Chapter 1 Notes and References


  1. An explanation of Algonquian terms for identity appears in the first pages of Steven F. Johnson’s Ninnuock (the People): the Algonkian People of New England (University of Michigan Press, 1995). Sources for Algonquian place names include William Bright’s Native American Place Names of the United States (2004, see especially pp. 32, 41, 554, and 571); R. Douglas-Lithgow’s Native American Place Names of Massachusetts and his Native American Place Names of New Hampshire and Maine (2000); the chapter on Geographical Names in H. L. Mencken’s classic The American Language (1921, available at; John Huden’s chapter on Indian Place Names of New England in Volume 18 of Contributions from the New York Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation (1962, available at; and J. Hammond Trumbull’s vintage work, The Composition of Indian Geographical Names, Illustrated from the Algonkin (1870, available at Other sources of information about place names are in Lyle Campbell’s 1997 American Indian Languages: The Historical Linguistics of Native America (see pp. 156-168), and in articles by William Tooker (1904), Myron Sleeper (1949), and in C. Lawrence Bond’s 3rd edition book (2000) on the subject. Merrill McLane’s 1998 Place Names of Old Sandy Bay is a local, though inaccurate, source. The ethnographic basis for “the people” comes from Steven F. Johnson’s 1995 book, Ninnuock: the Algonkian People of New England (Marlborough, MA: Bliss Pub Co.).
  2. Some English explorers who recorded Algonquian words and names included James Rosier (in Henry Burrage’s 1887 Rosier’s Relation of Weymouth’s Voyage to the Coast of Maine, 1605); James Davies (Relation of a voyage to Sagadahoc, 1607-1608); John Smith (The Generall Historie of Virginia, New England & the Summer Isles, 1624); Christopher Leverett (A Voyage into New England Begun in 1623 and Ended in 1624); and Samuel Purchas (Hakluytus Posthumus or Purchas his Pilgrimes, Volume 4, 1625). Some French sources, cited elsewhere, include Samuel de Champlain, Father Sebastien Rale, Father Jean de Brebeuf, and other Catholic missionaries posted to northern New England and Canada. For example, Jesuit missionary texts collected by Eugene Vetromille. published in 1857 as the Indian Good Book, include a Roman Catholic prayer book written in two Abenaki dialects.
  3. In addition to the sources cited above on anthropological linguistics, help reconstructing Pawtucket place names from the Abenaki came from Laura Redish, co-editor with Orrin Lewis of Native Languages of the Americas (2012) at; the Western Abenaki Dictionary and Radio Online at; and Cowasuck [Kowasek] Band of the Pennacook-Abenaki People (the People of the White Pines) at A valuable historical source is Joseph Laurent’s 1884 New familiar Abenakis and English dialogues: the first ever published on the grammatical system, at
  4. English colonial observers in New England who recorded observations of Algonquian languages or names included William Bradford (History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647); Edward Winslow (Mourt’s Relation, 1622, and Good Newes from New England, 1624); Roger Williams (A Key into the Language of America, 1643); John Winthrop (A journal of the transactions and occurrences in the settlement of Massachusett… from the year 1630 to 1644, published in 1853 as History of New England 1630-1649); John Winthrop Jr., who established Ipswich (The Winthrop Papers, 1628); Francis Higginson, who settled in Beverly-Salem (New England’s Plantation, 1630); William Wood (New England’s Prospect, 1634); Thomas Lechford (Plain Dealing: Or News from New England, 1637); Thomas Morton (The New English Canaan, 1637); Edward Johnson (Wonder-Working Providence, 1654), Samuel Maverick (A Briefe Description of New England and the Severall Townes Therein, 1660); John Josselyn (An Account of Two Voyages to New-England, 1674); John Eliot  (A Brief Narrative of the Progress of the Gospel amongst the Indians in New England, in the Year 1670); and Daniel Gookin, the first Indian Agent for the government of Massachusetts Bay (Collections of the Indians in New England, 1792).
  5. In New England and to the northeast the fall line is very near the shoreline in contrast to the broad piedmonts in states to the south. This fact had significance for patterns of settlement and trade for both Native Americans and Europeans and also for differential effects on population in the spread of virgin soil epidemics. Sources consulted in this work for the geography and geology of Essex County include The Cape Ann Plutonic Suite by John Brady and John Cheney (2001); U.S. Geological Surveys, such as The Geology of Cape Ann, Massachusetts by Nathaniel Shaler (1888); The Physical Geography, Geology, Mineralogy and Paleontology of Essex County, Massachusetts by John Sears (1905); The Granites and Pegmatites of Cape Ann, Massachusetts by Charles Warren and Hugh McKinstry (1924); and Rocks of Cape Ann by W. H. Dennen (2001). The illustration of the Atlantic fall line is by Jeff Kaufman of Boston,
  6. Some sources for Wamesit and Pawtucket include Eliot and Gookin, cited above; Charles Cowley’s 1862 Memories of the Indians and Pioneers of the Region of Lowell, Vol I. and his 1886 History of Lowell; Abiel Abbott’s History of Andover From Its Settlement to 1829; Wilson Waters’ History of Chelmsford (1917); Frederick Coburn’s History of Lowell and Its People (1920); and Silas Coburn’s History of Dracut, Massachusetts, called by the Indians Augumtoocooke….(1922). The photograph of Wamesit in the snow is courtesy of Peter Waksman from his Rock Piles weblog,
  7. For more information on the Great Marsh and its significance, see the Mass. Audubon’s site summary at
  8. Principal local histories of Cape Ann consulted for this chapter and throughout this book include John Wingate Thornton’s 1854 The Landing at Cape Ann; John Babson’s 1860 History of the Town of Gloucester, Cape Ann: Including the Town of Rockport and the Notes and Additions to the History of Gloucester published in 1990; Herbert Adams’ 1882 The Fisher Plantation of Cape Anne, Part I of The Village Communities of Cape Ann and Salem, and James Pringle’s 1892 History of the Town and City of Gloucester, Cape Ann, Massachusetts. (See pp. 16-18 for Pringle’s affirmation of incorrect traditional interpretations of Algonquian place names.) Sources for the towns in the rest of Essex County include Edward Stone’s 1843 History of Beverly, Civil and Ecclesiastical, from its Settlement in 1630 to 1842; Joshua Coffin’s A Sketch of the History of Newbury, Newburyport, and West Newbury, from 1635 to 1845; Robert Crowell’s 1853 History of the Town of Essex, 1634-1700; Old Naumkeag: An Historical Sketch of the City of Salem, and the Towns of Marblehead, Peabody, Danvers, Wenham, Manchester, Topsfield, and Middleton by Carl Webber and Winfield Nevins (1877); D. F. Lamson’s 1895 History of the Town of Manchester, Essex County, Massachusetts 1645-1895; Joseph Felt’s Annals of Salem from Its first Settlement, Volume I (1845) and his History of Ipswich, Essex, and Manchester (1966); History of Lynn, Essex County, Massachusetts, including Lynnfield, Saugus, Swampscott, and Nahant, 1628-1893, by Alonzo Lewis and James R. Newhall (1844); Sidney Perley’s The History of Boxford, Essex County, Massachusetts, from the Earliest Settlement Known to the Present Time (1880); John Currier’s 1902 History of Newbury, Mass. 1635-1902; and Thomas Waters’ 1905 Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. General sources for the history of Essex County include Hurd’s History of Essex County (1888); Benjamin Arrington’s Municipal history of Essex County in Massachusetts (1922); and Claude Feuss’ The Story of Essex County (1935). For information on Masconomet see the index to the Winthrop Papers, the Ipswich histories, and the Native American deeds in Essex County at the web site of the Southern Essex County Registry of Deeds ( See also Sidney Perley’s The Indian Land Titles of Essex County, Massachusetts (1912).
  9. John Smith’s 1624 version of his map of New England incorporates Algonquian place names he learned from an Abenaki sagamore in Maine. Earlier versions, such as his map of 1614 (published in 1616) do not. The 1624 map also shows the earliest English settlements, including Plimoth and Salem. These maps are compared in Chapter 4 of this book. See William Wood’s map. “The South part of New England as it is Planted this yeare, 1634” in Google Images or in Fite and Freeman, A Book of Old Maps Delineating American History, pp. 136-139. Robert Raymond’s enlarged detail of Wood’s map is at
  10. Wood’s narrative description is in his New England’s Prospect (1635), pp. 31-38.
  11. In addition to the sources cited above on anthropological linguistics (Note 2), help reconstructing Pawtucket place names from the Abenaki came from Laura Redish, co-editor with Orrin Lewis of Native Languages of the Americas (2012) at; the Western Abenaki Dictionary and Radio Online at; and Cowasuck [Kowasek] Band of the Pennacook-Abenaki People (the People of the White Pines) at A valuable historical source is Joseph Laurent’s 1884 New familiar Abenakis and English dialogues: the first ever published on the grammatical system, at
  12. Gloucester as Agamenticus appears on the website of the Massachusetts Citizen Information Service on the list of “Archaic Community, District, Neighborhood, Section, and Village Names in Massachusetts” (see
  13. The Pilgrim Roger Williams, the Puritan John Cotton, the Jesuit Father Rale (sometimes written as Rales or Rasle), the linguist R. Douglas-Lithgow, and others provided alternative etymologies for the state name of Massachusetts. See
  14. Quascacunquen and Indian Hill both appear on a 1640 map of Newbury reproduced in John J. Currier’s History of NewburyMassachusetts 1635-1902 (1902).
  15. John Josselyn, An Account of Two Voyages to New-England, p. 129. See
  16. Dunton, John. 1686. Letters Written from New England. Prince Society Publications Issue 4, N. Stratford, NH: Ayer Publishing (1966 edition).
  17. Bright, William. 2004. Native American Placenames of the United States. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press.
  18. Trumbull, J. Hammond. 1870. The Composition of Indian Geographical Names, Illustrated from the Algonkin Languages. Hartford, CT: Case, Lockwood & Brainard: See also 1897,  IV. On the Best method of Studying Native American Languages; VIII. On Some Mistaken Notions of Algonkin Grammar, and on Mistranslations of Words from Eliot’s Bible; and VII. On Algonkian Names for Man. In American Philological Society Proceedings and Transactions, Vols. 1 and 2.
  19. Schoolcraft, Henry Rowe. 1839. Algic Researches (NY: Harper). (Algonquian languages are in the Algic Language Group.) See also Schoolcraft and Seth Eastman. 1855. Historical and statistical Information, respecting the History, Condition and Prospects of the Indian Tribes of the United States: Coll. and prepared under the direction of the Bureau of Indian Affairs per act of Congress of March 3rd 1847. Volume 5: 221-224. New York, NY: Lippincott, Grambo.
  20. The document “The Names of the Rivers” was found in the British Library in the Egerton Mss 2395, “Papers Relating to the English Colonies in America and the West Indies, 1627-1699”, in British Records Relating to American History in Microform (BRRAM) Series (1974). It was among the papers of Thomas Povey (1613-1705) who was a secretary of Charles II. See “Thomas Povey Papers and Letters”, Egerton Mss #2395 Folio 412-213. The full title of the document is “Names of the Rivers and the names of ye cheife Sagamores yt inhabit upon Them from the River of Quibequissue to the River of Wenesquawam.” [i.e., from the Penobscot River to the Annisquam River”], n.d. Egerton Manuscripts 2395 (Fol. 412). An excellent review and analysis of this document is provided by Mary Beth Norton and Emerson W. Baker in “The Names of the Rivers: A new look at an old document.” New England Quarterly Vol. 80, No. 3: 459-487 (September 2007). For reference to a village in Riverview see Pool, Ebenezer. 1823. Pool Papers, Vol. I. Typescript Ms are in the Cape Ann Museum and the Sandy Bay Historical Society. (The original is in the basement of the Sandy Bay Historical Society in Rockport, MA).
  21. The 1890 Survey Plan for cottage lots in Winniahdin is in the Perkins Collection of historic maps and may be viewed at
  22. E. N. Horsford’s comments on place names come from a paper he read before the New England Historic Genealogical Society on November 4, 1885 (pp. 16-17): “The Indian Names of Boston, and Their Meaning”.
  23. See Public Domain Review, Arnoldus Montanus’ New and Unknown World (Die Nieuwe en Onbekende Weereld, 1671) at The map detail from Montanus’ Di Novi Belgi in De Nieuwe en Onbekende Weereld is from
  24. Nobsten for lobster is an anecdote from Daniel Gookin referenced to James Davies’ Relation of a voyage to Sagadahoc, 1607-1608, reprinted by the Hakuyt Society in 1849 and the Massachusetts Historical Society in 1880. Davies was the navigator of Raleigh Gilbert’s vessel the Mary and John on a voyage to establish a colony on the Kennebec River in 1607 in an expeditionary fleet led by George Popham and financed by Sir Fernando Gorges and other backers. Monomack and the like for Merrimack is reported in J. William Wallace Tooker’s “The Significance of John Eliot’s Natick and the Name Merrimac” in The Algonquian Series (New York: Francis P. Harper, 1901).
  25. My proposed reconstruction of Wingaersheek as Winkawecheek was based on a word meaning for winga-/winka- proposed by Carol Dana of the Department of Cultural and Historic Preservation of the Penobscot (Penawahpskewi) Indian Nation on Indian Island, Maine, in 2011, based on her participation in a Western Abenaki language revival program. My sources for information on wampum and its use in systems of exchange appear in the notes for Chapter 10, which considers this topic in greater detail. Archaeological evidence for villages at Wingaersheek and Riverview in Gloucester comes from sites surveyed and excavated between 1920 and 1940, described in unpublished talks given by collector N. Carleton Phillips in 1940 and 1941 and stored in the Cape Ann Museum in Gloucester.  Discoveries at Wingaersheek in 1965 are preserved as the Matz Collection in the Harvard Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology in Cambridge, and more recently in Cultural Resource Management projects under the aegis of the Massachusetts Historical Commission in Boston. Other archaeological sites are cited in the notes to other chapters as relevant.
  26. Support for the definition of Pennacook used in this book (referring to groundnuts rather than foothills) comes from Gordon Day’s essays (Day, G. M. [1998]. M. K. Foster  & W. Cowan [Eds.], In Search of New England’s Native Past: Selected Essays from Gordon M. Day.)
  27. Sources for Micmac (Mi’Kmaq) reconstructions in this work include Silas Rand’s Micmac Dictionary (1888) and the work on which it is based: A first reading book in the Micmac language: comprising the Micmac numerals, and the names of the different kinds of beasts, birds, fishes, trees, &c. of the maritime provinces of Canada. Also, some of the Indian names of places, and many familiar words and phrases, translated literally into English (1875). See also Rand’s “A Selection of Micmac Words” from The Micmac Dictionary (Halifax, 1888). In V. M. Marshall, “Silas Terius Rand and his Micmac Dictionary”, Nova Scotia Historical Quarterly 5 (4): 393. Another source is Elizabeth Frame’s List of Micmac Names of Places, Rivers, etc., in Nova Scotia (1892).
  28. For other examples of Native American, English, and French exonyms for tribes and nations, see