Brunswick, Topsham, and Harpswell.
The Indian race, formerly occupying the territory now embraced by the State of Maine, was divided, as most authors state, into two considerable nations, called the Etechemins and the A§benakis. The former nation occupied the region east, and the latter that west, of the Penobscot River.1 ,
The Abenaki nation was composed of four principal tribes, viz.: -
1. The Sokokis, who had their principal encampments upon the Saco River.
2. The Anasagunticooks, who occupied the entire valley of the Androscoggin River.
3. The Canibas, who dwelt upon the Kennebec, from its tide waters to its source.
4. The Wawenocks, who reside between the Sagadahock and the river St. George, and upon the latter.2
The Anasagunticooks were, at the first advent of Europeans, a very numerous, powerful, and warlike tribe. The Pejepscot Indians were, in all probability, a sub-tribe of the Anasagunticooks. They had customary places of resort, if not permanent places of residence, at the Brunswick Falls, at Maquoit, and at Mair Point. It is now considered probable, from the remains and relics found there, that the latter was the place of one of their villages in the sixteenth century.3
Like most of the native tribes, the Anasagunticooks were, at first,
1. Willis, Maine Historical Collection, 4, p. 96. Vetromile, The Abenakis, p. 17.
2. Kidder, Maine Historical Collection, 6, p. 235. Williamson and others.
3. John McKeen, Manuscript Lecture.
probably friendly to the whites. At least, our settlers are represented as living with them upon the most friendly terms up to about the time of King Philip's War. 1
They soon, however, became extremely and inveterately hostile to the settlers upon their domain, and until their extermination by disease and by the aggressions of the whites, they continued to exhibit their animosity by frequent attacks upon isolated settlements and habitations and by lying in ambush for individuals or small parties.
The plague which broke out among them about the year 1615 or 1616 so reduced them that,. in the latter year, they numbered only 1,500 warriors.2
They were still further reduced in number by warfare and other causes, so that there were, according to one authority, 3 on November 24, 1726, only five Indians in the tribe over sixteen years of age. John Hegon was their sachem at this time.
Twenty-five years later there were one hundred and sixty warriors in the tribe.4 This is a large increase in number, but yet it shows how weak the tribe had become.
The most celebrated sagamores of this tribe were Darumkin, Worumbo, and Hodgkins, - called sometimes Hawkins. Of the former but little is known, except that he was the father of Terramugus, and on several occasions served as orator for the tribe.
Worumbo is better known on account of his deed to Richard Wharton, July 7, 1684, confirming to him the lands formerly conveyed to and possessed by Thomas Purchase.
Hodgkins (or Hawkins), whose Indian name was Kankamagus, was, in reality, a sachem of the Pennacooks, but he joined the Androscoggins about 1684, and lived with Worumbo.
Mugg is thought to have been another of their sachems,5 although by some authors he is supposed to have belonged to the Penobscot tribe. 6 He was very conspicuous in the Indian war of 1676-77. On October 12, of the former year, he assaulted Black Point. now Scarborough, with one hundred men, and captured it. In 1677 he again besieged that garrison for three days, and killed three men and took one captive. He was himself killed, May 16 of that year. Prior to this war he had lived for some time with the English, and had been very friendly to them. 7
1 McKeen, MSS. Lecture. Woodman, Manuscript History of Pejepscot.
2.Williamson, 1, p. 483.
3. Gyles's Statement, Maine Historical Collection, 3. p 357.
4. Williamson, 1, p. 483.
5. Drake. Book of Indians, 3, p. 110.
6. History of Pemaquid, p 122.
7. Drake, Book of Indians, 3, p. 110.
This chief must not be confounded with Mogg, -generally known as Mogg Megone, -who was killed at the time of Rasle's death (1724), and who belonged to the Saco Indians.
Another of their sagamores was Philip Will, originally a Cape Cod Indian ; he was captured by the French, at the siege of Louisburg, when only fourteen years of age. Remaining with the Abenaki Indians, he became, eventually, a chief of this tribe. Will was brought up in the family of a Mr. Crocker, in which be was taught "to read, write, and cipher." He prevented, for many years, the final extinction of his tribe. He was six feet three inches in height, and possessed a good development.1
The fact that the lands occupied by the whites were duly purchased of and conveyed to them by the Indians themselves, and that the earlier settlers in this region endeavored to conciliate and make friends of them, seems to have had but little effect in restraining the savage disposition of the natives. After the first outbreak, they rarely lived on really peaceable terms with the settlers, and when there were no actual hostilities going on, they were continually strolling about and annoying the inhabitants,2 and even isolated acts of friendship on the part of individuals amongst them were comparatively rare.
The settlement of the region occupied by this tribe, subsequent to the time of King Philip's War, presents continual scenes of carnage and destruction, midnight massacres and conflagrations, until the tribe itself became extinct.
The language of the Abenaki nation has been carefully studied by many competent students, but the difficulties in the way of thoroughly understanding the different dialects are so great that much uncertainty still exists, both as to the correct pronunciation and derivation, and also as to the meaning, of very many of the names formerly applied to localities. The Indian names, and their signification in English, of some of the more important places, will, nevertheless, prove interesting, and are therefore given in this connection.
ABAGADUSSET River and Point. -The original name of the point was Nagusset.3 At a later day it was called Point Agreeable. Abagadusset, or Bagadusset, one of its forms, means "to shine," the reflection of the light from the waters of the bay probably giving the name.4 This river and point is not included within the present territory of either of the three towns, but was within the limits of the Pejepscot tract as originally claimed, and reference to it is often made.
1. Williamson, 1, p. 491.
2. McKeen, MSS. Lecture.
3. Pejepscot Papers.
4. Dr. Ballard in the United States Coast Survey Report, 1868, p. 246.
AH-ME-LAH-COG-NETUR-COOK, which means a place of much game,
of fish, fowl, and beasts, was the Indian name for Brunswick near the Falls.1
ANDROSCOGGIN. - The river now known as the Androscoggin, and from which the tribe inhabiting its shores received its name, was variously called the Anasayunticook, the Anconganunticook, Amasaqunonteg, and Amascongan. The latter is the original of Androscoggin, as appears by the deposition of the Indian Perepole.2 The name has been written in some sixty different forms, as its sound was received by the ancient hunters, owners, and settlers. There seems to have been a disposition to make it conform to known words in the English usage. The name "Coggin" is a family appellation in New England ; and it was easy to place before it, according to each man's preference, other familiar names, and to call the stream "Ambrose Coggin," "Amos Coggin," "Andrews Coggin," "Andros Coggin," and "Andrus Coggin."3 Vetromile4 says that Coggin means "coming" ; that Ammascoggin means "fish coming in the spring," and that Androscoggin means "Andros coming," referring to the visit of a former governor of the province. But the visit of Governor Andros was not made until 1688, while the river is called Androscoggin in an indenture, made in 1639, between Thomas Purchase and Governor Winthrop.5
Another authority 6 says the word means " the Great Skunk River." By another,7 it is said to be derived from naamas (fish), kees (high), and auke (place), and to mean "the high fish place." According to Reverend Dr. Ballard,8 its derivation is from the word names (fish), abbreviated, as is the frequent practice, by dropping the first letter, and Skauphigan (Skowhegan), a fish-spear. The name may therefore be translated the Fish Spear, or Fish Spearing. The name, as furnished by Perepole, with his description, marked the part of the river above the Amitigonpontook -that is, the "Clay-land Falls" at Lewiston, - upward to " Arockamecook," that is, the "Hoe-land," at Canton Point. The rips and shallows in this portion were favorable for spearing fish beyond any part below.
BUNGANUNGANOCK, commonly shortened to Bunganock, is the name
1. Pejepscot Papers.
2. Maine Historical Collection, 3, p. 333, taken from the Pejepscot Papers.
3. Dr. Ballard in United States Coast Survey, 1868, p. 247.
4. History of the Abenakis, p. 24.
5. See next chapter.
6. Willis, Maine Historical Collection, 4, p. 115.
7. Potter, Maine Historical Collection, 4, p. 189.
8. Report of the United States Coast Survey, 1868, p. 247.
of a small stream flowing into Maquoit Bay. It runs at the bottom of a deep ravine, suggesting the name of Bunganunganock, which means the " High-bank Brook."1
CATHANCE River, pronounced by the Indians Kat-hak-nis, is said by them to mean bent, or crooked.2
MAQUOIT means the "bear-place" or "bear-bay."
MERRICONEAG. - This name was originally applied only to the Indian "carrying-place" at the upper end of Harpswell Neck, but finally denoted the whole peninsula. The word in full would be Merrucoonegan, from merru (swift, quick), and oonegan (portage), meaning the "quick carrying-place." 3
PEJEPSCOT. - That portion of the Androscoggin River extending from Brunswick Falls to Merrymeeting Bay, and the adjacent land upon the south, was called Pejepscot. The word was originally applied to the water, and meant "crooked, like a diving snake." 4
QUABACOOK, meaning "the duck water place," 5 was the Indian designation of Merrymeeting Bay. The English name of this bay, according to one, and the most probable, tradition, had its origin from the meeting of the waters of five rivers, According to another account, the name was due to the meeting of two surveying parties, and their enjoyment of the occasion upon its shores.6
SAWACOOK, as the land upon the north side of the river where Topsham is situated was called, signifies, according to one authority,7
"the burnt place" ; according to other authorities it means either "a tree forking in many branches," or else it means "the place to find many cranberries." 8
SEBASCODEGAN is the Indian name of the Great Island in Harpswell. This name is supposed to be derived from k'tche (great) and t'bascodegan (measure), and this solution of the name shows that the natives had taken some means of measuring the island and had found it great. 9
There are other Indian names of localities in the vicinity of Brunswick, Topsham, and Harpswell which have been preserved by tradi-
Dr. Ballard in United States Coast Survey Report for 1868, p. 248.
3. Dr. Ballard in United States Coast Survey Report for 1868, pp. 248, 258.
4. Willis, in Maine Historical Collection, 4, p. 108.
5. Pejepscot Papers, Perepole's Deposition. Also, Dr. True, in Brunswick Telegraph,
6. Dr. Ballard in United States Coast Survey Report for 1868, p. 253.
7. Dr. N. T. True, of Bethel.
8. Potter, Maine Historical Collection, 4, p. 191.
9. Dr. Ballard in United States Coast Survey Report for 1868, p. 258.
tion, but those that have been mentioned are the best known. The others hardly require particular mention in this connection.
The Indians, in their travels from place to place, went by water whenever possible. The places where they were obliged to leave the water, either to go around falls and rapids or to cross from the salt water to the fresh, or from stream to stream, were called carrying-places, because at these places they were obliged to leave the water and carry their canoes. The paths they made from one carrying-place to another were called trails. The principal carrying-places were in Harpswell, at CONDY'S POINT, Sebascodegan, the trail leading across the point, and at Indian Point Landing, on the northeast corner of Sebascodegan. There was also one across the upper end of MERRICONEAG NECK. In Brunswick, the chief carrying-places were : THE UPPER CARRYING-PLACE. This was at the bend of the river above the falls, and was the place where the Indians left the river on their way to Maquoit. The name was given to distinguish it from the lower or STEVENS'S CARRYING-PLACE. The latter was at the narrow neck of land between the New Meadows River and Merryrneeting Bay. The land was owned in 1673 by Thomas Stevens, hence its name. WIGWAM POINT, a small point of land extending into the New Meadows River, a short distance above the dike or bridge at the foot of Ham's Hill, though not strictly a carrying-place, was a landing-place of the Indians, who probably had a wigwam there. It was once called Indian Town.
In Topsham, the chief carrying-place was at the Androscoggin River, above Merrill's, and the trail led to Cathance Pond. It is probable there was another carrying-place at the head of Muddy River, with trails leading to the Androscoggin and Cathance Rivers.
After Lovewell's war, the Indians dwelling on the Androscoggin, finding they were too weak to protect themselves either from the settlers or from other tribes, moved to Canada and joined the Saint Francis tribe. Even the bones of their ancestors are no longer to be found, and naught but a few names remains to remind us of the existence of this once powerful tribe.