Manataka American Indian Council





Abenaki Chiefs and Leaders


Abbigadasset,  An Abnaki sachem whose residence was on the coast of Maine
near the mouth of Kennebec River.  He conveyed tracts of land to Englishmen conjointly with Kennebis.  In 1667 he deeded Swans Island to Humphrey Davy-Drake, Bk. Inds, bk. 3, 101, 1837

Moxus. A chief of the Abnaki, called also Agamagus, the first signer of the treaty of 1699, and seemingly the successor of Madokawandu (Drake, Inds. of N. Am., 294, 1880). He signed also the treaty with Gov. Dudley in 1702, but a year afterward unsuccessfully besieged the English fort at Casco, Me. He treated with the English in 1713, and again in 1717. It was he who in 1689 captured Pemaquid from the English.


Orono. A Penobscot chief, born, according to tradition, on Penobscot r., Me., in or about 1688. According to one tradition he was a descendant of Baron de Castine, and although Williamson, who seems to have seen him and was familiar with his later career, is disposed to reject this story (Mass. Hist. Soc. ColL, 3d s., ix, 82-91, 1846), yet from Orono's own admissions it is possible that lie was a son of Castine's daughter, who married a Frenchman, and with her children was taken captive in 1704. Nickolar, who was related to Orono by marriage, asserted, according to Williamson, that Orono was in some way related to old Castine; moreover he asserts that Orono was not of full blood, but part white-"a half breed or more." Orono informed Capt. Munsell (Williamson, op. cit., 83) that his father was a Frenchman and his mother half French and half Indian. He had none of the physical characteristics of an Indian save that he was tall, straight, and well proportioned. Very little is known of him until he had passed his 50th year. That lie embraced the Roman Catholic faith while comparatively young, and that he was only a subordinate chief until he had reached his 75th year, are confirmed by the scanty records of his history. Until 1759 Tomasus, or Tomer, was head-chief of the Penobscot, when he was succeeded by Osson, who in turn was succeeded by Orono about 1770 or 1774. These three were ardent advocates of peace at the commencement of the French and Indian war in 1754, and until war was declared against the tribe by the English colonists. In 1775 Orono and three of his colleagues went, with one Andrew Gilman as interpreter, to profess their friendship and to tender their services to the Massachusetts government. They met the Provincial Congress at Watertown on June 21, where they entered into a treaty of amity with that body and offered assistance, and afterward proved faithful allies of the colonists during their struggle for independence. Orono was held in as high esteem after the war as before; and in 1785 and 1796 entered into treaties with Massachusetts, by which his tribe ceded certain portions of their lands and fixed permanent limits to the parts reserved. At the time of the latter treaty Orono is said to have reached his 108th year. He died at his home at Oldtown, Me., Feb. 5. 1802. His wife. who was a full blood Indian and his almost lifelong compainon, served him a few years.  Orono had a son, who was accidently shot about 1774, aged 25 years; and a daughter who married Capt. Nickolar.  Orono was buried in the cemetery at Stillwater.  Penobscot County, Maine, in the vicinity of the town that bears his name. 


Osunkhirhine, Pierre Paul. An Abnaki Indian of St Francis, near Pierreville, Quebec, noted for his translations, especially of religious works, into the Penobscot dialect of the Abnaki language, published from 1830 to 1844.  He received a good education at Moore's Charity School, Hanover N. H. and returned to his home as a Protestant missionary.  In some of his published works (Pilling, bibliog. Algonq. Lang., 539-40, 1891) his name  appears as Wzokhilain, because it could not be more exactly transliterated into the Abnaki language.


Squando. An Abnaki sachem of the Sokoki, known generally as the "Sagamore of Saco" He was credited with seeing visions and was called by Mather "a strange, enthusiastical sagamore." His wife and child had been insulted by the English, and he took part in the war of 1675-76 and in the burning of Saco.  He signed the treaty of Cocheco.

From Blue Panther Keeper of Stories