Saint Croix Courier, St. Stephen, NB
March 31, 1892


Contributions to the History of Charlotte County and the Border Towns.


The Passamaquoddies regarded all the Indians living to the westward as wild Indians.  The fiercest and most dreaded of these wild Indians were the Mohawks, of whom they lived in constant fear; and the first league of the Wabanaki was probably formed with the hope of excluding these enemies from the three hunting grounds, on the Penobscot, the Passamaquoddy and the St. John.

The Mohawks, as the most easterly tribe of the Iroquois confederacy, seem to have considered it their special privilege to make war upon the eastern nations.  It was a long route, by lake and stream, from the Mohawk country, west of Lake Champlain, to the land of the Etchemin; but many a fierce war party made the journey, stealing silently through the forest in search of human prey.

The scattered Wabanaki warriors, though not wanting in valor at other times, fled in terror when a Mohawk war-party approached; or, if compelled to make a stand, fought at a disadvantage, because overcome with fear.  The best record of the general result of these encounters is found in the fact that even to-day a Passamaquoddy can scarcely speak of a wild Mohawk without some look or gesture betraying the horror associated with the name.1

The Passamaquoddies evidently depended as much upon m’taoulin or magic, for success in warfare, as on their fighting qualities or personal bravery.  An instance of this is given in the following story of an ancient war-song, for which we are again indebted to Mrs. Brown.

The song was sung by a chief too old to fight, but great in m’taoulin power.

He had witnessed a battle between his people and the Mohawks.  His warriors had retreated and were trying to escape.  When night came on the enemy encamped; but the old man and his disabled braves kept travelling until midnight.

During the night the old man sang his war-song.  His voice was heard even in the most distant part of his country; and every warrior at hearing it grasped his tomahawk and started, guided by the old chief’s song:

I remember, in my younger days, I never
did run from fear of being killed,
as I do now.

I remember, in my younger days, I never
did step back before any warrior, as
I do now.

But I have left my best and bravest
warriors behind me to die.  They
will be tortured by the Mohawks.

I remember, in my younger days, I never
left even one of my braves behind,
as I do now.  Oh!  I have left some
of my best warriors.

I remember the days when I was young,
I sing the song now I never did
have to sing before.

Let all the hearts of the trees, who have
heard my poor weeping song, arise
and help me to rescue my braves
that I have left behind.

Let all the tops of the trees hear my song,
and come to help me.

Let all the roots of the trees arise, and
come to help me.

I remember the days when I was young.

His song grew louder and louder, until the enemy heard it and trembled.  Before daylight the next morning, his people came to his assistance; as did also the hearts of the trees, the tops of the trees, and the roots of the trees-a large army in all-and helped him to drive the enemy back to their own land.

1Mr. Edward Jack recently asked a Milicete child, ‘What is a Mohawk?’  The reply was, ‘A big, bad Indian, who kills people and eats them;’-a description which, two centuries and a half ago, was literally true.