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Indigenous Peoples in the Area
of Newbury

Paleoindians (Clovis People)

Named for the site near Clovis, NM where the first artifacts of this macroculture were discovered in the early 1930’s, the Clovis People dated to the late Ice Age (12,000-15000 years BP*). These people were semi-migratory hunters, reliant on the megafauna extant at the time for food, clothing, tools, and shelter. These now extinct animals may have included aurochs, mammoths, giant ground sloths, mastodons, and wooly rhinos.

A presumed Paleoindian site was discovered at Bull Brook in current day Ipswich in the 1950’s. This area was bounded by the Ipswich shore and Jeffrey’s Ledge, a sea mount which, at that time, was an island. The topography of this location made it a choke point point for migrating caribou and other large herd mammals. Between 11,500 and 11,000 years ago, eight different bands of people met seasonally at Bull Brook to harvest this resource.

A number of climate and human factors is believed to have led to the end of the Paleoindian life in the Northeast. First, the melting ice sheet, which covered a large part of North America, caused flooding of the land and a rise in sea level estimated between 35 and 130 meters in the period between 12,000 and 8,000 BP. As the last glacier receded, the tundra at its leading edge was replaced by evergreen forests and grasslands. During the same period, the increase in human populations may have led to overhunting and subsequent reduction in the megafauna which were so important to the Paleoindians. Whether these populations died out, migrated away from coastal New England, or simply adapted and became the ancestors of later Indigenous Peoples is still an open question.

Archaic Period

The Maritime Archaic peoples were formerly referred to as the Red Paint People, because of their ceremonial and decorative use of red ochre pigment. 


Sea level change at the end of the last ice age drown coastal forests creating bays at river mouths and an estuarial landscape with beaches and dunes. These changes created new habitats for new food resources.

As the climate and the landscape changed, the Maritime Archaics adapted to fishing, shell- fishing, gathering wild food plants and hunting small game for their survival. The  adaptation to eating shellfish provided the people with a year-round protein source. This adaptation meant that families, no longer tied to the migrating herds, could create more permanent settlements.

One of the largest of these settlements was found at Shattuck Farm, at a bend in the Merrimack River in current-day Andover. Study of this site suggests a large population dating back to as
early as 8,000 BP*.

A 1977 archeological survey of an area which is now the Newburyport Waterfront discovered
stone implements estimated to be from the Late Archaic Period, around 5,100 BP.

A large collection of artifacts (The Coffin Stream Collection) unearthed over many years in a market garden near the Artichoke River near what is now called Indian Hill in West Newbury suggests 5,000 years of continuous habitation during the Late Archaic and Early Woodland
Periods (6,500-1500 BP).

Technological innovations during the Archaic period include the atlatl, tools for working wood, ceramics, and the dugout canoe.











The atlatl was a simple spear-throwing device. It was made by carving a groove or notch into the end of a wooden shaft 2-3 feet long. With the butt of the spear placed in the notch, the thrower would grasp the other end of the atlatl and use an overhead arcing motion to propel the
spear. This, in effect, lengthened the arm of the thrower, thereby  increasing the force, distance, and accuracy of the throw. Stone weights called bannerstones were added to the atlatls to increase the force of the throw. Bannerstones are among the Archaic artifacts found in
Newbury and elsewhere in Essex County.

The dugout canoe was made by using fire to hollow out a large tree trunk. The resulting canoe was strong enough to withstand the rigors of coastal navigation. Being a single piece (early “unibody construction”), the dugout had a very long useful life.

Woodland Period

At the end of the Archaic period peoples from the Great Lakes Region began migrating into New England. They gradually rep aced or mixed with the people who were already here. The so-called Eastern Woodland Indians introduced three critical innovations; the bow and arrow, the bark canoe, and the cultivation of corn.

* BP (Before Present) is used as a point of chronological reference. Previously BC (Before Christ) and later BCE (Before Current
Era) were used to mark years before a reference of 0, marked by the birth of Jesus Christ. BP moves the year 0 to 1950 CE, based
on potential alterations in deposits of radioactive carbon made by atmospheric tests of nuclear weapons in the 1950’s, which may
make radiocarbon dating inaccurate. 

The largest settlements in the area included the Shattuck Farm site, Wamesit (current-day Lowell), Pentucket (current day Haverhill), Agawam (current-day Ipswich) and Kwaskwakikwen
(around the Parker River and Old Town Hill in Newbury).
Their dwellings were wigwams. Sixteen poles would be stuck in the ground around a circular perimeter, with the tops bent to the center and tied together with rope made from plant fiber or roots to form a frame. The frame would be covered with oak bark in winter or woven mats in the summer, leaving an opening in the top center to serve as a chimney. The size of the wigwam depended on the size of the family, but they typically slept up to ten people.

The people of the Late Woodland Period grew corn, beans, and squashes to add to their diet of wild plants, venison, small game, fish and shellfish. They maintained substantial communities of extended family bands. The people fished Atlantic waters, Plum Island Sound and local rivers, cleared and planted croplands, and harvested the grasses, fruits, berries and nuts of the beaver meadows and upland forests. Meetings and exchanges of goods were common between bands especially at seasonal fishing grounds. Among these areas were Pawtucket Falls on the Merrimack at present-day Lowell, Amoskeag Falls, on the Merrimack at present-day Manchester NH, and the falls of the Quascacunquen River (now called the Parker) at current- day Byfield.


The people utilized multiple methods of harvesting the abundant fish of the region. Spears tipped with barbed points made of bone or antler could be used either from shore or from canoes to catch sturgeon, salmon, or bass. Local fishermen were especially adept at night
fishing for sturgeon using the light from torches to lure the large fish to the surface. People also used fish weirs, fishing nets, cast nets, woven eel traps and crab pots.

The evolution of the upland landscape to vast mixed deciduous forests, interspersed with lakes and ponds led to the transition of the local fauna to stable populations of more territorial species such as elk, deer, and bear. The bow and arrow were much better adapted to hunting in these
thick forests than the atlatl, which was better suited to hunting in large open spaces. The people hunted small game (rabbits, beaver, and foxes) with snare or drop-weight traps and they used bows with stone or bone-tipped arrows to hunt deer, moose, elk, and bear.


Land was cleared for crops by controlled burns (slash-and-burn), Forestry practices included cutting a strip of bark around the circumference of the trees, know as “belting” or “girdling.” A girdled tree would eventually die and serve as a standing source of firewood. Crops were planted in rows of mounds between the stumps of the burned trees, perpendicular to the flow of groundwater. This method greatly reduced soil erosion and took advantage of the potash from the burnt trees. Corn, beans, and squashes were planted together. The corn stalks provided a place for the beanstalks to climb, and the wide squash leaves provided shade to prevent the roots of the corn from drying out. This method of planting has been referred to as the “Three Sisters” method.


As corn is a notoriously soil-depleting crop, a single field would only be used for 2-3 seasons, and then allowed to revert to nitrogen-fixing grasses for several years or even decades before being planted again. The fact that the people did not use irrigation or fertilizers facilitated this
“mobile farming” method.


Economic diversification due to abundant year-round and seasonally available food sources allowed for increases in population size, stability, and security.

Families moved to their camps near seasonal food sources. During the spring, they might congregate near the Falls at Byfield to set up fish weirs and eel traps to take advantage of the spring spawn. In the summer, they might relocate to the area near Joppa Flats or on Plum
Island to harvest shellfish and to fish for bass and cod. In the fall they would return to the planted fields to harvest. In the winter, they would return to the upland forests to hunt and trap beaver and other fur-bearing animals. Transportation from camp to camp was typically by
canoe, with portages between rivers and creeks.


They did not move their wigwams when they changed locations, they would simply build new ones, or, if they were lucky, reoccupy the ones they had left behind in a previous season. This tradition would cause them problems in their later dealings with European settlers.

Tribal, Group, and Place Names

It should be noted that concepts like “tribe,” and “nation” were not used by Indigenous Peoples to define or distinguish themselves. Instead, these were constructs used by European settlers

to organize these peoples into the kinds of political structures they were familiar with. In fact,many of the names given to native “tribes” were actually the Indigenous Peoples’ names for the places where they lived, such as Agawam and Amoskeag. 

The predominant group of people in the lower Merrimack Valley were Algongquian-speaking people called known as the Pennacook-Pawtucket. The English colonists also called them the Pentucket (Haverhill), the Wamesit (Lowell), and the Agawam (Ipswich/Essex) Indians. At the time of Europeans settlement, diverse Algongquian bands, tribes, and nations had homelands ranging from the Arctic Circle to Chesapeake Bay. “Algongquian” refers to a language family
containing 46 distinct languages and dialects, including Abenaki, which was spoken by the Indigenous People of Essex County. All Algongquian-speaking people derived from a population that immigrated from the Great Lakes region after the end of the Pleistocene.

The Pennacook and Pawtucket spoke forms of the Abenaki language and were related to other Indigenous Peoples of Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and Eastern Canada. They were allied with the Western Abenaki, Massachuset, and Nipmuc to their south. Their traditional enemies were the Eastern Abenaki also known as the Tarratines, which included the Micmac/Mi’Kmaq/Mi’gmaw, the Passamoquoddy/Peskotomahkati, the Maliseet/Wolastowiwiyik,
and sometimes the Penobscot/Panawahpskewi to the east

Politics and War

The basic political unit was the band, which was an extended family kingroup, based on lineal descent. Bands allied themselves with neighboring bands for trade and mutual defense, and became related through band exogamy, a rule which required women to marry outside their band. The leader of a large band was called a sagamore. Alliances of bands were led by male sachems or female saunkskwas. Also influential was the shaman or powaw, who was recognized as a healer and conjurer. In some cases, an individual might be both powaw and sachem. This was the case with Passaconaway of the Pennacook.

The Tarrratines of Northern Maine, Eastern Canada, and nova Scotia were mainly hunter-gatherers. They frequently raided agricultural settlements in Eastern New England by canoe to steal corn and kidnap women. Between 1600 and 1635 the “Tarratine Wars” extended along
the New Hampshire and Massachusetts coasts, with significant losses on all sides. Raids went as far south as Martha’s Vineyard sand Nantucket,

In 1619 Sachem Nanepashemet was killed at his fort at Medford. He was succeeded by his widow, a saunkskwa who the English called Squaw Sachem. She and her sons administered lands currently comprising parts of Essex and Middlesex Counties. In 1640 Squaw Sachem, Maconomet and others allied themselves with the Pennacook Confederacy under Passaconaway. The Pennacook Confederacy, which pledged peace with the English, ended with King Philip’s war in 1675.

As a response to the Tarratine raids, the Pawtucket made an alliance with the Penacook of the upper Merrimack under Sagamore Papisseconnewa. This alliance lasted through the Colonial Period.

European Contact

Vikings were the first Europeans to make landfall on the North American continent in Newfoundland. In fact, some suggest that ancient stones carved with Viking runes were discovered in what is now Byfield (they have since disappeared). While there is some evidence of the presence of Vikings in the Gulf of Maine as early as 1,000 years ago, there is no evidence of Viking settlement in New England.

As early as the 1300’s Basque, Breton, and Flemish ships were fishing the cod-rich waters of the Grand Banks and Gulf of Maine. The European fishermen would land along the New England coast and established seasonal fishing camps where they could acquire water and
other essentials, and where they built drying racks for the fish they caught. Interactions with the indigenous peoples of the coast would have been inevitable.

In 1602, Sachem Poquanum (aka Black Will) met and traded with Bartholomew Gosnold on Nahant. Gosnold was surprised to see that Poquanum was wearing a European-made cloth coat - evidence of earlier contact. Poquanum drew a map for Gosnold describing the Cape Ann area. Gosnold’s shipmate, Matthew Pring, returned the following year to trade with “the Indians” for sassafras, a valuable medicinal.

In 1604 Samuel de Champlain landed in what is now Rockport and traded with Indigenous People there. They drew him a map of the Massachusrtts coastline. In 1605 Champlain found the Merrimack River and named it Riviere du Gas (luckily the name didn’t stick). In 1606 he
landed at Rocky Neck in Gloucester Harbor. His map of the area shows wigwams and corn plantings around the harbor. 

In 1616, Captain John Smith while searching for new locations to colonize, missed the Merrimack entirely, as it was hidden by Plum Island. He did, however, name the nearby landmass Cape Tragabigzanda (that one didn’t stick either). Prince Charles (Later King Charles I) renamed it Cape Ann, in honor of his mother. Smith’s map of the New England coast became a standard reference during the period of English settlement.


Along with beads and iron pots, the Europeans brought diseases against which the native peoples of the American continent had no natural immunity. Successive waves of devastating bacterial and viral diseases including leptospirosis, hepatitis, measles and smallpox ravaged Native populations.

Two major pandemics took hold in New England in the early 17th Century. Between 1616 and 1619 an epidemic swept through New England. The English referred to it as “The Time of the
Great Dying.” In 1633 a smallpox outbreak devastated the remaining population. Squaw Sachem lost two of her sons in this outbreak.

One famous illustration of the devastation is the story of Tisquantum, popularly known as Squanto of Pilgrim fame. He was a Patuxet who was kidnapped by Englishman Thomas Hunt, and was transported to Spain where he was sold into slavery. He eventually escaped, and got
to England. He returned to New England in 1619 to find that all the people in his home village had died in the pandemic.

Estimates of death totals from these events vary widely. One reason is that the Europeans had no real handle on the size of native populations before the pandemics. Another reason was that the Europeans could use inflated death numbers to their advantage by trivializing the native
presence in lands that they, the Europeans, wished to claim. Also, Indigenous People had a tradition of abandoning areas which were associated with bad events, like pandemics. Abandoned villages were assumed by the English to have been “wiped out” by disease, further
skewing the estimates.

Settlement and Interaction

When the first European settlers arrived on the Quascacunquen (Parker) River, the local Pawtucket welcomed them in hopes that they would offer some protection from Tarratine raiders. They also wanted to trade for manufactured goods like cloth, tools, and weapons. The Europeans saw seemingly limitless arable land and rich fisheries.

Whether from cultural ignorance or as post-facto justification, the English found the fallow fields and apparently abandoned dwellings and erroneously assumed that the inhabitants had died off in the plagues of the previous decade.

The mismatch of indigenous and European norms of land use didn’t end there. In England, land was enclosed and fences were needed around agricultural fields to prevent damage by domestic livestock, which were allowed to roam freely to forage. Native American peoples did not keep domestic livestock, so they didn’t need to build fences.

Fences were an outward symbol of the most fundamental difference between the English and Indigenous concept of real property. To the English, land was a commodity; a fixed asset. It was owned in full and immovable. It represented wealth. To the Native Americans, land was a
shared resource to be used for the common good. To the Indigenous People, saying you owned the land was like saying you owned the ocean. It was a ridiculous concept.

Massachusetts Governor John Winthrop summed up the English position on Native American land ownership when he said, “That which is common to all is proper to none,” meaning that, as the Native Peoples did not claim ownership of the land, they had no title to it; expressed or
implied. The fallow fields and vacant wigwam villages were vacuum domicilum or empty spaces under English Common Law and free to be fenced, planted, and claimed by the English settlers.


Land Transfer/Deeds

In the minds of the First Settlers, their right to the lands they occupied in Newbury was derived from the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and, ultimately, from the King of England. By the Right of Discovery, the rights to the land were granted by the Sovereign, who
owned a huge swath of North America; bounded by the St. Lawrence River to the North, the Appalachian Mountains to the West and Florida to the South.

In order to ensure peaceful relations with the indigenous peoples, the General Court established laws early on that required the English settlers in Essex County to compensate the Natives for any land they occupied. Unfortunately, enforcement of these laws was inconsistent and boundary lines tended to be somewhat fluid.

The earliest known deeded transfer of land in New England dates to 1602-1603 (prior to the establishment of the Massachusetts Bay Colony), when Poquanum executed a deed for Nahant and what is now Swampscott to Thomas Dexter. This deed was later revoked.

In 1634, a group of English investors including Richard Dummer bought a tract of land in present day Byfield from Masconomet for raising cattle.

In 1637, Maconomet transferred to John Winthrop Jr. all the Agawam lands between Labor in Vain Creek and Chebacco Creek for the sum of 20 pounds. This tract represents a significant portion of present day Ipswich and Essex. In the following year, Maconomet deeded the rest of
Agawam, from the Merrimack River to Salem Sound, including the Great Salt Marsh, to the English for another 20 pounds. The Dummer tract was specifically exempted from this deed.

In 1650, Great Tom Indian deeded to the Selectmen of Newbury 30 acres of land near Indian Hill (present day West Newbury) for three pounds. Tom had made an effort to assimilate. He fenced his fields, converted to Christianity, paid taxes, and raised livestock. He fell into debt, which forced him to sell his farm. In order to survive, he indentured himself, his wife, and his children to the Gerrish, Somerby, and Toppan Families of Newbury. 

In 1635 the Selectmen granted large tracts of land near the Falls of the Parker River (currently Byfield) to Richard Dummer (extending his original deed from Masconomet) and Henry Sewall. These grants were of 500 acres each, with Dummer’s to the South of the river and Sewall’s to the North. This land was a seasonal gathering place for the local Pawtucket, who set their fish weirs at the falls to take advantage the spawning salmon and shad.

These land grants were disputed for over 20 years. Old Will Indian (a.k.a Pumpassanoway) had a farm and lived in a wigwam on what was now considered Sewall’s property. When Sewall Jr. acquired the land he tried to intimidate Old Will into moving. Old Will held fast.

In 1661 the General Court handed down an ambiguous ruling stating that Sewall’s claim to the land was “confirmed by the Towne of Newbury,” but, if “…said Indians, or any other, have any legal right unto any part of said land, Henry Sewall shall hereby have liberty to purchase the same land of the said Indians”

Basically, the Court ruled that Sewall owned the land, but, even if he didn’t and the Indians did, he could purchase it from them. Either way, Sewall keeps the land. This illustrates the position of the settlers regarding the land they occupied. They would not relinquish their titles, but, under sufficient pressure, they might grant some compensation to other claimants.

In 1679, Old Will’s family sued Sewall to recover the land at the Falls. The fact that a lawsuit was brought under English Law points to the growing sophistication of the Pawtucket in playing the Englishmen’s game. In fact, the lawyer for the plaintiffs was Andrew Pittimee, himself an indigenous person from Natick. Three settlers supported Old Will’s claim in sworn testimony to the Court. A settlement was reached which allowed Old Will to stay in his home. Sewall kept the land.

In 1681, Job Indian, the grandson of Old Will, formally transferred the land to Sewall for 6 Pounds, 13 Shillings and 4 Pence. Old Will died in his wigwam in 1684. 

In 1684, the charter for the Massachusetts Bay Colony was vacated. This caused a panic among the landholders of Newbury. Their right to the land was supported by the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, but they felt mounting pressure to shore up their claims
before their land might be seized by the Crown.

To this end, in 1701, they obtained a quitclaim deed from Samuel English, the grandson of Masconomet granting the town approximately 10,000 acres, bordered to the east by the sea, to the north by the Merrimack River, to the west by Bradford, and to the south by the accepted Rowley Line. The price for basically all of Old Newbury was 10 pounds.

While open warfare was not a feature of the early coexistence of the Pawtucket and the English settlers of Newbury, the English harbored a deep suspicion of all Indigenous Peoples. Part of the reason for this was cultural bias. The common characterization of Indigenous People as
“Godless Savages,” and the stories of the Tarratine Wars of the recent past, as well as the memory of the Anglo-Powatan wars in Virginia (1609-1614) led the settlers to believe that the Native peoples were “treacherous” and not to be trusted.

The Pawtucket viewed the Englishmen as allies against raiders. The English were also the Pawtuckets’ most important trading partners. There was still, however, suspicion on both sides. The English sought to Anglicize the Natives. The Natives were shocked to find that, after
granting an Englishman a deed to a piece of land, the original inhabitants could no longer live, fish, or hunt there. To avoid such conflicts, the General Court passed a law requiring that settlers make room for Indigenous People to live in their wigwams

The General Court in March 1636 ordered all the towns of the Colony to establish regular watches to guard against Indian attack. Newbury established a watch on “the great hill” (presumably Old Town Hill).

The first large-scale conflict between the Natives and English Settlers in New England was the Pequod War (1636-1637). Men were conscripted from all the New England colonies to march on the village of Pequod in Connecticut in response to the alleged murder of an English trader. The village was destroyed and the place renamed New London. The Indigenous survivors were sent to slave plantations in the Caribbean.

King Philip’s War (1675-1678), named for King Philip, also called Metacom, the son of the Wampanoag sachem Massasoit, was fought by the Nipmuk, the Wampanoag, and the Narragansett primarily against settlements in Plymouth County, the South Shore, Rhode Island,
and the Connecticut River Valley. Attacks ranged as far north as Andover.

In December 1675, Newbury raised a contingent of 48 men to muster in Boston and March against King Philip. In an engagement at a Native fortification in Narragansett, Daniel Rolfe of Newbury was killed and four Newbury men were wounded.

Though Newbury’s involvement in King Philip’s War was limited, it only added to the settlers’ fear that Indian attack was imminent.

Between 1690 and the early 1760’s, England and France were in a nearly continuous state of war. Known in North America as King William’s War, Queen Anne’s War, and the French and Indian War, these conflicts played out both on the European continent and in the French and English colonies in America.

Based in New France (today’s Canada, the Great Lakes Region, and the Ohio Valley) the French found themselves outnumbered by English settlers by nearly ten-to-one. To try to even the odds, the French allied themselves with northern Indian nations, notably the Iroquois in the
West and The Wabenaki Confederacy in the East. The Wabenaki Confederacy included the Pawtuckets’ old nemesis, the Tarratines. The French armed the Indians and encouraged them to raid English settlements in New England.

In the summer of 1691, York, Maine was attacked and Rev. Shubael Dummer was killed and his wife and children were carried off. Rev. Dummer was the son of Newbury’s Richard Dummer.

In October, 1692, the home of Benjamin Goodrich in Rowley (current day Georgetown) was attacked. Goodrich and his wife and two children were killed.

In October, 1695 the home of John Brown at Turkey Hill (current West Newbury) was attacked and nine women and children were carried off. The taking of captives in Indigenous raids was common. Often the abductees would be sold to the French, who would then ransom them back to the English.

Men of Newbury fought in several engagements in this series of wars, including the crucial battles for Louisberg and Quebec.

Through all this conflict, the Pawtucket remained largely neutral.

Exploitation, Isolation, Assimilation

As the English settlements expanded and consolidated, the effect on the mobile subsistence lifestyle of the indigenous peoples of New England became more profound. Fenced fields and English land claims led the native peoples to become more and more dependent on the colonists for their very survival.

The English recognized the skill sets of the Pawtucket as unique and essential to thrive in the wild lands of New England. Deprived of the ability to seasonally exploit the rich environment, as they had for centuries, many Pawtucket found work as hunters, guides, farm labor and translators for their English neighbors.

Increasing dependence on the settlers frequently led the Indians into debt, which resulted in indentured servitude, or even slavery.

John Winthrop Jr. of Agawam kept a Pawtucket man, Pequanamquit (Old Ned) as an indentured servant for several years. In 1649, William Hilton traded “James, my Indian” for a quarter interest in a ship. The will of Moses Gerrish includes as part of the estate “an Indian Slave” valued at 20 pounds. In 1713, Cutting Noyes sold “a Spanish injon boy named Sesor, by our judgement under 10 years old” to Richard Kelly for 38 pounds.

While it was not employed in the large numbers seen in the southern colonies, slavery, both of indigenous people and Africans was not uncommon in Massachusetts.

Being devout Protestants, the settlers saw Christian Conversion not only as a way to “save the souls of the heathen,” but also a step towards cultural assimilation. To this end, John Eliot, a minister, learned the Massachuset language and, with the help of multilingual Native Americans named Cockanoe and Job Nesuton, translated the Ten Commandments, The Lord’s Prayer, and finally New Testament into a Massachuset text.

In 1649, The English Parliament approved funding for an “Indian College” at Harvard and a print works to print Eliot’s religious translations and sermons. In 1651, the General Court established
the first Indian “Praying Town” at Natick. The idea of a praying town was to establish a largely autonomous Indian colony where converted “Praying Indians” would practice European customs, and adopt European dress and agriculture while observing their new Christian faith. There would eventually be 14 Praying Towns in New England.

In 1653, a Praying Town for the Pawtucket was established around the site of the seasonal fishing grounds at the Merrimack River rapids at Wamesit (current day Chelmsford/Tewksbury).
The sachem of this area at the time was Wonalancet, the son of Passaconaway, the great Pennacook leader. Many converted Pawtucket relocated to Wamesit.

There were multiple advantages of Praying Towns to the Englishmen. They selectively isolated Christian Indians from their unconverted kin. They provided established colonies where Christian ministers could further proselytize the Indians. They facilitated the subsummation, and
eventual elimination of native culture and traditions. 

At the outbreak of King Philip’s War in 1675, Wonalancet, fearing that the English settlers would seek revenge against all Indians, relocated from Wamesit to the Pennacook lands in New Hampshire. He took many of his followers with him. In 1695, Wanalancet led the survivors of a settler attack on Wamesit to live with the Abenaki at a French mission at St. Francis Quebec. Some of their descendants still live there today. 

Many other Pennacook-Pawtucket families relocated to Upstate New York and Northern Maine. 

While descendants of Indigenous Americans exist in the Merrimack Valley to this day, the Pennacook-Pawtucket, Abenaki, and many others were never recognized by state or federal governments. In New England, only the Aroostook band of Micmac, the Houlton band of
Maliseet, the Passamaquoddy, the Mashantucket Pequod, the Mashpee and Aquinnah Wampanoag, the Connecticut Mohegan, the Nipmuc and the Narragansett achieved federal recognition.

Rich Morin

Many thanks to Mary Ellen Lepionka and Kristine Malpica for their support and guidance in the
production of this history.

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