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Pierre Jerome Wasamimet
aka Peter Emmett

Last updated Feb-2009

General Background

Pierre Jerome Wasamimet was born about March of 1809, probably at the Abenaki village of Odanak in Quebec. He was known at Odanak by the name Jerome Wasamimet. He was the son of Francois Pierre Wasamimet and Marie Josephte Annance, both Abenaki of that village. The family also had a grant of land at Durham PQ received in 1805. Francois Pierre Wasamimet served the position of Chief at Odanak and served in the British military during the War of 1812.

A photo of Peter Emmett

On 12-Feb-1828 Jerome married Marie Cecile Portneuf in the Catholic Church at St. Francois du-Lac (Odanak) in Quebec. Together they had at least 5 children, only one, Jean Jerome b. 8-Oct-1835, appears to have survived to adulthood.

Jerome, his brother Elijah (aka Lazare & Eleazar) Wasamimet, and their cousin, Louis Annance were all well known in the Rangeley Lakes region of Maine in the 1830s and 1840s. Louis Annance moved his family further east to Moosehead Lake while Jerome & Elijah went to Sharon Springs NY. At Sharon Springs they joined with their sister's family, that of Francois Lagrave aka Frank Brazil.

While living in the Rangeley area, Jerome and other Abenaki of the region frequented the home of Rev. Richard Lombard, who had moved up to Wilson's Mills from Gorham about 1825. Here Jerome met and fell in love with the Reverend's daughter, Catherine. Also while here he was converted to and baptized in the Methodist Religion by his future father-in-law.

Jerome & Catherine arrive at Sharon Springs about 1851. At Sharon Springs we find Jerome along with brother Elijah and sister Lucy's family all working as basket makers in an 1855 Census of that town. At Sharon Springs all of the Wasamimets are found using the surname Emmett and Jerome is now called Peter. They have not been located in the 1850 or 1860 Federal Census. In the 1870 Federal Census, we find Peter J. Emmett and family at Herkimer NY still making baskets. In the 1880 Federal Census, we find Peter Emmett as a farm laborer at Orleans NY.

Jean Jerome Wasamimet, a son by Jerome's first wife, remained with family at Odanak and married there on 4-Jul-1859 to Angelique Dauphine in the Catholic Church at Pierreville, Quebec.

With Catherine, Peter had 1 daughter and 2 sons. Their first child, Eunice A. Emmett, was born about 1847 somewhere in Otsego County, NY according to some records. She married Henry Williams and they were living in Richfield Springs, NY in 1870. She was still living in Oct. of 1912.

Their second child was a son, Gordon Z. Emmett, born about 1858 also in Otsego County, NY according to some records. He married before 1870 to a woman named Helen and they are found living next to his father in the 1870 & 1880 Census. In the 1900 Census, he was found at Thousand Island Park, NY.

The youngest child was Henry Huntington Emmett, born 31-Jan-1852 probably at Sharon Springs, NY. He became a much beloved Baptist minister and was a well known lecturer on the subject of North American Indians in his later years.

Peter Jerome Emmett died 8-Feb-1900 at Warsaw NY. His widow, Catherine, died at the age of 98, on 12-Oct-1912 also at Warsaw. She was survived by their daughter, Eunice.

Written by: Canyon Wolf for Ne-Do-Ba

Double Curve Design by Hannah Susep



There fell asleep in this village at the home of his daughter on Brooklyn street, at five o'clock on Saturday morning, a man of more than ordinary character. He was known to most of us as Peter J. Emmett, and one who was a most faithful and consistent member of the Methodist church for more than sixty years, having been baptized in the Magalloway River, Maine, by his father-in-law, Rev. Richard Lombard. Where ever he went he carried with him his church letter and at the earliest opportunity would present it, feeling it was his place to have his name written there. For a number of years he was in the employ of the Hudson Bay Fur company, going to the farther north, being a trusted messenger, and that all messages arrived safely at their destination, was one of the proofs that their confidence in the man was not misplaced. When chosen head chief of his tribe the "Abnekis," the honor was not coveted, as others of his family had held the place for many years, a nephew holds the post to day. It was a very true and worthy compliment paid to him by a gentleman who had known him for a number of years, when he said "No truer or purer man than this man have i known during my life time, and he who made his acquaintance was the better for having known him." He has gone to the land of rest, and his memory like the rest is blessed. As the memory of the man comes to the writer, he can see him as with face upturned he talked face to face with God in his Indian tongue, and as you saw his face or heard his prayer you would say here was one who saw God. He was the personification of God's best gift to the world. A most devoted and Christian wife, who has been to him a refuge in all storms of life for more than sixty years, is left to mourn the loss of one who was to her all that the name of husband and father could mean, and the most tender and truest affection that one human heart could bestow upon an other. The three children will be to her such a comfort as true children will be to one of the noblest of mothers. The children and grandchildren will always keep in fresh sweet memory that they carry always through their lives and become incentive to a nobler life as the mantle of the father and grandfather falls upon them in the days to come. The family that is now left is the wife, Catherine J. Emmett, one daughter, Mrs. Eunice A. Williams, widow of the late Harry Williams, and two sons, Gordon Z. Emmett, of Thousand Island Park, N.Y., and Rev. Henry Huntington Emmett, pastor of the First Baptist church of Greenville, Pa. For a number of years Mr. and Mrs. Emmett have spent different portions of their time with their children, at whose homes they always found a warm place and loving hands to minister to them, and to them there comes words "not lost but gone before." The funeral services were held at the home of his daughter Monday afternoon, Rev. E. J. Whitney, officiating. One of the most tender and touching tributes ever paid to a man in this village was given by John B. Smallwood, who was a warm personal friend, and the most affectionate ties bound them together. The interment was in the Warsaw cemetery.

Source: local newspaper, Warsaw NY, Feb [8th] 1900
Contributed by: Pauline Matthews