Chapter 6 Notes and References


  1. For example, see Ward H. Goodenough, Frontiers of Cultural Anthropology: Social Organization (1969), Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 113 (5): 329-335
  2. Principal primary sources of information on Algonquian social organization include the observations of the early explorers and the writings of John Eliot and Daniel Gookin. Principal secondary sources include classic ethnographic works, such as Lewis Henry Morgan’s 1907 Ancient Society, and Frank G. Speck’s ethnographic treatises on New England Indians, such as “The family hunting band as the basis of Algonkian social organization” (1915, American Anthropologist, 17: 289-305), and “’Abenaki clans’—Never!” (1935, American Anthropologist 37: 528-530). Speck was a summer resident of Riverview, Gloucester, between 1907 and 1950 and made many observations, interviews, and discoveries relating to the Native Americans of the Northeast. Another classic source is Anthony F. C. Wallace’s 1935 article, “Political Organization and Land Tenure among the Northeast Indians: 1600-1830”, in the Southwestern Journal of Anthropology 13: 301-321.
  3. The definitions and distinctions between tribes and bands (and chieftainships and states) were laid out by cultural anthropologists such as Elman Service (Primitive Social Organization, 1962) and Morton Fried (The Notion of Tribe, 1975), and are still debated, mainly because the term tribe is European in origin and has no analog in Algonquian languages. Algonquians referred to themselves simply as “the people (prefix Ninnu or Innu)” of a place, sometimes meaning “the original people” or “the real people” when differentiating themselves from other groups. See Steven F. Johnson’s 1995 book, Ninnuock: the Algonkian People of New England.
  4. The suggestions for name pronunciation are based on Frank Waabu O’Brien’s 2012 Guide to Historical Spellings and Sounds in New England Algonquian Languages (based on the research of colonial missionaries J. Eliot, J. Cotton, and R. Williams), published on the website of the Massachusett-Narragansett Revival Program of the Aquidneck Indian Council: I chose this source over Abenaki language pronunciations, which are possibly more relevant but also more unfamiliar
  5. These and the names of many other sagamores and sachems in Massachusetts at the time of European contact appear on the website of the Salem (MA) Registry of Deeds. See the Summary of Native American Deeds Collection at See also Sidney Perley’s 1912 The Indian Land Titles of Essex County, Massachusetts.
  6. Explanations of kinship classification systems were developed during the 1940s by cultural anthropologists such as George Peter Murdock in Social Structure (MacMillan, 1949). Through cross-cultural analyses, Murdock suggested that structural change in a society is a feedback loop that begins through a change in residence patterns (i.e., which relatives you live with or near after marriage), which changes how you relate to relatives, which changes how you think and feel about them, which in turn changes how you classify them linguistically. The Iroquoian classification system is one of only seven patterns occurring universally in human societies. Most European Americans use the so-called Eskimo system, in which siblings are differentiated from cousins and no distinction is made between cross cousins and parallel cousins. A convenient source of information on Kinship is the International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences (2008, Thomson Gale), available for free online at
  7. The kinship diagram showing bifurcate merging comes from, which is archived at For detailed information see George P. Murdock’s 1947 article, Bifurcate Merging: A Test of Five Theories,” American Anthropologist 49: 56–68, 1947.
  8. Totemism as practiced historically by the Algonquians of northeastern North America differs substantially from practices of totemism first described by anthropologists working in Africa, the Pacific Islands, and the Pacific Northwest, such as the classic Totemism by Claude Levi-Strauss, translated from the French by Rodney Needham, of which there are many editions. Totemism has been associated with clans and taboos, neither of which are central to Algonquian social structures or belief systems, which additionally exhibit great variability. See, for example, Sylvester Sieber’s Problems of Totemism Among the Northern, Northeastern, and North Atlantic Indians (University of Chicago Department of Anthropology, 1942) and Theresa M. Schenk’s 1997 article, The Algonquian totem and totemism: a distortion of the semantic field, in Papers of the Algonquian Conference 28: 341-353.
  9. For Algonquians of New England, totems were animal sisters and brothers who acted as spiritual helpers. In Abenaki mythology, humans were not differentiated from animals until the present day, the third age of mankind, and humans remain related to animals. The kinship connection was (is) felt as real.
  10. The totemic and other body paint symbols on the Mi’Kmaq hunter in Acadia, Cape Breton (in the image) was drawn by the French Jesuit missionary Abbé Pierre Antoine Simon Maillard, Apostle to the Mi’Kmaq in 1735. The totemic symbols on the Algonquian hunter in Virginia (in the 1587 painting by John White to the right) are pointed out in Lisa Heuvel’s 2010, Looking with Clearer Vision: The Significance of John White’s Watercolors, on the web site of the Jamestown and Yorktown Settlement & Victory Center:
  11. For a true appreciation of the great number and variety of Algonquian spirit animals, see Chapter 10: Spirit Names and Religious Vocabulary by Dr. Frank Waabu O’Brien in the Algonquian Language Revival of the Aquidneck Indian Council at
  12. The Pawtucket figurine of a seated black bear, carved in soapstone, is in the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA.
  13. The diaspora of Pawtucket, Pennacook and Abenaki to Odanak in the late 17th century is taken up in a later chapter. See the website of the Abenakis Band Council of Odanak at The misappropriation and misuse of Native American totemic and other sacred symbols in non-Native entities and activities remains an issue today.  For information on the National Coalition on Racism in Sports and Media, see the website of the American Indian Movement at In their histories, the fraternal orders with animal names (e.g., Moose, Elks), which began as men’s clubs in the mid- and late-19th century, do not acknowledge that their names derive from founders’ admiration of Native American totemic symbolism.
  14. For an appreciation of the complexity and fluidity of Algonquian social status and social mobility, see works by Elizabeth S. Chilton, for example, her chapter, Social complexity in New England: A.D. 1000—1600, in T. Pauketat and D. Loren, North American Archaeology (Blackwell, 2005): 138-160.
  15. Algonquian preference for high places or hilltops for special gatherings of people (and gods and spirits) is attested in many primary source accounts of Europeans observing in the 16th and 17th centuries, including Gosnold, Pring, Champlain, Smith, Wood, Lechford, Morton, Bradford, Winslow, Winthrop, and others. Classic sources on Abenaki mythology are Charles Leland’s 1884 The Algonquian Legends of New England, available at and also on, and Joseph Nicobar’s The Life and Traditions of the Red Man (1893). Read a good summary of Algonquian religious belief at the Multicultural Canada website, The concept of manitou and the subject of (Gitchi) Manitou are taken up in more detail in Chapter 7 of this book.
  16. The story of Darby Field is retold in Russell Lawson’s Passaconaway’s Realm (2002). The two Indians who overcame their fears to accompany Field to the summit of Mt. Washington may have been the first Native Americans in history to do so, but their names were not recorded.
  17. Sources on the influence of Native American governance on America, the new republic, are found in the writings of Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, and Benjamin Rush. See, for example, A New Chapter, Images of native America in the writings of Franklin, Jefferson, and Paine, Chapter 8 in Donald Grinde and Bruce Johansen, Exemplar of Liberty, Native America and the Evolution of Democracy (1991).
  18. drawing of a caucus or council meeting “on the mat” was made by Joseph-François Lafitau, a French Jesuit missionary in Canada between 1711 and 1717. His ethnographic drawings from his book, Moeurs des sauvages ameriquains, are at the University of Cambridge in London and some may be seen on the web site of the Haddon Library. Notice the practice of raising one’s hand to be recognized to speak and the band of wampum on the mat.
  19. The etymology for mugwumps comes from The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition (Houghton Mifflin, 2000).
  20. The political cartoon, “The Writing on the Wall” by Joseph Keppler appeared on p. 199 of the June 18, 1884, issue of Puck and was reprinted on the Harper Weekly cartoon website: http:/elections/
  21. Ethnographic sources on shamans include Frederick Johnson’s Notes on Micmac Shamanism, in Primitive Man 16 (3/4): 53-80 (1943) and Frank Speck’s many articles on the subject, such as Penobscot Tales and Religious Beliefs, in Journal of American Folklore 6:38-48 (1935), and Penobscot Transformer Tales, in the International Journal of American Linguistics 1: 187-244 (1918).
  22. The colonial depiction of a shaman is in the John Carter Brown Library, Archive of Early American Images and Maps Collection, Providence, RI: Brown University, and may be seen at
  23. Daniel Gookin, Thomas Morton, and other observers reported on natives practicing sorcery against the English, which is also attested in native texts, including Passaconaway’s farewell speech. Indians consequently were caught up in the witchcraft hysteria/delusion of the 1690s, as recorded by Cotton Mather in Robert Calef, The Witchcraft delusion in New England, Volume 3: More Wonders of the invisible World (1866).
  24. Principal sources on the geopolitics among Native Americans before and during European contact include primary source accounts, such as Champlain’s; David Stewart-Smith’s ethnographies; the Massachusetts Archive Collection, Volume 30: Indian, 1603-1705: Records detailing the interactions between the Massachusetts Bay government and native peoples in New England and New York; and articles by Erik S. Johnson: Community and Confederation: A Political Geography of Contact Period Southern New England, in The Archaeological Northeast: 156-168 (Levine, Nassaney, Sassaman, and Sassaman, 2000), and Embracing Ambiguity: Native Peoples and Christianity in Seventeenth-Century North America, in Ethnohistory 50 (2): 247-259 (2003).
  25. Accounts of Masconomet meeting John Winthrop in Beverly Harbor and the founding of Ipswich by John Winthop Jr. are given in Winthrop’s 1649 History of New England 1630-1649. The Babcock (1790), Savage (1853), and Hosmer (1908) editions of Winthrop’s history make for an interesting comparison. See also Joseph Felt’s definitive History of Ipswich, Essex, and Manchester (Clamshell Press, 1966). John Winthrop Jr.’s accounts are in The Winthrop Papers (Massachusetts Historical Society, Volume 5).
  26. The mural representing Masconomet deeding Agawam to John Winthrop Jr., by Alan Pearsall, is painted on a building on Riverwalk in Ipswich, MA. The fictive 19th century portrait of the sagamore as an older man, by William Henry Tappan, hangs in the Trask House in Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA, headquarters of the Manchester Historical Society.
  27. The deeds signed by Masconomet are on the web site of the Salem (MA) Registry of Deeds. Castle Hill, the Crane Estate including Crane Beach and Castle Neck, and nearby islands, such as Choate (Hog/Hogg) Island, Long Island, Great Castle, and Castle Island, are private properties with restricted access managed by the Trustees of Reservations. See their web site at Information on archaeological research conducted on these properties is not readily available to the general public or even to researchers. The Index to site reports at the Massachusetts Historical Commission, however, indicates extensive evidence of Native American habitation and use of these places from the Early Archaic Period through the Contact Period. Margo Davis’s Archaeological Potential of the Crane Reservations, Ipswich, Massachusetts (1996), which also is not readily available to the public, has been faulted by local historians such as Tom Beddall as incomplete or inaccurate (or possibly redacted). The Stone Science Library at Boston University has a copy of the Savulis et al.1979 Archaeological Survey of Ipswich, Massachusetts (MHC#25-246).
  28. A facsimile of this deed is on the web site of the Salem Registry of Deeds.
  29. Dixy’s first-hand account of John Endecott first aiding Masconomet against the Tarrantines is reprinted in Ronald Karr’s 1999 Indian New England 1524-1674: a compendium of eyewitness accounts of native American life. John Winthrop Jr. likewise aided Masconomet against the Tarrantines on more than one occasion, such that the Massachusetts General Court issued a cease and desist order against the sagamore to deter him from seeking further aid. See the accounts of John Winthrop and John Winthrop Jr. regarding Masconomet, also summarized in Joseph Felt’s history.
  30. The precise locations of Masconomet’s residences and principal forts, and his relocations after signing the Ipswich deeds are not well understood from existing and conflicting evidence. Popular local histories have Masconomet at Castle Hill or Sagamore Hill just behind it, with a move to Hog Island prior to retirement. However, Rufus Choate’s accounts of the 1890s in Echo place Masconomet’s residence south of Argilla Road on Fox Creek overlooking Essex Bay on land later owned by John Burnum Sr. and deeded to Jonathan Cogswell in 1703 (Essex Registry of Deeds, book 15, leaf 192). According to Tom Beddall’s research, Masconomet’s principal fort and watchtowers were not on Castle Hill but on islands in Castle Neck River (called Great Castle and Castle Island, within sight of both Fox Creek and Hog Island), as shown on the map.
  31. A well researched genealogical source is Ron Wiser’s web page on the descendants of Squaw Sachem and Nanepashemet at Compare this with Ellen Knight’s “Nanepashemet Family Tree” in the February 2006. Wiser Newsletter, Volume 11, Issue 2. Nanepashemet.pdf. Wiser identifies Quonopkonat as Masconomet’s given name and points out that he had to have been related to Nanepashemet through Nanepashemet’s wife Squaw Sachem, perhaps through marriage of her youngest son, sagamore George Wenepoykin of Nahumkeak (Salem area) to one of Masconomet’s daughters. Squaw Sachem’s sons, sagamores John, James, and George, most likely were Masconomet’s nephews-in-law, who would have been classified in their Iroquois kinship system as his brothers. They in any case visited him in Agawam and came to his aid against the Tarrantines.
  32. The various spellings of Masquenominet’s name are drawn from the first town histories of Essex and Middlesex counties as well as records of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Masquenominet is taken from the deed signings of his descendant Samuel English. The reconstruction and translation of Masquenominet is mine based on reconstructed Abenaki.
  33. For accounts of Nanepashemet in Marblehead see Chapter I of Samuel Roads’ 1880 History and Traditions of Marblehead, in See also Joseph Felt’s histories. Primary sources include the accounts of the Naumkeag (Nahumkeake) Indians by Sir Ferdinando Gorges (Massachusetts Historical Society Collections, Volume 6) and by Francis Higginson (New Englands Plantation, or a Short and True Description of the Commodities and Discommodities of that Country (London, 1630).
  34. The chief source for Nanepashemet’s defenses against the Tarrantines in Salem, Marblehead, and Medford is Edward Winslow in William Bradford and Edward Winslow’s Mourt’s Relation, or Journal of the Plantation at Plymouth (1622). See also Joseph Felt’s Historical sketch of forts on Salem Neck (Essex Institute 5: 255) and John Goff’s Remembering the Tarratines and Nanepashemet: Exploring 1605-1635 Tarratine War Sites in Eastern Massachusetts, in The New England Antiquities Research Association Journal 39: 2 (2008).
  35. The texts of the historical markers given in this book come from Historical Markers Erected by the Massachusetts Bay Colony Tercentenary Commission (with texts revised by Samuel Eliot Morison), found at
  36. Felt, History of Ipswich, Essex and Hamilton, p. 3. The story of the attack on Masconomet in Agawam in 1631 is told in all the local histories, based on the accounts and letters of John Winthrop, John Winthrop Jr., and other colonial observers.
  37. See The Squaw Sachem and Her Red Men, Chapter I of Henry Smith Chapman’s History of Winchester (1936). She is first mentioned in Book I of Thomas Morton’s New English Canaan (1637); an 1883 edition with notes by Charles Francis Adams is accessible at
  38. The Bridal of Pennacook, Legends of New England, and The Garrison of Cape Ann are in Volume I of The Works of Whittier: Narrative and Legendary Poems, found online at
  39. The alliance of Massachuset, Pawtucket, Nipmuck, and others under Passaconaway of the Pennacook Confederacy is described in Sanderson Beck’s New England Confederation 1643-1664 (2006): and is also recounted in Charles Edward Beals’ Passaconaway in the White Mountains (1916) and Russell Lawson’s Passaconaway’s Realm (2002). See also Pennacook Indian History on the Access Genealogy web site:; Pietrowski’s 2002 The Indian Heritage of New Hampshire and Northern New England; the Encyclopedia of New Hampshire Indians: Tribes, Nations, Treaties of the Northeastern Woodlands by Donald Rickey (2000); and the works of David Stewart-Smith.
  40. Passaconaway’s remarkable career is summarized by Janice Brown in New Hampshire’s First Leader, Sagamore of the Penacook, Diplomat and Peacemaker: Passaconaway (c1580-c1673) at
  41. The quote about Passaconaway as a pawab or powah (i.e., sorcerer) comes from Thomas Morton’s 1637 Manners and Customs of the Indians [of New England], excerpted in Oliver J. Thatcher, ed., The Library of Original Sources (1907), Vol. V: 9th to 16th Centuries: 360-377, which may be read at the Fordham site:
  42. William Wood’s 1634 quote is from his New England’s Prospect: A True, Lively, and Experimental Description of That Part of America, commonly called New England (London, 1639); see or
  43. The drawing by Charles Edward of Passaconaway in his gourd hat comes from C. E. Potter’s 1851 History of Manchester [NH]…. ( The statue stands in Lowell, MA, formerly the Pennacook-Pawtucket village of Wamesit.
  44. The earliest historical account of the founding of Gloster Plantation, by Gloucester’s first town clerk, Obadiah Bruen, was written in 1650 after Bruen had left to help settle a “more godly” colony in Connecticut. He makes no mention of Indians. Roger Conant’s and John White’s letters, John Endicott’s papers, and the records of the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony refer rarely and only obliquely to “Indians” and “Indian lands” on Cape Ann. Because of this, and because of John Winthrop’s report of catastrophic Indian mortality further to the south, the Victorian era histories of Cape Ann by William Thornton, John Babson, Herbert Adams, and Robert Pringle also fail to mention, or barely mention, Indians. These omissions have led in turn to the present-day false belief that there were no Indians here when Gloster was planted. A case for a coexistence of Wenesquawam and Gloster on Cape Ann is presented in a later chapter.
  45. The stories of Wenuchus (Wenunchus) and the competition between Passaconaway and his son-in-law were recorded by Daniel Gookin and is retold in Alonzo’s 1844 History of Lynn, Potter’s 1856 History of Manchester (NH), Bouton’s 1856 History of Concord (MA), Corey’s 1898 History of Malden, and several other local histories. The smallpox epidemic of 1633-1634 was documented by John Winthrop.
  46. See Ellen Knight’s Nanepashemet Family Tree. Winthrop’s 1634 quotes about the smallpox deaths are on pages 114-115 of the 1908 edition of his journal, History of New England, 1630-1649: Volume 7 (1). The story of Sagamore George is told comprehensively in Chapter 2, Indians and Early Settlement of Rumney Marsh, in Benjamin Shurtleff’s History of the Town of Revere (1937; 1993).
  47. Squaw Sachem’s story and deeds are preserved in the court records of Middlesex County and in the early histories of its towns, based on colonial accounts and affadavits. See Duane Hurd’s 1890 History of Middlesex County. The text is of the missing historical marker erected by Massachusetts Bay Colony Tercentenary Commission.
  48. Aiden Ripley’s 1934 mural is in the Winchester Public Library, 80 Washington St., Winchester, MA.
  49. The Oath of 1643/44 has various versions. The earliest and presumably most authentic are recorded on p. 96 of Volume II of the 1853 edition of Winthrop’s History of New England and on pp. 73-74 of Volume II of the Massachusetts Bay Colony Records. The next chapter of this book, Chapter 7, further explores the differences between the Puritan and Native American belief systems.
  50. Massachusetts General Court Volume 30:
Indian, 1603-1705:
Records detailing the interactions between the Massachusetts Bay government and native peoples in New England and New York. Boston, MA: Massachusetts Archives. For Great Tom’s story see John J. Currier’s History of Newbury MA 1635-1902 (H Ellis Co., Boston, 1902). E.g., see his deed on p. 183.
  51. The Winthrop portraits are by unknown artists. The portrait of Richard Mather is an 1853/54 copy by George F. Wright after John Foster.
  52. The Ipswich histories record the circumstances of Masconomet’s end and gravesite. Also, contemporary articles appear on See David Rattigan’s (January 1, 2009) Led by Masconomet, Agawam now just a historical footnote at–+Massachusetts+news, and Centuries Later, a native American is buried with tribe, at
  53. Massachusetts Archives Collection, Vol. 113 (Towns: 1693-1729). For Native lawsuits over land against New England towns see also Joanne Barker, Native Acts: Law, Recognition, and Cultural Authenticity. (2011, Duke University Press).
  54. The quitclaim deeds of Masconomet’s descendants are on the website of the Salem Registry of Deeds.
  55. Recorded in, Roots Surname Database: See also the Algonquian East Family Tree DNA project at
  56. Benner, Dana. July 11, 2010. Kancamagus led Pennacook uprisings against English encroachment. The Telegraph ( See also Michael Caduto, A Time Before New Hampshire: The Story of a Land and Native Peoples (UPNE 2003); Richard Cogley, Eliot’s Mission to the Indians Before King Philip’s War (Harvard University Press 1999); and Charles Cowley 1862. Memories of the Indians and Pioneers of the Region of Lowell, Vol I. (1862, Library of Congress). Passaconaway’s burial site is a matter of contention today. E.g., see the Manataka American Indian Council (2011), Sacred Sites: Pasaconaway’s descendants struggle to protect sacred site (Mt. Agamenticus in York, ME); by Gail Courey Toensing (9/26/08): at;
  57. Passaconaway’s farewell address is cited in Olney Darling’s History of Warren, Massachusetts (1874), and Daniel Gookin’s 1674 (1692) Historical collections of the Indians of New England and their several nations, numbers, customs, manners, religion, and government before the English planted there. Massachusetts Historical Society Collections. First series. Boston: