Collection: Indian Chiefs and Leaders


Squando. An Abnaki sachem of the Sokoki, known generally as the “Sagamore of Saco” He was credited with seeing visions and was called by Mather “a strange, enthusiastical sagamore.” His wife and child had been insulted by the English, and he took part in the war of 1675-76 and in the burning of Saco.  He signed the treaty of...

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Moxus. A chief of the Abnaki, called also Agamagus, the first signer of the treaty of 1699, and seemingly the successor of Madokawandu (Drake, Inds. of N. Am., 294, 1880). He signed also the treaty with Gov. Dudley in 1702, but a year afterward unsuccessfully besieged the English fort at Casco, Me. He treated with the English in 1713, and again in 1717. It was he who in 1689 captured Pemaquid from the...

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Pierre Paul Osunkhirhine

Osunkhirhine, Pierre Paul. An Abnaki Indian of St Francis, near Pierreville, Quebec, noted for his translations, especially of religious works, into the Penobscot dialect of the Abnaki language, published from 1830 to 1844.  He received a good education at Moore’s Charity School, Hanover N. H. and returned to his home as a Protestant missionary.  In some of his published works 1Pilling, bibliog. Algonquian Language, 539-40, 1891 his name appears as Wzokhilain, because it could not be more exactly transliterated into the Abnaki language. 2Hodge, Handbook of American Indians, vol 2, 162, 1910. Osunkhirhine was licensed to preach in January, 1836, by the Champlain Presbytery, and in the following June, he was ordained as an evangelist to his native tribe. Upon this, the opposition of the papal community was much embittered, and efforts were made to get him removed from the reservation, but the governor refused to interfere. When he commenced his labors, the whole tribe were ignorant and bigoted papists. In 1837, more than 30 persons attended his preaching, all of whom had renounced the Romish church, in spite of the most bitter persecution. From five to twenty children were gathered into a school, according as the people were at home or on their hunting grounds, and three persons, including the wife of Osunkhirhine, had joined the Protestant church. In 1840, the church members had increased to 27, and...

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Assacumbuit. An Abnaki (“Tarratine”) chief who appeared in history about 1696. He was a faithful adherent of the French and rendered important aid to Iberville and Montigny in the reduction of Fort St Johns, N. B., Nov. 30, 1696. With two other chiefs and a few French soldiers Assacumbuit attacked the fort at Casco, Maine, in 1703, then defended by Capt. March, which was saved by the timely arrival of an English vessel. He assisted the French in 1704-5 in their attempt to drive out the English who had established themselves in Newfoundland, and in 1706 visited France, where he became known to Charlevoix and was received by Louis XIV, who knighted him and presented him an elegant sword, after boasting that he had slain with his own hand 140 of the King’s enemies in New England. 1Penhallow, Ind. Wars, I, 40, 1824 Assacumbuit returned from France in 1707 and in the following year was present with the French in their attack on Haverhill, Mass. From that time until his death in 1727 nothing further in regard to him is recorded. He is some times mentioned under the name Nescambiouit, and in one instance as Old Escambuit. 2Hodge, Handbook of American Indians, 102, 1905. Mather calls Assacumbuit “a bloody devil.” 3Mather, Magnolia, vol. vii., p. 98. Penhallow calls “Mauxis, Wanungonet, and Assacombuit, three of their most valient and pussiant...

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Aspenquid. An Abnaki of Agamenticus, Maine, forming a curious figure in New England tradition. He is said to have been born toward the end of the 16th century and converted to Christianity, to have preached it to the Indians, traveled much, and died among his own people at the age of about 100 years. Up to 1775-76 Aspenquid’s day was celebrated in Halifax, Nova Scotia, by a clam dinner. He is said to be buried on the slope of Mt. Agamenticus, where he is reported to have appeared in 1682. He is thought by some to be identical with Passaconaway. In Drake’s New England Legends there is a poem, “St. Aspenquid,” by John Albee. 1Hodge, Handbook of American Indians, 101, 1905. 2See: American Notes and Queries, II, 1889. Mount Agamenticus, the locality of the following legend, is the commanding landmark for sixty miles up and down the neighboring coast. The name has the true martial ring in it. This mountain rears its giant back on the border of Maine, almost at the edge of the sea, into which, indeed, it seems advancing. Its form is at once graceful, robust, and imposing. Nature posted it here. It gives a character to the whole region that surrounds it, over which it stands guard. Nature endowed it with a purpose. It meets the mariner’s eye far out to sea, and tells him...

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Abbigadasset,  An Abenaki sachem whose residence was on the coast of Maine near the mouth of Kennebec River. He conveyed tracts of land to Englishmen conjointly with Kennebis.  In 1667 he deeded Swans Island to Humphrey Davy 1Drake, Biography and history of the Indians of North America, bk. 3, 98, 1834. 2Hodge, Handbook of American Indians, 1, 1905. Footnotes:   [ + ] 1. ↩ Drake, Biography and history of the Indians of North America, bk. 3, 98, 1834. 2. ↩ Hodge, Handbook of American Indians, 1,...

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