Passamaquoddy at Sipayik

Pleasant Point Tribal Government

Peskotom =  Pollock



Oath to British

The following is a little known piece of documented  Passamaquoddy history that may be a good point to bring up for our Land Claim in Canada.  I was somewhat surprised to read this because I have been under the impression that the Passamaquoddy supported George Washington and the American colonies against the British in the revolutionary war. 

After the Canadian Supreme Court handed down the Marshall decision there was quite a lot of media discussion about Passamaquoddy Aboriginal Title to homeland in New Brunswick.  I remember listening to an interview on CBC radio of a professor who claimed to be an Indian treaty expert. In this interview the subject of Porpoise hunting by the American Passamaquoddies was being discussed. This professor said he didn't think the Marshall decision applied to Passamaquoddies in the USA because we (the US Passamaquoddies) violated the 1760-61 friendship and trade treaty by joining with the American colonists in the American Revolutionary War against the British Crown. This professor’s statement troubled me. I talked to Fred Moore III about this and he suggested that the "1783 Treaty of Paris" forgave all and took care of this matter. Fred also suggested that the Passamaquoddies and the Maliseets should be treated the same because both tribes would join together to fight along side each other back during war times. Why would the Maliseets be recognized by the Crown and not the Passamaquoddies? Not very logical when you think about it.

I found the following passage in the book titled "Revolution Downeast" by James S. Leamon:   (Please keep in mind that the U.S. Declaration of Independence was written in 1776 and the Revolutionary war began around the same time and in 1783 the war ended)

(the passage from the book is not word for word)

1778 at Fort Howe - Indians (Passamaquoddies, Maliseets, Micmacs and maybe Penobscots?) recognized the British Crowns suzerainty and took an oath never to harm the King. They also swore to reveal any schemes or plottings against the King or any planned action against the King.  As a symbolic gesture to the British Crown the Passamaquoddies surrendered their American gifts to the British.  Included in these surrendered gifts were treasured letters and medals from George Washington.

"Indian Oath" - September 14, 1778 - Military Correspondence, Dorchester Papers, Volume 1 from the Public Archives of Nova Scotia; Richard Hughes to Lord George Germain, Halifax, October 12, 1778, Report on the Canadian Archives 1894, page 380.

The above document may help Passamaquoddy refute the assertion that the Passamaquoddy violated the 1760-61 friendship and trade treaty.

Ed Bassett Jr