetus from the fact that in 1705-1706
the community had received refugees from the similarly named Saint-François-de-Sales
mission on the Chaudière River, which empties into the Saint Lawrence
about 75 miles below the mouth of the Saint Francis River. Many of
the Chaudière people were originally attracted to that mission from
the Kennebec and other rivers in Maine, some from as far east as the Penobscot
area, and most of them spoke Eastern Abenaki dialects." (pg. 17).
- "Specifying who the Sokokis were and where they were located in early colonial
times is important for Western Abenaki history, because they were the principal
founding group at Saint Francis and have remained a significant presence
there. Past historians often assumed that the Sokokis migrated to
Quebec from the Saco River in western Maine, in part because of the vague
similarity between the names. However, examination of seventeenth-century
French and English documents reveals variants of the name such as Sokokiois,
Suckquakege, and Suckquakege, and Squakey that appear
to equate with Squakheag, the name of a village and a tribe in Northfield,
Massachusetts. If the equation is valid, this places the Sokokis
in the middle Connecticut River valley rather than western Maine."
This paper, which demonstrates the value of place-name analysis for piecing
together the history of a poorly documented region, was originally published
in Ethnohistory 12(3):237-249 (1965). (Chapter 8: The Identity of
the Sokokis, pg. 89).
- "The English also learned of the Saco River in 1605 from the Indians whom
George Waymouth took captive to England, but they recorded no name for
the tribe (Purchas 1905-1907 4:1873-1875). Captain John Smith visited
the mouth of the Saco with one of Waymouth's Indians in 1614, but neither
he nor Ferdinando Gorges's men who wintered there in 1616 left us any tribal
name (J. Smith 1836 2:2, 42; Gorges 1837 5:57). The Indians at the
head of the river were known as Pigwackets from the time they were visited
by Gorges and Richard Vines in 1642 (Winthrop 1853 2:89). Throughout
the seventeenth century, the English referred to the Indians on the lower
river simply as Saco Indians, and they were still called 'the Saco tribe'
in the 1726 census when there were only four men left (Wendall 1866)."
- "For another thing, the Saint Francis Indians were a tribe of mixed origins,
...Saint Francis had received practically the whole Caniba (Norridgewock),
Arosagunticook, Pigwacket, Cowasuck, Pocumtuck, Schaghticoke, and Missisquoi
tribes, as well as individuals and fragments of bands broken by the wars
in southern New England." (Chapter 2: Dartmouth and Saint Francis, pg.
- "In approaching the history of English-Indian contacts in New England,
we are faced with the fact that contact commenced long before significant
records were made. For the casual reader, the history of New England
began in 1620 with the landing of the Pilgrims on Plymouth Rock, yet he
is confronted with the anomaly of Samoset's greeting, 'Welcome, Englishmen.'
We may search hopefully in the relations of the voyage of 1602 (Archer
1843; Brereton 1843), but our quest for the precontact Indian is hardly
satisfied by the Indians who met Captain Gosnold then at Cape Neddick,
clad in European clothes and rowing 'in a Baskeshallop,' or by the Cuttyhunk
natives who tossed off in English such phrases as 'How now are you so saucie
with my Tabacco?'" (Chapter 5: English-Indian Contacts in New England,
- "The mere thought of historical ethnographies, however, brings up a problem
which is perhaps the central problem of New England ethnohistory, namely,
that of identifying the ethnic units within the region; establishing their
affinities; locating them at the time of discovery; and following their
movements, their partitions, regrouping, and mergers through the violent
dislocations which followed European contact." (Chapter 5: English-Indian
Contacts in New England, pg. 66).
- "In the latter half of the seventeenth century, an Indian village sprang
up on the east bank of the Saint Francis River a few miles above its junction
with the Saint Lawrence. The subsequent history of this village,
although known only imperfectly, shows complex population changes, characterized
by immigration of many increments from tribes in Maine, New Hampshire,
Vermont, and Massachusetts; attribution by war and disease; and emigration
and reimmigration. The inhabitants of this village are known in history
as the Saint Francis Indians." (Chapter 6: The tree nomenclature of the
Saint Francis Indians, pg. 72).
- "It appears from the data obtained on trees and other plants that those
men who in their youth lived the old hunting and fishing life and maintained
lifelong contact with the woods as guides have preserved a very full corpus
of plant lore in spite of the acculturated condition of the band.
Whatever additional knowledge of medicinal and other plants which may be
the possession of the elder women of the band has not been investigated."
(Chapter 6: The tree nomenclature of the Saint Francis Indians, pg. 83).
- "Bécancour now contains only three families and practically no linguistic
recollections. The descendants of those Bécancour families
that migrated to Lake Saint John are now Montagnais in culture. Speck
(1928) caught the last gasp of native language at Bécancour in 1912,
but his naming it 'Wawenock' should be queried pending a thorough study
of the history of the band." (Chapter 10: Historical notes on New England
languages, pg. 104-105).
- "Linguistic and ethnographic data which cannot be assigned to a definite,
named group at a definite time and place are at best useless and at worst
a fruitful source of confusion and false theory." (pg. 223).
- "'There is a great many Indians in Canada that have not been out
this Summer, both of Kennibeck and Damarascoggin, therefore
a great many of these Indians at Kennibeck do intend to go to Canada
in the Spring to them.' Thus we have Kennebec and Androscoggin Indians
somewhere in Canada in the summer of 1675 and more planning to join them
in the spring of 1676, since the Indians on the Kennebec at that time included
Androscoggin and Saco River Indians under Squando (Hubbard 1865 2:204)."
(Chapter 22: Arosagunticook and Androscoggin, pg. 225).
- "Therefore, until and unless I see new evidence to the contrary, I favor
the position that (1) the Androscoggin River Indians were the Amarascoggins,
not the Arosaguntacooks; (2) Arsikôntegok was the name of the Saint
Francis River and village, derived from its characteristics, not from the
founding tribe, and probably given by the Eastern Abenakis from the Chaudière
in 1700; and (3) the Arosaguntacooks who appear in the Maine treaties were
merely delegations from Saint Francis, whose ethnic composition at that
time was probably predominantly Western Abenaki." (pg. 227-228).
- The best summary of the history of the St Francis Abenaki, some of whom
migrated to Canada from Maine.
- The bibliography in this text is extensive and contains many citations
not included in The Davistown Museum bibliographies.
DeCosta, Benjamin F. (1884). Norumbega and its English explorers.
In: Winsor, Justin, Ed. Narrative and critical history of America.
Vol 3. Houghton, Mifflin and Co., Boston, MA. IS.
- A relation of a voyage to Sagadahoc, printed from the original manuscript
in the Lambeth Palace Library. James Davies is the author.
Denys, Nicolas. (1908). The description and natural history
of the coasts of North America (Acadia) . Edited and translated
by W.F. Ganong. The Champlain Society, Toronto, Canada.
- This whole chapter has been scanned and is available in our Norumbega information file for you to read.
Druillettes, Gabriel. (1857). Narritive of a voyage,
made for the Abenaquiois mission, and information acquired of New England
and dispositions of the Magistrates of that republic for assistance against
the Iroquois. The whole by me, Gabriel Druillettes, of the Society of Jesus,
translated and edited by John Gilmary Shea. Collections of the New
York Historical Society, 2nd series, vol. 3, part 2, New York, NY. pg.
Dunton, A.F. (1920?). In redskin days: a chapter from the early history of Barrett’s Pond, now Hope. Paper presented to Hope Grange #299, included in History of Hope, Maine by Anna Simpson Hardy. pg. 200, 203-4. IS
Eckstorm, Fannie Hardy. (1945). Old
John Neptune and other Maine Indian shamans. The Southworth-Anthoensen
Press, Portland, ME. A Marsh Island reprint in 1980, University of Maine
at Orono, Orono, ME. IS(2).
Erickson, Vincent O. (1978). Maliseet-Passamaquoddy.
In: Handbook of North American Indians: Northeast. Vol 15. Trigger,
Bruce G. Ed., Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. pg. 123-136. X.
- "The statements of many historians and near historians are so full of errors
and so contradictory that it is useless to cite them as evidence, needless
to demolish them as errors. Nearly all say that the Penobscots are
Tarratines. They are not. Some say that the Passamaquoddies
are Tarratines. They are not. Others say that the Wawenocks
were exterminated. They were not." (pg. 73).
- "The Wawenocks were not exterminated. After the Norridgewock disaster
they removed to Canada and most of them stayed there. Within a few
years Dr. Frank Speck has found a remnant of the tribe and has studied
the dialect." (pg. 74).
- "According to Dr. Speck, the name is not Wan-noak, 'very brave':
it comes from Walinakiak, the 'People of the Bays,' their old homes
having been along the deeply indented coast between the Kennebec and St.
George's Rivers, whence their other name of 'Sheepscot Indians.'" (pg.
Fitzhugh, William W., Ed. (1985). Cultures in contact:
The impact of European contacts on Native American cultural institutions
A.D. 1000 - 1800. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC. IS.
- "The Maliseet and Passamaquoddy speak mutually intelligible dialects of
the same language." (pg. 123).
- "These virtually identical people differed primarily in their economic
adaptation. The Maliseet were inland hunters, living along the Saint
John River drainage in New Brunswick and Maine; the Passamaquoddy were
sea mammal hunters, living along the coasts of New Brunswick and Maine.
- "The Passamaquoddy had long occupied and used the territory on the south
and east shores of Passamaquoddy Bay for maple sugaring (Eckstorm 1941:226),
marine hunting, and fishing (Sabine 1852:100) and used Lewis (Lewey's)
Island near Princeton for inland hunting and fishing (Ganong 1899:223)."
- "In June the Maliseets went to one of the islands in the Saint John to
camp, first to spear bass and later sturgeon. Several trips were
made back and forth from garden plots to fishing sites in the summer.
After corn was hilled the Maliseets went out to spear fish including salmon
by torchlight at night. Fish, wild grapes, and roots provided the
summer diet. In fall corn was harvested, and the portion that was
dried was either stored in subterranean pits lined with bark or taken along
on the migratory winter hunt. This hunt for moose or bear was done
by groups of 8 to 10 people, two of whom were adult men. Until spring,
the group continually traveled over a large area of Maine, New Brunswick,
and the Gaspé Peninsula in search of game." (pg. 127).
- "Passamaquoddy subsistence activities and annual cycle resembled the Maliseet
in most details for the three periods outlined. Spring found the
same fishing and planting sequences, but June precipitated a movement to
the seashore. Men, two to a canoe, paddled into the open seas of
the Bay of Fundy to shoot porpoise and seal (Verrill 1954:96). While
it is not universally agreed that porpoise and seal hunting was aboriginal
among the Passamaquoddy, Eckstorm (1932:15) suggests that seal and porpoise
oil were used by Maine Indians during the ceramic period. Whales
were enticed by men in canoes to swim into shallow areas where they became
stranded and were more easily killed. Excursions were made to neighboring
islands to fish, to gather clams and lobsters, or to collect the eggs of
sea birds. Winter hunting and trapping follow most details of the
Maliseet." (pg. 127).
- "Porcupine-quill embroidery was lost about the time the splint basket replaced
the birchbark container." (pg. 129).
- "Other types of political organization reflect changes associated with
the formation of the Wabanaki Confederacy. Essentially an alliance
established in the mid-eighteenth century among the Micmac, Maliseet, Passamaquoddy,
Penobscot, and Abenaki, it embraced other tribes allied to the French and
had its 'great fire' or principal meeting place at Caughnawaga, Quebec.
...The Wabanaki Confederacy ceased to meet sometime in the second half
of the nineteenth century." (pg. 132).
Ganong, William Francis. (1917). The
origin of the place-names Acadia and Norumbega. Proceedings and Transactions.
Royal Society of Canada, 3rd series, XXXI, ii. pg. 105-119. X.
- "The lack of archeological information on contact-period Indian cultures
is only one side of the coin, for archeological attention to the more mundane
aspects of rural colonial life has been equally deficient. ...Is the paucity
of archeological data really attributable to site destruction from colonial
land-use practice, village and urban sprawl, and dam and highway construction,
or is this frequently heard claim just a rationalization for neglect?"
- "Little attention, however, has been given to archeological studies of
early contact from the native point of view. ...we decided therefore to
attempt an archeological perspective on the earliest period of contact
-- primarily the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries -- and to concentrate
not on changing material culture and technology per se, but rather on the
effects of European contact on the institutions that organized native societies.
By doing so, we hoped to identify structural change in the organization
of these groups and to relate changes in economic and social organization,
religious beliefs, settlement patterns, subsistence, land use, and other
systems to various contact and acculturation phenomena." (pg. 5).
- "More recently, a growing awareness of native life and history has led
to the view that the virtual annihilation of many of these cultures and
their people is attributable to the merciless and unconscionable economic,
military, political, and spiritual exploitation of native American groups
by European explorers and colonists competing for nationalistic and mercantile
dominance in the New World. This view holds that Indian groups were
unwitting witnesses to their own destruction or, at best, ineffectual defenders
of their rights in the face of broken treaties and unfavorably balanced
transactions. History supports the validity of many elements of this
perspective." (pg. 8-9).
- "Societies ranged from small, nomadic hunting groups to complex chiefdoms
and regional confederacies controlled by tribal councils and powerful sachems,
sagamores, and shamans. At the time of contact native groups interacted
in various ways in coastal areas and inter-tribal economic exchange systems
dispersed utilitarian as well as socially valuable commodities throughout
the region, many destined for prestigious individuals." (pg. 100).
- "By the time Gosnold visited the coast of Maine in 1602, natives were wearing
large copper breastplates and European costumes including waistcoats, breeches,
hose, and shoes in seafashion style." (pg. 101).
Ganong, William F. (1933). "Crucial Maps in the early
cartography and place nomenclature of the Atlantic coast of Canada. V:
The Compiled , or Composite Maps of 1526-1600". Transactions of the
Royal Society of Canada, Series 3, vol. 27, sect 2, pp. 149-195. Ottawa,
- "Thus the late A. S. Gatschet, a trained philologist and expert in the
Indian language, has also written in connection with Norumbega: 'The name
does not stand for any Indian settlement, but is a term of the Abnáki
languages, which in Penobscot sounds nalambígi, in Passamaquoddy
nalabégik -- both referring to the 'still, quiet' (nala--) stretch
of a river between two riffles, rapids, or cascades; --bégik, for
nipégik, means 'at the water'. On the larger rivers and watercourses
of Maine ten to twenty of these 'still water stretches' may occur on each'
(National Geographic Magazine, VIII, 1897, 23). A root -BEGA,
in the locative case -BEGAK or BEGAT, is very common in place-names of
Maine and Eastern Canada associated with standing water, as manifest by
the fact that the sixth paper of a series appearing in these transactions,
gives a list of approximately one hundred of them; and a root NOL- or NOLUM-
occurs in words meaning STILL or QUIET, referring to water (Hubbard, Woods
and Lakes of Maine, 205)." (pg. 108).
- "Thus De Costa, repeating the explanation above given by Ballard, adds
that of Sewall who makes it mean PLACE OF A FINE CITY. Sewall,
in his Ancient Dominions of Maine, made the word apply to an Indian
village westward of the Penobscot, as did an Indian mentioned by Godfrey."
- "Champlain in his Voyages of 1613 uses the form NOREMBEGUE, and
identifies the river with the Penobscot; but his personal experience showed
the falsity of the old stories, and his common sense comments, aided by
the wit of Lescarbot, swept Norumbega from the maps. It is easy to
find the source of Champlain's Norembegue, for this form of the
name, and the stories he controverts, occur in a popular book which ran
through seven editions prior to 1605 -- about the time when Champlain was
writing (Harrisse, 155), viz., Les
Voyages avantureux du Capitaine Jan Alfonce. This work was founded
on Alfonse's well-known Ms. Cosmographie of 1544, in which he describes
a cape, river, and city of NOROMBEGUE in the region of the present Maine."
- "Thus we are led back to the narrative of 1539 which says that NORUMBEGA
was the name of the country used by the inhabitants. The statement
has an air of finality, but grave difficulties attend its acceptance.
First, we know that the American Indians did not themselves use names for
extensive territories, as the civilized white man does, but only for specific
localities having some connection with their lives or interests.
Our surviving Indian names for territories were adopted and extended by
the whites from more limited geographical features." (pg. 110).
Gorges, Ferdinando. (1658). A
briefe narration of the originall undertakings of the advancement of plantations
into the parts of America. Especially showing the beginning, progress and
continuence of that of New England. E. Brudenell for Nath. Brook.,
London, England. Reprinted in 1890 by Publications of the Prince Society,
Boston, MA. W.
Grant, W.L., Ed. (1907). Voyages
of Samuel de Champlain: 1604 - 1616. Charles Scribner's Sons, NY, NY.
- "This Bashaba had many enemies, especially those to the East and North-East,
whom they called Tarentines, those to the West and South-West, were
called Sockhigones, but the Tarentines were counted a more war-like
and hardy People, and had indeed the least opportunity to make their attempts
upon them, by reason of the conveniency and opportunity of the Rivers and
Sea, which affoarded a speedy passage into the Bashabaes Country,
which was called Moasham, and that part of the Country which lay
between the Sockhigones Country and Moasham was called Apistama:
The Massachisans and Bashabaes were sometimes Friends and sometimes Enemies
as it fell out, but the Bashaba and his People seemed to be of some eminence
above the rest, in all that part of the Continent; his owne chief abode
was not far from Pemaquid, but the Warre growing more and more violent
between the Bashaba and the Tarentines ... the Tarentines suprised the
Bashaba, and slew him and all his People near about him, carrying away
his Women, and such other matters as they thought of value..." ( This quote
from Gorges was reprinted in Siebert,
1973, pg. 71.)
- Gorges or one of his associates interviewed several of the Wawenoc Indians
captured by George Waymouth. The narrative was given to Hakluyt who
died before publishing it. Samuel Purchas published it in 1625 (Morey,
Greene, Francis B. (1906). History
of Boothbay, Southport and Boothbay Harbor, Maine 1623 - 1905 with family
genealogies. Loring, Short and Harmon, Portland, ME. IS.
- Champlain's narrative of his voyages to Maine are the primary source for
the Bourque/Snow thesis that the Bashaba, titular head of the mysterious
confederacy of Mawooshen, was an Etchemin and lived on the Penobscot in
the vicinity of Bangor. (Also see Baird's
letters.) This point of view is in fact directly contradicted by the very
text that is used to verify its truth, e.g. below Champlain makes very
clear that while visiting the Bangor area he found no evidence of any significant
community of Native Americans, Etchemins being such a nomadic tribe that
they had no permanent place of residence. Champlain never explored
the rivers of Norumbega with any thoroughness, not having visited the Medomak,
Damariscotta and much of the Sheepscot basin with the exception of a single
trip to Wiscasset, where he noted Armouchiquois of a different lifestyle
and dress than the Souriquois of eastern Canada. Based upon this
lack of accurate exploration of the heartland of the Wawenocs, the conclusion
that the Native Americans living west of the Penobscot River were Etchemins
is based only upon a single encounter on the Penobscot near Bucksport and
is contradicted by a large body of oral and written history from primarily
English rather than French sources. Champlain's narrative further
supports the English point of view by the obvious error of calling the
Kennebec Indians Etechemins ("This nation of savages of Quinibequy are
called Etechemins, as well as those of Norumbegue", pg. 50.) If Champlain
thought the Kennebec Indians were Etchemins, he certainly could have easily
been mistaken about the Bashaba as well as his brethren, the Wawenocs of
"Norumbegue." The Kennebec Indians (Cannabis) are considered to be
Armouchiquois by both Antiquarian and contemporary historians.
- This controversy is given further fuel by W.L. Grant in his footnote pertaining
to the domain of the Bashaba as being in the region around Rockland, an
area Champlain called Bedabedec, see below. This footnote supports
the English and colonial observations that the stronghold of the Wawenocs
and their Bashaba was in the Pemaquid/Rockland region. The Bourque/Snow
thesis would seem to hold that the Wawenocs, in fact, never existed, were
it not for Snow's one and only comment on the Wawenocs in his Archaeology
of New England: "Wawenoc Indians, who appear in many later documents,
were simply residents of the coastal drainages between the Kennebec and
Penobscot that I have chosen to lump with the Kennebec." (pg. 61). The Wawenocs may appear in "many later documents" but seem to disappear
in contemporary texts, most graphically in that most comprehensive of all
studies of the Native Americans of North America, Trigger's Handbook
of North American Indians. In Volume 15, Snow's
chapter on the Eastern Abenaki identifies the Bashaba as an Etchemin/Penobscot
chief, with no mention of his historic association with the Wawenocs of
Mawooshen. The following observations by Champlain provide a very
meager basis for this contention.
- While visiting Mount Desert Island (Sept. 6, 1604): "On the morning of
the next day they came alongside of our barque and talked with our savages.
I ordered some biscuit, tobacco, and other trifles to be given them.
These savages had come beaver-hunting and to catch fish, some of which
they gave us. Having made an alliance with them, they guided us to
their river of Pentegoüet, [Penobscot] so called by them, where they
told us was their captain, named Bessabez, chief of this river. I
think this river is that which several pilots and historians call Norumbegue,
and which most have described as large and extensive, with very many islands."
- "The Isle des Monts Déserts forms one of the extremities of the
mouth, [of the Penobscot] on the east; the other is low land, called by
the savages Bedabedec, to the west of the former, the two being distant
from each other nine or ten leagues." (pg. 46-47).
- "Some two or three
leagues from the point of Bedabedec, as you coast northward along the main
land which extends up this river, there are very high elevations of land,
which in fair weather are seen twelve of fifteen leagues out at sea." (pg.
- The editor, W.L. Grant, adds this footnote: "An indefinite
region about Rockland and Camden, on the western bank of the Penobscot
near its mouth, appears to have been the domain of the Indian chief, Bessabez,
and was denominated Bedabedec. The Camden Hills were called the mountains
of Bedabedec and Owl's Head was called Bedabedec Point." (pg. 46).
- "And I will state that from the entrance to where we went [Bangor], about
twenty-five leagues, we saw no town, nor village, nor the appearance of
there having been one, but one or two cabins of the savages without inhabitants.
These were made in the same way as those of the Souriquois, being covered
with the bark of trees. So far as we could judge, the savages on
this river are few in number, and are called Etechemins. Moreover,
they only come to the islands, and that only during some months in summer
for fish and game, of which there is a great quantity. They are a
people who have no fixed abode, so far as I could observe and learn from
them." (pg. 48).
- Grant follows with this footnote: "The Souriquois are the Mic-Macs of Nova
Scotia. Closely akin to them were the Etechemins, who extended from
St. John, N.B., to the neighborhood of Mount Desert. South of these
were the Almouchiquois or Armouchiquois." (pg. 48).
- September 16, 1604: "The 16th of the month there came to us some thirty
savages on assurances given them by those who had served us as guides.
There came also to us the same day the above-named Bessabez with six canoes.
...Bessabez, seeing us on land, bade us sit down and began to smoke with
his companions, as they usually do before an address. They presented
us with venison and game. I directed our interpreter to say to our
savages that they should cause Bessabez, Cahahis, and their companions
to understand that Sieur de Monts had sent me to them to see them, and
also their country, and that he desired to preserve friendship with them
and to reconcile them with their enemies, the Souriquois and Canadians."
- "The 17th of the month I took the altitude, and found the latitude 45º
25'. This done, we set out for another river called Quinibequy, distant
from this place thirty-five leagues, and nearly twenty from Bedabedec.
This nation of savages of Quinibequy are called Etechemins, as well as
those of Norumbegue." (pg. 50).
- "The 20th of the month we sailed along the western coast, and passed the
mountains of Bedabedec, when we anchored. The same day we explored
the entrance to the river, where large vessels can approach; but there
are inside some reefs, to avoid which one must advance with sounding lead
in hand. Our savages left us, as they did not wish to go to Quinibequy,
for the savages of that place are great enemies to them. We sailed
some eight leagues along the western coast to an island ten leagues distant
from Quinibequy, where we were obliged to put in on account of bad weather
and contrary wind [Monhegan Island]." (pg. 51).
- "And in consideration of the small quantity of provisions which we had,
we resolved to return to our settlement [at St. Croix] and wait until the
following year, when we hoped to return and explore more extensively.
We accordingly set out on our return on the 23d of September, and arrived
at our settlement on the 2d of October following. The above is not
an exact statement of all that I have observed respecting not only the
coasts and people, but also the river of Norumbegue; and there are none
of the marvels there which some persons have described. I am of opinion
that this region is as disagreeable in winter as that of our settlement,
in which we were greatly deceived." (pg. 51-52).
Hakluyt, Richard. (1582). Divers voyages touching the
discoverie of America. London. Facsimile reprint in 1967 by Theatrum
Orbis Terraram, Amsterdam.
- Greene is one of the last of the traditional historians utilizing Williamson as a primary source of information and retaining the tribal specific name
Wawenoc for the Native American inhabitants living between the Kennebec
and Penobscot rivers.
- "The Indian inhabitants of Maine were divided into two great confederacies;
the Abenaques and the Etechemins; and the Penobscot River was the line
of demarcation. The Abenaques dwelt westerly and the Etechemins along
the banks and east of this river. The former were divided into four
large tribes; the latter into three. The Sokokis, the smallest tribe
among the Abenaques, were settled upon the Saco River; and their principal
abode was Indian Island, just above the Lower Falls, also a settlement
in the present town of Fryeburg and another on the Great Ossipee.
The Anasagunticooks dwelt along he Androscoggin River, on the west side,
from its sources to Merrymeeting Bay; their principal resort being at Pejepscot,
now Brunswick. The Canibas lived on the Kennebec River, from Norridgewock
to the sea, and Kennebis, the paramount lord of the tribe, lived on Swan
Island; but there were several other points along the river where settlements
of some size were indicated, notably at Norridgewock and Teconnet, now
Winslow. The Wawenocks occupied the remaining space between the two
great rivers, Kennebec and Penobscot, their principal settlements being
on the Sheepscot and Damariscotta..." (pg. 35).
- "The principal dwelling places of the Wawenocks must have been those spots
here and there alongshore which have shown the greatest amount of offal
deposit." (pg. 38).
- "The two great centers of Wawenock settlement were where the Damariscotta
oyster shell deposit exists and about the lower Sheepscot waters, though
there were many minor ones. Indications point to this Damariscotta
locality as the Norumbegua or Arambec of the ancients, and also as being
the residence of the Bashaba, more strongly than any other place. ... There
are several reasons why this place is indicated as the chief point in old
Mavooshen. It shows to have been the center and abode of a mighty
horde of eaters, much greater in extent than any other in America, and
one of the largest in the world; it was as nearly central in their territory
as any place that could be selected; the quality of the food was better
than any other section has shown, being oysters instead of clams, and the
ruling element usually takes the best in either civilized or barbarian
life; lastly, when the Popham and Gilbert colony was visited by a delegation
from the Bashaba, consisting of his brother Skidwares and Nahanada, extending
an invitation to visit him, a locality northerly from Pemaquid was indicated
by them, and not the lower Sheepscot, where the next greatest aggregation
of offal deposit exists." (pg. 39 - 40).
- "At the head of the cove which penetrates Sawyer's Island from the north,
more than half the distance across it, were in early times quite well-defined
cooking pots, cut in the rocks, which in later years have crumbled and
sloughed off. It is supposed that they were used for cooking maize
and vegetables by immersing hot stones in the pot holes when filled with
water and the articles to be cooked." (pg. 40).
- Commenting on Verrazzano's 1524 visit to the shores of Maine: "He skirted
the coast along, touching near the site of Portsmouth, and then made his
cruise along the shores of the Gulf of Maine. He stated that while
at the South he found the natives agreeable and gentle, here, on the Maine
coast, they were in an irritable state, rude and ill-mannered. No
navigator of his time knew better than Verrazzano just what localities
had been visited up to that date by voyagers and fishermen, and he interpreted
it at once as an indication that the Indian race, in these parts, was disaffected
from treatment they had received from European visitors. He noted
another peculiarity of the Indians on this coast, which strengthened his
suspicions; while at the South the natives were pleased with any trinket
or ornament, here they wanted nothing but fishhooks, knives, or some iron
or steel instrument that would cut, and appeared as though they had learned
the use of such articles. He concluded that European barter with
the natives had commenced before his visit." (pg. 45).
Hakluyt, Richard. (1589-1601). The principall navigations,
voiages and discoveries of the English nation. George Bishop and Ralph
Newberrie, London, England.
Hakluyt, Richard. (1877). A discourse concerning western
planting: Written in the year 1584 by Richard Hakluyt; now first printed
from a contemporary manuscript, with a preface and an introduction by Leonard
Woods, Ed., with notes in the appendix, by Charles Deane. Press of
J. Wilson, Cambridge, MA.
- The Davistown Museum library has a copy of a modern reprint in its library:
Hakluyt, Richard. (1985). Voyages and discoveries: The principal navigations
voyages, traffiques and discoveries of the English nation. Edited,
abridged and introduced by Jack Beeching, Penguin Classics, Penguin Books
Ltd., London. IS.
- See annotations in the General History Sources: Antiquarian bibliograpy.
Hardy, Kerry. (2006). Personal communications. Director of Merryspring Park, Camden, ME.
- Kerry Hardy is also the author of the essay: "Four
Guides to the Past".
- Thank you to Kerry for many helpful suggestions in the preparation of this
publication by email, telephone conversations, snail mail, carrier pigeon
and messages in a bottle.
Hardy, Kerry. (2009). Notes on a lost flute: A field guide to the Wabanaki. Down East Books, Camden, ME. IS.
- Notes on a Lost Flute is a lyrical in-depth survey of the ecology and multiplicity of natural food resources in the homeland of a major Eastern Woodlands people, specifically the Wabanaki communities of coastal Maine.
- Kerry Hardy has more knowledge of the ecology of coastal Maine in both the pre-contact and post-contact periods than any other contemporary writer or ethnohistorian, and reinforces the literary excellence of his text with his familiarity with the linguistic origins of surviving Algonquin terms and names.
- His index on this subject, “part glossary and part sounding board for some proposed translations that I think deserve further scrutiny” (pg. 137) is, along with his ecological and ethnohistoric studies and insights, a major contribution to the ongoing efforts of public schools to further the study of the indigenous communities of Maine.
- This publication is an absolutely essential component of any public, private, or home school presentation dealing with the history of Native Americans in Maine.
- “The world needs all kinds of boats and all kinds of books. This book is a canoe, and from it I hope to show you a lively mix of ancient New England and the people who lived here. We’ll see caribou and swans, oysters and sturgeon, wood lilies and groundnuts. Penobscots and Maliseets; and in true canoe fashion we’ll travel fast and light, without much baggage… the first section of the book offers compressed background history and terminology that will help you make sense of the chapters that follow. The last section discusses the sources of information that I’ve relied on in my research.” (pg. 10).
- “After three years of intensive study of [the Wabanaki community of Maine’s] history, language, culture, and ecology… I hope that these resurrected glimpses of an original American landscape and its people do justice to both.” (pg. 11).
- “Do not assume that these accounts offer pictures of precontact Maine. They don’t. The Maine that Rosier and Davies saw was a war zone, and had been for a period of years. Tremendous upheavals had taken place in the prior century, and bigger ones were still to come, as different native factions struggled to control trade and gain influence with the Europeans.” (pg. 45).
- “The five natives that Waymouth kidnapped and took back to England described a confederacy called Mawooshen that represented the peak of Abenaki influence over their eastern neighbors. It seems to have spread eastward quickly, and it would retreat just as quickly in the following two decades as the Micmac and Maliseet, or ‘Tarrantines’ as their enemies knew them, pushed back. The years from 1607 to 1615 marked the height of the struggle, and the culminating battle saw the death of a legendary figure known alternately as Bessabes, Beshabe, Bashabas, or The Bashaba.” (pg. 46).
- “The Sebasticook traditionally had the most spectacular alewife runs in the state, and it flows through miles of rich alluvial soils that were, and are, perfectly suited for cornfields. Such a location would jibe with the Penobscot oral tradition that their ancestors traveled west along the Sebasticook each spring and fall to plant and harvest corn in cooperation with Kennebec River natives.” (pg. 65-6).
- “I’m no archaeologist, but I do have a pretty strong belief that corn was just about everywhere on the Maritime Peninsula by 1550.” (pg. 69).
- A final interesting word is Etchemin, which is how Champlain and Lescarbot’s Micmacs referred to those living west of them. The first two syllables of this word, preserved today in the Passamaquoddy word skidjim, mean simply Indian; but the final syllable of –min usually indicates a seed of some kind. Consider the following names for Indian corn collected from various groups around New England (collector in parentheses): weatchiminneash (Trumbull), eachimmineach (Cotton), ∞iatchimanes (Mathevet), ew-chim-neash (Williams). Calling groups to their west ‘corn-growers’ would make sense for the Micmacs in 1605 – they had abandoned the practice by then, as they told Lescarbot, but the Abenaki (and probably the Meductic Maliseets) had not.” (pg. 75).
- A compelling reanimation and reexamination of one of America’s richest ecological bioregion 400 years before the dawn of the age of biocatastrophe. A most important addition to the ethnohistorical literature reviewed in this publication.
- (pg. 58)
Hoffman, Bernard G. (November 1955).
Souriquois, Etechemin, and Kwedech -- a lost chapter in American ethnography. Ethnohistory.
Hubbard, William. (1677). The present state of New-England:
Being a narrative of the troubles with the Indians in New-England from
Pascataqua to Pemmaquid. London. Facsimile reproduction with introduction
by Cecelia Tichi in 1972, York Mail-Print, Bainbridge, NY.
- "...historical evidence that at the time of the Cartier voyages the St.
Lawrence Iroquois of the Montreal-Quebec-Tadoussac region were engaged
in an ancient war against southern Indians named by them Toudaman..." (pg.
- "... legendary but consistent materials from the Micmac of Nova Scotia
and New Brunswick to the effect that they were one engaged in a bitter
war with Iroquois Indians named by them Kwedech..." (pg. 79).
- "After the great plague of 1617 a large section of the Etchemin country
was completely depopulated and was reoccupied by Abnaki-speaking peoples
moving in from the west, and by Micmac-speaking peoples moving in from
the northeast. The Abnaki speakers eventually coalesced into the
Abnaki of the Kennebec and Penobscot drainages." (pg. 79-80). This is not presently considered an accurate summary of intertribal movements
in the seventeenth century.
- Hoffman is the first of the revisionists asserting Etchemin occupation
of the Wawenoc territory between the Kennebec and Penobscot rivers.
The map he published with his Ph.D. thesis is reproduced in the Maps Appendix
of Norumbega Reconsidered and is a precursor
of the Bourquian revolution that began in 1989. This interpretation of
the ethnicity of the central Maine coast would imply that there was no
Wawenoc community prior to the great pandemic and that Abenaki occupation
east of the Saco River is a post-pandemic event.
Hubbard, William. (1865). The history of the Indian
Wars in New England, from the first settlement to the termination of the
war with King Phillip 1677. (Originally published in 1680?) 2 vols.
Dranke, S.G., Ed., W. Eliot Woodward, Roxbury, MA.
Innis, Harold A. (1962). The fur
trade in Canada. Yale University Press, New Haven, CT.
Island Institute. (November 2004). One Land - Two Worlds:
Maine. Mawooshen 1605-2005: The 400th Anniversary of George Waymouth's
Voayage to New England. Rockland, Maine. IS.
- "The fur trade in the first half of the sixteenth century was of minor
importance and incidental to fishing. By the end of the century a
revolution had occurred and the agricultural Indians of the Huron-Iroquois
family had been driven from the St. Lawrence valley apparently by hunting
Indians." (pg. 12).
- "Once they had secured access to a source of iron supplies, more primitive
implements disappeared and the methods of making them were forgotten.
Guns displaced bows and arrows. They required periodic mending and
ammunition was in constant demand. As old cultural traits fell gradually
into disuse and old ways of getting a livelihood were forgotten, the Indian
became increasingly dependent on the products of the specialized equipment
of Europe and increasingly dependent upon his supply of furs." (pg. 17-18).
- "Indian middlemen were able to exercise greater bargaining power over more
remote tribes with the use of European weapons. Consequently, they
were extremely jealous of any attempt of the French or the Dutch to trade
guns with these remote tribes. On the other hand, a supply of guns
for more remote tribes enabled the European trader to break the monopoly
of the middlemen. The net result was continuous and destructive warfare.
The disastrous results of these cultural changes were shown further in
the spread of European diseases, especially smallpox, and the decimation
of the Indians." (pg. 21).
Jennings, Francis. (1975). The invasion of America:
Indians, colonialism and the cant of conquest. University of North
Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, NC. IS.
Johnston, John. (1873). A history
of Bristol and Bremen. Joel Munsell, Albany, NY.
- "The invaders of strange continents assumed an innate and absolute superiority
over all other peoples because of divine endowment; their descendants would
eventually secularize the endowment to claim it from nature instead of
God, but would leave its absolute and innate qualities unchanged." (pg.
- "Decent men with pigmentless skins no longer overtly espouse delusions
of peculiar grandeur, but the myths created by the cant of conquest endure
in many forms to mask the terrible tragedy that was Europe's glory." (pg.
- "The historian cannot wholly free himself from the outlook of his own cultural
tradition. In perceiving and reflecting upon the interaction of two
cultures, he necessarily adopts a viewpoint somewhere in his own.
The idea of a neutral ethnohistory is itself a product of the scientific
tradition of European culture. Because of this inescapable bias of
outlook, reinforced by the historian's dependence for source materials
on the literate Europeans' corpus of documents, it seems desirable to make
a special effort of imagination to see things as Indians might." (pg. 14).
- "European explorers and invaders discovered an inhabited land.
Had it been pristine wilderness then, it would possibly be so still today,
for neither the technology nor the social organization of Europe in the
sixteenth and seventeenth centuries had the capacity to maintain, of its
own resources, outpost colonies thousands of miles from home. Incapable
of conquering true wilderness, the Europeans were highly competent in the
skill of conquering other people, and that is what they did. They
did not settle a virgin land. They invaded and displaced a resident
population." (pg. 15).
- "The basic conquest myth postulates that America was virgin land, or wilderness,
inhabited by nonpeople called savages; that these savages were creatures
sometimes defined as demons, sometimes as beasts 'in the shape of men';
that their mode of existence and cast of mind were such as to make them
incapable of civilization and therefore of full humanity; that civilization
was required by divine sanction or the imperative of progress to conquer
the wilderness and make it a garden; that the savage creatures of the wilderness,
being unable to adapt to any environment other than the wild, stubbornly
and viciously resisted God or fate, and thereby incurred their suicidal
extermination; that civilization and its bearers were refined and ennobled
in their contest with the dark powers of the wilderness; and that it all
was inevitable." (pg. 15).
- "Unfortunately, however, the price of repressing scruples has been the
suppression of facts." (pg. 15).
- "The so-called settlement of America was a resettlement, a reoccupation
of a land made waste by the diseases and demoralization introduced by the
newcomers." (pg. 30).
- "A basic rule was that any given Englishman at any given time formed his
views in accordance with his purposes. ...In short, like the most modern
of architects, the Englishman devised the savage's form to fit his function."
- "Before European invasion most eastern Indians subsisted largely on the
products of their farms and fishing. A nutritionist has concluded
that the Indians of southern New England ate only about half as much meat
per capita as Americans do today. A Dutch colonist reported that
the Indians 'do not eat a satisfactory meal' without cornmeal mush. (pg.
- "...as has been noticed, Indians created pasture land that attracted grazing
animals. After contact with Europeans some Indians came to speak
of the deer as their 'sheep.' ... Indian pasture was made by communal effort,
English by private. Actually the colonists of the early contact period
avoided the heavy labor of clearing woods whenever possible, bending their
chief efforts instead to acquiring the lands already cleared by Indians."
- "Whether hunters or farmers, all Indian bands or other organized community
groups lived in territories marked by specific natural boundaries such
as mountains or streams. Their lives were governed by cycles of movement
within their territories. When fish shoaled, plants fruited, and
animals seasonally migrated, Indians revisited familiar spots. Both
hunters and farmers gathered at certain seasons in tribal centers or villages
for the performance of unifying rituals and public business as well as
for simple sociability." (pg. 67).
- "Whether searching for food or commodity, the Indian hunter always returned
after the chase to his native village." (pg. 71-72).
- "About the journey to distant hunting territories, two facts may be noted:
the hunters moved over networks of trails that were soundly enough laid
out to serve as the basis for the wagon roads and automobile highways of
times to come; and the journey was made in all sorts of weather." (pg.
- "The collapse of intertribal trade in Indian commodities surely contributed
to a general increase in hostilities by establishing competition as a greater
source of advantage than cooperation. There can be no doubt at all
of the increase in hostilities stimulated by the arrangements of the new
trade with Europeans. Although the resulting carnage has been called
the 'beaver wars,' it might be as justifiably called the 'firearm wars,'
'kettle wars,' or 'blanket wars.'" (pg. 95).
Josephy, Alvin M. Jr. (1991). The Indian heritage of America.
The American Heritage Library. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, MA. IS.
- " Capt. Levett too, who visited Capmanwagan (now Southport), in the winter
of 1623, and saw there numbers of the Pemaquid Indians, with Samosett their
chief, frequently speaks of beaver and otter skins as common articles of
trade." (pg. 13).
- "Those who first became acquainted with the natives of this region speak
of a bashaba, or great ruler, whose authority extended over many
tribes, and the sachems of those several tribes acknowledging him as their
common sovereign. The country over which he ruled was called Mavooshen, and
probably extended from the Piscataqua river to the Penobscot or even farther
east. The chief residence of the bashaba is said, by some,
to have been at Pemaquid, but by others it is thought to have been somewhere
on the Penobscot. If his residence was on the Penobscot, it is certain
that he belonged to the Abenakis; and it is probable that he was slain,
and his kingdom broken up, during the wars between the western and the
eastern Indians, about 1612-1617." (pg. 14).
- "It is certain that he was living and in full possession of his acknowledged
authority, in the autumn of 1607, when the Popham expedition made their
landing at the mouth of the Kennebec. They had been there only a
few days when a large company of the natives, in nine canoes, made them
a visit: and among them were Nahanada and Skidwares, both of whom had spent
some time in England, having been kidnapped by Waymouth two years before.
The Indians were desirous that the white men should make a visit to the bashaba,
for whom they appeared to entertain great respect; and it was arranged
that Capt. Gilbert, commander of one of the ships of the expedition, with
some attendants, should be sent as representatives of the colony. ... On
account of several unfavorable circumstances, it was six days before Capt.
Gilbert and company reached Pemaquid, when they found, to their great mortification,
Nahanada, and the other Indians, whom he expected to accompany him, had
already departed for the Penobscot, where the bashaba resided.
They immediately followed, in the hope of joining their Indian friends
in the immediate precinct of the bashaba's court; but having spent
two days in a vain search for the mouth of the river, and their supply
of provisions failing, they turned again to the new settlement." (pg. 14-15).
- "But the tribe more especially interesting to us, in connection with this
work, was the Wawenocks, whose territory extended along the coast,
from the mouth of the Kennebec, on the west, to the river St. George, on
the east, and perhaps quite to the Penobscot. The great bashaba is
believed to have been of this tribe. Their principal residence, when
the European adventurers first became acquainted with them, was probably
near Pemaquid, but, at a later period, it was at Sheepscott, and they became
known as the Sheepscott Indians. According to Capt. Francis,
a Penobscot chief, the name Wanneocks, or Wawenocks signifies fearing
nothing, very brave, which seems to accord well with their general
character. Smith, who visited the place in 1614, says; 'they were
active, strong, healthful, and very witty. The men had a perfect
constitution of body, were of comely proportion, and quite athletic.
They would row their canoes faster with five paddles than our own men would
our boats with eight oars.'" (pg. 16).
- "The people of this tribe were, like the Kennebec Indians, more mild and
gentle in their dispositions, and less inclined to war than some of the
neighboring tribes; and for many years no serious difficulty occurred between
them and the English. So far as is known, the Wawenocks and Kennebecs,
were always on good terms with each other, and in the Indian wars, they
were always allies." (pg. 16).
- "In the great and devastating Indian war, which, as we have seen, occurred
about 1615 or 1616, the Wawenocks were greatly reduced; and the dreadful
epidemic of 1617, affected them still more seriously. Nothing is
heard of the great bashaba, after this period, and it is supposed that
he was slain in the war. From this time, they gradually dwindled
away; and according to Douglass, in 1747, there were only two or three
families remaining. These, a year or two afterwards, emigrated to
Canada, and joined themselves with the St. Francis Indians." (pg. 16).
Judd, Richard W., Churchill, Edwin A. and Eastman, Joel,
W. Eds. (1995). Maine: The pine tree state from prehistory
to the present. University of Maine Press, Orono, ME. IS.
- This history is frequently cited in Norumbega
Reconsidered. See in particular the preface, which provides an overview
of recent Maine history texts and their relationship to the questions of
ethnicity discussed in this text.
- Comments and observations by Harold Prins are quoted within Norembega Reconsidered;
see in particular, for example, our comments on this text in the chapter
entitled "The Current Paradigm".
Kimball, Kessi Waters. (Fall 2011). From earth to hearth: A ceramic analysis of the Ewing-Bragdon site collection. The Maine Archaeological Society Bulletin. 51(2). pg. 29-51. IS.
Kimball, Michael J. (Spring 2011). Saving Skwaasutek: Collaborations on the investigation and protection of Washington County’s endangered rock art. The Maine Archaeological Society Bulletin. 51(1). pg. 13-28. IS.
Leach, Douglas Edward. (1958). Flintlock and
tomahawk: New England in King Philip's War. The Norton
Library, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., New York, NY. IS.
Lepore, Jill. (1998). The name of war: King Philip's
War and the origins of American identity. Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., NY,
Lescarbot, Marc. (1609). Les Muses de la Nouvelle France:
à Monseigneur le Chancellier. Chez Jean Millot, Paris.
Lescarbot, Marc. (1609). Nova Francia: A description of
Acadia, 1606. P. Erondelle, tr. London. Reprinted in 1928 by Routledge,
- This contains Lescarbot's poem recounting a Native American battle that
is discussed in the Davistown Museum publication Norumbega Reconsidered.
- This text is available online at Early
Lescarbot, Marc. (1911-1914). The history of New France
(1609-1612). 3 vols. The Champlain Society, Toronto, Canada.
Lescarbot, Marc. (1974). The defeat of the Armouchiquois
savages by Chief Membertou and his savage allies. Translated by Thomas
Goetz. In: Papers of the sixth Algonquian conference, Cowan, William,
Ed. Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. pg. 141-179.
Levett, Christopher. (1847). Voyage into New England,
begun in 1623, and ended in 1624. (1628). Collections of Maine
Historical Society (CMeHS), 1st series, vol. 2, Portland, Maine. pg.
Locke, John L. (1859). Sketches
of the history of the town of Camden, Maine; including incidental references
to the neighboring places and adjacent waters. Masters, Smith and Co.,
Hallowell, ME. IS.
Maine Indian Program. (1989). The Wabanakis of Maine
and the Maritimes: A resource book about Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, Maliseet,
Micmac and Abenaki Indians. Maine Indian Program of the New England
Regional Office of the American Friends Service Committee, Bath, ME. IS.
McBride, Bunny. (1999). Women of
the dawn. University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, NB. IS.
- "An excellent resource for classroom use. Includes lesson plans for
grades 4-8. Developed as a cooperative venture with the tribal education
committees in Maine." (Ray, The
Indians of Maine, pg. 33).
- Pages D-8 and D-9 summarize the names used by Europeans to refer to different
Wabanaki groups. This program makes the following classifications
which are generally followed today in most contemporary texts: Micmacs,
Maliseets, Passamaquoddies, Penobscots, the four groups that survive today
in Maine. Major groups in Maine that no longer survive are listed
as Kennebecs, Androscoggins and Sacos. Emigrants to Canada include
the Becancour Abenakis (Quebec), the St. Francis Abenakis (Quebec) and
the Swanton Abenakis in Vermont. Wawenocs are listed twice, first
under Kennebecs but in parentheses (as extinct?) then as Becancour Abenakis,
where the few Wawenoc survivors went in the 18th century.
- In the above listing Androscoggins are noted as including Arosaguntacooks
and Anasaguntacooks, both in parentheses. Survivors of both of these
tribes emigrated to Quebec and are also listed as St. Francis Indians.
The Saco Indians are listed as including Presumpscots, Pigwackets and Pequawkets.
- Here, as elsewhere, Wabanaki is defined as "People of the Dawn".
- "Historians are unable to agree on just where different groups of Wabanaki
people were living in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and early eighteenth
centuries. Written records are confusing, for Europeans were not
always able to distinguish among Wabanaki groups, nor were they familiar
with areas that were far from their settlements or the coast. In addition,
many areas were used by more than one Wabanaki group, something that Europeans
did not always recognize." (pg. D-4).
- The editors of this book illustrate the above observation by giving an
ethnohistoric description of the inhabitants of Maine in 1590 as containing
two groups: Abenaki-Pennacook, living east of the Kennebec River as far
as the Merrimac River, with all the remaining lands of Maine, including
its coastal regions, as Etchemin. No reference is made to Wawenocs
on this map. (pg. D-4). This misinformation is followed by
a more accurate map of native territories in 1700 that lists Micmac, Maliseet-Passamaquoddy
and Penobscot as survivors along with St. Francis Abenaki with a tiny foothold
at the mouth of the Kennebec. The remaining sections of central and
southern New England are listed as "cleared of Indians" by 1700.
- "Later movements of Native people were in response to epidemics, English
settlement, and warfare. ... The purpose of including these contradictory
maps is not to confuse, but to introduce the idea that Wabanaki and other
Native cultures were not static, as well as to point out the fact that
many issues in Wabanaki history are just beginning to be addressed today."
- Another among many texts which perpetuate the erasure of the tribal identity
of the Wawenoc Indians.
- This book is the subject of the exhibition "Four Mollys: Women of the Dawn"
at the Abbe Museum, Bar Harbor,
Maine, opening January 31, 2002.
- "Native American women have played critical roles in assuring the economic,
social, religious, and political well-being and survival of their tribes,
despite their repeated absence in the written record." (pg. 135).
- "Women of the Dawn tells the stories of four remarkable Wabanaki
Indian women who lived in northeast America during the four centuries that
devastated their traditional world. Their courageous responses to
tragedies brought on by European contact make up the heart of the book."
- "The narrative begins with Molly Mathilde, a mother, a peacemaker, and
the daughter of a famous chief. ...she provided a vital link for
her people through her marriage to the French baron of St. Castin.
- The saga continues with the shrewd and legendary healer Molly Ockett and
the reputed witchwoman Molly Molasses. The final chapter belongs
to Molly Dellis Nelson (known as Spotted Elk), a celebrated performer on
European stages who lived to see the dawn of Wabanaki cultural renewal
in the modern era." (jacket).
- On Molly Mathilde (Pidianiske) McBride notes, "Her mother was an Abenaki
from a chieftain family of the Kennebec River valley to the southwest.
Her father [Madockawando] was a Maliseet whose band roamed between the
Penobscot and the St. John Rivers to the northeast." The identity
and tribal affiliation of Molly's mother is never made clear.
- "In fact, it was the ship of Giovanni da Verrazano, an Italian navigator
hired by the king of France in 1524 to find a passage to China. In
the course of the century, a handful of other European explorers steered
ships into Penobscot Bay and nosed around the river's mouth. Their
brief encounters with Penobscot River folk were fraught with tension as
well as mutual wonder, and they almost always included a bit of ceremonial
barter. These early visits enlivened stories told around wigwam hearths,
but otherwise life here continued as it had for more than a hundred thousand
- This passage, in conjunction with the synopsis on the jacket: "...in the
mid-1600s, when Wabanakis first experienced the full effects of colonial
warfare, disease, and displacement." reflect the current disinclination
of some contemporary ethnohistorians to confront and document the tumultuous
and disastrous encounter of Native Americans in Maine with Europeans that
occurred before 1620. It remains a disconcerting conceit of white
Europeans that the "full effects" of contact occurred after 1650.
The more convivial encounter implied in this excellent text omits mention
of the death of 90% of the Wabanakis living east of the Penobscot during
the 1617 epidemic.
- "One thing seems clear. If we limit ourselves to documented records
alone, the life histories of Native American women -- especially those
who lived prior to this century -- will remain largely unwritten.
Neither diplomats nor warriors, they were not on the cutting edge of tribal
relations with those members of colonial society who kept written record
of individuals and events. Rarely and barely noted, they remain hidden
beyond the historical horizon. Yet it seems obvious that these women,
as much as native men, participated in the struggle for survival from generation
to generation. They too made vital choices concerning adaptation
and resistance in the face of colonial aggression. If we make no
effort to research the stories of Native American women and incorporate
them into the wider historical picture, our images of the past will remain
incomplete and therefore inaccurate." (pg. 138-189).
McBride, Bunny and Prins, Harald E. L. (2009). Indians in Eden: Wabanakis and rusticators on Maine's Mount Desert Island, 1840s-1920s. Down East Books, Camden, ME. IS.
- "As 'People of the Dawn,' Wabanakis were organized in bands of extended families, each forming part of larger ethnic groups called tribes or nations. Today, Wabanakis are divided into five distinct tribes: Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, Maliseet, Mi'kmaq, and Abenaki." (pg. 1).
- "One of their favorite sites was strategically located at Manchester Point (Northeast Harbor) by the entrance to Somes Sound. In the early 1600s, Wabanaki families under the leadership of Chief Asticou camped here in the summer. Other long-used coastal sites in Asticou's domain can be found at Bar Harbor and Hull's Cove, as well as on neighboring islands such as Great Cranberry, Swan's, Gotts, and Long, and also on the shores of Blue Hill Bay (such as Naskeag Point or nearby Flye Point). Included among the dozens of additional encampment sites in this domain is one by the Union River near Ellsworth Falls and another at Waukeag Neck on upper Frenchman Bay." (pg. 3).
Miller, Virginia. (Spring 1976). Aboriginal
Micmac population: A review of the evidence. Ethnohistory. 23(2).
pg. 117-127. IS.
Mitchell, Harbour, III and Spiess, Arthur E. (Spring
2002). Early archaic bifurcate base point occupation in the St. George
River valley. The Maine Archaeological Society Bulletin. 42(1). pg. 15-24. IS.
- This is a particularly important journal article because it discusses and
documents extensive dislocations in the Micmac populations of eastern Canada
in the mid to late 16th century due to the trauma of contact and trade
with the French. Of particular interest is the impact of European
diseases well before the great pandemic of 1616 - 1619 that devastated
the coastal populations of Native Americans in New England including the
- Also discussed is the immediate deleterious impact of trade goods and their
effective undermining of the traditional subsistence patterns of the Micmacs.
Rampant alcoholism among the Micmacs is well documented prior to any European
contact with the Indians of Maine.
- Miller's most significant observation pertains to the availability and
use of firearms by the Micmacs, which were provided by the French in trade
for furs. The combination of the intense demand for beaver pelts
and other furs and the availability of firearms to the Micmacs appears
to have played a major role in the later attacks (1607 f.) of the Micmacs
(Souriquois) on the Indians of Massachusetts, the Saco River and the Wawenoc
Moorehead, Warren K. (1922). A
report on the archeology of Maine: Being a narrative of explorations in
that state, 1912-1920, together with work at Lake Champlain, 1917. Department
of Anthropology, Phillips Academy, Andover, MA.
- "Site 28.53 is a multi-component site located along
a section of the St. George River known as Hart's Falls in Warren, Maine.
Site 28.53 represents only a small percentage of a much larger archaeological
presence along the Harts Falls section of the river. This presence, herein
referred to as the Hart's Fall Archaeological Complex, is believed to involve
at least 25,000m2 of surface area, and can extend to at least 80cm below
surface in stratified alluvium." (pg. 15).
- The Hart's Falls archaeological complex may be among
the most important Native American village sites in central coastal Maine.
Warren K. Moorehead excavated a number of cemetery sites in this location
in the 1920's (1922 - A Report on the Archaeology of Maine). The
whole complex was subject to extensive vandalism and pot hunting throughout
the 19th century, as well as to extensive further collecting after Moorehead's
excavations. Mitchell and Spiess note the Overlock and Archie McLaughlin
collection - dozens of other individuals have collected artifacts during
the 20th century from this, one of the largest and longest inhabited archaeological
sites in the midcoast area.
- Part of this extensive site includes the "Wowinak",
a Penobscot term for "loop in the river", this is the probable location
of what may have been the largest of all Wawenoc semipermanent village
sites. Mitchell and Spiess note a radiocarbon age of 9030 years B.P. in
charcoal infused paleosol; evidence of nearly continuous settlement is
noted through the late ceramic period.
- Numerous references are made to a residence of the
bashaba, chief of the confederacy of Mawooshen, by early writers beginning
with Rosier, Gorges etc., as being located to the north of Pemaquid, but
inland and to the west of Penobscot Bay. The root of the word "Wawenoc",
according to Snow (1980), is the Penobscot word "Wowinak" - "loop in the
river" - the exact location of the Hart's Falls archaeological complex
on the St. George River. Could this be the location of the ancient "Arambec",
a term possibly synonymous with "Norumbega". Europeans called the
whole section of the Maine mid coast "Norumbega": Native Americans allegedly
never used generalized regional names, but only metaphors as specific place
names. Hart's Falls: a most intriguing component of Norumbega Reconsidered.
Morey, David C. (May 2005). The
Voyage of Archangell: James Rosier's Account of the Waymouth Voyage of
1605 - A True Relation. Tilbury House, Publishers, Gardiner, Maine. IS.
- One of the important early sources of information on the archaeology of
Maine, Moorehead is also considered in some circles to epitomize the era
of "vandalism archaeology". His famous cursory hit and run excavations
of important Red Paint cemetaries destroyed much more archaeological evidence
than they uncovered. He is nonetheless immortalized by the use of
his name as in "Moorehead phase" to describe the Red Paint culture of Maine.
This archaic culture, which utilized red ochre in its burials, is much
more appropriately called Maine Maritime Archaic, and differs slightly
from its nearby cousin, the Canadian Maritime Archaic. For more comments
on the confusing and sometimes inappropriate titles of the prehistoric
cultures of Maine, see the chronologies listed in the Historical
- Moorehead made significant finds at the Halls Falls Archaeological complex
on the St. Georges River: see the essay "Wawinak" in Norumbega
Morison, Samuel Eliot, Ed. (1963). Of Plymouth Plantation: 1620 - 1647 by William Bradford:
A new edition. Alfred A. Knopf, New York, NY. IS.
- Published in May 2005, this text is a comprehensive
essay on the background of George Waymouth's 1605 voyage to the Maine coast
and is particularly helpful in explaining the historical context of the
journey as one of a series of trips to "North" Virginia for the purpose
of both exploration and settlement sponsored by private but well connected
English entrepreneurs like Sir John Popham and Sir Fernando Gorges.
- Morey presents persuasive arguments for Penobscot
River and not the St. Georges as the river explored by Waymouth and observed
by Rosier. In one fell swoop, Morey has altered wide-spread perception
based on the writings of Prince and Cushing in the 19th century that Waymouth
explored the St. George River.
- Excellent annotations of the Rosier's "A True Relation",
Rosier's account of the Waymouth voyage of 1605: an exact description of
the specific islands, harbors, and campsites of Waymouth's visit.
- Morey makes interesting comments on Samoset, as one
of the native Americans kidnapped by Waymouth, and also as son of Mentaurmet,
"Sagamore of Mebamocago" (Indian town island, Boothbay) pg. 101, as well
a brother of Tehanedo, one of the other Wawenocs captured by Waymouth.
Morley avoids mentioning the word "Etchemin", but following English sources,
as well as Rosier's narration, clearly describes the Native Americans visiting
Waymouth as occupying a village at the tip of Cushing's Pleasant Point
(Segocket, map pg. 39), as well as to the west at Pemaquid and on
the Sheepscot River. Samoset's father is noted as the same Sagamore visited
by Champlain the previous year (1604) at Wiscasset.
- Excerpts from this publication are reprinted in the
Penobscot maritime Museum's Summer Symposium on Waymouth's voyage, "One
Land - Two Worlds: Maine - Mawooshen 1605-2005". The excellent museum exhibition
provides a nice introduction to the land of Mawooshen, while at the same
time, utilizes Lescarborts 1606 map of the coast of Maine, showing both
Norumbega as a village site near Bangor, and the Etchemins as living in
the area between the Penobscot and Kennebec Rivers occupied by the Wawenoc
(Abenaki) indians kidnapped by Waymouth.
- A number of excerpts from this publication are quoted
within the main text of Norumbega Reconsidered.
Morison, Samuel Eliot. (1971). The
European discovery of America: The northern voyages A.D. 500-1600. Oxford University Press, NY. IS.
- Samuel Eliot Morison's annotations, introductions and comments make this
the most useful republication of Bradford's history of Plymouth Plantation.
A number of quotations from both Morison and Bradford are excerpted in
the text of the Norumbega Reconsidered essay.
- One among many of Morison's interesting footnotes illustrates the extent
of the pandemic of 1617 that swept the New England coast, wiping out the
entire population of the Patuxet tribe living at Plymouth with the exception
of Squanto, who apparently had been to England, learned the English language
and may have acquired immunity to the pathogens that caused the pandemic.
"Squanto or Tisquantum appears to have been the sole survivor of the Patuxet
tribe. Kidnapped there by Capt. Thomas Hunt in 1614, he had the curious
career that Bradford says; he jumped Capt. Dermer's ship in 1618 and made
his way to the site of Plymouth, where he found himself to be the sole
survivor of his tribe, wiped out in the pestilence of 1617." (footnote,
Morris, Gerald E., Ed. (1976). Maine
bicentennial atlas: An historical survey. The Maine Historical Society,
Portland, ME. IS.
- Morison is one of the first and most vocal advocates of the myth of Norumbega
-- that is, the concept of Norumbega is a conceit that is entirely the
invention of European explorers hoping to duplicate the treasure troves
that the Spanish explorers found in south America. Morison's point
of view reappears again and again in contemporary Maine history texts,
most especially in Baker, et. al. American
- Most interesting considering his disparagement of the myth of Norumbega
is his repeated descriptions of what Norumbega meant to Native Americans.
"Norumbega, apart from the name, which means 'quiet place between two rapids'
in Algonkin, was wholly created by European imagination." (pg. 464).
- Later in the notes to the same chapter Morison says "Nolumbeka in
the Abnaki tongue means either a stretch of quiet water between two rapids,
or a succession of rapids interspersed by still waters. This exactly
fits the Penobscot River above Bangor." (pg. 488).
- In view of the stubborn insistence of contemporary Maine historians, including
Morison, a long time resident of Northeast Harbor and author of the wonderfully
brief History of Mount Desert Island, that
Norumbega is a myth of European origin, one can't help but ask the following
question: what's so controversial about Norumbega meaning exactly what
the Algonquin Native American community in Maine described it as: quiet
waters between or near waterfalls? The Algonquin description not
only matches the Penobscot River, it even more exactly describes the vast
network of bays and river basins lying between the Kennebec and Penobscot
River. It especially describes the Damariscotta Lakes region and
the areas of the Damariscotta shell middens, which by long oral tradition
have always been considered the heart of Norumbega. The region between
the Kennebec and the Penobscot is a virtual archaeological treasure trove
of accidental durable remnants left by the thousands of residents in the
numerous tide water villages of Mawooshen. The Penobscot is the focus
of the European myth, but there is much less archaeological evidence for
an extensive community of Native Abenaki in the late pre-historic period
in this area.
- See our excerpts from Morison in the General
History: Contemporary Sources bibliography and Ancient
Pemaquid essays. Also see our information file on Morison's excellent
description of the wet and dry fisheries of Labrador and Newfoundland, as well as Morison's colorful description
of David Ingram's trek through Maine
from the gulf coast and the role he played in the evolution of the myth
Morrison, Kenneth M. (1984). The
embattled northeast: The elusive ideal of alliance in Abenaki-Euramerican
relations. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA.
- "The Wawennocks, although seen several times by explorers in the Pemaquid
region, are not included on Plate Six because it seems probable that they
were members of the larger Kennebec or Penobscot sub-tribes, most likely
the former. If so, they would have summered in the Pemaquid region
and then moved inland during the winter season." (pg. 3).
- See the other annotations for this
text in the Maine History: Primary Sources bibliography, comments about its information on early settlers' trading posts in the Introduction
to the Ancient Pemaquid section and some of the plates in the Maps section: geography
of ancient Pemaquid.
Nicolar, Joseph. (1893). The life and traditions
of the red man. C.H. Glass, Printers, Bangor, ME. W.
- "Abenaki refers to the various tribes that inhabited the river basins of
New Hampshire, Maine, and New Brunswick. From west to east these
peoples were the Pennacook, Saco, Androscoggin, Kennebec, Wawenock, Penobscot,
Passamaquoddy, and Maliseet." (pg. 5).
- "According to English documents, the westernmost Abenaki--Pennacook, Saco,
and Androscoggin--bore the brunt of the first war with New England and
their self-defense ignited the second. After that, little is known
about them. During the third war most migrated to Canadian mission
villages or went to live with eastern neighbors." (pg. 5).
- "With the destruction of Norridgewock during the fourth war the Penobscots
emerged as leaders of a new intertribal alliance." (pg. 5).
- "Pressed by hostile frontiersmen and by English expectations that they
submit, the Abenaki found themselves fighting a defensive war." (pg. 89).
- "This extension of King Philip's War spelled an ecological disaster for
the Abenaki. In the first place, it undercut the tribes' postcontact
hunting economy, which by 1675 required European arms and ammunition. ...Faced
with English refusal to sell them ammunition, the Abenaki experienced a
severe shortage of major food sources. To make matters worse, the
war also threatened Abenaki horticulture. In the fall of 1675 the
English settlers so frightened the Kennebec that they fled to the Penobscot
River, leaving their fields unharvested. Finally, the war barred
the Abenaki from access to the animal and marine resources of their coastal
lands. The Wawenock, who could not withdraw because of the short
rivers of their territory, found themselves hard pressed by English hostiles
who controlled the shore near Pemaquid peninsula." (pg. 89).
Parkman, Francis. (1865). France
and England in North America: Volume 1: Pioneers of France in the New World;
The Jesuits in North America in the Seventeenth Century; La Salle and the
Discovery of the Great West; The Old Regime in Canada. The Library
of America, New York, NY. Reprint in 1983 of the first four volumes of
what was originally an 8 volume set. IS.
Penhallow, Samuel. (1726). The history of the wars of
New-England with the Eastern Indians, or a narrative of their continued
perfidy and cruelty, from the 10th of August 1703, to the peace renewed
13th of July, 1713. And from the 25th of July, 1722, to their submission
15th December, 1725, which was ratified August 5th, 1726. Boston Edition.
Reprinted in 1859 with a memoir, notes and appendix for Wm. Dodge by J.
Harpel, corner Third & Vine Sts., Cincinnati, OH.
- Parkman has important observations pertaining to the Abenaki communities
in Maine, whose existence has been questioned by Bourque and others. Commenting on the Jesuits in North America, Parkman recounts the several
journeys of the Jesuit Druilletes on his missions to Maine. The Abenakis,
after visiting the Christian Indians of Sillery near Quebec, requested
that a missionary be sent. Druilletes first trip was in August of
1646 where he "reached the waters of the Kennebec and descended to the
Abenaqui villages" (pg. 624). After visiting the trading post at
Augusta, he continued to the Penobscot, where he found "several Capuchin
friars, under their superior Father Ignace" (pg. 624) who were apparently
acting as missionaries to the Penobscot Indians.
- Three years later, in the summer of 1650, he again visited the Kennebec
and went as an envoy charged with the negotiation of a treaty pertaining
to the second round of intertribal fur trade wars now so widespread in
New York and southeastern Canada. While his attempt to get the colony
of Massachusetts to join in opposition to the marauding Mohawks failed,
Parkman has this interesting comment: "Druilletes set forth from Quebec
with a Christian chief of Sillery, crossed forests, mountains, and torrents,
and reached Norridgewock, the highest Abenaqui settlement on the Kennebec.
Thence he descended to the English trading-house at Augusta, where his
fast friend, the puritan Winslow, gave him a warm welcome." (pg. 626).
- Parkman in his description of the Native tribes of New England in this
volume notes that after the travel pushes northward and passes the Piscataqua
River and the land of the Penacooks, upon crossing the river Saco "...a
change of dialect would indicate a different tribe or group of tribes.
These were the Abenaquis, found chiefly along the course of the Kennebec
and other rivers, on whose banks they raised their rude harvests..." (pg.
- Parkman is almost entirely dependent on the same French sources
that Bourque uses in his 8 volume survey France and England in North America
yet his observations about the Abenakis in Maine are consistent with the
English sources, who describe Abenaki communities as far east as the Penobscot
River. Parkman clearly notes Druilletes' observation that Norridgewock
was the northernmost of the Abenaki settlements even as late as 1650.
Petersen, James B., Blustain, Malinda
and Bradley, James W. (2004). "Mawooshen" revisited: Two Native American
contact period sites on the central Maine coast. Archaeology of Eastern
North America. 32. pg. 1-71. IS.
- No mention of the Wawenoc Indians.
- "Analysis of Contact period artifacts from several archaeological sites
on the central Maine coast was undertaken as part of the process of repatriation
related to NAGPRA at the Robert S. Peabody Museum of Archaeology.
Native American and European mortuary goods, including rare plant-fiber
perishables, other perishable artifacts and nonperishable specimens, were
recovered together with human burials by Warren K. Moorehead and the Sandy
Point and Walker's Pond sites in 1912 and 1914. These samples document
the diversity of indigenous garments, ornaments and utilitarian artifacts
used as mortuary goods during the time of early contact before European
colonization, combining Native and European elements in an indigenous fashion.
Along the Maine coast, substantial contact between Natives and Europeans
began during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, and somewhere
around A. D. 1580-1600 at these sites based on the stylistic and technological
evidence. This portion of the Maine coast was situated within the
territory of a historically recorded native confederacy at the time, the
'Countrey of Mawooshen.' Representing some of the earliest Contact
period mortuary remains known in the far Northeast, they are presented
in detail and situated regionally for the first time here." (pg. 1).
- "Broadly speaking, this was the 'Countrey of Mawooshen' during the early
seventeenth century, the large Native confederacy under the leadership
of Bashabes, who lived on the Penobscot River toward the eastern edge of
Mawooshen and its boundary with the Eastern Etchemin. The meaning of the Native term Mawooshen is unclear, but it has been tentatively explained
as a 'band of people walking or acting together'. Regardless of the
precise meaning of this name, Bashabes apparently controlled the entire
region of Mawooshen on some level, primarily including the region from
Cape Neddick (modern-day Saco, Maine) to Schoodic Point near the Union
River (just to the east of Mt. Desert Island). Mawooshen also perhaps
extended as far west as Lake Megantic in modern day Quebec and southwestward
to Massachusetts. In part because Bashabes has been described as
the 'first among equals,' some analysts consider Mawooshen a short-lived,
historically contingent Native confederacy on the Maine coast, representing
the extraordinary circumstances of the early Contact period when trade
and competition enhanced the power of certain leaders. Yet, Mawooshen may
have been built on previous forms of political leadership and it is not
difficult to conceive of its indigenous origin during late prehistory."
- "In fact, prehistoric and early historic leadership in Mawooshen was likely
based, in part, on control of regional trade on some level. The Etchemin
were certainly involved in regional trade during the earliest 1600s. At
least one extraordinary prehistoric site, Goddard, would support local
participation of the ancestral Etchemin (Maliseet-Passamaquoddy) in a far-reaching
regional trade network long before the Contact period. Situated on
Naskeag Point at the eastern end of Eggemoggin Reach, Goddard is closer
to Blue Hill Bay and Mt. Desert Island than it is to Penobscot Bay proper.
Nonetheless, Goddard is rather close to both Sandy Point and Walker's Pond,
quite likely representing a direct socio-cultural link with both of them.
Goddard was also the scene of a few Contact period burials, along with
others in the local area." (pg. 6).
- "Goddard is primarily attributable to the early-middle portion of the Late
Woodland (Ceramic) period, dated about 300-600 years before Sandy Point
and Walker's Pond, that is, primarily A. D. 1000-1300 for Goddard, with
some earlier and scant later occupations. Goddard can be interpreted as
the setting of an intensive prehistoric 'trade fair' and it is not obviously
matched anywhere within the broad Gulf of Maine region. If this local
trade fair nexus can be verified, then the Mawooshen confederacy had prehistoric
roots long before Bashabes came upon the scene and this would be something
rather different than most scholars recognize for Mawooshen. At the other
extreme, some analysts suggest that Mawooshen was primarily an invention
of the English and not a true confederacy, since French chroniclers such
as Champlain mention Bashabes by name, but not Mawooshen at all.
This example well reflects the types of problems faced by ethnohistorians
and it again demonstrates the difficulty of linking archaeology and history."
- "In spite of all this, we believe that during the earliest 1600s Mawooshen
represented a confederacy of some sort, or a 'superconfederacy,' as it
has been called, minimally stretching over much of central and western
coastal Maine. This area minimally represents about 2/3 of the Maine
coast in linear distance, or about 210-220 km 'as the crow flies' parallel
to the convoluted coastline, which actually constitutes a much larger area.
Bashabes reportedly could marshall 1500 warriors, as recorded ca. 1605-1609,
and perhaps as many as 10,000 Native people lived in Mawooshen all told.
At the time, Mawooshen was described as an area 'fortie leagues [120 miles]
in bredth, and fiftie [150 miles] in length [comprising] nine rivers'"
- "The Souriquois/Micmac (Mi'kmaq) killed Bashabes in 1615, perhaps because
of his growing position in regional trade and the loss of their own middlemen
status, thereby helping to destroy the Mawooshen confederacy. Regardless
of one's interpretation of the precise details, this example clearly demonstrates
the complexity of cross-cultural events caused by European-Native contact,
as well as the instability of different indigenous structures at the time."
- "The wealth and power of some Native traders must have been quite tangible,
if short lived in relative terms. It seems quite likely that the
political position of Bashabes, the 'superchief' of Mawooshen, was enhanced
by his participation in and control over an indigenous trading network
that stretched from the central Gulf of Maine across some portion of the
far Northeast and even beyond." (pg. 59).
- "From the time when regular European contact first began on the central
Maine coast, as many as 25-50 years (+) many have passed before the French
and English actually colonized the area during the early 1600s. Initial
devastation caused by introduced diseases would have gone largely undocumented,
except perhaps in indigenous oral history, if direct of indirect regular
contact began this early. The earliest epidemics surely appeared
well before the first well recorded epidemic/pandemic of ca. 1616-1619,
for example, during which time the decimation of coastal communities from
Cape Cod northward to the central Maine coast was very widespread.
The fact that more than 70% of the individuals interred at Sandy Point
and Walker's Pond were children, many suffering from poor health, suggests
a population with very different mortality statistics than known among
most pre-contact Natives in local and broad regional contexts. Burials
at these two sites, ca. A. D. 1580-1600, seemingly predate these documented
events and almost certainly provide evidence of European-induced trauma
in this part of the Gulf of Maine before local European colonization."
- This article contains a very comprehensive bibliography on this topic.
Platt, D. Ed. (2005). One land - two worlds: A symposium to celebrate the 400th anniversary of George Waymouth's voyage to New England. Island Institue, Rockland, ME.
Prins, Harald. (Fall 1992). Cornfields
at Meductic: Ethnic and territorial reconfigurations in colonial Acadia. Man
in the Northeast. 44. pg. 55-72. IS.
Prins, Harald. (1996). Chief Rawandagon, alias Robin Hood:
Native "Lord of misrule" in the Maine wilderness. IN: Grumet,
Robert S., Ed. (1996). Northeastern Indian lives, 1632 - 1816. University
of Massachusetts Press, Amherst, MA. W.
- "...native crop cultivation was introduced to the area, probably in the
1670s - 1680s. It appears that the introducers were Abenaki refugees
from the central New England region, rather than French missionaries or
colonists." pg. 55.
- Cornfields "...appearance at Meductic in the 1680s was the direct consequence
of inter-ethnic mobility due to unstable geopolitical conditions in the
area." pg. 55.
- "Until the second half of the seventeenth century, Abenaki horticulturalists
remained within their habitual range west of the Penobscot River, whereas
Maliseet hunting bands generally roamed the region between the Penobscot
and St. John rivers. However, especially from the late 1640s onwards,
intertribal 'beaver wars' turned the region into mayhem." pg. 57.
- "When King William's War broke out in 1688, events in Acadia took a dramatic
turn. Waves of native refugees from New England's frontiers moved
into the valleys of the Penobscot, St. Croix, and St. John, and beyond
-- until then primarily inhabited by those still referred to by the French
as 'Etchemins'." pg. 63.
- "...in contrast to the migratory Maliseet food collectors, the semisedentary
Abenaki cultivated crops in their aboriginal territories southwest of the
Penobscot. ...large communal lodges in palisaded villages were typical
for early seventeenth-century horticulturists in southern Maine and beyond,
...Abenaki refugees introduced the horticulture complex to the St. John
River valley after the catastrophe of New England's Puritan 'war of extermination'."
Prins, Harald. (1996). The Mi'kmaq: Resistance, accommodation,
and cultural survival. Harcourt Brace College Publishers, Fort Worth, TX. IS.
- "Traditionally, native subsistence activities in this region were based
on hunting, fowling, and fishing. In contrast to migratory bands
living east of the Kennebec, [italics added] tribal villagers from
this river westward also planted gardens of corn, beans, squash, and tobacco.
When Rawandagon was born, Abenaki traditional life was about to be upset
and radically transformed." (pg. 97).
- "Some Mi'kmaq entrepreneurs turned into fur-trade middlemen. Engaging
in long-distance trading voyages, they learned to sail small, open boats
called shallops (sloops), taking valuable European trade goods to remote
villages in order to get high-quality furs. ... Soon, coastal Maine turned
into hotly contested territory. In addition to the Mi'kmaqs, who
not only traded but also raided the corn-and-fur-producing Abenakis and
their neighbors, some English, French, and Basque explorers, traders, and
fishers began venturing into the region." (pg. 97-98).
- "Soon, Rawandagon's people were getting European manufactures such as copper
kettles, steel knives, swords, cloth, and woollen blankets directly from
the Europeans. Cut from the profitable trade loop, the Mi'kmaq middlemen
quickly turned to violence. Newly equipped with French muskets, Mi'kmaq
marines swept over the coastal Abenaki region, killing several local chieftains
of Saco River in battle before retreating." (pg. 98).
- "Meanwhile, on the heels of yet another punishing raid by Mi'kmaqs that
swept through the Penobscot valley in 1615, an apocalyptic event struck
Rawandagon's world: a two-year pandemic of bubonic plague, coupled with
what has been suggested was hepatitis, scourged the area from Penobscot
to Cape Cod. Although precise figures are lacking, this pandemic
may have killed over ninety percent of the coastal population. In
1619, small and beleaguered remnant bands of kinsfolk and associated families
regrouped, joining surviving sagamores such as Rawandagon's father, Chief
Manawormet, at Sheepscot." (pg. 98-99).
- Prins assiduously avoids making any reference to the ethnic identity of
Rawandagon's community. Rawandagon's sound strategy and widespread
influence in the mid-17th century echoes the presence and influence of
the Bashabas c. 1600. Since he was the son of Manawormet, he was
most likely of Wawenoc descent (see pg. 96).
- In a later chapter in the collection, Prins has no difficulty identifying Molly
Ockett as a Pigwacket.
- "He includes a valuable description of Mi'kmaq social organization as a
family band comprised of extended kin who collectively practiced seasonal
mobility across their homeland using a variety of subsistence sources.
This sets the stage for a discussion of contact with Europeans." (Micah
Pawling. Winter 2000-01. Book review. Maine History. 39(4). pg. 273. IS).
- On the Mi'kmaq - Abenaki war Prins has this comment: "On his second exploration
voyage along the coast from Passamaquoddy Bay to the Kennebec River in
the summer of 1605, Champlain employed Panoniac, who was of Chief Membertou's
band. With the help of Panoniac, who was married to an Abenaki woman
from southern Maine (Champlain 1:280), the French began searching for a
better settlement site. Panoniac took them across the Bay of Fundy
to a place near one of his band's favorite seasonal camping grounds.
Here the French established Port Royal. The following summer Messamoet
accompanied Champlain again, this time sailing his own shallop in tandem
with the Frenchman. They sailed from Passamquoddy Bay south to Saco
Bay, where Messamoet hoped 'to make an alliance with those of that country
by offering them sundry presents' (Champlain 1:394). At Saco, Messamoet
negotiated with the local Abenaki chieftain, Olmechin. In return
for trade goods 'gained by barter with the French, which they came thither
to sell--to wit, kettles, large, medium, and small, hatchets, knives, dresses,
capes, red jackets, peas, beans, biscuits, and other such things.' Messamoet
received 'a canoe laden with what [Olmechin's people] had, to wit, corn,
tobacco, beans, and pumpkins [squash]...' (Lescarbot 2:324). To his
great displeasure, he received no furs from his Abenaki hosts. That
summer, already strained Mi'kmaq-Abenaki relations turned openly hostile
when a party of Mi'kmaq warriors under Chief Iouaniscou killed some Abenakis
on the Maine coast (Champlain 1:442). Unaware of the brutality committed
by fellow tribesmen, Panoniac sailed with a cargo of French trade goods
from Passamaquoddy Bay south to Penobscot. There, in revenge for
their slain kinsmen, Abenakis killed the innocent Panoniac." (pg. 108-109).
- "Because Panoniac's killing could not be left unavenged, the old chief
assembled a fighting force of about 40 Mi'kmaq and allied Maliseet warriors.
Armed with spears, tomahawks, bows, and iron-tipped arrows and newly equipped
with French muskets, the warriors boarded their shallops and sailed to
Saco Bay, where they defeated the local Abenakis. They returned home
knowing that sooner or later they would suffer an Abenaki counterattack."
- On the Mi'kmaq - Maliseet war Prins has this comment: "Fur-trade competition
also fueled hosilities between Mi'kmaqs and Maliseets (including Passamaquoddies)
of the central Maine coast. Their powerful leader, Bashaba, lived in the
Penobscot Valley and was even recognized as a paramount chief by neighboring
Abenakis. Maliseet relations with the Mi'kmaqs were already strained in
1604, when Champlain first sailed up the Penobscot River. Bashaba's followers
told the French explorer that 'they wished to live in peace with thier
enemies, in order that in future they might hunt the beaver more than they
had done, and barter these beavers with us in exchange for things necessary
for their usage' (Champlain 1:295-96). Unwilling to give up their privileged
positions as fur-trade middlemen, Mi'kmaqs tried to intimidate thier neighbors,
determined to get by raiding what they could not get by trading. From thier
Gulf of Maine stronghold at Mount Desert Island, sailing in shallops and
armed with muskets, they staged lighting raids against coastal Maliseets
unwilling to engage in barter." (pg. 109).
- "In 1615 Mi'kmaq warriors 'surprised the Bashaba, and slew him and all
his people near about him, carrying away his women and other such matters
as they thought of value' (Gorges, 90). With Bashaba and so many
of his great warriors dead, the confederacy collapsed." (pg. 109).
Prins, Harald E. L. and McBride, Bunny. (2007). Asticou's island domain: Wabanaki peoples at Mount Desert Island 1500-2000. Vols. 1 and 2. Acadia National Park and The Abbe Museum, Bar Harbor, ME. http://www.nps.gov/acad/historyculture/ethnography.htm. X.
- Currently available only as an unedited book on the National Park Service's website, this text is a comprehensive survey of the history of Native Americans visiting and living on Mount Desert Island (MDI). This 600 page text is the source of Bunny McBride and Harald Prins (2009) Indians in Eden, which has been extracted from chapters 10 - 13.
- The first nine chapters constitute the most comprehensive survey of Native Americans and their rapidly changing social and political milieu from 1600 - 1840 in the region from the eastern shores of Penobscot Bay to the Narraguagus River. While the first five chapters are full of redundancies, this comprehensive survey of Native Americans in eastern Maine is worthy of republishing in a shorter format. While focusing on Asticou as the last of the grand chiefs of the Native American communities of the Maine coast, Prins and McBride provide an excellent summary of the political and tribal alignments and eventual fate of the confederacy of Mawooshen in the early 17th century. The authors have minimal commentary on the confederacy of Mawooshen prior to 1600; their time line commentary for this date is: "Inter-tribal trading and conflicts have led to the formation of Mawooshen, a
political confederacy of Abenaki corn-growing villages between Kennebunk and
Kennebec, and Etchemin migratory bands from the Kennebec to the Narraguagus River.
MDI forms the 'eastern door' of Mawooshen, whose chiefs all recognize Bashaba of
Kadesquit (Bangor) as grandchief." (pg. xv).
- The remaining chapters (14 - 21) in this voluminous text provide an excellent survey of material culture, food and medicinal uses of plants and animals on MDI as well as animal and plant populations, archaeological sites, encampments, and local and regional canoe routes. This National Park study is, in fact, the most detailed analysis and site specific survey of Native American activities and seasonal movements in any eastern United States location.
- "As sakom of a Wabanaki community inhabiting the Mount Desert Island area,
Asticou headed a district that formed part of a political confederacy known as Mawooshen. Headed by a grandchief, Bashaba of Penobscot, this was an inter-tribal
alliance of neighboring Wabanaki groups in Maine, each with their own districts and
headed by their own chiefs. Mawooshen’s political boundaries were Narraguagus River in the northeast and Moussam River (at Kennebunk) in the southwest." (pg. ii).
- "The newcomers [Europeans] brought with them not only trade
goods, but also killer diseases, including smallpox, cholera and influenza. These
scourges, added to the lethal combination of firewater and firearms, almost wiped
Maine’s indigenous coastal peoples from the face of the earth. Within a few decades, up
to 90 percent of the Wabanaki perished in this American Indian holocaust." (pg. ii).
- "To confront the complex challenges of survival in the contested colonial
borderlands, Madockawando and other indigenous leaders forged new political alliances,
in particular the Wabanaki Confederacy. A successor to Mawooshen, this intertribal
alliance, comprised of Algonquian-speaking ethnic groups from Maine to Newfoundland,
was formed in the late 17th century to defend ancestral homelands against English
aggression. A political force in this coastal region for almost 200 years, the Confederacy
gave its support to the American Revolution. After that war, a newly designated border
between Canada and the United States sliced right through Wabanaki homelands. Under
government pressure, the Confederacy was dissolved around 1870." (pg. iii).
- "At the time of first contact with European seafarers over 400 years ago, the
Atlantic Northeast was inhabited by perhaps as many as 50,000 Wabanaki Indians. Based
on linguistic and cultural differences, two major groupings are distinguished: Eastern
Wabanakis, who fully depended on hunting, fishing and gathering, and formed
migratory bands ranging the vast woodlands and coastal domains from Newfoundland to
the Kennebec River valley; and Western Wabanakis, semi-sedentary villagers who
survived not only on hunting, fishing and gathering, but also on growing corn, squash and
beans in large gardens near their villages located between the Kennebec and Merrimac
River valleys. There were about equal numbers of Western and Eastern Wabanakis, but territories inhabited by the latter group were much larger and, consequently, had a much
lower population density." (pg. 1-2).
- "Wabanaki tribal communities formed part of three major groupings identified in
early French documents as the Etchemin, Souriquois and Armouchiquois. Each of these
groupings could be distinguished from their neighbors by distinctive cultural features,
including different speech. Etchemin foragers ranged primarily through the vast
woodlands between the Kennebec and St. John River valleys. Thus, Mount Desert Island
is clearly situated in the center of the Etchemin coast. To their northeast were Souriquois
bands—better known as Mi’kmaq from the late 1600s onwards—ranging the area to
southern Newfoundland. Southwest of the Etchemin were communities collectively
known as Armouchiquois, corn-growing peoples whose villages could be found in the
Kennebec valley and far beyond. These Armouchiquois consisted of several different
ethnic groups, including Abenakis traditionally inhabiting territories from the Kennebec
to the Merrimac Rivers. As semi-sedentary corn-growing villagers, these Abenakis are
here distinguished as Western Wabanakis, whereas the Etchemin and Mi’kmaq, as
migratory foragers, are grouped together as Eastern Wabanakis." (pg. 2).
- "Asticou, the sakom of the Western Etchemin community inhabiting Mount Desert
Island and its surrounding foraging domain, was closely allied to Bashaba, a neighboring
Etchemin chieftain. Bashaba’s strategically located seasonal encampments were situated
at Kadesquit (Bangor) and Pentagoet (Castine), just west of Asticou’s. Regional sakoms,
representing tribal communities speaking closely related Algonquian languages and
dialects, collectively elected Bashaba as their leader, recognizing him as grandchief of
Mawooshen, an Algonquian term for 'alliance' or 'confederacy.' This regional
Wabanaki alliance included almost two dozen independent tribal communities with their
territorial districts situated between the Narraguagus River and the Mousam River
(Kennebunk)." (pg. 36).
- "This political alliance between a coastal
group of Western Etchemin and Abenaki sakoms encompassed nine rivers, covering a
stretch of coastal territory about 120 miles wide." (pg. 37).
- "Connected by ties of kinship and friendship,
they belonged to an ethnic group historically known as the Etchemin. Organized in
several self-governing migratory bands, Etchemins ranged primarily between the
Kennebec and St. John Rivers. Although these bands shared the same culture and
speech, regional differences existed. Here we distinguish between Western Etchemins
(ranging from the Kennebec to the Narraguagus River) and Eastern Etchemins (from the
Narraguagus to the St. John valley). The regional dialects spoken by Eastern Etchemins
are still heard in Maliseet, Passamaquoddy and even Penobscot communities today." (pg. 39).
- "Asticou succeeded Bashaba as grandchief of
Mawooshen after this fellow Western Etchemin chieftain was attacked and killed by
Mawooshen’s Tarrentine enemies (Mi’kmaq and allied Eastern Etchemins). Western
Etchemin and Abenaki chieftains heading communities from Mount Desert Island to
Cape Porpoise acknowledged Asticou as leader of the confederacy during its final years." (pg. 62).
- "Since the Eastern Etchemin headquartered at Passamaquoddy Bay and the St.
John River did not form part of Mawooshen, but were instead loosely allied with their
Mi’kmaq neighbors across the Bay of Fundy, they were lumped together as Tarrentines
by the people of Mawooshen and their neighbors south of Cape Porpoise. Like the
Mi’kmaq, they also were in conflict with the Abenaki corn-growers inhabiting the
Kennebec and Saco valleys." (pg. 64).
- And what about the corn-growers who occupied the interior Sheepscot, Damariscotta, Medomak, and St. Georges river valleys?
Purchas, S. (1625). The description
of the countrey of Mawooshen, discovered by the English in the Yeere 1602.3.5.6.7.8.
and 9. In: Hakluytus posthumus or Purchas his pilgrims. Vol 4. Henry
Quinn, David Beers. (1977). North America from earliest discovery
to first settlements: The Norse voyages to 1612. Harper and Row, NY, NY.
- The most important of all antiquarian narratives on the Native American
communities of the Maine coast.
- See annotations and a listing
of some other versions of this publication in the General History: Antiquarian
Authors bibliography. A transcription
of this text, pg. 400 - 406, is in our information files.
Quinn, David Beers. (1990). Explorers and colonies: America,
1500-1625. Hambledon Press, London.
- See annotations in the US History:
Quinn, David Beers. (1995). The early cartography of Maine
in the setting of early European exploration of New England and the Maritimes.
In: American beginnings: Exploration, culture, and cartography in the
land of Norumbega. Baker Emerson W. et al. Eds. University of Nebraska
Press, Lincoln, NB.
- See annotations in the US History:
Quinn, David Beers and Skelton, R.A. (1965). Richard
Hakluyt, the principall navigations (1589). 2 vols. Hakluyt Society,
Extra Series 39.
Quinn, David Beers, Quinn, Alison M. and Hillier, Susan,
Eds. (1974). England and the discovery of America, 1481 - 1620. In: New
American world: A documentary history of North America to 1612. 5 vols.
Arno Press, NY, NY.
Quinn, David Beers and Quinn, Alison M., Eds. (1983). The
English New England voyages, 1602-1608. 2nd series, no. 161. Hakluyt
Rasle, Father Sebastien. (1833). A
dictionary of the Abenaki language in North America, [1690-1722] with an
introductory memoir and notes. In: Pickering, John, Ed. Memoirs of the
American Academy of Arts and Sciences. pg. 375-565.
Ray, Roger B. and Faulkner, Gretchen
F. Ed. (1994). The Indians of Maine: A bibliographic guide: fourth edition.
The Maine Historical Society, Augusta, ME.
- "The Lenápe is the most widely extended of the languages spoken
eastward of the Mississippi. It is found, in various dialects, throughout
Canada from the coast of Labrador to the mouth of Albany River, which falls
into Hudson's Bay, and from thence to the Lake of the Woods. All
the Indians, indeed, who now inhabit this portion of the continent (with
the exception of the Iroquois, who are by far the least numerous, and are
mostly within the limits of Canada,) speak dialects of the Lenápe.
When the Europeans arrived in America, these Indians were in possession
of the eastern coast of this continent, from Virginia to Nova Scotia;
and hence, as we are informed, they were called Wapanachki, or Abenakis,
that is, Men of the East, or Eastlanders. By La Hontan and
some other writers they were called Algonkins, or as more usually
written by the French travellers and historians, Algonquins." (pg.
- See the annotations in the bibliography of Other Author's Bibliographies.
Rolde, Neil. (2004). Unsettled past unsettled future:
The story of Maine Indians. Tilbury House Publishers, Gardiner, ME. IS.
(1605). A true relation of the voyage of Captaine George Waymouth.
Reprinted in Burrage, Henry, S. Ed.
(1930). Early English and French voyages chiefly from Hakluyt 1534-1608.
Charles Scribner's Sons, NY, NY.
- "With the exception of the May-Quays, it is impossible in reading Joseph
Nicolar to recognize our latter-day names for the Indian tribes of Maine
history. The same holds true for his labelling of the landscape,
which stretches from Mik-mark-keag to Odur-wur-keag. The
names we know -- Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, Micmac, Maliseet, Kennebec,
Saco, Androscoggin, and even less familiar ones like Wawenoc and Pigquacket
-- are of our own making. They are what we think we heard the Indians
call themselves and their surroundings, honed by our continued usage through
several centuries." (pg. 81).
- "To compound the confusion, a third language is also encountered -- namely,
the interpretation the French gave to the Indian sounds they heard.
At least one of their labels has stuck -- Iroquois -- for a large
grouping that refers to itself as the Haudenosaunee. Others
-- the ones in Maine -- Souriquois, Etchemin, Armouchiquois, remain
vivid only to historians. Translating this French-Indian into English-Indian,
we have respectively: Micmac, Maliseet-Passamaquoddy, and Eastern Abenaki
(particularly Saco, maybe Penobscot, too)." (pg. 81).
- "The Pennacooks were the southernmost tribe in Maine, spreading
across the Piscataqua River from New Hampshire. In the small town
of York, where I live, they were wiped out by 1614 due to smallpox or maybe
measles that reached them from the English mariners and fishermen who had
made a summer headquarters out on the Isles of Shoals. Cleared, deserted
fields met the hardy Anglo settlers who ventured into the area around 1630.
South of the Saco River it was warm enough for the tribes to practice extensive
agriculture. But the Pennacooks had vanished, leaving only the memory
of their great chief Passaconaway and his name to grace a famed Victorian
tourist hotel at York Beach." (pg. 83).
- "To the west, in the shadow of the White Mountains, lived a branch of the
Pennacooks called the Pigquackets. Or maybe they weren't Pennacooks
and thus not Eastern Abenaki, say some experts, but in actuality Western
Abenaki. (pg. 83).
- "Moving north, after the Saco, the next great flowage is that of the Androscoggin.
The main tribe there, although usually called Androscoggins, can
trip you up because some historians will refer to them as Anasagunticooks and others Arosaguntacooks. One reason may be the enormous
reach of these people when they were still a viable entity -- occupying
land all the way west to Lake Umbagog, well into New Hampshire, and east
toward the Atlantic, debouching into Merrymeeting Bay where it joins the
Kennebec at Topsham -- a length of 210 miles and a drainage of 3,430 square
miles, with 7 tributaries and 83 lakes and ponds. The Androscoggins
have been depicted as a 'powerful, warlike, relentless tribe, characterized
as the first to make war and the last to conclude peace.' Various
of this same group existed under names such as Rockomekas, Pejepscots,
Sabbatis, and Amascontees at particular geographic points along
the Androscoggin River. The principal village early on was at Canton
Point..." (pg. 84).
- "On a modern-day website created by the Davistown Museum of Liberty, Maine,
an unnamed book reviewer vents considerable spleen at those authors who
would deny the Wawenocs their space in history. He angrily charges
that a particular writer 'in one brief paragraph...has eliminated one of
the most important Native American communities of Maine's late prehistoric
past,' thus, as is claimed, contradicting 'the huge body of written and
oral history of thousands of English settlers and their descendants.'
Seeking an answer to this atrocity, the reviewer asks rhetorically: 'Is
this because the Wawenoc Indians had no significant role to play after
1620, having been decimated both by Micmac (Tarrentine) massacres and the
epidemics that followed?'" (pg. 88).
- "Some of the scholarly dithering on this subject is due to the role in
history of a shadowy Indian figure known as the Bashabas, or alternatively,
as Bessabes. This fellow was either a great chief who bore
the title, like emperor, of the Bashabas or was an individual named
Bessabes, whose force of personality made him an imperially great chief,
with a realm stretching from Hancock County to York County. Was he
a Penobscot, as Dean R. Snow has stated, locating him in a village at Kenduskeag
Stream near Bangor? Our Wawenoc patriot, in his review of Snow's
book, pounces immediately upon this (to him or her) a bad idea." (pg. 88).
Rosier, James. (1843). A true relation
of the most prosperous voyage made this present year, 1605, by Captain
George Waymouth on the discovery of the land of Virginia. Massachusetts
Historical Society Collections. 3rd series. 8. Boston. pg. 125-127.
- The most important of all early documents about the explorations of the
- See Morey, 2005, for a recent re-evaluation of Waymouth's
- See our information file reproduction
of this text by James Rosier, A True Relation of Captain George Weymouth
his Voyage. Made this Present Yeere 1605.
Russell, Howard S. (1980). Indian
New England before the Mayflower. University Press of New England,
Hanover, NH. IS.
- The most significant original source of information about the first contacts
of Europeans with the Indians of Maine.
- Another republication of the text listed above.
Salisbury, Neal. (1982). Manitou
and Providence: Indians, Europeans, and the making of New England, 1500-1643.
Oxford University Press, NY, NY. IS.
- The single most important and comprehensive source of information on the
Native Americans of New England prior to and during the contact period
- Published in 1980, it's one of the last important
contemporary publications on New England's Native American history to mention
the existence of the Wawenocs as residents of the region between the Kennebec
and the Penobscot rivers. Most earlier references include the Sheepscot
Indians as synonymous with the Wawenocs; Russell's map on page 25 implies
they are two different tribes, which is not the case. This discrepancy
helps illustrate the fact that there exists wide variations among major
historians in their definitions of the names and locations of the Indian
tribes of Maine. This may help explain why Baker, et.al., Churchill,
et. al and other writers lump all the tribes together as Wabanaki; this
is easier than explaining which tribes have been dislocated and why.
- Russell denotes three major groupings of eastern
Abenaki: Passamaquoddy, Penobscot and Kennebec in Maine; the latter of
which Russell places around Norwidgewock and Waterville.
Sanger, David, Ed. (1979). Discovering
Maine's archaeological heritage. Maine Historic Preservation Commission,
Augusta, ME. IS.
- The most important summary of Indian - European relationships in the 16th
and early 17th centuries; a particularly comprehensive description of the
epidemic that swept through the Native American villages of the New England
coast in 1617.
- Of particular interest is Salisbury's tribal-specific description of Indian
- European relations in southern New England. For Native American's
living in northern New England, including Maine, Salisbury follows the
current convention and labels everyone as Eastern Abenaki. Salisbury's
index does not list the Wawenoc, Kennebec or Androscoggin Indians of Maine.
Detailed descriptions of inter-tribal relationships in southern New England
are provided throughout this text.
- "The fruit of the Indian experience was an ethos in which relationships
in the social, natural, and supernatural worlds were defined in terms of
reciprocity rather than domination and submission. Developed centuries
earlier when hunting and gathering were the primary modes of subsistence,
this ethos had survived and continued to prevail as agriculture brought
larger populations and more sedentary settlement patterns to the southern
portion of New England." (pg. 10-11).
- "They overlooked important evidence for both north and south, particularly
an anonymous description of upper New England written in 1605 and included
by Samuel Purchas in his Hakluytus Posthumus (1625) and pre-epidemic
estimates for southern New England obtained by Daniel Gookin in the 1670s
and first published in 1792. 'The description of the Countrey of
Mawooshen,' as the document published by Purchas was entitled, locates
villages, identifies their leaders, and estimates the number of adult males
and houses in each. Dean R. Snow has carefully correlated this information
with that provided in other pre-epidemic accounts and concluded that about
11,900 Eastern Abenaki inhabited the river drainages from the Union River
to the Saco in what is now the state of Maine." (pg. 23-24).
- "Agriculture, then, was the key to southern New England's departure from
the Archaic patterns that still prevailed to the north. By the seventeenth
century Indian women from the Saco River southward had developed a variety
of crops, including several types of maize, beans, and squash, as well
as pumpkins, cucumbers, Jerusalem artichokes, and tobacco." (pg. 30).
- "Underlying the nascent southern trade was a striking degree of unity among
the Indians, based in part on economics. Smith reported that southern
farmers were supplying corn to Abenaki hunters. At least part of
the return for this corn was presumably European goods which the Abenaki,
far less populous but vastly richer in furs, were beginning to acquire.
Though built on pre-contact patterns of exchange, such a trade had revolutionary
implications once Europeans were involved. By obtaining corn from
their southern neighbors, the Abenaki could intensify the specialized hunt
for furs while averting the perennial food shortages suffered by the Micmac."
- "For all their planning and effort, the English made no headway among the
Indians during the first decade and a half of the century. Initial
native resistance to colonization and settlement was broken here, as in
much of the Western Hemisphere, not by superior numbers, enterprise, technology,
or military skill but by that most lethal of Europe's weapons, it diseases."
- "The elimination of the French colonial presence, however, did not mean
the end of their trading presence and its effectiveness among the indians.
This fact was grasped by the man who was Virginia's second and greater,
if unintended, contribution to New England colonization--John Smith.
Coasting from above the Penobscot to Cape Cod in 1614, he found that French
traders had largely exhausted the supply of furs at every harbor except
Pemaquid, where Francis Popham had succeeded in trading (literally) on
his late brother's good reputation." (pg. 97).
- "The reciprocity that Indians sought to maintain in economic, political,
and spiritual relationships was seriously undermined in southern New England
by the sequence of English actions and the plague epidemic. The propensities
of English visitors (with the limited exception of the Pophams) toward
violence and kidnapping, and their refusal to enter into and maintain reciprocal
relationships, finally succeeded in arousing the hostility of most coastal
Indians from the Penobscot to Cape Cod. Then the epidemic so reduced
the coastal peoples in numbers and strength that their ability to maintain
autonomy and, thus, real reciprocity with outsiders was largely lost.
The once powerful Pawtucket, Massachusett, and Pokanoket were reduced to
terror and humiliation before the numerically tiny Micmac as well as the
formidable Narragansett, who now enjoyed important advantages in the competition
for trade with Europeans. Even more critically, the epidemic enabled
the hitherto inept English to establish a foothold for settlement." (pg.
Sanger, David. (Fall 2000).
"Red Paint People" and other myths of Maine archaeology. Maine History.
39(3). pg. 145-167. IS.
- In the introduction, Sanger provides the following PaleoIndian chronologies:
"11000 - 10000 B.P.; early archaic 10000 - 7000 B.P.; middle archaic 7000
- 5000 B.P.; late archaic 5000-2000 B.P.; ceramic period 2000 B.P. to European
contact." (pg. 9). Sanger notes a scarcity of archaeological sites
in Maine before 3000 B.C. (5000 B.P.) (see chapter 3).
- "During this century of contact there apparently occurred a change in aboriginal
settlement and subsistence, so that the summer-interior/winter-coastal
pattern of seasonal movement became reversed, probably in response to the
summer voyages of Europeans and the developing trade in furs (Bourque 1973;
Sanger 1971; Sanger and Sanger 1974). This reversal tended to emphasize
the hunt and de-emphasize the importance of fishing. It seems apparent,
however, that when one plots the distribution of sites in Maine there emerges
a high correlation between large sites and good fishing spots. Sites
such as Hirundo are prime examples of this very common pattern (Sanger
and other n.d.)" (pg. 30-31).
- "No Maine cemetery, with the exception of the ambiguous radiocarbon dates
for the Hathaway site, can be securely dated. ...Recent discoveries in
Canada have helped the situation. In 1968 and 1969 James A. Tuck
excavated the Port au Choix site in western Newfoundland (Tuck 1970, 1971).
The red ochre-covered skeletons and characteristic Moorehead complex tools
linked the Port au Choix cemetery with the Maine sites. Especially
close relationships are seen between the Port au Choix and the Nevin sites,
the latter near Blue Hill, Maine." (pg. 69).
- Long the standard reference for the nonprofessional interested in Maine
archaeology, this publication has been supplanted by Bourque's Diversity
and Complexity in prehistoric maritime societies: A Gulf of Maine perspective.
Still particularly relevant for anyone concerned with Paleo-Indian history
and the important Paleo-Indian sites outside of Maine.
Schultz, Eric B. and Tougias, Michael
J. (1999). King Philip's War: The history and legacy of America's forgotten
conflict. The Countryman Press, Woodstock, VT. IS.
- "As I define the Moorehead burial tradition, it includes the development
of cemeteries usually separated from habitation sites, a preference for
sandy land forms, usually overlooking water, the inclusion of substantial
amounts of red ocher and, perhaps most importantly, the tendency to include
as grave offerings a highly selective suite of artifacts. ... Participants
in the Moorehead burial tradition interred in the graves a number of well-crafted,
ground and highly-polished tools, few of which ever appear in habitation
sites. ... From 6000 B.C. until 1800 B.C. the emphasis was clearly on ground
stone tools, many never used for daily tasks." pg. 152-153.
- "To recapitulate, what has been known as the 'Red Paint People' since the
early decades of the 20th century is not a distinct race at all. ... They
simply practiced a burial tradition connected with a set of spiritual beliefs
unknown to us. Evidently those beliefs underwent a dramatic change
about 1800 B.C. when red ocher all but disappeared from Maine graves, many
of the distinctive artifacts dropped out of the archaeological record,
and cremation replaced inhumation." pg. 154.
- "Archaeological research in the last two decades has led to a re-examination
of the traditional seasonal migration idea. During the late 1960s,
research in Penobscot Bay by Bourque and Ritchie, and simultaneously by
me in Passamaquoddy Bay detected unmistakable signs of winter occupation
on the coast. Indeed, I even went so far as to suggest that year-round
coastal occupation might be represented. The evidence for winter
habitation sites consisted of the presence of birds, such as ducks like
oldsquaw, that today only winter on our coast. Large numbers of tom
cod bones, a species that spawns in fresh water in the dead of winter,
was also a good indicator. ... Another useful indicator is the fact that
male deer drop their antlers in the winter. The finding of skull
bones in which the antlers have been shed indicates a winter kill.
On the other hand, antlers hacked from a deer taken in the summer will
leave tell-tale cut marks on the skull bones. These indicators led
to recognition of near year-round occupation at the Turner Farm site, ca.
2500 B.C., on North Haven Island, Penobscot Bay." pg. 155-156.
- "We now have records from well over 1,000 soft shell clams recovered from
shell middens ranging from Passamaquoddy Bay to Casco Bay. In those
areas where we have conducted detailed survey and testing, we can demonstrate
both summer and winter occupation on the coast based on shells and other
indicators." pg. 158.
- "...Native people lived year-round in the coastal zone, moving from site
to site in response to resource availability and the need for shelter in
the cold seasons. This reconstruction is very different from the
traditional model derived from documents produced by the first European
visitors to the coast of Maine, and echoed in Penobscot
Man. If this reconstruction is accurate, it would leave very
little time for the Native peoples to create sites in the interior.
Therefore, we then have to face the question of who left all the archaeological
sites in the interior of Maine." pg. 158-159.
- "Unfortunately, seasonal indicators for the interior are much diminished
in the archaeological record, such that the currently available evidence
cannot either support or deny what I call 'the two population model.'"
- "...a review of artifacts we consider to have potential to reflect the
maker's traditions, such as pottery and flaked projectile points (arrow
and spear heads), supports a long-standing separation of interior and coastal
peoples. ... For example, archaeologists have recognized that starting
around 6000 B.C. the Kennebec River has formed a cultural boundary.
East of the Kennebec, and including the Maritime Provinces, we see many
similarities in the cultural province of the Maritime Peninsula.
The reasons for this remain speculative; however, it is clear that west
of the divide the archaeological cultures remind us more of southern New
England. 'Two Maines' has a long history!" pg. 161.
- "Although artifact style undoubtedly says something about the maker and
his or her traditions, it is a leap of faith from there to ethnic assignment
at the level of a named tribe with respect to the archaeological record.
... The point is when asked, 'What tribe lived here in pre-European times?'
we ought to admit we cannot say. In my opinion, the bits and pieces
left behind in archaeological sites cannot support a conclusion as complicated
as ethnic identity." pg. 161-162.
- "Yet there is one overriding problem with Penobscot Man that is
a product of its time: namely, an attempt to derive what is sometimes referred
to as the 'ethnographic baseline,' a period in which Native cultures were
not yet impacted by Europeans." pg. 162.
Sewall, Rufus King. (1859). Ancient
dominions of Maine. Elisha Clark and Company, Bath, ME. IS.
Siebert, Frank T. Jr. (1973). The identity
of the Tarrentines, with an etymology. Studies in Linguistics. 23.
pg. 69-76. IS.
- This text contains an extensive description of the abandoned Wawenoc sites
in the Wiscasset area and, along with Williamson, is the most important
antiquarian information source on Wawenoc history.
- Rufus King Sewall has been relegated to the rubbish bin of history not
only for his romanticism pertaining to the Wawenoc Indians as a "lost race"
but especially for his stubborn insistence that Waymouth sailed up the
Kennebec River rather than the St. George River to plant his cross commemorating
his visit to Maine. After George Prince (1860, just after the publication of the Ancient Dominions) printed
his commentary on Rosier's Narrative of Waymouth's Voyage to the Coast
of Maine, Sewall was the last stubborn holdout who, throughout his
lifetime, did not acknowledge Prince's now universally accepted observation
that Waymouth's exploration took place in the St. George River and his
famous hike in full armor on a very hot summer day was in the direction
of the Camden Hills, not Mt. Washington. Sewall nonetheless remains
an important source of information about the Wawenoc Indians and their
confederacy of Mawooshen, which has been recently written out of Maine's
- "These island-lawns are covered with the remains of a vast primitive population,
whose bones, blackened, broken and decayed, are everywhere diffused in
the offal of their subsistence; and the soil of their planting grounds,
where clustered their lodges, is full of the fatness of the ashes of the
unnumbered and forgotten dead!" (pg. 20).
- A "'Norubegua,' contemporaneous with the aboriginal Mavooshen, is one of
the earliest of ancient names on our shores." (pg. 30-31).
- The early historian, Ogilby, described Norubegua to be "the ruins of an
ancient town, which the natives called Arambec, and had deserted." (pg.
- Quoting Purchas, vol. 4, pp. 1620-1625, Sewall notes:
"This book, of two and a half centuries ago, describes Norombegua 'as a
city toward the north, which is known well enough by reason of a fair town
and a great river.' at the mouth of the river 'is an island very
fit for fishing******and the region that goeth along the sea, doth abound
in fish.'" (pg. 32).
- "Damariscove, or Monhegan Island, lying east and west of each other, and
off the mouth of the Damariscotta River-islands remarkable for their
advantages in fishing, ...lay off the mouth of the river, on the margins
of whose waters the fair town of Norumbegua stood, ...or the ruins of the
deserted Arâmbec lay ...have an intimate connection with the enormous
oyster offal deposites we have described in the remains of these edible
bivalves, at the head-waters and along the margins of the lower basins
of Damariscotta River. (pg. 34).
- That "Norembegua of our aboriginal history was a fair town and not a Province,
here located is more fully confirmed from the facts recorded ...of the
earliest nature of this region." (pg. 35).
- As Waymouth's "ship lay under Fisherman's Island, west of Pemaquid, in
Boothbay harbor, they signified that the 'Bashaba" (i.e. their king,) sent
them with an invitation, that Capt. Weymouth should bring his 'Quiden'
(as they called it,) or ship, up to the Bashaba's house, being as they
pointed, up on the main, toward the east, from whence they came." (pg.
38). This is to say, up the river at the present location of Damariscotta
- Sir Ferdinando Gorges "...also tells us 'the native government was Monarchical,
the king bearing the title of Bashaba, whose own chief abode and was not
far from Pemaquid.'" (pg. 41).
- "The bone-made darts and javelins, and offensive weapons of this manufacture,
the knowledge and use of copper ornaments and utensils, together with the
use of tobacco in such extravagant forms; the costume and array of their
persons; the mode of dressing the hair of their heads; ornamental hair
work as a part of the Royal vesture, or court costume of the great officers
of state; the evidences of permanency of abode and of a people 'who would
eat nothing raw;' eminently a people of culinary tastes and habits, discoverable
in the sites of ancient and eloquent ruin at the head-waters of the Damariscotta
and on the Sheepscot at the entrance of the harbor of Boothbay...clearly
and palpably establish an identity between the barbaric aboriginal inhabitants
of the lower waters of the Sheepscot, and the upper water settlements of
the Damariscotta, together with the women and children of the people visiting
Weymouth's ship, and the residents of the island dwellers on the Sheepscot,
if not also with the savages of Gosnold's shallop vision!" (pg. 42-43).
- "...the Capital of the native Sovereign of Lincoln was within the
precinct, not far from, but not at Pemaquid. ...the royal abode of the
Bashaba and Norumbegua were identical; ...the ruins at the head-waters
...mark the seat of ancient empire--of which the island city of lodges
on the Sheepscot, at the 'Ne-krangan' of native travel through the harbor
below, was a sea-board town." (pg. 44).
- "Menikuk and Arambec were sister cities; and of the residents in both places,
were the ancient people visited and outraged by George Weymouth in the
spring and summer of 1605." (pg. 46).
- "Were they of that race ... known in history as the 'Wa-wen-nocks,' whose
very name endows them with the highest excellence of
humanity--'as a people very brave, fearing nothing'? the immediate subjects
of the Bashaba, the grand sovereign of the east--the sway of whose scepter
from its center near Pemaquid, to the boundaries of Massachusetts, was
all potent? to whose court all the subordinate tribes paid savage homage,
from the banks of Penobscot to the shores of the Merrimac? whose prowess
the fierce Tarratine alone dared to brave.?" (pg. 47).
- Sewall follows Williamson using an incorrect spelling of Tarrantine.
- "It is a point of heroism with the savage brave, to rescue and bury the
body of his fallen comrade; and the remarkable non-observance of the custom
here, clearly points to surprise, consternation and death at the hands
of unexpected enemies..." (pg. 50).
- "Both of these agencies may have operated. To the east and north-east
of the dominions of the Bashaba, dwelt the people of the Tarratines, enemies
of the Bashaba, who had many. The Wawenocks, his subjects, dwelt
on the Sheepscot and Pemaquid; but the fierce Tarratines occupied and held
the waters of the Penobscot." (pg. 50-51).
- "Pestilence trod hard on the heels of war, till the utter desolation of
the Bashaba dominions was completed. Arambec and Menikuk may have
been the chief towns of the Wawennock race..." (pg. 51).
- "Samoset was a native of Pemaquid--the Lord of Monhegan-an eastern prince--the
great chief and original proprietor of the town of Bristol, whose
conveyance of the same to John Brown is the first landed title by deed
acknowledged, ever given to a white man." (pg. 101).
Smith, John. (1616). A Description
of New England: Or the observations, and discoueries of Captain John Smith
(Admirall of the Country) in the north of America, in the year of our Lord
1614: With the success of sixe ships, that went the next yeare 1615; and
the accidents befell him among the French men of warre: With the proofe
of the present benefit this Countrey affoords: Whither this present yeare,
1616, eight voluntary ships are gone to make further tryall. Printed
by Humfrey Lownes, for Robert Clerke, London. X.
- Siebert observes how William D. Williamson misspelled Tarrentines and then mistakenly identified them as Penobscots
and then notes that Alden T. Vaughn more recently misidentified them as Abenakis in general.
- "The Abnaki-Micmac or Armouchiquois-Souriquois war lasted from 1607 to
the end of 1616, and resulted in the death of Bashabes and the destruction
of several Abnaki villages on the coast of Maine. Later the Micmacs
extended their forays further to the south and made raids against the Massachusett
Indians until c.1633." (pg. 71).
- Siebert's article also contains several important footnotes: "Smith's Mecadacut is Penobscot /amehkáyihtekok/ 'at a stream below a height (or mountain)',
which is better retained by the modern spelling found in the present Megunticook
River. Near-by is Mt. Megunticook which rises to a height of 1380
feet, and is the southern-most mountain or headland of the Appalachians
to stand directly on the Atlantic coast. The Penobscot village which
Smith visited here was probably destroyed by the Micmacs in 1616 and never
re-occupied." (pg. 74).
- "It is interesting to note that the Penobscot village located at present
Castine, Maine, given by Purchas as
Chebegnadose was spared by the Micmacs, evidently because of the beginning
settlement there by Claude de Saint-Etienne de La Tour. ...The Penobscots
did not abandon their village adjoining the small fort and settlement at
Castine until about 1743 at the beginning of King George's War." (pg. 74).
- "There is adequate documentation demonstrating the presence of large numbers
of Basque fishermen in North Atlantic waters from Newfoundland and the
Gulf of St. Lawrence southward to Cape Cod during the sixteenth and seventeenth
centuries. The Basques ...together with the Bretons held an early
monopoly on the whale and cod fisheries in that area. (Reade 1889:21-39)." (pg. 72-73).
Smith, John. (1837). A description
of New-England. Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society,
3rd series, 6. pg. 103-140.
- The Davistown Museum has a xerox copy of Smith's text in its special collections
library (24 pages long).
Snow, Dean R. (1968). Wabanaki "family
hunting territories". American Anthropologist. New series. 70. pg.
- Along with Rosier, Purchas and Davies, this is one of the key documents
providing early English observations of the Maine coast and its inhabitants
in the years before English settlement.
- A number of excerpts from his description are reproduced in the Davistown
Museum's Norumbega Reconsidered publication. .
Snow, Dean R. (1976). The Abenaki fur trade in the sixteenth
century. The Western Canadian Journal of Anthropology. 6(1). pg.
- "Such political developments as the Wabanaki confederacy in Maine and at
the Maritimes developed out of this base as a response to later pressures
by European settlers. Prior to these relatively late developments,
there had been no formal political organization above the hunting band
level." (pg. 1143).
- "Archeological evidence from Maine alone indicates that the beaver and
other sedentary fauna were of considerable importance aboriginally. ...in
the case of the Wabanaki, the fur trade lead to the crystalization of family
territories along the lines of preexisting pattern of economic exploitation."
- "...the Wabanaki defined individual territories in terms of drainage areas
such that lakes and streams were at the nucleus rather than the periphery
of each of them." (pg. 1146-1147).
- Snow also has this to say about the term Wabanaki or Dawn-Land-People.
"This convenient term is usually used to refer to the Micmac, Malecite,
Passamaquoddy, Penobscot, Abnaki, and Pennacook, although there is some
question regarding the inclusion of the last (Dodge 1957:68-69)". (pg. 1147).
- "The distribution of Wabanaki Indians appears to have followed a dendritic
pattern that coincided with major streams and tributaries." (pg. 1147).
- "The Abnaki probably had a system similar to that of the Penobscot.
Morgan obtained a list of fourteen band names from an unknown informant
among the St. Francis, Quebec, Abnaki in about 1878 (Morgan 1907:174). These names parallel those known for Penobscot bands,
and therefore indicate that these two closely related tribes had similar
forms of 'territoriality.'" (pg. 1147).
- Snow also quotes Joseph Chadwick (1889)
on the propensity of the "Wabanaki" Indians to conserve their resources.
"...that it was their rule to hunt every third year and kill two-thirds
of the beaver, leaving the other third part to breed, and that their Beavers
were as much their stock for a living as Englishman's cattle was his living;
that since the late war English hunters kill all the Beaver they find on
said streams, which had not only impoverished many Indian families, but
destroyed the breed of Beavers, etc." (pg. 1149).
- This article illustrates that the propensity to not mention the Wawenoc
Indians was well established by 1968.
Snow, Dean R. (1976). The archaeology of North America:
American Indians and their origins. Thames and Hudson, London. IS.
- "Conclusions focus on increasing dependence upon European goods, rescheduling
of subsistence activities, involvement in food-redistribution networks,
and settlement nucleation." (pg. 3).
- "As it happens, I agree with Innis (1962:12) that 'the fur trade in the first half of the sixteenth century
was of minor importance and incidental to fishing.'" (pg. 3).
- "A Portuguese presence along the Maine coast in the first quarter of the
sixteenth century raises the possibility that they began the fur trade
with the Eastern Abenaki. Indeed, Bourque (1973) has argued that data from late prehistoric coastal sites and the
earliest European sources suggest shifts in seasonal scheduling and settlement
patterns during this period, and that these shifts are best explained by
the emergence of a pattern of summer coastal trade with European vessels."
- "...felt hats ...became the fashion rage in the court of Elizabeth I around
1560. ... By that time, the European beaver survived in only a few places
in southern Europe. It was scarce everywhere on the continent by
the end of the century. Thus, demand for pelts rapidly outstripped
the supply after 1560." (pg. 5).
- "The English and other northern Europeans did not have easy access to cheap
salt, and consequently they established land stations [in Newfoundland]
for the purpose of drying their catches before returning home." (pg. 5).
- "...during the period Smith was on the Maine coast, he reports that 25,000
pelts were sent back to France (Smith 1905:214-234). It must have been clear to Smith that the only way
the English could beat the French at this game was to set up their own
trading posts and offer better prices. However, a horrible and unexpected
epidemic altered the system dramatically." (pg. 8).
Snow, Dean R. (1976). The
ethnohistoric baseline of the eastern Abenaki. Ethnohistory 23(3).
Snow, Dean R. (1978). Eastern Abenaki.
In: Trigger, Bruce G., Volume Ed. Volume 15,
Northeast. In: Handbook of North American Indians. Sturtevant,
William C., Ed., Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.
- "Sources on the Eastern Abenaki dating to about 1600 are crucial in establishing
the ethnohistorical baseline, the initial cultural state from which all
subsequent historical changes occurred. ...original inhabitants of the
Penobscot, Kennebec and adjacent river drainages were occupied by the Abenaki
rather than by the Malecite-Passamaquoddy as some have stated." [Hoffman,
1955 and Morrison, 1978] (pg. 291).
- "In the 17th century, the Eastern Abenaki controlled an area that is almost
entirely contained within the modern State of Maine. Their major
divisions coincided with four major river drainages within the larger area.
From west to east, those divisions were Pigwacket, Arosaguntacook, Kennebec,
and Penobscot corresponding to the Presumpscot, Androscoggin, Kennebec
and Penobscot drainages. Colonial period sources provide a staggering
number of synonyms and misnomers for the Eastern Abenaki and their various
subdivisions, but these four seem to be the common denominators.
Only the Penobscot survive in place today. Descendants of the others
can be found in the old Abenaki refugee colonies of St. Francis and Becancour,
Quebec." (pg. 291).
- "Verrazzano sailed eastward along the Maine coast, and for us the real
significance of his voyage is that a map that resulted identifies the Penobscot
River as 'ornbega.' This term, which is clearly a native word identifying
the lower portion of the Penobscot River, is the only native name on the
map." (pg. 292).
- "As Morrison (1974:21) points out,
'Almouchiquois' is an almost meaningless general term that lumps together
what must have been several Algonquian communities in southern New England.
I see no reason why Champlain's 'Etechemin' should be considered to have
a more precise and historically meaningful definition since Champlain used
both at the same level of descriptive abstraction." (pg. 296).
- "In 1625, Samuel Purchas published
a description of what he called the country of 'Mawooshen.' Gorges (1890:76) calls the same place 'Moasham.' Both references are to
the area later clearly identified as belonging to the Eastern Abenaki.
The Purchas list in particular is quite explicit. He defines the
area in terms of a series of river drainages extending from Mount Desert
Island on the east to the upper portion of the Saco River on the west."
- Snow argues that the Bashabes so frequently mentioned in early writings
as the chief of all of Mawooshen (the area from the Saco River to Schoodic
Point) was actually from an Indian village located at the Kenduskeag Stream
where it joins the Penobscot at the present site of Bangor. Earlier
writers had insisted that the Bashabes lived in the area of Pemaquid; in
which case the Bashabes would have been a Wawenoc. There is no direct
evidence that the Bashabes lived at Kenduskeag and there is no archaeological
evidence extant for a significant Indian village at that location.
The current paradigm derives from an interpretation of Champlain's voyage
up the Penobscot, and it is essential that the Bashabes is not a Wawenoc,
but rather, a Penobscot, if one is to believe that the Wawenocs were an
insignificant community of little or no importance. In fact, it would
follow from the current paradigm that most of the contact with natives
along the shores between the Penobscot and the Kennebec reported by early
writers would then have to have been with Penobscot Indians. Kenduskeag
Stream is quite remote and distant from the highly populated areas of the
Sheepscot, Medomak and St. George's Rivers, including the Pemaquid area
where numerous early writers place the Bashabes. Why would the Bashabes
live in an area so remote from the highly populated coastal regions where
he was so admired and so often referred to by the natives as reported by
the early writers?
- "The death of Bashabes is as controversial a subject as anything else about
him. Lescarbot (1928:101)
states flatly and without elaboration that he was killed by the English. Gorges (1890:76) discusses the matter at greater length, but says without any
equivocation that Bashabes was killed by the Micmac." (pg. 302).
- "Bashabes was replaced by a man named Asticou. ...but he disappears from
history during the epidemics that preceded 1618. ...In summary, the political
organization of the Eastern Abenaki at the beginning of the 17th century
appears to have been based upon a loose confederation of ethnically related
groups stretching from Mount Desert Island to the Saco River in Maine.
Local groups were defined on the basis of the river drainages they occupied,
and each was led by a chief sagamore." (pg. 303).
- "We know, for example, that by 1620 Samoset (Somersett) was an important
sagamore living on the Damariscotta, but we do not know whom he succeeded
or in which (if any) of the three villages listed by Purchas he lived."
Snow, Dean R. (1980). The
archaeology of New England. Academic Press, NY. IS.
- "An anonymous description published by Samuel Purchas in 1625 indicated that in the early part of that century, the Eastern Abenaki
were confederated under the leadership of a man called Bashabes.
The name appears elsewhere in various early sources and in several forms
including Bessabez and Betsabes. He was one of 23 'sagamores' named
for 21 villages on 11 rivers. He appears to have been first among
equals, the acknowledged leader of all the Eastern Abenaki." (pg. 137).
- "The 'countrey of Mawooshen,' as it is described by Purchas, was composed
of villages on Mount Desert Island, and the Penobscot, Orland, Bagaduce,
Muscongus, Damariscotta, Sheepscot, Kennebec, Androscoggin, Presumpscot,
and upper Saco rivers." (pg. 137).
- "There are enough sources to allow the reconstruction of Eastern Abenaki
culture for the period just before the epidemics of the early seventeenth
century. Samuel de Champlain and John Smith saw horticulture along
the coast only as far northeast as the Saco River, the lower portions of
which were not occupied by the Eastern Abenaki. There is some evidence
that horticulture was practiced upstream along the Kennebec, but it would
have been a marginal effort at best. The territory of the Eastern
Abenaki was covered by a mixed white pine, hemlock, and hardwood forest
in coastal areas, changing to a spruce and fir forest in the interior.
Neither the soil nor the climate was adequate for the available domesticates.
A real economic commitment to horticulture was not possible until the fur
trade made winter residence in large villages possible and provided the
option of purchasing food in years of crop failure." (pg. 138).
- An excerpt from this text on Eastern
Abenaki tribal names is in our Appendix.
Soctomah, Donald. (2005). A Wabanaki
perspective. In: A symposium to celebrate one land - two worlds: Maine
Mawooshen 1605 - 2005: The 400th anniversary of George Waymouth's voyage
to New England. Island Institute, Rockland, ME. IS.
Speck, Frank G. (1928). Wawenock
myth texts from Maine. 43rd Annual Report of the Bureau of American
Ethnology. Bureau of American Ethnology, Washington, DC. pg. 180-181,
- Along with Bourque's Diversity and Complexity in
Prehistoric Maritime Societies: A Gulf of Maine Perspective and Twelve
Thousand Years and Sanger's Discovering Maine's
Archaeological Heritage, this text provides a basic introduction
to the archaeology of Maine. Snow applies his 1973 river drainage
model to explain the prehistory of Maine (see pg. 4).
- "The river drainages into which I have subdivided the region are also archaeologically
significant units. The only significant difficulty with the model
is that small coastal drainages are not easily accommodated. For
example, in Maine the major Kennebec and Penobscot drainages are in fact
separated along the coast by minor drainages such as the Sheepscot, Damariscotta,
and St. Georges." (pg. 5).
- See pages 20-23 for extensive comments on the myths of New England's past
including Vikings, Celts, the Red Paint craze and the Spirit Pond at Cutler.
Also see the quotes at the beginning of our bibliographic selections on pre-Columbian
- "There are several sources relating to Eastern Abenaki ethnohistory before
1620, but one extraordinary source stands out among them. The origins
of this source stem from the George Waymouth expedition to the Maine coast
in 1605. Waymouth kidnapped five Indians, one of whom eventually
made his way into the household of Ferdinando Gorges in England.
This man and others were apparently interviewed by James Rosier, and Purchas (1625) subsequently published a very detailed accounting of the villages
of the Eastern Abenaki. Each village is identified in terms of the
river on which it was located, and in many cases it is possible to rediscover
the exact locations of these villages (Snow 1976d)
(Table 2.3). Purchas lists 21 villages and 23 leaders called sagamores."
- Table 2.3, Population Data Derived from Purchas (1625), provides an important clue to the elimination of the Wawenoc Indians
as an important regional tribe from recent Maine histories. (Why
would the Wawenocs be less important than the Arosaguntacooks or the Pequakets?)
In this list of villages, Snow lists at least 7 and possibly 8 Wawenoc
villages as Kennebec. The last 3 villages, listed as Penobscot, also
may have been Wawenoc in the late prehistoric period. (pg. 37).
- "Samuel Purchas published a description of what he called the country of
'Mawooshen.' Gorges (1890:76)
calls the same place 'Moasham.' Both references are to the area later
clearly identified as belonging to the Eastern Abenaki. The Purchas
list in particular is quite explicit. He defines the area in terms
of a series of river drainages extending from Mount Desert Island on the
east to the upper portion of the Saco River on the west. Purchas
gives us 10 terms that lead us to the modern names of 11 rivers (Table
2.3). These include the Union, Penobscot, Orland, Bagaduce, St. Georges
(?), Damariscotta, Sheepscot, Kennebec, Androscoggin, Presumpscot, and
Saco (Snow 1976d)." (pg. 55).
- "The ash splint basketry for which the Penobscot and others are well known
today was introduced later in the colonial period by Swedes on the Delaware
River and was therefore not part of the A.D. 1600 inventory (Brasser 1974). Smoking pipes were made of both clay and stone." (pg. 58).
- "The Indians of the Androscoggin River are known
best to history as the Arosaguntacook. The river started out with
the same name, but its name was later changed in honor of the colonial
governor Edmund Andros (1637 - 1714). The Indians of the Kennebec
are best thought of under that name even though the later importance of
the village of Norridgewock led to the more frequent use of that name in
late colonial documents. Wawenoc Indians, who appear in many later documents,
were simply residents of the coastal drainages between the Kennebec and
Penobscot that I have chosen to lump with the Kennebec." (pg. 61).
- Chapter 4 (pg. 157-186) contains an important discussion of Rene Thom's
catastrophe theory as applied to prehistoric and contact period population
levels and dislocations. "...for the moment it is mainly a handy
model for illustrating archaeological discontinuity graphically (Renfrew 1978). Figure 4.1 illustrates the collapse of a system using a simple
cusp catastrophe as a model." (pg. 158).
- Commenting on the Damariscotta shell middens, Snow says "Coastal adaptations
generally and the exploitation of shellfish in particular have been the
focus of recent controversy in New England archaeology. I should
say at the onset that I think that the abundance of prehistoric shellfish
refuse and the controversy itself have combined to exaggerate the importance
of this food resource to Indian populations. ... Clearly oysters, and shellfish
generally, could not have been more than a supplementary part of the diet
for most people most of the time." (pg. 178).
- The map on page 189, among others, provides graphic evidence for the lack
of archaeological research in the Norumbega bioregion, which is between
the Penobscot and Kennebec rivers. Almost all archaeological sites
in Maine are east or north of the lower Penobscot River.
- Chapter 5 contains an interesting discussion of the "Rise and Fall of the
Red Paint People." "The popular mythology that accumulated around
the Late Archaic cemetery remains of northern New England has only recently
been surpassed in bulk and absurdity by the currently popular Celtic craze."
- Snow agrees with Bourque that at the end of the early horticultural period
"...people were spending fall, winter, and spring in pit houses on coastal
sites. They presumably spent the summer months taking salmon, alewife,
shad, and eel at fishing stations on interior streams. Although smaller
than Late Prehistoric settlements, the coastal sites were probably occupied
for a longer period during the year and may have been more permanent than
later coastal camps." (pg. 301).
- On the late prehistoric period Snow observes: "We have seen that the Eastern
Abenaki had about 22 such main villages, most of which are now under modern
towns and cities. The pattern of living at dual central places, coastal
and interior, was replaced by a pattern of living at single intermediate
central places on lower stream courses. Interior and coastal camps
were by now not themselves central places, but temporary camps, and the
criteria for their specific locations changed." (pg. 336).
- Snow agrees
with Bourque that these settlement pattern changes occurred around 1100
AD in Maine and may be due to the peak of climatic warming that occurred
at this time.
- "The rise of large central villages in northern New England after A.D.
1000 was accompanied by a decline in the importance of coastal camps.
Coastal pit houses, and presumably winter residence on the coast, disappear
after A.D. 1200 in the St. Croix and St. John drainages. None of
Bourque's (1971:166-216) sites on
the Maine coast show evidence of occupation after A.D. 1100. Indeed,
Bourque had trouble finding any sites postdating A.D. 1100 along the coast."
Speck, Frank G. (1940). Penobscot
man: The life history of a forest tribe in Maine. University of Pennsylvania
Press. Reprinted in 1998 by The University of Maine Press, Orono, ME. IS.
- Though Speck thought the Wawenocs "an unimportant" tribe (see his comments
in Penobscot Man,) he took the trouble to visit the few remaining
descendents of the Wawenocs residing at Becancour, Quebec in 1912, interviewing
Francois Neptune, who is pictured in this report, and recorded surviving
myth texts which are given at the end of the article.
- "It is one of the laments of ethnology that the smaller tribes of the northern
coast of New England faded from the scene of history before we were able
to grasp the content of their languages and culture. At this late
day practically all have dwindled below the power of retaining the memory
of their own institutions -- their link with the past. Nevertheless,
some few groups along the coast have maintained existence in one form or
another down to the present." (pg. 169).
- "On the western and southern boundaries of Maine the Wabanaki bands escaped
extinction only by fleeing to Canada, where their descendants now live
at the village of St. Francis. Of the tribal names included in this
group, however, one in particular, the Wawenock, has long been reckoned
among the obsolete." (pg. 169).
Spiess, Arthur E. and Cranmer, Leon.
(Fall 2001). Native American occupations at Pemaquid: Review and results. Maine
Archaeological Society Bulletin. 41(2). pg. 1 - 25). IS.
- One of Maine's most popular and frequently read commentaries on Native
American history and the most important publication on Penobscot traditions,
family hunting territories and origins, Speck gives voice to Native Americans
who have been traditionally squelched or ignored, especially by his excellent
and detailed descriptions of their material culture and their social life.
- Speck's anthropological study of the Penobscots is relevant to a study
of any of the Abenaki communities in Maine. Speck makes this important
comment in his postscript, written two decades after he did his anthropological
research: "...the people we now designate as Penobscot are in reality an
ethnic composite, the tribe itself a political unit, its culture a blending
of native New England elements derived through a course of some centuries
from perhaps wider horizons than we know of as yet." (pg. 301).
- "The Penobscot Indians refer to themselves as Pa' nawampske' wi.ak,
'People of the white rocks (country),' or 'People of where the river broadens
out.' ...nearly all the Penobscot villages were on the Penobscot River,
and their hunting grounds bordered it.." (pg. 7).
- "The loose tribal organization characterizing the people of the whole northeastern
region, indeed, did not tend to develop very strict land distinctions outside
of the family hunting territories. Close ethnic relationship, furthermore,
made their contact easier and less liable to intertribal constraint." (pg.
- "Some confusion exists in reference to the names of tribes and local subdivisions;
unspecified inclusion under the names Tarratine and Etchemin of tribal
bands which were later assigned proper names such as Norridgewock, Aroosagunticook,
Kanibas, Sakoki, Wawenock, Sagadahock, Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, and Malecite."
- "Weymouth, at about the same time (1605) encountered in Penobscot Bay people
who if not Penobscot were Wawenock, and he left some few observations on
the country." (pg. 13).
- "During 1615-16 a conflict is supposed to have arisen between the Penobscot
(Etchemin or Tarratine) and the tribes (Abenaki) west of them, after which
an epidemic of sickness occurred -- the historic 'plague' that nearly annihilated
the natives of the northern New England coasts." (pg. 13).
- "With the Malecite, their neighbors on the northeast and east, the Penobscot
are on most intimate terms, there being, as formerly, many intermarriages
between the two tribes. The Penobscot, however, as a tribe, hold
themselves somewhat above the latter." (pg. 16).
- "The Penobscot and the Passamaquoddy have always maintained a close relationship,
and frequent intermarriages have taken place. The Penobscot are correctly
aware of the dialectic similarity between Malecite and Passamaquoddy, attributing
it to the fact that the latter are an offshoot from the former, their separation
dating back several hundred years to a division of the Malecite at a breaking
up of their main village E'kpohak near Spring Hill on St. John River.
Those who migrated southward settled at Passamaquoddy Bay and founded the
tribe." (pg. 17).
- "With the Passamaquoddy, the Malecite, and the Micmac, the Penobscot were
joined in early times in a loose alliance for protection against the Iroquois."
- "A small and unimportant tribe formerly dwelling on the coast, near Georges
River, immediately west of Penobscot Bay, was known as Walina' 'ki .a'
k (or Wa' linak) 'Cove (or little bay) people.' These
people are recorded in the historical accounts as Wawenock. While
supposed to be extinct or to be scattered among other tribes of the east,
being remembered only by name among the Penobscot, some of their descendants
are still to be found with the latter." (pg. 19).
- "The culture of the Penobscot is typical of the tribes east of the Piscataqua
or the Saco River, and south of the St. Lawrence, which constitute the
ethnic group known as the northeastern Algonkian or Wabanaki. Dependence
upon hunting and fishing for subsistence amid extensive and well-watered
tracts of forest, upon birch bark and wood for economic material characterize
the area. Passing from west to east the tribes of this grouping include
the present St. Francis Abenaki (formerly Norridgewock, Aroosaguntacook,
Sokoki, and other remnants), the Wewenock, the Penobscot, the Malecite,
the Passamaquoddy, and marginally the Micmac. Culturally these six
tribes have many common attributes, though differences are numerous and
marked when details are considered, and the same is true in regard to dialect.
They are known among both Indians and Europeans as Wabanaki..." (pg. 21-22).
- "There is, furthermore, reason to believe that the tribes of the Wabanaki
group came southward into New England, supposedly having crossed the St.
Lawrence, and reached the coast where they settled, later branching off
into bands which turned their faces farther eastward. To support
this it is also true that a break is found in the sequence of culture between
the Wabanaki and the tribes south of them on the Massachusetts coast and
that the two groups were in early colonial times politically quite disassociated."
- "Said Captain Francis of the Penobscot some years ago, 'All the tribes
between the Saco and River St. John were brothers: that the eldest lived
on the Saco: that each tribe was younger as we passed eastward." (pg. 23).
- In his postscript, Speck makes another important point, probably because
his text was criticized for constructing a romanticized concept of "Penobscot
Man" as a single ethnic community. It was after this criticism that
he added his postscript with the notation above about the Penobscot community
as an ethnic composite. He also made one other point of particular
importance for any attempt to reconstruct a Maine 16th century ethnic culture
milieu: "The matter presented in the foregoing monograph is intended to
draw a cultural picture in historic times of an Algonkian tribe of the
northern New England forest -- the Canadian zone of the biologist.
Its time-span is confined to horizons lying within the limits of the latter
half of the nineteenth century." (pg. 301).
- By the late 19th century, there were only a few survivors of the Wawenoc
community living in the St. Francis community in Quebec; by this time they
were certainly an unimportant ethnic component of Maine's remaining indigenous
population. Speck has avoided the thorny issue of attempting to reconstruct
a description of or an analysis of the cultural significance of the Wawenoc
community as it existed 350 years prior to his research on the Penobscots.
At least, however, he acknowledges their previous existence.
- Also see Speck's publications in the Native Americans
in Maine contemporary publications bibliography.
Sturtevant, William C., Ed. (1978). Handbook
of North American Indians. Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.
- "...analysis of the charred plant material from a late prehistoric (ca.
1420 to 1500 A.D.) feature confirmed corn and possibly bean horticulture
on the site." (pg. 1).
- "The latest reanalysis indicates corn agriculture arriving in northern
New England after 1100 A.D. (Heckenberger et al.
1992)." (pg. 22).
- "Conversion of the conventional radiocarbon age to calendar years ... places
the date of harvest of that corn between 1430 and 1460 A.D. ...Thus, the
corn is pre-European contact in age, and it documents a Native agricultural
village on Colonial Pemaquid about 200 years before the European village."
- "These identifications prove the agricultural nature of the Late Ceramic
occupation at Colonial Pemaquid, and are a major addition to the understanding
of central coastal Maine prehistory." (pg. 22).
- "We suspect that the Native village at what was to become Colonial Pemaquid
was a village mentioned in Purchas's
1625 census of the Maine coast." (pg. 24).
Sullivan, James. (1804). The history of the Penobscot Indians.Collections
of the Massachusetts Historical Society. 1st series, 9. pg. 207-232.
- The largest and most comprehensive contemporary publication on Native Americans
in North America, with egregiously inconsistent reporting on Maine's Native
American communities in Volume 15.
Swanton, John R. (1952). The Indian tribes of north
America. Smithsonian Institution Bureau of MAerican Ethnology Bulletin
145. United States Printing Office, Washington, D.C.
Thayer, Henry O., Ed. (1892). The Sagadahock colony,
comprising the relation of a voyage into New England. The Gorges Society,
Reuben Gold, Ed. (1896-1901). The Jesuit relations and allied documents:
Travels and Explorations of the Jesuit missionaries in New France 1610-1791. 73 vols. Burrows Brothers, Cleveland, OH. Reprinted in 1959 by Pagent Books,
NY, NY. X.
Trigger, Bruce G., Volume Ed. (1978). Volume
15, Northeast. In: Handbook of North American Indians. Sturtevant,
William C., Ed., Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.
- This text is frequently cited in our Norumbega Reconsidered publication.
- Many of the observations of Pierre Biard about the early history of French
settlement in the maritime penninsula are located within these 73 volumes. See especially volume 2 page 223 pertaining to his visit to the ruins of
the Popham Colony in 1611, where local Native Americans told Biard of the
difficulties of trading with the English as well as of their hostility.
- Ruben Gold Thwaites has in his introduction this comment: "The rules of
the church, prescribing a fish diet on certain holy days, led to a large
use of salted fish throughout catholic Europe; and, by 1578, full a hundred
and fifty French vessels alone, chiefly Breton, were employed in the Newfoundland
fisheries, while a good trade with the mainland Indians, as far south as
the Potomac, had now sprung up. The island colony proved valuable
as a supply and repair station for traders and explorers, and thus served
as a nucleus of both French and English settlement in America." (Vol I.,
- Available on the web at: http://puffin.creighton.edu/jesuit/relations/relations_01.html.
Trudel, Marcel. (1973). The beginnings of New France,
1524-1663. McClelland and Stewart, Ltd., Toronto, Canada.
- The definitive survey; excerpts from volume 15 are frequently referenced
in this publication.
- See the Revisionist's Paradigm: Part I in Norumbega
Reconsidered for Brasser's superficial comments on Maine's Native
Tuck, James A. (1971). An archaic cemetery at Port au
Choix, Newfoundland. American Antiquity. 36(3). pg. 343-358.
Tuck, James A. (1975). The northeast
maritime continuum: 8000 years of cultural development in the far northeast. Arctic
Anthropology. 12(2). pg. 139-147.
- Among the first and most important publications on the maritime archaic
culture of eastern Canada.
- "...'morphological variety, comprise the gouge; adze; plummet; ground slate
points and knives, including the semi-lunar form of ulu which also occurs
in chipped stone; simple forms of bannerstone; a variety of chipped-stone
projectile points, mainly broad-bladed and side-notched forms; and the
barbed bone point.' Further this tradition 'underwent regional specialization
to various degrees' for 'better ecological adjustment'. (Ritchie 1965:79-80)." (pg. 354).
- "Two more concepts which bear on the Maritime Archaic are the Boreal Archaic
(Byers 1959, 1962)
and the Old Copper culture." (pg. 356).
Watson, Lawrence W. (1907). The origins of the Melicities.Journal
of American Folk-Lore. 20. pg. 160-162.
- Tuck pioneered the formulation of the theory of a "maritime archaic" era
in eastern coastal North America prehistory. This concept has been
criticized and modified by Bourque in Diversity and Complexity in Prehistoric Maritime Societies.
The alternative version of "maritime archaic" was the earlier myth of the
Red Paint people (see Sanger, 2000) derived
in part from Moorehead's 1920 excavation of Maine maritime sites in eastern
Maine including at the Halls Falls Archaeologic site.
- The lifestyles and technology of the Maine maritime archaic population
only differs slightly from that described by Turk for communities to the
- "The hypothesis that maritime adaptation on the Northeast coast (Maine
and Atlantic Canada) began as early as 9000 years ago is suggested.
...rising sea levels have inundated evidence for this adaptation in Maine
and the Maritimes. ... Rapid cultural change (associated with environmental
change?) around 3500 years ago is suggested to have given the false impression
of a population replacement at that time." (pg. 139).
- "This paper... takes as its basic tenet the explicit rejection of all migration
hypotheses which cannot be absolutely documented." (pg. 139).
- "It has been pointed out by a number of workers from the time of Moorehead
to the present that there is considerable difference between the 'Red Paint'
people of Maine and the 'shellmound people' who appeared later and were
the probable ancestors of the historically known natives of that area.
Recently, Dean Snow (1972) proposed
quite the opposite -- an in situ development from Archaic to shellmound
peoples in the state of Maine." (pg. 141).
- "...a burial mound in southern Labrador dated at 7530±140 B.P. (I-8099)
containing bifaces, gouges and red ochre suggests considerably earlier
beginnings." (pg. 144).
- "...profound cultural changes undergone by coastal inhabitants of Maine
and the Maritimes... [included] cessation of marine hunting, changes in
terrestrial hunting patterns, adoption of bark rather than dugout boats,
technological changes, etc." (pg. 145).
Wilbur, C. Keith. (1978). The
New England Indians: An illustrated sourcebook of authentic details of
everyday Indian life. Globe Pequot Press, Chester, CT. IS.
Willey, Gordon R. (1966). An introduction to American
archaeology, I: North and middle America. Prentice-Hall, Englewood
Cliffs, NJ. IS.
- The best introduction to the (southern) New England
Indians for middle school and high school students, this text is lavishly
illustrated, well organized and easy to peruse for a casual reader.
- Wilbur's listing of the tribes of New England is
particularly telling commentary on the eradication of the tribal identity
of the Wawenoc Indians as well as of the Kennebecs, Arosaguntacooks and
Pequawkets from contemporary history texts. Wilbur provides the following
definition of tribes living in northern New England: "Abnaki - New England's
northernmost tribe were hunters, not farmers. Untouched by the epidemics,
these dread and cruel Tarrantines (as they were called by the tribes to
the south) warred on the disease-ridden tribe called the Massachusetts."
- Oversimplification of a very complex cultural milieu
is the first step in ethnohistoric cleansing. A lot of misinformation
in one sentence.
- A standard reference on North America's native inhabitants,
this text contains important information about Native Americans living
in Maine, especially with respect to archaic artifacts found at Ellsworth
Falls. (Byers, etc.)
Williams, Roger. (1643). A key into the language of America. Reprinted in 2004, Dennis Cerrotti, Ed., Sea Venture Press, Brookline, MA. IS.
Williamson, William D. (1832). The
history of the state of Maine; from its first discovery, A. D. 1602, to
the separation, A. D. 1820, inclusive, Volume I and II. Glazier,
Masters & Co., Hallowell, ME. Reprinted by The Cumberland Press, Inc.,
Freeport, ME. IS.
Willoughby, Charles C. (1935). Antiquities of the New England Indians with notes on the ancient
cultures of the adjacent territory. Peabody Museum of American Archaeology
and Ethnology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA. Reprinted in 1973 by
AMS Press, Inc., NY, NY. IS.
- The most detailed description of New England and
Maine Indian tribes in any Maine history book. Williamson makes some
mistakes such as misspelling Tarrantines and identifying Indians living
on the Saco River as Sokoi (they were not - as Day makes clear, the Sokoi
lived on the upper Connecticut River in Northfield). Nonetheless,
this history, along with Sewall's Ancient Dominions of Maine, contains
basic information on Native Americans in Maine, including the Wawenocs,
that is no longer included in contemporary Maine and Native American history
- "the latter [Tarratines] began the war. ...Gorges says, 'his [Sagamore's]
chief abode was not far from Pemaquid.' His place of immediate residence
was probably between that river and Penobscot bay. ...his political
dominions included, at least, all the Indians upon the Kennebec, the Androscoggin,
and probably the Saco. Capt. Smith further states... 'they hold the
Bashaba to be chief, and the greatest among them.'" (pg. 214).
- "Samoset.....an inhabitant of the remote East, who, to the astonishment
of the Pilgrim settlers at Plymouth, walking boldly and alone into their
streets, greeted the forlorn colonists with 'Much welcome, Englishmen,'
in a broken dialect of their own tongue."
- "these Taratine warriors....cut their way to the residence of the Bashaba;
and when they had killed him and his adherents, they carried away his women
and all his valuable effects, in triumph; laying waste his immediate territories.
These were thought by some old writers, to have been the ruins of what
the Europeans or natives have called the ancient Arâmbeck,
or the remote parts of Norombegua; to which the victors, as far
at least as to the western banks of Penobscot, or even to St Georges, might
perhaps now have succeeded." (pg. 215).
- "To these distresses succeeded a pestilence, which spread far and wide,
and was exceedingly fatal. It has been called the plague. It
raged in the years 1617 and 1618, and its wasting effects extended from
the borders of the Tarratines, through the whole country, to the Narragansetts."
- "The people died suddenly, and in great numbers, through the whole intermediate
coast. It is said, some native tribes became extinct; and their bones
were seen years afterward by the English, bleeching above ground, at and
around the places of their former habitations. The specific disease
is not certainly known." (pg. 216).
- "The Openangos are supposed to have been the inhabitants upon the Passamaquoddy-bay." (pg. 458).
- "The Tarratines were the inhabitants of Penobscot river. They
were one of the three Etechemin tribes. The Wawenocks lived about the Sheepscot, Pemaquid and St. George rivers in Maine, between
the Kennebeck and Penobscot both exclusive." (pg. 459).
- "The aboriginal people of Maine belong to two great divisions, the Abenaques
and the Etchemins. They are all, without doubt, the descendants of
the same original stock. ...The two people have been by Historians, much
confounded." (pg. 463).
- "All the older authors, Smith, Purchas, Winthrop, Prince and Hubbard agree,
that the general name of the natives upon the Penobscot was 'Tarratines';
and that they lived on terms of friendly intercourse with the Abenaques
tribes until about A.D. 1615-16..." (pg. 464).
- "...the Abenaques, were the people who originaly inhabited the country
between Mount Agamenticus and St. Georges river, both inclusive.
This is confirmed by what we know of their general government, or common
sovereign." (pg. 464).
- "'the Bashaba to be the chief and greatest among them,' ...His chief
abode was not far from Pemaquid. ...His dominions, which were large, Gorges
adds, were called by the general name of Moasham, or according to
Belknap, Mavooshen; 'and he had under him many great Sagamores,
some of whom had a thousand or fifteen hundred bowmen.' After his
overthrow and death, he was never succeeded by another of equal rank or
authority." (pg. 464-465).
- "The tribes of the Abenaques were four, 1. the Sokokis,
or Sockhigones; 2. the Anasagunticooks; 3. the Canibas,
or Kenabes; and 4. the Wawenocks." (pg. 465). Williamson
has never been forgiven for misidentifing the Indians of the Saco River
Valley, the Pequawkets as the Sokokis. This long standing error was
corrected by Gordon Day (see above.)
- "The principal residence of Kennebis, the paramount lord, and his
predecessors of the same titular name, was upon Swan Island, in a delightful
situation..." (pg. 467).
- Of the domain of the Kennebis, Williamson notes: "The territories, which
the tribe claimed, extended from the sources of the Kennebeck to this bay,
and the Islands on the eastern side of the Sagadahock, probably to the
sea." (pg. 467).
- "Old Norridgewock was a most pleasant site, opposite the mouth of Sandy
river--the general and almost sole resorting place of the tribe, immediately
after their numbers or ranks were thinned; and a spot consecrated to them
by every sacred and endearing recollection." (pg. 467).
- "The Wawenocks inhabited the country eastward of Sagadahock, to the river
St. George inclusive. They were the immediate subjects of the great
Bashaba." (pg. 468).
- "The other division of the aboriginal people in Maine, were the Etechemins.
They inhabited the country between the rivers Penobscot and St. John, both
inclusive." (pg. 469).
- "There are three tribes of the Etechemins, --1. the Tarratines; --2. the Openangos, or 'Quoddy Indians; --and 3. the Marechites, or Armouchiquois." (pg. 470).
- "The Tarratines are particularly mentioned by Smith, Hubbard, Prince,
Gorges and all the modern Historians of this country; and it is well established,
that they were the native inhabitants of Penobscot, claiming dominion over
the contiguous territories, from its sources to the sea. Smith, however,
has represented the Penobscot mountains (in Camden) as a natural fortress,
which separated them from their western borderers, or neighbors." (pg.
- "After the conquests and glory achieved in their battles with the Bashaba
and his allies; they [the Tarantines] were not, like their enemies wasted
by disease and famine." (pg. 470).
- "The Wawenocks never made any figure after their ruinous war with
the Tarratines."(pg. 482).
- "Charlevoix says, 'the Indians of the St. Francois, uniting the Anasagunticooks
and Wawenocks, were a colony of the Abenaques, removed from the
eastern parts of New-England, for the sake of French neighborhood.'"
- Williamson notes that forty Wawenoc fighting men were noted as available
in 1749 for service in the French and Indian Wars.
- "The Etechemins [Passamaquoddy], ... are still inhabitants of their native
country, humbled, however in view of their decline and ultimate destiny.
... Their remaining population in 1820, amounted only to 1,235 souls, that
is to say, 390 Tarratines [Penobscots], 379 Openangos, and 466 Marachites."
- "The greatest aboriginal monarch of the east was entitled 'the Bashaba',
previously mentioned, whose residence was with the Wawenock tribe.
Besides his immediate dominions, extending probably from St. Georges to
Kennebeck, the tribes westward to Agamenticus, and even farther, acknowledged
him to be their paramount lord. His overthrow, in 1615 or 16, terminated
the royal line and rank." (pg. 494).
- One of the most important and scholarly of the older publications on all
Native Americans including those living in Maine.
Wilson, Margaret Jerram. ( 2007). Norumbega navigators: Early English voyages to New England and the story of the Popham Colony. Wilson Publications, Bath, England. IS.
Winship, George Parker, Ed. (1905). Sailors'
narratives of voyages along the New England coast, 1524-1624. Houghton
Mifflin, Boston, MA.
Wiseman, Frederick M. (2001). The voice of the dawn: An
autohistory of the Abenaki Nation. University Press of New England,
Hanover, NH. IS.
- See our information file reproduction
of a section of this book by James Rosier, A True Relation of Captain
George Weymouth his Voyage. Made this Present Yeere 1605.
Wood, William. (1634). New England's prospect. Thomas
Cotes for John Bellamie. Reprinted in 1865, Deane, Charles Ed. Publications
of the Prince Society, 1. Boston, MA. Reprinted in 1967, NY.