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Deerfield, Mass.

Last Updated Dec-2008

Wabanaki Family Names Known Here

Wabanaki Events That Occurred Here

Bits & Pieces from Books, news-clippings, etc.

A visit - Our people were thrown into a state of considerable emotion last Monday evening and Tuesday, by the encampment of a body of Indians from Canada, about twenty five in number who took up their lodgings in the woods near the house of Samuel Picket Esq. about three miles from the village. They remained there until about four o'clock on Tuesday, when they passed through the village and went to Deerfield where they encamped, and still remain. They appear to be comfortably well off for Indians, having several horses and wagons, and a goodly supply of blankets and buffalo robes. They are of the St. Francis tribe, in Canada, and are descendants of Eunice Williams, daughter of Rev. John Williams, who, it will be recollected, was, with his family, carried captive when Deerfield was destroyed in 1704. One of the party, a woman of 86 years, the mother of the rest, is grand daughter to Eunice. She scorns the effeminate comforts of civilized life as much as her grandmother did when she visited her afflicted Father, and resists every importunity to lodge indoors. They are very hospitably treated by the Deerfield people. We understand they will return to their homes, from which they have been absent nearly a year, by the way of Albany.

Source: Gazette and Mercury - Greenfield MA Vol. 7 No. 530, August 15, 1837
Contributed by: Marge Bruchac

Civilization rebuked by the savages - We are informed that a party of men from this town went over to Deerfield Sabbath before last, to make a visit to the Indians who were encamped there. On going into their lodges, one of the "savages" enquired what the party had come for. "To visit you" was the reply, "We don't receive visits on the Sabbath, please to withdraw" - was the answer. They did withdraw with "a flea in their ear," and these "natives of the forest" quietly and decorously attended divine service. Their revered progenitor, Rev. John Williams, would have rendered heartfelt thanks, to have known that his aboriginal descendants would thus respect divine institutions, and so pointedly and justly rebuke those of his own race, who had so far forgotten their duty to their MAKER as to profane his holy day. This party of Indians have demeaned themselves with impudence, and yet with the utmost propriety. They passed through this village last Friday and took the Albany road, on their return to Canada. They will have become extensive tourists by the time they reach home.

Source: Gazette and Mercury - Greenfield MA Vol. 7 No. 532, August 29, 1837
Contributed by: Marge Bruchac

Ne-Do-Ba Comment - - - Eunice Williams was adopted into an Iroquois family and remained in Canada. She married into the Iroquois tribe at Caughnawaga. Here we learn that a group of St. Francis Abenaki are visiting Eunice's old New England hometown and claim to be her descendants. Although they are not identified by name here, we do learn more about these descendants of Eunice through another source, Dr. Stephen William. In 1849 the doctor wrote a paper in which we find the following statement "When the tribe of Indians from Canada were here in 1837, Louis Watso, their doctor, gave me an account of the principal medical plants they use in their practice." So we learn that this is the family of Louis Watso - but despite our research attempts it remains unclear how this Abenaki family descends from Eunice and her Iroquois husband.

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