Exhibit 2: Scholarly Surveys of Indians Conducted Between 1782 and 1974
Surveys of Indians Conducted Between 1782 and 1974
These surveys list tribes existing at the time of they were written or researched. None identifies the Abenakis as a tribe in Vermont, other than as once having been there in the 18th century as an outpost of the Canadian Abenaki village of Odanak (St. Francis).
1782 Thomas Jefferson
Notes on Virginia
Jefferson listed Indians in two tables which he compiled from available sources of his day. His lists are called Indians Northward and Westward of the United States in 1782, and Indians Within the Limits of the United States in 1782. Neither list includes a tribe of Abenaki in the area now know as Vermont. He lists Abenaki only in Canada near Trois Rivieres.
1822 Jedediah Morse
Report to the Secretary of War of the United States on Indian Affairs, Comprising a Narrative of a Tour Performed in the Summer of 1820
Morse was given the task of ascertaining the number of the various tribes in the United States. He compiled an extensive list and enumeration of Indians throughout the country. He found "Abenaquies" in Maine, but lists none in Vermont. His statistical table identifies Indians in New England in enclaves as small as 40 "souls." Any group of Indians functioning and holding itself out as a tribe should have received notice.
1845 Samuel G. Drake
The Book of the Indians; or, Biography and History of the Indians of North America, from its First Discovery to the Year 1841
Drake undertook to "locate the various bands of Aborigines, ancient and modern, and to convey the best information respecting their numbers our multifarious sources will warrant." He was a sympathetic observer of Indians, as he criticizes the wrongs done to the Cherokees in the Preface to his book. He identifies the Abenakies as "over Maine until 1754, then went to Canada; 200 in 1689; 150 in 1780." He does not identify any Missisquoi or Vermont Abenakis in his list of 465 Indian groups.
1851-54 H.R. Schoolcraft
Historical and Statistical Information on the Indian Tribes of the United States
Schoolcraft's six-volume work was prepared under the direction of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. It was an extensive study of the numbers, location, and status of Indians at the time. Schoolcraft himself was married to a Chippewa Indian. He had a fair amount of contact with Vermont and the surrounding region, since he was born in Albany County, New York, and attended Middlebury College. He spent time at Trois Rivieres, Montreal, and Caughnawagha learning the Mohawk language in the 1790s. (Frances Nichols, Index to Schoolcraft's U.S. Indian Tribes)
None of the tables in Schoolcraft's six-volume work show Missisquoi or Abenaki in Vermont. None of the references to the Abenaki currently locate them around Lake Champlain. Instead, he describes them as "[a] tribe of Indians formerly inhabiting the territory which now comprises a part of the States of Maine and New Hampshire." (vol. III, P. 512). He writes that the Abenaki are now "seated at the village of St. Francis" in Quebec. He says the territory they inhabit is "situated on the south of the St. Lawrence, between the St. John's of New Brunswick and the river Richelieu, Canada." (vol. IV, P. 542).
1907 Frederick Webb Hodge
Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico, Smithsonian Institution Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 30
Hodge's well-known work for the Smithsonian Institution "treats all of the tribes north or Mexico, including the Eskimo .... It has been the aim to give a brief description of every linguistic stock, confederacy, tribe, subtribe or tribal division and settlement known to history or even to tradition, as well as the origin and derivation of every name treated, whenever such is known..."
He describes the history of the Abnaki, tracing their displacement from Maine to Canada. He notes that "[t]he descendants of those who emigrated from Maine, together with remnants of other New England tribes, are now at St. Francis and Becancour, in Quebec, where, under the name of Abnaki, they numbered 395 in 1903." (p. 3-4). In addition, he notes the number of Penobscot and Passamaquoddy currently in Maine.
He identifies the "Missiassik" as a historical subgroup, not a present day entity in the United States. He states that it was "[a]n
Algonquian tribe or body of Indians belonging to the Abnaki group, formerly living on Missisquoi r. in N. Vermont." (p. 872) He explains that "[t]hey had a large village at the mouth of Missisquoi r. in Franklin co., on L. Champlain, but abandoned it about 1730 on account of the ravages of an epidemic, and removed to St. Francis, Quebec." (p. 872).
1914 Warren K. Moorehead
The American Indian in the United States, Period 1850-1914: The Present Condition of the American Indian, His Political History and Other Topics; A Plea for Justice
Moorehead's report includes a chapter on "The Indians Today," in which he identifies groups of Indians continuing to live in tribal relations, such as the Penobscot and Passamaquoddy in Maine. However, he sees no significant group in Vermont. He notes that although the census of 1910 lists Indians in the eastern states, most of them "are white people in every way, save color." (P.33, 35) To discover the next body of Indians of more than 300 or 400, he looks to New York State and south to North Carolina.
1934 Gladys Tantaquidgeon
The New England Indians
Tantaquidgeon was an anthropologist who studied under Frank Speck; she was an Indian herself as well. Her study for the Commissioner of Indian Affairs describes the current state of the Indians in New England. She writes of Abenaki in Maine, but does not find any in Vermont.
1948 William Harlen Gilbert, Jr.
Surviving Indian Groups of the Eastern United States
Gilbert's study was prepared for the "purpose of indicating the extent to which Indian blood still remains noticeable in our eastern States population." His paper was prepared as a report for the Smithsonian Institution. He addresses each of the Eastern States individually. For Vermont, he writes: "No surviving social groups of Indians are recorded for Vermont, although the census records a few scattered individuals." (p. 409).
1952 John R. Swanton
The Indian Tribes of North American, Smithsonian Institution Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 145
Swanton's comprehensive compilation of information on all the known Indian groups in North America recognizes the historical
Abnaki group in Vermont, stating that "[a]n Abnaki band known as the_Missiassik was at one time settled on Missisquoi River in Franklin county." (p. 18). He says that the main body of Abnaki were located in Maine, with the Mississiak representing a "late intrusion," into Vermont. (p. 13). He observes that all of them "finally withdrew to Canada where they were settled at Becancour and Sillery, and later at St. Francis, along with other refugee tribes from the south." (p. 14-15).
1968 William Sturtevant and Samuel Stanley
"Indian Communities in the Eastern States," Indian Historian Journal, vol. i (June 1968)
These members of the Smithsonian Institution, Office of Anthropology, published this article in order to address the Indians in the Eastern States, who "tend[ed] to be ignored in discussions of Indian affairs and Indian 'problems."' They surveyed all the Indian and "possible Indian" communities of which they were aware. They list no Indian communities in Vermont.
1974 Alfred Tamarin
We Have Not Vanished; Eastern Indians of the United States
The purpose of Tamarin's study was to determine whether the Indians had vanished from the Eastern States, as was commonly thought. "To find the answer required long hours of research and weeks of travel—from the top of Maine to the foot of Florida." (p. 12). Tamarin's investigation led him to the following conclusions about Vermont: "Vermont is the home of over 200 American Indians, probably from tribes throughout the East as well as the rest of the country....Vermont's modern Indian citizens are not descended from the state's original inhabitants." Tamarin does identify a community of Abenakis - in Lake George, NY, not in Vermont.