Saint Croix Courier, St. Stephen, NB
June 2, 1892
GLIMPSES OF THE PAST
Contributions to the History of Charlotte County and the Border Towns.
XIX THE PASSAMAQUODDY INDIANS IN THE FRENCH AND ENGLISH WARS-Continued.
[Rev. W. O. 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 Mascarene, 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 foe 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 Georges 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 Gorhams men who went ashore were fired on and several killed.
M. de la Galissoniere, governor of Canada, wrote a letter of remonstrance with regard to Col. Gorhams visit to St. John, which he claimed as a river situated on the continent of Canada, and much on this side of the Quenibec, where, by common consent, the bounds of New England have been placed. He says:
I beg 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 François de Salle.
Medoctig; 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. Gorhams men, at the river St. Johns?
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 offering £100 for his capture, as the author and advisor 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 Indian 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 Marquis 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.1
The conduct of de Loutre, however, received unqualified condemnation from the bishop of Quebec, who greeted his son in the faith with bitter reproaches on his arrival at Quebec as a fugitive, after the fall of Beausejour.
In February, 1756, soon after their return from Beausejour, the Passamaquoddies surprised and captured 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 Pasimaquadie.
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 per cent, on goods purchased and two and a half per cent, on furs sold. In connection with the treaty, it was arranged to establish a truck-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 1 lb. Spring Beaver.
3 Martre (sable, or marten) skins equal 1 lb. ditto.
Pequan (fisher) skin equal 1 lb. ditto.
6 Foins, or Vizons (mink) skins equal 1 lb. ditto.
Ours (bear) skin, and in good seaion [sic], equal 1 ½ lb. 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 argente (silver fox) skin equal 2 ½ lbs. ditto.
10 Rats musque (musquash) skins equal 1 lb. ditto.
Loup marins (seal) skin 3 ½ to 12 feet long to be valued from 8d. to 3s. 4d. each.
Large Orignal (moose) skin equal 1 ½ lb. Spring Beaver and in proportion for smaller.
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 lbs. Plumes (feathers) equal 1 lb. ditto.
Large Blanket 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 3 lbs. ditto.
The prices of all other kinds of merchandise not 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 their tribe by Michel Neptune, chief, and 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 delagates [sic] 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 enquire 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 colonials 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 their own Mass-house [church] by command of their Priest detained at Quebec.
The dissatisfaction caused by the withdrawal of their priest led Lord William Campbell to write to Gov. Carleton, early in 1768, to procure them one. Owing to this request, a young man named Baillie, a 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,2 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.
1The 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 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.
In witness whereof we have signed these presents and have hereby caused the seal with our coat of arms to be placed on the same, and countersigned by our secretary.
Given at Quebec this 29th September, 1745.
By Monseigneur Charmazart.
2These 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.