The Cowasucks Refuse Refuge 1704


"Withdrawal, and even migration, was a common Abenaki response to military danger and the disruption of war. Many Abenakis followed well-worn paths to mission villages in Canada, where the French welcomed them with open arms. IN 1704, Governor Vaudreuil invited several tribes to resettle on the St. Lawrence where they could enjoy French protection against the English. Some bands accepted, but the Cowasucks preferred to stay and fight in their homeland. The same month that the Cowasuck delegates were decling Vaudreuil's offer, Caleb Lyman was leading his expedition against their village.

Speech of the Abenaki Indians of Cowasuck to the Governor-General, 13 June 1704

Father, to tell the truth you have shown great care for me in inviting me to come and settle on your lands. However, I cannot bring myself to come there because the English have already struck me too hard. I believe, therefore, that the only place where I can strike back against the English is the place I come from, which is called Cowasuck. I could not do that easily if I was in your country. (Presented a wampum belt.)

Father, hear me, I wish to remain at Cowasuck. It is true you have acted well in offering me a fort on your lands, and that would have been good if we had been at peace as we used to be, and we could have done it easily. But hear me, I am a warrior. I offer you my village which is like a fort thrust towards the enemy, sot hatyour lands on this side can be protected, and so that you can think of me as "my child who is at Cowasuck to carry on the war and protect me, serving as a palisade against my enemies.""

National Archives of Canda, MG1 F3, vol. 2:407-10; editor's translation.

The above was taken from Dawnland Encounters, Indians and Europeans in Northern New England,
Edited by Colin G. Calloway; pp. 151-152, (c) 1991 by University Press of New England.
Permission to reprint the above is pending.

Back to Our History Main Page


© 2002, 2017 COWASS North America Inc. | All Rights Reserved | Updated March, 2017
Site Designed & Maintained by Internet Strategy Management, LLC | Contact the Webmaster