GLIMPSES OF THE PAST
Contributions to the History of Charolette County and the Border Towns
I – INTRODUCTION
“All the facts of history,” says Emerson, “pre-exist in the mind as laws…The fact narrated must correspond to something in me to be credible or intelligible.”
The half settled, half nomadic Indians, returning from time to time to rebuild their bark wigwams on the old sites, are men whom we can understand; for we, too, are a wandering race, with our hearts still turning towards home, though our canoe is the ocean steamship, and the railway our forest trail. The stories of French discoverers and explorers appeal to a love of adventure which each of us feels, or has felt. The spirit of enterprise which brought the earliest English speaking settlers to these shores is still alive in their children; and that noble devotion to sentiment by which our Loyalist forefathers were moved is a trait which, even in this more prosaic age, would find admiring sympathy in every heart.
There are many places of historic note within the limits of the old Acadia; yet few of which the recorded events are more interesting or more important than are those of Passamaquoddy Bay and the surrounding country. The history of this region falls into four distinct periods:
a. The Indian period. When the first Europeans visited this country, they found here an aboriginal race, of unknown antiquity; a friendly and hospitable people, of interesting language, traditions and customs; but a people so weak in numbers that the intruders, whether French or English, had no hesitation in taking possession of the land in the name of their respective kings. This people, whose home was the forest, welcomed the French to share in the products of the chase; but they instinctively understood, (better, perhaps, than we do today,) that forest health was the true wealth of the country, and they had good reason, therefore, apart from their alliance with the French, to look upon the Saxon, the axe-man, as their natural enemy. Fairly or unfairly, they have been dispossessed; and the period of European discovery was to them the beginning of the end.
b. The French period. Passing over the early Norse, Spanish and Portuguese explorers, who, so far as known, did not visit Passamaquoddy, (though the Spanish undoubtedly saw and named the Bay of Fundy,) the French period begins with the voyage of DeMonts, in 1604, and ends with the treaty of Utrecht, in 1713. This may be subdivided into an early period, the period of French exploration, and a later one, that of French occupation. After the treaty of Breda, in 1667, in which the English surrendered, for the time, their claim to Acadia, the French settled in considerable numbers abut the shores of Passamaquoddy Bay, but they seem to have abandoned it before the English conquest. We have relics of their occupancy in names of places, as will be seen in the article on geographical names.
c. The early English period. Nearly fifty years after the departure of the French, the first New Englanders came. They came voluntarily, as new settlers, to seek their fortunes ….. a movement very different from that which marked the following period. It is not generally recognized that the attitude of the Passamaquoddy Indians at this time was a source of much anxiety to the British, and possibly had an influence in deciding the result of the Revolutionary War.
d. The Loyalist period, Like a page of romance is the story of the coming of the United Empire Loyalists; largely a forced migration, yet cheerfully undertaken, from devotion to principle; a movement that has marked on the map of North America an indelible boundary line and given British responsible government to half a continent. Sincere and brave men there were in the land they left behind them, who are honored as patriots there; but none of purer motives or of more noble life. The lands they cleared, the towns they built, the county they named with a royal name, are our inheritance; and whatever we can learn of their thoughts and words and deeds is well worth learning.
II – PREHISTORIC MONUMENTS
Little is known of the ancient inhabitants of our land. Little can be learned of the life and habits, the origin and history of a people who have left no buildings and no writings: and this may be said in a general way of the aborigines of Acadia; for the buried hut bottoms found in many places can scarcely be called ruined buildings, and , with the exception of the inscriptions mentioned below, the few Indian writings now known to exist are scarcely worthy of mention.
Whether the forefathers of our Indians were the earliest inhabitants of this region is a question which may perhaps never be satisfactorily answered; but there is at least some little ground for the opinion that they were preceded by a people of different race and habits.
The Passamaquoddies have a tradition of the existence of such a people, whom they call Caansoos, or Konsoos, (plural, Konsoosuk,) and who, they say, disappeared and went to live in the under world. Then they find stone implements of which they do not know the use, they speak of them as left by the Konsoosuk. (a)
Stories current some twenty or thirty years ago, abut a stone altar said to have been found somewhere in the interior of the country, and ruins of a temple on one of the hills overlooking Lake Utopia, must be discredited because unsupported by later observations. But most people living in the east of this county have either seen or heard of the “Laney stone,” a slab of red granite found at Lake Utopia about twenty-five years ago, on one side of which was carved in relief the representation of a human head. (b) It seems hard to believe that such work could have been done without metal tools; yet the pioneers of Acadia found no metal tools in use among the natives. Unless the unique carving is of comparatively recent date, it is difficult to escape the conclusion that it is a relic either of an extinct people or of a prehistoric settlement of Europeans here; in which case, it is strange that no further trace of such a people have been seen. (c) Some artificial arrangement of stones, some terraces or excavations, some greater earth-works than those of the beaver, might surely be expected. Will they ever be found? That such remains of a former civilization might exist, as yet unnoticed, is not incredible, when we consider how little of a trace is left of the dwellings of our own people, even in places where inhabited houses have stood within the memory of living men.
Mr. George Creed, of South Raewdon, N. S., has carefully examined and made numerous fac-similes of some strange inscriptions on the rocks on the shores of a small lake (d) in that province, an account of which he has prepared for publication. The characters differ from those which the early missionaries found in use among the Micmacs and no on has yet been able to interpret them. Possibly the faces of some of our cliffs bear similar records, over which the gray lichens have written their story of desolation, or the soft green mosses, fit emblems of oblivion, have drawn their thickest veil. Anything resembling the work of human hands is worth investigating. (e)
(a) The statement is made on the authority of Mrs. W. Wallace Brown, of Calais. Mr. Brown was formerly an Indian agent, and still takes an active interest in matters relating to the Indians; and Mrs. Brown’s patient study of the language and traditions of the Passamaquoddies has made her the leading authority on the subject.
(b) Mr. Edward Jack was a resident of St. George when this piece of sculpture was found and knew the stone mason who discovered it as he was looking on the shores of Lake Utopia for material for his work. Turning over this block of stone, the mason noticed the face and carried it home. His wife objected to its presence there because it “glowered at her,” so, in order to keep peace in the family, the husband disposed of it to Mr. A. J. Wetmore, then a collector at the port of St. George.
(c) This carved stone is now in the museum of the Natural History Society, at St. John. It is figured in “Field and Forest Rambles,” by Dr. A. Leith Adams; one of the most interesting books ever published about New Brunswick. A faithful copy of the carving on it and a plan of the locality in which it was found are given in a paper by
I. Allen Jack, D. C. L., of St. John, included in “Miscellaneous Papers relating the Anthropology,” published by the Smithsonian Institution in 1881. His conclusion is that the stone is a genuine relic of an age antedating the period of British, and probably that of French occupation; and that the carving was intended to represent the head of a deceased Indian at whose grave it was probably originally placed.
(d) A curiously marked stone found at Minister’s Island is described by F. Ganong, M. S., in an illustrated article in the University (of N. B.) Monthly for March, 1885. The stone is now in the museum of the University at Fredericton; and the markings are thought by some to have been made by the Indians long prior to the advent of Europeans. An article in the “Canadian Indian,” for June, 1891, discusses supposed picto-graphs in New Brunswick.
III – THE SCULPTURED STONE OF LAKE UTOPIA
In the autumn of 1863 or winter of 1864, a remarkable sculptured stone, representing a human face and head in profile, was discovered in the neighborhood of St. George. This curiosity was found by a man who was searching for stone for building purposes and was lying about one hundred feet from the shore of Lake Utopia.
The stone, irrespective of the cutting, which is in relief, has a flat surface and is of the uniform thickness of 2 inches. Its form is rounded elliptical, and it measures 21½ inches longitudinally, and 18 ¼ inches across the shorter diameter. The stone is granulate, being distinguished from granite proper by the absence of mica.
I believe that the finder, who, as I have stated, was searching for stone for building purposes, was attracted by the shape of the stone in question; that it was lying on the surface and covered with moss, and that it was not until the removal of the moss that the true character of the object appeared. An examination of its surface must, I think, convince the observer that the stone has been subjected to long-continued action of water, and from its situation it seems fairly certain that the water which has produced the wasted appearance was rain and rain only.
I hesitate to speak of the precise period when the stone showed no marks of rain. I feel, however, that I am safe in expressing the belief that it would require a length of time commencing at a date before a Frenchman is known to have set foot in this country to produce from the action of rain so worn a surface as this stone exhibits. If this proposition is correct, there can be no reasonable ground to doubt that the carving is the work of an Indian.
A very obvious question presents itself to the mind of the investigator which may here very properly be considered. What purpose would an Indian have in view in producing this curious work of art? I think that I can suggest an answer.
Upon one occasion, while in conversation with an old resident of St. George, he gave me an account of a somewhat singular monument which, many years before this period, stood on the summit of a high hill near the Canal, (a) and about one-half mile distant from the place where the carved stone was found. It consisted of a large oval or rounded stone, weighing, as my informant roughly estimates, seventy-five hundred weight, lying on three vertical stone columns, from ten inches to one foot in height, and firmly sunk in the ground thus… (The above weight, I should imagine, is an over-estimate, but I give is as stated to me.) My informant stated that the boys and other visitors were in the habit of throwing stones at the columns, and eventually the monument was tumbled over by the combined efforts of a number of ship carpenters, and fell crashing into the valley. (b) Some years afterwards, I read for the first time, Francis Parkman’s “pioneers of France in the New World,” when my attention was at once arrested. Champlain, the writer states, had journeyed up the Ottawa River beyond Lake Coulange. I quote what the historian writes of what the explorer sees: “Here, too, was a cemetery, which excited the wonder of Champlain, for the dead were better cared for than the living. Over each grave a flat tablet of wood was supported on posts, and at one end stood an upright tablet carved with an intended representation of the features of the deceased.”
Now, it may be that there is no connection whatever between the Indian custom described by Champlain, as existing at the place described, and the finding of the sculpture and the appearance of a large stone, supported on stone columns, at a place in New Brunswick. The points are certainly far apart, and while in one place there is clear evidence of the common custom, there is in the other barely sufficient evidence to justify the supposition that there may be a single instance of the adoption of the custom. Two conjectures may be made, however, either of which if correct might account for the supposed existence of an Ottawa custom in New Brunswick. An Indian might have been captured, or might have been carried, or have found his way, to the Maritime Provinces. Or a young Malicete might have been carried away by the Ottawas and escaped to his home. The use of a large stone instead of a wooden tablet scarcely deserves comment, for the change of material would in no sense interfere with the object in view.
I think that a careful or even a superficial examination of the carving must impress the observer with the idea that it is intended to represent the face of an Indian, and the head although viewed only laterally, certainly presents many of the peculiarities of the North American type.
(a) First published in “Miscellaneous Papers Relating to Anthropology,” in report of Smithsonian Institution for 1881 (now out of print).
(b) The name is applied to a natural waterway which connects Lake Utopia with the Magaguadavic River.
(c) The original paper was accompanied by a map of the locality on which was marked the position of the stone. The existence of this stone altar and ruined temple which were mentioned in the last number.
IV – THE WABANAKI
Whether it is held that the Micmacs and Etchemins were the primitive inhabitants of New Brunswick or that they were preceded by another race, it may be regarded as certain that they were in undisturbed possession of the territory long before the white men came. The Passamaquoddies, or Etchemins, have removed to the other shore of the St. Croix, and are now no longer numbered among the inhabitants of Charlotte county; but the place names which they have left behind are monuments more enduring than buildings of sculptured stones.
Before taking up the history of our county since the advent of Europeans, it is right that we should glance at what is known of these people, who met and welcomed the first white men that trod our shores, who were the friends and not the foes of our ancestors, and whose present condition is their misfortune more than their fault.
The Indians of this region belonged to the great Algonquin family, extending from Labrador to South Carolina, and westward nearly to the Rocky Mountains. The nation or confederacy which included the Passamaquoddies was known as the Wabanaki, a name which is generally interpreted as meaning “people of the east”, or “people who live nearest the dawn.” (a) The word has been variously spelled; Abanakai, Abnaki, Abenaki, Abanaki, and Abenaquis, being some of the forms in which it is found. (b) Opennago is probably another form of the same word. There were four tribes or divisions of the Wabanaki – the Penobscots, the Passamaquoddies, the St. John River Indians, and another, which is said to have scattered and merged in other tribes, but probably now represented by the Abanakis of Becanour and St. Francis. (c) The Passamaquods, or Passamaquoddies, were known to the French as Etchemins, by which name were also included the St. John River Indians, (now known as Maliseets, or Milicetes, (d) and the Penobscots. The Micmacs are of distinct origin, and were at one time a separate nation. (e) Edward Jack, C. E., in a paper read last month before the Canadian Institute at Toronto, states that the principal subdivision of the Wabanaki took their distinctive names from the districts in which they lived; as, for instance, Kambesinnoaks, “those who lived near the lakes;” Sokowakiakio, “men of the south;” Nurtantsuaks, “those who travel by water.” It is held by some authorities that the name Passamaquoddy (Peskamaquontik) was of similar origin.
According to Indian tradition, the Passamaquoddies are descended from a man and woman belonging to two of the older tribes, who, as they could not agree to live with either tribe, made for themselves a home in this region, which was then unoccupied.
The traditional songs and stories of the Wabanaki show they were a people remarkable for their poetic imagination. Mrs. Brown, who has a large manuscript collection of their myths and legends, believes that the Passamaquoddies surpassed all the other tribes in this respect. The next few articles will deal with this people and their curious folklore. As to their history before the coming of the whites, almost nothing is known, owing to their lack of written records; (f) but as to their habits of life, etc., we have some testimony in the old refuse heaps, so frequent along the shores of the Passamaquoddy Bay. In the next subsequent article we will give an abstract of a paper by Mr. G. F. Matthew, which embodies all that is known upon this subject.
Mrs. Brown has been told by the Passamaquoddies that the shell heaps were left by their forefathers; who, they say, made autumn encampments on the shore, for the purpose of getting a winter’s supply of clams. They chose a spot from which it was easy to get back to their winter hunting grounds; therefore the shell heaps are generally found near the mouths of navigable streams. The clams were put into an oven, and cooked just enough to be taken out of the shells easily; and were then dried on sticks. This preserved them, and made them light and easy to carry. Several households, they say, used the same oven; which accounts for the great number of shells in one place. The saltiness of the clams made them an important article of food, as salt was unknown in its crystalline form.
(a) The Indians themselves do not know the meaning of the word. The late Father Vetromile, of Eastport, missionary to the Etchemins, gives an elaborate argument to prove that the name is derived from “wab,” white, and Naghi, ancestor; and means “our ancestors of the east,” a term of respect applied to them by adjoining tribes. Mrs. Brown accepts this derivation; but, as “naghi” is used as a title of respect (much as “father” is with us), would take the name to mean, rather, “the people living near the light, whom we respect.” Louis Mitchell, a member of the Passamaquoddy tribe, and their representative in the Maine State Legislature, translates it, “the people of the northern lights.”
(b) The spelling which we have adopted shows, as nearly as possible, the Passamaquoddy pronunciation of the word. The “a” represents a sound broader and more nasal than “a” in father, and approaching that of “a” in all. The final “i” has the sound of “y” in the English word chalky, with which the last two syllables of Wabanaki nearly rhyme.
(c) The chief emigration of the Abenakis from their original home to the St. Lawrence seems to have taken place under Frontenac’s administration. At that time the Jesuits had brought together, at St. Joseph de Sillery, a certain number of these Indians, and formed, with those who were already there, an Abenaki mission of 500 to 600 souls; and in 1683 they established, on the Chaudiere, another more considerable one which they named St. Francois de Sales. This Abenaki emigration is a subject well worthy of investigation. Puritan bigotry brought Indians from Maine and settled them in two villages on the Chaudiere – Becanour and St. Francis. It was always the policy of the French to keep villages of friendly Indians on all rivers navigable for canoes, to block the way of the English to Canada. —W. F. Ganong.
(d) Some of the more intelligent of the Abenakis of the St. John say that their ancestors came from the west, and that the original inhabitants of New Brunswick were Micmacs. In furtherance of these views they say that the names of a great number of the branches of the St. John consist of Micmac words. One of our Abenakis, with whom I have had frequent conversations, gives the meaning of “Melicite” as being “broken” language; referring to the original language of the Abenakis having been corrupted by an admixture of Micmac words. Abbe Maurault, who for many years was missionary to the Abenakis of St. Francois, on the St. Lawrence, derives the word from Maloudit, those from St. Malo; this being, he says, the name which the Abenakis gave to the “metis” among them, because the greater part of their fathers came from St. Malo. The Abbe further states that the French called the Indians residing on the St. Croix and St. John rivers, first, Eteminiquois, and later, Etchemins. This name was given them he states, because the Abenakis called this territory “Etemanki” “land of snow shoe skins,” on account of the abundance of moose and caribou to be found there. —Edward Jack.
(e) Mrs. W. Wallace Brown, who possesses the largest collection of precious wampum known, has a treaty belt on which are three marks supposed to represent the three tribes of the Wabanaki, after the departure of the lost tribe, and before the union with the Micmacs.
(e) The Wabanaki and neighboring tribes had a regular method of writing, and were accustomed to sent messages on birch bark; but their writing seems never to have been used for historic or literary purposes. A curious book of prayers in the Micmac characters is in the possession of Mr. W. W. Brown.
V – DISCOVERIES AT A VILLAGE OF
THE STONE AGE AT BOCABEC
(a)(From a paper by G. F. Matthews, M. A., F. R. S. C., read before the Natural History Society of New Brunswick, Feb. 5, 1884.
A number of members of this society combined to form a summer encampment in Charlotte county, in August last, for the purpose of studying, during a short vacation, the botany, zoology, (b) and archaeology of a locality in that county. As the work in the last named branch was entrusted to me, it becomes my duty to tell you of the result.
The spot chosen for investigation was a group of kitchen-middens or shell heaps which mark the site of an abandoned village of the Stone Age, at a place called Phil’s Beach, near the mouth of the Bocabec River.
The site was well chosen, for the advantages of the place to a people who depended for existence on hunting and fishing are manifold. A clay flat, flanked on the west by a long protecting hill of felsite rock, running parallel to the course of the Bocabec River, and on the east by a similar ridge which separates this river from Digdeguash inlet, was the spot chosen for the principal settlement. To the north of the clay flat, where there is now an open field, the standing forest broke off the keen winds of winter; and to the south was the sea-beach, where drift wood in abundance was thrown up, and where boats or canoes could be kept, secure from the rising and falling tide. Sea-fish and marine animals no doubt abounded there, as now, along the whole of this river. The inhabitants of the village could float up with the tide. Three miles, to the head of navigation, whence they had a five mile range for hunting beaver and larger game on the branches of the Bocabec River; or by going out of the river and passing around into Digdequash inlet a still more extensive woodland tract was open to them. From the mouth of the Bocabec they could also cross Passamaquoddy Bay in various directions in search of seals and seabirds.
On first surveying the ground, it was observed that the north side of the village site was comparatively smooth, having been under cultivation since the arrival of the English, and no inequalities remained that would indicate where the dwellings of the ancient inhabitants had been. Fully one half of the site of the village, however, including the part on which the shells of the kitchen-midden were heaped together in the greatest quantities, had never been disturbed by the plow. In the western part of the shell-covered area, where the heaps of shells were most conspicuous, the presence of numerous saucer-shaped depressions indicated the positions of the huts of the aboriginal settlement.
In digging a trench we struck an ancient fire-place, which was made the center of exploration for several feet around. It was found that at this point the deposit in the hut bottom was about two feet deep, but its fire-place rested upon an older kitchen-midden, or refuse heap beneath.
The exact form and size of the typical hut was disclosed by a layer of clean beach gravel, which we met with about 15 inches from the surface. This layer formed a ring around the
fire-place, at a distance of from 2 to 3 feet from its center, and was bordered all around by the shells of the kitchen-midden. The ring of gravel was about 3 inches thick in its deepest part, and was continuous except on the south side where a break about four feet long marks the position of the door.
There are two peculiarities in the foundation of this hut which would lead to the inference that the hut was conical. The first is the relation of the kitchen-midden to the gravel of the sleeping-bench. In making a trench through this hut-bottom, and others adjoining, sections of several layers of gravel marking such sleeping-benches were passed through at various depths in the deposit; and in all, the outer edge of the gravel of the sleeping-bench was found to be overlapped by the shells of the kitchen-midden as though the shells had fallen in upon the gravel after the decay of the poles which had supported the walls of the hut. A second feature of the appearance of this foundation, which seemed to indicate a conical form to the dwelling, was the width between the ends of the gravelly layer of the sleeping-bench. If this space corresponds to the width of the doorway it would be quite out of proportion to the size of such a dwelling, unless the doorway was rapidly narrowed above by the convergence of the poles supporting the sides of the hut.
I have said that they underlaid their sleeping bunks with gravel. This couch they no doubt made softer by covering with boughs, and warmer by the added luxury of fur skins. Nevertheless in some respects they were exceedingly slovenly. The ashes and
charcoal of their fire-places gradually accumulated to such an extent, that to level up the sides of their huts, they brought in gravel and threw it on the trampled clam shells and other debris of their feasts that were scattered over the floor.
From the present aspect of the surface of the kitchen-middens at this village site, a rough approximation to the population of Bocabec River during this latter part of the Stone Age may be obtained. Including subsidiary villages, there may, at times, have been a population of 200 souls located near this river.
One of the occupations of the women living at Bocabec was the manufacture of pottery. The coarseness of the clay used in the manufacture, as well as the defects in the material and the imperfect baking, compelled these potters to make their ware very thick, in order to obtain the necessary strength. Their vessels were seldom less than three-eighths of an inch thick in any part, except near the rim, and the bottoms were usually about half an inch thick.. It is only just to give them credit for a considerable amount of rude taste in the ornamentation of their pottery. Upon the fragments found at the three hut bottoms we examined, there are no less than ten distinct designs or patterns impressed upon the surface of the ware. Some of them are quite ornamental. A favorite style of ornamentation consisted in continuous parallel lines made with pointed tools; but a more elegant pattern was a chevron, consisting of rows of short diagonal lines impressed in this manner. Some of the patterns indicate a different process of manufacture from the last; these show the print of a course woven fabric on the outside of the vessel, and sometimes also within. On some fragments this pattern has the appearance of a fine basket work, and may have been used to preserve the form of the vessel, as well as to ornament the surface. One pattern of the class first referred to, consisting of square, incised dots, is precisely like the marking on some fragments of pottery which I met with about fourteen years ago at Oak Bay.
Though their pottery was coarse, the people of Bocabec showed a great degree of proficiency in another art, namely, the manufacture of implements of stone. This industry we may suppose was in the hands of the men, and some of the implements obtained show that it was brought to great perfection. The lance-heads were flat and of a long oval pattern. The arrow-points were chiefly of three patterns, viz., lozenge shaped, lanceolate-leaf-form, and triangular, with lateral notches for securing the point to the shaft. Many of those arrow-points were rudely made, others more highly finished. There was a remarkable scarcity of axes and of the larger stone implements at these hut bottoms.
Among the objects from Bocabec are a number of skinning-knives. Those which showed the most careful chipping were rectangular in outline, like some agate knives found on the St. John River. Several, however, were lunate or oval. The material used in the manufacture of these knives was either quartz or Petrosilex, mostly the former. Scrapers in great numbers were found in the hut bottoms of this village site, but they were as imperfectly made as they were numerous, and none were met with that possessed the artistic finish of the agate scrapers found on the shores and tributaries of the St. John River. Though thus lacking in elegance, the scrapers found at Phil’s Beach, Bocabec, present a variety of forms, and were no doubt intended for various uses. Beside the ordinary scraper, which in form may be compared to a gun-flint with rounded corners, and which was used for dressing skins, there were several kinds which were probably used as carpenters’ tools.
Bone implements of various kinds were found both in the hut bottoms and in the kitchen-middens, but mostly in a fragmentary condition. The most abundant were codkins of a rough type. These were made in most cases by pointing split pieces of the legislature bones of moose, deer, and other large animals. Several fragments of netting needles, or implements which from their size and form appear to have been available for this use, were found, and one perfect needle of this kind, about eight inches long, was met with. Of ivory implements, the only ones found were made of the tooth of the beaver.
Vanity is a foible quite as prevalent among savage as civilized communities, and we are not surprised to find indications of it among the dwellers at Bocabec. Among the “reliquae” of their hut bottoms was a fragment of a stone pendant decorated with crossed lines in the form of a lattice and two kinds of powder, which appear to have been kept in shells of the common clam. One of these powders is made from galena ore, small veins of which occur on the islands of Digdeguash inlet, near Bocabec. The powder is bluish and has a glistening appearance. The other powder, which was formed of the pulverized shells of the horse mussel, could have been used as a pearly white paint. These powders would appear to have been a part of their toilet requisites.
Among all the weapons, implements, and other objects found at Bocabec, not one article has been met with which in any way would lead to the supposition that these people were acquainted with the products of European industry. An inference regarding the antiquity of this village site may also be drawn from the covering of vegetable mould which has gathered on the surface of the shell-heaps to a greater or less depth in different parts. In the hollows, and especially over the hut bottoms, this mould has attained a considerable depth, in some places as much as a foot or eighteen inches. But while on the one hand these conditions point to a period anterior to the discovery of America, or at least of the region of Acadia, by the “White Race,” as the time when the shores of the Bocabec ceased to be occupied by the people whose remains we have examined; on the other hand, their sojourn on its banks, when compared with the whole period of the Stone Age, was both recent and short.
Finally, as regards the origin of the people who made these kitchen-middens at Bocabec, a few words may be said. The indication of a conical form to the huts, which I think is sufficiently shown, points strongly to a resemblance between these huts and the well-known wigwam of the Indians. The choosing of a smooth beach for the village site; the fact that they appear to have had canoes or boats of some sort to transport the vast quantities of clams which formed an important article of their diet and which could not have been dug with ease or found in sufficient quantities in front of their village; the capture of fish which would not take the hook but must have been taken by spear, harpoon, weir, or net; the dependence of the people on hunting for the more acceptable variety in their food; the character of the rude pottery; the use of coarse woven fabrics; and a variety of other features of their culture and mode of life, are such as we know to have been common to them and the Indian tribes of Acadia.
Referring to Micmac writings mentioned in the last article, Mr. Edward Jack sends us the following interesting notes:
Abbe Cigone, a native of Lyons, in France, who dedicated his life to the service and instruction of the Micmacs in Nova Scotia, invented an alphabet for them. He must have come to Nova Scotia about the end of the last century, or early in this. His memory was long revered among these people, who looked up to him as their guide and best friend.
Many years since I was storm stayed at Digby. There was storm stayed there at the same time a remarkably intelligent gentleman who claimed Massachusetts as his home. To my astonishment I overheard him speaking in Acadia French to one of the servants. He laughingly remarked, as I entered the room “I am an Acadian myself,” “Where did you get your education?” I said to him. “From Abbe Cigone” was his reply, “and I can well remember his teaching me to translate Quintius Curtius, as we sat by the fire on which a piece of pitch pine was occasionally thrown, so as to furnish us with light enough to enable me to read. We had not even candles in those days. The Abbe wanted to make me a priest; but I left him and went off to the United States”.
I do not know whether I have spelled the Abbe’s name correctly, as I have not seen it written, that I can remember. I have heard that his father was mayor of Lyons at the time of the French revolution.
Some years since, when at Little Bay, Notre Dame Bay, Newfoundland, I made the acquaintance of the Rev. Father Flynn, a young priest who resided there. One of his charges was at the mouth of Indian River, where there was a settlement of Micmacs, of them he told me that there were 150 families on the island. These Indian River Indians made a better living by hunting than the whites did by fishing. The father told me that in their correspondence with Cape Breton these Micmacs used hieroglyphics; and that they had prayer books printed in these hieroglyphics. He did not know where these prayer books were printed; but he thought at Berlin.
One day, as the father and I were talking at his house, a tall, powerful looking Micmac came in carrying a stone pot in his hand, which he presented to the priest. This was one of the pots, said Father Flynn, used by the Red Indians of Newfoundland, who have been exterminated. “I have seen,” he added, “a place in a ledge of soap stone, on this island, which is full of holes caused by the Red Indians cutting out pots.”
We had been talking about the Micmacs of the island and their hieroglyphics a short time before this; and Father Flynn, after thanking the Indian for the curiosity he had given him, said: “Joe! sit down at the table and write the Lord’s prayer for this gentleman!” Joe accordingly took a piece of paper and by means of his pencil soon covered it with his hieroglyphics. All that I could distinguish among them was the cross.
The Micmacs came to Newfoundland, I think, about the time when the Acadians were expelled from Nova Scotia. Father Flynn told me that in Cape Breton the Micmacs have a king, who is crowned by the bishop; and I see in Rakluyt’s voyages that their king is spoken of, in the account of a voyage made during the reign of Henry VIII, to what is known as Saint Anne’s harbor, in that island.
(a) The full paper, of which this is an abridgment, was published in Bulletin No. III of the Nat. Hist. Soc. of N.B. 1884.
VI – WABANAKI LEGENDS
(By Mrs. W. Wallace Brown)
It has been said that the legends of a people are subject to climatic influence. How far Wabanaki legends are influenced by climate would be difficult to determine.
That the Wabanaki were a superior people, peacefully inclined, and full of poetic imagery, all must concede, who have listened to their legends. Wonderful poems, in themselves, are these legends; peopling every nook and rivulet; not altogether from the imagination, but giving voice and language to all nature. They have been said to resemble so strongly the ancient sagas of the Scandinavians as to suggest a common origin. Possibly the Indian received these mystic songs from the Northmen, who are said to have visited this coast a century before Saemund collected the sagas of the Edda; yet it is just as possible that those sagas were borrowed from the Indian.
The Indian tongue is not deficient in its capacity of expression; and its grammar, though unwritten, is formed on a similar model to that of the so-called learned languages. (a) The legends of the Wabanaki may be divided into two general classes, mythology and folk-lore. Their folk-lore is an unlimited number of tales, in which human properties are ascribed to the lower animals, and made to explain any seeming discrepancy in nature.
Gloos-kahp or Glooskap, as he is called by the Passamaquoddies, (Glos-cap by the Micmacs; Gloos-kop-be by the Penobscots;) is the great central figure in Wabanaki mythology. Though regarded by his people with high admiration, he is not exactly a divinity. He is believed to be all-powerful, all-wise; and yet his name seems a misnomer, for the word glooskap means a liar.
There is little cosmogony antedating Gloospay; who is said to have “come out of this mists of the swamp” – the Indian idea of chaos. He shot arrows into the ash tree and called mankind therefrom. He named and changed for man’s use the already created animals, reducing the size of some of them, and adapting them to their mode of life. Still a friend of the Wabanaki, he hears their call and aids them in time of need.
The stories told of Glooskap’s life are innumerable and varied. When he left his people, he went down under a great cobs-cook (water-fall); and there, on an island, he remains; in company with his adopted grandmother. His wigwam is lined with pockets made of bark which shines like silver. He is making arrows; and when he has the pockets full of arrows he will consume the world in a fire, caused by his arrows flying thick and fast in battle. (b)
How Glooskap Chased K’chi-Quabeet.
K’chi-Quabeet (the Great Beaver) had been the source of much annoyance; and Glooskap determined to capture him; so he took a position on the top of N’monee-quen-e-moosa-kesq as the Indians call the hill between Waweig and Oak Bay, which means “the place of many sugar maples.” There he could get a good view of Qua-beet-a-osis, or Beaver-house, (the Indian name for the cone-shaped island in Oak Bay, now called Cookson’s Island.)
But the Great Beaver had been warned of his danger, and had already left for the St. John River, where he built a dam. The ledge of rocks at the Falls is still called “Chi-Quabeet-a-wick-pa-hegan, or Great Beaver’s dam. He then started for further up the river.
When Glooskap found the beaver had escaped, he followed after him as far as the dam at St. John; breaking the dam, in hopes that the rush of water would bring the beaver within his reach. Then Glooskap took a large stone and threw it up river, expecting to drive the beaver down stream again. But the beaver had gone into Lake Ah-Ben-squaa-tuct, where he has built another wigwam; and the rock which Glooskap threw fell near Tobique, where it may still be seen.
Besides having such superhuman powers, which he always exercised for the good of his people, in some of the tales Glooskap seems to have had a beneficent control over the forces of nature. An instance is given in the following song, recited to the writer by an Indian named Stephen Neptune:
How Glooskap found the Summer
In the long ago time, When people lived always in the early red morning, before sunrise, Before the land of the Wabanaki was peopled as today, Glooskap went very far north, where all was ice. He came to a wigwam. Therein he found a giant – a great giant – for he was winter. Glooskap entered; he sat down. Then Winter gave him a pipe; he smoked, and the giant told tales of the old life. The charm was on him (it was the frost). The giant talked on and Glooskap fell asleep. He slept for six months, like a toad; then the charm fled, and he awoke. He went his way home: he went to the south, and at every step it grew warmer, And the flowers began to come up and talk to him. He came to where there were many little ones (c) dancing in the forest. Their queen was Summer. I am singing the truth: it was Summer, the most beautiful one ever born. The fairies surrounded their queen; but the Master deceived them by a crafty trick: He cut a moose hide into a narrow strip, and bade them hold one end: As he ran away with Summer, he let the end trail behind him. they, the fairies of light, pulled at the cord; But, as Glooskap ran, the cord ran out; and though they pulled, he left them far away. So he returned to the lodge of Winter; but now he had Summer in his bosom; And Winter welcomed him; for he hoped to freeze him again to sleep. I am singing the song of Summer. But this time the Master did the talking: this time his magic was the stronger. And ere long the sweat ran down Winter’s face, and then he melted more and quite away as did the wigwam. Then everything awoke; the grass grew, the fairies came out, and now the snow ran down the rivers, carrying away the dead leaves. Then Glooskap left Summer with them and went home.
There are other mighty beings in Wabanaki mythology. One of these, Pook-jin-squis, or the Toad-Woman, holds nearly as prominent a place as Glooskap. She is the harbinger of evil; and through her influence have come all venomous insects. She is seldom or never mentioned in the Glooskap tales; but is the center of another group of legends. (d)
Another mythical being, Lox, is the impersonation of mischief and obscenity; and resembles in character, as much as in name, the Loki of Norse legends.
The Keewaqu’ are a frightful race of cannibal giants, with hearts of ice.
Still more powerful and more dreaded, is Chee-bal-ok, the spirit of the air; who was the only being Glooskap feared. He is represented as having head, legs, wings, and heart; but no body. He has power in his shriek to kill all who hear him; and the sight of him would render one blind until sunset. Among the many other marvelous creatures, giants, and pigmies, friendly and unfriendly, even the names of which would make too long a list, there is another great being, seldom mentioned in the stories, but always feared – Katowks, the spirit of night and death.
(a) The Micmac, like many, if not all, of the other Native American languages, is remarkable for its copiousness, its regularity of declension and conjugation, its expressiveness, its simplicity of vocables, and its mellifluosness. In all these particulars, and others, it will not suffer from a comparison with any of the most learned and published languages of the world – reface to Rands’ Micmac Dictionary.
(b) The Micmac story says that Glooskap, grieved by the evil ways of men and beasts, sailed away to the west (from Minas Basin); and until he shall return again all nature mourns. A slightly different version of the story, as told in verse by Rev. A. W. Eaton, is given in another column. – Ed.
(c) The flower fairies.
(d) The long account of the conflict between Glooskap and Pook-jin-squia given by Leland in Algonquin Legends is the result of his piecing together several different tales. It was the Black Cat, not Glooskap, who vanquished the Toad-Woman.
VII – WABANAKI LEGENDS – Continued
(By Mrs. W. Wallace Brown)
One of the Passamaquoddy traditions tells that near the present site of the village at Pleasant Point there once dwelt a tribe of Konsoosuk. The place was called
Wa-beig-enuk; and the following story accounts for the origin of the name:
The Story of Wa-beig-an.
Wa-beig-an was a young hunter, whom the Catamount wished to marry. In those days hunters were not allowed to marry; as it destroyed their power of endurance and made them lazy. Therefore the young man avoided Catamount.
Catamount had two brothers, Lox and Sable, who were envious of Wa-beig-an’s success as a hunter; and they planned to entrap him into a marriage with sister. The Blue-jay was the poohegan (good genius) of the hunter; and it told him of their intention. He at once decided to leave the vicinity.
Catamount was watching him, however, and started to follow; her brothers, also, joining in the pursuit. Wa-beig-an ran till he came to the salt water. Then he followed the shore for a short distance; and, finding no other way of escape turned himself into stone.
Catamount, in her wrath, destroyed most of the body; but the legs remained, and gave to that locality the name of Wa-beig-an-uk.
It would be interesting to find the site of this ancient village. There can be little doubt of its existence; for it may be accepted as certain that all Indian traditions have some foundation in fact.
Many of the stories in Wabanaki folk-lore are of great length, and full of minute details, and yet are told with but little variation by different individuals.
Often the leading idea of these folktales reappear in the legends of distant tribes. Mr. Wallace Brown, while travelling over the C. P. R. a few years ago, met with a Cree Indian in the Northwest, who, to his surprise, told in broken English the familiar Passamaquoddy story of how the bear lost his tail.
The substance of the story is this: The bear saw the fox catching fish. This he did by dropping his tail through a hole in the ice, holding it there till a fish had taken hold, then jumping up quickly and bringing up the fish before it had time to let go. The bear tried to do the same. By the fox’s advice, he kept his tail in the water a long time, and it froze fast, and when he jumped up quickly it was broken off.
There is much in their folk-lore to show that the Indians were not without a sense of humor. In this connection we may give the following, which is part of a long story told to Mr. Edward Jack by one of the Wabanaki of St. John River:
How The Toad and The Porcupine Lost Their Noses.
Glooskap told his uncle, the Turtle, to make a feast; and the Turtle did so.
After this, the Turtle commenced plotting Glooskap. The latter, determined to know just what was taking place in the councils which the Turtle was holding with the other animals, and, in order to defeat their tricks, turned himself into an old woman and made his way to the council house.
At the door, he found another woman, the Porcupine, who was sitting at one side, while the Toad, also in the shape of a woman, was at the other.
Glooskap said to the Porcupine, “What does all of this mean?”
“It is none of your business,” was the reply.
So Glooskap, seizing the Porcupine’s nose between his fingers, pinched it off.
Turning, in a rage, to the Toad, and asking the same question, he received the same reply, and treated the reptile in the same manner.
As soon as the old woman was gone, the Porcupine said to the Toad, “Where is your nose!” At this the Toad, looking at the Porcupine, said, “Where is yours?”
Then they both knew that the old woman was Glooskap.
Referring to the Micmac writings mentioned in a former article,
Mr. W. F. Ganong writes:
Rev. Christian LeClerq, a Recollet missionary, improved, before 1690, the rude system of hieroglyphics he found among the Micmacs. How old the system was is not known, but it is probable that in its original form it was invented and used by the Micmacs themselves. It was still further improved by later priests, including Abbe Sigogne.
VIII – A Passamaquoddy ALLEGORY
At the risk of seeming to dwell too long upon the legends of the Wabanaki, (which, though interesting in themselves, are but slightly connected with our main subject) we reproduce this week from Leland’s Algonquin Legends, (a) by permission of the publishers, another typical Passamaquoddy tale. It is plainly an allegory of a frost-bound stream; in which the Great Bull-Frog represents the ice, and the spear of Glooskap the rays of the sun. The story is evidently somewhat embellished by Mr. Leland; yet its main points, no doubt, fairly reproduce the legend as told to him by Tomah Joe, to whom he credits it.
The Monster That Swallowed the Stream
Of old times, there was an Indian village, far away among the mountains, little known to other men; and the dwellers therein were very comfortable. The men hunted every day; the women did the work at home, and all went well in all things save this: the town was by a brook, and except in it there was not a drop of water in all the country round, unless in a few rain puddles. No one there had ever found even a spring.
Now these Indians were very fond of good water. The brook was of a superior quality, and they became dainty over it.
But after a time they began to observe that the brook was beginning to run low; and that not in the summer time, but in autumn, even after the rains. And day by day it diminished, until its bed was as dry as a dead bone in the ashes of a warm fire.
Now it was said that far away up in the land, where none had ever been, there was on this very stream another Indian village; but what manner of men dwelt therein no one knew. And thinking that these people in the upper country might be in some way concerned in the drought, they sent one of their number to go and see into the matter.
After he had traveled three days he came to the place; and there he found that a dam had been raised across the rivulet, so that no water could pass, for it was all kept in a pond. Then asking them why they had made this mischief since the dam was of no use to them, they bade him go and see their chief, by whose order this had been built.
And when he came to him, lo, there lay lazily in the mud, a creature who was more of a monster than a man, though he had a human form; for he was immense to measure, like a giant, fat, bloated, and brutal to behold. His great yellow eyes stuck from his head like pine knots, his mouth went almost from ear to ear, and he had broad skinny feet with long toes, exceeding marvelous.
The messenger complained to this monster; who at first said nothing, and then croaked, and finally replied in a loud bellow:
“Do as you choose,
Do as you choose,
Do as you choose,
“What do I care?
What do I care?
What do I care?
“If you want water,
If you want water,
If you want water,
Go somewhere else.”
Then the messenger remonstrated, and described the sufferings of the people, who were dying of thirst. And this seemed to please the monster, who grinned. At last he got up, and, making a single spring to the dam, took an arrow and bored a hole in it, so that a little water trickled out, and then he bellowed:
“Up and begone!
Up and begone!
Up and begone!”
So the man departed, little comforted. He came to his home, and for a few days there was a little water in the stream; but this soon stopped, and there was great suffering again.
Now these Indians, who were the most honest fellows in all the world, and never did harm to anyone save their enemies, were in a sorry plight. And the great Glooskap, who knew all that was passing in the hearts of men and beasts, took note of this; and when he willed it he was among them, for he ever came as the wind comes, and no man wist how.
And just before he came, all of these good fellows had resolved in council that they would send the boldest man among them to certain death, even to the village which built the dam that kept the water which filled the brook that quenched their thirst whenever it was not empty. And when there, he was to either obtain that they should cut the dam or do something desperate; and to this intent he should go armed, and sing his death song as he went. And they were all agog. Then Glooskap, who was much pleased with all this, for he loved a brave man, came among them looking terribly ferocious. In all the land there was not one who seemed half so terrible; for he appeared ten feet high, with a hundred red and black feathers in his scalp-lock, his face painted like fresh blood with green rings round his eyes, a large clam shell hanging from each ear, a spread eagle, very awful to behold, flapping its wings from the back of his neck, so that as he strode into the village, all hearts quaked.
Then Glooskap, having heard the whole story, bade them be of good cheer; declaring that he would soon set all to rights. And, without delay, he departed up the bed of the brook; and, coming to the town, sat down and bade a boy bring him water to drink; to which the boy replied that no water could be had in the town, unless it were given out by the chief. “Go then, to your chief,” said the Master, “and bid him hurry, or verily, I will know the reason why.” And this being told, Glooskap received no reply for more than an hour, during which time he sat on a log and smoked his pipe. Then the boy returned with a small cup, and this not half full, of very dirty water.
So he arose and said to the boy, “I will go and see your chief, and I think he will soon give me better water than this.” And, having come to the monster, he said, “Give me to drink, and that of the best, thou Thing of Mud.” But the chief reviled him, and said, “Set thee hence to find water where thou canst.” Then Glooskap thrust a spear into him, and lo! There gushed forth a mighty river; even all the water which should have run on while in the rivulet, for he had made it into himself. And Glooskap, rising high as a giant pine, caught the chief in his hand and crumpled in his back with a mighty grip. And lo! it was the Bull-Frog. So he hurled him with contempt into the stream, to follow the current. And ever since that time, the Bull Frog’s back has crumpled wrinkles in the lower part, showing the print of Glooskap’s awful squeeze.
Then he returned to the village, but there he found no people, no, not one. For a marvelous thing had come to pass during his absence, which shall be heard in every Indian’s speech through all the ages. For the men, being, as I said, simple, honest folk, did as boys do when they are hungry, and say unto one another, “What would you like to have, and what you?” “Truly I would be pleased with a slice of hot venison, and dipped in maple sugar and bear’s oil.” “Nay, give me for my share, succotash and honey.”
Even so these villagers had said, “Suppose you had all the nice cool, fresh, sparkling, delicious water there is in the world, what would you do?”
And one said that he would live in the soft mud, and always be wet and cool.
And another said that he would plunge from the rocks, and take headers, diving into the deep cool water, drinking as he dived.
And the third, that he would be washed up and down with the rippling waves, living on the land, yet ever in the water.
Then the fourth said, “Verily, you know not how to wish, and I will teach you. I would live in the water all the time, and swim about in it forever.”
Now it chanced that all these things were said in the hour in which, when it passes over the world, all the wishes uttered by men are granted. And so it was with these Indians; for the first became a Leech; the second a Spotted Frog, the third a Crab, which is washed up and down with the tide, and the fourth a Fish. Ere this there had been in all the world none of the creatures which dwell in the water; and now they were there and of all kinds. And the river came rushing and roaring on, and they all went headlong down to the sea, to be washed into many lands over all the world.
(a) Algonquin Legends, by Charles G. Leland, published by Houghton, Mifflin, & Co. Boston. a basso-relievo cut in red granite, of an oval shape, 24 inches long, 18 inches wide, and 1½ inches thick. Although much worn and defaced by time and weather, it still retains evidence of having been done by a bold and skillful hand. It was found in the month of November last, at the foot of a precipice of red granite, about a quarter of a mile from the western shore of Lake Utopia, in Charlotte county, New Brunswick. When it was shown to the Indians who frequent the neighborhood, they at once pronounced it to be the portrait of a chief, and said it was very likely that the chief himself was buried near the spot. They thought it was many hundred years old. If this surmise be correct and the grave can be found, it is possible that its contents may go far to establish the antiquity of the stone; for it was customary with the Indians to bury along with the deceased chief all the weapons he had used in war or in the chase, and whatever ornaments or trinkets he had possessed in his life time. Now amongst the first, or perhaps the very first Europeans who landed in New Brunswick, were Jacques Cartier and his party, who landed at Bay Chaleur in 1534. At a later date, 1604, a Frenchman named Des Monts established a colony and built a fort near the St. Croix River, now the boundary line between Maine and New Brunswick. He found the Indians friendly. He traded and lived on peaceable terms with them. The St. Croix is, in a direct line, only about twenty miles distant from the place where the sculptured stone was found at Lake Utopia. And if the grave can be discovered, and any of the contents should prove to be articles of European manufacture, such as glass beads or implements of iron, which the Indians usually get in exchange for their furs, this would be presumptive evidence of the stone having been the work of a comparatively recent date. If, on the contrary, none of these articles should be found, there would be fair reason to believe that it is of very great antiquity. The Indians who have seen it are quite at a loss to account for the fashion and quantity of the hair represented on the head, since from time immemorial, it was customary for the Indians to shave or pluck out all the hair, with the exception of the scalp-lock. And although the shape of the head and cast of the features represented on the stone were decidedly Indian, there is an Egyptian character about the whole which suggests some curious ethnological speculations. It may be mentioned that a few years ago, whilst some men were digging for the foundation of a house near the old Portage road, at the village of St. George, one mile distant from Lake Utopia, various Indian relics were found. Stone hatchets, arrows and spear heads, gouges, chisels, and other implements of flint. The tribe of Indians now living at Lake Utopia are the Passamaquoddies, descendants of the old Delaware stock, who for generations have made that locality their favorite haunt. These Passamaquoddies are very skillful in their representations of the beaver and other animals and we have seen some very beautiful specimens, sculptured in bas-relief, on the bowls of stone pipes. These figures were anatomically correct in drawing, and would do credit to a professional artist. The Passamaquoddies are much superior in every way to any of the other tribes of Indians inhabiting this province, being honest and trustworthy, and not addicted to drunkenness and other vices. Whilst retaining many of the peculiarities of their ancestors, they live a primitive and harmless life. These Indians are all Roman Catholics.
X – AN ETCHEMIN WAR SONG
The Passamaquoddies regarded all the Indians living to the westward as wild Indians. The fiercest and most dreaded of these wild Indians were the Mohawks, of whom they lived in constant fear; and the first league of the Wabanaki was probably formed with the hope of excluding these enemies from the three hunting grounds, on the Penobscot, the Passamaquoddy, and the St. John.
The Mohawks, as the most easterly tribe of the Iroquois confederacy, seem to have considered it their special privilege to make war upon the eastern nations. It was a long route, by lake and stream, from the Mohawk country, west of Lake Champlain, to the land of the Etchemin; but many a fierce war party made the journey, stealing silently through the forest in search of human prey.
The scattered Wabanaki warriors, though not wanting in valor at other times, fled in terror when a Mohawk war-party approached; or, if compelled to make a stand, fought at a disadvantage because overcome with fear. The best record of the general result of these encounters if found in the fact that even today a Passamaquoddy can scarcely speak of a wild Mohawk without some look or gesture betraying the horror associated with the name. (a)
The Passamaquoddies evidently depended as much upon m’taoulin or magic for success in warfare as on their fighting qualities or personal bravery. An instance of this given in the following story of an ancient war song, for which we are again indebted to Mrs. Brown.
The song was sung by a chief too old to fight, but great in m’taoulin power. He had witnessed a battle between his people and the Mohawks. His warriors had retreated and were trying to escape. Night came on the enemy encamped; but the old man and his disabled braves kept traveling until midnight.
During the night the old man sang his war song. His voice was heard even in the most distant part of his country; and every warrior at hearing it grasped his tomahawk and started, guided by the old chief’s song:
I remember, in my younger days, I never did run from fear of being killed as I do now. I remember, in my younger days, I never did step back before any warrior as I do now. but I have left my best and bravest warriors behind me to die. They will be tortured by the Mohawks. I remember, in my younger days, I never left even one of my braves behind as I do now. Oh! I have left some of my best warriors behind. I remember the days when I was young. I sing the song now I never did have to sing before. Let all the hearts of the trees, who have heard my poor weeping song arise and help me to rescue my braves that I have left behind. Let all the tops of the trees hear my song and come to help me. Let all the roots of the trees arise and come to help me. I remember the days when I was young. His song grew louder and louder, until the enemy heard it and trembled. Before daylight the next morning, his people came to his assistance; as did also the hearts of the trees, the tops of the trees, and the roots of the trees – a large army in all – and helped him to drive the enemy back to their own land.
(a) Mr. Edward Jack recently asked a Milicete child, “What is a Mohawk?” The reply was, “A big bad Indian who kills people and eats them,” a description which, two centuries and a half ago, was literally true.
XI – THE LAST FIGHT WITH THE MOHAWKS
Mr. W. Wallace Brown gives us the incidents of the following story, as told to him by an old Passamaquoddy woman named Mollie La-Coot. Apart from its historic interest, it is worthy of record as showing a degree of magnanimity and self restraint on the part of hostile savages for which we rarely give them credit. (a)
Before the coming of the English, the chief village of the Passamaquoddy tribe was at Quun-os-quam-cook, now St. Andrews. In a time of peace between the Six Nations and the Wabanaki, a Mohawk chief, named Hawk-u-mah-bis, or Snow-shoe-string, accompanied by his son, came to Quun-os-quam-cook; where they were hospitably received and treated as honored guests.
One day the son of the Mohawk chief and the son of the Passamaquoddy chief, while hinting together, killed a wah-be-ne-momks-wes, or white sable. The boys got into a hot dispute over the possession of the game, as it was considered a great honor to kill such a rare animal; and in the quarrel which arose between them, the young Mohawk was killed.
The chief of the Passamaquoddy, according to Indian custom, offered his son to the Mohawk chief to take the place of the boy who had been killed; but the Mohawk would not be appeased and left for home determined to return and take revenge.
He would seem to have fallen in with a company of his own people, for as the tradition says, he had been gone only about ten days when, one morning at daybreak, the Mohawks appeared in large numbers, and the woods rang with their war cry, “Coo-way-mitt.”
The Passamaquoddies were greatly alarmed, for any of their best warriors were away hunting; so they sent out a man with the loo-good-we-mede-wagon, or flag of truce, (the use of which they had learned from the whites) to propose that the matter should be settled by single combat.
“We should not fight and destroy each other,” they said, “for our nations are both becoming less in numbers each year, and if we keep on fighting thus the whites will soon out-number us.”
So they agreed to select a man from each tribe to fight the battle, each to be armed with a knife and a tomahawk.
The Mohawks chose their chief, who is described as tall and slender; and the Passamaquoddies chose a stout young Indian named Lux.
The fight took place early next morning in an open field at Quun-os-quam-cook in the presence of both the tribes.
At a given signal, the Mohawk threw his tomahawk. The Passamaquoddy dodged it, and immediately threw his weapon, but failed to hit his antagonist.
Then rushing upon each other, they clinched in a struggle for life.
They fell to the ground, the Mohawk on top, but the Passamaquoddy soon got the advantage, and plunged his knife into his enemy’s side, and presently sprang up to his feet again, waving the scalp of the Mohawk chief.
The Passamaquoddies were wild with joy and sang their song of victory while the Mohawks quietly departed, chanting their death song as they went. Lux, the Passamaquoddy champion, was a grandfather of the late Captain Lewy, after whom Lewy’s island is named. The age of Capt. Lewy at the time of his death would mark the probable date of the occurrence as about one hundred and fifty years ago.
(a) The Maliseets have a similar story, applying it to a locality above Fredericton, and I have been told that the Micmacs also have it and give the locality. W. F. Ganong.
I have heard from the Abanakis that at one time the Mohawks made an attack on the Indians in what is now Charlotte county, and their presence was betrayed by a silver ornament on the breast of one of the Mohawk warriors, as the moon’s rays fell upon it, while he lay in concealment, as the thought, behind a log on the shore. The Mohawk warriors had descended the St. Croix in their canoes.
The Abanakis have many stories about the Mohawks.
Currie’s Mountain, on the east side of the St. John, about five miles above Fredericton, is called by some of the old Abanakis Po-te-wis, Ne-jocs, or Little Council Mountain. This hill was so named according to the Abanakis, because in former years the Mohawk warriors always went there to hold a council of war before attacking the St. John River Indians in their strong hold on Nkarneodan, Hartt’s Island, nearly opposite. From this height they could overlook the island, and the Indians tell me that the Mohawks would remain on this mountain for days watching the movements of their enemies. – Edward Jack.
XII – THE GREAT FIRE COUNCIL AND THE TREATY OF PEACE
(From Sopiel Selma’s reading of the Wampum, (a) as translated by
Lewy Mitchell) (b)
This treaty was made between the Six (c)and Seven Nations (d) of Indians and the Abanakies, the People of the Northern Lights.
Before the treaty of peace, these Indians, Abanakies and Six Nations, are bitter enemies. They fight every time they meet. Many cruel battles are fought and many prisoners tortured.
When they fought their last battle, some of the wise men of both parties viewed the battlefield, and saw the number of killed and wounded; and said among themselves, “This work of cruelties must be stopped at once, and something must be done.” So they notify the head chiefs of the tribes, and the great chief of the Iroquois calls for a general meeting.
This meeting took place somewhere near what is now known as the St. Lawrence River. (e) Every tribe above mentioned sends their smartest and wisest Indians to make the treaty of peace.
The wigwam they entered was called Wigwam of Silence; they go in at early morn, when the sun rises, and not leaving it until the sun sets. During all these long hours, not a word was spoken or even whispered; but they formed their ideas in their hearts.
This Wigwam of Silence lasted seven days; and on the eighth day, they go in again, not only seven, but many other representatives of the various tribes; and each of the seven wisest men made speeches, saying, “This work of cruelties and torture shall no longer continue, because its going to destroy our people; and if the white people begin to come, if we fight among ourselves, they can destroy us much easier.” About this time the Indians began to know the Great Spirit, their Creator. They knew Him by the teachings of the white men. Then they knew they were doing wrong. They heard the Great Spirit made great light that enlightens the whole world – religion. So, the Indians, guided by light, can see their way; and when they meet, they know each other and make friends. The war hatched shall be forever buried as long as they see the rising and setting of the sun.
All the Indian tribes inscribed on the wampum are strongly united together in a wigwam, strongly protected by larkalosnihign, or strong fence. This wigwam of protection is situated in Conowaga; and the chief of that wigwam is called by the Indians Knikigan, our Parent or Master. He is the authorized chief to use ebis, the rod, to punish his children if they do not mind him.
Since the Indians made the treaty of peace, not a single battle has been fought; but remain good friends to this day.
Every village of each tribe has one of the lights, (religion) and they established the Great Council of Fire, or the greater light, in this place, where they meet every seven years. This place (f) is situated on the river St. Lawrence, now called Cognowaga.
(a) Wampum reading is the reciting of traditional records which the wampum commemorates. —– Mrs. Brown.
(b) Sopiel is Po-too-us-win, or keeper of the wampum, of the Passamaquoddies; Lewy was at one time their representative in the Maine State Legislature. The words and forms of expression, and also the spelling of proper names, are those of the translator. (It must be remembered that he is writing in what is to him a
foreign language.) The confusion of tenses is characteristic of Indian-English.
(c) The Six Nations of the Iroquois confederacy – Mohawks, Oneidas, Onodagas, Cayugas, Senecas, and Tuscaroras – who were removed to British territory after the close of the Revolutionary War.
(d) The Seven Nations of Canada. By this term several settlements of domiciliated Indians…..have been known. The seven villages, it is said, originally consisted of an Iroquois, an Algonquin, and a Nipesing branch at the lake of Two Mountains, and Iroquois branch at Caughnawaga, near Montreal, and another at Oswegatchie, a colony of Hurons at Lorette, and Abenaquies, at St. Francois. The St. Regis mission, formed about the time of the breaking up of that at Oswegatchie, took the place of the latter—–
State census of N. Y. Indians, 1855.
(e) The following letter, a copy of which Sopiel also has in his keeping, seems to fix the date of this meeting:
Caughnawaga, Nov. 27th, 1870
In general Council being present the chiefs of Caughnawaga and our brother Captain Sapiel Selmore of Passamaquoddy. This document will especially testify that we Chiefs and Warriors even our women and children in giving our heartfelt thanks for the kind and sociableness on your behalf Brothers of Passamaquoddy towards us in answer to your worthy Captain and delegate we in return give our most warm thanks. Giving you all our right hands throughout all your nations and tribes. Sympathizing your welfare for the future. In answer also to the Wampum which you have sent to us in return therefore we send to you ours. Specifing our treaty which took place A D 1810. Through all nations and tribes of Indians from the East and from the West from the North and the South Wherein our chiefs from every nation and tribe were present. Therefore we should bind the Good doings of our ancestors in this treaty of Peace. The English and American Generals were present. Having all the Indians of Wars incurring between them and No Boundary line should exist between us Indians Brothers not any duties of taxes be levied upon us. Now with regard to our Brethren The Six nations Indians who proposed to hold a meeting three years from hence for the purpose of making a Law for our protection combining with the Laws of the Dominion of Canada this Convention to be held with the Six Nations and the Seven Nations of Indians. Due notification will be sent throughout all our nations and tribes of Indians when the time will be on hand so as to be ready to attend to the said Convention.
Written in General Council at Caughauga giving all our right hands with our good wishes through all tribes of Indians BrethrenFrancis A. Dioume
Joseph K. Phillips
(f) The Passamaquoddies call this council Na-geemaq’asa-ha-ga K’chee Squadee, the council or conference of the Great Five; and the contributions and representatives sent by each tribe are figuratively spoken of as the fuel to keep this fire burning night and day during the time of meeting. The meetings have taken place oftener than once in seven years. —–Mrs. Brown.
XIII – PAST AND PRESENT CONDITION
OF THE Passamaquoddies
The supposition that the Indians of Acadia were sinking in the scale of humanity and on the verge of extinction before the white men came is not well founded.
“Instead of being the broken and scattered remains of nations formerly civilized,” remarks Hannay, in his History of Acadia, “they appear rather to be a race of men who had attained the highest state of advancement which it was possible for a race of hunters to reach with such implements as they possessed.”
Nor is it true that they have greatly deteriorated through their contact with Europeans. A terrible plague, still spoken of by the Passamaquoddies as the “yellow sickness,” swept over the country in 1694; and by it the number of the native inhabitants was greatly diminished. Since that time, in spite of their hardships, they seem to have been steadily gaining; and certainly are not now deteriorating, either in numbers or in physical strength. (a)
Parkman is evidently astray in saying that agriculture was unknown among the aborigines of Acadia. (b) There is evidence to the contrary in the story of John Gyles, who lived as a captive among the Maliseets from 1689 to 1695, and who speaks of the great field of Indian corn at Meductic, and describes their method of preserving it for the winter use. Cadillac, also, writing in 1693, mentions their cultivation of the soil. We may conclude therefore, that if the Passamaquoddies had no land in cultivation it was not for want of a knowledge of cultivated plants.
The old site of the principal village of the Passamaquoddies
is at Quun-os-quam-cook, (that part of the present town of St. Andrews which is still called Indian Point.) From there they were removed to the island now called Indian island; and, shortly afterwards, to the site of their present village at Sipayik, (Pleasant Point.) These removals, and other incidents of their intercourse with the whites, will be mentioned later.
The Passamaquoddies at Quun-os-quam-cook, two centuries ago, though like all nomadic hunters, suffering at times from want, must have been comparatively a contented and happy people. Better clothed and better nourished than the tribes to the north and west, they had leisure, as we have seen, to weave and memorize those marvelous tales in which the superstitions of their race are blended with a close observation and a genuine love of nature. Together with their greater love of song and story, they seem to have had a stricter moral code than the Indians of the St. Lawrence, and a scrupulous etiquette that was almost entirely wanting among the western tribes, whom they still speak of as wild (i.e., savage) Indians.
The almost incredible accounts which the early European visitors give of the abundance of fish and game, would indicate that the Passamaquoddies of old had no need of growing maize, except as an article of luxury. Their several clearings along the banks of the St. Croix, the first of which is said to have been near what is not called Crocker’s Island, are not known to have been used for this purpose, and were, probably, only camping places for hunting and fishing parties.
At Quun-os-quam-cook, probably they first came under the influence of the French; to whom they owe their conversion to Christianity, and also, perhaps, all that has been of real benefit to them in their knowledge of European civilization.
The French readily adapted themselves to the Indian mode of life; and, whether coming as missionaries or as fur traders, were always welcomed by the Etchemins, and were in some cases adopted as members of the tribe. (c) A number of French words were soon incorporated in the Etchemin language, with such modifications as the Passamaquoddy tongue required; amongst which are some of their most frequent Christian names such as Soc (Jacques), Sabattis (Jean Baptiste), Atwin (Ltienne),
Plansoa (Francois), Peol (Pierre), and Mollie (Marie). Mitchell, though apparently an English surname, is probably but a corruption of the French Michel.
With the coming of the English began the lumber trade and the destruction of the hunting grounds. The woodsman’s axe realized the fable of Chee-bal-ok, whose sound in the forest brought death to the hearer, and whom even glooskap himself might fear. Then began the hardships under which the Indian is suffering today. To quote again from Hannay:
“Every tree which is felled in the forest reduces the area of the hunting grounds which he inherited from his fathers. Every day he sees the girdle of fields and meadows narrowing the circle of his hopes. Driven back, mile by mile, whither shall he retire? He is a stranger and an alien in his own land – an outcast, robbed of his birthright by a stronger race. He and his tribe are but a feeble few, and their efforts avail nothing against the ceaseless advance of the pale faced race, who come welded together into a resistless phalanx by the iron hand of civilization. (d)
The most important event in the history of the Passamaquoddies since their removal to Pleasant Point was the peaceable division of the tribe in 1848, and the establishment by the half tribe of a new village at Peter Dana’s Point.
As a people, the Passamaquoddies are generally intelligent, industrious and well-behaved; and though denied the right of franchise under the laws of the state of Maine, they are generally regarded as peaceable and law-abiding citizens.
They claim the right to hunt and fish where they please, regardless of Maine state laws, (a right which the Penobscots have undoubtedly surrendered by treaty and deed) and Hon. Gec. M. Hanson of Calais, attorney-at-law, who is conducting their case for them before the supreme court, is confident of establishing the claim.
For a further account of the condition and early history of this people, the student should consult the works of Abbe Maurault, Rev. Eugene Vetromile, (Ababakis and their History), and James Hannay (History of Acadia, J. & A. McMillan, St. John; and Memoirs of John Gyles).
Any of their mythological tales and other matters of ethnographic interest are included in Leland’s Algonquin Legends, and in W. W. Brown’s contributions to the Anthropologist, the American Journal of Folk Lore, and the publications of the Royal Society of Canada. A very interesting account of their games is given by Mrs. Brown, (Tran. Roy. Soc. Canada, 1888, Sec. ii.)
Passamaquoddy vocabularies have been published by Rev. Elijah Kellog, (Mass. Hist. Soc. Coll., 3rd series, vol. 3, 1883) by Joseph Barrett, (“The Indians in New England,” Middletown, Conn., 1851) and by Miss Abby Langdon Alger, (Proc. Am. Phil. Soc., xxii., 1885). There is still great need of a good vocabulary of the language.
(a) Census returns are not always reliable. The U. S. census of 1890 gives the number of Indians in Maine as 140! There are, in fact, at the present time, over 500 members of the Passamaquoddy tribe, and nearly as many of the Penobscots.
—–W. W. Brown.
(b) Jesuits in North America.
(c) This was the case as late as 1792, when, in a treaty between the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Passamaquoddies, a special grant of land was made to “John Baptist Lacoote, a French gentleman now settled among the said Indians.”
(d) History of Acadia
XIV – INTER-TRIBAL RELATIONS AND
THE OLD ROUTES OF TRAVEL
(Rev. W. O. Raymond, M. A.)
At the beginning of the seventeenth century, the Indians of the Nova Scotian peninsula were termed Souriquois; those on the St. John River and westward to the Kennebec were called Etemenquois or Etchemins.
In the following century the Souriquois were usually called Micmacs. Their tribe in addition to the peninsula possessed eastern New Brunswick and the lower part of the St. John River. In historic times their relations with the Etchemins or Maliseets have been amicable and they were usually allied when anything was undertaken of a hostile nature against the English.
The Etchemins possessed the country from the St. John to the Kennebec, and may be territorially divided into the St. John River Indians, the Passamaquoddies, the Penobscots, and the Canibas, or Kennebec Indians.
The name Wabanaki or Abenaquis is frequently used as a common name for the group of Indians, although the early French authorities regard the Canibas as the Wabanaki proper.
Thus M. de Callieres writes:
“The Abenaquis or Canibas, who occupy toward the coast the country above Acadia inland from Doagues (Mt. Desert) to the river St. George which separates Acadia from New England, ordinarily reside on the Quinnebeguay (Kennebec) and disperse themselves for the purpose of hunting as far as Quebec.”
Parkman also states, on the authority of the Jesuit fathers:
On the river Kennebec dwelt the Abenaquis, an Algonquin people destined hereafter to become a thorn in the side of the New England colonies.
Governor Villebon, than whom few have been more intimately associated with the Indians of Acadia writes to M. de Lagny, September 2, 1964.
“There are three Indian nations in Acadia; the Canibas, the Malicites, and the Micmacs; each having a different language…the Malicites begin at the river St. John and inland as far as riviere du Loup and along the sea shore, occupying Pesmouquadis, Majais (Machias), les Monts Deserts and Pentagoet (Penobscot) and all the rivers along the coast. At Pentagoet among the Malicites are many of the Kennebec Indians. Taxous was the principal chief of the river Kinibeguy, but having married a woman of Pentagoet he settled there with her relatives. As to Matakando he is a Malicite. The Canibas are those settled on Kinibeguay.”
It is thought by many that the Wabanaki were driven eastward by the Mohawks about the beginning of the seventeenth century. This movement brought them into collision with the Souriquois, who were in turn pressed back toward the Gulf shore. This tradition is strengthened by the extraordinary dread with which the very name of Mohawk has been regarded by the Maliseets of the St. John.
After their settlement in Acadia the French estimated the number of Indians on the St. John, St. Croix, and Penobscots at about 2,500.
Whilst the Maliseets figure prominently in the early history both of New England and Acadia, it is doubtful if they could at any time have placed in the field more than 400 or 500 warriors. In point of fact there were never more than 300 Maliseets engaged in any of the numerous raids on the English settlements.
The migratory habits of the North American Indian were equally seen in peace or war. At one time the sea side attractions prevailed, at another, the charms of the inland waters. At one time the failure of game necessitated the quest of other hunting grounds, at another time, the mere love of change inspired a removal to new quarters. At one time the Indian bark skimmed the lakes bearing its dusky warriors against the enemies of their tribe, at another, the breaking out of the pestilence broke up the old camping grounds and scattered the savages in a dozen different directions.
The general effect of the nomadic life led by the Passamaquoddies in common with other Indians caused them to have an intimate acquaintance with the physical features of the surrounding country.
The old routes whereby the Indians kept up communication one with another are easily traced at the present day. Whilst it was quite practicable for the Indian in fine weather to pass from point to point along the coast, as a rule the frail nature of his bark led him to prefer the inland waters as a means of communication.
The Passamaquoddies, in going to the St. John, ascended by the St. Croix and Cheptuneticook lakes to the well known portage, or carrying place, leading to the head waters of the Medoctec, or Eel River. The extensive use made of this route is strikingly shown by the fact that the coarse granite rocks along the trail are in places worn to a depth of two or three inches by the feet of the voyageurs. In high water it was practicable to descend the Medocted to the St. John, but in low water a portage was necessary. This portage led across a neck of land to the Medoctec fort, or village, on the bank of the St. John River. From Medoctec the way to Quebec lay up the St. John, and via the Temiscouata to the St. Lawrence. Communication with the head of the Bay of Fundy was easy via the St. John, Washademoak and Petitcodiac rivers.
The waterways westward to Penobscot, Machias, and Kennebec, were via the St. Croix and Schoodic lakes, whence there was a short portage to the Machias lakes and another to the Passadumkeag, one of the eastern tributaries of the Penobscot.
The St. John River Indians, in travelling westward, went by way of the Mattawamkeag; between the headwaters of which stream and the large Cheptuneticook Lake there is another famous and well-worn Indian trail.
A good deal of interesting information about these old Indian highways is contained in Kidder’s Memoir of Col. John Allan and his military operations in eastern Maine and Nova Scotia during the Revolution.
THE ORIGIN OF THE ARBUTUS
An Indian Legend
At a recent meeting in Washington of the American Folk Lore Society, a paper prepared by Congress man C. E. Balknap of Michigan was read, as follows:
On the south shore of Lake Superior, in the vicinity of the pictured rocks, grows to perfection the dearest and sweetest of all wild flowers, the arbutus – the plant that the tender, loving touch of woman, even, cannot cause to grow in hothouse or garden.
There are two things that the learned white man does not understand – the Indian and the arbutus. From time to time, sitting by the camp fires in the evening, I have been told of the creation of many animals and birds by the Great Manaboosho and his captains, the Manitos, and this is the legend, as told me, of the origin or creation of the arbutus.
It was many, many moons ago, that there lived an old man alone in his lodge beside a frozen stream in the forest. His locks and beard were long and white with age; he was heavily clad in fine furs, for all the world was winter – snow and ice everywhere. The winds went wild through the forests, searching every bush and tree for birds to chill, chasing evil spirits o’er hill and vale, and the old man went about searching in the deep snow for pieces of wood to keep up the fire in his lodge.
In despair he returned to the lodge, and sitting by the last few dying coals, he cried to Manaboosho that he might not perish.
And the wind blew aside the door of the lodge, and there came in a most beautiful maiden. Her cheeks were red and made of wild roses, her eyes were large, and glowed like the eyes of fawns at night; her hair was long and black as the ravens, and it touched the ground as she walked. Her hands were covered with willow buds; her bonnet was a wreath of wild flowers, and her clothing of sweet grasses and ferns, and her moccasins were white lilies, and when she breathed, the air of the lodge became warm.
The old man said: “My daughter, I am glad to see you. My lodge is cold and cheerless, but it will shield you from the tempest of the night.
“But tell me how you are, that you dare to come to my lodge in such strange clothing? Come, sit here and tell me of thy country and thy victories, and I will thee of my exploits for I am Manito.”
He then filled two pipes with tobacco, that they might smoke as they talked, and when the smoke had warmed the old man’s tongue he said: “I am Manito. I blow my breath and the waters of the river stand still.”
The maiden said: “I breathe and flowers spring up on all the plains.”
The old man said: “I shake my locks, and snow covers all the ground.”
“I shake my curls,” said the maiden, “and warm rains fall from the clouds.”
The old man said: “When I walk about, the leaves fall from the trees at my command; the animals hide in their holes in the ground, and the birds get up out of the water and fly away.”
The maiden said: “When I walk about the plants lift up their heads, the trees cover their nakedness with many leaves, the birds come back, and all who see me sing, there is music everywhere.” And thus they talked, and the air became warm in the lodge. The old man’s head dropped upon his breast and he slept.
Then the sun came back, and a blue bird came to the top of the lodge and called. “Say-ee, say-ee! I am thirsty: And the river called back, ‘I am free, come and drink!”
And as the old man slept the maiden passed her hands above her head, and he began to grow small. Streams of water ran out of his mouth, and soon he was a small mass upon the ground, and his clothing turned to green leaves, and then the maiden, kneeling upon the ground, took from her bosom the most precious white flowers and hid them all about under the leaves. Then she breathed upon them and said: “I give thee all my virtues and my sweetest breath, and all who would pick thee shall do so on bended knee.”
Then the maiden moved away through the woods and over the plains, and all the birds sang to her, and wherever she stepped, and nowhere else, grows the arbutus.
At the end of first paragraph may be placed the following note: Article XIV
“The Indians south of the Kennebec were called Armouchiquois. Lescarbot, a contemporary of Champlain, says that the river St. Croix is in the land of the Etchemins; and further mentions that, there being a war between the Etchemins and the Armouchiquois, an ambassador who came from the Etchemins was from the St. Croix.
XV – THE ENGLISH AT CAPE BRETON IN THE
The following extracts from Hakluyt’s Voyages tell of two visits of English navigators to the shores of Cape Breton three hundred years ago.
There were, of course, many such adventurers who left no record of their voyages; some of whom, even before the dates mentioned below, sailing down the coast of the peninsula, may have explored the Bay of Fundy and visited the islands which now form part of Charlotte county. (a)
The earliest record known of either French or English explorers in the waters of Passamaquoddy Bay is that of the coming of Champlain in 1604; but the fact that mariners of both nations had made frequent voyages to Cape Breton must have been already well known to the natives of Passamaquoddy, from the wandering habits of the aborigines and the friendly intercourse between their tribes; and the accounts of their own dealings with the natives which some of the English visitors have left would lead us to suppose that when once the Indians had learned to distinguish between the English and the French, their distinction would not be one in favor of the English.
RICHARD FISHER’S VOYAGE
The ship Marigold, of 70 tons, with a crew of twenty men, thereof ten were mariners, left Falmouth on the 1st of June 1693. After telling of their reaching Cape Breton, Richard Fisher, the caster, says:
Here divers of our men went on land, upon the very cape, where, at their arrival, they found the spits of oak of the savages which had roasted meat a little before. And as they viewed the country they saw divers beasts and fowls, as black foxes, deer otters, great fowls with red legs, penguins and certain others. But, having found no people here, at this our first landing, we went again on ship board, and sailed farther four leagues to the west of Cape Breton, where we saw many seals.
And here, having need of fresh water, we went again on shore. And passing somewhat more into the land, we found certain round ponds, artificially made by the savages to keep fish in, with certain wears in them, made to take fish. To these ponds we repaired to fill our casks with water. We had not been long here when out there came one savage with black, long hair hanging about his shoulders, who called unto us, waving his hands downwards towards his belly, using the words “Calitogh, Calitogh.”
Thereupon, nine or ten of his fellows, running right up over the bushes with great agility and swiftness came towards us with white staves in their hands, like half pikes, and their dogs, of color black, not so big as a gray hound, following them at their heels; but we retired unto our boats without any hurt at all received.
Howbeit one of them broke our hogshead which we had filled with fresh water, with a great branch of a tree which lay on the ground; upon which occasion we bestowed half a dozen musket shots upon them, which they avoided by falling flat to the earth, and afterwards retired themselves to the woods.
One of the savages, which seemed to be their captain, wore a long mantle of beasts’ skins hanging on one of his shoulders. The rest were all naked, except their middles, which were covered with a skin tied behind. After they escaped our shot, they made a great fire on the shore, belike to give their fellows warning of us.
CHARLES LEIGH’S VOYAGE
The Hopewell, 120 tons, and the Chance Well, 70 tons, left Gravesand, on the 8th of April, 1597. Charles Leigh, one of the owners, who was on board, says:
The 14th of June we sent our boat on shore, in a great bay upon the isle of Cape Breton, for water.
The 25th, we arrived on the west side of the Isle of Menego, where we left some casks on shore in a sandy bay, but could not tarry for foul weather.
The 26th, we cast anchor in another bay, upon the main Cape Breton.
The 27th, about 10 of the clock in the morning, we met with eight men of the Chance Well, our consort, in a shallop, who told us that their ship was cast away upon the main of Cape Breton, within a great bay, eighteen leagues within the cape, and upon a rock within a mile of the shore, upon the 23rd of this month, about 1 of the clock in the afternoon. And that they had cleared the ship from the rock but, being sulged and full of water, they presently did run her up into a sandy bay, where she was no sooner come on ground, but presently after there came aboard many shallops with stores of Frenchmen, who broke and spoiled all they could lay hands on.
The 29th, betimes in the morning, we departed from that road toward a great Biscayan, some seven leagues off, of 300 tones, whose men dealt most doggedly with the Chance Well’s company.
The same night we anchored at the mouth of the harbor where the Biscayan was.
The 30th, betimes in the morning, we put into the harbor, and approaching near their stage, we saw it uncovered, and so suspected the ship to be gone. Whereupon we sent our pinnace on shore with a dozen men, who, when they came, found great store of fish on shore, but all the men were fled; neither could they perceive whither the ship should be gone, but, as they thought, to sea.
This day, about 12 of the clock, we took a savage’s boat which our men pursued, but all the savages ran away into the wood, and our men brought their boat on board.
The same day, in the afternoon, we brought our ship to an anchor in the harbor; and on the same day we took three and one half hogsheads of traine, and some 300 of green fish. Also, in the evening, three of the savages, whose boat we had, came unto us for their boat; to whom we gave coats and knives, and restored them their boats again.
The next day, being the first of July, the rest of the savages came unto us; among whom was their king, whose name was Itarey, and their queen, to whom also we gave coats and knives and other trifles.
These savages call the harbor Cibo, (St. Anne’s Harbor). In this place are the greatest multitude of lobsters we ever heard of.
(a) In conversation, many years since, with the late William Harvey of Saint Andrews, who was apprenticed to a ship builder at Campobello prior to the American revolution, the indentures of which apprenticeship I saw at the time of the interview, I was informed by him that Charles Morris, surveyor-general of Nova Scotia, or acting as such, came to Campobello about or at the end of the American revolution. At that time the ribs of a vessel were discernable at Harbor de Lute, in that island. Morris, who was anxious to find out all that he could concerning this matter, caused the Indians to be summoned to a council; to which they came all adorned with plumes, after the Indian fashion. Strict inquiry having been made of them to find out to whom this vessel had belonged, they replied that neither did they not their fathers know how or when the vessel was lost there.
XVI – THE Passamaquoddies IN THE FRENCH AND ENGLISH WARS
I – The Indians allied with the French
Pierre de Guast, Sieur do Monts, and governor of Pons, in Saintonge, had, during the troubles of the League, rendered important service to King Henry IV, of France. In token of his appreciation, that monarch, by an edict dated November 8, 1603, named de Monts Lieut-General of the “land and territories of La Cadia.” Amongst other desirable objects, which the edict states in detail, the first mentioned is “to cause the people which do inhabit the country to be converted to Christianity.
In the summer of 1604, de Monts, with his famous colleagues Champlain and Poutrincourt, landed on the shores of Nouvelle France.
The first winter was passed on St. Croix Island. The Passamaquoddy Indians were frequent visitors at the little settlement and from the first assumed a friendly attitude towards the new-comers.
The Passamaquoddies, in common with others of the Wabanaki, were early brought under Christian influence through the labors of the Recollet and Jesuit fathers. It will be seen that whilst the influence of their religious teachers served in some degree to moderate the savage habits of the Indians, it also rendered them remarkable constant in their adherence to the French cause in the prolonged struggle waged between the two great European powers for the sovereignty of Acadia.
So intimately were the different tribes of the Wabanaki associated in the events of the French period that it is difficult to consider the history of the Passamaquoddies apart from that of their neighbors.
In the year 1613 occurred the first collision between the English and French colonists in America. The scene was in the vicinity of Mount Desert, where a French ship, with three Jesuit priests and a number of intending settlers, was captured by Captain Samuel Argal, of Virginia. Subsequently Argal visited the French settlement on the Isle of St. Croix where he seized whatever he could lay hands on, burned the buildings, and erased all marks of French dominion government. Compelling one of the St. Croix Indians to act as pilot, Argal next proceeded to Port Royal which he destroyed.
The settlement at Passamaquoddy was re-established by the French and again taken by the English, only to be restored to French by the treaty of 1632.
The year of the peace, the Company of Nouvelle France, made to Issac de Rezilly a grant at St. Croix of twelve leagues by twenty (a) comprising the river and bay. The grant is dated May 19, 1632; and in its terms conveys to de Rezilly “the river and bay Sainte Croix the islands therein contained and the adjacent lands on each side in the middle point of the isle of St. Croix., where the Sieur de Monts wintered, andTwenty leagues in depth from the port aux Coquilles which is in one of the islands of the mouth of the river and bay of Sainte Croix.”
Another grant was made June 28, 1684, by the Government-General of Canada,
M. de la Barre, and the Intendent, M. de Meales to Jean Sarreau de St. Aubin, of five leagues in front on the sea shore and five leagues in depth “at a place called Pascomady and its environs with the isles and islets of rocks about six leagues off of forseal fishery; also the island called Archimagan, and the island for two leagues around it.”
Two years later the settlement at St. Croix numbered twenty persons.
August 13, 1685, Governor Denis granted to the ecclesiastics of the Episcopal Seminary of Foreign Missions at Quebec a treat of land on the River St. Croix, three leagues long and three in depth, reserving the right of building a store house and trading with the savages; the seminary to have a mission, a church of chapel, and a resident priest maintained at their expense; the exact location to be determined within ten years to suit the convenience of the savages.
The pains taken at this time to gain the good will of the Indians is noteworthy. Baton le Hontan, from the 1683-1694 lived in North America. He states, in a book published on his return home, “The French neglect nothing to secure the Indians giving some notable ones pay as a lieutenant or ensign and giving then rewards for mischief to the English, paying for scalps, etc. Taking Indians to Europe to show them the glories of the French court and armies. There are now at Versailles six saganores, or chiefs, from Camads, Hudson Bay and Nova Scotia, all solicitnf aid against the English. The French are zealous in sending missionaries amongst the Indians; the English neglect to give them religious instruction.”
(a) The French league is equal to about two and a half miles.
XVII – THE PASSAMAQUODDY INDIANS IN THE FRENCH AND ENGLISH WARS – Continued
(Rev. W. O. Raymond, M. A.)
2. – King William’s War
The year 1688 is memorable by reason of the commencement therein of the most dreadful Indians was recorded in the annals of Acadia and Eastern New England.
All the Indian tribes east of the Merrinas took part in it, the Micmacs and Maliseets included.
The war is known as King William’s War, from the name of the English monarch in whose reign it occurred. It lasted with little intermission for ten years. Every settlement in Maine, save Wells, York, Kittery, and the Isle of Shoals, was over-ran, and a thousand white people killed or taken prisoners.
As in most other wars which the Indians have waged against the whites, the latter were responsible for its origin.
Baron de St. Castine had settled at a point of land on the eastern bank of the Penobscot, in 1667, and married a daughter of the famous Maliseet chief, Madockawande. For several years he carries on a thriving trade with the Kennebec, Penobscot, and Passamaquoddy tribes, by whom he was highly esteemed.
Governor Andros, shortly after receiving his commission, plundered and destroyed St. Castine’s post. The Indians commenced hostilities soon afterwards, at the instigation of St. Castine and his father-in-law, Madockawando.
The war was greatly encouraged and embittered by the French, who were at the same time at war with England.
From his fort on the Nashwaak, Governor Villebon encouraged and materially assisted the Indians in their expeditions. Count Frontenac sent Villieu from Quebec to incite the savages to a general crusade against the English settlers. The efforts of Villebon and Villieu were ably seconded by the powerful influence of the French missionaries – Jacques and Vincent Bigot, at the Kennebec; Thury, at Penobscot; and Simon, of Passamaquoddy and St. John.
It is, of course, difficult to determine the particular part taken by the St. Croix Indians in King William’s war; but it is certain they heartily united with their kinsmen in all the important expeditions.
The first notable incident was the destruction of Dover, New Hampshire, when Major Waldron and twenty-two others were killed, and twenty-nine were taken prisoners. This was in June, 1688.
In July, a number of men were killed at Saac; and in August, Fort Pemacuid, on the coast, midway between the Kennebec and Penobscot, was taken, and the adjoining settlement destroyed.
The presence of St. John and Passamaquoddy Indians at Pemacuid is noted in the intensely interesting narrative of John Gyles, who was made prisoner at that place and remained nine years a captive on the St. John. His narrative was published in Boston in 1756. It is full of romantic interest, and is equally valuable for the information it contains regarding the manners and customs of the Indians of Acadia.
Early in 1690, Count Frontenac dispatched an expedition from Quebec, under command of Villebon’s brother, Portneuf. There were fifty French and seventy Abenaquis in the party. At the Kennebec they were joined by thirty-six French and a band of Indians; and soon after by a large band of Maliseets from Penobscot, Passamaquoddy and the St. John, under the guidance of St. Castine and Madockawando.
With this formidable force, about five hundred in all, an attack was made, May 26, on the town of Falmouth (now Portland). The inhabitants sought refuge within Fort Loyal, which was captured four or five days later. The French commander promised protection to the vanquished; but the terms of surrender were shamefully violated. The Indians were permitted to murder nearly all of the prisoners, numbering over one hundred men, women, and children. Fort Loyal and Falmouth were reduced to ashes.
All summer, from May to October, the bodies of the slain lay exposed to the elements and the prowling beasts. In October, Major Benjamin Church, passing on an expedition to the eastward, gathered the bones of the slain and buried them.
The following year an attack was made on Wells by a band of two hundred Indians, under Moxus, a Penobscot Chieftain; but the savages were repulsed by the garrison under Captain Converse. In 1692, Villebon stimulated the Indians to undertake a winter expedition against the settlements. A party of one hundred and fifty of them succeeded in surprising York, killing seventy-five of the settlers and taking one hundred prisoners.
A few months later, Villebon gathered a great war party, composed of Maliseets from Penobscot, St. Croix, and the St. John, reinforced by a fair number of Micmacs – about four hundred warriors in all, accompanied by all the leading chiefs. A fierce attack was made by the bravery of Captain Converse, the assailants were again beaten off. Shortly afterwards, the Indians made an attempt to capture the fort at Pemaquid, and were again unsuccessful.
These failures, apparently, had a depressing effect upon the savages; for in August, 1693, thirteen of their chiefs, representative of the various tribes from Passamaquoddy to Saco, concluded a treaty with the English at Pemaquid.
This proceeding gave much dissatisfaction to the French. Villieu, seconded by the missionaries, endeavored to bring about renewed hostilities; and Count Frontenac dispatched Villieu from Quebec to renew the crusades, if possible, against the English settlements.
Villieu made Villebon’s fort on the Nashwaak his head quarters for a time. Thence he started for Penobscot, traveling by the usual route up the Medoctec and down the Mattawaakeag. Arrived at his destination, he speedily secured the adherence of Taxous, the adopted Indian brother of Governor Villebon, and in support of the Jesuits, Bigot and Thury. With more difficulty, he at length succeeded in persuading Madockawando and his tribe to ignore the treaty made with the English.
Eventually a band of two hundred fifty Indians was collected. Their attack on Dover was totally unlooked for, and resulted in the destruction of one hundred lives and the capture of twenty-seven prisoners; besides which they burned a score of houses. Sub-dividing into smaller bands, the Indians, during the remainder of the year, roamed about the country like wolves, killing several persons at Groton, York, Kittery, and Piscataqua. Villieu stated the result of the campaign as “two small forts and fifty or sixty houses captured and burnt and one hundred and thirty English killed or made prisoners.”
Villieu soon after went to Montreal to receive the congratulations of Frontenac, to whom he presented a string of English scalps as a trophy. He had done his work but too well, and had sown such seeds of distrust between the English and the savages as to render it well nigh impossible to establish peace between them for at least a generation. Indeed the enmity excited at this time lasted nearly a century, and almost every succeeding year witnessed some act of hostility, even when the crowns of England and France were themselves at peace.
In the midst of their rejoicing over the destruction of the English settlements, an appalling pestilence swept away great numbers of the Indians. On the St. John River alone, upwards of one hundred died, including some of the most noted warriors and their chief. John Gyles describes this plague in his narrative, and says the Indians abandoned their settlement at Medoctec and did not plant corn there for several years.
The distress of the savages was aggravated by the fact that the French trading company charged excessive prices for their goods.
The English were prepared to trade on much more equitable terms. In consequence of this the Indians began to murmur and Villebon was compelled to interfere.
In June, 1695, he assembled at his fort on the Nashwaak a conference of fourteen chiefs. Representing all the tribes from the St. John to the Kennebec. The conference lasted three days. Presents were freely distributed, and a tariff of goods arranged which gave great satisfaction to the Indians. The chiefs were then banqueted, and departed more determined than ever to continue the war with the English.
The following summer, a combined effort was made by the French and Indians to secure the destructions of Fort William Henry, at Pemaquid. The Micmacs came in forces, some from as far eastward as Spanish river (Sydney) in Cape Breton. The St. John Maliseets, with their brothers on the Penobscot and St. Croix, assembled in
force. A considerable body of French joined their dusty allies. D’Iberville, who commanded, had able assistants in Montigny and Villieu. St. Castine and Fathers Thury and Simon were present to lend their aid. When summoned to surrender, Captain Chubb, who commanded the fort, said that “though the sea was covered with French vessels and the land with Indians, he should not surrender unless forced to do so.”
Notwithstanding this bluster the fort was taken without much difficulty, the surrender doubtless being hastened by a letter of St. Castine’s stating that if the fort should be carried by assault the garrison would experience no mercy at the hands of the Indians. In the fall of the Pemaquid fort, the New England people lost their strongest fortress.
The following season the Indians were again upon the war path. Villebon, being as usual, the instigator of their movements. The Micmacs, numbering two hundred, accompanied by their missionaries, united with the Maliseets from St. John River and Passamaquoddy, at the usual rendevous on the Penobscot. Villebon’s journal mentions that on July 26, 1697, he sent off seventy-two St. John River Indians, with the Recollet missionary, Father Simon. Their instructions were to pick up the Passamaquoddy and other Indians on their way. Villebon says:
“These savages departed in a good disposition, and with the intention of giving no quarter in the enemy’s places where they should pass; and I gave them 100 lbs. of powder and 500 lbs. of lead for hunting on the sea shore in going to Pentagoet.”
This would indicate that the party proceeded along the coast from the mouth of the St. Croix to the Penobscot. The intense feeling existing between the contending parties is manifested in the directions given to the savages by their French allies “To burn and destroy and to give no quarter.”
An entry in Villebon’s journal a few days after the departure of the Indians from Fort Nashwaak illustrates the horror of Indians warfare. It reads:
“M. de Thury confirms to me the report I already received, of four small parties of our Indians having killed fifteen of sixteen English and burnt one of them alive, on account of one of their chiefs being slain.”
The English settlements suffered constant annoyance from the Indian marauders; who killed Major Frost, at Kittery, and a number of people at Wells. Major March had a sever skirmish with the enemy near Pemaquid, in which he lost twenty-five of his men, but eventually succeeded in putting the savage to flight. This was probably the last blood shed in King William’s war.
The Indians were becoming weary of fighting, and the peace of Ryswick deprived them of the open assistance of their French allies. For a brief season peace reigned in Acadia. That it is understood and acted upon by both French and English that the river St. Croix (and) Passamaquoddy Bay into which that river falls, is the boundary between the two nations. The English fish in that bay and make fish on its shore, in the time of peace, without hindrance from the French.”
It appears the Indians were quite numerous at this time around the bay. M. de Brouillan, governor of Acadia, mentions that in the year 1701 the missionary to the Maliseets removed with his approval from the Medocatec to “Pesmokady.”
(a) Captain John Alden was the eldest son of the noted pilgrim of the same name whose romantic courtship and marriage to Priscilla Mullins has been so well told by Longfellow.
XVIII – THE PASSAMAQUODDY INDIANS IN THE
FRENCH AND ENGLISH WARS – CONTINUED
(Rev. W. O. Raymond, M. A.)
3 – The New Englanders as Aggressors, and
the Treaty of 1725
Brouillan continued the same policy as his predecessor, Villebon, with regard to the Indians. He presented them with handsome gifts, and also sent French flags for their forts, and a gun and sabre for each man.
The English likewise made an effort to gain the friendship of Indians, and had well nigh completed an amicable treaty with the Maliseet tribes, when the folly of a New England marauding party, which plundered and destroyed St. Castine’s post at Penobscot, brought on another crisis. The Indians were greatly encouraged to break with the English by Vaudreuil, governor general of New France.
The renewed outbreak known in history as Queen Ann’s war, was quite unexpected. Indians and French, numbering in all about 500, divided themselves into several bands, which, in August, 1703, simultaneously fell upon the settlements of Maine. Terror and confusion reigned at Casco, Saco, Wells, and in fact along the entire frontier. About 155 English were killed or captured in the several attacks.
The militia was called out of fortwith, and the legislatures of New Hampshire and Massachusetts offered a bounty of $20 for each Indian prisoner under ten years of age and $2 for every older prisoner or his scalp.
It was resolved to “carry the war into Africa.” Accordingly, Colonel Church was sent, about the end of May 1704, with a force of 450 men, to ravage the French settlements. The expedition did great damage at Penobscot, Port Royal, Mines, and Chignecto. Col. Church also visited Passamaquoddy, where he killed or made prisoners a number of French settlers, who made no resistance, and should have received some consideration.
From this time forward, the New Englanders became the aggressors, and set before them, as their ultimate object, the overthrow of the French power in Acadia. As a consequence, we shall now find the Indians as a rule too busily engaged in supporting their allies to the eastward to pay much attention to the New England Settlements in Maine which had hitherto suffered so greatly from their attacks.
In the unsuccessful attack made on Port Royal in 1707 by Col. March, the French commander says that but for the assistance he received from Baron St. Castine and his Indians, he knew not what might have been the result. There can be little doubt that the Passamaquoddies were present with St. Castine at Port Royal.
After the peace of Utrecht was proclaimed, Messrs. Capoon and Button, in the ship of war Caulfield, came to St. Croix to proclaim King George I, lawful sovereign of Acadia, and to tender the oath of allegiance to the French inhabitants. The latter refused to take the oath, alleging their fears of the Indians by way of excuse.
General Phillips, governor of Nova Scotia, writing to the British ministry in 1720, complains of the inveterate hostility manifested to English rule by the Acadians Indians, and suggests “bringing two hundred Mohawk Indians from New York and keeping them in service to keep the Indians here in awe.”
Governor Phillips, nevertheless, tried the power of conciliation. He dispatched a vessel to St. John to convey nine chiefs to Annapolis, where he gave them presents and handsomely entertained them. In his parting address, after expressing the hope that they are satisfied with their reception he says: “Make known to your neighbors of Passamaquoddy that I shall be glad to see two or three of their chiefs here….I am sorry I have not better presents to make you just now, but I expect, by the next large ship, the King’s presents for you and for the rest of the savages.
The vessel is ready to take you back. I have ordered provisions to be put on board for you with some wine and brandy, I wish you a good voyage.”
Probably the Indians, if left to themselves, would have remained peaceable; but this was not in the interests of France, and the influence of the French, especially that of the missionaries, was constantly exercised to maintain the hostile feeling that had heretofore prevailed.
As an example of the influence possessed by the Jesuits, it may be mentioned that the Wabanaki had opened friendly negotiations with the people of New England in 1721; but, their proceedings becoming known to the governor of Canada, the Jesuit superior, Pere la Chasse, and another priest, were sent to put an end to these negotiations. They assembled the Wabanaki, the number of 200, including deputies from Medoctee and “Paamoukady” (Passamaquoddy), and, after addressing them, persuaded them to break off all negotiations with the English.
Father Raele, missionary at Norridgewock, was largely instrumental in causing the failure of the negotiations. The New Englanders manifested their resentment by an unsuccessful attempt to seize him; and this act, together with the seizure of the young Baron St. Castine caused an Indian uprising in the following summer.
The war, known as Lovewell’s or Dummer’s war, lasted nearly three years. Passamaquoddy bay was the scene of the first incident in the campaign.
A vessel, in which Mr. Newton, collector of customs at Annapolis Royal; John Adams, son of one of the council of Nova Scotia; and Captain Blin, of Boston, were passengers, touched at Passamaquoddy for water. They were not aware of the Indian hostilities, and, going on shore, they were made prisoners by a party consisting of ten or twelve Indians and about an equal number of French. The people in this sloop cut their cable and escaped. During the course of the war, the Indians destroyed the settlement at Brunswick Maine. They also surprised and killed Captain Josiah Winslow. (a) and his party of sixteen men.
The savages themselves lost heavily during the continuance
of hostilities, and received a particularly severe blow in the destruction of Norridgewock, where many of their chiefs and most noted warriors were slain. The English sullied their laurels by the barbarous act of killing and scalping the old missionary Father Raele, who had been with the Indians twenty six years, and was greatly venerated by them.
The Indians were now sincerely desirous of peace. Negotiations were announced in July of 1725; and in November, four eminent sagamores representing the various tribes of Acadia after several weeks of prolonged discussion, arranged the details of the celebrated treaty of 1725, whereby King George was acknowledged as “the rightful possessor of the province of Nova Scotia or Acadia, according to its ancient boundaries.”
This treaty was ratified at a great pow-pow held at Falmouth at which were present the lieutenant governors of Massachusetts and New Hampshire, Col. Paul Mascarene of Nova Scotia, and about forty Indian chiefs. (b) By this treaty, the Indians of New England and Acadia made submission to the King of England, in an ample form as they had formerly done to the King of France, and promised not to molest any of his British majesty’s subjects in their settlements.
The treaty of 1725 not only for the time being, terminated hostilities, but served as the basis of negotiations held in 1749 and again in 1760.
The number of Indians at Passamaquoddy at this time was not large. John Gyles estimated their warriors at about 30 and says “their chief is Assoquod.” It is however a difficult matter to determine the number of Indians resident at any particular place, owing to their nomadic habits.
A year after Gyles made his estimate, Lieut. Governor Armstrong wrote from Halifax to the chief of Passamaquoddy as follows:
“Being informed by Andrew Simon, the bearer hereof, that there are twenty-one canoes of Indians at Passamaquoddy, who are afraid to come here on account of false report that the English vessels have fired on some Indians in the passage of Fronsac (out of Casse). For this reason I send you this letter, in all friendship for the Indian nations in this government and elsewhere, to assure them that they have no reason to fear the least molestation or violation of the treaty of peace made with the English, etc.”
(a) Capt. Josiah Winslow was a great grandson of Governor Edward Winslow of Plymouth, and a brother of General John Winslow, who, in 1755 removed the Acadians of Grand Pre.
(b) This treaty will be found in Murdocks History of Nova Scotia, vol. 1, pp. 429, 430. The original is in the secretary’s office in Boston.
XIX – THE PASSAMAQUODDY INDIANS IN THE
FRENCH AND ENGLISH WARS – CONTINUED
(Rev. W. C. Raymond, M. A.)
4—The Final conquest, and the Treaty of 1760
Annual presents were distributed to the Indians by the governor of Nova Scotia, until the year 1744, when another war broke out with France, and the Indians united with their old allies against the English.
At the commencement of this war, the Maliseets sent a deputation to Paul Mascarence, lieutenant governor of the Annapolis garrison, professing a desire to remain neutral; their real object being to act the part of spies. “Within three weeks they returned, with a party of 300 Maliseets and Micmacs, and surprised and killed as many of the English as they caught outside the fort at Annapolis. Their leader in this expedition was the missionary, de Loutre, the most persevering and implacable for the English ever had in Acadia.
The Passamaquoddy and St. John River Indians participated in the succeeding events, and so aroused the ire of Gov. Shirley of Massachusetts, that he offered a large premium for the scalp of each Indian warrior found in arms from Passamaquoddy eastward. The conflict between the whites and the Indians at this period is known as King George’s War.
The war with France lasted about four years and a half. Immediately after its close, Col. Gorham was sent to the mouth of the St. John, with directions to chide the Indians for their conduct, and in case they proposed peace, to refer them to Annapolis Royal. While at St. John, some of Gorham’s men who went ashore were fired on and several killed.
M. della Calissoniere, governor of Canada, wrote a letter of remonstrance with regard to Col. Gorham’s visit to St. John, which he claimed as “a river situated on the continent of Canada, and such on this side of the Quenibec, where, by common consent, the bounds of New England have been placed.” He says:
“I beg of you to let me know if you conceive the Abenaquis are included in the peace, and if so, that you will induce M. Shirley to let them rebuild their villages, and leave their missionaries in tranquility as they were before the war.”
The Maliseets were induced by Mr. Howe, the Indian agent of Nova Scotia, in whom they placed great confidence, to send a delegation of thirteen of their number to Chebucto, Halifax, to renew the treaty of 1725. On their arrival, they were received by Gov. Cornwallis and his council on board the Beaufort man of war. The Indians claimed to represent the following tribes:
Octpagh: Chief Francois de Salle
Medectig: Chief Noellobig
Passamaquoddy: Chief Neptune Abbadouallette
Chinecto: Chief Jean Pedousaghtigh
It was unanimously agreed to renew the treaty. In the course of the conference, Gov. Cornwallis asked, “Do you know who killed Capt. Gorham’s men at the river St. John’s?”
The reply was, “Three of the Passamaquoddy and one of the Penobscot Indians, who knew nothing of the cessation of arms.”
A new treaty was engrossed on parchment, and signed by the chiefs in presence of the governor and his council. It was soon after ratified by “the chiefs and captains of the river St. John and places adjacent.” Despite the treaty, de Loutre found means to secure the assistance of the Maliseets in the guerilla warfare he continued to wage against the English. A proclamation was issued of all the disturbances the Indians have made in these provinces, who provides them from Canada with arms and ammunition.” A reward was also offered of $10 for every scalp. De Loutre, in turn, offered a premium for every prisoner, or for the head or scalp of an Englishman.
England and France were now at peace; nevertheless, the Marquid du Quesnes, governor at Quebec, wrote de Loutre, under date Oct. 15, 1754:
“Your policy is excellent, to threaten the English with your Indians, whose attacks will increase their fears. The Indians Abenakis, Malicites, and Micmacs are the main support of this colony, and they must be kept in a state of hatred and vengeance. The actual condition of Canada requires that they should strike without delay. (a)
The conduct of de Loutre however, received unqualified condemnation from the bishop of Quebec, who greeted his son in faith with better reproaches on his arrival at Quebec, as a fugitive, after the fall of Beausejour.
In February, 1765, soon after their return from Beausejour, the Passamaquoddies surprise and capture a schooner belonging to Mr. Winniett, of Annapolis, carrying six guns and a crew of ten. The vessel was bound to Annapolis, with provisions for the garrison and had on board Capt. Lieut. Martin of the artillery. The vessel, when taken, lay at anchor at “Passimaquadie.”
The St. Croix Indians continued their hostilities, as opportunity offered, during the next few years, and then became once more desirous of peace.
On February 11, 1760, Col. Arbuthnot, commanding the garrison at Fort Frederick, at the mouth of the St. John river, arrived at Halifax, bringing with him two Indian chiefs of the Passamaquoddy tribe to make peace on the basis of the old Indian treaty of 1725. They appeared before the governor and council, with an interpreter; and it was agreed that the treaty should be prepared in English and French, that they should be sent homeward in a vessel, and that Col. Arbuthnot should accompany them, taking the treaty with him to be ratified.
The governor in council appointed Benjamin Gerrish Indian commissary, to buy goods and sell them to the Indians for furs, receiving a commission of five percent on goods purchased and two and a half percent on furs sold. In connection with the treaty, it was arranged to establish a “truch-house” at Fort Frederick, and the Nova Scotia assembly passed a law at its next session, with severe penalties against private trading with the Indians.
The governor and council, on February 16, agreed with the Indians upon the following table of prices:
That a pound of the best Spring Beaver be valued at 5 shillings, and that two pounds of Spring Beaver be equal to three pounds of Fall Beaver.
Loutre (otter) equal to 1 lb. Spring Beaver.
3 Martre (sable or marten) skins equal 1 lb. ditto
Bequan (fisher) skin equal 1 lb. ditto.
6 Foins, or vizons (mink) skins equal 1 lb. ditto.
Ours (bear) skin, large and in good season, equal 11/3 lbs. ditto; and in proportion for smaller.
Renard rouge (red fox) skin equal ½ lb. ditto.
Renard noir (black fox) skin equal 2 lbs. ditto.
Renard argents (silver fox) skin equal 1 ½ lb. ditto.
10 Rats musque (musquash) skins equal 1 lb. ditto.
Loup marins (seal) skins 3 ½ to 12 feet long to be valued from 8d to 3s 4d each.
Large Loup Cervier skin equal to 2 lb. Spring Beaver and in proportion for smaller.
5 lb. of Deer skin equal 1 lb. Spring Beaver.
10 Blettes (ermin) skin equal 1 lb. ditto.
6 lb. Plumes (feathers) equal 1 lb. ditto.
Large Blankets for 2 lbs. Spring Beaver.
2 gallons rum for 1 lb. ditto
2 ½ gallons molasses for 1 lb. ditto
30 lbs. flour for 1 lb. ditto
14 lbs. pork for 1 lb. ditto
2 yards stroud for 2 lbs. ditto
The prices of all other kinds of merchandise mentioned herein to be regulated according to the rates of the foregoing articles.
The council at Halifax decided to send a sufficient supply of provisions for the present wants of the Indians. The Passamaquoddy chiefs were presented with laced blankets and laced hats; and on February 23, the treaty was signed on behalf of the St. John tribe by Ballomy Glode, their chief.
The example set by the Passamaquoddy tribe seems to have been very generally followed throughout Acadia, tribe after tribe sending its delegates to sign the terms of peace and to bear away the usual presents, not forgetting a gold laced hat and blanket similarly adorned for each chief.
A visit is recorded at Halifax of the Maliseet chiefs, July 5, 1763, when three chiefs from St. John and Passamaquoddy came to inquire why their priest, Pere Germain, had been taken from them. They were informed by Lieut. Governor Belcher that he had gone voluntarily to Quebec, where he was detained by General Murray. They then desired the lieut. Governor would provide them with another priest, which he promised should be done. This the English colonial authorities afterwards unwisely forbade, thereby confirming the notion inculcated by the French that the English were a people of dissimulation and artifice.
Governor Wilmot of Nova Scotia mentions in 1764 that the Indians very lately “burned down their own Mass house (church) by command of their Priest detained at Quebec.”
The dissatisfaction caused by the withdrawal of their priest led Lord Willians Campbell to write to Gov. Carleton, early in 1768, to procure them one. Owing to this request, a young man named Baillie, Canadian by birth and of a reputable family, was ordained for the purpose by the bishop. A little later, Pierre Toma and Ambroise St. Aubin (b) with other Indians arrived at Halifax requesting that the priest who had lately arrived might remain among them. They complained that rum was too common, and requested lands for cultivation. They received satisfactory assurances that every effort would be made to comply with their desires; their expenses at Halifax were defrayed by the government, and some presents made them.
(a) The following is a translation of an old French commission found among the documents now belonging to the Indians at Pleasant Point:
Charles Marquis of Beauharnois, Commander of the Royal and Military order of St. Louis, Chief of the Squadron of the naval forces of His Majesty, Governor and lieutenant General for the King in all New France, lands and territories of Louisiana.
In consideration of the good testimonies which have been rendered to us concerning the fidelity and attachment to the French of one named Pierre Benoist, and of his zeal and affection for religion and in the service of the King: We on these considerations have appointed and confirmed him, and by these presents do appoint and confirm him as one of the Captains of War and of the village of Ekoubak, river St. John, to perform its functions and execute all the orders which shall be addressed to him by us.
I witness whereof we have signed these presents and have hereby caused the seal with out coat of arms to be placed on the same and countersigned by our secretary.
Given at Quebec this 29th of September, 1745.
By Monseigneur, Charmazart.
(b) These two St. John chiefs, Pierre Toma and Ambroise St. Aubin, figured prominently in the subsequent transactions of Col. John Allan, of the Americans, and
Col. Francklin, of Nova Scotia, during the Revolutionary period.
XX – THE INDIANS AFTER THE COMING OF THE ENGLISH SETTLERS
(Rev. W. O. Raymond, M. S.)
The exhaustive researches instituted by the respective agents of Great Britain and the United States under the provisions of the Treaty of 1794 indirectly supply a good deal of valuable information regarding the Passamaquoddy Indians.
The principal question at issue between the two powers was the determination of the true river St. Croix, which river, according to the treaty of 1783, was agreed upon as the boundary between the United States and the old province of Nova Scotia.
It should be borne in mind that the question of the western boundary of Nova Scotia or Acadia had been a burning question for years, we might almost say for centuries.
The award of the treaty of Utrecht, confirmed by that of Aix Chapelle, it is true, settled the question as far as France was concerned, but another controversy immediately arose.
At the close of “the old French wars,” in 1762, the Lords of Trade and Plantations, entertained the idea of the formation of a new province eastward of the Penobscot; whereupon the old Puritan land-hunger led the government of Massachusetts Bay to strongly press the claims of their province for jurisdiction over the territory in question. Early in 1763, Governor Hutchinson submitted to the Massachusetts house of representatives an elaborate document entitled “A brief State of the Title of the Province of Massachusetts Bay to the Country between the rivers Kenebeck and St. Croix. (a)
The discussion that ensued between the respective governments of Nova Scotia and Massachusetts had not been definitely settled up to the time of the commencement of the Revolutionary War.
In April, 1764, Francis Bernard, governor of Massachusetts Bay, dispatched John Mitchell, a surveyor, with Israel Jones as his deputy, and a small exploring party under Capt. Nathan Jones, to procure such information as would determine which of the rivers flowing into Passamaquoddy bay was the true and ancient St. Croix.
In connection with the boundary question, the opinion of the Passamaquoddy Indians was sought, both by the agents of Massachusetts and by those of Nova Scotia, and if we are to believe the testimony given by the various witnesses before the boundary commissioners, the statements of the Indians were not always consistent, and they seemed disposed with about equal readiness to fall in with the predilections of either party. John Mitchell, the surveyor just mentioned, testifies that after the arrival of his party at the bay of Passamaquoddy.
“We accordingly assembled upwards of forty of the principal Indians upon an island then called L’Atereel (b) in the said bay of Passamaquoddy. – After having fully and freely conversed with them upon the subject of our mission, the chief commissioned three Indians to show us the St. Croix which is situated nearly six miles north about three degrees north and about three degrees east of harbour L’Tete and east-north east of the bay or river Schuduc and distant from it about nine miles upon a right line. The aforesaid three Indians having shown us the river and being duly informed of the nature and importance of an oath, did in a solemn manner depose to the truth of their information respecting the identity of the said river St. Croix, and that it was the ancient and only river known amongst them by that name.”
The testimony of John Mitchell is corroborated by his colleague Israel Jones and by others of his party. Joseph Bradbury, one of the number, mentions that on June 4th, 1764, they proceeded in two whale boats, accompanied by some Indians in their canoes, to harbor L’Tete, where a considerable number of Indians were encamped, and that
“On the 5th, four Indians came on board the whale boat I belonged to. We proceeded to a river called by our people St. Croix, but called by the Indians, Macadavic. At 12 o’clock we landed at a point of rocks near the mouth of the river. The interpreter Sqr. Fletcher talked with the Indians some time and to the best of my knowledge, an oath was administered, but I will not be positive as to that circumstance. After he had done conversing with the Indians said or swore that the river, where we then were, was the true river St. Croix and that they never knew any other river by that name.”
Abraham Duncan, another member of the party, mentions that Mitchell surveyed from the mouth of the river westward to Point Leiue, where there appeared to have been an ancient settlement and burying place where crosses were on the graves. The site of this burying ground was St. Andrews point, the crosses erected are described as being twenty or more in number, erected from two to eight feet high, “some higher than others, of wood roughly finished.” James Boyd, at one time a resident on Indian Island, gave evidence before the boundary commission in 1798, in which he made use of a journal which he had kept from time to time. His testimony in part is given here:
Passamaquoda, May, 1763. I arrived on an island, called by the Indians Feganagoose or Indian Island. After I built a store I set out with a shale boat and explored every island in the bay, and when I met any of the Natives, I got from them what name they were called by the Natives.”
In his explorations Mr. Boyd visited harbor LeTang, LeTete, Magegadewee, Dictequash river, Boquabeck, Chamkook, Conasquamkook (now St. Andrews), Wachweig, Schooduck, and Cobskook.
“At my return the most of the natives had arrived at Feganagoose. After conversing with them, I got the names of all the islands and rivers in Passamaquada the harbor LeTang and Harbour LeTete, and found wherever the natives had buried, they erected a cross, either on islands or on the mainland.
“In 1764, John Mitchell, Esq. arrived in this place to survey Passamaquada. Mr. Jones asked my leave to store his provisions and that I would call the Indians together that he had Governor Bernard’s orders to assemble all of them. I did as he asked me. They met at my store.”
Boyd describes the interview between the surveyors and Indians and continues:
“We left Feganagoose and arrived at harbor LeTete, found Bungawarrawit (the governor) ready with the other Indians. We left this and arrived at the river, and after the interpreter asked the Indians if this was the river known to them by the name of the St. Croix, they said “Yes.” He asked them if they knew the nature of an oath. They answered Yes, that they had sworn to serve the king of France and should declare the truth as they did, and the interpreter took their oaths…
“Some time before Quebec was taken from the French, Captain Hector McNeil was taken prisoner in the harbour LeTang. It was Indians which took him. One Frenchman who married an Indian was with the Indians. They gave Captain McNeil the names of sundry places. The Indians carried McNeil’s vessel to Conasquamcook and there unloaded a good deal of the cargo. McNeil had some small guns and swivels. The Indians kept one gun to give alarm when needed. The Indians then carried the vessel to Saint John’s river, and carried their captives up this river to Quebeck.”
Boyd further states that when he arrived at Indian Island in 1763, the Indians were the only inhabitants on the shores or islands of Passamaquoddy bay and the Indian bark huts were the only habitations then in existence. Louis Neptune was a very common name among the Indians at Penobscot, pass, and St. John, but the Louis Neptune referred to by him was a son of John Neptune or Bungawarrawit, then governor of the Passamaquoddies. He was one of those detailed by his father to accompany Jones and Mitchell and point out to them which was the true river called St. Croix, “and further to distinguish and identify the said Louis Neptune he was called by the Indians, Racksuces which means a man of great strength of having the Strength of a Bear.”
During the progress of the operation of the Massachusetts exploring party, a journal was kept by Mitchell in which we have a glimpse of the effect of the white man’s civilization on the Indians which is not particularly gratifying. (e)
For the instance, under date Sunday, June 3rd, 1764, we find an entry stating:
“Capt. Fletcher thought it most expedient to go to St. Croix next day, by reason that the Indians who had for Sum days past Bin Drunk were got sober.”
From the same journal we learn that on “Monday, June the 4th,…..we departed from Latterell and ½ after 12 we arrived at Harbor Leetett, alias Womkoocook where we met with the Indians and Capt. Fletcher had a conference with them and the Indians appointed two to go with us on Tuesday morning.
“Tuesday, June the 5th, 1764, this morning at 6 of the clock. Two Sanops and Two Squawa with one Burch canow Set offo with us in order to go with us to ye River St. Croix…and at Eleven of the clock we arrived at the Enterance of the river at which time Capt. Fletcher requisted three of said Indians to sweer that said River that they showed us was actually known by the name of Lue Nepton, Masseel and Mary Cattron.”
It will thus be seen that the Massachutts officials had little difficulty in securing the good will of the Indians in favor of the Magagudavic as the true and ancient St. Croix. The Nova Scotic authorities seem to have been almost equally successful in obtaining evidence in favor of the Schoodiac.
(a) This “brief document contains about 7,500 words and fills 36 pages of closely written manuscript.
(b) This island derived its name from a French nobleman named Lutterelle, who was settled there at the time of Colonel Church’s expedition in 1704. It is now called Indian Island.
(c) The original M. S. of Mitchell’s Journal is in the possession of Mr. W. H. Kilby, of Eastport, whose attractive volume, “Eastport and Passamaquoddy,” is the largest and most important contribution to our local history yet published.” – Ed.
XXI – THE INDIANS AFTER THE COMING OF
THE ENGLISH – CONTINUED
(Rev. W. O. Raymond, M. A.)
The sworn testimony of John Curry, Esq., a magistrate and a man of excellent reputation, before the boundary commissioners, states that Lord William Campbell, governor of Nova Scotia, visited Campobello in August, 1770. He says:
The chiefs of the Passamaquoddy tribe of Indians were then encamped at Pleasant Point, and required a conference with his Lordship, which this dependent acquainted his Lordship with…That the Indians in consequence came to Campobello and appointed Cole: Louis Neptune their speaker; that a number of questions were asked by his Lordship and resolved by the Indians, which were as follows:
“What was the Passamaquoddy River?”
Answered: “The waters running from the White Horse, between Campobello and Deer Island, and surrounding Indian Island, Moose Island, and all the other small Islands, up to a neck now called Sowards Neck, was known by the name of Passamaquoddy or Pellock River.
The next was respecting the river St. Croix.
Answered: “That the Scoudiac was the true and ancient river St. Croix, and that the westernmost branch leading towards the Penobscot was the Main Branch; and also that the Cheputnaticook went by that name and not by the name of the Scoudiac.
That at the time there were disputes respecting the boundary line between Nova Scotia and Massachusetts, which was the reason of his Lordship asking these particular questions…
That during the conference the Indians having acted during the last French war under French commissions, gave up their Medals, acknowledged themselves as British Subjects, and took new Medals, from his Lordship and in consequence applied to his Lordship for a Grant of five Hundred acres of Land up the Scoudiac, near the Still Water, known by the name of Indian Land, but his Lordship’s answer was, that he could not give an absolute Grant to Indians according to his instructions, but they might sit down upon it, and he would secure them in the quiet and peaceable possession of it—That he, the dependent, was present during the whole conference, and heard every circumstance explained by John Preble, the interpreter mutually appointed by his Lordship and the Indians.
And this deponent further saith that in the year 1783, at the request of Charles Merris, Jr., Deputy Surveyor of Nova Scotia, then employed in laying out lands for the Loyalists, he brought the above named Lewis Neptune, one of the Chiefs of the Passamaquoddy tribe settled on the Scoudiac, and then, as this deponent supposes, between 50 and 60 years of age, to be examined respecting the true river St. Croix
And the oldest river that had gone by that name. That he and his ancestors had always lived and hunted on that river—that it extended westerly near to the east branch of the Penobscot River, and that they had a communication with Penobscot by means of a portage of near three miles—that at the same time the said Cole: Lewis Neptune gave Mr. Morris a plan of sketch of the river, with a piece of coal on the floor of this deponent’s house, which Mr. Morris reduced and took off on paper and afterwards as he informed this deponent sent forward the same to the governor of Nova Scotia. That the said Indians was perfectly sober at the time and being told the business he was come upon, did not take a drop of strong liquor while they were about it.
Mr. Curry then proceeds to give his own evidence on the matter in question, stating that “the Cobsook, Scodiac, and Magguadavie have all three been often times called by the name of Saint Croix”, and “that he had always understood from the Indians, Passamaquoddy takes its name and is so called from the quantities or Pollock taken there.” He concluded his testimony as follows:
“That in 1770, when this deponent first came to the country, there was an Indian Place of Worship and a cross standing upon Saint Andrews at Indian Point, and a burying ground which he understood from them was consecrated Ground, and that most of the Indians buried their dead there: That among other to this deponents knowledge, the Chief of the Passamaquoddy Tribes, John’s Neptune (Bungawarrawit) and one of the Chiefs of the Saint John’s Tribe known by the name of Pierre Toma were both of them buries there, and that they had likewise another burying ground at the Indian Land, so called, at Still Water, up the Scoodiac, another at Indian Island and another at Pleasant Point. That their Cross was standing there till the Spring 1784, when Co, Lewis Neptune came to this deponent at Campobello with a complaint that it was cut down by some of the refugees and their place of worship destroyed; upon which this deponent told him, it was not the wish of the Government that any one should use them ill, and if the persons who were guilty of it could be found out, that they should be brought to justice and their grievances redressed; but as the persons were not found out, a new cross was erected by the inhabitants of Saint Andrews in order to satisfy them which they paid but little regard to, and from thence forward discontinued their worship and burials at Saint Andrews, and fixed the same at Pleasant Point.
Mrs. Curry, when asked by the United States agent to mention the names of the Indians who called the Scoodiac by the name of St. Croix, replied Lewis Neptune, John Baptist Neptune, John O’Denny, Bungauarawit and several others whose names he did not recollect.
The evidence of John Curry is supported by similar testimony given by Alexander Hodges, James Brown and Jeremiah Frost, who declare that the Indians named, with others, always called the Scoodiac the St. Croix.
The Indians referred to all belonged to the Passamaquoddy tribe, Bungawarawit died at Digedequash, about 1774 or 1775; Louis Neptune died of small pox a Lade Meddybemps, on Denny’s river, near the Cobscook, in 1784, John Baptist Neptune died at Machias, date uncertain and John O’Denny died at Seward’s Neck in 1795.
Sebatis Joseph told me that Passamaquoddy was so called from the abundance of pollock. Sebatis also told me that the high hill on McMaster’s Island, at LeTete, was called Squaw’s Lookout, because in the hot summer weather the St. Andrews Indians camped on the island, and when any of them had gone to St. Andrews, the squaws, when they got anxious about their return, went up to the bare top of this hill to see if they could observe their returning canoes. – Edward Jack.
The Saint Croix river on which the Denis grant I of 1685 was given was not out St. Croix, but the Miramichi. I have a copy of the original grant, and a map showing it; and several maps which call the Miramichi the St. Croix. – W. F. Ganon
XXII – THE EXPLANATION OF ACADIA BEFORE CHAMPLAIN
(W. F. Ganong M. A.)
Although the history of Charlotte county, in so far as Europeans are concerned, really begins with the voyage of Champlain to our shores in 1604, yet there were some prior explorations of the eastern coast of Canada which have much interest to offer us. Though no records are left, it is highly probable that some of these explorers visited the Bay of Fundy and Passamaquoddy bay.
It is now generally admitted, by all students of American history, that the Norsemen, about the year 1000 A. D., came to America by way of Iceland and Greenland and spent at least one winter in the country. This belief is based chiefly upon the old Icelandie sagas; but no indefinite is their description of the country that it has never been possible to locate the places they describe; and Vinland, the site of their settlement, has been placed by different students at Newport, N. I.; on the Charles River near Boston; in Nova Scotia, and even in Newfoundland or Labrador. So hazy is the evidence as to the location of the much sought for “Vinland the Good,” their case could be made out for the St. John River or the St. Croix as its site, as convincing as for any of those we have mentioned. (a) In 1497, John Cabot visited the coast of Newfoundland; and it is now generally believed that the next year his man Sebastion explored the coast far to the southward. If this is so, he probably entered the bay of Fundy and saw our islands. The same Newfoundland is the lasting monument of the visits of the Cabots.
In 1501, Casper Cortereal set out from Portugal and explored the American coast as far north as Labrador. From the latter place, there is reason to believe he took home many of the natives whom he intended for slaves, and thus originated the name Labrador, corrupted from “Terra Laboratoris.” Making the careful survey of the coast from south to north, as he did, he could hardly have missed the bay of Fundy, though no maps or other record marks his visit.
In 1504, the hardy Breton fishermen began to frequent the coast of Nova Scotia and continued to increase in number for the remainder of the century. The name Cape Breton commemorated their early influence. They were naturally explorers, and probably voyaged into every salt water bay and harbor on our coast. No account of their explorations, however, being of a private nature, was ever published, and no record of them has come down to us. It is worth nothing, nevertheless, that Champlain, while exploring the Basin of Mines in 1604, found there a decayed wooden cross showing that Christians had been there before him. Probably some of the Breton French were familiar with Passamaquoddy bay.
In 1524, Giovanni da Verrazano, sent by Francis L. of France, explored the entire coast from North Carolina to Newfoundland and back; but the maps show the results of his voyage of Estevan Govez, sent out by Spain in 1525, who probably explored as far north as Cape Breton, but does not appear to have entered the bay.
Some time prior to 1558, however, the bay must have been well explored, for in that year, a map (to be discussed in a future article) made by Diego Homem, a Portuguese, shows the bay with tolerable accuracy, and near its mouth is a cape marked “C. de los muchas islas,” which, we can hardly question, refers to the islands lying off Passamaquoddy bay. There are numerous engraved maps of this period, both before and after that of Homem, none of which show the Bay of Fundy; so he must have had special information not accessible to other map-makers. On many of these maps, however, there is marked, “Riw hondo” or “Rio Fondo” (the deep river), which is undoubtedly the origin of the word “Fundy,” and we have therefore before us this interesting memento of early Spanish or Portuguese voyages. (b)
It is not until after 1590 that the Bay of Fundy becomes fixed on the maps not again to disappear, and although we have no record extant of any of the further possible visits to the bay of Fundy up to the time of DeMonts, there can be little doubt that it was frequently visited by fishermen and traders. With de Monts, in 1604, came Champlain, the first explorer who has left us any account of his visit to our shores.
(a) The early Norsemen are said to have established a trade in a certain precious wood, called “Mosur wood,” (supposed to have been the burls of birch or maple) and the remains of any dike or canal, such as could have been used for floating logs or blocks of wood, might therefore be taken as evidence of their presence here. Mr. S. A. Wilder, of Pembroke, who has given some study to local history, and is now publishing in the Eastport Sentinel a series of articles on the subject, finds a prehistoric dike on the Cobscook; which, however, he believes to have been built to keep the tide from flooding the meadow land. Ed.
(b) A most remarkable and interesting discussion of the early Portuguese explorations of our coast, by the Rev. George Patterson of Nova Scotia, is to be found in vol. Viii., of the Trans. Royal Society of Canada.
XXIII – THE FIRST FRENCH SETTLEMENT
(W. F. Ganong, M. A.)
The true history of our country begins with the attempt of DeMonts to found a settlement on St. Croix Island, in the summer of 1604.
The Indians preceded the French in this region, it is true, and they have had a not inconsiderable influence upon its later settlement; and early Spanish, Portuguese, and French explorers doubtless visited and knew our shores, but neither the one nor the other have left us any account of their doings. It is Champlain, the historian of the expedition, the future explorer, leader, and “Father of New France,” who had given us the first authentic records in the history of Charlotte County. And the events of that first settlement of which he tells us so fully and so clearly are not only of great interest in themselves, but they have a wide significance from the part that settlement played in the birth of a new power in the New World.
For there France made her first serious attempt at colonization in America; here began the period of France occupation, which only clased more than a century and a half later with the fall of Quebec. Those of our readers who wish to follow the broader current of events in Acadian or Canadian history should turn to “Hannay’s History of Acadia”, for the one, or Parkman’s works, particularly his “Pioneers of France in the New World.” For the other. But we will let Champlain tell his own story. His work “The Voyages of Sieur de Champlain of Saintonge, Captain in Ordinary to the King in the Marine,” was published in Paris in 1613. It is now rare and expensive, but it has been twice reprinted, and yet a third time in translation, (a) and from the latter the following is taken.
I – From France to St. Croix Island
“Sieur de Monts, by virtue of his commission, having published…the prohibition against the violation of monopoly of the fur trade accorded him by his majesty, gathered together about one hundred and twenty artisans, whom he embarked in two vessels; one of 120 tons, commanded by Sieur de Pont Grave; another of 150 tons, in which he embarked himself, together with several noblemen…
We set out from Havre de Grace April 7, 1604, and Pont Grave April 10th, to rendezvous at Canseau, twenty leagues from Cape Breton… On May 1st we sighted Sable Islands.”
They then coasted the shores of Nova Scotia, rounded Cape Sable, visited Annapolis Basin, and Minas Basin which they so named; then they crossed the bay, (la Baye Francaise – Bay of Fundy), and came down the coast of New Brunswick, which they followed towards the south-west until they came to “the mouth of the largest and deepest river we had yet seen, which we named the River St. John, because it was on this Saint’s day we arrived there (24th of June). By the savages (b) it is called Ouygoudy.
“From the river St. John we went to four islands (c) on one of which we landed and found great numbers of birds called magpies, of which we captured many small ones, which are as good as pigeons. Sieur de Poutrincourt came near getting lost here, but he came back out barque at last, when 10 had already gone to search for him about the island, which is three leagues distance from the main land. Farther west are other islands; among them, one six leagues in length, called by the savages Manthane, (d) south of which there are, among the islands, several good harbors for vessels. From the magpie islands we proceeded to a river on the mainland called the river of the Etchemins, (e) a tribe of savages so called in their country. We passed by so many islands that we could not ascertain their number, which were very fine. Some were two leagues in extent, others three, others more or less. All of these islands are in a bay (f) having in my estimation a circuit of more than fifteen leagues. There are many good places capable of containing any number of vessels, and abounding in fish in the season, such as cod fish, salmon, bass, herring, halibut, and other kinds in great numbers. Sailing W. N. W., three leagues, through the islands, we entered a river almost half a league in breadth at its mouth, (g) sailing up which a league or two we found two islands. One (h) very small near the western bank, the other (i) in the middle, having a circumference of perhaps 800 or 900 paces, with rocky sides, three or four fathoms high all round, except in one small place where there is a sandy point and clayey earth adapted for making brick and other useful articles. There is another place affording shelter for vessels from 80 to 100 tons, but it is dry at low tide. The island is covered with firs, birches, maples, and oaks. It is by nature very well situated, except one place where for about 40 paces it is lower than elsewhere. This however, is easily fortified. The banks of the mainland being distant at both sides some 900 to 1000 paces, vessels could pass the river only at the mercy of the cannon on this island; and we deemed the location most advantageous, not only on account of its situation and good soil, (j) but also on account of the intercourse, which we proposed with the savages of these coasts and of the interior, as we should be in the midst of them. We hoped to pacify them in course of time, and put an end to the wars which they carry on with one another, so as to derive service from them in the future and convert them to Christian faith. This place was named by Sieur De Monts, the island of St. Croix. (k) Further on, there is a great bay in which are two islands, one high and the other flat: (l) also three rivers one extending towards the east, (m) one towards the north (n) and the third, of larger size, towards the west. (o) The latter is that of the Etchemins, of which we spoke before. Two leagues up this river there is a waterfall, around which the savages carry their canoes some 500 paces by land, and then re-enter the river. Passing afterwards from the river a short distance over land, one reaches the rivers Morumbegue (p) and St. John. But the falls are impassible for vessels, as there are only rocks and four or five feet of water. In May and June so great a number of herring and bass are caught there that vessels could be loaded with them. The soil is of the finest sort and there are 15 or 30 acres of cleared land, where Sieur de Monts had some wheat sown, which flourished finely. (q) The savages come here sometimes five or six weeks during the fishing season.
All the rest of the country consists of very dense forests. If the land were cleared up, grain would flourish excellently. This place is in latitude 45° 20′ (r) and 17° 32′ of the deflection of the magnetic needle.”
(a) Prince Society, Boston, 1878. Translated by C. P. Otis, edited by Rev. E. F. Slater
(b) Champlain and the French generally always called the Indians “savages.”
(c) The Wolves. The history of this and other place names mentioned will be traced in a future article.
(d) Grand Manan
(e) St. Croix, or Schoodic
(g) The St. Croix, of course
(h) Little Dochet
(i) The present Dochet
(j) He afterwards found the soil to be poor.
(k) The Holy Cross. Lescarbot, who also in 1609 published an account of the St. Croix settlement, says that the island was so named from a resemblance to a cross, caused by the entrance of two streams into the river above the island.
(l) The islands of Oak Bay
(m) The Waweig
(n) Oak Bay
(o) The main river
(q) This was probably on the site of the St. Stephen—perhaps at the Cove, or possibly near Salmon Falls, at Milltown.
(r) The true latitude is 45° 7′ 43”
In connection with the name of St. Croix, Rev. W. C. Raymond sends us the following curious extract from a letter written by Dr. Gesner, of the geological survey, to Ward Chipman, under date July 8, 1841:
“In ascending the river above St. Andrews and above Dochet Island, Oak Bay will be seen in front, the Warwig River on the right head and the Schoodeag or St. Croix on the left. From this resemblance to a cross, I think it evident the river obtained its present name from the French.”
Readers who have kept the preceding articles for reference will please make the following corrections and additions:
Article 1. In fifth paragraph, for “1669” read “1667”.
Article XIV. At the end of first paragraph may be placed the following note-
“The Indians south of the Kennebec were called Armouchiquois. Lescarbot, a contemporary of Champlain, says that the river St. Croix is in the land of the Etchemins; and further mentions that, there being a war between the Etchemins and the Armouchiquois, an ambassador who came from the Etchemins was from the St. Croix.”
Article XVI. Insert “in” before the words “one of the islands,” in the description of Razilly’s grant. Strike out paragraph relating to the Episcopal Seminary of Foreign Missions.
Article XX. In the fifth line, instead of word “Ghent read “1794.”
2 – The Beginning of the Settlement
Not finding any more suitable place than this island we commenced making a barricade on a little islet a short distance from the main island. (a) which served as a station for placing our cannon. All worked so energetically that in a short time it was put in a state of defense, although the mosquitoes (which are little flies) annoyed excessively in our work. For there were several of our men whose faces were so swollen by their bites that they could scarcely see. The barricade being finished, Sieur De Monts sent his barque to notify the rest of our party, who were with our vessel in the Bay of St. Mary (b) to come to St. Croix. This was promptly done, and while awaiting them we spent the time pleasantly.
Some days after, our vessels having arrived and anchored, all disembarked. Then, without losing time, Sieur De Monts proceeded to employ the workmen in building houses for our abode and allowed us to determine the place for the store house, which is 9 fathoms long, 3 wide, and 12 feet high. He adopted the place for his own house, which he had promptly built by good workmen and then assigned to each one his location. Straightway the men began to gather together by fives and sixes, each according to his desire. Then all set to work to clear up the island, to go to the woods, to make the frame-work, to carry earth and other things necessary for the buildings.
While we were building our houses, Sieur De Monts dispatched Captain Fouques in the vessel of Rossignol to find Pont Grave at Canseau, in order to obtain for our settlement what supplies remained.
Some time after he had set out, there arrived a small barque of eight tons, in which was Du Glas of Honfleur, pilot of Pont Grave’s velle, bringing the Basque shipmasters, who had been captured by the above Pont Grave, while engaged in the fur trade, as we have stated. Sieur De Monts received them civilly, and sent them back by the above Du Glas to Pont Grave, with orders for him to take the vessel he had captured to Rochelle, in order that justice might be done. Meanwhile, work on the houses went on vigorously and without cessation; the carpenters engaged on the store house and the dwelling of Sieur De Monts and the others each on his own house, as I was on mine, which I built with the assistance of some servants belonging to Sieur D’Orville and myself. It was forth with completed and Sieur De Monts lodged in it till his own was finished. An oven was also made, and a handmill for grinding our wheat, the working of which involved much trouble and labor to the most of us, since it was a tiresome operation. Some gardens were afterwards laid out on the mainland, (c) as well as on the island. Here many kinds of seeds were planted which flourished very well on the mainland, but not on the island, since there was only sand here and the whole was burned up when the sun shone, although special pains were taken to water them.
3 – Further Explorations
Some after Sieur De Monts determined to ascertain where the mine of pure copper was, which we had searched for so much. With this object in view, he dispatched me, together with a savage named Measamouet, who asserted that he knew the place well. We set out in a small barque of 5 or 6 tons, with 9 sailors. Some 8 leagues from the island, towards the river St. John, we found a mine of copper (d) which was not pure, yet good according to the report of the miner, who said it would yield 18 percent. Further on we found others inferior to this. When we reached the place where he supposed that was which we were hunting for, the savage could not find it, so that it was necessary to come back, leaving the search for another time.
Upon my return from this trip, Sieur De Monts resolved to send his vessels back to France, and also Sieur de Poutrincourt, who had come only for his pleasure, and to explore countries and places suitable for a colony, which he desired to found: for which reason he asked Sieur De Monts for Port Royal, which he gave him in accordance with power and direction he had received from the king. He sent back, also, Ralliau, his secretary, to arrange some matters concerning the voyage. They set out from the Isle St. Croix the last day of Autumn, 1604.
After the departure of his vessels, Sieur De Monts decided to send persons to make discoveries along the coast of Norumbegue (d) and he entrusted me with the work, which I found very agreeable. In order to execute this commission I set out from St. Croix on the 2nd of September…so we arrived at our settlement of the 2nd of October following:
4 – Progress at the Settlement
When we arrived at the Island of St. Croix, each one had finished his place of abode. Winter came upon us sooner that we expected and prevented us from doing many things which we had proposed. Nevertheless, Sieur De Monts did not fail to have some gardens made upon the island. Many began to clear up the ground each his own. I also did so with mine, which was very large, where I planted a quantity of seeds, as did also the other, who had any, and the came up very well. But since the island was all sandy, everything dried up almost as soon as the sun shone on it, and we had no water for irrigation except from the rain, which was infrequent.
Sieur De Monts caused also clearing to be made on the mainland for making gardens and at the falls, three leagues from our settlement, he had work done and some wheat sown, which came up very well and ripened. (f) Around our habitations there is at low tide a large number of shell fish, such as cockles, mussels, sea urchins and sea snails which were very acceptable to all.
(a) The knoll still in existence at the lower end of the main island. This clearly shown by Champlains map shows, and also in the cove below Sandy Point, on the Canadian side.
(d) Probably in the vicinity of Beaver Harbor, where small veins of copper occur.
(e) The country along towards the Penobscot.
(f) Already referred to—probably at St. Stephen.
(The footnotes of last week’s article were somewhat confusing, owing to a typographical error. If the reference marks in the column numbered to correspond, they can be read.)
Mr. Edward Jack writes:
St. Croix island is not “Doucet” island, but “Dodia’s”. It was formerly called Bone Island. My father told me that a party of young people who were on a picnic at the island early in the present century named it Dosia’s Island because they had seen a very pretty young lady in St. Stephen who was called Theodosia. She was, I believe, Doucet’s, but it is an error.
The late Mrs. N. Parker told me, many years since, that when the Loyalists came to St. Andrews, Mrs. Pagan, wife of Robert Pagan, interviewed the Indians respecting their traditions, and discovered that these Indians had heard from their fathers that the French had wintered on the island, and that the Indians used to lie in wait for them as they landed.
(Champlain’s narrative, with notes by W. F. Ganong, M. A.)
5 – The Terrible Winter
“The snows began the 6th of October. On the 3rd of December, we saw ice pass, which came from some frozen river. The cold was sharp, more severe than in France, and of much longer duration: and it scarcely rained at all the entire winter. I suppose this is owing to the north and north-west winds passing over high mountains always covered with snow. The latter from three to four feet deep up to the end of the month of April: lasting much longer, I suppose, than it would if the country were cultivated.
“During the winter, many of our company were attacked by a certain malady, called the mal de la terre; otherwise scurvy, as I have since heard from learned men. There were produced in the mouths of those who had it great places of superfluous and driveling flesh, (causing extensive putrefaction,) which got the upper hand to such an extent that scarcely anything but liquid could be taken. Their teeth became very loose, and could be pulled out with the fingers without it causing them pain. Their superfluous flesh was often cut out, which caused them to eject much blood through the mouth. Afterwards, a violent pain seized their arms and legs, which remained swollen very hard, all spotted as if with flea-bites; and they could not walk on account of the contraction of the muscles, so that they were almost without strength, and suffered intolerable pains. They experienced pain, also, in the loins, stomach, and bowels, and had a very bad cough and short breath. In a word, they were in such a condition that the majority of them could not rise nor move, and could not even be raised upon their feet without falling down in a swoon. So that out of seventy-nine who composed our party thirty-five died and more than twenty were on the point of death. The majority of those who remained well also complained of slight pains and short breath. We were unable to find any remedy for these maladies. A post morten examination of several bodies was made, to investigate the cause of their disease. In the case of many, the interior parts were found mortified, such as the lungs, which were so changed that no natural fluid could be perceived in them. The spleen was serous and swollen. The liver was laguex (?) and spotted, without its natural color. The vena cava, superior and inferior, was filled with thick coagulated and black blood. The gall was tainted. Nevertheless, many arteries, in the middle as well as lower bowels, were found in very good condition. In the case of some, incisions with a razor were made on the thighs where they had purple spots, whence there issued a very black clotted blood. This is what was observed on the bodies of those infected with this malady.
Our surgeons could not help suffering themselves in the same manner as the rest. Those who continued sick were healed by spring, which commences in this country in May. This led us to believe that the change of season restored them to health rather than the remedies prescribed.
During this winter all the liquors froze except the Spanish Wine. (a) Cider was dispensed by the pound. The cause of this loss was that there were no cellars to our store-house and that the air which entered by the cracks was sharper than the outside. We were obliged to use very bad water, and to drink melted snow, as there were no springs nor brooks; for it was not possible to go to mainland in consequence of the great pieces of ice drifted by the tide which varies 3 fathoms between low and high water. Work on the hand mill was very fatiguing since the most of us, having slept poorly and suffering from insufficiency of fuel which we could not obtain on account of the ice, had scarcely any strength and also because we ate only salt meat and vegetables during the winter which produced bad blood. The latter circumstance was, in my opinion, a partial cause of these dreadful maladies. All this produced discontent in Sieur de Monts and others of the settlement.
“It would be very difficult to ascertain the character of this region without spending the winter in it; for on arriving here in summer everything is very agreeable, in consequence of the woods, fine country, and the many varieties of good fish that are found here. There are six months of winter in this country.
(a) Champlain’s entire account shows that the winter was one of unusual severity.
6 – The Indians of the River
“The savages who dwell here are few in number. During the winter in the deepest snows they hunt elks. (a) and other animals on which they live most of the time. And unless the snow is very deep, they scarcely get rewarded for their pains, since they cannot capture anything except by a very great effort, which is the reason of their enduring and suffering much. When they do not hunt, they live on the shell fish called the cookle. (b) They clothe themselves in winter with good furs of beaver and elk. The women make all the garments, but not so exactly but that you can see the flesh under the armpits, because they have not the ingenuity enough to fit them better. When they go hunting, they use a kind of snowshoe twice as large as those hereabouts, which they attach to the soles of their feet and walk thus over the snow without sinking in – the women and children as well as the men. They search for the track of animals, which, having found, they follow until they get sight of the creature, then they shoot at it with bows or kill it by means of daggers attached to the end of a short pike, which very easily done, as the animals cannot walk on the snow without sinking in. Then the women and children come up, erect a hut, and they give themselves to feasting. Afterwards, they return in search of other animals, and thus they pass the winter. In the month of March following, some savages came and gave us a portion of their game in exchange for bread and other things which we gave them. This is the mode of life of these people in winter, which seems to me a very miserable one.
V – The Spring and the Abandonment of the Settlement
“We looked for our vessels at the end of April; but as this passed without their arriving, all began to have all ill boding, fearing that some accident had befallen them. For this reason, on the 15th of May, Sieur de Monts decided to have a barque of 15 tons and another of 7 fitted up so that we might go at the end of the month of June to Gaspe in quest of vessels in which to return to France, in case of our own should not meanwhile arrive, but God helped us better that we hoped, for on the 15th of June, ensuing while on guard about 11 o’clock at night, Pont Grave, captain of one of the vessels of Sieur de Monts, arriving in a shellop, informed us that his ship was anchored 6 leagues from our settlement, and he was welcomed amid the great joy of all. The next day the vessel arrived and anchored near our habitation. Pont Grave informed us that a vessel from St. Malo, called the St. Estienne, was following him, bringing us provisions and supplies.
“On the 17th day of the month, Sieur de Monts decided to go in quest of a place better adopted for an abode, and with a better temperature than our own. With this view he had the barque made ready, in which he had to go to Gaspe.”
Before going to Gaspe, however, they went southward again and carefully explored the coast as far as Cape Cod, but found no place which was thought suitable for a settlement. Accordingly they returned, and on the 3rd of August they again reached St. Croix Island. Immediately the buildings were torn down and their timbers with other baggage were removed to Port Royal, now Annapolis Basin, where a new settlement was formed, They subsequently visited the island and found some of their grains and vegetables growing well, but never again did they attempt to settle upon it.
Thus ended the first attempt by the French to colonize Charlotte County. The settlement at Port Royal flourished and languished alternately, but was never, except for a short time, entirely abandoned. Champlain soon after became the explorer of the St. Lawrence, and henceforth had no connection with Acadia.
(b) The clam
XXVII – FROM THE DEPARTURE OF DE MONTS TO THE INCURSIONS OF CHURCH
1 – An Indian Tradition
The departure of de Monts and his company from St. Croix Island in the spring of 1605 left our country again without European inhabitants. How long it remained deserted, whence or why the new settlers came, or who they were, are questions that no historian can at present answer. The records for the next century of our history are of the most meager sort, consisting chiefly in titles of old land grants, legends on maps, barest mention in some early census, or scanty references in scattered manuscripts. Scarce and disappointing as they are, these fragments are yet sufficient to show that the horrors of that first dreadful winter did not for long deter the French, ever a brave and hopeful race, from planning new attempts at settlement. The evidence is ample to show that about 1632 grand schemes were afloat in men’s minds for the colonization of the county, and that later in the century small colonies of Acadians, traders, and fishermen, rather than farmers or miners, planted themselves upon our shores and flourished with occasional reverse until about 1713, when Acadia passed for the last time into the keeping of the English. Perhaps the archives of France, so rich in material concerning our early history, may yet yield to some student the full account of this interesting period.
Before beginning our study of documentary history, we should refer to an Indian tradition which is worthy of more than passing notice. The Passamaquoddy have, or had nearly a century ago, a story of the coming of the French, which may, though it probably does not, refer simply to de Mont’s expedition. In one account (a) it is given as follows:
“Captain Nicholas Awanwas, aged 67 years, gave evidence at St. Andrews October 7th 1796, in which he says, ‘that the Indians called the Megagwadavy, St. Croix; that he has heard no other name for the Megagwadavy than St. Croix since he was a boy—that there is but one cross, by which he means that the French put up but one cross, that the French gave it that name – that the Indians call the waters from Brewer’s (opposite Joe’s Point) upwards Shootuck, because they go up the rapids – that there was a cross put up at St. Andrews Point and it was standing until about fourteen years ago, and was put up by Saint Andre, a priest – that the first cross was at Megagwadavy, and that two days later a cross was put up at St. Andrews Point.”
By another Indian, Francis Joseph, on Nov. 9th, 1797, it was told to the boundary commissioners as follows:
“That the French about four hundred years ago, came to this part of the country with one vessel. That they first came to Head Harbor and Harbor la Tang and from thence went up the river Megagwadavy in a boat where they saw some Indians. That not liking the land they came down the river and created a cross at its mouth and then returned to France. That the next time the French came here in four vessels and sat down at an island near Devil’s Head,” etc.
A third form also of this story has been published. (b) Eliminating the variations, it would appear to be probable that another French expedition had visited the Passamaquoddy either after or (more probable) before that of de Monts, and that its members had indulged their well-known passion for erecting crosses as a sign of possession and of the religion they carried, by erecting two at least in this region, from which, in itself trivial circumstance, much confusion afterwards arose in more important matters. (c)
(a) MS. in possession of Rev. W. C. Raymond of St John one of a series of papers containing evidence taken by the Boundary Commissioners in 1798-97
(b) In Kilby’s “Eastport and Passamaquoddy,” pp. 11s at et seq.
(c) The determination of the River St. Croix established as the boundary by the Treaty of 1783
(W. F. Ganong, M. A.)
2 – Records of the Early French Period.
Certain references to Passamaquoddy and Grand Manan occur in the writings of the Jesuit missionaries at Port Royal, which, though interesting, have but little bearing on the events of the time. They show however, that the region was occasionally visited by the ships of the French. (a)
In July 1613 there was an interruption in the quiet currents of events when the bay was visited by Captain Samuel Argall, who was sent with armed ships by the English in Virginia to drive the French from Acadia, which was then claimed, on the basis of its discovery by Cabot, as a British possession. Argall visited St. Croix Island and burnt the remains of the buildings left by the French upon it, crossed to Port Royal (Annapolis), and took and destroyed the settlement. (b) This gave the British a better claim than ever to Acadia, and in 1621 a grant or charter was issued to Sir William Alexander by King James I, reaffirmed in 1625 by Charles I, in which all Acadia, under the new name of Nova Scotia, was given over to him for colonization. An order of Baronets of Nova Scotia was created, and grants of land, amounting in such case to about 16,000 acres were made over to these baronets, who in turn were to place settlers upon their tracts and otherwise contribute to their settlement. Some of these grants were in the present
province of New Brunswick. So little is known of their locations, however, and so indefinitely were they descried, that it is impossible to say whether any of them were in Charlotte County, though it is very probable that some of them were. In a book published in 1624 by Sir William Alexander, he thus refers to this region:
“After this, having seen Port Royal, they went to the River called by them St. Croix but more fit now to be called Tweed, because it doth divide New England and New Scotland.”
Accordingly on his maps he calls the St. Croix the Tweed, but the name did not persist. No practical results of any permanent value to Acadia followed from this attempt, and in 1632 the country was ceded by Charles I to France.
In the same year, 1632, the Company of New France undertook with vigor the work of colonizing Acadia, and sent there a representative named Isaac de Razilly, an able, earnest, and conscientious man. He brought with him some colonists whom he settled at La Heve in Nova Scotia; and to him, on the 19th of May, 1632, an immense tract of land in what is now Charlotte County was granted by the Company of New France. The grant reads in part as follows:
“For these reasons we have given and granted to the aforesaid Sieur de Razilly, and we do, by these presents, give and grant to him the extent of land and territory which follows namely the river and bay of St. Croix, the islands contained in it, and the lands lying adjacent, on the one side and on the other in New France, to the extent of twelve leagues in breadth reckoning its middle point at the island of St. Croix where the Sieur de Monts wintered, and twenty leagues in length inland from the Port aux Coquilles, which is one of the islands which is at the entrance of the river and bay of St. Croix, each league to be of four thousand fathoms in length.
Port aux Coquilles was Head Harbor in Campobello; and the grant of Razilly would therefore extend thence about sixty miles inland; that is almost twenty miles north of the county line, and almost to the river St. John. In breadth it would include l’Etang Harbor and Lake Utopia on the east, and the entire main St. Croix to the Cheputnotinook lakes and a goodly part of Maine on the west. Doubtless de Razilly intended to conform to the latter and the spirit of his grant, and to found settlements within it; but he had much other work to do as Commander in Acadia, and his unfortunate death in 1636 put an end to plans which promised better for this country than any that had been previously formed.
Thus, so far as written records are concerned, there follows an almost unbroken blank for the next fifty-two years.
(a) Champlain himself visited Grand Manan and passed a miserable night in a storm near Southern Head in 1606, and the Jesuit Relations show that a harbor known as La Pierre Blanche, that is “the White Rock,” (probably White Head) was a rendezvous and shelter for French ships.
(b) For reference to the part taken by the Passamaquoddy Indians in this and subsequent hostilities between the English and the French, see articles XVI to XIX. – Ed.
(W. F. Ganong, M. A.)
3 – Records of the Later French Period.
In 1684, we hear of another land grant, this time from the French government, to another man who did his best for the good of the new country. On June 28th of that year there was granted in seigneurie to Jean Asrreau, Sieur de St. Aubin, a tract of land at Passamaquoddy, which was to have its center at an island called Archimagan, and was to include five leagues of front along the sea shore, and five leagues of depth into the land, including the islands near, and a rocky inlet six leagues off for a seal fishery. This was a true seigniorial grant, giving the seigneur the administration of justice, the right to sublet to tenants, and all the ancient rights and duties of a feudal lord of olden days. It is furthermore known that the Sieur de St. Aubin actually settled at Archimagan with his family and retainers, and that he built there a palisaded dwelling or fort; but the site of his dwelling as well as the island itself are unknown, though certain references to the place, presently to be mentioned, makes it seem certain that it was very near the mainland, and in the vicinity of Eastport. It may have been on Moose Island, at or near the present site of the town of Eastport. The present writer has tried to obtain the aboriginal name of Moose Island, which would go far towards settling this most interesting question, but so far in vain. There appears to be no other Indian name for any island in this region which is at all like the word in question. (a)
Two years later we again hear of St. Aubin, together another settler who either followed or preceded him; for in the French census of Acadia of 1686 we find the following;
“Saincte Croix (b) : Le Sierur de St. Aubin and his wife, his elder and second sons, and several servants.
De Sorcis, 27 years of age, who is also established in that river.”
We have a most interesting and valuable confirmation of this census, with some additional information, in a most authentic document of 1688, printed among the Hutchinson papers by the Massachusetts Historical Society. (c) It reads as follows, under the title, “Names of inhabitants between the rivers Penobscot and St. Croix” :
At Passamaquoddy, near St. Croix.
St. Robin, wife and son, with like grant from Quebec. Letrell, Jno. Minn’s wife and four children – Lambert and Jolly Cure his servants.
At St. Croix.
Zorzy, and Lena his servant. Grant from Quebec.
In the above it is easy to recognize St. Robin as St. Aubin, poorly anglicized; Zorzy is clearly, de Sorcis. Letrell (perhaps properly Latrielle) figured prominently among these settlers later, and it is known that he lived at Indian Island when Church made his famous descent upon Passamaquoddy in 1704, presently to be described. The other names are of much interest.
Jolly Cure would be Jolicoeur, and perhaps Lambert would properly be l’Ambert.
Another census following in 1689, in which the inhabitants of Passamaquoddy are given as 4 men, 4 women, 8 boys, 5 girls; and the inhabitants are said to possess 4 houses, 4 barns, 7 horned cattle, 6 guns, and to have in cultivation 22 arpents (i.e. 27 acres) of land. The latter item is one of the greatest interest, as it shows there was an intention of permanency in the settlement – it was not simply a trading or fishing port.
The next document that is known is a grant from the government at Quebec, of the date of July 16, 1691. In which to Jean Meusnier, Acadian, there is granted.
“Two leagues in front by the two leagues in depth on the small river which the Indians call Maricadeouy: to wit, one league in front on each side of the said river, opposite to each other, the said two leagues of land in front and two leagues in depth to be taken in the unconceded lands at a distance of about five leagues below Pesmoucady, running towards the north-east.”
This was into a seigneurial, but a property grant, and it was clearly situated at the mouth of the Megagwadavic, the five leagues north-east from Passamaquoddy referring its distance from the present Eastport harbour, which was the place known in these early records as Passamaquoddy.
It is possible that this Jean Meusnier is the same man called in Hutchinson’s document Jno. Minn, and that he resided at Passamaquoddy before land was granted to him. However this may be, Jean Meusnier was one of the Acadians plundered in some of the earlier expeditions of the New Englanders; and, if he be not the same as Jno. Minn, he may have been plundered by Church at Penobscot in 1893, for his grant records that his former property, situated in Acadia, (d) had been plundered and burst by the English who had made a descent upon his place, so this grant is given to enable him to settle in safer place.
Two years later, in 1673, we have another census, which reads as follows, under Passamaquoddy:
Le Dieur St. Aubin, aged 72 years.
Moise las Treille, aged 38 years.
Madam Huguette, his wife, aged 26 years (and four children).
There must have been others here at this time, whose names have been omitted from our scanty notes on the census. Usually the censuses were taken with great care and thoroughness. Doubtless the Moise la Treille mentioned above is the Detrell of the Hutchinson paper of 1688, and the Letriel of the Church narrative presently to follow. (e)
In this same year also, 1693, on April 14th, “the island of Grand Manan, together with islands, islets and beaches which may be found lying around and near the same,” was granted in seigneurie to Paul Saillebouet, Sieur de Periguy, We know that he was a lieutenant in the French army, and some other facts about his life; which, however, are of little interest to us, since it is unlikely that he ever saw his possessions, and he makes no other appearance in our history. (correction on p. 201)
The last of these seigneurial grants that we shall have occasion to mention is that to Sieur Michel Chartier, dated July 8, 1695. In it he is given in fief and seigneurs, “An extent of land situated on the river Deneuost (Scoodic)
containing one half league in front on each side of the Said river, one league and a half in depth, together with the adjacent islands and islets, to commence at the south-west side of the property of the Sieur St. Aubin, descending the said river, and on the north-east side at the ungranted lands,” etc.
The description of this grant is altogether too indefinite to enable us at present to fix with certainty upon its location, particularly as the position of St. Aubin’s seigueris is so imperfectly known. It may possibly have included St. Andrews, but it was much more probable at the present side of St. Stephen, for Col. Church, as presently to be described, found him settled there in 1704. (f)
One more census, in 1700, was taken while Acadia was under French control and in that the population of Passamaquoddy is returned as consisting of the Sieur St. Aubin and fifteen persons. We are not told their names, but it is probable that the original documents, preserved in France, give them in full. The only additional name that we are acquainted with is that of Gourdan, (probably Gourdin) mentioned by Church in 1704.
(a) St. Aubin’s place of residence is given by Hannay (History of Acadia, p. 239) as “Edgemoragan Reach, a little to the eastward of Penobscot.” Edgemoragan is apparently another form of Archimagan, which was undoubtedly one of the Passamaquoddy islands.
(b) The loose way of using the names St. Croix and Passamaquoddy is in accord both with the custom and imperfect geographical knowledge of the time.
(c) Collections, 3rd series, vol. 1, P 82 (the partial copy of this paper contained in Bangor Hist. Mag. Of 1886; p. 116 is exceedingly full of errors)
(d) Acadia, at that time extended to the Penobscot, and several grants were made by the French government along the Maine coast.
(e) A grant of land on the St. John river, four leagues in length by two in depth, including the site of the present village of Gagetown, was made by Count Frontenac, March 23, 1961, to Dame Marie Francoise Chartier, widow of the Sieur de Soulanges at Marson. She was probably a sister of a near relative of the Sieur Michel Chartier.
–Rev. W. O. Raymond.
(W. F. Ganong, M. A.)
4 – St. Aubin and His Contemporaries
The one man who interests us most at this point is the Sieur St. Aubin. We have but scanty details as to his life; yet such as they are, they give us the picture of a goodly man, one about whom we should gladly know more, He was born about 1621, probably in France, and served France well against her enemies. But we will let the following Document (a) tell its own story. It is pass given him by Brouillan, governor of Acadia, dated Port Royal, Nov. 20, 1703, and reads:
“Jacques Francois de Brouillian, Chevalier de l’Acadie.
“This is to certify that the Sieur St. Aubin, Seigneur of Passamaquoddy, has worked with diligence to increase the value of his seigneurie, upon which he has settled tenants who hold there in fealty, and has likewise worked in other places for the increase of the colony, having given proofs of his fidelity in the service of the King upon all occasions which have presented themselves, as well in this country as upon the island of Newfoundland, where he has shown evidence of bravery and good conduct; and that in addition he had fought with distinction against the English of New England and the Indian enemies of France in virtue of which we now give him this certificate, with permission to go to France to give attention to his business.”
He and another Acadian named Petitpas, with their families, were prisoners in Boston in 1692; and the English governor sent them, with two French deserters, to capture Baron De St. Castine, at Penobscot, keeping their families as hostages. They revealed the plan and gave up the deserters, (b) and subsequently received from the French authorities a grant of money for their services. St. Aubin probably went to France in 1703, and hence was absent at the time of Church’s visit. He is afterwards heard of at Port Royal, where in 1705 he seems to have died in poverty, (c) caused doubtless, by his losses through Church’s expedition. A son of his, Louis Simon de St. Aubin, le Poupet, Chevalier de la Boularderie, in 1702 married Magdalaine Melancon, and was Captain of a company at the defense at Port Royal against the British in 1707.
In 1704 came Colonel Church with fire and sword, and from the time of his visit history is silent. We do not know when or whither the settlers went from our shores. We simply know that within a few years they disappeared entirely. It is generally believed that they left the country about 1713 when it passes into the hands of the English.
Thus ended the period of French occupation in Charlotte County. The French settlers left no works, no monuments nor descendants, and produced no permanent effect upon its settlement. It is a matter for sincere regret however, that we do not know the sites of these French settlements, particularly that of St. Aubin. Aside from the indirect evidence we have referred to, the only information we have upon the subject is found upon a map, to be referred to in a future article, made early in the last century by Captain Cyprain Southack. If the imperfect topography of this map is correctly interpreted by the present writer, it locates French houses upon Campobello, near Wilson’s Beach; on Moose Island, Pleasant Point, and the lower end of Deer Island. Old cellars, believed to be French, at Hill’s Point, between Oak Bay and Waweig. Their other settlements were probably at St. Andrews, at the mouth of the Magaguadavic, at St. Stephen or Calais, and at Letang.
A few place names have descended to us from these later French colonists; Lepreau, Letang, Letete, Delute (del ‘outre, of the otter.) St. Croix and the Grand in Grand Manan are older. Having originated with de Monts and Champlain. It is fortunate that these names have survived to stand as a memorial of their former presence as lasting as the English race itself upon the shores of Charlotte county.
(a) Given in MSS. Relating to the History of Canada, published by the Quebec Government, vol. ii, p. 407.
(b) Murdock, (Hist. Nova Scotia, vol. i, p 214) in relating this incident, says: “November, 1692. Jacques Petipas and Charles de Soreau, Sieur de St. Aubin, inhabitants of Archimagan on Acadia, were taken by the English.” There can be very little doubt that Charles de Soreau is some transcriber’s error for
Jean Serreau. —-Rev. W. O. Raymond
(c) Des Coutins, in a letter written from Port Royal, Dec. 4, 1705, states that “the Sieur St. Aubin died in the beginning of this year, at the house of an inhabitant who had received him through charity.” Rev. W. O. Raymond
A fort built of logs formerly stood on the high bluff at Sandy Point, on land now owned by James Russell, M. P. P. It may have belonged to this period; and was possibly erected between the time of Church’s expedition and the abandonment of the district by the French inhabitants. Since its wooden walls are said to have remained standing until after the land was granted to Mr. Russell’s grandfather, at the time of the Loyalist settlement, it cannot, of course, be referred to the early French periods. There is a family tradition that the face of the fort, the outline of which was somewhat like the sides of an octagon, had three embrasures for cannon, to command the river above and below, as well as opposite the point. –Ed.
Readers who are preserving these articles will please make corrections as follows:
Article XX, second footnote—For “French nobleman named Lutterelle,” read “Frenchman named Latreille;” and for 1604 read “1704.”
Article XXIX – For “Latrielle, read “Latreille.” And in paragraph referring to Jean Meusnier, for “1693” read “in 1690”
The next article should, of course, have been number XXVI – II
XXXI – CHURCH’S EXPEDITION AT PASSAMAQUODDY
(Col. Church’s Letter, with Introduction and Notes by W. F. Ganong)
In the year 1703, the Acadian Indians, urged on, and in some cases, led by the French, had been committing terrible ravages against the English settlements in Maine and Massachusetts. This aroused the English and an expedition was sent to Acadia to take vengeance upon both Indians and French, and to so break their power as to stop similar attacks for the future. Colonel Benjamin Church, who had led other similar expeditions and who had ravaged the French settlements at the head of the Bay of Fundy, was, by his own request, put in command. Provided with an ample force (a) of English and Massachusetts Indians, he left Piscataque, (Portland, N. H.) in June, 1704, and after making some captures and killing some of the enemies on the way, he reached Passamaquoddy on the 7th. What followed can best be told in his own words. (b) Both the letter and the narrative following were written by Church himself. “May it please your Excellency,
“I Received Yours of this Instant Octob. 9th with the two inclosed Information, that concerns my actions at Passamaquoddy; which I will give a just and true account of as near as possible I can (viz) on the 7th of June last 1704, in the evening we entered in at the Westward Harbour (c) at said Passamaquoddy; coming us said Habour to an Island, (d) where landing, we came to a French house, and took a French woman, and children, the woman upon her examination said, her husband was abroad fishing. I ask’d her, whither there were any Indians thereabouts? She said Yes, There were a great many, and several on that island. I ask’d her whither she could pilop me to them? Said No. They hid in the woods. I ask’d her, when she saw them? Answered, Just now or a little while since. I ask’d her whither she knew where they had laid their canoes? Answered, No. They carried their canoes into the woods with them. We then hastened away along shore, seizing what Prisoners we could, taking old Lotriel and his Family. This intelligence caus’d me to leave Col. Gorham, and a considerable part of my men (and boats) with him at that Island party to guard and secure those Prisoners, being sensible it would be a great trouble to have them to secure and guard at our next landing, where I did really expect, and hope to have an opportunity, to fight our Indian Enemies; for all our opportunity, to fight our Indian Enemies; for all our French Prisoners that we had taken at Penobscot, and a-long shore had informed us, that when we came to the place where these Canada Gentlement lived, we should certainly meet with the Savages to fight us, those being the only Men (e) that set the Indians against us, or upon us, and were newly come from Canada to manage the War against us (pleading in this account and information their Gorham would have a good opportunity in the morning to destroy some of those enemies, (we were informed by the said French woman as above) with the use of his boats, as I had given directions. Ordering also Maj. Milton, to pass over to the next island, that lay East of us, (f) with a small Party of men and boats) to surprise and destroy any of the Enemy, that in their Canoes might go here or there, from any place, to make their flight from us, and as he had opportunity to take any French Prisoners. We then immediately moved up the River in the dark Night, thro’ great difficulty, by reason of the Eddys and Whirlpools, made with the fierceness of the current. (g) And there it may be hinted that we had information that Letriel had lost some of his family passing over to the next island, falling into one of these eddys were drowned; which the two Pilots told to discourage me. But I said nothing of that nature shall so it; for I was resolved to venture up, and therefore forth with Paddling our Boats, as privately as we could, and with as much Expedition as we could make with out Paddles, and the help of a strong Tide, we came up to Monsieur Gourdans, (h) a little before say; where taking notice of the shore, and finding it somewhat open and clear, I ordered Capt. Mirick and Capt. Cole, (having English companies) to tarry with several of the Boats to be ready that if any of the Enemy should come out of the brush into the Bay, (it being very broad in that place) with their Canoe’s they might take and destroy them. Ordering the remainder of the Army being landed, (with myself and the other officers) to march up into the Woods, with a wide Front, and to keep at a considerable distance; for that if they should run in heaps the Enemy would have the greater advantage; and further directing them that if possible, they should destroy the Enemy with their hatchets, and not fire a gun. This order I always gave at landing, telling them the inconveniency of firing, in that it might be first dangerous to themselves, they being many of them Young soldiers, (as I had sometimes observed, that one or two Guns being fired, many others would fire, at they knew not what; as happened presently after) and it would alarm the Enemy, and give them the opportunity to make their escape; and it might alarm the whole country, and also prevent all further action from taking effect. Orders being thus passed, we moved directly towards the woods, le Faver’s (i) Son directing towards a little Hutt or Wigwam which we immediately surrounded with a few men, the rest marching directly up into the Hutt, that they were surrounded with an Army and that if they would come forth, and surrender themselves, they should have good quarter, but it not, they should be all knock’d on the head and die: one of them showed himself. I ask’d who he was? He said Gourdan: and begged for quarter; I told him he should have good quarter, adding further, that if there were any more in the house they should come out; Then came out two men: Gourdan said, They were his sons, and asked quarter for them, which was also granted, then came out a Woman and a little boy; she fell upon her knees, begged quarter for herself and children, and that I would not suffer the Indians to kill them. I told them they should have good quarter and not be hurt. After which I ordered a small guard over them, and so mov’d presently up with the rest of my company, after them that were gone before, but looking on my right hand over a little run, I saw something look black, just by me, stopped and heard a talking stepped over, and was a little Hutt Wigwam with a crowd of people round about it, which was contrary to my former directions: ask’d them what they were doing? They reply’d there was some of the Enemy in a house, and would not come out. I ask’d what house? They said a Bark house, I hastily bid them and pull it down, and knock them on the head never asking whether they were French or Indians; they being all Enemies alike to me. (j) And passing then to them, and seeing them a great disorder, so many of the Army in a crowd together, acting so contrary to my command and direction, exposing themselves, and the whole Army to utter ruin, by their so disorderly crowding thick together; had an Enemy come upon them in that interim, and fired a Volley amongst them, they could not have miss’d a shot; and wholly neglecting their duty, in not attending my orders, in searching diligently for our lurking Enemies in their Wigwams, or by their fires, where I had great hopes and expectations to meet with them. I most certainly know that I was in an exceeding great Passion, but not with those poor miserable Enemies; for I took no notice of half a dozen Enemy, when at the same time, I expected to be engaged with some hundreds of them, of whom we had a continued account who were expected from Port Royal side, in this heat of action, every word I then spoke I cannot give an account of, and I presume it is impossible. (k) I stop’d but little here, but went directly up into the woods, hoping to be better employed, with the rest of the Army, I listened to hear, and looked earnestly to see what might be the next action; but meeting with many of the soldiers. They told me they had discovered nothing; we fetching a small compass round, came down again It being pretty dark, I took notice, I saw two men lay dead as I thought, at the end of the house, where the door was, and immediately the Guns went off, and they fired every man as I thought, and most towards that place where I left the guard with Monsieur Gourdan. I had much ado to stop them firing, and told them, I thought they were mad, and I believed they had not killed and wounded less than 40 or 50 of our own Men. And I asked them what they shot at? They answered at a French man that ran away: but to admiration no man was kill’d, but he, and one of our men wounded in the leg: and I turning about, a French man spoke to me, and I gave his quarter. Daylight coming on and no discovery made of the Enemy, I went to the place where I had left Monsieur Gourdan, to examine him, and his sons, who agreed in their examination; told me two of their men were abroad: It prov’d damage; and further told me, that Monsieur Sharkee lived several leagues up at the head of the River, at the Falls; (l) and all the Indians were fishing, and tending their corn there; and that Monsieur Sharkee had sent down to him, to come up to him to advise about the Indian Army, that was to go Westward; but he had returned him answer, his business was urgent, and he could not come up; and that Sharkee, and the Indians, would certainly be down that day, or the next at, the furthest, to come to conclude of that matter. This was a short Night’s action, and all sensible men do well know, that actions done in the dark (being in the Night as aforesaid) under so many difficulties, as we then laboured under, as before related; was a very hard task for one man, matters being circumstanc’d as in this action; which would not admit of calling a Council: and at that time could not be confined there-unto; at which time I was transported above fear of any sort of dread; yet being sensible of the danger in my armies crowding so thick together, and of the great duty incumbent on me to preserve them from all the danger I possibly could, for further improvement, in the destruction of our implacable Enemies; am ready to conclude, that I was very quick and absolute in giving such commands and orders, as I then apprehended most proper and advantageous. And had it not been for the Intelligence I had received from the French we took at Penobscot, as before hinted, and the false report the French woman (first took) gave me, I had not been in such haste. I question not but those French men that slain, had the same good quarter of other Prisoners. But I ever look’d at it a good Providence of Almighty God, that some few of our cruel and bloody enemies, were made sensible of their bloody cruelties, perpetrated on my dear and loving friends and country-men; and that the same measure (in part) meted to them, as they had been quality of in a barbarous manner at Deerfield, and I hope justly. I hope God Almighty will accept hereof, altho’ it may be eligible to our French implacable enemies, and such others as are not our friends. The fore-going Journal and this short annexment, I thought my duty to exhibit, for the satisfaction of my friends and country-men, whom I very faithfully and willingly served in the late expedition; and I hope will find acceptance with your Excellance with your Excellency, the Honorable Council and Representatives now assembled, as being done from the zeal I had in the Service of Her Majesty, and be good subject here.
I remain your most humble and obedient servant. “Benjamin Church”
(a) I. E., 550 soldiers, 14 transports, 36 whale boats and 3 armed vessels.
(b) From Dexter’s edition of Church’s Eastern Expedition, 1867, vol. ii., pp. 108 ct seq. (The notes of Dexter’s edition are omitted, those herein given being by Mr. W. F. Ganong)
(c) I. E., the entrance between Lubec and Campobello.
(d) This may have been Moose Island, but aside from the fact that Church was not at all likely to know Moose Island was an Island, the reference to capturing Letriel and his family on what was clearly the same Island, would make it seem more probable that it was Indian Island. Letriel is believed to have lived on the latter, which for a time was known by the name of Luttrell’s Island, or even as L’Aterail Island, as old maps show. The correct form of the name of probably La Treille, or Letreille.
(e) The distinction between the Acadian settlers and the Canadian French here comes out very clearly and it is of much interest. In all probability Gourdan and Letril were the “Canada gentlemen.” Sharkee, on the other hand, was almost certainly the Chartier to whom we have already given attention as a grantee of land in this region, and he is known to have been an Acadian.
(f) Campobello, if the first mentioned was Indian Island, as in all probability it was; if the first mentioned was Moose Island, this would be Indian Island.
(g) The whirlpools at the foot of Deer Island—noted as the worst on the Atlantic coast of the United States.
(h) This was probably at or near St. Andrews. The reference to the width of the bay, immediately following, would confirm this. It is greatly to be regretted that we have no further account of Gourdan, and we do not know whether he had a grant here or was simply a temporary resident.
(i) The correct form of this name was Lefebvre. He was captured with his father and brothers, by Church, near Penobscot, near which place the father held a tract of land granted from Quebec.
(j) In extenuation of Church’s apparently excessive cruelty, it must be remembered that the was momentarily expecting attack by a large force. He was exceedingly annoyed by the disobedience of his orders by his own men, which would also lead him to be hasty.
(k) Church is here defending himself in advance against charges of needless cruelty which he seems to have known would be, and which actually were made against him.
(l) This would be at St. Stephen or Milltown. This statement of Gourdan’s made it look as if Sharkee’s grant had been not at St. Andrews, but at St. Stephen. The statement in the grant itself, that Chartier’s land was to border on St. Aubin’s, would seem to place it much lower on the river – but the geographical knowledge of that time was poor.
XXXII – CHURCH’S EXPEDITION (continued)
“This Night’s Service being over immediately Col. Church leaves a sufficient guard with Gourdan, and the other prisoners, mov’d in some whale-boats with the rest, and as they were going spy’d a small thing upon the water, at a great distance, which proved to be a birch canoe, with two Indians in her; The Colonel presently ordered the lightest boat he had to make the best of her way and cut them off from the Shore; but the Indians perceiving their design ran their canoe ashore and fled. Col. Church fearing they would run directly to Sharkee made all the expedition imaginable; but it being ebb and the water low, was obliged to land and made the best of their way thro’ the woods, hoping to intercept the Indians, and get to Sharkee’s house before them; which was two miles from where our Forces landed. The Colonel being ancient and unwieldy, desired Sergeant Edee to run with him, and coming to several trees fallen, which he could not creep under or readily get over, would lay his breast against the tree, the said Edee turning him over, generally had cat luck, falling on his feet, by which means he kept in the Front; and coming near to Sharkee’s house (a) discovered some French and Indians making a lair in the river, and presently discovered the two Indians afore-mentioned, who call’d to them at work in the river; told them there was an army of English and Indians just by; who immediately left their work and ran, endeavoring to get to Sharkee’s house; who hearing the noise, took his lady and child and ran into the woods. Our men running briskly, fired and killed one of the Indians, and took the rest prisoners. Then going to Sharkee’s house, found a woman and child, to whom they gave good quarter: and finding that Madam Sharkee had left her silk cloths and fine linen behind her, our Forces was desirous to have pursued and taken her: But Col. Church forbid them, saying he would have her run and suffer that she might be made sensible, what hardships our poor people had suffered by them, and then proceeded to examine the prisoners newly taken, who gave him the same account he had before; of the Indians being up at the Falls, & c. It being just night prevented our attacking of them that night. But next morning early they mov’d us to the Falls (b) (which was about a mile higher): but doubtless the enemy had some Intelligence but the two afore-said Indians, before our Forces came, so that they all got on the other side of the river and left some of their goods by the water-side, to decoy our men, that so they might fire upon them; which indeed they affected: but through the good Providence of God never a man of ours was kill’d and but one slightly wounded. After a short dispute Col. Church ordered that every man might take what he pleased of the fish which lay bundled up, and to burn the rest, which was a great quantity. The Enemy seeing what our forces were about; and that their stock of fish was destroyed, (c) and the season being over for getting any more, set up a hideous cry, and so ran all away into the woods; who being all on the other side of the river, ours could not follow them. Having done, our forces march’d down to their boats at Sharkee’s (d) and took their Prisoners, beaver, and other plunder which they had got, and put it into their boats and went down to Gourdans house, where they had left Lieut. Col. Gorham & Maj. Milton, with part of the Forces to guard the prisoners: (and kept a good lookout for more of the enemy) who upon the Colonels return, gave him an account that they had made no discovery of the enemy since he had left them, & c. Just then Her Majesty’s ships and transports arriving….
The remainder of the narrative does not concern our region.
(a) The site of Sharkee’s house it not known: the reference to the building of a weir in the river hear it would seem to show it was somewhere in the vicinity of St. Stephen, or Calais, as a weir would not be likely to be built above the Cove. The more favorable situation of St. Stephen—the sunny side of the river – for a settlement, would indicate that it was more probably there than in Calais.
(b) Very probably Salmon Falls. It is implied a little further on, that they did go up in their boats – as they would almost certainly have done had it been possible, rather than march through the forest. It is well known that the Canadian side at the Falls was a famous camping place for the Indians at early times: the Calais side was not so well adapted for this purpose.
(c) This reference to the stock of fish is extremely interesting, and shows that the Passamaquoddy were not as well adapted, as many persons, including writers, would have us believe.
(d) If our opinion that the Indian Encampment was on the Canadian side, at Salmon Falls, be correct, as seems most probable this reference would imply that Sharkee’s house was on the Canadian side. Considering the situation of the Cove, so favorable in many respects, it seems probable that this was its site.
XXXIII – CHURCH’S EXPEDITION (continued)
(By W. F. Ganong, M. A.)
After this the expedition went to Port Royal, thence to Minas and Chignecto, where it did very great damage to the Acadian settlements. It has been the intention to try to take Port Royal, but, finding it too strong, they set sail for home in July, visiting Passamaquoddy again en route. What occurred at his second visit Church describes as follows:
“When returning to the Town, (Port Royal) did then what spoil he could; according to his instructions, and so drew off, and made the best of their way for Passamaquoddy, (and going in) in a great fog, one of their transports ran upon a rock, but was soon got off again. Then Col. Church with some of his forces embark’s in their whaleboats, and went amongst the Islands, with an intent to go to Sharkee’s where they had destroyed the fish; but observing a springy place in a cove, went on shore to get some water to drink, it being a Sandy Beach, they spy’d tracks, the colonel presently ordered his men to scatter, and make a search; soon found De Boinaas (a) wife, who had formerly been Col. Church’s prisoner, and carried to Boston; but returned, who seemed to be very glad to see him; She had with her two sons that were men grown; the Colonel ordered them a part, examined the woman first, who gave him this account following the woman lived there-abouts ever since the Fleet went by, and that she had never seen but two Indians since, who came in a Canoe from Norrigiwock; who ask’d her, what made her be there alone? She told them, she had never seen a French man nor an Indian except those two since the English ships went by. Then the Indians told her there was not one Indian left except those two, who belong to the gut of Cancer, on this side of Canada: for the Fryers (b) coming down with the Indians to Monsieur Gourdans, and finding the French men slain, and their hair spoiled, being scalp’d put them into a great consternation; and the Fryers told them it was impossible for them to live there-abouts, for the English with their whaleboats would serve them all so; upon which they all went up to Norrigiwock (c) Also told her that when the English came along thro’ Penobscot, they had swept with a broom, neither French nor Indians escaping them. Further told her, that when their fathers the Fryers, and the Indians met together at Norrigiwock they called a council, and the Fryers told the Indians that they must look out for some other country, for that it was impossible for them to live there; also told them there was a river call’d Massive where they might live quietly and no English come near them: It being as far beyond Canada as it was to it, & c., and if they would go and leave them, and never come near them again. Where-upon they all agreed to go away; which they did, and left their ruff household stuff, and corn behind them, and went all, except those two for Canada. (d) Also her sons giving the same intelligence, so we had no reason to think but it was true. Col. Church having done what he could there, embarks on board the Transports and went to Mount Desert…”
Thus ended an expedition which, though remorselessly cruel, was not more so that the deeds it was intended to avenge and prevent. It was the last striking incident in the history of our county while it was under French control. Soon after, the Acadian settlers left the region, and Church’s ravages may have been the cause of their departure. Whether they retired to Canada, or crossed the bay to Nova Scotia, is unknown; but with this event they disappear utterly from the history of Charlotte county. (e)
The efforts of the French to retain continental Acadia, (i.e., the part forming the present province of New Brunswick,) on the ground that the Acadia which they had ceded to England by the Treaty of Utrecht, in 1713, included only the peninsula, (i.e., the present Nova Scotia) were not relaxed until 1755. Its chief value to them lay in the fact that the River St. John formed an important part of their quickest and best post route from Louisburg to Quebec. It is of interest to us to note that as late as 1754 a post or settlement was planned, though never established, by them at Passamaquoddy. In a letter written to the French minister, by Duquesnes, from Quebec, in that year, (given in Broadhead’s N. Y. Documents, vol. d, p. 364) which occurs the following statement: “I never thought of establishing a post at Peskadamokasti before having received your orders, especially since Father Germain has assured me that not a farmer could be placed there in as much as it is all rock. I have meanwhile, informed Sieur de Boishebert, who commands at the River St. John, to reparil thither whenever he can, in order to have a correct draught of it, and expect that officer will render me an exact account thereof.”
Our readers will note the slight put upon our soil by Father Germain, but its subsequent history is the best answer.
(a) We have no clue to the identity of DeBoiss.
(b) The French priests.
(c) On the Kennebec River, in Maine.
(d) This exodus was, of course, never carried out.
(e) There is no reason for believing that the French who were with the Indians, in a later attack at Passamaquoddy Bay upon a Massachusetts vessel, were residents of the county.
In a series of articles in the Eastport Sentinel, Mr. S. A. Milder states that “the French lingered around Cobscook Bay until as late as 1770. The evidence for this comes to be traditional rather than documentary; and it seems quite probable that these settlers may have been Acadians who returned thus far after the expulsion of 1733. Several parts of New Brunswick have received their population in this manner. At all events it seems certain that the French disappeared from the islands of Charlotte county long before the above date, since the New England settlers who came in 1761-63 found none of them, but only ruins of their houses.
A strong effort was made by the American agent, Mr. Sullivan, in an argument laid before the Boundary Commission in 1797, to show that the French were numerous about Passamaquoddy from 1632 onwards, until Church’s expedition. The full argument is in MS. now in the possession of Rev. W. O. Raymond in St. John. By piecing together various isolated references capable of almost any interpretation, he endeavors to show that Razilly had a settlement on the St. Croix (Dochet) Island in 1632, and that there must have been other Frenchmen thereabouts. Not only is the evidence utterly wanting of such an opinion in this case, but it may be said, once for all, that the French censuses in the seventeenth century show in the most satisfactory manner that the French population of this region was at the time scanty. These censuses were taken with great care: Passamaquoddy does not even appear at all until 1686, and thenceforth until after the expedition of Church, they show but the few inhabitants we have mentioned. The Hutchinson account, made independently of the others, and Church’s account itself, show that the inhabitants could not have numbered more that a couple of dozen. Certainly, had there been others, they could not have escaped the notice of the census takers, (always priests and therefore welcome visitors,) of Hutchinson’s informants, and of Church. It is hardly too much to say that we know the names of all the principal French inhabitants of the county in the seventeenth century, and approximately the number of their servants and these comprising their families.
XXXIV – THE NEW ENGLAND IMMIGRATION
(Benjamin Rand, Ph. D.)
After the expulsion of the Acadians in 1755, the future of Acadia remained for five years undermined, there was a difference of opinion upon the question of its settlement between Gov. Lawrence and the home authorities. A new province awaited development and British rule required to be firmly established. The English government were of the opinion that for this purpose the lands should be divided among the soldiers, prevailed upon the government to relinquish their design, and instead to seek a people for the land from among the sturdy farmers of New England, who had experience in the older colonies how to reclaim the land from the mere domain of the forces of nature. The wishes of Gov. Lawrence in this regard having been granted, he issued a proclamation upon Oct. 12, 1758, for distribution in New England. In this proclamation he set forth the peaceful state of the country, owing to the reduction of the enemy, and invited proposals for the settlement of the lands a description where of accompanied the proclamation. These proposals were to be received by Mr. Hancok, of Boston, and Messrs. Delancie and Watts, of New York. The immediate result of the proclamation was the formation of companies of intending emigrants, and the appointment by them of agents to visit the province.
As the proclamation was silent upon every subject but that of the quality of the land, Governor Lawrence was asked to state in explicit terms the nature of the constitution, the guarantee afforded to the civil and religious liberties of the subject, and the extent of the elective franchise of the people. It became therefore necessary for governor to issue a second proclamation, explanatory of the terms upon which the province was to be settled. This was done upon 11th of Jan. 1759. As the document thus issued contained the assurances of civil and religious liberty, it has been not ineptly styled the charter of Nova Scotia. The various provisions of the proclamation are as follows:
The township are to consist of one hundred thousand acres of land, that they do include the best and most profitable land, and also that they do comprehend such rivers as may be at or near such settlement, and so extend as far up into the country as conveniently may be, taking in a necessary part of the sea coast.
That the quantities of land granted will be in proportion to the abilities of the planter to settle, cultivate and enclose the same.
That one hundred acres of wild good will be allowed to every person being master or mistress of a family, for himself or herself, and fifty acres for every white or black man, woman, or child of which such person’s family shall consist at the actual time of making the grant, subject to the payment of a quit rent of one shilling sterling per annum for every fifty acres; each quit rent to commence at the expiration of ten years from the date of each grant and to be paid for His Majesty’s use to his Receiver General to Halifax, or to his deputy on the spot.
That the grantees will be obliged by their said grants to plant, cultivate, improve or enclose one-third part of their lands within the space of ten years, another third part within the space of twenty years and the remaining third part within the space of thirty years from the date of their grants.
That no one person can possess more than one thousand acres by grant on his or her own name.
That every grantee, upon giving proof that he or she has fulfilled the terms and conditions of his or her grant, shall be entitled to another grant, in the proportion and upon the conditions above mentioned.
That the government of Nova Scotia is constituted like those of the neighboring colonies: the Legislature consisting of a Governor, Council, and House of Assembly, and every township, as soon as it shall consist of fifty families, will be entitled to sent two representatives to the General Assembly. The courts of Justice are also constituted in like manner with those of the Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the other northern colonies.
That as to the article of religion, full liberty of conscience both by his Majesty’s Royal instructions, and a late act of the General Assembly of this province, is as may more fully appear by the following abstract of the said act, viz.:
“Protestants dissenting from the church of England, whither they be Calvinists, Lutherans, Quakers, or under that denomination so ever, shall have free liberty of conscience, and may erect and build meeting houses, for public worship, and may choose and elect ministers for the carrying on of divine service and the administration of the sacrament, according to their several opinions, and all contracts made between their ministers and congregations for the support of their ministry are hereby declared valid, and shall have their full force and effect according to the tenor and conditions thereof, and all such dissenters shall be excused from any rates of taxes to be made or levied for the support of the established church of England.
That no taxes have hither to been laid upon His Majesty’s subject within this Province nor are there any fees of office taken upon issuing the grants of lands.
That I am not authorized to offer any bounty of Provinsions: and I do hereby declare that I am ready to lay out the lands and make grants immediately, under the conditions above described for Trade and Plantations, in order that the same may be laid before Her Majesty for his approbation, such further proposals as may be offered by any body of people, for setting an entire township, under other conditions that they may conceive more advantageous to the undertakers.
That forts are established in the neighborhoods of the lands proposed to be settled, and are garrisoned by His Majesty’s troops, with a view of giving all manner of aid and protection to the settlers, if hereafter there should be need.
(Sgd) Charles Lawrence
Halifax, 11 Jan., 1759.
The necessity of this second and more definite proclamation reveals clearly the excellent character of the intending emigrants. No mere desire for places new, no emigration circulars, would suffice to tempt these people to leave their comfortable homes. A complete charter of rights was the first consideration of these descendants of the Puritans. And even then these New English people did not hasten thither as a lot of adventures. Like the old Puritans, they moved carefully and judiciously. Not until they had examined the lands for themselves would they go forth to a new and uncultivated region.
XXXV – THE NEW ENGLAND EMIGRATION
(Benjamin Rand, Ph. D.)
In April, 1759, Major Dennison, Mesars. Jonathan Harris, Joseph Otis, and James Fuller, from Connecticut, and John Jicks, from Rhode Island, arrived in Halifax as agent of people in these colonies who propose settling on the lands bordering on the Basin of Minas. In May, the agents, having visited the lands, returned to Halifax, and the four representatives from Connecticut entered into an agreement, on behalf of 330 signers to settle a township of Minas, joining on the river Gaspereaux. All the propositions were agreed to by the governor in council, on Thursday, 17th of May, 1759; and the forms of grants were accordingly prepared. Other agents visited the province on the following year, and the tide of New England emigration undoubtedly set towards Nova Scotia in 1760.
The manner and circumstances of the departure of the people from New England are difficult to determine. Nothing indeed is more surprising than the failure on the part of the more important New England historians to discover and note such a large and widely extended emigration. Diaries on the part of the emigrants are also rare. One of the best now in existence is probably that kept by Henry Evens, of Sudbury, Mass. Who arranged in 1760 for the settlement of a township at Annapolis, the general facts of the migration can, however, be more readily ascertained. New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and………………….(note to reader – We will attempt to add more later. The Vroom Papers is a very large volume – visit later and we may have more)
Click Here to Veiw other Websites for “Glimpse of the Past” a series of newspaper articles appeared in early 1890s in the Saint Croix Courier, a newspaper published weekly in St. Stephen, Charlotte County, New Brunswick.