Reading Abenaki Traditions and European Records of Rogers’ Raid


The October 4, 1759 attack on St. Francis is recognized as an important event in American history, but most people only know the fictional version. The movie “Northwest Passage” portrays half naked savages, living in tipis and pounding on great war drums. Town histories depict the Abenaki as violent foreign marauders, who attacked no reason, conveniently forgetting to mention the broken treaties and boundary violations of English settlers in Abenaki territory. Some historians have claimed the Abenaki were engaged in a drunken orgy the night before the raid. Those who have read Robert Rogers’ account think that more than 200 Abenaki people were killed, and that the survivors were few and far between. These fictions have twisted this event into unrecognizable shape. The truth, as preserved in Abenaki oral traditions, French records, and English documents, including the writings of Rogers’ own men, is far more complicated.

– Abstract, Reading Abenaki Traditions and European Records of Rogers’ Raid by Marge Bruchac. 2006.

Author(s): Marge Bruchac

Publisher: Vermont Folklife Center

Date: August 2006

Pages: 12