Famous Abenaki


Abbigadasset, An Abenaki sachem whose residence was on the coast of Maine near the mouth of Kennebec River.

EscumbuitAbenaki Warrior: The Life and Times of Chief Escumbuit

Graylock (c.1670-1750) was a Western Abenaki Missisquoi chief of Woronoco/Pocomtuc ancestry, born near Westfield (MA).

Continued English settlement onto Abenaki lands erupted into a new conflict in 1722. While the French, New York colonists, and Iroquois looked on, Abenakis from coastal Maine to Lake Champlain focused raids on the Massachusetts Colony in the conflict known variously as Dummer's War, Three Years War, Lovewell's War, The War with the Eastern Indian or Father Rasle's War.

Gray Lock distinguished himself by conducting guerrilla raids into Vermont and western Massachusetts. He consistently eluded his pursuers, and acquired the name Wawanolet (also Wawanolewat, Wawanotewat), meaning "he who fools the others, or puts someone off the track."

Eastern Abenaki groups made peace with Massachusetts in 1725 and 1726, and Abenakis from Canada agreed to peace terms in 1727, 
but Gray Lock refused. Although it is not clear whether he was actually ever personally associated with the mountain, perhaps in tribute to his notoriety the mountain came to bear his name."  

Louis Cook (1737-1814) was chief and warrior of the Seven Nations.  He  was the son of "a coloured man & his mother was an Indian woman of the Abaniquis tribe."   He served  in the Revolutionary War.  By the time of the War of  1812, he was too old to fight however his name 
and reputation carried a lot of weight with the Natives.  (For more information visit: http://www.wampumchronicles.com/colonellouis.html

Frank Longtoe ( 1871-1949) was "The Masked Marvel,"  a well dressed Pocket Billiards Player, who always wore a mask and was never photographed without his mask.  The masked Marvel accepted  all challenges including Ralph Greenleaf.  In 1931, Ripley's Believe It Or Not, 
features him as "The Best Player in the World," winning 1500 out of 1512 games over a 3 years period.  The masked marvel was known to keep company with Kid Sheehan. Frank later changed his last name to Lanctan.

Massasoit Metacom (King Philip) -

Massasoit - Son of Massasoit Metacom (King Phillip)

Moxus - A chief of the Abnaki, called also Agamagus, the first signer of the treaty of 1699, and seemingly the successor of Madokawandu . He signed the treaty with Gov. Dudley in 1702, but a year afterward unsuccessfully besieged the English fort at Casco, Maine. He signed treaties with the English in 1713, and again in 1717. It was he who in 1689 captured Pemaquid from the English.

Molly Ockette -

Nickolar, who was related to Orono by marriage, asserted, according to Williamson, that Orono was in some way related to old Castine; moreover he asserts that Orono was not of full blood, but part white,"a half breed or more."

Orono. A Penobscot chief, born on the Penobscot River in Maine in about 1688. According to one tradition he was a descendant of Baron de Castine, and although Williamson, who seems to have seen him and was familiar with his later career, is disposed to reject this story.

From Orono's own admissions it is possible that he was a son of Castine's daughter, who married a Frenchman, and with her children was taken captive in 1704.

Osson was a Penobscot chief from about 1759 to 1770 or 1774.

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 (Pilling, bibliog. Algonq. Lang., 539-40, 1891) his name  appears as Wzokhilain, because it could not be more exactly transliterated into the Abnaki language.

Peter Sabbattis ( Abt. 1751-1859) who was more commonly referred to as Captain Peter, earned his title during his service in the Revolutionary War. He was a well known hunter and trapper.  Capt. Peter died at the age of 108.  

Mitchel Sabbattis (1823- ? ) was a well noted Indian Guide born at St. Francis, who figured intensively into the history of that area.  He was well known for his hunting, survival skills and his knowledge of the forest.  In the days when moose were plentiful, he killed 20 of them.  The last one was hunted in 1854.  Mitchel Sabbattis has been written up in many 
histories of the Adirondacks.

Samoset -

Frank "Kid" Sheehan (1885-1952) was a Bantam weight Prizefighter.  His boxed in 409 bouts from 1900-1925, winning many if not most of his fights in Massachusetts, Vermont, New York, Nova Scotia and Quebec, often accepting matches as a way to visit his Abenaki relatives.  

Squanto. 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 Cocheco.

Homer St. Francis ( ? -2001)  " was willing to stand up for Abenaki people, land, ancestors, and local recognition at a time when most Vermonters, and many others, refused to acknowledge that the Abenaki even existed. Homer was especially important in forcing his neighbors to recognize the numbers of Abenaki people still living in traditional, original 
Abenaki homelands in New England, particularly in Swanton, VT.

Many people still mistakenly believe the only remaining Abenakis are those living at the Canadian reserve called Odanak or St. Francis."  (Excerpt from "Remembering Chief Homer St. Francis" By Margaret Bruchac.  The full article is available at http://www.dciamerica.com/articles/homerstfrancis.htm

Robert Tessier (1933-1990) Actor, war hero. He served as a  Paratrooper in the Korean War earning a Silver Star and Purple Heart.

Making his film debut in 1967 in the movie "Glory Stompers," he was well known throughout his career, as a burly villain with a shaved head and scowl.  Robert Tessier quite often played Native American characters role on both television and Film.   Some of the movies he is remembered for are:  "The Deep,"   "The Last of the Mohegans," "The Times" with Charles Bronson, and "The longest Yard," with Burt Reynolds.   He was as talented an Actor as a Stunt Man and even founded a Stunt Troupe.   

Tomasus or Tomer, was head-chief of the Penobscot prior to 1759 until he was succeeded by Osson, who in turn was succeeded by Orono about 1770 or 1774.

 

Article Index:

Abbigadasset, Abenaki sachem

Abbigadasset was 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.

Orono, Penobscot Chief

Orono was a Penobscot chief, born on the Penobscot River in Maine in about 1688. According to one tradition he was a descendant of Baron de Castine, and although Williamson, who seems to have seen him and was familiar with … Continue reading