Saint Croix Courier, St. Stephen, NB
April 7, 1892
GLIMPSES OF THE PAST
Contributions to the History of Charlotte County and the Border Towns.
XI THE LAST FIGHT WITH THE MOHAWKS.
Mr. W. Wallace Brown give [sic] us the incidents of the following story, as told to him by an old Passamaquoddy woman named Mollie LaCoot. Apart from its historic interest, it is worthy of record as showing a degree of magnanimity and self-restraint on the part of hostile savages for which we rarely give them credit.1
Before the coming of the English, the chief village of the Passamaquoddy tribe was at Quun-os-quam-cook, now St. Andrews. In a time of peace between the Six Nations and the Wabanaki, a Mohawk chief, named Hawk-u-mah-bis, or Snow-shoe-string, accompanied by his son, came to Quun-os-quam-cook; where they were hospitably received and treated as honored guests.
One day the son of the Mohawk chief and the son of the Passamaquoddy chief, while hunting together, killed a wah-be-ne-monks-wes, or white sable. The boys got into a hot dispute over the possession of the game, as it was considered a great honor to kill such a rare animal; and in the quarrel which arose between them the young Mohawk was killed.
The chief of the Passamaquoddies, according to Indian custom, offered his son to the Mohawk chief, to take the place of the boy who had been killed; but the Mohawk would not be appeased, and left for home determined to return and take revenge.
He would seem to have fallen in with a company of his own people; for, as the tradition says, he had been gone only about ten days when, one morning at daybreak, the Mohawks appeared in large numbers, and the woods rang with their war cry, Coo-way-mitt.
The Passamaquoddies were greatly alarmed, for many of their best warriors were away hunting; so they sent out a man with the loo-good-we-mede-wegon, or flag of truce, (the use of which they had learned from the whites,) to propose that the matter should be settled by single combat.
We should not fight and destroy each other, they said; for our nations are both becoming less in numbers each year, and if we keep on fighting thus the whites will soon out-number us.
So they agreed to select a man from each tribe to fight the battle, each to be armed with a knife and a tomahawk.
The Mohawks chose their chief, who is described as tall and slender; and the Passamaquoddies chose a stout young Indian named Lux.
The fight took place early next morning, in an open field at Quun-os-quam-cook, in the presence of both the tribes.
At a given signal, the Mohawk threw his tomahawk. The Passamaquoddy dodged it, and immediately threw his weapon, but failed to hit his antagonist.
Then, rushing upon each other, they clinched in a struggle for life.
They fell to the ground, the Mohawk on top; but the Passamaquoddy soon got the advantage, and plunged his knife into his enemys side, and presently sprang to his feet again, waving the scalp of the Mohawk chief.
The Passamaquoddies were wild with joy, and sang their song of victory; while the Mohawks quietly departed, chanting their death song as they went.
Lux, the Passamaquoddy champion, was a grandfather of the late Captain Lewy, after whom Lewys island is named. The age of Capt. Lewy at the time of his death would mark the probable date of the occurrence as about one hundred and fifty years ago.
1The Maliseets have a similar story, applying it to a locality above Fredericton; and I have been told that the Micmacs also have it and give the locality.-W. F. Ganong.
I have heard from the Abenakis that at one time the Mohawks made an attack on the Indians in what is now Charlotte county, and their presence was betrayed by a silver ornament on the breast of one of the Mohawk warriors, as the moons rays fell upon it, while he lay in concealment, as he thought, behind a log on the shore. The Mohawk warriors had descended the St. Croix in their canoes.
The Abenakis have many stories about the Mohawks.
Curries Mountain, on the east side of the St. John,
about five miles above Fredericton, is called by some of the old
Abenakis Po-te-wis Ne-jocs, or Little Council
Mountain. This hill was so named, according to the
Abenakis, because in former years the Mohawk warriors always went
there to hold a council of war before attacking the St. John
river Indians in their strong hold on Nkarne-odan,
Hartts Island, nearly opposite. From this height they
could overlook the island; and the Indians tell me that the
Mohawks would remain on this mountain for days watching the
movements of their enemies.-Edward Jack.