Beginnings - PaleoIndians to the Abenaki
Paleo Indians were here 11,300 years ago
We current residents and our ancesters are still "newbies"
in the broader historical perspective. Other folks lived here long before us. Paleo-indians were living in this area about 11,300 years ago (9,300 BCE). Small groups of families migrated seasonally to hunt and gather various floras, gradually moving about along the waterways and primitive trails. Their way of life was successful, and so the population grew. There is debate about how these early people got here, but many Native Americans believe that their ancient ancestors originated on this continent. One clue is that Abenaki and other Native American creation stories are rooted in the American environment and not elsewhere.
Family groups lived in rock outcroppings or shelters made of saplings or, perhaps, mastodon bones covered with animal skins. They used stone tools such as chert and quartzite, which were durable enough to cut through animal skin and bone, but brittle enough to be chipped into sharp-edged tools. This material was plentiful in New Hampshire and Vermont.
Part of their seasonal migrations were for trading purposes. Chert from as far away as Maine and New York and jasper from Pennsylvania have been found in Vermont. Tools made from Vermont stones have been found from Massachusetts to Maine. Paleoindian sites that have been excavated in Ludlow and East Highgate Vermont help us understand the Paleo-indian way of life. Tools show that they fished and gathered plants, but hunting seemed more important since tools found were more suited to hunting big land animals than marine animals. Paleoindians ate a lot of caribou because they were abundant.
By about three thousand years ago, a new Woodland culture was thriving. Analysis of archaeological sites along the rivers and lakes help us understand the lives of these early peoples.
Abenaki Life: 1600 The Abenaki of the Late Woodland period were part of a larger Wabanaki group that extended throughout most of Vermont, into Quebec, and included all of New Hampshire and Maine. In Vermont, the western Abenaki divided themselves into three major bands: Missiskoik (in the Champlain Valley) and Sokwaki and Cowasuck (in the Connecticut River Valley). By the Late Woodland period, extensive settlements existed in all of Vermont's lake and river valleys.
SOURCE MATERIAL ABOVE: Flow of History c/o Southeast Vermont Community Learning Collaborative Brattleboro, VT 05302 Visit their web site for a wealth of information from which these snippets were derived: http://www.flowofhistory.org/index.php
SOURCE MATERIAL BELOW: The White Mountains: a handbook for travellers: a guide to the peaks, passes ... edited by Moses Foster Sweetser 1886
When the first English explorers reached the shores of New England, they found a strong confederacy existing between the various Indian tribes of Maine and New Hampshire, which were then populous and powerful. The headship of this union was vested in the chief of the Penobscot tribe, who bore the title of Baahdba. Soon after the year 1614, however, several war-parties of Tarratine Indians from Acadia advanced stealthily into the Penobscot country, and surprised the royal town at night. The Bashaba and his chief warriors and councillors were slain while fighting, and the power of the Penobscots and the union of the tribes were broken together.
According to Sir Ferdinando Gorges's Description of New England, a terrible state of anarchy and civil war ensued, the chief sagamores battling with each other for supremacy, while against the divided league foreign enemies made successful campaigns. The valiant Tarratines marched mercilessly throughout the country of the Bashaba, shattering the power of the isolated tribes, and sending their fleets even as far as the Massachusetts coast, where the Indians of Ipswich were harried by a fierce naval foray. " The strong fought for supremacy, the weak for existence.
There was no necessity for the war-song or the war-dance. Every brave was compelled to enlist whether he would or not. The signal-fire gleamed on the hill-top. The war-whoop was heard in the valley. New England, before nor since, never saw such carnage within her borders." The destruction of the villages and their deposits of provisions, and the impossibility of tillage or hunting, catised a wide-spread and desolating famine to fall upon the tribes, already in process of extermination by battle and ambush.
In company with the universal war and famine came a mysterious pestilence, which broke out in 1616 on the coast and spread inland in every direction with fatal swiftness. Entire villages were depopulated, and tribes were blotted out This visitation lasted for three summers, and swept away the strength of all the northern peoples. Morton tells, in his New English Canaan, that the bones and skulls that he saw throughout the Massachusetts district made the country seem " a newfound Golgotha."
After the passage of the pestilence and the famine, the remnants of the thirteen tribes of the Connecticut Valley and the White-Mountain region formed a new confederation, designed to resist the Mohawks on the W. and the Tarratines on the E. The noble Passaconaway, formerly a valiant warrior and chieftain, now a venerable and sagacious sagamore of Pennacook, was appointed Bashaba.
The Indians of New Hampshire belonged to the Abenaqui nation, and were called Nipmucks, or fresh-water people, from Nipe, " pond," and mike, "place." They were divided into 13 tribes, each with its semiindependent chief. The Nashuas lived on the river of that name (meaning " pebbly-bottomed "); the Souhegans occupied the Souhegan Valley (Swheganash means "worn-out lands"); the Amoskeagswere about Manchester (deriving their name from namaos, "fish," and mike, "place"); the Pennacooks were at Concord (from pennaqui, " crooked," and auke, "place"); the Squamscotts were about Exeter (from asquam, "water," and auke, "place"); the Xewichawannocks were on Salmon-Falls River (from nee, "my," week, "wigwam," and owannock, "come"); the Pascataquaukes were toward Dover and Portsmouth (from pot, "great," ..-//."/, " deer," and auke, " place "). " The eighth tribe built a wigwam city at Ossipee Lake (cooash, 'pines,' and sipe, 'river'), and they were the cultivated Ossipees, with mounds and forts like more civilized nations. A ninth built flourishing villages in the fertile valley of the Pequawket River (now Saco, — from pequawkis, 'crooked,' and auke, 'place'), and were known as the pious Pequawkets, who worshipped the great Manitou of the cloud-capped Agiochook. A tenth had their home by the clear Lake Winnepesaukee, and were esteemed ' the beautiful Winnepesaukees.' An eleventh set up their lodges of spruce bark by the banks of the wild and turbulent Androscoggin River, and were known as ' the death-dealing Amariscoggins' (from namaos, 'fish,' kees, 'high,' and auke, 'place'). A twelfth cultivated the Coos intervales on the Connecticut, and were called 'the swift deer-hunting Coosucks' (from cooash, 'pines,' auke, 'place')." The thirteenth were the Pemigewassets. On Father Ducreux's Latin map of 1GGO, the Abenaqui nation occupies all the country between the Kennebec and Lake Champlain, including the upper waters of the Androscoggin (Fiuvius Aininvocontiits) and Saco (C/ioacotius Fluvius). "
Most of the Northward Indians are between five and fix Foot high, straight Body'd, strongly composed, smooth Skin'd, merry Countenanc'd, of Complexion more swarthy than the Spaniards, black Haired, high Foreheaded, black Ey'd, out-Nof'd, broad Shoulder'd, brawny Arm'd, long and slender Handed, out Breafted, small Wasted, lank Belly'd, well Thigh'd, flat Kneed, with handfome brown Legs, and small Feet : In a word, take them when the Blood skips in their Veins, when the Flesh is on their Backs, and Marrow in their Bones, when they frolick in their antique Deportments and Indian postures, they are more amiable to behold (though onely in Adam's Li-very) than many a trim Gallant in the newest Mode; and though their Houses are but mean, their Lodging as homely, Commo'nsfcant, their Drink Water, and Nature their best Clothing, yet they full are healthful and lofty." (ogilby's America.)
After the abdication of Passaconaway, in 1660, his son Wonnalancet succeeded to the chieftaincy. According to the Puritan fathers, he was "a sober and grave person, of years between 50 and 60. He hath been always loving and friendly to the English." The Apostle Eliot visited him in May, 1674, and preached from the parable of the King's son, after which the Sachem embraced Christianity in a beautiful allegorical address. He lived a pure and noble life, and restrained his warriors from attacking the colonists, even during the deadly heats of King Philip's War. After that struggle, he visited the frontier town of Chelmsford, and asked the minister if it had suffered from attacks. The Puritan answered, "No, thank God." " Me next," rejoined Wonnalancet.
At a later day he found it impossible to restrain his people from open hostilities, upon which he gave up the chieftaincy, and retired, with the few families who adhered to him, to St. Francis, on the St. Lawrence River, far away from the crash of war and the undisariminating fury of the English forays. He returned to the Merrimac Valley in 1696, but stayed only a short time, finally retiring to St. Francis, where he died.
When Wonnalancet retired, in 1685, Kancamagus, the grandson of Passaconaway, assumed the government. He made several attempts to retain the friendship of the English, as is seen in his letters to Gov. Crandall, but was slighted and ill-treated by them, and finally yielded to the impulses of the martial and patriotic party in the confederation. He organized and headed the destructive attack on Dover in 1686, which was the last terrib'e death-throe of the Pennacooks ; and was present at the signing of the truce of Sagadahoc, in 1691.
He then vanishes from history, and it seems probable that he led the feeble remains of his people to the Abenaqui city of refuge at St. Francis. " Kancamagus was a brave and politic chief, and in view of what he accomplished at the head of a mere remnant of a once powerful tribe, it may be considered a most fortunate circumstance for the English colonists, that he was not at the head of the tribe at an earlier period, before it had been shorn of its strength, during the old age of Passaconaway, and the peaceful and inactive reign of Wonnalancet. And even could Kancamagus have succeeded to the Sagamonship ten years earlier than he did, so that his acknowledged abilities for counsel and war could have been united with those of Philip, history might have chronicled another story than the inglorious death of the Sagamou of Mount Hope in the swamp of Pokanoket." (potter's Hist, of Manchester.)
The northern tribes of the confederation remained in their ancestral homes for some years longer, under the government of their local chiefs, but were nearly annihilated by military expeditions from the New England towns. (See Fryebury, Plymouth, etc.) They then migrated to Canada, and after their mournful exodus the Saco and Pemigewasset Valleys were opened to the settlers from the lower towns.
"Thus the aboriginal inhabitants, who held the lands of New Hampshire as their own, have been swept away. Long and valiantly did they contend for the inheritance bequeathed to them by their fathers ; but fate had decided against them, and it was all in vain. With bitter feelings of unavailing regret, the Indian looked for the last time upon the happy places where for ages his ancestors had Iived and loved, rejoiced and wept, and passed away, to be known no more forever."
Concerning Passaconaway, the Great Chief of the Mountain and Merrimac Indiani. The name Passaconaway is derived from two Indian words, papoeis, " child," and kunnaway, " bear," the Child of the Bear being a fitting chief for the tribes whose ancestral insignia was a mountain-bear. It is estimated that the Merrimae tribes had 3,000 warriors in the year 1600, but the annihilating successions of famine, pestilence, and pitiless invasions of hostile tribes reduced their number, in less than 20 years, to 250 men.
There is a tradition that the Mohawks attacked Concord not long before the year 1620, and inflicted terrible damage on the Pennacooks; and a subsequent foray of the western tribes of Passaconaway's league 'ito the land of the Mohawks resulted disastrously. Passaconaway was probably at the head of the Pennacook confederation before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth; and Captain Levitt reported having seen him in 1623. In 1629 he and his sub-chiefs granted the coast of New Hampshire to John Wheelwright; and in 1632 he sent in to Boston a culprit Indian who had killed an English trader. In 1642 Massachusetts despatched a strong force to disarm the friendly Pennacooks; but Passaconaway retired to the forest, and there received a just apology from the colonial authorities, after which he voluntarily surrendered his guns.
In 1644 he put his " subiects Lands and estates vnder the Goverment and Jurisdiction of the Massachusetts to be governed and prolected by then." From this time the forest emperor and mighty necromancer became nominally a sort of Puritan magistrate, administering the laws of the colony upon his astonished liegemen. In 1647 Passaconaway was visited by the Apostle Eliot ("one of the noblest spirits that have walked the earth since the days of the Apostle Paul"), whose preaching deeply impressed the great chief and his sons, and led them to entreat him to dwell with them and become their teacher. He was probably converted to Christianity by Eliot's loving counsels. In 1660, overburdened with years and weary of honors, he abdicated his authority at a solemn senate of the mountain arid river tribes holden at Pawtucket Falls.
His farewell address to his people was heard by two or three English guests, and was reported by them to have been a splendid piece of oratory. The following sentences are extracted from it: — " Hearken to the words of your father. I am an old oak, that has withstood the storms of more than a hundred winters. Leaves and branches have been stripped from me by the winds and frosts, — my eyes are dim, — my limbs totter, — I must soon fall! But when young and sturdy, when my bow no young man of the Pennacooks could bend, — when my arrows would pierce a deer at a hundred yards, and 1 could bury my hatchet in a sapling to the eye, — no wigwam had so many furs, no pole so many scalp-locks, as Passaconaway-s. Then I delighted in war. The whoop of the Pennacooks was heard on the Mohawk, — and no voice so loud as Passaconaway's. The scalps upon the pole of my wigwam told the story of Mohawk Buffering The oak will soon break before the whirlwind,—it shivers and shakes even now; soon its trunk will be prostrate, — the ant and the worm will sport upon it. Then think, my children, of what I say. I commune with the Great Spirit. He whispers me now: 'Tell your people, Peace — peace is the only hope of your race. I have given flre and thunder to the pale-faces for weapons,— I have made them plentier than the leaves of the forest; and still shall they increase. These meadows they shall turn with the plough, — these forests shall fall by the axe, — the pale-faces shall live upon your hunting-grounds, and make their villages upon your fishing-places-' The Great Spirit says this, and it must be so! We are few and powerless before them! We must bend before the storm ! The wind blows hard! The old oak trembles, its branches are gone, its sap is frozen, it bends. It falls! Peace, peace, with the white man ' —is the command of the Great Spirit; and the wish, — the last wish of Passaconaway."
In reflecting upon the character of the Merrimaek Sagamon, tho conviction forces Itself upon one, that at the head of a powerful confederacy of Indian tribes, honored and feared by his subjects, and capable of moulding their fierce passions to his will, the history of New England would have told another story, than the triumph of our Pilgrim Fathers, had Passaconaway taken a different view of his own destiny and that of his tribe, —and exerted his well-known and acknowledged power against the enemies of his race." (potter's Hist, of Manchester ) "
It is a notorious fact that the English trespassed on his hunting-grounds and stole his lauds. Yet he never stole anything from them. They killed his warriors, — yet he never killed a white man, woman, or child. They captured and imprisoned his sons and daughters, — yet he never led a captive into the wilderness.
Once the proudest and most noble Bashaba of New England, he passed his extreme old age poor, forsaken, and robbed of all that was dear to him, by those to whom he had been a firm friend for nearly half a century." (little's Htst, of Warren.)
The legend of the apotheosis of Passaconaway on Mt. Washington suggests the mysterious story of St. Aspinquid, who, according to the tradition, was an Indian sage, born in 1588, converted to Christianity in 1628, and died in 1682. His funeral was on Mt. Agamenticus, and was attended by many sachems, who had a great hunting-feast and brought to his grave 6,711 slain animals, including 99 bears, 66 moose, 25 bucks, 67 does, 240 wolves, 82 wild-cats, 8 catamounts, 482 foxes, 32 buffaloes, 400 otter, 620 beaver, 1500 mink, 110 ferrets, 520 raccoons, 900 musquashes, 501 fishers, 3 ermines, 38 porcupines, 832 martens, 59 woodchucks, and 112 rattlesnakes. On the mountain-tomb was carved the inscription: — "Present useful; absent wanted ; Lived desired; died lamented." St. Aspinquid is said to have preached the Gospel for 40 years, and among 66 nations, " from the Atlantic Ocean to the Californian Sea.
" Mr. Thatcher thinks that Passaconaway and St. Aspinquid were one in the same, since their age and reputation so nearly agree; and advances a theory that Passaconaway retired to Mt. Agamenticus during King Philip's War, received the name of Aspinquid from the sea-shore Indians, and died a few years later. , The Apostle Eliot and Gen. Gookin saw Passaconaway when he was in the white winter of his 120th year. After his abdication of the Pennacook sovereignty he was granted a narrow tract of land in Litchfield by the Province of Massachusetts, where he lived for a short time. The time and manner of his death are unknown, but the traditions of the Pennacooks relate that he was carried from them, in the winter season, by a weird, wolf-drawn sleigh, and borne to the summit of Mt. Washington, whence he was received into heaven.
The Theft of America
The un-glorious stories of how the western areas of the United States were occupied by our forefathers through cajolery, fraud and deception is not limited to those western territories. The theft of the native American's homelands all began when the first English explorers set foot on this continent. All too frequently the native people were more than willing to sell or trade their homelands for a trivial compensation.
While the early explorers inflicted unknown diseases upon the Indians who already lived here, it was not done intentionally, (Although it has been shown that it was not beneath the early settlers to intentionally expose the Indians to known diseases with known consequences.) The process of illness and disease severly decimated and weakened the native population. Additionally, fighting amongst rival tribes also contributed to a dramatic decrease in their populations during the 1600's.
Many of those who did survive found their way of life completely at odds with the practices and traditions of the early settlers who came from completely different backgrounds. The concept of owning land was unheard of to the native populace who believed the land was there for everyones mutual benefit. Yet they did respect the territories of rival tribes and wars over such territories were not uncommon. Thus, their defenses against the intrusions of the early settlers would have been a natural reaction. The weapons available to them however were far inferior to those of the invading settlers.
While there were atrocities committed by both the native populace and early settlers many early stories point to the basic peaceful nature of the native inhabitants, particularly the Abenaki peoples and their desire to obtain peacefull arrangements with the new settlers over the use of the land.
The history of New England would have told another story, than the triumph of our Pilgrim Fathers, had Passaconaway (picture at left) taken a different view of his own destiny and that of his tribe, —and exerted his well-known and acknowledged power against the enemies of his race."
It is a notorious fact that the English trespassed on his hunting-grounds and stole his lands. Yet he never stole anything from them. They killed his warriors, — yet he never killed a white man, woman, or child. They captured and imprisoned his sons and daughters, — yet he never led a captive into the wilderness.
Once the proudest and most noble Bashaba of New England, he passed his extreme old age poor, forsaken, and robbed of all that was dear to him, by those to whom he had been a firm friend for nearly half a century.
In the left column you can read of the heritage and lives of those who now are only remembered as the names of mountains, roads and towns, beyond which many inhabitants have no knowledge of how the names originated or who those people were.
This material came from Moses Sweetser's White Mountain Guide of 1886. Google it for more interesting information.
CONSIDER THIS MORE CONTEMPORARY VIEWPOINT:
There is a growing effort to bring history back into focus and to correct many misconceptions about the relationship of Native People, such as us, and the founding of the United States. We were not all killed off by disease or warfare and did not disappear with the colonization of this country. Many of us became the individual fibers of the weave that made the cloth of the United States and Canada.
We are among you, working beside you in all walks of life. Unless we told you who we were, you would probably never know us.
Please Have a peek at their website; HERE
Also check this list of
Abenaki clothing, 18th Century
There are a dozen variations of the name Abenakis, such as Abenaquiois, Abakivis, Quabenakionek, Wabenakies and others. The Abenaki were described in the Jesuit Relations as not cannibals, and as docile, ingenious, temperate in the use of liquor, and not profane.
All Abenaki tribes lived a lifestyle similar to the Algonquin of southern New England. They cultivated crops for food, locating villages on or near fertile river floodplains. Other less major, but still important, parts of their diet included game and fish from hunting and fishing, and wild plants.
They lived in scattered bands of extended families for most of the year. Each man had different hunting territories inherited through his father. Unlike the Iroquois, the Abenaki were patrilineal. Bands came together during the spring and summer at temporary villages near rivers, or somewhere along the seacoast for planting and fishing. These villages occasionally had to be fortified, depending on the alliances and enemies of other tribes or of Europeans near the village.
Abenaki villages were quite small when compared to the Iroquois'; the average number of people was about 100. Most Abenaki settlements used dome-shaped, bark-covered wigwams for housing, though a few preferred oval-shaped long houses.
During the winter, the Abenaki lived in small groups further inland. The homes there were bark-covered wigwams shaped in a way similar to the teepees of the Great Plains Indians. The Abnaki lined the inside of their conical wigwams with bear and deer skins for warmth. The Abenaki also built long houses similar to those of the Iroquois.
POPULATION AND EPIDEMICS
Before the Abenaki — except the Pennacook and Micmac — had contact with the European world, strong>their population may have numbered as many as 40,000. Around 20,000 would have been Eastern Abenaki, another 10,000 would have been Western Abenaki, and the last 10,000 would have been Maritime Abenaki.
Early contacts with European fisherman resulted in two major epidemics that affected Abenaki during the 1500s. The first epidemic was an unknown sickness occurring sometime between 1564 and 1570, and the second one was typhus in 1586.
Multiple epidemics arrived a decade prior to the English settlement of Massachusetts in 1620, when three separate sicknesses swept across New England and the Canadian Maritimes. Maine was hit very hard during the year of 1617, with a fatality rate of 75%, and the population of the Eastern Abenaki fell to about 5,000.
Fortunately, the Western Abenaki were a more isolated group of people and suffered far less, losing only about half of their original population of 10,000. The new diseases continued to cause more disaster, starting with smallpox in 1631, 1633, and 1639.
Seven years later, an unknown epidemic struck, with influenza passing through the following year. Smallpox affected the Abenaki again in 1649, and diphtheria came through 10 years later. Once again, smallpox struck in 1670, and influenza again in 1675. Smallpox affected the Native Americans again in 1677, 1679, 1687, along with measles, 1691, 1729, 1733, 1755, and finally in 1758. The Abenaki population continued to decline, but in 1676, they took in thousands of refugees from many southern New England tribes displaced by settlement and King Philip's War. Because of this, descendents of nearly every southern New England Algonquin can be found among the Abenaki people.
Another century later, there were fewer than 1,000 Abenaki remaining after the American Revolution.
The population has recovered to nearly 12,000 total in the United States and Canada.
Where Are They Now?
There are no federally recognized Indian tribes in New Hampshire today.
Originally the Abenaki's lived in the area from Concord northward and the Pennacooks lived in the area from Concord Southward.
Most Native Americans were forced to leave New Hampshire during the 1600's, when eastern tribes were being displaced by colonial expansion.
These tribes are not extinct, but except for the descendants of New Hampshire Native Americans who hid or assimilated into white society, they do not live in New Hampshire anymore.
Most tribes that once were native to New Hampshire ended up on reservations in Canada.
THE WHEELWRIGHT DEED
May 17, 1629: Whereas we the Sagamores of Penecook, Pentucket, Squamsquot, and Nuchawanack are inclined to have the English inhabit amongst us by which means we hope in time to be Strengthened against our Enemies who yearly doth us Damage likewise being persuaded that it will be for the good of us and our Posterity, do hereby covenant and agree with the English as follows
- - - in consideration of a Competent valuation in goods already received in Coats, Shirts, and victuals...convey all that part of the Main Land bounded by the River of Pisattaqua and the River of Meremack... In Witness whereof we have hereunuto set our hands and seals the seventeeth day of May 1629 and in the fifth year of King Charles's reign over England...Passaconaway...Runaawitt, Wahanqnononawitt, Wardargoscum..
This deed has been pronounced a forgery, but authentic documents have lately come to light, that go to show the genuineness of this instrument." Judge C. E. Potter, 1851
W. J. Sidis wrote: Passaconaway inquired as to whether white ideas of property covered anything corresponding to permission to occupy, and found out that the whites know of such things as leases; so, by authority from the Federal Council (after considerable objection from the Piscataquas, whose territory the place was) he had a regular deed made out as part of the peace treaty, leasing to these unrecognised Puritan outposts a region extending from the Piscataqua west to the Merrimac, and from the Merrimac thirty miles north. This lease provided for a specified rental in furs for each town to be established in that region. This rent was paid regularly, except for war periods, up to 1755; but, as land titles in that region are still based on Passaconaway’s deed, now preserved at Exeter, rather than on Mason’s title claim, this leaves the Penacook Federation, or whoever is their successor, the real owners of a territory including Rockingham County in New Hampshire, and some surrounding territory, including the cities of Haverhill and Manchester, and half of Lowell and Lawrence.
The Tribes and the States, Chap. 8 ["One of the earliest of Passaconaway's transactions with the English is said to have been his signing of the famous Wheelwright Deed. By many this has been considered a forgery. The Rev. N. Bouton, D. D., Editor of the Provincial Papers of New Hampshire, writes thus, however: 'The famous 'Wheelwright Deed, which has been pronounced a forgery by Hon. James Savage, the distinguished antiquarian of Boston, and the late John Farmer, Esq., of Concord, bears date May 17, 1629.
The Sagamons (chiefs) of most note among the Pennacooks, were Passaconnaway, Wonnalancet his son, and Kancamagus, usually called John Hogkins, his grandson. These Chiefs were successively at the head of the Pennacoks, and each in his way, was a man of mark in his time. Passaconnaway was one of the most noted Indian Chiefs in New England. For a much more detailed accounting of their activities refer to Chapter 5 at this link: http://www.usgennet.org/usa/nh/county/hillsborough/manchester/book/evening.html
KING PHILIP'S WAR
The war is named after the main leader of the Native American side, Metacomet, Metacom, or Pometacom, known to the English as "King Philip."
King Philip's War, sometimes called Metacom's War or Metacom's Rebellion, was an armed conflict between Native American inhabitants of present-day southern New England and English colonists and their Native American allies from 1675–1676. It continued in northern New England (primarily on the Maine frontier) even after King Philip was killed, until a treaty was signed at Casco Bay in April 1678. According to a combined estimate of loss of life in Schultz and Tougias' "King Philip's War, The History and Legacy of America's Forgotten Conflict" (based on sources from the Department of Defense, the Bureau of Census, and the work of Colonial historian Francis Jennings), 800 out of 52,000 English colonists (1 out of every 65) and 3,000 out of 20,000 natives (3 out of every 20) lost their lives due to the war, which makes it proportionately one of the bloodiest and costliest in the history of America. More than half of New England's ninety towns were assaulted by Native American warriors.
Much More Information can be found at Wikipedia.
King Philip was a native American Indian and King Philip's war began in 1675.
King Philip explains what led to the uprising:
The English who came first to this country were but an handful of people, forlorn, poor and distressed. My father was then sachem [chief]. He relieved their distresses in the most kind and hospitable manner. He gave them land to build and plant upon. He did all in his power to serve them. Others of their country men came and joined them. Their numbers rapidly increased.
My father's counselors became uneasy and alarmed lest, as they were possessed of firearms, which was not the case of the Indians, they should finally undertake to give law to the Indians, and take from them their country. They therefore advised him to destroy them before they should become too strong, and it should be too late.
My father was also the father of the English. He represented to his counselors and warriors that the English knew many sciences which the Indians did not; that they improved and cultivated the earth, and raised cattle and fruits, and that there was sufficient room n the country for both the English and the Indians. His advise prevailed. It was concluded to give victuals to the English. They flourished and increased.
Experience taught that the advice of my father's counselors was right. By various means they got possessed of a great part of his territory. But he still remained their friend until he died. My elder brother became sachem. They pretended to suspect him of evil designs against them. He was seized and confined, and thereby thrown into sickness and died.
Soon after I became sachem they disarmed all my people. They tried my people by their own laws and assessed damages against them which they could not pay. Their land was taken. Sometimes the cattle of the English would come into the cornfields of my people, for they did not make fences like the English. I must then be seized and confined till I sold another tract of my country for satisfaction of all damages and costs. But a small part of the dominion of my ancestors remains. I am determined not to live till I have no country.
Source: History of Swansea
THIS PAGE CONTENTS:
THIS PAGE CONTENTS:
THIS PAGE CONTENTS:
What life was like 1,000 years ago
In an article published in 2000, Doug Sweet looks back at life 1,000 years ago in Montreal. The story gives some historical context to the an exhibition at Pointe-à-Callière Museum, St. Lawrence Iroquoians, Corn People. By Montreal GazetteNovember 17, 2006
Begin with quiet. No noise from jostling traffic or an onrushing metro train. No hum from the computer fan. No jumble of voices bouncing off the walls of a frenzied shopping centre. No television, no radio, cinema, CDs, MP3s or other instruments of the late-20th-century cacophony in which we are immersed every blessed day of our brief lives. Silence.
Listen, now, for the sounds that 1,000 years ago - a millennium ago - would be heard in this place we call home. Tall and ancient trees moaning in the clean wind. Water rattling through rocks and rapids and lapping quietly at the pebbled shore. A bird's stabbing cry. The quick rustle of unseen wildlife in thickets of underbrush. The echoing rumble of thunder or splatter of falling rain. A primeval atmosphere.
Add to this the murmur of human voices gathered together - an infant's wail, the shrieks of children playing, sharp words between a husband and wife, the drone of mystical singing. There's the strike of stone on stone, the thud of a rock axe against thick wood, a fire's crackle. These would be about the only sounds anyone would hear if they visited what is now Montreal. The only sounds. That was to change, of course. But in the vast sweep of time, what was wrought by later immigrants to this land was relatively recent.
In our collective arrogance, we often overlook the human life that existed in this place for millennia before the first Europeans ventured up a great river in search of a quick route to the treasures of China and the East. The history of the island now called Montreal does not begin with Paul de Chomedey, Sieur de Maisonneuve, who founded Ville Marie in 1642. It doesn't begin with Samuel de Champlain's visit of 1611 or with Jacques Cartier's day-and-a-half stopover at the Iroquoian village Hochelaga in 1535. People had lived in this region long before that. Thousands of them.
After the last of the great ice sheets melted away and the resulting inland sea began to dry up about 10,000 years ago, people drifted into this land, discovering its abundant rivers and their rich flood plains. With lower-lying land still flooded by the Champlain Sea, the earliest possible residents lived on higher ground to the west of Montreal, near what is now called Lac St. Francois, a widening of the St. Lawrence River near Cornwall, Ont. They are referred to as Paleoindians and were succeeded, the archaeologists tell us, by Archaic people about 5,000 years ago. These were the ancestors of the people who, about 1,000 years ago, began to develop rudimentary agriculture here.
By about 1200 to 1300 AD, those whom anthropologists and archaeologists call St. Lawrence Iroquoians had developed their agriculture to the point that their crops of beans, squash and corn had supplanted hunting as the community's primary source of food. Farming brought an increasingly sedentary lifestyle and the St. Lawrence Iroquoians settled down, shifting their longhouse villages about every 20 years in search of more fertile farmland. On his 1535 voyage up the St. Lawrence, Cartier visited a village, which he called Hochelaga, with between 1,000 and 2,000 inhabitants. He stayed only briefly, but described the community in some detail.
Less than 50 years later, the people who lived on Montreal Island and in the vicinity began to disperse. Where they went is fairly easy to determine by studying far-flung fragments of pottery - the St. Lawrence Iroquoians employed a distinctive pottery style - into eastern Ontario, farther down the St. Lawrence River, even into northeastern New England and the Lac St-Jean region. But why they left remains a mystery. Could diseases, such as influenza and smallpox, have been introduced by Cartier (or other lesser-known explorers), leaving the people of Hochelaga vulnerable to more frequent and sustained attack from neighbouring Algonquin, Iroquois or Huron tribes? Was there a small but significant shift in climate patterns rendering their rudimentary agriculture impossible? Did they just get tired of the same old river and the same old mountain? A definitive answer is probably impossible, but what is certain is that by the time Champlain explored this area in 1611 there was no trace of Hochelaga. Gone. And never to return.
Although Algonquins from the Ottawa River region settled the island sporadically between the time of Cartier's visit and the permanent French encampment established by Maisonneuve in 1642, the last substantial aboriginal community on the island simply evaporated. - - - So the white-faced men and women returned, and this time they stayed for good, bringing different customs, different values, different goals, a different god. They also brought different sounds: their languages, as well as the sound of hammering and sawing, the thwack of sharper steel axes against the same tree trunks, then the rumble of wheeled carts, the mooing and grunting of domesticated animals. The sound of gunfire. And, through treaties, trade, cheating, warfare and wave upon wave of unending immigration, they took control of this island and they built, stone by stone, log by log, a small town nestled under the protective shadow of a stunted mountain, hard against the endlessly flowing river that would shape the city's destiny for centuries to come. How appropriate that Montreal, a city that has borne witness to so many profound changes in its makeup and character, should lie next to the endless flow of a river rather than the static body of a lake.
History is the story of change, and Montreal has enjoyed more of it than most cities on this continent in its 357 years of existence.The French settlers, in addition to devoting themselves and their energies to converting the ``heathen'' aboriginals to Christianity and specifically Roman Catholicism, quickly realized the potential of the region's rivers as superhighways leading inland to the heart of a lucrative fur trade. That industry, more than any other, propelled the young city into a position of economic expansion and prominence in the New World. The British conquest of the mid-18th century brought the tones of yet another language to Montreal, although the fur trade continued to be the economic staple of an expanding and diversifying economy.
Gradually, into the next century, industrialization crept in and with it new sounds, new energies. Smokestacks and coal fires brought soot and smoke along with jobs for immigrants. Machinery, sugar, tobacco, dry goods were refined or produced here for consumption elsewhere. That meant a transportation industry, and again the river was of vital importance. For a time in the middle of the 19th century, most of the people living within the city of Montreal proper spoke English, but that soon changed with massive immigration of French-speaking Quebecers from the hinterland, providing Montreal with the unique sound and image it offers to the world to this day: a mixture of languages and cultures that sometimes collide but more often embrace each other; a face and a voice that are replicated nowhere else on the planet.
Added to the principal ingredients of this cultural bouillabaisse is the spice of multi-ethnicity made possible by successive bursts of immigration: the Irish in the early to middle part of the 19th century; Russian Jews at the turn of the 20th century; Italians, Portuguese, Greeks and other Europeans in smaller numbers in the first decades of the 1900s and then in great waves that date from the 1950s on; more recently Africans and Middle Easterners, those from the Caribbean and southern Asia, as well as people from Central and South America. All have contributed to the local culture; all have helped change the sounds of Montreal, from the bustle of Chinatown to the summertime tam-tams at the foot of Mount Royal. With the different cultural currents have come changing economic fortunes.
The early industrialization of the mid-1800s gave way to larger and more numerous factories, from the sugar refineries of the Lachine Canal to the heavy machine shops of the sprawling Angus yards where Canadian Pacific built and maintained locomotives. But just as political eddies and whirlpools were becoming stronger and more tumultuous, so, too, was there continued turbulence in the city's economic underpinnings. Smokestacks and enormous electric motors gave way to computer chips and microscopes. The heavy machine shops closed and the pharmaceutical industry exploded. Sugar refineries became film studios; instead of locomotives, Montrealers were building jet airplanes. The river flowed on. - - -
Most of us who live at the close of the 20th century can be pretty full of ourselves. We sit in hermetically sealed houses and office towers, shops and factories, the vast majority of us perfectly safe from numbing cold or blistering heat. Look, we say, look at all we have accomplished and created, how we have shaped this place, conquered the wilderness and erected great temples to our commerce, our technology and our genius. In this pride and comfort, it is so easy to overlook who and what went before us - what it took to live here, what humans endured merely to survive until the next dawn, what drove men and women to live in this terrible land, to feel it, explore it and test it. We forget the courage it took to stare at the worst of nature's elements and prevail. We forget how primitive were the conditions that existed before anyone had even imagined the word ``lifestyle.''
Stripped of human comforts, this is a rugged, forbidding, unfriendly place. It is hot and infested with insects. It is soggy with rain. It is bitter with cold and snow and wind. It is ice. That those who came before us, either by land bridge or by the hand of the Creator or by way of creaking little wooden ships, managed to carve out a lasting existence is evidence of an astonishing spirit. Could we summon such spirit today?
There are those who have doubts about human society's lurching ``progress'' which is, but for some important aesthetic touches, little different in modern Montreal than in modern Berlin or Baton Rouge. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, one of the great minds of the recent past, put it this way: ``Modern man can all but leap out beyond the confines of his being; through the eyes of television he is present throughout the whole planet all at the same time. Yet it turns out that from this spasmodic pace of technocentric Progress, from the oceans of superficial information and cheap spectacles, the human soul does not grow, but instead grows more shallow, and spiritual life is only reduced. ``Our culture, accordingly, grows poorer and dimmer, no matter how it tries to drown out its decline by the din of empty novelties. As creature comforts continue to improve for the average person, so spiritual development grows stagnant. Surfeit brings with it a nagging sadness of the heart, as we sense that the whirlpool of pleasures does not bring satisfaction, and that before long, it may suffocate us. . . .
The victory of technological civilization has also instilled a spiritual insecurity in us. Its gifts enrich, but enslave us as well. All is interests - we must not neglect our interests - all is a struggle for material things; but an inner voice tells us that we have lost something pure, elevated, and fragile. We have ceased to see the purpose.'' - - - Has the human condition improved since our ancestors inhabited this place? Undoubtedly. Even in the eyeblink of the last century, to use but one example, the infant-mortality rate in Montreal that ran to well over 300 deaths per thousand in the middle of the 1880s has been reduced to only 6.6 per thousand today. Human life expectancy in prosperous countries such as ours has virtually doubled since the Industrial Revolution. And people who have lived and worked here in Montreal in the last two centuries have contributed in no small measure to those improvements.
We can take pride in work done here that has helped ease suffering and cured disease. How life has been enriched by poets and writers and artists who flourished and found in this place their muse. How thousands upon thousands of us have found a better life than the one our ancestors knew, with opportunities more vast and a future brighter than anything that could have been imagined while huddled in the stinking hold of a rat-ridden ship. How entrepreneurship and ingenuity have contributed to learning and to life at institutions and industries founded here and nurtured by citizens who cared about the progress of human society. The change of a millennium, as artificial as it may seem - and as false a turning point as it is to countless others who follow, at least for religious purposes, a different calendar - is a good time to put those accomplishments into perspective.
Today, January 1, 2000, is just another day. Apart from the rather important fact that the modern calendar is woefully imprecise when it comes to measuring the time since Christ was born about 2,000 years ago, it is not even the official turning of the century or the millennium. That will come in a year's time - although, one expects, without the hoopla or the Y2K bug that tried to seize the world's attention now. Regardless of which date one chooses to celebrate the turnover of the world's most common odometer, the change of century and of millennium provides an ideal time for reflection - of what has gone before, of what is, and of what might be in the years to come. We cannot predict the future any more than we can change the past, but we can ponder the kind of society we think we should strive to achieve, and reflect upon what it might take to get us there. It is, as Solzhenitsyn suggests, a time to rediscover the purpose.
Website Editor Note: While this particular story focuses on Montreal, its message is the same no matter what place name gets attatched to the subject matter. It could just as easily be Bartlett, New Hampshire.