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Joseph Deny

Created April 2003
Updated Nov-2009

Joseph Denny and his companion, Elizabeth Polis, were Wabanaki basket makers traveling around western Maine in the 1870s and 1880s. Joseph was born about 1818, if his age is stated correctly at the time of his death. According to Elizabeth, Joe never married and lived with his mother at Old Town until she died. Around 1872, he took up with Elizabeth, as her hired man, to do her "basket stuff". Joe and Elizabeth were boarding at a home in Richmond, Maine in December of 1883, when on the evening of December 12, 1883 Joe was murdered and she was raped. Unfortunately, all we know about Joseph comes from statements made as a result of his brutal murder.

Ne-Do-Ba Comment - - - As you read through the various versions of events (links below), please keep the time period of the event in mind. White attitudes towards Indians were much different from today.

Additional Documents in this Series:
Newspaper Coverage of the Murder - Lewiston Evening Journal
Newspaper Coverage of the Murder - Daily Kennebec Journal
Newspaper Coverage of the Murder - Boston Daily Globe
Newspaper Coverage of the Trial - Lewiston Journal
Elizabeth Polis - In Her Own Words
Learn More:
Elizabeth Polis - Biography