Skip to content

1800s-1960s

Displacement & Continuity

Abenaki Place-Names in the Champlain Valley

Gordon Day, an anthropologist, linguist, and one of the foremost scholars of Abenaki who worked closely with the Odanak community wrote, “The last village in the Champlain Valley to be occupied by the Abenakis was Missisquoi, and this seems to have been abandoned during the American Revolution. From then until about 1960 there was a more or less continuous visiting and short-term residence by Abenakis from Saint François to old familiar location in the valley.”

1981

Indian Place Names of New England

Dr. John Huden was a historian and faculty at the University of Vermont. About the Abenaki he wrote: “Today their descendants mostly live at Odanak (St. Francis), Quebec” and “William Simon [Obum Sawin], last male Abnaki resident of Vermont, died in 1959.”

1962

The Abenakis: Aborigines of Vermont

Stephen Laurent, son of the Abenaki chief Joseph Laurent, told the Vermont Historical Society, “There were, even as late as 1790, a cluster of about fifty Abenaki lodges at the place now called, Swanton, Vermont.”

1956

Gazetteer and Business Directory of Franklin and Grand Isle Counties, VT

Hamilton Child was a historian of Vermont and New York and published business directories in many local counties. In a section titled “Aboriginal Occupancy,” he writes:  “In 1755, the northern parts of Lake Champlain were in the possession of the St. Francis tribe of Indians, who wintered there in large numbers and subsisted by hunting and fishing; and as late as the time of the Revolutionary war.”

1883

Information Respecting the History, Condition and Prospects of the Indian Tribes of the United States

In 1847, the Bureau of Indian Affairs hired Henry Schoolcraft, a graduate of Middlebury College and the husband of a Chippewa woman, to survey the Native American tribes in the U.S. Of the Abenakis he wrote: “A tribe of Indians formerly inhabiting the territory which now comprises a part of the States of Maine and New Hampshire.”

1854

Biography and History of the Indians of North America, from its First Discovery to the Year 1841

Drake writes as a historian who attempted “to locate the various bands of Aborigines, ancient and modern, and to convey the best information respecting their numbers.” Of the “Abenakies” he writes: “over Maine till 1754, then went to Canada.”

9th edition, 1845

Report to the Secretary of War of the United States on Indian Affairs

Jedidiah Morse was a geographer employed by the Secretary of War, to document all Native American nations in and around the United States at the time. He documented 11 tribes in New England, but did not mention the Abenaki [Wabanaki] outside of Maine.

1822

Travels Through the Northern Parts of the United States in the Years 1807 and 1808

Edward Kendall traveled extensively in Vermont and documented encounters with Indigenous people in other locations, but never in Vermont.

1809

Find more information about these sources


Enduring Presence

“John B. Watso, Abnaki Indian, Visits Newport”

Watso was a frequent visitor and teacher at the YMCA “Camp Abnaki.”

1957

“15-Foot Totem Pole, Carved by Indian, Unveiled And Dedicated Amid Ceremonies at Camp Abnaki”

12 Abenakis from Odanak, including chief Wa Wa Nolette, visited camp Abenaki in North Hero for the dedication ceremony of a totem pole carved by an Abenaki from a tree from the Odanak Reservation in Quebec.

1951

“31st Season at Camp Abnaki Begins June 20”

“Real Abnaki Indian, Son of Present Chief of Tribe for Whom Camp Was Named, to Spend Six Weeks with Boys There.”

1931

History of Barnet, Vermont, from the Outbreak of the French and Indian War to Present Time

“Yet within the recollection of many who are still living, small bands of the Abenaquis Indians came down the river in birchbark canoes in summer during several years… Such a company visited Newbury as late as 1857” -Historian Frederic Palmer Wells

1923

History of the Town of Rockingham

“The Abenaqui Indians used to frequently return here previous to the last century after they were driven away by the early setters… The last remnant of this tribe came to Bellows Falls early in the summer, about 1856, in their birchbark canoes.” -Historian Lyman Simpson Hayes

1907

Find more information about these sources