Cormack to Bishop of Nova Scotia.


10th January, 1829.

My Lord,

According to promise I now enclose you an unfinished paper on the value of Newfoundland and its fisheries. If you take the trouble to read it, and will make any suggestions or corrections I will be glad to receive them. The source of information on the French Fisheries are the most defective, but I may be enabled to rectify what is wanted here when in England this winter.

Shanawdithit is now becoming very interesting as she improves in the English language, and gains confidence in people around. I keep her pretty busily employed in drawing historical representations of everything that suggests itself relating to her tribe, which I find is the best and readiest way of gathering information from her. She has also nearly completed making a dress of her tribe.

Herewith you have the commencement of a compendium with the Natural History Society of Montreal, left open for your perusal or use. It may be unnecessary to beg the favour that it might afterwards be put into the printing office.

I expect to sail for England about the end of this month, and may not return here again. My address is at John MacGregor Esq. 56 Chapel Walks Liverpool.

I remain My Lord,

with the highest esteem

Your obedient servant

(signed) W.E.C.

To the Hon. & Right Revd. Bishop of

Nova Scotia.

Manuscript of W.E. Cormack's, apparently written after his

last expedition in search of the Red Indians.

On reflecting after my expedition in search of them that this primitive nation, unknowing and unknown to civilization, were so nearly extirpated, and that perhaps at that moment the remnant of them were expiring in the clothing armour and circumstances similar exactly to what such might have been previous to the discovery of America by Europeans, and for fear impressions I had received on my expedition might wear off, I lost no time in gathering together every fact and relic in my power relating to such a purely sylvan race. Most fortunately with the assistance of two gentlemen similarly interested in the subject as myself, I obtained the guardianship of the last survivor of them, a female who had been taken prisoner in a state of starvation some years before by several English fishermen at the seacoast, but which interesting individual had remained until that moment in obscurity in an outport at a distant part of the island. Having given her the confidence that she was to be protected and kindly treated by every white person as long as she lived instead of being illtreated, I elicited from her most interesting facts, and a history of her people which together with my own observations when in search of them in the interior, form nearly all the information that can ever be obtained relating to these aborigines.

/211/ They have been a bold heroic and purely self dependant nation never having either courted or been subdued by other tribes or Europeans. But what early mind -- a power -- could face gunpowder and firelocks? Hence their annihilation.

To connect primitive man with civilization, refinement and the arts -- is more immediately the object of this moment, and here we can come directly to facts the most interesting.

That they have been a nation superior to all others adjacent to them is evident from the remains we have of them, and is admitted by the other tribes on the continent of America. Indeed the fear of the other tribes of them, even felt at this very moment, although it is only of their shadow speaks for itself.

Every fact relating to this isolated nation similar or dissimilar to what has been met with amongst other tribes is interesting because it concerns man at a time more remote than any history.

Commencing with their dwellings we see the first remove from a few poles stuck in the ground and meeting at the top, and a skin or rind of trees laid on under which to lie down to sleep, from that we see the remove to the upright wall for a dwelling, in which to stand and move in comfort, next we see the remove from the simple circular to the angular and straight walled dwelling, from the octagonal to the five sided.

Then in their style of adorning the posts or poles outside of their doors, we can evidently trace the corinthian(?) a complete order in architecture, different countries producing animals with different kinds of horns, will cause variations in the capital.(78)

Mamateek or Wigwam.

Their Mamateeks, or wigwams, were far superior to those of the Micmac's. They were in general built of straight pieces of fir about twelve feet high, flattened at the sides, and driven in the earth close to each other; the corners being made stronger than the other parts. The crevices were filled up with moss, and the inside lined with the same material; the roof was raised so as to stand from all parts and meet in a point in the centre, where a hole was left for the smoke to escape. The remainder of the roof was covered with a treble coat of birch bark, and between the first and the second layers of bark was placed about six inches of moss, about the chimney clay was substituted for the moss. The sides of these mamateeks were covered with arms, that is, bows, arrows, clubs, stone hatchets, arrow heads, &c. and all these were arranged in the neatest manner. Beams were placed across where the roof began, over which smaller ones were laid; and on the latter were piled their provision -- dried salmon, venison, &c.


Beothuck Dress.

This was peculiar to the tribe, and consisted of but one garment, -- a sort of mantle, formed out of two deer skins, sewed together so as to be nearly square, -- a collar also formed with skins, was sometimes attached to the mantle, and reached along its whole breadth. It was formed without sleeves or buttons, and was worn thrown over the shoulders, the corners doubled over at the chest and arms. When the bow was to be used the upper part of the dress was thrown off from the shoulders and arms, and a broad fold, the whole extent of it, was secured round the loins, with a belt, to keep the lower part from the ground, and the whole from falling off, when the arms were at liberty. The collar of the dress was sometimes made of alternate stripes of otter and deer skins sewed together, and sufficiently broad to cover the head and face when turned up, and this is made to answer the purpose of a hood of a cloak in bad weather. Occasionally, leggings or gaiters were worn, and arm coverings, all made of deer skins. Their moccasins were also made of the same material; in summer, however, they frequently went without any covering for the feet.

Beothuck Arms.

These whether offensive or defensive, or for killing game were simply the bow and arrow, spear and club. The arrow heads were of two kinds viz. -- stone, bone or iron, the latter material being derived from Europeans, and the blunt arrow, the point being a knob continuous with the shaft. The former of these was used for killing quadrupeds and large birds. Two strips of goose feathers were tied on to balance the arrow, and it has been remarked by many persons who have seen the Red Indian arrows, that they have invariably been a yard long; the reason of this would seem to be that their measure for the arrow was the arm's length, that is from the centre of the chest to the tip of the middle finger, that being the proper length to draw the bow; -- the latter was about five feet long, generally made of mountain ash, but sometimes of spruce.(79)

The spears were of two kinds, the one, their chief weapon, was twelve feet in length, pointed with bone or iron, whenever the latter material could be obtained, and was used in killing deer and other animals. The other was fourteen feet in length and was used chiefly, if not wholly, in killing seals, -- the head or point being easily separated from the shaft, -- the service of the latter being indeed mainly, to guide the point into the body of the animal, which being effected, the shaft was withdrawn, and a strong strip of deer skin, which was always kept fastened to the spear head was held by the Indian, who in this manner secured his prey. This method of taking the seals may be compared to that of taking the whales. The handle of the harpoon being chiefly to guide the point, to which the /213/ cord is attached, into the body of the animal and then hauling against it until the fish is exhausted. The Esquimaux adopt a similar plan the point of their harpoon or spear being somewhat different in form.(80)


These varied from sixteen to twenty two feet in length, with an upward curve towards each end. Laths were introduced from stem to stern instead of planks. They were provided with a gunwhale or edging which, though slight, added strength to the fabric -- the whole was covered on the outside with deer skins sewed together and fastened by stitching the edges round the gunwhale.(81)


The language of the Boeothucks, Mr. Cormack is of opinion, is different from all the languages of the neighboring tribes of Indians with which any comparison has been made. Of all the words procured at different times from the female Indian Shanawdithit, and which were compared with the Micmac and Banake (the latter people bordering on the Mohawk) not one was found similar to the language of the latter people, and only two words which could be supposed to have had the same origin, viz., "Kuis" -- Boeothuck -- and "Kuse" Banake -- both words meaning Sun, -- and "Moosin" Boeothuck, -- and "Moccasin" Banake and Micmac shoe, or covering for the foot. The Boeothuck also differs from the Mountaineer and Eskimo languages of Labrador. The Micmac, Mountaineers, and Banake, have no "r" the Boeothuck has; the three first use "l" instead of "r." The Boeothuck has the diphthong "sh" -- the other languages have it not. The Boeothucks have no characters to serve as hieroglyphics or letters, but they had a few symbols or signatures.

Method of Interment.

The Boeothucks appear to have shown great respect for their dead, and the most remarkable remains of them commonly observed by Europeans at the sea coast, are their burial places. They had several modes of interment. One was when the body of the deceased had been wrapped in /214/ birch rind, it was then, with his property, placed on a sort of scaffold about four feet from the ground, the scaffold supported a flooring of small squared beams laid close together, on which the body and property rested.

A second method was, when the body bent together and wrapped in birch rinds was enclosed in a sort of box on the ground, -- this box was made of small square posts laid on each other horizontally, and notched at the corners to make them meet close, -- it was about four feet high, three feet broad, and two feet and a half deep, well lined with birch rind, so as to exclude the weather from the inside, -- the body was always laid on its right side.

A third and most common method of burying among this people was to wrap the body in birch rind, and then cover it over with a heap of stones on the surface of the earth; but occasionally in sandy places, or where the earth was soft and easily removed, the body was sunk lower in the earth and the stones omitted.

The marriage ceremony consisted merely in a prolonged feast which rarely terminated before the end of twenty-four hours. Polygamy would seem not to have been countenanced by the tribe.

Of their remedies for disease, the following were the most frequently resorted to.

For pains in the stomach, a decoction of the rind of the dogwood was drunk.

For sickness amongst old people -- sickness in the stomach -- pains in the back, and for rheumatism, the vapour bath was used.

For sore head, neck &c. pounded sulphuret of iron mixed with oil was rubbed over the part affected, and was said generally to affect a cure in two or three days.

For sore eyes, -- woman's milk as a wash.

Proclamation to the Micmacs.

This was evidently written by Cormack to be submitted to the Governor for approval, but I cannot learn that it was ever issued.

KING GEORGE is sorry his children the Red Indians live for no good, his children the Micmacs hunt and sell fur to the English. King George wants to tell Red Indians not to hunt beaver always, but to come to the salt water to catch fish: to leave the beaver for the Micmacs because English know Micmacs a long time. Any Micmac who brings Red Indian to St. John's to speak to Governor or to me will receive a reward of 20 pounds a year each, as long as he or they live, a silver medal each, and a grant of Red Indian Lake for six years. But if Micmacs kill Red Indians King George order all Micmacs to go away from Newfoundland.

Part of another manuscript of Cormack's written after his last

expedition into the interior.

In this he states that he has acquired several ingenious articles of the Beothuck manufacture, some of which were discovered on his last journey, models of canoes, bows and arrows, spears of different kinds, &c. and also a complete dress worn by that people. Their mode of kindling /215/ fire by striking together two pieces of iron pyrites is not only original, but as far as we at present know, peculiar to the tribe.(82) These articles together with a short vocabulary of their language, which I have been enabled to collect, proved the Beothucks to be a distant tribe from any hitherto discovered in North America. In my detailed report, I would propose to have plates of these articles and also of the like articles used by other tribes of Indians, that a comparative idea may be formed of them, and when the Indian female Shanawdithit arrives in St. John's, I would recommend that a correct likeness of her be taken and preserved in the record of this Institution.(83)

Resolved that the measures recommended in the President's report be agreed to; and that the three men John Louis, John Stevens, and Peter John, Indians of the Canadian and Mountaineer tribes be placed upon the establishment of this Institution to be employed under the immediate direction and control of the President and that they be allowed for their services such a sum of money as the president may consider a fair and reasonable compensation, &c.

The three Indians above mentioned were sent out in search of the Beothucks as it appears from a report of proceedings of the Beothuck Institution, dated February 7th, 1828, when it was considered besides the pay, to offer a bounty of $100 to them in the event of their discovery of the residence of the Red Indians, or the Indians themselves still living &c.

The following documents in reference to these expeditions appear amongst the transactions of the Beothuck Institution, now in my possession.

Beothuck Institution.

At a meeting of the members of the Institution the 7th day of February 1828 at the Court House.

The Honorable A.W. Desbarres in the chair, -- it was moved and unanimously resolved.

First. -- That the Instructions for the party composing the expedition to discover the Red Indians and which are now ready be adopted and acted upon by the Society.

Second. -- That a bounty of one hundred dollars be paid to the party sent in pursuit of the Indians, in addition to the sum granted for their services by the President W.E. Cormack Esq. provided it appear by subsequent investigation that they shall have discovered the abodes of the Red Indians now in existence.

/216/ INSTRUCTIONS to John Louis the chief of the party of Indians upon the establishment of the Boeothick Institution respecting the route to be taken by the party in quest of the Red Indians in the winter of 1828.

John Louis will proceed forthwith to Clode Sound in Bonavista Bay, and inform John Stevens and Peter John that they have been nominated as the most proper persons to be attached to this Institution for opening a friendly communication with the Red Indians and that they will be compensated for such services as they may perform, by such a sum of money as the President W.E. Cormack Esq. shall consider just and reasonable. --

John Louis will then make arrangements with John Stevens and Peter John to attend him on the expedition to discover the abodes of the Red Indians, which expedition is to proceed from Fortune Bay on or before the tenth day of March next.

The party will in the first place proceed to White Bear Bay in order if necessary to consult with a party of Micmacs there from thence proceed through the country (interior) to St. George's Bay, then through the country to the Bay of Islands Lake,(84) then pass through the country to the westward of Red Indian Lake to White Bay, and from thence return back to the River Exploits and wait on John Peyton Esq. and the Rev. Mr. Chapman for further instructions.

Instructions to the party under the direction of John Louis in case they shall meet with or discover the abodes of the Red Indians.

The Institution having originated from a sincere desire of establishing a friendly intercourse with that unhappy race of people the Red Indians, and of protecting the lives of the few who survive at this day, any communication with them that can by any possibility lead to an unfriendly result ought to be avoided. -- John Louis and his party will therefore at all times bear in mind that great caution and perseverance are eminently requisite to accomplish the important and intricate designs of the Institution, and they will avoid coming in contact with the Red Indians under any circumstances however favourable they may appear to be.

They will however, endeavour to ascertain as correctly as they possibly can the numbers of Red Indians now in existence and the country occupied by them, and they will then immediately return to St. John's to report the particulars of their discovery in order than another expedition upon a more matured plan, and other measures, expedient and necessary may be adopted by the Institution.

(signed) W.E. CORMACK

President of the

Boeothuck Institution.

February 1828.

/217/ The following account of this expedition is taken from the Newfoundlander, of date June 26th 1828.


ST. JOHN'S, 24th June, 1828.

At a meeting of the subscribers to the Boeothic Institution held at Perkin's hotel this day, to receive the report of the three Indians employed by the Institution, on their return from researches after the Native Red Indians; and to consider what further measure may be proper to adopt, in order to ascertain whether there are any aborigines still existing in the island, and their place of abode &c. with a view to open a friendly intercourse with them, and to assure them of protection and safety. --

The President W.E. Cormack Esq. was called to the chair.

An account was then exhibited of the journey and route of the Indians employed by the Institution during the last four months. John Louis left St. John's on the 12th of February, and proceeded to Clode Sound; whence, being joined by John Stevens and Peter John the party proceeded to Bay Despair,(85) principally for the purpose of collecting information from the other Indians. They thence proceeded in a North Westerly direction to St. George's Bay, whence they took an Easterly course, about forty miles, to the West end of the Great Bay of Islands Lake, without discovering any recent signs of the Red Indians.

Having left this lake, at the Eastern extremity, the party set out in a South Eastern direction to the Red Indian's Lake, where they constructed another canoe, and remained upwards of a week in examining the different creeks and coves, but with the same ill success. They then paddled down the Exploits River, and in two days reached Mr. Peyton's upper establishment, where they procured a passage to this place, and arrived on the 20th inst.

It appearing from the foregoing particulars, that the party had passed over and examined the whole of the country in the interior, where the Red Indians are likely to be found, except that part of the country in the vicinity of White Bay, a large tract of which remains yet unexplored. --

It was moved and unanimously resolved,

1st. That the three Indians be again employed to proceed forthwith to explore and examine the country in the interior of and adjacent to White Bay: and the President of the Institution be authorised to employ one of the European settlers to accompany the Indians.

2nd. That as the Indians have now to explore a part of the island contigious to the French fisheries, it may prove beneficial to the objects of the Institution, to interest the French people in the enquiries after the aborigines, and to solicit the aid of the French Commandant in affording facilities to the progress of the Indians now employed &c. also to request the French authorities to inform the president, Mr. Cormack, if any of the Red Indians have been met with in the neighbourhood of the French fisheries.

/218/ 3rd. That in addition to the pay per month, the Indians employed shall have a gratuity of $150, in the event of their discovering the abode of the Red Indians now living.

4th. That as the money already subscribed is inadequate to defray the necessary expenses attending the expedition to White Bay the friends of the Institution be again requested to contribute their aid in support thereof.

5th. That the account of the receipts and expenditure of the Institution now exhibited be passed, and that the same be printed.

6th. That William Thomas Esq. be requested to accept the office of Treasurer to the Institution.

Letter to French Commandant.


26th June, 1828.


The condition of the Aborigines or Red Indians of Newfoundland has always had the solicitude of the English Government, and several attempts have been made, ineffectually, to bring these people within the pale and protection of civilization.

A Society was formed last year among the principal inhabitants and others connected with Newfoundland, and called the "Boeothick Institution," for the purpose of renewing the attempts to open a friendly intercourse with these people. A party composed of a few of the most intelligent men from among the other tribes of Indians met with here, was sent to search for their abodes, which after an absence of several months exploring the country in the vicinity of St. George's Bay -- of the Bay of Islands -- the Red Indians' Lake and the Exploits River lately returned without discovering any recent traces of them, proving that this unfortunate Tribe are now very much reduced in numbers, and that they have taken refuge in some sequestered spot. It only remains to explore to the North and the vicinity of White Bay to determine their existence or extinction; and with this impression, the party are again sent to explore the interior in these parts. They are directed to commence their search from Croke Harbour.

The Society, anxious to avail themselves of every circumstance that may operate favourably to their views have taken upon themselves to request your good offices in affording any facilities to the mission that may tend to the accomplishment of the object they have in view; and the Society will further feel thankful for any information you may be able to give them relating to the Red Indians, or if any traces of that tribe have lately been seen in the vicinity of the French Fisheries.

I have the Honor to be


with the highest consideration

and respect,

Your most obedient

humble servant.

(signed) W.E. CORMACK,

Pres. of the Boeothick


A Monsieur,

Le Commandant

Administrateur pour Sa Majestie

Le Roi de France,

A Terre Neuve.

/219/ Later on in the same year the same party of Indians were sent out again, as appears from the following documents.

INSTRUCTIONS to John Louis, John Stevens, and Peter John respecting the route to be taken in quest of the Red Indians, the summer of 1828.

The party will proceed on board the schooner Eclipse, the master of which will receive directions to land them at Croke Harbour; John Louis will then deliver the letter directed to the French Commandant, who has been requested to afford him any information that may tend to the discovery of the Red Indians. If any of them are to be met with in that vicinity, John Louis is required to apply for written directions as to the part of the country which the French Commandant may point out is the most likely to discover their habitation, and he will then proceed to examine that country, provided the country so recommended to be examined, does not lie further than 20 miles north of Croke Harbour. -- John Louis will, in case he receives no intelligence respecting the Red Indians at Croke, or that he is unable to discover any of the tribe to the north of Croke Harbour, proceed westwardly into the interior about twenty miles, thence taking a southwardly direction to White Bay, thence passing round the head of White Bay, and thence in the most proper direction through the country to the house of Mr. Peyton the resident agent at Exploits Burnt Island, being careful to examine particularly the whole of the lakes, rivers and country along the route now described, so that the party may be able to give the most unequivocal information that no part of the country has been left unsearched. John Louis will therefore make a plan of the country he may pass over, marking down every lake, river and mountain, so that Mr. Peyton who is already intimately acquainted with the interior may be able to afford the Institution his opinion and observations thereon.

(signed) W.E. CORMACK,

President of the Boeothick


We have the following reference to this last expedition, in an address to the Institution, which bears no date but was evidently at some time subsequent to the return of the Micmac party, probably in the fall of 1828, and is written by the President.


Since we met in October on the return of the last expedition in search of the Red Indians, our separate avocations otherwise have prevented our coming together again until now, on the business of our Institution. At that meeting you were made acquainted with the result on the last expedition; a more detailed account of it being left to be given at a future day. We regret to have to acknowledge that: the result only tends to confirm our fears for the fate of the Boeothicks, and proves that the tribe if not totally extinct, are expiring, a remnant only of them exists, so small and occupying so small a space that they have been passed by unnoticed. The last expedition you are aware, left this in June last to explore the most northern parts of Newfoundland, where it appeared possible the Red Indians might have taken refuge.

They proceeded to the French Shore and examined the northern parts of the island. . . . From the head of White Bay they took a south-eastern direction and again came out at the seacoast in Notre Dame Bay, discovering nothing on their whole line of route indicative of any of the /220/ Red Indians having been recently alive in these parts; but old marks of them abound everywhere from White Bay to Notre Dame Bay. On the French Shore the party visited besides Belvie, Croke, Crouse, and Canada Harbour. At Croke the French Commodore on the part of his Government afforded them every assistance that might in anyway further their object, in men, boats, ammunition and provisions, and the same facilities were secured to them along the whole French line of shore. The French authorities could give them no information of any traces of the Red Indians having been seen in the neighbourhood of their fisheries.

Although we may infer where the remnant of the Red Indians would most likely be found, yet from the certainty of the smallness of their number, if any really do exist, it would not be prudent again to send armed. . . . (the remainder of this MS. is torn off).

From the "Royal Gazette," October 21st, 1828.

Those who are curious in enquiries relating to man have a treat just now in St. John's such as is not likely again to be met with. There are at present at Mr. Cormack's house, accessible at all times to those who feel an interest, individuals belonging to three different tribes of North American Indians, viz. a Mountaineer from Labrador, -- two of the Banakee nation from Canada, -- and a Boeothick, or Red Indian of Newfoundland, the last a female. They all speak different languages -- and are good specimens of the race. The men are 5 feet 10 inches and a 1/2 and 5 feet 11 inches in height.

The three men are those that were sent a few months ago, in search of the Red Indians. They have returned without finding any recent traces of these people to the North or in the vicinity of White Bay. One of the party has volunteered to go for nothing to search that place at Notre Dame Bay, where the reports of the European settlers make them out to have been seen a few weeks since.

Suggestions, Hints &c. re Red Indians.

Ascertain their mode of counting.

Ascertain their mode of counting Micmacs.

Religious belief of the Red Indians.

Religious belief of the Micmacs.

History of the Red Indians by Micmacs. Examine the most intelligent of the Micmacs, and record each account to compare afterwards if marks of truth. The history by Nancy to compare with Micmacs.

Nancy's history of them and record to compare with Micmacs to see if they correspond in any way or points.

Note all Red Indian words.

Red Indian skulls, male and female.

Ascertain from Nancy and from Micmacs if ever any white faced or light haired people have been seen amongst the Red Indians: (No, Capt. Buchan not correct)?(86)

/221/ Procure specimens of every implement they have, including dress of males and females.

Have they any exterior form of worship?

Approach 1st [first] Nancy, 2nd [second] me, 3rd [third] Micmac.

If any opportunity offers, offer to exchange my gun &c. or whatever the Red Indians suppose most valuable to me for one of their children; say my gun, powder, shot for a boy.

Ascertain how they record events amongst themselves. Have the Red Indians any dogs amongst them or domestic animals? (No.)(87)

Their Government.

Have the Boeothucks short arms like the Esquimos? (No.)

Burying places near Exploits Burnt Island and Caves where numerous large skulls are here lying, they have an idea that those were spirits.

NOTE. The above looks like instructions to some one, possibly to the Micmac guides, but more probably to some member of the Beothuck Institution, or to Mr. Peyton who may have been asked to thus interrogate Nancy (Shanawdithit) while in his charge.

(From Noad.)

"Though Shanawdithit acquired a knowledge of English slowly, yet it is said before her death she could communicate with tolerable ease.

She feared to return to her tribe, believing that the mere fact of her residing amongst the whites for a time, would make her an object of hatred to the Red men.

In person Shanawdithit was 5 feet 5 inches in height -- her natural abilities were good. She was grateful for any kindness shown her, and evinced a strong affection for her parents and friends. She evinced great taste for drawing, and was kept supplied with paper and pencils of various colours, by which she made herself better understood than she otherwise could.

In her own person, she had received two gunshot wounds, at two different times from volleys fired at the band she was with by the English people of Exploits. One wound was that of a slug through the leg. Poor Shanawdithit, she died destitute of this world's goods. Yet desirous of showing her gratitude to one from whom she received great kindness, she presented a keepsake to Mr. Cormack and there is something very affecting under the circumstances in which she was placed, as associated with the simple articles of which the presents consisted. They were a rounded piece of granite -- a piece of quartz -- both derived from the soil of which her tribe were once the sole owners and lords, but which were all the soil she could then call her own; and added to these was a lock of her hair."


History of the Red Indians of Newfoundland.



To begin in the year 1829 to write a history of the Red Indians of Newfoundland, is like beginning to write the history of an extinct people. All that they have left behind them being their name and one wonders that they left nothing else.

Although Newfoundland has been occupied by Europeans for two centuries and a half, that is since the discovery of the New World, nothing of consequence has been collected and preserved relating to the aboriginal inhabitants, the Red Indians.

The Island has often changed hands from one European power to another, but from among all these vicissitudes all that has been preserved relating to the aborigines of the country, are a few fabulous fragments, which have shone out now and then as connected evidence of the contention of the existence of this remarkable tribe, inhabiting the island. The stories about them have not been credible. These aborigines it is evident never courted friendship with the whites and their stern self dependent character withstood the European allurements.

We have traces enough left only to cause our sorrow that so peculiar and so superior a people should have disappeared from the earth like a shadow. The only considerable search has at length, but alas too late, been made to prove that they are irrevocably lost to the world.

Of the Aborigines of Newfoundland. (Cormack.)

Unoffending, they have been cruelly extirpated: a purely self-dependent people, known to the world only, as it were, a meteor that had been. They were never allowed to discover nor taste of civilization, what thoughts must they have entertained of the white man?

Pizarro's offences to the Peruvians when first discovered, do not tarnish the Spanish name compared with the stain upon that of the English, for their cruel and wanton extermination of the little nation of the first occupants of Newfoundland.

The heroic Spaniards at the glorious period alluded to, could not comprehend, and therefore dared not trust the probable power of an overwhelming race and wonderful people in a world just discovered. Not so were the circumstances of the English and the people under our notice. The place of the latter is now a monumental blank to excite the surprise and indignation of humanity.

The first American Indians brought to England, were three from Newfoundland by Sebastian Cabot on his second voyage of discovery, and presented to Henry VII in 1497.(88)

/223/ The early voyagers to Newfoundland, the Portuguese, English, French and Spaniards were in general, up till the middle of the 17th century, on a friendly footing with the aborigines of the Island, and thought highly of their tractability and mental powers. The parties were mutually serviceable to each other. Early writers speak of the English as the first and only aggressors upon the Red Indians, and that the savages returned them forbearance and good for evil, formerly English fishermen, strangers alike to Government protection and to mild laws were not so criminal for having extirpated the aborigines as the Government authorities under whose passive irresponsibility the deed was perpetrated.

In the year 1800 the Governor of Newfoundland sent a Captain Le Breton to examine the nature of the North coast of the island and enquire about the aborigines. Capt. Le B. returned without seeing any of them but in several places found very recent traces of them.

In several instances aboriginal females have been captured by Europeans and brought to St. John's for exhibition, but none of the men have for a century past fallen into our hands alive.

Thus in 1804 an old woman was brought from the Northward to St. John's and after a few weeks sent back. But it is reported, true or false, that she was murdered by the parties who accompanied her for the sake of getting possession of the presents she had received to carry back to her people.

In 1815 Sir Richard Keats the Governor at that time, dispatched Capt. Buchan in H.M. Schooner Pike to the River Exploits, in the North part of the island, with instructions to endeavour to open friendly intercourse with the Red Indians. The expedition failed in its object.(89)

In 1819 the Governor Sir Charles Hamilton, having offered a reward of one hundred pounds to any one who would bring a Red Indian to St. John's, an armed party of English went up to the Red Indian Lake, by way of the river Exploits, on the ice, and surprised a party in their camp, carried off by force, the female afterwards known as Mary March, killing her husband and his brother(90) in their attempt at rescue. Thus the breach between parties was still widened.

Mary March was carried to St. John's where she was considered a very interesting woman. Her health declined. In the autumn of 1819 Capt. Buchan was ordered to convey her back to where she was taken from. Unfortunately she died on board the vessel at the mouth of the River Exploits. Capt. Buchan however, carried her body up to the great lake (Jan. 1820) by way of the Exploits on the ice, but not meeting with any of her people at the lake, left the body there, so placed that it might be found by her tribe upon their revisiting the spot. Fresh traces of the Indians were seen by Capt. B. on the banks of the Exploits upon his way up.

In 1823, early in the spring three females, a mother and her two /224/ daughters in Badger Bay near Exploits Bay, being in a starving and exhausted condition, allowed themselves in despair to be quietly captured by some English furriers, who accidentally came upon them. Fortunately (?) their miserable appearance when within gun shot, led to the unusual circumstance of their not being fired at. The husband of the mother, in endeavouring to avoid the observation of the white men, attempted to cross a creek upon the ice, and fell through and was drowned. About a month before this event, and a few miles distant the brother of this man and his daughter, belonging to the same party, were shot by two other English furriers.(91) One or two more of the party escaped to the interior.

The three female captives were brought to St. John's where they remained four or five weeks, and were then sent back to Exploits with many presents in the hope that they might meet and share them with their people. They were conveyed up the River Exploits some distance by a party of Europeans, and left on the bank with some provisions, clothing &c. to find their friends as they best might. Their provisions were soon exhausted, and not meeting any of their tribe, they wandered on foot down the right bank of the river, and in a few days again reached the English habitations. The mother and one daughter here died shortly afterwards, and within a few days of each other. The survivor Nancy or Shanawdithit was received and taken care of by Mr. Peyton junior and family.

After 1823, there is no evidence that any of the Red Indians were fallen in with by Europeans. In 1824 a party with two canoes were seen on the right bank of the River Exploits about halfway between the coast and the great lake, by two Canadian Indians who were crossing that part of the country on a hunting excursion. Friendly gestures were exchanged across the river, and no collision took place.(92)

In 1826, (in the spring) recent traces of the Red Indians were seen by some other Micmacs at Badger Bay Great Lake.

In 1827, the writer undertook a journey into the interior in search of the Red Indians, the narrative of which will appear in due order.

With the occasion of this expedition the Beothuck Institution was formed, and as the proceedings and circumstances of this institution will throw light upon the subject before us they are here given.

(From W.E. Cormack's Letter Book.)

The Royal Gazette, Friday September 18th 1827.

The Royal Gazette, Tuesday November 6th.

The Royal Gazette, Tuesday November 14th? 13th 1827.

Edinburgh Philosophical Journal Dec. 1827.

At a meeting &c. . . . in England.


Chairman and Vice President.

/225/ Narrative of my Journey (to come here).

The Royal Gazette Tuesday February 19th 1828.

The Public Ledger St. John's Tuesday June 24th 1828.

The Newfoundlander St. John's Thursday June 26th 1828.

The Royal Gazette St. John's Tuesday July 1st 1828.

The Public Ledger St. John's Friday Sept. 5th 1828.

St. John's 26th June 1828.

15th of October 1828. John Louis and party arrived at St. John's from Exploits per schooner.

The Royal Gazette Tuesday October 21st 1828.

The Newfoundlander Thursday August 9th 1828.

The Public Ledger Tuesday September 2nd 1828.

The report of the Red Indians having appeared at Green Bay upon particular investigation proved not to be founded upon truth.

On the 20th of September 1828 Shanawdithit arrived in St. John's from Mr. Peyton's at Exploits, where she had remained five years in obscurity, and from whence she was now brought by the desire of the Beothuck Institution.

Shanawdithit was now the object of the peculiar care and solicitude of the Beothuck Institution, and the last of the Red Indians.

To this interesting protege we are indebted for nearly all the information we possess regarding her tribe, the aborigines of Newfoundland. Although she had been five years and upwards amongst the English, upon her arrival the second time in St. John's she spoke so little English that those only who were accustomed to her gibberish, could understand her. By persevering attention now however, to instruct her, she acquired confidence and became enabled to communicate. She evinced extraordinary powers of mind in possessing the sense of gratitude in the highest degree, strong affections for her parents and friends, and was of a most lively disposition. She had a natural talent for drawing, and being at all times supplied with paper and pencils of various colours, she was enabled to communicate what would otherwise have been lost. By this means, aided by her broken English and Beothuck words, she herself taught the meaning of to those around her. The chief points of the following history, notices of the manners, customs, language, armour &c. of her tribe are derived.

In person Shanawdithit was inclined to be stout, but when first taken was slender.

The following is a summary of what was obtained and learned from her by the use of the materials mentioned and by broken English aided by portions of her own language which she put into the power of those around her to understand. (This document is unfortunately missing from Cormack's papers.)

Shanawdithit lived nearly nine months under the protection of the Institution during a considerable portion of which time she was unwell.

Shanawdithit gives the following account of Capt. Buchan's expedition to the Great Lake in 1816(93) and the state of her tribe at that time.

/226/ At the time the tribe had been much reduced in numbers in consequence of the hostile encroachments and meetings of the Europeans at the seacoast. But they still had, up to that period, enjoyed unmolested, the possession of their favourite interior parts of the island, especially the territory around and adjacent to the Great Lake and Exploits River. Their number then, it would appear, hardly amounted to one hundred, seventy-two it is stated by Shanawdithit.

They were all encamped in their winter quarters in three divisions on different parts of the margin of the Great Lake.(94)

The principal encampment was at the east end of the lake, on the south side, a little to the east of the estuary of the lake; which forms the river Exploits. There were here three mamateeks or wigwams, containing forty-two people. One of these wigwams was Shanawdithit's father's, and she was in it at the time. A smaller encampment lay six or eight miles to the westward on the north side of the lake, consisting of two mamateeks with thirteen people, and another lay near the west end of the lake, on the south side, and consisted of two mamateeks with seventeen people.

A census of the aborigines at this period derived from one of themselves, will be interesting to all Newfoundlanders.

In the principal settlement, that which Capt. Buchan visited, there were:

In one wigwam, -- 4 men, 5 women, 3 children

-- 3 other children. . . . . . . . . . . 15

In another, 4 men, 2 women, 3 girls, 3

children . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

In another, 3 men, 3 women, 2 single women, 5

children and 2 other children. . . . . . 15



In the second settlement, that on the north

shore of the lake, in the two

wigwams -- 3 women, 4 men, 6

children . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

And in the third settlement, that at the

S.W. end of the lake:

In 1st wigwam -- 2 men, 4 women, 3

children. . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

In 2nd wigwam -- 3 men, 3 women, and

two children. . . . . . . . . . . 8





Total 72

It was the principal encampment that Capt. Buchan fell in with. He took it by surprise and made the whole party prisoners. This occurred in the morning. After a guarded pantomimic interchange of civilities for several hours, it was agreed that two hostages should be given on each side, for Capt. Buchan wished to return down the river for an additional supply of presents, in order thereby the better to secure the friendship of the Indians.

Capt. Buchan had no sooner departed with his men and hostages than the Indians, suspected he had gone down the river for an additional force to come up and make them all prisoners, and carry them off to the /227/ seacoast. Their suspicions were strengthened by the sudden appearance of one of the two Indians who had gone with Capt. Buchan, and had run off when only a few miles down the river, and they resolved to break up their encampment immediately and retire further into the interior, to where the rest of their tribe were, and where they would be less liable to be again surprised.

To insure concealment of their proceedings, they first destroyed the two Europeans left as hostages, by shooting them with arrows, then packed up what clothing and utensils they could conveniently carry, crossed the lake on the ice the same afternoon, carrying the heads of the two Europeans with them, one of which they stuck upon a pole and left at the north side of the lake. They then followed along the margin of the lake westward, and about midnight reached the nearest encampment of their friends in that direction. The alarm was given, and next morning all joined in the retreat westward. They proceeded a few miles in order to reach a secure and retired place to halt at in the hope of soon learning something of the Indian whom Capt. Buchan had taken with him. On the second day the Indian appeared amongst them, and stated to them that upon returning with the whitemen, (Capt. B.'s party) and discovering the first encampment deserted he instantly fled and escaped.(95) All now resumed the retreat and crossed over on the ice to the south side of the lake where the only remaining and undisturbed encampment lay. Upon reaching this shore a party was despatched to the encampment which lay further westward to sound the alarm. This encampment was then likewise broken up and the occupants came east to join their tribe. To avoid discovery, the whole retired together to an unfrequented part of the forest situated some distance from the shores of the lake carrying with them all the winter's stock of provisions they possessed.

In this sequestered spot they built six wigwams, and remained unmolested for the remainder of the winter (about six weeks). They brought one of the European hostages heads with them, stuck it upon a pole, danced and sang round it. (See Shanawdithit's drawing Plate I.)

When spring advanced, their provisions were exhausted, some of them went back to the encampment at which they had been surprised by Capt. Buchan, and there supplied themselves out of the winter stock of venison that had been left there.

After this disaster the tribe became scattered and continued dispersed in bands frequenting the more remote and sequestered parts of the northern interior. In the second winter afterwards, twenty-two had died about the river Exploits, and in the vicinity of Green Bay: and the third year also numbers died of hardship and want.

About two years after the general breaking up De-mas-do-weet (afterwards Mary March) was married to Nonos-baw-sut. She was four years married before she had children.

In 1819 the tribe had become reduced to less than half the number that they were three years before, the whole amounting now to thirty-one. /228/ They were all encamped together in three winter wigwams at one spot on the north side of the Great Lake, near the east end, opposite to the place where Capt. Buchan had surprised them three years before (?) (eight years). One wigwam contained thirteen persons, three couples being married, another wigwam contained 12 persons, 3 couples being also married. Another 6 persons, 1 couple married.

An armed party of English, 9 in number, now again came up from the coast to the lake for the purpose of carrying off some Red Indians, instigated by the reward held out by the Governor for a Red Indian man.

The English espied a small party of the Indians on the ice near the shore and stealing upon them gave chase, and overtook one of them (a woman) whom they seized; one of the Indians upon seeing this halted, came back alone into the midst of the armed men, and gave them to understand that he would have the woman. Another Indian then approached; a parley and altercation took place; the whitemen insisted upon carrying the woman with them, in which they were opposed by the first Indian, who in defiance of the muskets and bayonets by which he was surrounded strove to rescue the woman: he was shot on the spot, and the other Indian, who now attempted to run off, was shot dead also.(96)

Shanawdithit was present in the encampment on the north shore of the lake.

Thus was De-mas-do-weet, or Mary March kidnapped, in the accomplishment of which her heroic husband (for that was he who struggled with the Banditti) was murdered, as was also his brother (?), the other Indian, in attempting to rescue her, and in consequence, her only child, an infant, died two days afterwards (see Shanawdithit's drawing).

Disastrously disturbed again their number now was reduced to twenty-seven.

Mary March was taken to the coast and in the spring conveyed to St. John's. It has been already mentioned that Capt. Buchan was employed in the ensuing winter (Jan. 1820), to conduct her to the interior. She having died while under his care, he conveyed her remains to the Great Lake where it was afterwards found by her tribe and removed into the cemetery and placed by the side of her husband (for further details of her burial, see narrative of Cormack's 2nd journey into the interior page 193). The cemetery was built for her husband's remains upon the foundation of his own wigwam.

In the winter of 1819-20 the tribe was encamped in three wigwams at Badger Bay waters a few miles from the north bank of the River Exploits. Capt. Buchan's party was seen by them going up the Exploits on the ice, and they immediately afterwards went up to the lake by a circuitous route, to ascertain what he had done there, when they found as stated, Mary March's remains. Shanawdithit was present. No other death it is stated, took place until the winter of 1821. In 1822 one half of their number were encamped at the Great Lake, the other half on the right bank of the River Exploits. The latter half were seen by two /229/ Canadian Indians as above mentioned and consisted of 6 men, 5 women, 4 boys, and 2 girls. . . . 17.

In 1822-23, when Shanawdithit makes out there were still 27 alive. They were all encamped on the Badger Bay waters, at the N.W. corner of the second lake from the River Exploits, in four wigwams. She accounts satisfactorily for deaths, so that the number was reduced in the spring of 1823 to thirteen alive in the interior.

Shanawdithit's father's wigwam contained five. Her father and one of the family here died, in consequence of which her mother, sister and herself went to the seacoast in search of mussels to subsist on. Shanawdithit's uncle's wigwam contained seven. The uncle and his daughter were shot by (Curnew and Adams) as alluded to before(97) (see note * below). Three died at this encampment, and two died at another lake to the eastward (at c, on plan Plate V). The third wigwam contained nine, one of whom died. The fourth wigwam contained six, two of whom died and four removed in April further eastward. Thus from her father's and uncle's wigwams all were dead or gone away, while of the nine in the third wigwam eight survived, and of the six in the fourth, four survived, leaving but twelve individuals beside Shanawdithit, her mother and sister alive.

The surviving remnant (consisting of 6 men, 3 women, 2 single women and 2 boys) she says, went by a circuitous route northerly, westerly and southerly from the Badger Bay waters to the Great Lake. Here ends all positive knowledge of her tribe, which she never narrated without tears.

* NOTE. This man Shanawdithit's uncle, it will be remembered was the same individual who accompanied Lieut. Buchan in 1811, down the river Exploits to where the presents were stored, and who remained with Buchan until the discovery of the bodies of the two marines, when he took to flight and rejoined his people. I conjecture that the remembrance of his kind treatment at the hands of Buchan and his party, led him to conclude that the whites generally were inclined to be more amicably disposed towards his tribe thereafter, and that this impression, coupled with his miserable plight, caused him to advance so boldly upon the wretches who so foully murdered him, (a single, unarmed, half starved man), and afterwards, in sheer wantonness, shot his poor daughter.

NOTE from Conquest of Canada by Henry Kirke, M.A., B.C.L., Oxon.

In a foot note the author says, "I have been informed by Admiral Sir H. Prescott G.C.B., who was for many years Governor of Newfoundland (1834 to 1840) that he went there with the firm conviction that the Beothicks were still to be found in the Island, but after careful investigation and enquiry, he was persuaded that the race was extinct."

Notes relative to the Red Indians from the Records

of the Beothuck Institution.

(Loose papers in W.E. Cormack's handwriting.)(98)

RED INDIAN ARROWS, DRESS &C. -- The arms for offence and defence and for killing game, consisted of Bows, arrows and spears. Their arrows were of two kinds viz. the stone, bone and iron (the latter material being derived from Europeans), for /230/killing quadrupeds, and large birds; the blunt arrow, (the point being a knob continuous with the shaft), for killing small birds (see figures 1, 2, and 3).(136)

Two strips of goose feather were tied on to balance this arrow.(137)

Their arms are those of all rude people unacquainted with the arts and civilization. The bow is about five feet long, made of the Mountain Ash (Dogwood), but sometimes of spruce and fir,(138) seasoned over fire. Their arrows now, are all barbed with iron, but formerly with stone &c. The iron they find in the wrecks of boats &c. about the English settlements, and they sometimes pilfer it from about the fishermen's premises.

FIRE STONES. -- Two pieces of radiated iron pyrites, which he (Cormack) thinks they must have procured from the west coast, about Bay of Islands.(139)

THE BOTTLE-NOSED WHALE. -- Which they represented by the fishes tail, frequents in great numbers, the northern bays, and creeps in at Clode Sound and other places, and the Red Indians consider it the greatest good luck to kill one. They are 22 and 23 feet long.(140)

Asceres(?) is the Goddess of corn, and her image was worshipped by the Romans; so is the image of the Whale's tail worshipped by the Red Indians, that animal affording them more abundant luxury than anything else, sometimes so large and fat an animal is the greatest prize.

Stray Notes in Cormack's handwriting. Dated June 24th 1851.(141)

Little bird-Ob-seet. Black Bird-Woodch. Blunt-nosed fish Mo-co-thut. Profiles of man and woman.

Men singing to Ash-wa-meet, with Eagles feathers and deer ears in cap. Eagle -- Gob-id-in. -- Woodpecker Shee-buint. -- Lump fish Ae-she-meet. (These notes apparently refer to drawings.)

The Beothics have a great many songs. Subjects, -- are of whiteman, Darkness, Deer, Birds, Boats, Of the other Indians, Bears, Boots, Hatchet, Shirt, Indian Gosset, Stealing man's boat, Sheils, Pots, Whiteman's houses, Stages, Guns, fire stones, wood or sticks, Birch rind, Whiteman's jacket, Beads, Buttons, Dishes, men dead, Whiteman's head, Ponds, Marshes, Mountains, Water, Brooks, Ice, Snow, Seals, Fishes &c, Salmon, Hats, Eggs &c.

In the song two or three wigwams sometimes join.

To show the number of the tribe, not long ago they inhabited within the remembrance of people still living, all the country between Bonavista Bay and Bay of Islands, and traces are to be seen all along in these parts. Shanawdithit received two gunshot wounds at two different times, from shots fired at the band she was with by the English people at Exploits; One wound was that of a slug or buck shot through the palm of her hand, the other was a shot through her leg. I have seen the scar of the wound on her hand, and so have others in St. John's.

The Red Indians never wash except when a husband or wife dies, then the survivor has in some water heated by stones in a birch rind kettle, decocted with the shrimps(?) of dogwood tree, or Mountain Ash.

The vocabulary of the Red Indians is (I think) in Dr. Yates' possession, also a seal bone (broken but can be put together), Birch rind culinary vessels, Birch /231/ rind models of canoes. Spear point, Drawings by Shanawdithit, A map of the interior. The narrative of my journey in search of the aborigines (in MS).(142)

(signed) W.E. CORMACK,

24th June, 1851.

Death of Shanawdithit.

Shanawdithit died on the 6th of June 1829, and was buried on the 8th in the C.E. Cemetery, South side of St. John's.

The record of her interment is contained in the C.E. Cathedral Parish Register, of St. John's, and is as follows.

June 8th 1829.

Interred Nancy, Shanawdithe(143) aet. 23 South Side.

(very probably the last of the aborigines)

(signed) Frederick H. Carrington A.B.

Rector. St. John's.

The following notice of her death is taken from a St. John's newspaper of date June 12th 1829.

"DIED, -- On Saturday night the 6th inst., at the Hospital, Sha-na-dith-it-, the female Indian, one of the aborigines of this Island. She died of Consumption, a disease which seems to have been remarkably prevalent amongst her tribe, and which has unfortunately been fatal to all who have fallen into the hands of the settlers. Since the departure of Mr. Cormack from the Island, this poor woman has had an asylum afforded her in the house of James Simms Esq., Attorney General, where every attention has been paid to her wants and comforts, and under the able and professional advice of Dr. Carson, who has most liberally and kindly attended her for many months, it was hoped her health might have been re-established. Latterly however, her disease became daily more formidable, and her strength rapidly declined, and a short time since it was deemed advisable to send her to the Hospital, where her sudden decease has but too soon fulfilled the fears that were entertained of her."

A more extended notice of her death appeared in the London Times newspaper of England, of date Sept. 14th 1829, which was evidently written by Mr. W.E. Cormack, then in England, as follows: --

"DIED. -- At St. John's Newfoundland on the 6th of June last in the 29th year of her age, Shanawdithit, supposed to be the last of the Red Indians or Beothicks. This interesting female lived six years a captive amongst the English, and when taken notice of latterly exhibited extraordinary mental talents. She was niece to Mary March's husband, a chief of the tribe, who was accidentally killed in 1819 at the Red Indian Lake /232/ in the interior while endeavouring to rescue his wife from the party of English who took her, the view being to open a friendly intercourse with the tribe.

This tribe, the Aborigines of Newfoundland, presents an anomaly in the history of man. Excepting a few families of them, soon after the discovery of America, they never held intercourse with the Europeans, by whom they have ever since been surrounded, nor with the other tribes of Indians, since the introduction of fire arms amongst them. The Chinese have secluded themselves from the interference of all nations, their motives being understood only to themselves, and the peculiarities of that people are slowly developed to others. But in Newfoundland, nearly as far apart from China as the antipodes, there has been a primitive nation, once claiming rank as a portion of the human race, who havae lived, flourished, and become extinct in their own orbit. They have been dislodged, and disappeared from the earth in their native independence in 1829, in as primitive a condition as they were before the discovery of the New World, and that too on the nearest point of America to England, in one of our oldest and most important Colonies."



&C. 1836.

This is evidently the title page to another history of the Beothucks, but as it appears on a separate sheet, without any other reference, I can only conjecture that such is the case. The date of 1836 would indicate that this history was written by Cormack some seven years after he left the country for good. Whether it was published or not I could not ascertain, but I think it most probable that it was, either in some magazine or newspaper in England or Scotland.

William Epps Cormack.

Of all those whose names are connected with the sad history of the aborigines of Newfoundland, there is not one whose name stands out more conspicuously than that of William Epps Cormack, the daring explorer who first essayed to cross the interior of this great island, in 1822.

Now-a-days, our knowledge of the principal features of the country are commonplace enough. One can rush across the island by the aid of "the Iron Horse," in a short space of time, penetrate its remotest interior in a few days journey, traverse on foot or by canoe along its numerous water courses and over its great lakes from points on the cross country railway. The modern traveller must entirely fail to appreciate the toil /233/ and hardship, and the almost unsurmountable difficulties Cormack had to contend with in his great undertaking. It is only those like myself, who were privileged to follow in the wake of this intrepid explorer, before the advent of the railway, who can form any idea of what he had to go through. Accompanied only by a single Micmac hunter of uncertain reliability,(144) he braved the terrors of the vast unknown interior, which was supposed to be filled with innumerable savages and wild beasts, such as bears, wolves, etc., ready to devour the foolhardy person who would venture to invade their solitude.

The country was thought to present almost insurmountable difficulties in the form of inaccessible mountains, extensive and intricate lakes and rivers or impassable morasses. In a word this "Terra incognita" was invested with all the terrors of the unknown, with which imagination, or perhaps wilful misrepresentation could endow it. But above all, it was supposed to be peopled by numerous ferocious and bloodthirsty savages, to whose bitter hatred of the white man was added the desire to be revenged, for the cruel treatment they had so long experienced at the hands of the latter.

It was surmised that they would show no mercy to the hapless white who might fall into their hands, or place himself in their power. All these considerations would be sufficient to dampen the ardour of any less daring spirit than that of Cormack, but such a man was not to be deterred, or turned back from his purpose by any real or imaginary dangers.

In view then of all the circumstances, and considering the state of our knowledge generally with regard to this great unknown land, at that early date, I look upon Cormack's daring undertaking as one worthy to rank with many of the more pretentious explorations of recent times.

Born of Scotch parentage, in this City of St. John's, May 5th 1796, his father, who was a well-to-do merchant gave him a liberal education, at the University of Edinburgh, under the tuition of Prof. Jameson, he acquired a good practical knowledge of the sciences, especially of Botany, Geology and Mineralogy. Whether this education unfitted him for commercial pursuits, or whether his natural inclinations tended towards a more cosmopolitan existence, it would appear that he became a regular rolling stone, a globe trotter, who could not remain long anywhere. He was however the very kind of individual fitted by nature and education for the hazardous undertaking he entered upon in 1822, in exploring the interior of his native land. But above all his philanthropic disposition filled him with a most ardent desire to endeavour to bring about friendly relations with the hapless Red Indians, the poor persecuted untutored savage of the interior wilds. He threw himself, heart and soul into this cherished idea, nor did he count the risks and dangers that confronted him in the least. The one desire of his life so actuated him that he seemed to look upon himself as the instrument by which the amelioration of the condition of the Beothuck was to be accomplished. Of course Cormack himself did not credit the bloodthirsty stories of the fierce relentless disposition of the /234/ Indians current among the fisherfolk. He knew that in most instances, their ferocity was grossly exaggerated for the purpose of forming an excuse for their own inhuman conduct. Even though he did place any reliance upon the oft repeated yarns of the settlers, he believed that in him lay the necessary qualifications to allay the fears of the Red men, turn aside their hostility, and bring them to a friendly understanding, of his good intentions.

Cormack appears to have been well fitted for the task he had laid out for himself. He is described by those who knew him as being a tall, long limbed, wiry individual, physically just the man to endure any amount of hardship and toil, and of such a lively sympathetic temperament as would sustain him under the most trying circumstances.

The late John Peyton, Magistrate of Twillingate, who knew him intimately, informed me, that he saw Cormack just as he was about to enter the interior on his second journey in 1827, and again on his return, when he came to Mr. P's house. At first he could scarcely recognize in the tall, gaunt, shaggy individual who stood before him the man whom he saw a couple of months previous start off full of life and vigour, clean, kempt and well kept. His appearance now betokened what the man had gone through in the interim.

The story of his itinerary on both of his journeys reads like a romance, and as these are now long out of print, and exceedingly rare, their inclusion in this work will be the means of preserving these most interesting narratives of the earliest exploration of the interior of Newfoundland, as well as doing tardy justice to this splendid character, in our historical annals.

Cormack died in New Westminster, British Columbia in 1868, and the following obituary, written by one who had known him intimately, as a cherished friend, appeared in the British Columbian of May the 9th, 1868.

Death of W.E. Cormack

"It was our very melancholy duty to announce in our obituary this day week a name intimately associated with almost every social and political movement that has taken place in this Colony, ever since its birth, ten years ago -- the name of William Epps Cormack.

"Mr. Cormack was born in St. John's Newfoundland on the 5th of May, 1796. About seven years thereafter, on the death of his father, the family returned to Scotland, in which country Mr. Cormack spent his schoolboy and most impressionable days. Endowed with a fine susceptibility of the beautiful in external nature, it seemed to afford him great delight to recount his boyish rambles amidst the pleasing and classic scenery of Southern Scotland. During one of his holiday excursions he visited Burns's `Bonnie Jean,' nothing very remarkable, perhaps, in the light of our prosaic time, but it formed a green spot in his memory which often blossomed into facetious pleasantry at congenial gatherings. He attended the Universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh; the subsequent fame of /235/ several of his class fellows at the former (the late Marquis of Breadalbane being one) was always, with him, a theme of much admiration and pride; the emotion -- possibly from mere associative ideal force -- occasionally rose into an impassioned love of his ancestral country. At Edinburgh he was fortunate enough to secure the personal friendship of Professor Jameson, the late celebrated Mineralogist, whose fascinating incitement to the study of the physical sciences he ever gratefully remembered.

"About the year 1818 he took out from Scotland to Prince Edward's Island two vessels with emigrant farmers, and established there the now flourishing settlement of New Glasgow.(145) About a dozen years thereafter he established an export trade of grain from the same Island to Great Britain, which we understand has increased immensely.

"In or about the year 1821 or 1822, he crossed the interior of Newfoundland, being the first European who had done so. The object being (1) to test the truth of certain fabulous-like statements regarding the occupation of the interior by a peculiar race of Indians, and (2) their existence being proved, to introduce them to civilized life. A notice of this exploration appeared in the Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal, (circa) 1828. Between the years 1819 and 1834 he added a good deal to the knowledge of the flora of North America, frequently sending home to the Linnean Society specimens of plants: a specimen of the Calluna Vulgaris, or common heath, contributed by Mr. Cormack, formed, not very long ago, an interesting subject of discussion in the Society, the question being: Whether the Calluna is indigenous to the American Continent? Some time within the period last above stated, he wrote an Essay on the British American and French Fisheries, for which he received a medal from the Montreal Natural History Society. He went to Australia in 1836, where he cultivated tobacco, with much success, for two or three years. He left that colony for New Zealand in 1839, and there laid the foundation of pastoral pursuits on an extensive scale by purchasing land from the natives and raising cattle and horses. But some difficulties occurred with the Home Government which materially interferred with the enterprises of the first settlers in that Island. While in New Zealand he exported spars (the Cowdie pine) to London on an extensive scale, principally for the Admiralty. He sent a numerous collection of the young forest tree seed of New Zealand to Kew Gardens, but seemed to be under the impression that some mishap had fallen them. He spent a few years in California engaged principally in mercantile and mining pursuits, varying their exciting though arid pleasures by forming a small hortus siccus of the magnificent plants of that State. In this Colony he took a most active part in everything which he thought would tend to its material and political progression; he fought hard to get the modicum of representative government which we now possess -- the peculiar beauties of which some of us, perhaps, have latterly been unable to perceive. One of the first members of our Municipal Council he devoted to its affairs, in an ultra-disinterested way, a great deal of valuable time. He was /236/ mainly instrumental in establishing an Agricultural Society in British Columbia, acting as its Secretary, and preserving -- uninfluenced by much that was disheartening -- its rather languid life. He had charge of the Ichthyological Department in connection with British Columbia's contributions to the Exhibition of 1862, (a very interesting account of the various kinds of salmon, &c., found in the Fraser accompanied the contributions) but nothing was ever heard of the fishes, the probability being that they did not keep through the tropics. The stomachs were not taken out, and this would certainly serve to hasten decomposition; the object in retaining the stomach, and mutilating the fish as little as possible, was a purely scientific one. The examination (by such a man as Professor Owen) of the contents of the stomach might have thrown some valuable light not only on ichthyology but on some of its allied sciences. He opened a correspondence a few years since with the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland, and sent to it a variety of the grass seeds of this Colony, thinking the bunch grass, for instance, would find a congenial habitat in the Alpine districts of Scotland. By the last mail he contributed to the same Society a sample of a species of hemp indigenous to British Columbia, and was recently engaged in trying to procure one or two of our mountain sheep, with the view to improve the breed and wool of Great Britain. These animals, however, are not unknown in the Mother Country -- good specimens are to be seen in London and Edinburgh Museums; and if we remember rightly, a description of them is given in Richardson's Fauna Boreali Americana.

"Mr. Cormack was a great lover of field sports and outdoor amusements. Fishing and skating he was passionately fond of. During one of his occasional visits home he amused himself by revising and amplifying a small treatise on skating (originally written by a Lieut. Jones); and the old gentleman agreeably delighted and astonished everybody here, in 1862, by his graceful evolutions on the ice. He numbered amongst his friends and correspondents some of the most celebrated scientific and literary men of the last half century, such as Sir William Hooker, Professor Faraday, Dr. Ure, Dr. Hodgkin, (Chairman of the Aborigines Protection Society,) and the late talented, though somewhat eccentric, John Macgregor, author of the Progress of America, Commercial Statistics, &c., the last being a most intimate friend. Though fond of writing, Mr. Cormack has left no works to testify to his industry. It is only visible through the darkened light of half-forgotten newspapers and Reviews.

"The impulse of a strong fancy made him a wanderer -- the commercial man and the explorer in one. While he sought the respectable gains of commerce, he at the same time aimed at extending international knowledge, thus contributing to the welfare and happiness of man.

"He was naturally of a buoyant and happy disposition, genial and kindly; his manners were suave and dignified. Latterly, great bodily suffering somewhat tinged with bitterness a temper which was constitutionally mild. But no words of his were meant to be `unkind,' though they were sometimes, by those who did not understand him, `wrongly taken.' His warm appreciation of what he deemed the good works of /237/ the Roman Catholic Missionaries in this Colony showed that he had no narrow-souled religious notions. The Rev. Father Fouquet he held in the highest esteem.

"Though afflicted for years, he was only confined to bed about a month. His sufferings during the greater part of his confinement, though intense, never affected his mental powers. With a clear intellect and a consolatory resignation he met the approach of death.

"The greatest respect was paid by this community to his remains -- almost every one who could conveniently attend was at his funeral. The Fire Department (of which he was an honorary member) paid him special respect, the officers of the company carrying his body to the church. The funeral service was conducted by his estimable friend the Rector of Holy Trinity. Personally we have to mourn the loss of an esteemed and much valued friend. Several of our `old familiar faces' are, unhappily, leaving for other homes -- but one dear old face has passed away to `another and a better world.'"

The above obituary was written by Edward Graham, Esq., a gentleman who claims to have been on terms of intimate friendship with Cormack for many years.

NOTE. Amongst Cormack's numerous papers I came across the following Agreement, which fully bears out the statement as to the unreliability of his Indian guide.

Agreement between W.E. Cormack and Joseph Silvester of Bay of Despair.

I promise and agree with Joseph Silvester that if he accompanies me from St. John's to St. George's Bay by land towards the middle of the country of Newfoundland, that besides what I may have already done for him, that after he takes me safe there, that I will on our return, give his mother one barrel of pork, one barrel of flour and anything else that may be found suitable, and further, that he is to go along with me to England or Scotland and stay there as long as I do, and if he likes he may return to St. John's with me next year, or if he likes I will give him a passage in one of our vessels to Portugal or Spain in order that it might do his health good, and then from Spain he is to get his passage back to St. John's or to go in the same vessel to England and return by her to St. John's, and that I will give the Captain of the vessel particular directions to take care of him, and that whatever should happen he the Captain will take care of Joe. until his return to St. John's. When as Joseph Silvester is in St. John's he is to live at my house. If Joe. should ever go to Prince Edward's Island, I will give him a letter to my friends there to do what they can for him, he is to write me what it is, and I will always be very glad to perform what Joe. reasonably wants of me.

(signed) W.E. CORMACK.

Done in the interior of Newfoundland in about 48 degrees 20 minutes N. Lat. 54 degrees 50 minutes W. Long. on Sunday Sept. 14th, 1822.

/238/ It is quite evident from the above agreement that Mister Silvester had been showing the "White feather" and must have contemplated abandoning Cormack to his fate in the far interior, and that in order to retain his services it was necessary to offer him all these extra inducements.

Shanawdithit's Drawings.

[To be inserted later in pictorial form.]

(Covers pp. 238-51 in the original publication.)


Theories as to the origin of the Beothucks.

It is not my intention to pose as an authority on the ethnological, philological or linguistic affinities of the Beothuck. These subjects have been treated by several of the most learned scientists in all such researches. Various theories, have been advanced, and deductions arrived at, which, while I would not attempt to constitute myself an umpire to decide upon, I must confess leaves the question of their real origin about as much in the dark as ever. It would be presumption on my part to even express an opinion, favourable or otherwise, upon any views entertained by such eminent authorities. I shall only here give the gist of their views as they have come to me, and leave the readers to judge for themselves as to which carries most weight.

All the attempts made to solve this great problem, are of an exceedingly interesting character, and there is a strong temptation to elaborate thereon, but with such meagre material at our disposal we cannot hope to arrive at any definite conclusion at this late date.

Mr. W.E. Cormack, that intrepid and philanthropic gentleman, who devoted so much time and money with the view to bringing about amicable relations with the poor Red men, and who also made a deep study of everything relating to their manners, customs, language &c., conceived the idea that the Beothucks might possibly have derived their origin from the Norsemen, whom tradition asserts, discovered America in the tenth century, and afterwards sent out colonies to inhabit therein. No doubt Cormack was led to this supposition by the recently published translation of the Icelandic sagas, just then made public, by the learned Danish Antiquary Dr. Rink. Cormack apparently seized with avidity this interesting story and saw in it a possible solution of the mystery. Could he have established his theory it would have been a complete confirmation of the story of the sagas, and would have made his name famous, amongst the savons of his day. That he was filled with this theory is apparent from his writings, and I find amongst his notes attempts to compare the Beothuck language with that of Iceland and Greenland dialects. He frequently refers to its possible European origin, points out the fact of its possessing all the sounds of those of Europe, while differing radically from the languages of all the neighbouring tribes. Cormack seems to have held on to this view to the day of his death, for I have quite recently learned, from one who knew him intimately in British Columbia, a Mr. Smith, that Cormack did not think the Beothucks were Indians he had an idea that they came from Norway or Sweden. "The late Bishop Mullock of St. John's also seemed to favour this opinion and thought that they might be descendants of Liefs Colonists, possibly intermixed with some aboriginal people."

There are others who favour the theory of a Basque origin as the traditions of that hardy race of fishermen claim that they had made their /252/ way to our shores anterior to Cabot, and that the term "Baccalaos" for Codfish, said to have been used by the natives, was derived from them. Again some learned authors seem to see in the Basque language a remote yet notable resemblance, at least in form to American Indian languages in general.

But the concensus of opinion of those most competent to judge has long ago decided against this supposed European origin, and the most careful comparison of the linguistic characteristics of the language has led to the conclusion that it is clearly Indian or American. But having decided this point it has not been found quite so easy to determine to what great family of Indian dialects the Beothuck language really belongs. The most eminent authorities upon this phase of the question, such persons as Prof. Rob. Gordon Latham, of the Anthropological Society of Great Britain, Prof. Albert S. Gatschet of the Ethnological Bureau Washington, and the Rev. John Campbell, L.L.D., and the late Sir Wm. Dawson all differ in the conclusions they have arrived at. But before entering upon the question as treated by the above named gentlemen, I must record here a most ingenious and certainly very interesting theory put forward by Mr. Wm. Sweetland, Magistrate of Bonavista, who wrote an unpublished history of Newfoundland in 1837. I have been kindly favoured with a perusal of this work by his grand daughter Mrs. C.V. Cogan wife of the Rector of St. Mary's Church, St. John's, South.

Mr. Sweetland begins by stating that when Shanawdithit was brought to St. John's and while she resided with Mr. W.E. Cormack, he had frequent opportunities of conversing with her.

"On one of these occasions," says Mr. S. when questioned as to the origin of her tribe, she stated, "that `The Voice' told them that they sprang from an arrow or arrows stuck in the ground." Upon this Mr. Sweetland weaves an elaborate story of their descent from one Ogus Khan a great Tartar Chieftain who flourished about 675 B.C. Though I am by no means prepared to accept this theory, I must confess it possesses much that seems plausible, and is altogether of such an interesting character, never, so far as I know having been put forward by any other writer, I feel justified in inserting it here in full.

"This Ogus Khan according to his Tartar historian, having overrun the greater part of Asia, which he conquered and subdued, he then began to move towards the eastward, conquering all the great cities that lay in his way, and bringing all the minor states and kingdoms under his sway. Being in the city of Sham, he ordered one of his most faithful attendants to bury privately, a golden bow in the eastern part of the neighbouring forest; but in such a manner, that only an exceeding small bit of it could be seen, which being done he commanded the same person to bury so likewise, three golden arrows, in the west side of the same forest. A year later, he sent his three eldest sons, `Kuin,' or the Sun, `Ay,' or the moon, and `Juldus,' or the Star, to hunt on the east side of the aforesaid forest with orders to bring him whatever they found therein. Then he despatched his three younger sons, with orders to repair to the chase but on the west side only. The first of these had the appellation /253/ `of Kuck,' or the Heaven; the second that of `Tag,' or the Mountain; and the third that of `Zenghiz,' or the Sea. The former, besides a large quantity of game, brought with them, at their return the golden bow they had found; and the latter the three golden arrows, likewise much game. The Khan, having caused the game to be dressed, and added many other dishes to it, made a great feast on this occasion; after the conclusion of which, he divided the golden bow amongst his three eldest sons, and permitted also the three others to keep each of them, a golden arrow. He resided some years in the principal towns he had conquered; and having left strong garrisons in those of them that were defensible, he led back his army into his hereditary dominions.

"At his return he erected a magnificent tent, adorned with golden apples, curiously enriched with all sorts of precious stones; and invited to a grand entertainment his sons, the nobles, and all the officers of distinction in the Empire. He ordered nine hundred horses, and nine thousand sheep to be killed on this occasion; and provided nine leather bottles filled with brandy, and ninety with Kumiss, or mares' milk, for the use of his illustrious guests. Then having thanked his sons for their inviolable fidelity to him, he made them sovereign princes, giving them subjects of their own. As for the lords of his Court and his principal Officers, he rewarded each of them according to his respective merit. His three eldest sons received from him the name of `Bussuk,' that is broken, in memory of the golden bow which they had found, and parted among themselves and to the three youngest he gave the surname of `Utz-ock' or three arrows, in remembrance of the adventure above mentioned. Then telling them, that among their ancestors, a bow was the symbol of dominion, and the arrows that of ambassadors, he appointed Kuin, his successor, and declared the descendants of the `Bussucks' only to have a right to the crown. As for the `Utz-ocks,' and their posterity, they were to remain in a state of subjugation to their brethren for ever.

"In fine, this great conqueror made himself master of Kathay, and subdued all the Turkish tribes or nations of the East. He also reduced Persia, Korassan, Media, or Adarbayagjan and Armenia, and planted in the countries he possessed himself of, the true religion. Those who embraced it he treated with great lenity, and even heaped many favours upon them; but the Idolators he cut off without mercy. He likewise left Governors in all his conquests, commanding them to govern according to the Oguzian laws, which he had caused to be promulgated for the good of all his subjects.

"The memory of Ogus Khan is still held in high veneration over a great part of the East. He is considered as the greatest hero, except the famous Janghiz Khan, that ever lived, at least in the Eastern part of the world, by the Turks and Tartars of all denominations. The Ottomans or Othmans Turks so called in contradistinction to the Turkish or Tartarian tribes, settled in Great and Little Tartary, from him assume the name of Oguzians; and pretend that the Ottoman family is descended in a direct line from Ogus Khan.

"Ogus Khan having reigned according to the Tartar Historian, one /254/ hundred and sixteen years, departed this life, and was succeeded by his son Kuin or Ghun Khan. That Prince being advised thereto by one of his fathers old councillors of the tribe of Vigus, made a partition of the Empire. He divided Ogus Khan's immense dominions amongst the six brothers already mentioned, and all their sons. As each of them, therefore had four sons born in lawful wedlock, and four by his concubines, Kuin Khan's dominions were greatly dismembered, and after this event, assumed quite a different form. This we learn from Abul Ghazi Bahadur, the Khan of Khowarazm; but according to Mahommed Ebu Emin Khouandschah, commonly called Murkhoud the Persian Historian, the division of the Turkish Nation into tribes, which this seems to allude to, happened in the time of Ogus Khan.

"That Prince, says this author, divided the Oriental Turks, that is to say all those remote Turkish or Tartar Nations seated beyond the Gihon, on the Oxus, into twenty four different tribes. As many of them are still in being, an account of them will be found in the modern History of the Tartars.

"Having conducted my readers thus far by placing before them the history of the only two nations, with whom the Beothick of Newfoundland can reasonably claim affinity, allow me to examine the premises upon which that affinity is founded. The first of these as it regards Boetia, will not be found upon investigation to be so improbable as at first sight it may appear.

"The name Boetia resembles so closely that of Boeothic, that we may reasonably infer that the only alteration which time and custom has made between them, is that of changing the a of the first into c or ck of the latter, which slight alteration will not go to annihilate the supposition that they were originally one and the same signification.

"The fable of the Ox having conducted Cadmus into Boeotia has in my humble opinion no other reference than to the former situation of the tribe or family on the Oxus where, as I have already stated the Tartar tribes were partly seated at the division of Ogus Khan's vast dominions.

"In the next place, the tradition or fable of the two arrows given by Shanawdithit the Beothic woman to Mr. Cormack bears a close similitude to the circumstance recorded of Ogus Khan by the Tartar Historian, which has been related above; coupled with the name Boeotic (which I take for granted had the same signification with Boeotia, which meant an Ox) fixes their identity as descendants of one of the three younger sons of Ogus Khan, who was situated at the time of their separation from the parent stock, on or near the Oxus, west of the forest of Hyrcania, or if you please suppose the word Utz-ock, or the three arrows, in process of time, to have changed into Boeotzook or Butz-ock, the similitude will in some measure bear me out in claiming for them an affinity with one of Ogus Khan's youngest sons.

"The determination of the matter must be left in the hands of the learned and curious, should it be worth their attention and consideration, the purport of the writer being to shew as regards the Beothics, in the first instance, the probability of their Tartar extract, the route pursued by them from their own country into America, and that the Beothucks of /255/ Newfoundland were not the descendants of Scandinavians as some authors assert, or Norwegians as others.

"That they emigrated hither from Canada will easily be admitted by all acquainted with their proximity to the Straits of Belle Isle, which separates Newfoundland from Labrador.

"That they gave name to a bay in their neighbourhood, whither the Canadians frequented, and that they were in habits of friendly intercourse with them till the arrival of civilized man from Europe who quickly sowed the seeds of discord amongst them which eventually led to the annihilation of the Beothuck, for at this period the European

Of their name and race

Hath scarcely left a token or a trace'

save and except a few scattered vague reminiscences collected towards the end of their time, from the last of their race."

In considering the foregoing dissertation of Mr. Sweetland I have been impressed with a few rather remarkable coincidences, if nothing more. In the name given by Ogus Khan to his eldest son, "Kuin" the Sun, we have a very close resemblance to the Beothuck term for that luminary "Kuis." Several of the other terms used, while not so closely resembling any of the known words of the vocabulary of our Red Indians, have nevertheless a decided Beothuck sound, especially in such words as "Bussuk" and "Utz-ock."

With reference to the theory of their origin from the three arrows stuck in the ground, I find on referring back to the so-called mythological symbols, that the last three of these figures might be taken to represent arrows. The first of these indeed corresponds exactly with the description of the bluntpointed arrow described by Cormack, as used for killing small birds, "the point being a knob continuous with the shaft," and without feathers at the small end. The other two at their upper end are so fashioned that it might easily be conceived that this was intended to represent feathers, but there is nothing at the other end to indicate points or heads.

I must now proceed to the consideration of what the other more recent, and presumably more scientific authorities have to say on the subject of the possible origin of this mystical race.

Professor Latham gives it as his opinion that they were undoubtedly a branch of the great Algonkin family of North American Indians. In his Varieties of Man published in 1850, he says, of the Beothucks, "The particular division to which the Aborigines of Newfoundland belonged has been a matter of doubt. Some writers considering them to have been Eskimo, others to have been akin to the Micmacs, who have now a partial footing on the Island.

"Reasons against either of those views are supplied by a hitherto unpublished Beothuck vocabulary with which I have been kindly furnished by my friend Dr. King of the Anthropological Society.

"This makes them a separate section of the Algonkins, and such I believe them to have been."

/256/ NOTE. -- A table of the chief affinities between the Beothuck and other Algonkin languages or dialects, has been published by the present writer in the proceedings of the Philological Society for 1850.

The late Sir Wm. Dawson was of opinion that the Beothucks were of Tinne stock, a branch of the great Chippewan family, but neither Latham nor Gatschet acquiesce in this view.

Prof. Albert S. Gatschet of the Ethnological Bureau of Washington who has certainly given a deeper study to this subject than any other authority I know of, and who has taken infinite pains in comparing the Beothuck vocabulary with many of the dialects of the neighbouring Indian tribes of the mainland, is decidedly of opinion that the language possesses no real affinity with any of these, that it is a mistake to suppose they were Algonkins, or yet Chippewans. "There is nothing in their language to indicate their origin from either of those great families, that in fact they were `Sui generis,' a people of themselves, apart and distinct from all others we know anything of."

The Rev. John Campbell, L.L.D., another distinguished Philologist, is most pronounced in his opinion that the Beothucks were undoubtedly Algonkins, and that Latham was right in so concluding. This gentleman makes a comparison between some thirty or forty Beothuck words and a similar number of Malay-Polynesian and deduces therefrom the probability that the ancestral Beothuck stock was located in Celebes, and he imagines that they belonged to the same tribe as the New England Pawtuckets and Pequods, and adds that "their vocabulary agrees best with those of the New England tribes."

From such a diversity of opinions held by such eminent Scientists it is impossible to form any definite conclusion as to the origin of the Beothucks, yet there can be little doubt that they must have originally come from the mainland of America, and everything seems to point to the narrow Strait of Belle Isle as the most probable course of their migration. The fact that they were always on friendly terms with the Labrador Indians seems strong presumptive evidence that it is in this direction we should look for their nearest kin. This is further borne out by a statement of Shanawdithit to Mr. Peyton, recorded in one of his notes, viz. that the traditions of her people represented their descent from the Labrador Indians. The further fact that they were at such deadly enmity with the Micmacs, would preclude the idea that they were in any way closely allied to that tribe by ties of kindred.

There are several traditions of the remnant of the tribe having again crossed over to the Labrador shore, and having either died out or become absorbed by some of the resident tribes either the Nascopie or Mountaineers, but none of these traditions are well authenticated. John Stevens, a Canadian Indian, one of those employed by Cormack, told Mr. Peyton that the last signs of the Red Indians were seen near Quirpon, on the extreme NE. Coast of this Island about 1838(?). Bonnycastle, in his History of Newfoundland (1842) relates that while cruising in the Gulf of St. Lawrence with the Governor General of Canada, in the summer of 1831, that they found "the Indians, a sort of half bred Esquimaux, /257/ who were employed in the Salmon fisheries of the King's Ports, on the Labrador shore, were very much agitated and alarmed in the Bay of Seven Islands, by the sudden appearance of a fierce looking people amongst them, of whom they had neither knowledge nor tradition, and who were totally different from the warlike Mountaineer, or Montagnards of the interior, who came occasionally to barter at the posts."

"I believe," he adds, "the strangers themselves were as much alarmed at seeing the very unusual circumstance of three ships of war riding in that splendid basin, and finding that the part of the shore they had arrived at was occupied by a large storehouse and a dwelling, with some tents; for, after frightening the others out of their wits, they disappeared as suddenly as they came."

He concludes thus: "These were, very possibly, the poor disinherited Red Men, who, it had been the disgraceful practice of the ruder hunters, furriers, and settlers of Newfoundland, to hunt, fire at, and slaughter, wherever they could find them, treating these rightful lords of the soil as they would the bears and wolves, and with just as little remorse."

Hon. Joseph Noad, Surveyor General of Newfoundland in a lecture delivered by him in 1852, says "That the Micmacs still believe in the existence of the Beothucks and say some 25 years ago (1827) the whole tribe passed over to Labrador, and that the place of their final embarkation, as they allege, is yet indiscernible."(146)

The Royal Gazette of Sept. 2, 1828 contains the following statement re the Red Indians. "Nippers Harbour, where the Red Indians were said to have been seen three weeks ago, and where one of their arrows was picked up, after having been ineffectually shot at one of the settlers, is in Green Bay."

Physical Features of the Beothucks.

A great diversity of opinion seems to have existed as to the physical characteristics of this strange tribe. It has been customary on the part of fishermen and others to describe them as a race of gigantic stature and numerous instances are recorded to bear out this statement. Major George Cartwright, in speaking of the Indians he saw on an island in Dildo Run, says "One of them appeared to be remarkably tall."

The anonymous writer in the Liverpool Mercury, who was present at the capture of Mary March, speaks of her dead husband, as he lay on the ice, measuring six feet seven and a half inches.(147) A man killed in Trinity Bay by the fishermen is described as a huge savage, and another /258/ said to have been seen by one Richards, in Notre Dame Bay was pronounced to be seven feet tall, this was probably the same individual described by an old fisherman to Mr. Watts of Harbour Grace as being a huge man with immense chest development.

I have myself frequently heard fishermen talk of the large bones of skeletons they had come across, and say by placing the thigh bones (femur) alongside their own legs to compare them they were found to be much longer as a rule.

Nevertheless, I take it that most of these statements are highly exaggerated, and were the outcome of fear, or perhaps for the purpose of affording an excuse, for the wanton destruction of such formidable enemies. No doubt, as in most other races of the human family there were individuals of exceptional big stature, but all the more trustworthy evidence in our possession goes to prove conclusively that the Beothucks were people of ordinary stature only.

I shall here give a review of such facts bearing on this head as are contained in the foregoing pages.

Richard Edens, in his Gatherings from writers on the New World, says, "The inhabitants are men of good corporature, although tawny like the Indians." Jacobus Bastaldus writeth of the inhabitants thus: "They are whyte people and very rustical."

Pasqualligi, the Venetian Ambassador at Lisbon writing to his brother in Italy, describes the savages brought home by Cortereal thus: "They are of like figure, stature and respect, and bear the greatest resemblance to the Gypsies, they are better made in the legs and arms and shoulders than it is possible to describe."

Damiano Goes, a contemporary Portuguese writer, in his Chronica del Rey Dom Manuel, gives the following description of them: "The people of the country are very barbarous and uncivilized, almost equally with the people of Santa Cruz, except that they are whyte [white], and so tanned by cold that the whyte [white] colour is lost as they grow older and they become blackish. They are of middle size, very lightly made &c."

Cartier in 1534-5 says, "These are men of indifferent good stature and bigness, but wilde [wild] and unruly."

John Guy, who met and traded with them in 1612 at the head of Trinity Bay, also says, "They are of a reasonable stature, of an ordinary middle size. They go bare-headed, wearing their hair somewhat long but cut round: they have no beards; behind they have a great lock of hair platted with feathers, like a hawk's lure, with a feather in it standing upright by the crown of the head, and a small lock platted before." . . . . "They are full eyed, of blacke colour; the colour of their haire [hair] was divers, some black, some brown and some yellow,(148) and their faces somewhat flat and broad, red with oker, as all their apparel is, and the rest of their body; they are broad breasted, and bold, and stand very upright."

Whitbourne does not describe their personal appearance and it is therefore presumable that he never actually saw any of them.

/259/ In Patrick Gordon's Geographical Grammar 1722, it is stated, "The natives of this Island are generally of middle stature, broad faced, colouring their faces with ochre."

Lieut. John Cartwright did not see any of them and therefore does not describe their personal appearance.

Anspach, writing in 1818, thus describes the Indian female captured in 1803, "She was of a copper colour, with black eyes and hair much like the hair of an European."

Bonnycastle says of this female, "She was stained both body and hair, of a red colour, as is supposed from the juice of the alder."

But it is to Lieut. Buchan, and Mr. John Peyton we are indebted for the most circumstantial and reliable description of the Beothucks. Both these gentlemen, as is known, came into closer contact with them than any others of education and clear intelligence, therefore I would take their statements as being thoroughly reliable. Buchan, during his amicable intercourse of several hours duration at Red Indian Lake in 1811, had an opportunity such as no other person, at least in modern times, enjoyed of taking close observation, not merely of one or two indivuduals, but of the whole tribe. He describes them very fully thus: "Report has famed these Indians as being of gigantic stature, this is not the case, and must have originated from the bulkiness of their dress, and partly from misrepresentation. They are well formed and appear extremely healthy and athletic, and of the medium structure, probably from five feet eight to five feet nine inches, and with one exception, black hair. Their features are more prominent than any of the Indian tribes that I have seen, and from what could be discovered through a lacker of oil and red ochre (or red earth) with which they besmear themselves I was led to conclude them fairer than the generality of Indian complexion." In counting their numbers he says, "There could not be less than thirty children, and most of them not exceeding six years of age, and never were finer infants seen."

Mary March (Demasduit) is described in the official reports as a young woman, about 23 years of age, of a gentle and interesting disposition. Bonnycastle says, "She had hair much like that of an European, but was of a copper colour, with black eyes. Her natural disposition was docile. She was very active and her whole demeanour agreeable. In this respect as well as in her appearance, she was very different from the Micmacs or other Indians we are acquainted with."

Capt. Hercules Robinson, writing of her from information obtained from the Rev. Mr. Leigh, says, "She was quite unlike an Esquimau in face and figure, tall and rather stout in body, limbs very small and delicate, particularly her arms. Her hands and feet were very small and beautifully formed, and of these she was very proud; her complexion a light copper colour, became nearly as fair as an European's after a course of washing, and absence from smoke, her hair black, which she delighted to comb and oil, her eyes larger and more intelligent than those of an Esquimau, her teeth small, white and regular, her cheek bones rather high but her countenance had a mild and pleasing expression. Her voice was remarkably sweet, low and musical."

/260/ Old Mr. Curtis, who was in Peyton's employ when she was brought out from the interior, says, "She was of medium height and slender, and for an Indian very good looking."

Rev. Wm. Wilson, in his diary gives a very graphic description of the three women captured in 1823, as he saw them in the Court House at St. John's. He says, "The mother was far advanced in life, she was morose, and had the look and action of a savage, she seemed to look with dread and hatred on all who approached her. The oldest daughter was in ill health, but her sister, Shanawdithit or Nancy, was in good health, and seemed about 22 years of age. If she had ever used red ochre about her person, there was no sign of it in her face. Her complexion was swarthy, not unlike the Micmacs her features were handsome, she was a tall fine figure, and stood nearly six feet high, and such a beautiful set of teeth, I do not know that I ever saw in a human head. She was bland, affable and affectionate. She appeared to be of a very lively disposition, and was easily roused and prone to laughter."

Old widow Jure of Exploits Island, who was a domestic in Peyton's employ, at the time Nancy resided with the family, describes her as rather swarthy in complexion, but with very pleasing features. She was rather inclined to be stout, but nevertheless of a good figure. She was very bright and intelligent, and quick at acquiring the English language, and had a most retentive memory. At times she was very pert, and inclined to be saucy to her mistress, then again she would fall into sulky moods, take fits of laziness, and absolutely refuse to do any work. When in this state of mind she would sometimes run away from the house, and hide herself in the woods for a day or two, but always came back in better humour. In fact she was a big, grown, wayward, pettish child, to all intents.

Mr. Curtis, before mentioned, says she was industrious and intelligent, that she performed all the usual household work, except bread making and did everything well. Old John Gill, whose mother also lived with Nancy at Peyton's, confirmed all the above statements, and added further, "Nancy was very similar to the Micmacs in appearance, having about the same complexion and broad features. Her hair was jet black and coarse, her figure tall and stout. She was a good worker when she felt inclined that way. She was subject to occasional melancholy moods, and when in this state of mind would do nothing. On the whole she was of a very gentle disposition, and not at all inclined to viciousness. She displayed a marvellous taste for drawing or copying anything, and was never so happy as when supplied with paper and lead pencils. She was strictly modest in her demeanour, and would permit no freedom on the part of the male sex. She took great pride in some fine clothes given her by Captain Buchan."

Cormack also speaks of her natural talent for drawing. He says she evinced extraordinary powers of mind in possessing the sense of gratitude in the highest degree, strong affections for her parents and friends, and was of a most lively disposition. He says in person she was inclined to be stout, but when first taken was slender.

/261/ The Hon. Joseph Noad, Surveyor General of the Colony, who writes as though he had seen Shanawdithit, describes her in similar terms. He says, "her natural abilities were good, she was grateful for any kindness shown her. In height she was five feet five inches."

Bonnycastle speaks of seeing a miniature of Shanawdithit "which without being handsome, shews a pleasing countenance, not unlike in expression to those of the Canadian tribes, round with prominent cheek bones, somewhat sunken eyes, and small nose."

Finally Mr. Peyton informed me that the Red Indians as a whole were not such gigantic people as represented by some of the fishermen, they were of medium height only, of a very active lithe build. They were a better looking people than the Micmacs, having more regular features with slightly aquiline noses, not so broad featured, and much lighter in complexion. They did not appear to be so fond of gaudy colours as their continental neighbours, except as regards their custom of using red ochre.

The above are about all the really reliable and trustworthy references to the physical characteristics of the Beothuck tribe known to me.

Status of the Red Indian Women.

Amongst the Beothucks the women seem to have been held in greater esteem and been treated more in accordance with civilized notions of what is due to the weaker sex, than was usual amongst savage peoples. At least we are led to infer as much from several facts contained in the foregoing references and traditions.

There are two or three instances recorded, where when surprised by the whites, the women had recourse to appealing their enemies' sympathy or better nature, by laying bare their bosoms, thus disclosing their sex, in the vain hope of turning aside their enmity. I look upon this fact as clearly indicating that such an appeal would be considered amongst themselves as one calculated to ward off the threatened blow. Then again we have the noble example of affection displayed by poor Nonos-a-ba-sut, husband of Mary March, who did not hesitate to face his enemies and brave death itself, in the endeavour to rescue his wife from the despoilers' hands. There is the further example of filial affection displayed by the Indian boy August, who said if he could come across the ruffian who shot his mother, he would wreak vengeance upon him.

In the tradition about the Carbonear white women captives, we are told that these women were treated with every consideration by the Indians, and that they observed that their own women were also well treated by the sterner sex, in that respect, fully as well as amongst civilized beings.

Mr. Peyton informed me, that when conveying Mary March out to the sea coast, they drew her on a sled. She seemed to demand and expect kindly treatment at their hands. She would sit upon the sled, put out her feet and intimate by signs she wanted someone to lace up her moccasins, and in many other ways seemed to look upon such little services as /262/ a matter of course. Both she and Nancy during their sojourn amongst the white people, looked for and expected as their right such small attentions, and resented anything approaching rough, harsh or unseemly conduct on the part of the fishermen.

The Custom of using Red Ochre.

Many theories have been advanced to account for this curious custom of using red ochre, a mixture of red earth, oxide of iron and oil or grease, called by the Beothucks Odemet. It appears to have been their universal practice to smear everything they possessed with this pigment. Not only their clothing, implements, ornaments, canoes, bows and arrows, drinking cups, even their own bodies were so treated. Small packages of this material, tied up in birch bark, are found buried with their dead, and there is evidence even that long after the flesh had decomposed and fallen away, they must have visited the sepulchres and rubbed ochre over the skeletons of their departed kin. At least one such now in the local museum was certainly so treated.

It was of course this custom which gave origin to the name of Red Indians commonly applied to these people. There are many conjectures as to the purpose of this style of adornment. Some writers suppose it may have been intended as a protection against the elements, or the mosquitoes, but it is more generally conceded that the red colour had for them some greater significance, something supernatural, perhaps intended to act as a talisman, to ward off the spirits of evil, or perhaps as a charm against the machinations of their enemies.(149)

Whatever may have been the real object, it was invariably indulged in, and several places around the coast are still pointed out where the Indians procured the red material. One of those in Conception Bay, is known as Ochre Pit Cove, another in the Bay of Exploits as Ochre Island.

Of course this custom of painting the body with some such pigment was not confined to the Beothucks, for it appears to have been practised by most savages the world over. We are told that the ancient Britons besmeared themselves with woad. In the report of the United States Survey West of the 100th Meridian, mention is made of certain tribes of the Pacific slope, who were in the habit of painting or staining their persons with a red colour, supposed to be for protecting their flesh from the Sun's heat. If we go back still further, it would appear that the ancient Greeks were not exempt from a similar practice.

/263/ Amongst most of the tribes of North America various colours were used to render the features as repulsive as possible, by being daubed on in streaks so as to present a most hideous appearance, calculated it is believed, to strike terror into their enemies. I scarcely think however, that such could have been the object aimed at by our own aborigines, for previous to the coming of Europeans, and the influx of Micmacs from the mainland they had no enemies that we are aware of.

Lieut. Chappel in his Voyage of the Rosamond, says in a footnote, "Both ancient and savage nations have manifested this propensity to paint or dye their persons. The image of Jupiter preserved in the Capitol at Rome was painted with minium, and a Roman Emperor wishing to assume a God-like aspect, when entering the city in triumph, ornamented his skin in imitation of the God. The image of the Sphinx in Egypt is painted red. The ancient Britons painted their bodies of various colours, and Capt. Cook relates that the natives of Van Diemens Land had their hair and beards anointed with red ointment."(150)

Numerous other references to these peculiar customs might be quoted, but as they are all pretty much of the same character, and moreover do not throw much light upon the subject, it is not necessary to give them here. The most up to date scientific references are as follows:

Report of Bureau of Ethnology U.S. 1882-3

Significance has been attached to several colours amongst all peoples and in all periods of culture, and is still recognized in even the highest civilizations. As for instance, the association of black with death and mourning, white with innocence and peace, red with danger; yellow with epidemic, disease, etc.

Red seems to be more universally used than any other colour, and, amongst various peoples, had its various significance. The Tabernacle of the Israelites was covered with skins dyed with red, and today the Roman Pontiff and Cardinals are distinguished by red garments.

In ancient art this colour had a mystic sense or symbolism and its proper use was an important and carefully considered study. Red was the colour of Royalty, fire, Divine love, the Holy Spirit, creative power and heat. In an opposite sense it symbolised blood, war, hatred, etc. Most of the North American Indians adorned some portions of their bodies /264/ with this and other colours, especially when going to war, hence the term "Putting on the war paint."

Amongst the New Zealanders Red (kura) was closely connected with their religious belief. Red paint was their sacred colour. Their Idols, stages for the dead, and all offerings or sacrifices, their Chiefs' graves, houses, war canoes, etc., were all painted red.

To render anything tapu (taboo) was by making it red. When a person died his house was thus coloured. When the tapu was laid on anything, the Chief erected a post and painted it red or kura; wherever a corpse rested some memorial was set up and painted red. When the hahunga took place, the scraped bones of the Chief were so ornamented, and then wrapped in a stained cloth mat and deposited in a box smeared with the sacred colour and placed in the tomb. A stately monument was then erected to his memory which was also so coloured.

In former times the chief anointed his entire person with Red Ochre when fully dressed on state occasions.(151)

Tattooing seems to have taken the place of painting the body amongst these people in more modern times. This custom is also prevalent amongst many of the natives of the Pacific Islands. The Haida of the Queen Charlotte Islands, and the natives of Alaska carried out this custom to a perhaps greater degree than any other savage people. Even the Esquimau of the far North indulged in it to a lesser degree, amongst the female sex, the married women only, tattooed the face especially the cheeks, forehead and chin with simple designs.

In the case of the Queen Charlotte Islanders the custom seems to have attained the highest degree of art. Not only the face and arms, but all the fleshy portions of the body were covered with most grotesque designs, representing real or imaginary animals. They were the crests or armorial bearings of the tribe or family to which the individual belonged. Both painting and tattooing the person in this fashion has been made the subject of recent study especially by the Jesup North Pacific Expedition sent out to British Columbia in 1897. The question of "Why do the Indians paint their faces?" was one of those which engaged the most earnest attention of the expedition, and it was found to have a far deeper significance than was hitherto supposed to be the case.

The fact of the matter is, that every paint mark on an Indian's face is a sign with a definite meaning which other Indians may read. The same applies to the tattoo marks. The whole design represented the totem (crest) or armorial bearing of the tribe or family, to which the individual belonged, just as the civilized gentleman of noble birth has his crest or coat of arms to distinguish his family.

The subject is a far reaching one as it can be seen that it carries us back almost to the advent of the human race on this globe. There are some who hold that even Adam himself may have indulged in the red ochre habit, as his very name signifies "red earth."

/265/ But to return to our Aborigines the Beothucks, I am greatly inclined to the belief that with them as with the Maoris, the custom had some sacred significance, or was connected in some way with their religious belief. The mere fact of their visiting the dead and smearing the very bones with red ochre, also of their depositing packets of the material with the corpse in its last resting place, is a clear indication that they supposed the colour to have some specially saving virtue, for the deceased on his journey to the "Happy hunting ground."

Traditions current among the fisher-folk and other

residents about the Aborigines, or Red Indians.

There are numerous traditions, especially amongst the inhabitants of the more Northern Bays, relative to the Red Indians. While it is impossible to vouch for the correctness of many of these stories, there can be little doubt that the majority of them have some element of truth in them. They are chiefly of a sanguinary character, and refer to various encounters with the Red Men. As all these stories are more or less interesting, I shall give them just as they were related to me, except a few which are of too revolting a character to put in print.

I cannot here attempt to arrange these occurrences according to dates, as nothing definite could be obtained on that point. What appears to be probably one of the oldest relates to Carbonear and was obtained from Mr. Claudius Watts, a very old and intelligent resident of Harbour Grace, now bordering on the century mark,(152) through his son Mr. H.C. Watts. Mr. Watts remembered a very old inhabitant of Carbonear, a Mr. Thos. Pike, who died in 1843, at the great age of 103. This man's father came out from England at an early date. He remembered seeing an encampment of Red Indians on Carbonear Beach, with whom he traded, exchanging iron and other articles for furs &c. He said the Indians were camped there for several days, and during that time some of them went down the shore to a place called Ochre-Pit Cove to procure red ochre, so much prized by them. Pike had in his possession for a long time some stone implements and other articles given him by the Indians, which remained in his family for many years but were eventually destroyed by a child putting them in the fire, when the heat split them into fragments. A sister of old Mr. Watts who predeceased him many years, used to relate a tradition current in her young days amongst the older inhabitants of Carbonear, to the effect that once the fishermen from that place who used to go into Trinity Bay every season to fish, surprised a number of Indians in a canoe. These all made their escape except one young girl who was sick and unable to get away. They brought her to Carbonear with them and kept her for some time but the Indians made a raid upon the place while the men were absent fishing, and not only recaptured the girl but carried off three white women of the place. The women were returned to Carbonear in the following spring, unharmed, and fully dressed in deer /266/ skins. They gave a most favourable account of their treatment by the Indians, describing them as more like civilized people than savages. Their women, they said were handsome, and the men of immense stature. They had but one wife each, as these they treated as well as white people did their wives.

The cause of the kidnapping of the three women was supposed to be in retaliation for the capture of the girl, who it appeared was a chief's daughter and a person of note amongst them.

The tradition of the Indians procuring red ochre at the place since called Ochre-Pit Cove, about six miles below Carbonear on the north shore of Conception Bay, has long been current.

Mr. C. Watts distinctly remembers many of the old people some 80 years ago, speaking of this tradition, which had been handed down from one generation to another. According to his story the first settlers on the north shore of Conception Bay, below Carbonear, had frequently seen the Indians come to Ochre-Pit Cove and take away red ochre therefrom, and there was a place in the cliff called Red Man's Gulch, from the circumstance. A very old man named Parsons, who lived in this cove, and was the grandson of another man of the same name who was one of the very first settlers on the shore, used to state, when his grandfather came there an old Englishman who preceded him often spoke of the Indians whom he saw taking ochre from the cliffs. Sometimes they came overland from Trinity Bay, but more frequently in their canoes from up the shore somewhere. The settlers did not molest them in any way at that time, and the old Englishman in particular was on quite friendly terms with them.

Mr. Watts also states that an old trapper once told him that in the month of May, he with some others were hunting somewhere on the South side of Notre Dame Bay, when they came across the body of a huge Indian laying dead by the side of a river. As there were no signs of violence or any marks of shot wounds on the body, the trappers concluded that the man must have fallen through the ice and been drowned, and when the river broke up the body had been carried down by the freshets to where they saw it.

Mr. Watts remembers many years ago, hearing from a reliable source, that some hunters being in the interior of Labrador near Forteau came across the footprints of men, who judging from their great strides, must have been of immense stature. The hunters came up with the encampment of these people about sunset, but as soon as they showed themselves, the Red Men, as they called them, made a hasty retreat, leaving all their camp equipage behind. Another tradition amongst the Carbonear men who used to fish in the straits of Belle Isle was to the effect, that the Nascopie Indians of Labrador told of a strange race of big men having been seen by some of their tribe on several occasions. It was thought the Nascopie and Eskimo killed them out.


Notes on the Red Indians from

"Newfoundland and its Missionaries"

By Rev. Wm. Wilson. Page 308.

"A place called Bloody Bay(153) on the north side of Bonavista Bay, has often been named to the writer as a place where frequent encounters had occurred with the Red Indians. . . .

"In a place called Cat Harbour, some Indians came one night and took all the sails from a fishing boat. The next day they were pursued and when seen, were on a distant hill, with the sails cut into a kind of cloak, and daubed all over with red ochre. Two men belonging to the party who had gone in pursuit of the Indians, were rowing along the shore, when they saw a goose, swimming in the water, and went in pursuit of it. But it proved to be merely a decoy, for while their attention was arrested two Indians rose up from concealment, and discharges their arrows at them but without effect."

A man named Rousell, one of the first settlers in Hall's Bay, was reputed as being a great Indian killer.

Many stories are told of this old Rousell's treatment of the Indians. It is said he never went anywhere without his long flint-lock gun, and woe betide the unfortunate Beothuck who dared to show himself near where Rousell was. It has even been stated that should a bush move or any noise emanate therefrom Rousell would immediately point his gun at the spot and let go. He is said never to have spared one of the natives. In the end, they killed him and carried off his head as was their usual custom.(154)

On the other hand a brother of his who never molested the poor creatures was treated well. They did him no injury, except to help themselves occasionally to a salmon from his weir. They would even come to one side of the brook while he was at the other and take a fish out before his face, so bold were they with him. They would call him by name Tom Rouse, and hold up the fish for him to see it. They were perfectly aware of the difference between the two brothers, and that while one was their deadly enemy, the other would not harm them.

Thomas Peyton, son of the man who captured Mary March, told me that another old man named Genge who lived alone at a place called Indian Arm, frequently saw the Red Indians, but he never interfered with them, they in turn did not harm him. They would approach his tilt at night and peep in through the chinks at him, but he always had a dog with him, of which the Indians were very much afraid. They would not dare enter the tilt while the dog was there. Genge used to put out a salmon or other food for them through a trap in his door, and they, understanding it was so meant, would approach and take it away. They never harmed or in anyway interfered with this man, except to visit his weir or nets and take out a salmon to eat. As in the case of Rousell, they would come while Genge was present at one side of the river and /268/ from the other side, run out on his dam and dexterously spear a fish and make off with it. He never fired at them, and they were perfectly aware of his friendly disposition, and in turn never molested him further than to take an occasional fish, as above stated. He would leave a fish on his splitting table for them then watch from his tilt to see them come and take it away. He also stated that they would go where he had his nets hung up to dry and pick the sea-weed out of them.

Another man named Facey or Tracy lived in Loo Bay salmon fishing, and had a boy with him. Once when the boy was out in a boat shooting sea birds, and while rowing along shore, he was shot in the throat with an arrow, by some Indians concealed in the bush. The boy siezed [seized] his gun (an old flint lock), and raised it to fire at the place where the arrow came from, but as he raised to his shoulder the profuse bleeding from his wound fell into the pan of the gun, damping the powder so that it would not ignite. He then rowed back in all haste and informed his master of what had occurred. "Never mind," said Facey (?), "I'll settle that." Forthwith he loaded up all his guns, and at daylight next morning set off in his boat to hunt up the Indians. As he pulled along shore he observed a path leading into the woods, which he followed up, and soon came across an Indian wigwam in which the inmates were still asleep. He raised the deer-skin door and peeped in. There were two occupants only still sound asleep (my informant stated that the Indians were great sleepers). Facey (?) called out to them twice before they became aroused, and as soon as they jumped up, he fired first at one, then seizing a second gun fired at the other. He would never admit that he killed them, only stating that he gave them a fright.

I was once informed that some fishermen or furriers in some part of Notre Dame Bay, having been subjected to frequent depradations on the part of the Indians, determined to kill them out. The furriers went in pursuit, and succeeded in surprising the Red men while still asleep in their wigwam. They stole cautiously forward, surrounded the wigwam and then set it on fire. The wigwam or mamateek, being constructed of birch bark, a most inflammable material, was ablaze in a minute or two. The unfortunate Indians rushed from the blazing structure and tried to escape, but they were shot down as they emerged, and not a single individual escaped alive.

On June 13th 1809, one Michael Turpin, an Irishman, was killed and scalped (head cut off)(?) at a place called Sandy Cove on Fogo Island, near Tilton Harbour. He with others, men and women, were engaged planting their gardens, some distance from the settlement, when the Indians made a descent upon them, all fled and escaped except Turpin who was shot down with arrows. One of the women was the first to give the alarm. The settlers rallied and went in pursuit, but the Indians had made good their retreat, having first cut off Turpin's head which they carried off with them.

Fishermen relate that on several occasions the Indians were seen in their canoes coming from the Funk Islands(155) where they had been in search /269/ of eggs and sea birds. This invariably took place during foggy weather, and it was only when they suddenly appeared out of the fog, in the vicinity of the fishing boats that they were seen. On such occasions, as soon as they described the fishing boats, they immediately swerved to one side and made off at great speed. It is certain that they did visit these distant islets (over forty miles from the main island), as some of their paddles and other belongings were found on these island rocks. It is thought probable some of them had been wrecked there during one of their visits.

A very intelligent native of Old Perlican in Trinity Bay named Jabez Tilley, gave me the following tradition, which he often heard the old people relate when he was a youth.

Several of the then oldest inhabitants remembered the depradations committed by the Indians as late as 1775. They came at night and stole the sails and other articles from a boat on the collar,(156) as well as all the gear they could lay hands upon. Tilley's informant, a Mrs. Warren, with others were up all night splitting fish in a stage close by, but they did not hear the Indians approach. Next day a party was organized and being fully armed set out in pursuit. They saw the smoke of the Indians camp near Lower Lance Cove, and laying concealed all night, they surprised the Indians, while still asleep, at daylight next morning, when they shot seven of them, but the rest escaped. One huge savage, after being shot twice, rose up again and discharged an arrow at them, but he was immediately shot through the heart. He is said to have been nearly seven feet tall.

The fishermen now loaded their boats with the stolen articles and also everything belonging to the Indians they could carry away. Being desirous of exhibiting the huge savage at Perlican, but having no room in their boat for the body, they tied a rope around his neck and tried to tow him along. A strong N.E. breeze having sprung up, they were obliged to cut the corpse adrift, and make all speed back.

The poor Indian's body drove ashore at Lance Cove Head where it lay festering in the sun till the autumnal gales and heavy seas dislodged it.(157) In the meantime, all through the summer many visited the place to inspect the body.

Another tradition was current to the effect that on one occasion 400 Indians were surprised and driven out on a point of land near Hant's Harbour, known as Bloody Point, and all were destroyed.

Tilley related other stories he had heard which are altogether too revolting to give in detail here.

J.B. Jukes, M.A., F.G.S., F.C.P.S., who conducted a Geological Survey in Newfoundland in 1839-40, and afterwards wrote a book of his travels, entitled, Excursions in Newfoundland, relates that his Micmac guide, one Sulian, had a tradition that about the beginning of the 17th Century, a great battle took place between the Micmacs and the Red Indians at the head of Grand Pond (Lake), but as the former were then /270/ armed with guns they defeated the latter, and massacred every man, woman and child.

Peyton always affirmed that the Red Indians had a great dread of the Micmacs, whom they called Shannock, meaning bad Indians, or "bad men." They used to point out a tributary of the Exploits, flowing in from the South, by way of which the Micmacs, came into their territory. He accordingly named this Shannock Brook, now Noel Paul's Brook. Peyton also told Jukes that the Red Indians were on good terms with the Labrador Indians (Mountaineers)(?) whom they called Shudamunks, or Shaunamuncks, meaning "good Indians." That they mutually visited each others country and traded for axes and other implements. The Mountaineers, he said, came over from Labrador across the Strait of Belle Isle, they were dressed in deer skins similarly to the Beothucks, but they did not redden themselves with ochre. The Red Indians also knew the Esquimaux, whom they despised, and called the "four paws."

Jukes mentions the old tradition about the feast of the Micmacs and Red Indians, the discovery of the former's treachery, and their consequent destruction, and adds, "after this feast frequent encounters between them took place, the one already mentioned near the head of Grand Pond, and another at Shannock Brook on the Exploits, but the Micmacs possessing fire arms were usually victorious."

An old man named George Wells, of Exploits Burnt Island, gave me the following information in 1886. He was then a man of 76 years of age, and remembered seeing Mary March and Nancy (Shanawdithit) at Peyton's. He confirmed the statement about Shanawdithit being a tall stout woman, nearly six feet high. His great uncle on his mother's side, Rousell of New Bay, saw much of the Indians and could tell a great deal about them. He, Rousell was killed by them while taking salmon out of his pound (weir) in New Bay River. The Indians hid in the bushes and shot him with arrows, wounding him very severely. He ran back towards his salmon house where he had a gun tailed, but he fell dead before reaching it. Rousell used to relate many stories about the Indians, he often lay hidden and watched them at work. Once as he rowed along shore he saw several of them on a hill, who shouted out to him. They were ensconced behind a big rock to shelter themselves from shot, as they could not induce him to come nearer than within several gun shots of them, one big Indian drew his bow and fired an arrow in the air with such strength and precision that it fell in the after part of his boat and pierced through an iron or tin bail-bucket pinning it to the plank at the bottom.

They frequently lay in ambush for the fishermen and even used decoys, such as sea birds attached to long lines. When the fishermen approached and gave chase to the birds, in their boats the Indians would gradually draw their decoys towards the shore, in order to get the boats within reach of their arrows. They sometimes used "dumb arrows," all of wood, without any iron point, which by reason of their lightness fell short when fired off, thus leading the fishermen to believe they could approach nearer without running any risk, but when they did so they were met with a shower of well pointed and heavier arrows.

/271/ The Indians once stole a salmon net from Rousell's brother in Hall's Bay and carried it across to the Bay of Exploits, they then cut out every second mesh and used it for catching seals. I was told here that some Red Indians were killed in White Bay, some years after Shanawdithit's death(?).(158)

Wells stated that the Rousell's had many implements belonging to the Indians, including also some of their canoes. He confirmed the shape of the canoe, except that it was round on the bottom similar to the Micmac's.(159) He represented it thus being very high at the bows. According to him their dress consisted of a single robe of deer skin, without sleeves, belted around the waist, and reaching midway between the knee and ankle. The moccasins were made from the deer's shanks, just as they were cut off from the legs, and sewn round to form the toe part. They reached up the calf of the leg to about the end of the deer skin robe, and were tied round with deer skin thongs.

In summer, he says they wore no clothes.(?) They never washed but smeared themselves over with red ochre. Their bows were fully 6 feet long made of spruce or fir and were very powerful. They were thick in the central part but flattened away towards either end, where the spring chiefly lay. The string was of plaited (twisted)(?) deer skin. There was a strip of skin fastened along the outer, or flat side of this bow. The hand grasping the bow passed inside this strip, with the arrow placed between the fingers to guide it. So dexterous were they in the use of this weapon, that they could arrange five or six arrows at a time between the fingers, and shoot them off, one after the other, with great rapidity, and unerring aim. The point or spear of the arrow was made of iron, and was fully 6 inches long.(160)

Wells is positive they knew how to heat and forge iron, he says they would keep it several days in the fire to render it soft. They used an old axe, set it into a junk of wood, with the sharp edge turned up, upon which they would work the iron back and forth, till it assumed the requisite shape and then grind it down sharp on a stone.

One of the most remarkable stories I have heard was related to me by an old fisherman, in the Bay of Exploits in 1886. It runs as follows: "Once a crew of fishermen were somewhere up the Bay, making what is termed a `winter's work,' i.e. cutting timber and sawing plank for boat and schooner building, etc. While at work in their saw-pit, beneath a sloping bank and close to the woods, they were annoyed by someone throwing snow balls at them, from the top of the bank. Thinking it was some friends from another camp, who were amusing themselves in this way, they did not pay much heed at first, but after a while, as the annoyance continued, one of the party determined to investigate. He climbed up the /272/ bank and entered the woods, and not returning again, his companions, after a long delay, believing something must have happened to him, went in search, he was nowhere to be found. They soon came across footprints in the snow, apparently made by Indians, and then unmistakable signs of a struggle. It was very evident to them that their unfortunate companion had been seized by the Red men and forcibly carried off. In vain they searched all around but the Indians had a good start of them and had gone away into the interior with their captive. Nothing more was heard of the missing man till a year or more had elapsed. One day some fishermen including some of the same party, were rowing along shore in the vicinity, when they were suddenly surprised by seeing a man rush out of the woods, jump into the water, and make towards them, at the same time making signals and calling some of them by name.

"Although dressed in deerskin, and besmeared with red ochre, like all the Indians they nevertheless recognized their long lost friend, and rowed towards him. In the meantime, just as he gained the boat a number of Indians appeared on the beach, wildly gesticulating and discharged a flight of arrows at the party. One, a woman, holding aloft an infant, waded out to her waist in the water, and entreating the fugitive by voice and gesture to come back, but seeing it was of no avail, and that the boat into which he had clambered, was moving away from the shore she drew from her girdle a large knife, and deliberately cut the infant in two parts, one of which she flung with all her might towards the retreating boat, the other, she pressed to her bosom, in an agony of grief.

"The fisherman now told his story, which was to the effect that upon climbing over the bank, and entering the woods he was suddenly pounced upon, bound and gagged before he could make any outcry, by the Indians who were concealed in a hollow close by. They then made a precipitate retreat, carrying him with them, away into the interior. For a long while they kept a close watch upon him never leaving him for a moment unguarded. One of the Indian women who took a particular fancy to him, presumably because he was a red headed man, was given him to wife in Indian fashion, and in course of time a child was born to them. The tribe wandered about the interior from place to place, and believing now that their captive had become thorougly reconciled to his surroundings, they relaxed their vigilance. On again approaching the seacoast and seeing some of his old friends and associates, his natural desire to regain his liberty and return to his fellow whites, overcame all other considerations. He made a dash for the boat and as we have seen was fortunate enough to escape the arrows and rejoin his friends."

A man named Carey or Kierly, whose descendants are still living at Herring Neck, was one of those who accompanied Peyton to Red Indian Lake, at the time Mary March was captured. He frequently related the story of her capture, and told how the husband of Mary seized old Mr. Peyton by the throat and would have made short work of him, had not someone stabbed the Indian in the back with a bayonet. This was probably the same Carey whom Cormack mentions as having killed the Indians in New Bay, and boasted of it as a deed to be proud of.


Inspector Grimes' stories.

Inspector Grimes of the Newfoundland Constabulary, a native of Notre Dame Bay, heard many stories about the Indians in his younger days. He said his father remembered seeing the man June and confirms the statement of June's taking charge of a fishing boat. June was drowned by the upsetting of his boat while entering Fogo Harbour.

He relates how a party of fishermen were attacked in their boat by the Indians and all killed except one man who managed to effect his escape with an arrow sticking in his neck behind the ear, in this plight he reached his home with the boat.

He heard of two boys being killed on Twillingate Island, their heads cut off and carried away.

One Richmond, a noted Indian killer, told many stories about them. He said he once saw a dead Indian 7 feet tall. When questioned as to whether he shot the man, he would say no, he found him dead by the side of a brook, and supposed that he had been drowned by falling through the ice, and that the body had been carried down by the spring freshets. Everybody believed he shot the man, and it was common talk that Richmond and another man, in a boat, were proceeding under sail along shore to overhaul their Otter traps, when peeping beneath the sail he observed an Indian on the shore, in the act of adjusting an arrow to fire at them. He sung out to his companion to shoot quickly. The other grabbed up his gun but it missed fire, where upon Richmond seized his own gun and killed the Indian dead on the spot.

Richmond or Richards(161) was another of those furriers who was present with the Peytons at the capture of Mary March in 1819. He was fond of relating the following stories.

Richmond used to say the Indians were nasty brutes and stunk horribly. It has frequently been asserted by others also that they took a delight in befouling everything belonging to the fishermen especially anything in the way of food, they came across, but I expect, if the truth were known, this was merely used as a pretext for destroying them.

Another man named Pollard was also reputed as a great Indian slayer, and was one of those who openly boasted of his achievements in that line.

An old man named Jones who was with Peyton at the capture of Mary March stated that they found in one wigwam, Peyton's watch broken up and distributed about the wigwam, also in a Martin skin pouch some silver coins which were in Mr. Peyton's pockets at the time his boat was stolen. This man also affirmed that the Indians had a kind of telegraphic communication between the several wigwams, by means of salmon twine stretched along from one to another. This was raised above the ground, and rested in the forks of sticks, stuck up at intervals, or on the branches of /274/ trees which happened to come convenient. By this means if one wigwam was surprised the alarm could be given to the others by pulling the string. He did not say what was the medium at the end of the line by which the alarm was received.

Rev. Mr. Cogan C.E. Missionary informed me that a man named Butler of White Bay was with Peyton in 1819 at Red Indian Lake and amongst other things found in their wigwams, picked up a silver tablespoon.

In the latter part of the 18th century, a dozen or more furriers came in contact with a large body of Red Indians somewhere in the interior, when a pitched battle was fought between them. The Indians were led by a huge powerful looking man who appeared to be their chief, and who tried to induce his party to rush on the whitemen and overwhelm them, but they were too much afraid of the long flint-lock guns with which the latter were armed. After a few discharges of arrows on the one side and balls or slugs on the other, the chief who was hit twice and badly wounded, rushed forward alone, and seized one of the whitemen in his arms, and was making off with him when a well directed ball from the leader of the furriers struck him in the side. He fell forward releasing his hold on the whiteman, who immediately ran back and rejoined his fellows. When they saw their chief laid low the rest of the Indians fled from the scene. The dying chief was seen to hold his hands beneath the wound in his side, and catch the blood flowing therefrom and then drink it, but his life soon ebbed away. The furriers said had the Indians rushed on them in a body as their chief desired they could have easily killed the whole party, before they would have time to reload their guns.

Somewhere about this same date a man named Cooper was killed by the Indians, in some part of Notre Dame Bay. His brother, who was then at college in England, on learning the circumstance, swore he would be avenged upon them. When arrived at manhood he came back to Twillingate, learned all he could about the Red Men, their habits, location &c., he then fitted out a skiff, and procured a number of guns with plenty of ammunition, to go in search of them. As he could not induce anyone to join him, he got hold of a poor halfwitted individual, made him drunk, took him aboard the skiff, and started off for New Bay during the night time. He arrived there early in the morning. The Indians observing gave chase in several canoes. When Cooper saw so many of them he tried to get away, but as the wind was light the canoes soon gained upon him. Seeing he could not escape them he took down his sail and prepared to do battle. When within about 100 yards of the skiff one of the Indians fired an arrow at Cooper which barely missed him. He returned the fire and kept up a regular fusilade, firing as fast as his companion could reload the guns. They tried to surround him, but some of their canoes were riddled with shot and ball and began to fill with water, so they turned and made for the shore. When out of range of shot Cooper continued to fire ball at them, and the story goes that not one canoe reached land, and that a number of the Indians were /275/ killed or drowned. The canoes were large and each contained quite a number of men.

At Herring Neck the Indians committed several depradations. Once they cut up the sails of a fishing boat and all the fishermens' lines, besides doing various other mischief. They lay concealed in their canoe underneath the fishing stage while the fisherfolk were at work therein, and as soon as the latter retired to their houses, the Indians emerged, and were rowing away when detected. The fishermen gave chase but the Indians, having a good start, managed to make good their escape.

On another occasion they made their appearance at the same place, when all the fishermen were absent, and only two women, a mother and daughter, named Stuckly, were at home. The older woman was out of doors spreading clothes to dry when the Indians raided the house, and one of them seized the girl, a young woman of about 19 years of age, and was carrying her off bodily, when she screamed to her mother for help. The old woman immediately ran to her assistance, and seizing one of the poles supporting her clothes line, struck the Indian such a stunning blow on the head, that he dropped his burthen and made off holding his hand to the injured part.

Mr. Thos. Peyton, to whom I referred this story, has recently (Dec. 1907) written me fully confirming this occurrence in most particulars. Strange to say he obtained his information quite recently and directly from a granddaughter of the woman who figured in the above incident. Peyton's version of it is so interesting I give it here in full.

"While on a visit to Herring Neck recently, I boarded at Mr. John Reddick's, an old friend of mine. His late wife was a daughter of old John Warren, late of Herring Neck, the only man I ever heard of as coming to this country from the Island of St. Helena. He was a powder Monkey on board the Frigate `Arethusa' etc.

"One evening as old Mr. Reddick and myself were having a yarn, and the conversation turned on the Red Indians. I related what Sergt. Grimes had told you [me(?)] about the Indians chasing a woman at Herring Neck, when to my great surprise, Reddick's daughter, a woman between 40 and 50 years of age, and very intelligent at that, said, `Why Mr. Peyton that woman, Mrs. Stuckly was my grandmother,' and she then related the whole story as she often heard it from her mother.

"It was not at Herring Neck that the occurrence took place, but on the South side of Twillingate Island where the family then resided before removing to Pikes' Arm, Herring Neck. The two young women were in behind their house, berry picking, when they observed an Indian creeping towards them. They instantly ran towards the house and being pretty fleet of foot, the Indians did not gain on them very fast. On drawing near their home the dogs began to bark and this encouraged them to renewed exertions. On nearing the house, one of them, then a young able woman, caught up a pole, faced about, and went for the Indian, the dogs assisting her by barking and yelping at him, at this the Indian turned and made for the woods. The woman did not however get within striking distance of him, and adds Mr. Peyton, `I guess it was well for /276/ him she did not, or he would have got an awful crack on the head, most likely he would have been stunned, and then the dogs would have finished him off for certain.' It was not long after this that the family removed to Herring Neck.

"Old Mr. Reddick confirmed his daughter's story, having often heard his late wife speak of it, as she heard it from her mother, one of the young women in question."

* * * * * * * * *

The Rev. Philip Tocque, in his curious work, entitled Wandering Thoughts, relates a conversation he had with an old man named Wiltshear, a resident of Bonavista. It is in dialogue form and is as follows:

"How long have you been living in this place?"

"About twenty-five years, previous to which I resided several years in Green Bay,(162) and once during that period barely escaped being transported."

"Under what circumstances?"

"In the year 1810, I was living to the northward. Five of us were returning one evening from fishing, when, on rounding a point, we came close upon a canoe of Red Indians; there were four men and one woman in the canoe. Had we been disposed to have shot them we could have done so, as we had a loaded gun in the boat. The Indians however, became alarmed, and pulled with all speed to the shore, when they immediately jumped out and ran into the woods, leaving the canoe on the beach. We were within ten yards of them when they landed. We took the canoe into our possession, and carried it home. In the fall of the year, when we went to St. John's with the first boat load of dry fish, thinking a canoe would be a curiosity, we took it with us in order to present it to the Governor; but immediately it became known that we had a canoe of the Red Indians, we were taken and lodged in prison for ten days, on a supposition that we had shot the Indians to whom it belonged. We protested our innocence, and stated the whole affair to the authorities; at last the canoe was examined, no shot holes were found in any part of it, and there being no evidence against us we were set at liberty."

"Did you ever see any of the encampments of the Red Indians?"

"Yes, frequently; I have seen twelve wigwams in the neighbourhood of Cat Harbour. A planter living there built a new boat, for which he had made a fine new suit of sails. One night the Indians came and carried away every sail. The planter and his men, immediately it was discovered, set out in pursuit of the Indians. After travelling nearly a day, they espied them on a distant hill, shaking their cossacks at them in defiance, which were made out of the boat's sails, and daubed with red ochre. Seeing that further pursuit was fruitless they returned home. The next day, however, the planter raised a party of twenty-five of us. We proceeded overland to a place where we knew was an encampment; when we arrived, we found twelve wigwams, but all deserted. Previous to our leaving by land, two men were despatched in a skiff, in order to /277/ take us back by water. On approaching near the place of the Indians, they saw a fine goose swimming about a considerable distance from the shore. They immediately rowed towards it, when one of the men happened to see something dark moving up and down behind a sand bank. Suspecting all was not right, they pulled from the shore, when they saw two Indians rise up from concealment, who immediately discharged their arrows at them, but they were at too great a distance to receive any injury. After the sails had been taken, the Indians, expecting a visit, placed these two of their party to keep watch. The goose was fastened to a string in order to decoy the men in the boat near the shore, so as to afford the Indians an opportunity of throwing their arrows at them. The two Indians on watch communicated intelligence of the arrival of the boat to the encampment; hence the cause of the forsaken wigwams when we arrived."

"How large were the wigwams?"

"They were built round, and about thirty or forty feet in circumference. The frame consisted of small poles, being fastened together at the top and covered with birch rind, leaving a small opening for the escape of the smoke. Traces of their encampments are still to be seen along the Cat Harbour shore, consisting of large holes etc. being left in the sand."

"Did you ever hear of any of the Indians having been taken?"

The answer to this question is just a repetition of Buchan's expedition, in a garbled and incorrect version, also an account of the three women who gave themselves up in 1823. The only interesting part of the reply is the statement that, "I recollect seeing two Red Indians when I was a boy, at Catalina; their names were William(?) June and Thomas August(163) (so named from the months in which they were taken). They were both taken very young, and one of them went master of a boat for many years out of Catalina."

"I remember reading something of Lieut. Buchan's expedition."

"Do you think any of the Red Indians now exist in the country?"

"I am of opinion that, owing to the relentless exterminating hand of the English furriers and the Micmac Indians, that what few were left unslaughtered made their escape across the straits of Belle Isle to Labrador."

Thos. Peyton informed me that but for his father's intercession and strong evidence as to Wiltshear's good character and innocence of the crime attributed to him, it would have gone hard with him, in fact as Peyton put it, "He would have hanged shure."

Joseph Young's story.

Joseph Young, better known as Joe Jep or Zoe-Zep, which is simply the Micmac way of pronouncing his Christian name, is a resident of Bank Head, Bay St. George. Joe is a half breed Indian with a considerable blending of the Negro element in him, a most unusual combination by /278/ the way, and was reared up by the Micmacs of that locality. In his younger days there lived in the same neighbourhood an old Indian woman named Mitchel, whose parents were Mountagnais from Labrador. Joe often listened to this old body relating stories of the Red Indians, one of which was as follows.

"When quite a small girl she with her father, mother and a young brother, were hunting in the vicinity of Red Indian Lake. Having secured a good deal of fur they were proceeding down the lake in their canoe, preparatory to starting for the sea coast, when just at dusk one evening they observed the light of a fire through the woods, near the side of the lake. Supposing it to be some of their Micmac friends who were camped there they landed, and went in to investigate. They found a wigwam which proved not to be that of a Micmac but of a Red Indian family. Nothing daunted Old Mitchel went forward, raised the skin covering the doorway and looked in, being followed by the other members of his family. They beheld an old Red Indian man and woman with a young man and a little girl seated around the fire. At first the inmates seemed to be struck dumb with fear at this unexpected intrusion, and stared at the new comers in mute astonishment. Mitchel however, succeeded in allaying their fears after a little while, and seeing their miserable half starved plight, for they had roasting on sticks before the fire for their supper, three miserable Jays only, which was evidently all their stock of provisions, he made signs to them to come with him to his canoe and that he would give them venison. They understood him, and the boy and girl went out with him. He gave each a piece of venison, which the little girl in delight wrapped in her cloak and ran back to the wigwam, while Mitchel and wife brought up a kettle full of boiled meat and placed it over the fire to warm, and when it was ready they served it around to all hands on pieces of birch bark. The poor Beothucks expressed their gratitude as best they could for all this kindness, and invited Mitchel and his family, by signs to share their wigwam for the night. The two little girls, who were nearly about the same age, and too young to recognise any difference between them, soon became fast friends. Mrs. Mitchel remembered what childish glee she felt at meeting a companion so far in the interior, and after so many weary months of toil and lonesomeness, and how she played with her new found friend. They could only communicate with each other by signs, as neither understood a word of the other's language. They all seated themselves around the fire, and learnt from the Beothucks that on account of deer being so scarce and their fear to hunt much in the open, they had been reduced to great straits for food. Next morning at daylight the young Red Indian youth ascended a tree which they used for a lookout, and seeing some deer swimming across the lake, he jumped down, seized his bow and arrows, and without a moment's hesitation, pushed off the Mountaineers canoe, jumped aboard and paddled away after the deer. She described him as an active athletic lad who handled the paddle with such strength and dexterity that he actually made the canoe fly through the water. He soon returned with a dead deer in tow. Mitchel stayed several days with them, and being well supplied with guns and /279/ ammunition, killed several deer which he left with them for food. He also presented the young Beothuck with a gun and ammunition and taught him how to use it before leaving them, for all of which kindness the Beothucks showed the utmost gratitude."

Mathew (Mathy) Mitchel, grandson(?) of the woman Joe heard the story from, confirmed it, in so far as, that his grandparents did see a Beothuck wigwam at Red Indian Lake and went to investigate, but states the Red men had fled, though the fire was still burning in the centre and on three sticks stuck up, were the heads (only) of three Jays. They did not see the Red Indians or remain over night, and he says Joe was drawing upon his imagination in supplying the other details.

Mathy also told me that his grandfather and some others once saw three Red Indians' canoes full of people poling up the Exploits. They watched in concealment till the canoes were opposite them, when they fired off a gun in the air. Immediately the Beothucks made for the opposite shore, landed and ran off into the woods. In their haste the canoes went adrift and the tide catching them brought them quickly across the river to the side the Micmacs were on. There were still two small children in them who had not had time to get away, but immediately the canoes touched the shore these got out, grabbed up their deer skin clothes and made off.

Noel Mathews, one of my Micmac canoe-men, related to me the following traditions, which he learned from his mother and old Maurice Louis, the Chief of his tribe. This man Louis was one of those who accompanied W.E. Cormack in 1827, in his expedition to Red Indian Lake.(164)

Noel confirms the shape of the Beothuck canoe, and of its being sewn with rootlets, and the gunwales being bound with the same, but there was this difference between it and the Micmac canoe. The latter is served all over from end to end, while that of the Red Indians was only served at intervals, and there were spaces cut in the gunwales to receive the binding so as to make it flush with the rest of the gunwale.

He relates how one Noel Boss, or Basque, I presume the same individual mentioned by Peyton and others, had much to do with the Red men, but he avers that it was always of a friendly nature. This Noel Boss on one occasion met two of them, a young man and a lad, crossing a marsh, with loads on their backs. He went towards them but they ran away. He also ran and finally caught up with them as they could not go fast, being burthened with their heavy loads which they would not discard. The young man could have easily outrun him, but he would not abandon the lad, who was greatly frightened. When Boss came up with them he looked the young man in the face and addressed him, but the latter only laughed and still kept on running. Boss made several attempts to get him to stop and have a palaver, but in vain, he then turned off and let them go their way. On another occasion this same man Boss with some of his own people, came out on the banks of the Exploits River and saw a Red Indian canoe on the opposite side with several people in it. The Micmacs again tried to parley with them across the river but the Red men /280/ apparently did not relish their company, so they paddled away up the river. (Evidently another version of Mathy Mitchel's story.)

The only tragic story Noel related was that of a Micmac with his wife who coming to the shore of the Grand Lake near where the river flows out, saw a Red Indian wigwam on the opposite side. The man proposed to go across in their skin canoe and visit them, but his wife demurred, being too much afraid of them. He however, persisted in going himself. She remained behind and concealed herself in the bushes to await events. She saw him land, and also saw two Beothucks come forward and take him by the arms, and lead him up to their mamateek, into which all three entered. After a considerable time elapsed, the two Red men came forth carrying their belongings, got into their canoe and paddled away. After a long wait seeing no sign of her husband returning, she mustered up courage to venture across. Having constructed a raft she ferried herself over, but on entering the now silent mamateek, she was horrified to find the headless body of her husband stretched on the floor. The head as usual having been carried off by the Beothucks.(165)

I met old Maurice Louis in 1870 but unfortunately was not aware that he possessed any information of this kind, a circumstance which I greatly regret. Had I known it, possibly, I might have obtained many valuable and interesting traditions from him.

The Rev. C.V. Cogan, C.E. Missionary in the District of White Bay, gave me some interesting information, relative to the Red Indians' doings in that locality, most of which was gleaned from the oldest inhabitant named Gale or Gill,(166) then almost a nonogenarian, who died about the year 1889. Gale's father was one of the first settlers in White Bay, and saw a good deal of the Indians, being subject to their depradations on more than one occasion. Mr. Cogan's informant frequently heard his father relate his experiences. He once saw two canoes full of Indians paddling across the bay, and related how they made a descent upon his premises, situated at the extreme head of the bay, when all the males were absent, hunting for fur in the interior. The Indians broke open and looted his store of every article which took their fancy all of which they carried off with them. Amongst other articles there were some silver spoons with the family crest engraved upon them. This Gale is said to have belonged to some family of distinction in England, but for some unknown cause had run away and hidden himself in this out of the way place. One of the spoons in question was subsequently found in a wigwam or mamateek at Red Indian Lake, at the time of Mary March's capture, and is now in Mr. Cogan's possession.(167)

/281/ While the Indians were looting the store, the women folk of Gale's household watched them from their residence, and old Mrs. Gale stood on guard at a window with a heavily loaded flint lock musket pointing towards them ready to fire should they attempt an attack on the house itself.

Mr. Cogan heard of two fishermen going into Western Bay, and observing some Indians on the beach, they fired at them and drove them off. The fishermen then went ashore to boil their tea kettle but while so engaged, the Indians returned and stealing out to the edge of the woods, shot the two men with arrows. They then mutilated the bodies in a shocking manner. The bodies were buried where found, and during Mr. Cogan's incumbency they were come across in clearing away a site for a new church.

Information obtained from Mr. J.B. Wheeler, J.P., Musgrave Harbour, N.D.B.

Mr. Wheeler was well acquainted with a very old man named John Day, who died but a few years ago at an advanced age. Day, in his younger days was a servant of the Peytons, and was another of the party who accompanied them at the time of Mary March's capture in 1819. Mr. Wheeler often heard the old man relate the whole circumstance, and gave me from memory, Day's story. It is so similar in almost every detail to Mr. Peyton's own narrative that it would be needless to repeat it here. I shall merely give a few items not before stated.

According to this old man's story, the party were furnished with articles of barter in hope of trading with the natives for furs. Speaking of Mary March, he said she was very ill at the time of her capture, yet she took her baby in her arms and ran after the other Indians as they retreated, but was not able to keep up with them. Her husband seeing she was likely to be captured, turned back and took the child from her, but in her weak state she could not run fast enough and was soon overtaken. As soon as the husband saw this he gave the baby to another man, and turned back to try and rescue his wife. Breaking off a fir bough he placed it on his forehead, as a flag of truce and boldly came towards the white men. Seeing his wife's hands tied with a handkerchief he attempted to unloosen them, and to lead her away. They tried to prevent him and capture him also, but raising one hand, with a single blow he felled the first white man who approached him. The whites, six in number, then gathered around him, and tried to seize him, but with another blow he struck down a second man, rendering him insensible. Recognizing Mr. Peyton, Sr., as the leader he made towards him, grasped him by the collar and shook him so violently that Mr. Peyton called out for help, saying "Are you going to stand by and let the Indian kill me?" John Day asked, "Do you think master's life is in danger?" All cried out, "Yes." Instantly one of the crew fired and shot a ball into him, while another stabbed him in the back with a bayonet. He still held old Mr. Peyton firmly, and would soon have choked him. Peyton beckoned for further help, the men then struck down the Indian with the butts of their muskets before they could succeed in making him relinquish his grasp of their master's throat. He had to be beaten insensible before he would let go. Day believed that had the party of white men not been armed with muskets, the Indian would have been a match for them all in /282/ a hand to hand encounter. He was a very strong powerful man, and as he lay dead on the ice they measured him and found he was considerably over six feet in height.

I have had much communication with Mr. Thomas Peyton, D.S. of Twillingate, son of John Peyton the captor of Mary March. Mr. Peyton, Jr., is one of the very few now remaining who knows anything of the Indians, and his information is all second hand, having been derived chiefly from his father and mother, and from old servants or employees of the family. In reply to various inquiries addressed to him from time to time by myself, I cull the following items.

Mr. Thomas Peyton says, I never heard of any boy or girl being lost in Notre Dame Bay, except one boy named Rousell of New Bay. He was in the habit of going into the country by himself to look after his father's traps, and on one of these occasions he did not return. On a search being made his gun was found leaning against a tree near the country path, but the lad himself was never heard of afterwards. It is believed that the Indians either killed him or carried him off. Peyton says, I never heard of but one man being killed by the Indians, that was Thomas Rousell, about the year 1787. I was informed by Henry Rousell, residing in Hall's Bay, that the first five men who attempted to make a settlement in that Bay were all killed by the Indians(?). A crew came up from Twillingate shortly afterwards and found their bodies with the heads cut off and stuck on poles. One of the latter men was a Capt. Hall after whom the Bay was named.

Henry Rousell's Grandfather was a servant with Squire Childs and purchased the rights of that merchant to the salmon fishing in the brooks of Hall's Bay for the sum of 90 pounds about 1772.

I never heard of a white settlement being attacked by the Indians, nor of any white person being carried off, nor did I ever hear of the Indians scalping any body. I have only seen a part of a Red Indian canoe on an Island in the Exploits River near Rushy Pond. The birch bark was very neatly sewn together with roots. I had several descriptions of their canoes given me, the best by Joe Joe, Micmac, Long Joe as we called him. He found one by the side of the river near Badger Brook once, and launching it got in, and pushed off from the shore, but said Joe, "he develish [devilish] crank, me get ashore again as quickly as possible."

Peyton says Nancy's sister died at Charles's Brook, Nancy and her mother then paddled up to Lower Sandy Point, where she told the men in charge of the salmon station her sister had gone "winum," asleep, dead. The men then went down and buried the body. Her mother died a few days later at Sandy Point. Nance sewed the body up in a blanket and it was buried there, she was then sent down to Exploits Island to Mr. Peyton's house.

Peyton often heard his mother and old Mrs. Jure speak of Cormack. They described him as a long legged, wiry, but eccentric individual. He could eat almost anything. The Rev. John Chapman, C.E. Missionary, then residing in Twillingate, was married to Cormack's sister.

Mary March, when captured gave expression to the deepest grief at /283/ the death of her husband, and showed her hatred of the man who fired the shot at him, by never coming near him. Old John Day said she was named after a young lady whom he knew well living at Itsminister, Newtown, Devon(?). This is certainly not correct. Old Mr. Peyton himself often told me she was so named from the month in which she was taken.

John Wells, a native of Joe Batt's Arm, Fogo Island, with five others left his home in a boat to go to Fogo, but as the wind was against them and blowing fresh, they pulled into Shoal Bay towards a place called the Scrape. Seeing a sea pigeon swimming near the shore, they rowed in close, to get a shot at it, when an Indian who was hidden away, suddenly fired an arrow at them. It pierced Wells's hand and pinned it to the oar he was holding. The wound was a very nasty one and became much inflamed. It never properly healed, and eventually caused his death. This story was confirmed by Mr. Wheeler, who had it from Wells' own widow.

Mr. Thos. Peyton states that he personally knew many of the old furriers in the employ of his father and had been much in their company in his younger days. He gives the names of a few of them, such as John Day, Thomas Taylor, John Boles, Maurice Cull, and Humphrey Coles, from all of whom he heard many stories about the Indians, most of which have now slipped his memory. Old John Boles told him that on one occasion while rowing to his salmon nets in Hall's Bay, he saw an Indian run out on the edge of a cliff, and raise his bow. Knowing how accurate was their aim, Boles seized one of the boats thwarts and held it over his head; the arrow after poising in the air a moment, came down so fairly as to embed itself in the board. Catching up his flint lock gun, the old man used to add gleefully, "I peppered his cossack for him." These old furriers would never confess to the actual killing of an Indian. They used to say that the Indians were in great dread of the Whiteman's powder and shot.

In one of his letters Mr. Peyton says he often heard when a boy at school that an English youngster was killed on the south side of Twillingate Harbour, near Hart's Cove, which was the usual anchorage for vessels coming from England. The boy went ashore for water, and was caught by the Indians and killed. Two other boys who went ashore one Sunday to wash their clothes in Kiar's Pond were also killed, and when a crew of men went to search for them they found the bodies, and at the same time saw on a point about half a mile to the westward a party of Indians making off.

"I never heard the Red Indians spoken of as giants," he adds. "Richmond or Richards(?) used to say the Indians were nasty dirty brutes, because no doubt their camps and the grounds about them smelled of seal fat and putrid animal matter lying around. I frequently heard the old men of Fogo speak of the Indian man June."

"After the killing of Thomas Rousell, his friends waged a war of extermination on the Indians. They killed a number of them at a place called Moore's Cove, near Shoal Tickle."

Peyton never heard of the Whiteman being carried off by the Indians /284/ and reappearing with the woman and child, as related by John Gill of Exploits, nor does he believe the story. Having lived so many years in the Bay of Exploits and mixing with so many of the people who had seen and had something to do with the Red men, he thinks if there were any truth in this story he could scarcely fail to have heard of it. He once heard from a clergyman of the body of an Indian being picked up in the landwash near Phipp's Head in that Bay, who was supposed to have been shot, but adds, after careful enquiry found there was no truth in the story.

One Jacky Jones, whose proper name was Snelgrove, was a servant of his father's, and was with him at the capture of Mary March. He often travelled with this man and obtained much information from him. He refers to the story told by Joe Young, and believes there may be some truth in it. He was well acquainted with both Jack Mitchell, Micmac, and his wife. He often heard old Jack talk some sort of gibberish which he called Red Indian.

He tells a story of his own grandfather having once surprised some Indians in their wigwam, at Sandy Point, Birchy Island, when they all ran away. One woman having forgotten her child in her haste, ran back for it. Just as she was coming forth from the wigwam with the child, his grandfather arrived at the entrance. He tried to stop her, but she pulled off her moccasin, and struck him such a blow in the face with it as to nearly blind him, thereby making good her escape.

He never heard of the White woman seen by Capt. Buchan at Red Indian Lake. It is very strange that none of those who were with Buchan at the time, nor any one else, so far as I am aware ever mentioned this fact, still more remarkable that Peyton's father never referred to it. Yet I cannot believe that a man of Capt. Buchan's intelligence and powers of observation could have made any mistake.

Rev. Silas T. Rand's story.

The Rev. Silas Tertius Rand of Hantsport, N.S., was a gentleman who had much intercourse with the Micmac Indians of that Province, and who published a grammar and lexicon of their language several years ago. At my request in 1887, he furnished me with the following interesting "Anecdote of the Red Indians of Newfoundland."

He said the story was related to him by one Nancy Jeddore (Micmac) of Hantsport, N.S., who received it from her father, Joseph Nowlan who died about fifteen years previous, at the advanced age of ninety-five years.(168) Mr. Rand says, "I have seen and conversed with him many a time, but I did not know then that he had spent a good many years in Newfoundland, and also among the Esquimaux, as his daughter informs me was the case. Had I been aware of these facts, I might have gathered I doubt not, many interesting facts respecting the people whom he had seen and of whom he had heard. As Nancy's statements agree with what /285/ is related by others respecting the Beothucks, and as I have full confidence in their correctness, as heard from her father, I am well satisfied as to their general accuracy."

The Story.

"The Micmacs time out of mind have been in the habit of crossing over to Newfoundland to hunt. The Micmac name for this large Island, is `Uktakumk,' the Mainland, or little Continent.

"Note. -- It is `Uktakumkook,' in the case locative, the form in which the name generally occurs.

"The name," he says, "seems to indicate that those who first gave it had not discovered that it was an Island. The Micmacs who visited it knew that there was another tribe there, but never could scrape acquaintance with them, for as soon as it was known that strangers were in the neighbourhood, these Red Indians -- called Red from their profuse use of Red ochre, -- and who were believed to be able to tell by magic, when anyone was approaching -- would gird on their snow shoes, if it was in the winter season, and flee as for their lives. But on one occasion three young hunters from `Megumaghee,' Micmac-land -- came upon three lodges belonging to these people. They were built up with logs around a `cradle hollow,' so as to afford a protection from the guns of an enemy. These huts were empty and everything indicated that they had just been abandoned. The three Micmacs determined to give chase, and if possible overtake the fugitives, and make friends with them. They soon came sufficiently near to hail them and make signs of friendship, but those signs were unheeded, and the poor fellows, men, women, and children, fled like frightened fawns, and like John Gilpin's horse, `as they fled left all the world behind.' Nothing daunted, however, the young men continued the pursuit. Finally one of the fleeing party, a young woman, snapped the strap that held her show-shoe. This delayed her for a few moments. It was necessary to sit down and repair it. Her father ran back to her assistance and she was soon again on the wing. But the mended strap again gave way; and by this time the pursuers were so near that the poor creature was left behind, her companions would not halt for her. She shouted and screamed dolorously but her shrieks and cries were unheeded, and she was soon in the hands of the three hunters. They endeavoured to make her comprehend that they were not enemies but friends, that they would not injure a hair of her head. But although she probably understood the signification of their gesticulations, she had no confidence in them. She resisted wildly all attempts to lay a hand upon her and cried and shrieked with terror whenever one of them came near her. They tried to induce her by signs to go back with them to their encampment, and that she should be kindly treated and cared for. But this she positively refused to do. They offered her food which she refused to touch. Night was coming on and her friends were evidently now far away. The hunters could not leave her there to perish so they constructed a shelter and remained at the place for several days. Finally they succeeded in some measure in pacifying /286/ her. Of one of the young men she ceased to be afraid. She went back with them to their camp, but still for several days refused all nourishment, but she clung to the young fellow who had first won her confidence, keeping as far as possible from all the rest, standing or crouching behind him, and keeping him between herself and the others. After a few days, however, she became pacified, and after remaining with them two years, she had learned to speak their language, and became the wife of that one of her captors to whom she had first become reconciled. Then she recounted her history.

"Joseph Nowlan, my informant's father, saw her many a time, and conversed with her on these subjects, but these details are lost. One summer when on the Island, Nowlan boarded with the family. The woman became the mother of a number of children.

"Such is the story referred to by Mr. Gatschet. I can only regret that I had not known something of these matters during the life of Mr. Nowlan: How much interesting information I might have obtained."



May 21, 1887.

A friend of mine in New Brunswick (Mr. Edward Jack) at my request interviewed a very old Melicite Indian of that Province named Gabriel, or Gabe, as to what he knew of the Newfoundland Indians. Gabe had often heard of them from the older people of his tribe, who used to visit this island periodically in quest of fur. It was however so long ago since these excursions took place, and Gabe's memory was now so defective, he could remember but little of what he had learned from his forbears.

The only thing learnt from this old Melicite which was at all of an interesting character is the following story.

"On one of these annual expeditions, three young hunters of his tribe, came across a Red Indian wigwam (mamateek) and took its occupants unawares. The latter rushed forth in great haste and betook themselves to the woods as was their custom when suddenly disturbed. No doubt the poor creatures had been so harassed by both whites and others, that they expected no mercy at the hands of either, but on this occasion, at least, according to Gabe, they were allowed to make their escape without molestation.

"In the hurry of their precipitate flight the Red men left behind a little baby boy rolled up in furs, in a corner of the wigwam, which the Melicites discovered on searching the interior. Being inclined for amusement, they took some charcoal from the fire and mixing it with grease, they smeared the poor little infant all over till he was as black as any nigger [Negro]. They then determined to watch and see what the effect would be when the Beothucks returned, so hiding themselves in the thick forest close by, they awaited patiently a long time. At length they saw the Beothucks cautiously approach, with stealthy step, and peering about them /287/ in every direction. At length they became sufficiently emboldened to enter the wigwam. On beholding the little black piccaninny, they fairly howled with laughter, and apparently enjoyed the joke immensely. Upon this the hunters stealthily withdrew and did not further molest them. This was about all that old Gabe could recollect, of the many stories he had heard in his younger days."

In the Royal Gazette of January 1862, an article appeared on the "Aborigines of Newfoundland," signed W. Avalonis. It was of considerable interest, and ascertaining that the author was Mr. William Sweetland, Magistrate of Bonavista, from whom I have already quoted extensively, the gist of his remarks were copied and are here given.

The author first refers to Buchan's expedition, as already fully set forth. He says he was personally acquainted with Capt. Buchan, and had frequent conversation with him about the Red Indians. He also says, in referring to Shanawdithit "that when brought to St. John's and while residing in the house of Mr. Cormack, during her residence with him, formed a pretty extensive vocabulary of the language of her people."

"On one of these occasions, we learnt," says he, "from her that the marines left by Capt. Buchan, had in no way misconducted themselves, and that the Indians continued to treat them with kindness, until the return of the chief, who had deserted Buchan's party that day. On his return to the wigwams he called his brethren together, and proposed to put the marines to death immediately, but this the others would not consent to do, and opposed it for a long time most strenuously, nevertheless, the chief eventually gained his point by having persuaded them of the necessity of doing so. The poor fellows were thrust forth from the huts, and from the direction in which their remains were discovered by Buchan and his party on their return to the pond, they were apparently intent upon returning to the Exploits to seek their commander. They were shot down by arrows from behind and beheaded.

"This confirms Lieut. Buchan's surmise that their death was occasioned by the return of the chief, possibly without presents. This chief, who directed their destruction, appears to have been of a sanguinary temperament with peculiarly marked features. The act completed, the inhabitants of the encampment fled with precipitation to the Indian town, where their account of the strange visitors and subsequent destruction of two of their number at the encampment caused great consternation, lest Lieut. Buchan and his party should return and annihilate them with his thunder. The safe return of the Indian who had accompanied Buchan to the depot, and Lieut. B's subsequent deposit of presents at the wigwams served, in some measure, to reassure the tribe, and relieve them somewhat from their fears of retaliation, but not sufficiently to do away with that suspicion which they naturally felt, that Buchan only wanted the opportunity to fall upon and annihilate the whole tribe, or at least we may infer as much from their darting arrows through the store before they ventured into it, as related by Lieut. Buchan.

"In questioning Shanawdithit as to the origin of her tribe she stated /288/ that `the Voice' told them that they sprang or came from an arrow stuck in the ground." Then follows the long dissertation as to their Tartar derivation from Ogus Khan &c., already given in full.

Mr. Sweetland further adds, "that they were at one time on friendly terms with the White fishermen and even assisted them in their operations, as attested by Whitbourne, John Guy and others. He remarks that two splendid opportunities were suffered to pass, by the traders resigning in Trinity and Bonavista Bays aforetimes, without taking advantage of them, to bring on an intercourse with the Red Indians, by means of the two Red Indian boys who fell into their possession, and who were reared up and employed by the parties who captured them. The one was named Tom June and the other John August. The former appears to have induced his patron to sit down and spend a day with his parents and his brothers and sisters, who had pitched their tent near them, and dwelt therein, at Gambo, during the whole of one winter. The other, John August, whose remains lie interred in the Churchyard at Trinity, usually in the fall, during many years, took his canoe, went off up the bay, and returned to his quarters at the end of a fortnight or three weeks; the interval, it is supposed, he spent visiting his family in the interior, but he does not appear to have committed the secret to anyone."

Lieutenant Chappell who published a book in 1818, entitled The Voyage of the Rosamond, also makes several references to the Red Indians. He says "on meeting a Micmac Indian in Bay of St. George, he asked him if the savage, Red Indians, inhabiting the interior of the country, also looked up to God, when with a sneer of the most ineffable contempt, he replied. `No; no look up to God: killee all men dat dem see, Red Indian no good.' `Do you understand the talk of the Red Indians? Oh no; dem talkee all same dog; Bow, wow, wow.' This last speech was pronounced with a peculiar degree of acrimony."

Chappell it was who, referring to the Indian woman captured by Cull in 1804, observed it was said that this woman had been made away with on account of the value of the presents, which amounted to an hundred pounds. "Mr. Cormack told MacGregor, author of `British America,' in 1827, that if Cull could catch the author of that book within reach of his long duck gun, he would be as dead as any of the Red Indians that Cull had often shot."

Description of a Beothuck Sepulchre on an

Island in the Bay of Exploits.

During the summer of 1886 while engaged surveying the Bay of Exploits, the author paid a visit to a burial place of the Beothucks on an uninhabited island called Swan Island, a few miles south of Exploits Harbour, to examine a place of sepulchre I had often heard of. It is situated on the S. side of the Island, just inside two island rocks, and is so hidden from view that one would never detect it unless shown the place. On this occasion I had procured a guide who knew its location well, having previously entirely failed to find it on my own account.

/289/ It is approached by a little cove which leads up to the base of a jagged broken cliff, rising almost vertically from the water to a height of some fifty or more feet. On either side there are fissures or ravines reaching inland, occupied by dense bushes and some fairly large trees, which grow right down to the water's edge effectually concealing any appearance of a cave, from view. On the right hand side the cliff ends very abruptly, and the trees grow so close to its edge that it was necessary to almost squeeze oneself between the cliff and the nearest tree to get access to the rear. A slight elevation is then seen forming a sloping floor reaching up behind and beneath the cliff which here overhangs considerably. In fact it is in reality a great fissure in the back of the cliff. It slopes down so far that the upper overhanging part projects fully 15 or 20 feet, and forms a kind of canopy which affords complete shelter from the elements.

The floor of this semi-cavern was a mass of loose fragments of rock, fallen from the cliff above, mixed with sand and gravel. On removing some of this loose debris, fragments of human bones, birch bark and short pieces of sticks were found all confusedly mixed together. This may be accounted for by the fact that the place had been frequently visited before and pretty thoroughly ransacked. Nevertheless our search was fairly well rewarded, although the human bones were all too fragmentary and too much decayed to be worth preserving. A few rib bones and sections of vertebral columns only were intact. The fragments of birch bark were perfectly preserved. Some of those showed neat rows of stitching in single and double lines. The small sections of trees were cut to fit across the crevice immediately over the bodies, and on these the birch bark must have been laid, the whole being then covered or weighted down with loose rock and gravel, but all this had been disturbed and pulled to pieces. Some of the wood was so rudely hacked off at the ends as to suggest that it had been cut with stone implements, while other pieces were so cleanly cut as to leave no doubt steel axes had been used. This would seem to imply that burial had taken place here both before and after the advent of the white man.

After a good deal of labour in removing the heavier pieces of rock, and digging into the more gravelly parts beneath, a few articles of interest were found, such as carved bones, pieces of iron, broken glass bottles, fragments of lobster claws and other shells, and some sections of clay pipe stems. Two or three sticks sharpened at the ends and partly charred by fire were evidently used for roasting meat. Some small and much decayed fragments of bows and arrows, all still retaining evidence of having been smeared with red ochre were amongst the finds. But by far the most interesting articles recovered were the carved bones, and discs made of shells perforated in the middle.(169) These with strings of wampum, consisting of segments of clay pipe stems alternating with others of the inner birch bark and small rings of sheet lead, were all strung on deer skin thongs. Far in at the back part of the crevice, resting on a shelf of the rock, a good many carved bone ornaments were found, of a very interesting character, some of these were made of ivory, probably Walrus' tusk, but by far the greater number consisted of flat pieces of deer's leg bones. /290/ They were of various shapes and sizes and all had curious designs carved on either side, no two of which were exactly alike, and every piece had a small hole drilled through one end. Several pieces were between four and five inches long, and all tapered towards the end in which the hole was drilled.

The wider end averaged about half an inch; some were cut square across, others obliquely, and still others forked or swallow-tailed. A number of other pieces were short and presented two, three and some four prongs; two were cut in the shape of triangles, and several others in forms undescribable. The designs on these were very elaborate, but did not seem to indicate anything beyond the whim or fancy of the designer. There were also several combs and a variety of nondescript articles.

Perhaps the most interesting of all were a number of square blocks of ivory, about one inch long by 3/4 wide and 1/4 in thickness, perfectly plain on one side but elaborately carved on the other. A fine double marginal line ran around near the edge on each of the four sides, inside of which was a double row of triangular figures meeting at their apex on a central line, extending across the face of the block. The triangular figures on four of the blocks were eight in number, four on either side, while on another block there were six such at each of the narrower ends, twelve in all. In the central space of this latter block there appears a large figure exactly resembling the capital letter H. A few other blocks were merely scored with fine lines crossing each other at right angles. Another set of somewhat similar articles were of diamond shape of about two inches long, carved also on one side only. None of these latter pieces have holes in them, and one is led to the conclusion they were used for entirely different purposes than any of the other ornaments. They seem to suggest something in the form of our dice, and were probably used for gaming.

Mr. Gatschet in one of his papers read before the Archaelogical Section of the University of Pennsylvania (May 1900), describes a Micmac game called "Altesta-an-" consisting of a wooden tray, or "Waltes" and several small carved discs of bone, which latter were placed on the tray and tossed into the air and as they fell on the ground or on a skin spread out thereon, each counted according to the design on such as fell face upwards. I have very little doubt but that the Beothucks possessed a somewhat similar game, of which the blocks above mentioned formed the counters. There was nothing corresponding to the wooden tray or Waltes found, but Mr. Gatschet states that a sheet of birch bark was frequently substituted for this, so it is quite probable the Beothuck used only the latter, and did not preserve it. If the above supposition for the use of these articles be correct, it would prove an interesting fact that two tribes so hostile to each other should have anything in common. It may point to more friendly relations in former times, but of this we have nothing of a definite nature.

The few remaining articles discovered here are clearly indicative of a more recent origin, they consist of fragments of iron pots, nails and clay pipe stems evidently French, for one piece is stamped with a fleur de lis and a lion Rampant, Arms of Francis I of France (?). A few chips of chert were found but no arrow heads or spears of any kind. Had such been /291/ here at any time they were probably all picked up by those persons who had preceded me in the search. The only other articles to be noted were fragments of broken bottles, and of shell fish such as mussels, Mytilus edulus, salt and fresh water clams, especially Mya arenaria, the scollop, Pecten islandicus, and some broken lobster claws. There were among other nondescript articles several teeth of animals, some apparently of the seal and walrus, with two or three pigs' tusks. Most of these had holes bored in them like the other ornaments, these with fragments or lumps of radiated iron pyrites, used as fire stones, made up the remainder of the find.

A visit was paid to another island further in the Bay, on which a few articles only were obtained. The cliff here had fallen and the burial place was covered with tons of large fragments of rocks which would take several days to remove, and in any case the overhanging cliffs were too dangerous to work under. In the short time spent here we only succeeded in finding some pieces of birch bark, a few much decayed fragments of human bones, one very perfect forked bone ornament and the battered spout of a copper tea kettle.

I might add here that numerous carved bones similar to those above described have been found from time to time in other burial places on all sides of the island. The shape or pattern of all these varies but little, yet there are scarcely any two designs exactly alike. Invariably they show the trace of red ochre, especially in the interstices of the designs carved upon them.

/293/ Mr. R.S. Dahl, M.E., has furnished me with the following particulars of Indian burying places visited by him in Placentia Bay and information received from Benjamin Warren who first found these places.

Red Indian grave on Hangman's Island, one of the group of Ragged Islands in that Bay. Particulars:

The grave was covered with a Birch Bark shield (see fig., p. 291) made of strips of birch bark neatly sewn together and laid upon sticks, eighteen in all. These were supported by one long central pole, lengthwise which was 4 inches in diameter and 10 feet long. The cross sticks were 2 1/2 inches in diameter and 7 feet long. These were placed about 4 inches apart, and the strips of bark covering 10 and 12 inches wide were sewn onto them. The long central lengthwise pole was placed underneath and supported the covering. This covering or pall was held in place by being weighted down with small rocks and gravel, or soil.

The cave in which the remains were found is described thus: The roof overhung the grave so as to completely protect it from the weather. It was about 25 feet from high water mark and about 10 feet above it. I saw a piece of the bark in which the seam overlapped about 1 inch, and the stick holes were exceedingly regular about 1/8" apart, double rows about 1/4". A number of winkles neatly cut and holed and the absence of weapons indicated a woman's grave.

On another island called Tilt Island of the same group Mr. Dahl examined a place called Indian Hole where several fragments of human remains and some stone implements were found. He enumerated the articles found here and on Hangman's Island as follows:

Indian Hole, Tilt Island.

1 rib bone 1 arrow head

1 tibia 3 small beads

1 patella 2 large flat beads on stick

1 bone(?) 1 feather

1 metatarsal bone Birch rind with stitched holes

1 piece of a cross stick

On Hangman's Island.

Birch rind with stitched holes and a number of small bones of doubtful origin. Found by Mr. Warren on Hangman's Island 24 bone charms(?) made of bone or such hard substances approximately as sketch.

In the Annals of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, for 1856, there is a coloured frontispiece representing SHANAWDITHIT or NANCY, and said to be a facsimile of an original painting.(170) The following interesting article explains the portrait and gives the source from whence it was obtained.

"Our frontispiece is the portrait of a woman who is believed to have been the last survivor of the Beothicks, the aboriginal people of Newfoundland. That ancient race was, unhappily, suffered to die out, without any attempt, beyond good intentions on the part of Europeans, for their conversion to the Christian faith.

"An interesting account of Shanawdithit is given by Bishop Englis [Inglis] of Nova Scotia, who visited the Island of Newfoundland in 1827 and in the course of his visitation reached, on July 2nd, the River and Bay of Exploits, on the North East shore of the Island. The ship in which the Bishop sailed went up the river for twenty-five miles, and landed in a spot which the Bishop describes.

"The weather was fine, but as hot as I have ever felt it; while the ship was being provided with wood, we went in the boats about thirteen miles up the river to a rapid where we landed, and walked about two miles to a splendid waterfall. The land is good, finely wooded with large timber, and the scenery is rich and picturesque. Mr. Peyton, who was with us, has twelve fishing stations for salmon along thirty miles of the river; and the abundance of seal, deer, wild fowl and game of every description is surprising. But our interest in all we saw was greatly increased by knowing that this was the retreat of the Beothick or red, or wild Indians, until the last four or five years.

"We were on several of their stations, and saw many of their traces. These stations were admirably chosen on points of land where they were concealed by the forest, but had long views up and down the river, to guard against surprise. When Cabot first landed he took away three of this unhappy tribe and from that day to the present they have had reason to lament the discovery of their island by Europeans. Not the least advancement has been made towards their civilization. They are still clothed in skins if any remnant of the race be left, and bows and arrows are their only weapons. English and French, and Micmacs and Mountaineers, and Labrador Esquimaux, shoot at the Beothick as they shoot at deer. The several attempts that have been made under the sanction of the Government to promote an intercourse with this race have been most unfortunate, though some of them had every prospect of success. An institution has been founded in the present year (1827) to renew these praiseworthy attempts, the expenses of which must be borne by benevolent individuals; and while I am writing, Mr. Cormack is engaged in a search for the remnant of the race; but as it is known that they were reduced to the greatest distress by being driven from the shores and rivers, where alone they could procure sufficient food, and none have been seen for several years, it is feared by some that a young woman who was brought /296/ in some four years ago and is now living in Mr. Peyton's family, is the only survivor of her tribe. The Beothick Institution have now assumed the charge of this interesting female, that she may be well instructed and provided for. Mr. Cormack has only taken with him one Micmac, one Mountaineer, and one Canadian Indian, and they are provided with shields to protect them from arrows, that they may not be compelled to fire. If they remain, they are hidden in the most retired covers of the forest, which is chiefly confined to the margins of lakes and banks of rivers. Mr. Cormack and his three companions are provided with various hieroglyphics and emblems of peace, and hope to discover the objects of their pursuit by looking from the tops of hills for their smoke, which may sometimes be seen at the distance of eight or ten miles in the dawn of a calm frosty morning. Who can fail to wish complete success to so charitable an attempt? We returned to our ship in the evening greatly delighted with everything we had seen, but much exhausted with excessive heat; several of the party also suffered from the mosquitoes, which were innumerable.

"Wednesday July 4th. The Weather continued fine and we had a rapid sail down the river at an early hour in the morning, making only one stop at a beautiful station on Sandy Point, from whence the Beothicks a few years ago stole a vessel and several hundred pounds worth of property from Mr. Peyton.

"Between nine and ten we landed at Burnt Island; and while the clergy were engaged in assembling the people for service, I had some conversation with Shanawdithit, the Beothick young woman I have already mentioned. The history of her introduction to Peyton's family is soon related. In April 1823, a party of furriers in the neighbourhood of the Exploits River, followed the traces of some Red Indians, until they came to a wigwam, or hut, from whence an Indian had just gone, and near it they found an old woman, so infirm that she could not escape. They took her to Mr. Peyton's, where she was kindly treated, and loaded with presents. After a few days she was left at her wigwam, while the furriers searched for others. Two females were soon discovered, whose dress was but little different from that of the men. Though much alarmed, they were made to understand by signs that the old woman, who was their mother, was at hand. The man who had been first seen was their father (?) who was drowned by falling through the ice. The women were in such lamentable want of food that they were easily induced to go to Mr. Peyton's. He took them to St. John's where everything they could desire was given to them, and after a stay of ten days they were taken back to Exploits, and returned to their wigwam, in full confidence that an amicable intercourse with their tribe would be established. One of the young women, who had suffered some time from pulmonary complaint died as soon as she was landed. In a short time the other two returned to one of Mr. Peyton's stations, nearly famished and very soon after they arrived the old woman also died, and Mr. Peyton has retained her daughter Shanawdithit, in his family ever since. She is fond of children, who leave their mother to go to her, and soon learned all that was necessary to /297/ make her useful in the family. Her progress in the English language has been slow, and I greatly lamented to find that she had not received sufficient instruction to be baptised and confirmed. I should have brought her to Halifax for this purpose but her presence will be of infinite importance if any more of her tribe should be discovered. She is now 23 years old, very interesting, rather graceful, and of a good disposition; her countenance mild, her voice soft and harmonious. Sometimes a little sulkiness appears, and an anxiety to wander, when she will pass twenty-four hours in the woods, and return; but this seldom occurs. She is fearful that her race has died for want of food. Mr. Peyton has learnt from her that the traditions of the Boeothick represent their descent from the Labrador Indians but the language of one is wholly unintelligible to the other. All that could be discovered of their religion is, that they feared some powerful monster, who was to appear from the sea and punish the wicked. They consider death as a long sleep, and it is customary to bury the implements and ornaments of the dead in the same grave with their former possessors. They believe in incantations. When the girl who died was very ill, her mother, who was of a violent and savage disposition, heated large stones and then poured water upon them until she was encircled by the fumes, from the midst of which she uttered horrid shrieks, expecting benefit to her suffering child.

"Mr. Chapman has been diligent in visiting and instructing the people during our short absence in the upper part of the river. A congregation was assembled at 11 O'clock, and forty-nine persons were confirmed. All of these were very decorous in their whole behaviour and many of them appeared sincerely devout.

"Shanawdithit was present. She perfectly understood that we were engaged in religious services, and seemed struck with their solemnity. Her whole deportment was serious and becoming. She was also made to understand my regret that her previous instruction had not been such as to allow of her baptism and confirmation, and my hope and expectation that she would be well prepared, if it should please God that we meet again. Mr. Peyton pledged himself that every possible endeavour should be made for this purpose.

"We learn from another source that Shanawdithit lived altogether six years in St. John's, N.F., first in the house of Mr. Cormack, then in that of Mr. Simms, Attorney General, but consumption, the fatal disease of her nation, at length carried her off. She died in the hospital in St. John's in 1829."

The foregoing may be looked upon as thoroughly reliable, coming as it does from one who actually saw and conversed with Shanawdithit, and moreover had the benefit of an intimate acquaintance with both Peyton and Cormack, two most intelligent persons.

Linguistic Affinity of the Beothucks.

The question of the linguistic affinity of the Beothucks with the neighbouring tribes of the Continent of America, as well as with certain /298/ peoples of the Old World, with whom it was surmised, by some writers, they might be allied is one that has received much attention at the hands of several eminent Philologists on both sides of the Atlantic.

Prof. Andrew Wilson, LL.D., F.R.G.S. of the University of Toronto, speaking generally of the origin of the North American Indian, says, "Language which is considered the only satisfactory evidence of affiliation of the different races of man has been appealed to in vain. Of the five hundred or more North American languages spoken by the aboriginal tribes of this continent, all have undergone the minutest study and classification by the most eminent Philologists and have afforded nothing that could establish any definite line of descent." If this be true of the continental tribes, it is still more applicable in regard to those insular peoples such as the inhabitants of Newfoundland.

In England Prof. Robb Gordon Latham, in the Transactions of the Anthropological Society of Great Britain treats largely on the subject of the Beothuck language. The late Sir Wm. Dawson, Principal of McGill University, Montreal, and the Rev. Dr. Patterson also studied the language. The latter gave the result of his investigations in the publications of the Royal Society of Canada, with remarks upon the language by the Rev. John Campbell, LL.D. Prof. Albert S. Gatschet of the Ethnological Bureau, Washington, U.S. made a most exhaustive study and analysis of the Beothuck vocabularies in our possession. He read three papers on this subject, before the American Philosophical Society, in June 1885, May 1886 and January 1890.

While the conclusions arrived at by these eminent scientists do not by any means solve the problem of the origin of the Beothucks, nevertheless they are all of so interesting a character that this history would be incomplete without their inclusion.

Mr. W.E. Cormack, who took such an active part in the endeavour to bring about a friendly understanding with the aborigines, and who was a gentleman of superior attainments, being a graduate of the University of Edinburgh conceived the idea that the Beothuck language pointed rather to an European than an American origin, and several other early writers were of the same opinion. The publication of the Icelandic Sagas no doubt gave rise to the supposition that possibly the Beothucks might be a remnant of the Norse Colonists, whom we are told formed a settlement on this side of the Atlantic in the 10th century, but a comparison of Beothuck with the Norse language failed to establish the slightest similarity between them. Capt. David Buchan was another who seemed to hold the same view, for he says in his concluding remarks, "I had persons with me that could speak Norwegian and most of the dialects known to the North of Europe, but they could in no wise understand them."

Other writers on the subject thought they might possibly have derived their origin from the early Basque fishermen, who claimed to have fished on the Banks and shores of Newfoundland prior to the advent of the Cabots. No doubt what gave rise to this supposition was the statement made on the supposed Cabot Map, that the inhabitants called the Codfish /299/ which abounded in these waters, Baccalaos, a purely Basque term, but this has long since been disproved. The Beothucks had no such term for the fish, they called the Cod, bobboosoret, another reason for this supposed affinity may be found in the peculiar construction of this Basque language, which, while it contained no words of a similar sound or meaning, nevertheless, bore a certain morphological resemblance to the North American languages generally. Mr. Horatio Hale points this out, in treating of the subject, when he says, "it is not in any positive similarity of words or grammar as would prove a direct affiliation, it is only in possessing that highly complex polysynthetic character which distinguishes the American languages. The likeness is merely in general cast and mould of speech, but this likeness has awakened much attention."

But the attempt to correlate the Beothuck with any European language having proved entirely abortive, thenceforth the attention of Ethnologists, who became interested in the subject, turned naturally to America, where a solution of the problem seemed most likely to be found. Yet here again, while the fact was established beyond question that the Beothuck language was undoubtedly Indian, i.e., American, still no clear relationship could be established between it and any of the continental dialects. This comparison likewise failed to reveal anything satisfactory.

Unfortunately, although the known words of this peculiar language preserved to us amount, according to Mr. Gatschet, to some four hundred and eighty vocables, "yet owing to the defective mode of transcription, no vocabularies had ever caused him so much trouble and uncertainty in obtaining from them results available for science."

About all that can be clearly established at this distance of time with regard to these vocabularies, is that they were obtained at different dates, and from three different individuals. The first in point of time, was that of the Rev. Mr. Clinch obtained from some unknown source about the end of the 18th century. It has been conjectured that Mr. Clinch obtained his vocabulary from John August who lived at Catalina during Mr. C.'s incumbency in the Parish of Trinity, but this is scarcely possible. August was taken from his mother, who was shot down, when he was only an infant, and as he ever afterwards lived amongst the whites, he had no opportunity of acquiring a knowledge of his mother tongue. It was also thought probable that the source of the vocabulary may have been the woman captured by Cull in 1804, but this cannot be as Mr. Clinch himself had died before that date (?). The occurrence of the term OUBEE, which is rendered into, "her own name," would certainly indicate that it was obtained from a female. Who this Ou-bee could have been can only be surmised, possibly it was the little girl mentioned by Governor Edwards and Mr. Bland, who lived at Trinity with a family named Stone about the same time as Mr. Clinch. The girl was afterwards taken to England, where she died.

The next vocabulary in point of time was that taken down from Mary March (Demasduit) by the Rev. Mr. Leigh, Episcopal missionary at Twillingate, with whom she resided after her capture, and again for sometime before Capt. Buchan took charge of her to restore her to her tribe. As Mary March could scarcely have obtained much proficiency in the /300/ English language during that short period of her sojourn with Mr. Leigh's family, it is only reasonable to suppose that she could not have made herself clearly understood, except by signs, and the use of the few words of English she had acquired, consequently it may be expected that many errors have crept into this vocabulary. The Robinson vocabulary was simply a reproduction of Leigh's with a few additional words subsequently obtained.

The third, and in point of real interest undoubtedly the most reliable, was that obtained by Mr. W.E. Cormack from Nancy (Shanawdithit). Mr. C., being himself a man of intellect and superior education, had an opportunity such as no one else possessed of acquiring a complete and reliable list of words from this woman. She, it will be remembered, had then been six years living with the Peyton family at Exploits, and had acquired considerable knowledge of English from them. During the last six or eight months of her existence she resided in Mr. Cormack's house, and he himself tells us he availed of the opportunity to closely question her on all matters pertaining to her tribe. The few other words which Mrs. Jure, Nancy's fellow servant at Peyton's was able to remember, constitute the whole range of the Beothuck vocabulary now preserved.(171)

It would of course be presumption on my part to attempt anything like a solution of the problem this language presents, especially in face of the fact that it has received at the hands of such eminent scientists the closest possible scrutiny, while their endeavours to elucidate it seem to have been completely baffled, as may be judged by the widely diverse conclusions arrived at.

Mr. Rob Gordon Latham in his paper on the "Varieties of man" published in Comparative Philology, London, 1850, pronounces the language to be distinctly Algonkin, he says, "The particular division to which the aborigines of Newfoundland belonged has been a matter of doubt. Some writers considering them to have been Eskimo, others to have been akin to the Micmacs, who have now a partial footing in the Island."

"Reasons against either of those views are supplied by a hitherto unpublished Beothuck vocabulary with which I have been kindly furnished by my friend Dr. King of the Anthropological Society. This makes them a separate section of the Algonkins, and such I believe them to have been."(172)

This view is upheld by the Rev. John Campbell, LL.D., of Montreal. The latter gentleman, after a careful study of the Rev. Dr. Patterson's paper on the Beothucks, says, "I have come to the deliberate conviction that Dr. Latham was right in classifying the extinct aborigines of Newfoundland with the Algonkins." After a comparison of some of their words with Malay-Polynesian, he adds, "This would tend to locate the ancestral Beothuck stock in Celebes." He further adds, "I imagine the /301/ Beothucks belonged to the same tribe as the New England Pawtuckets and Pequods, and that their remote ancestors must have formed part of a great emigration from the Indian archipelago consequent upon the Buddhist invasions of these islands prior to the Christian era."

Sir Wm. Dawson was of opinion that they were of Tinne or Chippewan stock, and instances the fact that the Micmacs of Nova Scotia had a tradition that a prior race of human beings occupied that country, whom the Micmacs drove out, and who they believe went over to Newfoundland and settled there. These he conjectures were the Beothucks, who remained isolated and undisturbed, except perhaps by the Eskimo, until the advent of the white fishermen on our coast.

In a letter I received from him, dated March 28th, 1881, he writes as follows: "I have looked up the vocabulary you sent me, and have shown it to Dr. S.M. Dawson, who knows something of the Western Indian Languages. We fail to make anything very certain of it. Latham was no doubt right in stating it to be different from Eskimo, but I see no certain affinities with Algonkin languages. The little it has in common with other American languages would perhaps, rather point to Tinne, or Chippewan affinities; but I would not at all insist on this.

"I sent the vocabulary to Rev. Mr. Rand of Hansport, N.S., who is our best authority on Micmac and Melicite. He fails to find any resemblance except in a few words mentioned below. Evidently the Beothuck language is something distinct from Eskimo on the North, and Micmac on the South, and its affinities, I fancy, are to be looked for among the Mountagnais or other tribes extending west from Labrador, and of whose languages I have no knowledge, etc."

Mr. Rand points out the following resemblance to Micmac which may have some significance.


Mathuis Mallijwa Hammer

Emet Mema Oil

Moosin M'Kasin Shoe

These are so far apparently related words. According to Lloyd,(173) John Lewis a Mohawk "Metis" who could speak several Indian dialects, told Mr. Curtis that the Beothuck language was unknown amongst the Canadian Indian tribes.

So far as the author is enabled to judge, Prof. Albert S. Gatschet certainly seems to have given the most profound study to this singular language. It so greatly interested him that he spared no pains to unearth everything he could possibly find bearing upon the subject. His study of the language extended over a period of five or six years altogether, and during that time he made the most minute investigation, and comparison with other Indian dialects, with all of which he was quite familiar. I should therefore be inclined to place more reliance in what this eminent Ethnologist has to say on the subject than upon the more cursory examinations of other authorities, however learned.


First Paper


Albert S. Gatschet, read before the

American Philosophical Society,

June 19th, 1885.

"Tribal names."

"The names by which this tribe is known to us are those of `Beothuck' and of Red Indians. Mr. Rob. Gordon Latham supposed Beothuck meant, good night in their own language, and that the tribe should hence be named the `Good Night Indians,' Beothuck being the term for `good night' in Mary March's vocabulary. But Indians generally have some other mode of salutation than this; and that word reads in the original MS. betheoate (not betheok, Lloyd), it is evidently a form of the verb baetha to go home; and thus its real meaning is: `I am going home.' The spellings of the tribal name found in the vocabularies are: Beothuk, Beothik, Behathook, Boeothuck, and Beathook; beothuk means not only Red Indian of Newfoundland, but is also the generic expression for Indian, and composes the word haddabothic body (and belly). Just as many other peoples call themselves by the term men, to which Indian is here equivalent, it is but natural to assume that the Indians of Newfoundland called themselves by the same word.

"Another term Shawatharott or Shawdtharut is given for Red Indian Man in King's vocabulary; we find also, Woas-sut Red Indian woman, cf. oosuck, wife; its diminutive woas-eeash, woas-eesh, Red Indian girl; mozazeesh, Red Indian boy.

"Red Indian was the name given them by the explorers, fishermen or Colonists, because they noticed their habit of painting their utensils, lodges, boats and their own bodies with red ochre. Most of the earlier explorers and historians mention this peculiar habit. Thus Joann de Laet, in his Novis Orbis, page 34, writes: `uterque sexus non modum cutem sed et vestimenta rubrica quadam tingit,' etc.

"This ochre they obtained from several localities around the coast as well as in the interior, and mixed it with fat or grease to use as a substance for daubing.

"The Micmac Indians called them Macquaejeet Ulno-mequagit, the Abnakis Ulnobah (Latham) in which alno, ulno means man, Indian.

"Language of the Beothuck."

"The results obtained by former writers from an investigation of their language not proving satisfactory to me, I have subjected the fragments which have reached down to our period to a new chirographic and critical examination, for the purpose of drawing all the conclusions that can fairly be drawn from them for ascertaining affinities, and thereby shed some light upon the origin of the Red Indians.

/303/ "The information we possess of the Beothuk tongue was chiefly derived from two women,(174) Mary March and Shanawdithit and is almost exclusively of a lexical, not of a grammatic nature. The points deducible from the vocabularies concerning the structure of the verb, noun and sentence, the formation of compound terms, the prefixes and suffixes of the language are very fragmentary and one sided. The mode of transcription is so defective that no vocabularies ever have caused me so much trouble and uncertainty as these in obtaining from them results available for science.

"Cormack obtained his vocabulary from Shanawdithit which seems more reliable and phonetically, more accurate than the one obtained from Mary March."

Below I reproduce the terms written in the same manner as transmitted, using the following abbreviations:


C. -- Cormack's vocabulary, from Shanawdithit.

Howl. -- Corrections of Leigh's printed vocabulary from his own Manuscript, made by James P. Howley.

K. -- Vocabulary of Dr. King, translated by Rob. Gordon Latham, London, April 1883.

No letter -- Rev. John Leigh's voc. from Mary March (Demasduit).


A-aduth seal-spear, C. Cf. amina.

Abemite gaping.

Abideshook; Abedesoot K., domestic cat; cf. bidesook.

Abidish "martin cat," marten. Micmacs call him cat; the whites of Newfoundland call a young seal: cat or harp-seal, because a design visible on their backs resembles a harp.(175)

Abobidress feathers; cf. ewinon.

Abodoneek bonnet, C.; abadung-eyk hat, K.

Adadimite or Adadimiute; andemin K. spoon; cf. a-enamin.

Adamadret; adamatret K. gun, rifle.

Adenishit stars; cf. shawwayet a star, K.

Adizabad Zea white wife.

Adjith to sneeze.

Adoltkhtek, adolthtek K., adolthe; ode-othyke C. boat, vessel seems to imply the idea of being pointed or curved; cf. A- aduth, adothook; Dhoorado, Tapathook.

Adosook K., Aa-dazook C. eight; Ee-aa-dazook eighteen, C.

Adothook; Adooch, K. fish-hook.

Aduse leg; adyouth foot, K.

Adzeech K.; adasic; adzeich C., two; ee-adzike twelve, C.; adzeich dthoonut twenty, C.

A-enamin bone, C.

A-eshemeet lumpfish, C.

Ae-u-eece snail, K.

Ae-wa-een C.; cf. ee-wa-en.

Agamet; aegumet K., buttons; money.

Aguathoonet grindstone.

Ahune, Ahunes, oun K. rocks. Misspelt Ahmee (Lloyd).

Ajeedick or vieedisk K. I like.

Akusthibit (ac- in original) to kneel.

Amet awake, C.

Amina deer-spear, C.

Amshut to get up; cf. amet. Howley supposes this to be from the same word as gamyess, q.v.

Anadrik sore throat; cf. tedesheet.

Anin comet; cf. anun spear (in skies?).

Annawhadya bread, K.; cf. manjebathook.

Annoo-ee tree; forest, woods K.

Anun spear, C.; cf. a-duth, amina, anin, annoo-ee.

Anwoyding consort; husband, when said by wife; wife when said by husband. Cf. zathrook.

Anyemen bow, K.; der. from annoo-ee, q.v.

A-oseedwit I am sleepy, K.

Aoujet snipe: Gallinago wilsonia, of genus Scolopacidae.

Apparet o bidesook sunken seal.

Ardobeeshe and madobeesh twine, K.; cf. meroobish.

Ashaboo-uth C.; iggobauth blood, C.; cf. ebanthoo.

Ashautch meat; flesh, K.

Ashei lean, thin; sick.

Ashmudyim devil, "bad man," C.; cf. muddy. The spelling of the first syllable is doubtful.

Ashwameet, ashumeet, mythological symbol drawn by Shanawdithit.

Ashwan, nom. pr., Eskimo.

Ashwoging C.; ashoging K., arrow; cf. dogernat.

Asson K. sea-gull.

Ass-soyt angry, C.

Athess; athep K. to sit down.

Awoodet singing.

Baasick bead, C., bethec necklace.

/304/ Baasothnut; beasothunt, beasothook K. gunpowder; cf. basdic.

Badisut dancing.

Baetha go home, K., becket? where do you go? baeodut out of doors, or to go out of doors, K. These three words all seem to belong to the same verb.

Baroodisick thunder.

Basdic; basdick K. smoke; cf. baasothnut.

Bashedtheek; beshed K. six, C. Rigadosik six Leigh's vocabulary seems to point to another dialect. Ee-beshedtheek sixteen, C.

Bashoodite Howl. to bite.

Bashubet scratch (verb?).

Bathuc; badoese K., watshoosooch K. rain; cf. ebanthoo.

Baubooshrat fish, K.; cf. bobboosoret codfish.

Bebadrook nipper (moskito).

Bedejamish bewajowite May, C.; cf. kosthabonong bewajowit.

Beodet money; cf. agamet, baasick.

Beothuk, Beothick K.; Behat-hook K.; Boeothuck (in Howley's correspondence); Beathook. (1) Indian; (2) Red Indian, viz. Indian of Newfoundland; cf. haddabothic.

Berrooick or berroich clouds.

Betheoate good night.

Bibidegemidic berries; cf. manus.

Bidesook; beadzuck, bidesuk K. seal; cf. abidesook, apparet.

Bidisoni sword.

Bituwait to lie down.

Boad thumb, K.

Bobbidist Howl.; bobbodish K. pigeon (guillemot, a sea bird). A species of these, very abundant in Newfoundland is Lomvia troile.(176)

Bobbiduishemet lamp; cf. boobeeshawt, mondicuet and emet oil.

Bobboosoret codfish; is the same word as baubooshrat.

Bogathoowytch, to kill, K.; buhashauwite to beat; bobathoowytch beat him! Beating and killing are frequently expressed by the same term in Indian languages; cf. datyuns.

Bogodoret; bedoret K. heart.

Bogomot or bogomat breast, K.; boghmoot woman's breast, K.; bodchmoot bosom, C.; bemoot breast, C.; cf. bogodoret.

Boobasha warm, K.; cf. obosheen.

Boobeeshawt fire, K.; cf. bobbiduishemet.

Boochauwhit I am hungry, K.; cf. pokoodoont.

Boodowit duck; cf. eesheet, mameshet.

Boos seek blunt, C.; pronounced busik.

Bootzhawet sleep (verb?) K.; cf. isedoweet.

Botomet onthermayet; botothunet outhermayet Howl. teeth(?).

Boyish birch bark; by-yeech birch tree, K.

Buhashamesh white boy, C.; buggishamesh boy, K.

Buhashauwite; cf. bogathoowytch.

Bukashaman, bookshimon man; buggishaman white man, K.

Butterweye tea, K. (English.)

Carmtack to speak, K.; ieroothack, jeroothack speak, K.

Cheashit to groan.

Cockaboset; cf. geswat.

Dabseek C., dabzeek K., abodoesic four; eedabzook fourteen, C.

Dattomeish; dootomeish K. trout.

Datyuns or datyurs not kill(?), K.

Dauoosett I am hungry, K., probably false; cf. boochauwhit.

Debine Howl., deboin K. egg.

Deddoweet; didoweet K., saw, subst.

Deed-rashow red, K.

Deh-hemin Howl., dayhemin K. give me!

Delood! come with us! K. dyoom! come hither! K. dyoot thouret! come hither! C. toouet (to) come, K. nadyed you come back, K.

Demasduit, nom. pr. of Mary March.

Deschudodoick to blow, C.

Deyn-yad, pl. deyn-yadrook bird, C.

Dho orado large boat, K.; cf. adoltkhtek.

Dingyam, dhingyam K., thengyam clothes.

Dogajavick fox, K.; cf. deed-rashow red; the common fox is the red fox.

Dogernat arrow, kind of.

Doodebewshet, nom. pr. of Nancy's mother, C.

Doothun forehead, K.

Dosomite pin.

Drona; drone-ooch K. hair; the latter form apparently a plural.

Dthoonanven, thinyun hatchet, K.

Dtho-onut, C.; cf. adzeech. Dyout, dyoat, come here.

Ebanthoo; ebadoe K. water.

Ebathook to drink, K,; zebathoong to drink water,K.; cf. ebanthoo, bathuc.

Edat or edot fishing line; cf. a-aduth, adothook.

Edru or edree; edachoom K. otter.

Ee- composes the numerals of the first decad from 11 to 19; it is prefixed to them and emphasized; cf. the single numerals.

Eeg fat, adj.

Eenoaja cold (called?), K.

Eenodsha to hear, K.; cf. noduera.

Eeseeboon cap, K.

Eeshang eyghth blue, C.

Eesheet duck, K.; probably abbrev. of mameshet, q.v.

Eeshoo make haste.

Eewa-en; aewa-en K., hewhine, o-owin K. knife; cf. oun. Leigh has also: nine, probably misspelt for: wine (wa-en).

Egibididuish, K., egibidinish silk handkerchief.

Ejabathook, ejabathhook K., sail; edjabathook sails.

Ejew to see, K.; pronounced idshu.

Emamoose, immamoose woman; emmamoose white woman, K.

Emamooset child; girl; emmamooset white girl, K.

Emet; emet K. oil; composes bobbiduishemet and odemet, q.v.

Emoethook; emmathook K. dogwood (genus: Cornus) or mountain Ash.

Ethenwit; etherwit Howl. fork.

Euano to go out; enano go out, Howl.

Ewinon feather, K.

Gaboweete breath, C.

/305/ Gamyess get up, Howl.

Gasook or yasook, yosook dry K.; gasuck, gassek, K. stockings.

Gausep dead, K.; gosset death, and dead, K.

Geonet tern, turr,(177) a sea-swallow; Lomvia troile (also called Urea troile), K. has geonet fur.

Ge-oun K.; gown chin.

Geswat fear, K.; cockaboset! no fear! do not be afraid! K.

Gheegnyan, geegn- yan, K., guinya eye.

Gheen K., geen (or gun?) nose.

Gidyeathuc wind.

Gigarimanet K., giggeramanet; giggamahet Howl. net.

Gobidin eagle, C.

Godabonyeesh November, C.

Godabonyegh October, C.

Godawik shovel; cf. hadowadet.

Gonathun- keathut Howl.; cf. keathut.

Goosheben lead (v. or subst.?).

Gotheyet ticklas,(178) a bird of the genus Sterna; species not identifiable, perhaps macrura, which is frequent in Newfoundland (H.W. Henshaw)?

Gowet scollop or frill; a bivalve, pecten.

Guashawit puffin; a bird of the Alcidae family: Lunda cirrhata.(179)

Guashuwit; gwashuwet, whashwitt, washawet K. bear.

Guathin; cf. keathut.

Gungewook Howl. mainland.

Haddabothic body; hadabatheek belly, C.; contains beothuk, q.v.

Hadalahet K.; hadibiet glass; cf. nadalahet.

Hadowadet shovel, K.; cf. godawik.

Hanawasutt flatfish or halibut, K.

Hanyees finger, K.

Haoot the devil, K.

Hodamishit knee.

Homedich, homedick, oomdzech K., good.

Ibadinnam to run, K.; cf. wothamashet.

Immamooset; cf. emamoose.

Isedoweet to sleep; cf. bootzhawet.

Itweena thumb; cf. boad.

Iwish hammer, K.; cf. mattuis.

Jewmetchem, jewmetcheen soon, K.

Jiggamint gooseberry.

Yaseek C., Yazeek K., gathet one; ee-yaziech eleven, C.

Yeathun, ethath yes, K.

Yeothoduc nine, C.; ee-yeothoduck nineteen, C.

Yeech short, K.

Kaasussabook, causabow snow, K.

Kadimishuite tickle; a rapid current where the tide ebbs and flows in a narrow channel of the sea.

Kaesinguinyeet blind, C.; from gasook dry, gheenyan eye.

Kannabuch long, K.

Kawingjemeesh shake hands, K.

Keathut, gonathun- keathut; ge-outhuk K., guathin; head. Keoosock., kaasook hill, K.

Kewis, Kuis, ewis, keeose K. sun; moon; watch. Kuis halfmoon; a mythological symbol drawn by Shanawdithit.

Kingiabit to stand.

Kobshuneesamut (ee accented) January, C.

Koshet to fall.

Kosthabonong bewajowit February, C. For the last part of word, cf. bedejamish bewajowite.

Kosweet K., osweet deer (caribou).

Kowayaseek July, C.; contains yazeek one.

Kusebeet louse.

Lathun; lathum(?) trap, K.; cf. shabathoobet.

Madabooch milk, K.

Maduck, Maduch to-morrow, K.

Madyrut hiccough.

Maemed, maelmed; mewet hand, K,; cf. meesh in kawingjemeesh; meeman monasthus to shake hands. Memayet arms.

Magaraguis, mageragueis son, K.

Magorun; magorum K. deer's horns.

Mamashee K.; mamzhing ship, vessel.

Mamatrabet a long (illegible; song?) K.

Mameshet; memeshet Howl., ducks and drakes (drake: male duck) probably the mallard duck, Anas boschas.(180)

Mameshook, mamudthun K. mouth; cf. memasook.

Mammateek, cf. meotick.

Mamishet, mamset, mamseet, K., mamisut C. alive. Doodebewshet mamishet gayzoot, or D. mamisheet gayzhoot, Doodebewshet is alive, K. mamset life, K.

Mamjaesdoo, nom. pr. of Nancy's father.

Mammadronit (or -nut) lord bird, or harlequin duck, contains drona.

Mammasheek islands; cf. mamashee.

Mammasaveet (or mammoosernit J. Peyton), mamasameet K., mamudthuk, mamadthut K. dog, mammusemitch, pl. mammasavit puppy.

Mamshet, maumsheet K. beaver (simply: animal).

Manaboret K., manovoonit Howl. blanket.

Manamiss March, month of, C.

Mandeweech, maudweech bushes, K.

Mandzey, mamdsei K., mandzyke C. black.

Manjebathook bread, C.

Manegemethon shoulder.

Mangaroonish or mangaroouish sun; probably son; cf. magaraguis.

Manune pitcher, cup.

Manus berries, K.; cf. bibidegemidic.

Marmeuk eyebrow.

Marot to smell, K. (v. intr.?).

Massooch, masooch salt water, K.

Matheoduc to cry.

Mathik, mattic stinking: mattic bidesuk stinking, rotten seal,(181) K.: mathic bidesook stinking seal; cf. marot.

/306/ Mattuis Howl. hammer; cf. iwish.

Memasook, mamudth-uk, mamadth-ut K. tongue; cf. mameshook.

Memayet arms; cf. maemed.

Meotick, meeootick, mae-adthike K. house, wigwam. Mammatik house, mammateek Howl. winter wigwam, meothick house, hut, tilt camp, K. (probably a windbreak).

Meroobish thread; cf. ardobeeshe.

Messiliget-hook baby, K.

Methabeet cattle, K,; nethabete "cows and horses."

Miaoth to fly.

Modthamook sinew of deer, K.

Moeshwadit drawing (?), mohashaudet or meheshaudet drawing-knife K.

Moidensu comb.

Moisamadrook wolf.

Mokothut, species of a blunt-nosed fish, C.

Monasthus (to touch?), meeman monasthus to shake hands; cf. maemed.

Mondicuet lamp, K.; cf. bobbiduishemet.

Moocus elbow.

Moomesdick, nom. pr. of Nancy's grandfather.

Mooshaman, mootdhiman K. ear.

Moosin moccasin, K., mosen shoe, K.

Moosindgei- jebursut ankle, C., contains moosin.

Mossessdeesh; cf. mozazeosh.

Motheryet cream jug; cf. nadalahet.

Mowageenite iron.

Mowead trousers, K.

Mozazeosh, mogazeesh K. Red Indian boy, mossessdeesh Indian boy, C.

Muddy, mandee K., mud'ti C. bad, dirty, mudeet bad man, C.; cf. eshmudyim.

Nadalahet cream-jug; cf. hadalahet, motheryet.

Nechwa tobacco, K., deh- hemin neechon! give me tobacco! Howl.

Newin, newim no, K.

Ninezeek C., nunyetheek K., nijeek, nijeck, five, ee-ninezeek fifteen, C.

Noduera to hear, K.; cf. eenodsha.

Nonosabasut, nom. pr. of Demasduit's husband; tall 6 feet 7 1/2 inches.

Oadjameet C. to boil, as water; v. trans. or intr.? moodamutt to boil, v. trans. C.

Obosheen warming yourself; cf. boobasha.

Obsedeek gloves, K.

Obseet little bird (species of?), C.

Odasweeteeshamut December, C.; cf. odusweet.

Odemen, ode- emin K., odemet ochre; cf. emet.

Odensook; odizeet, odo-ezheet K. goose; cf. eesheet duck.

Odishuik to cut.

Odjet lobster, K. and Leigh.

Odoit to eat; cf. pokoodoont.

Odusweet, edusweet K. hare; cf. kosweet, odasweeteeshamut.

Oodrat K., woodrut fire; cf. boobeeshawt.

O-odosook, oodzook C., ode-ozook K. seven, ee-oodzook seventeen, C.

Ooish lip.

Oosuck wife; cf. woas-sut.

Osavate to row; cf. wotha-in, wothamashet.

Oseenyet K., ozegeen Howl. scissors.

Osthuk tinker (J. Peyton); also called guillemot, a sea bird of the genus Urea.(182) Species not identifiable.

Oun; cf. ahune.

Owasboshno-un (?) C. whale's tail, a mythological emblem drawn by Shanawdithit; Dr. Dawson thinks it is a totem.

Ozeru, ozrook K. ice.

Podibeak, podybear Howl. oar, paddle; cf. osavate.

Pokoodoont, pokoodsont, bococtyone to eat, K.; cf. odoit.

Poochauwhat to go to bed, K.; cf. a-osedwit.

Pugathoite to throw.

Quadranuek, quadranuk K. gimlet.

Quish nails.

Shabathoobet Howl., shabathootet trap.

Shamoth, thamook, shamook, shaamoc K. capelan [caplin], a fish species.(183)

Shanandithit C., Shanawdithit, nom. pr. of Nancy, a Beothuc woman.

Shanung, Shonack, Shawnuk, Shannok, nom. pr., Micmac Indian, Shonack "bad Indians," Micmacs; cf. Sho-udamunk.

Shapoth K., shaboth candle.

Shansee C. and K., theant ten.

Shawatharott, Shawdtharut, nom. pr., Red Indian man; cf. zathrook.

Shawwayet a star; cf. adenishit.

Shebohoweet K., shebohowit, sheebuint C. woodpecker.

Shebon, sheebin river, brook, K.

Shedbasing wathik upper arm, C.

Shedothun, shedothoon sugar, K.

Sheedeneesheet cocklebur, K.

Shegamite to blow the nose.

Shema bogosthuc muskito; cf. bedadrook.

Shendeek C., shendee K., thesdic three, ee-shendeek thirteen, shendeek dtho-onut thirty, C.

Shewthake grinding stone, K.; cf. aguathoonet.

Shoe-wana, shuwan water bucket, of birch bark, drinking cup, K., shoe-wan-yeesh small stone vessel, C. A drawing of a shuwan, made by Shanawdithit, has been preserved (Howley).

Sho-udamunk (from Peyton), nom. pr. of the Mountaineer (or Algonkin) Indians of Labrador, Naskapi, or "good Indians"; cf. Shanung.

Sosheet bat, K.

Shucododimet K., shucodimit, a plant called Indian cup.(184)

Tapathook, dapathook K. canoe; cf. adoltkhtek.

Tedesheet neck, throat.

Theehone heaven, K.

Thengyam clothes; cf. dingyam.

Thine I thank you.

Thooret come hither! abbrev. from the full dyoot thouret C.; cf. deiood!

Thoowidgee to swim.

Toouet; cf. deiood!

/307/ Wabee wet, K.; probably misunderstood for white.

Wadawhegh August, C.

Wasemook salmon, K.; cf. wothamashet.

Washa-geuis K., washewnish moon.

Washawet, whashwitt K.; cf. guashuwit.

Washewtch K., washeu night, darkness; cf. month's names.

Washoodiet, wadshoodet to shoot, K.

Wasumaweeseek April, June, September, C. Said to mean "first sunny month"; cf. wasemook.

Watshoosooch rain, K.; cf. bathic.

Wathik arm, C., watheekee the whole arm, K.; cf. shedbasing.

Waunathoake, nom. pr. of Mary March (Howley).

Wawashemet o-owin moo meshduck we give you (thee) a knife, K.

Weenoun cheek, K.; cf. ge-oun.

Weshomesh (Lloyd, washemesh) herring; cf. wothamashet. Mr. Howley thinks that Washimish, the name of an Island, contains this term.

Whadicheme; cf. bogathoowytch to kill(?).

Widumite to kiss.

Woadthoowin, woad-hoowin spider, K.

Woas-eeash, woas-eesh Red Indian girl, K.

Woas-sut Red Indian woman, K., same as oosuck.

Wobee white, K.; cf. wabee.

Wobesheet sleeve, K.

Woin Howl., waine hoop.

Woodch blackbird,(185) C.

Woodum pond, K.

Wothamashet Lloyd, to run, woothyat to walk.

Zathrook husband; cf. anwoyding.

Zeek necklace, K., abbr. from baasick(?).

Zosoot K., Zosweet partridge. Ptarmigan is added to the term; but a ptarmigan (Lagopus alba) is not a partridge.(186)

Beothuck song preserved by Cormack.

Subjects of: -- Bafu Buth Baonosheen Babashot, Siethodaban-yish, Edabansee, -- Dosadooosh, -- Edabanseek.

Second Paper by Albert S. Gatschet

read before American Philosophical Society

May 7th 1886.

In this paper he first treats of the Robinson Vocabulary, so called, because it was furnished to the British Museum Library by Capt. Sir Hercules Robinson of H.M. Ship, Favourite, 1820. This vocabulary, as the Author states, was written from memory of conversations had with the Rev. Mr. Leigh at Harbour Grace, and being merely an incorrect copy of Leigh's own vocabulary obtained from Mary March, need not be considered here. There are a few additional words however which I shall include later.

Mr. Gatschet then treats of the grammatic elements of the language thus:


The points deducible with some degree of certainty from the very imperfect material on hand may be summed up as follows, the sounds being represented in my own scientific alphabet, in which all vowels have the European continental value:


a a

e a o

i i u u



ai, ei in by-yesh birch, madyrut hiccough; oi, in moisamadrock wolf; ou, au in ge-oun chin; oe may indicate o: emoethook (?), etc.


Explosives: Sounds of duration:

surd sonant Aspirates Spirants Nasals Trills

Gutturals: k g z h ng

Palatals: tch dsh y cl

Linguals: sh r,l

Dentals: t d th s,z n

Labials: p b w,(v?) m

The sound expressed by lth in adolthek, adolthe boat I have rendered by `l, the palatalized l, which is produced by holding the tip of the tongue against the alveolar or foremost part of the palate. It appears in many American, but not in Algonkin languages.

The sound dr, tr in adamadret, adamatret gun, drona hair, edru otter and other terms is probably a peculiar sound, and not a mere combination of d(t) with r.

The articulation dth seems distinct from the aspirate th of the English language; it occurs in dthoonanyen hatchet, dtho-onut ten, used in forming the decade in the terms for twenty, thirty, etc. (cf. theant and shansee ten). Perhaps it is th pronounced with an explosive effort of the vocal organ.

z is rendered in our lists by gh and sometimes by ch, as in yaseech one, droneeoch hairs, maduch to-morrow.

ts, ds are unfrequent [infrequent] or do not occur at all.

sch in deschudodoick to blow and other terms is probably our sk. f does not occur in Beothuck but is found in Micmac vocabularies; perhaps it would be better to have rendered there that sound by v'h, w'h, and not by f, for other Algonkin dialects show no trace of it.

l is unfrequent [infrequent] and found, as an initial sound, only in the term lathun trap. Whether r is our rolling r or not is difficult to determine.

th often figures as a terminal, but more frequently as an initial and medial sound.

Consonants are frequently found geminated in our lists, but this is chiefly due to the graphic method of English writers, who habitually geminate them to show that the preceding vowel is short in quantity: cf. dattomeish, haddabothic, immamooset, massooch.

The language exhibits the peculiarity not unfrequently [infrequently] observed throughout America, that final syllables generally end in consonants and the preceding syllables in vowels. Accumulations of consonants occur, but are not frequent; e.g. carmtack to speak, Mamjaesdoo, nom. pr. The majority of all syllables not final consists of a consonant followed by a vowel, or diphthong.

Too little information is on hand to establish any general rules for the accentuation. None of the accented words are oxytonized, but several have the antepenult emphasized: bashedtheek, ashwoging, dosomite; the term ejabathook has the accent still further removed from the final syllable. Very likely the accent could in that language shift as in other languages /309/ of America, from syllable to syllable, whenever rhetorical reasons required it. By some of the collectors the signs for length and brevity were used to designate the emphasized syllable, placed above or underneath the vowels.

Alternation of sounds, or spontaneous permutation of the guttural, labial, etc., sounds without any apparent cause, is traceable here as well as in all other illiterate languages. Thus the consonantic sounds produced in the same position of the vocal organs are observed to alternate between:

g and k: buggishaman, bukashaman man, etc.

g and z: bogomot, boghmoot breast.

g and h: buggishamesh, buhashamesh boy; bogathoowytch to kill, buhashauwite to beat.

tch and sh: mootchiman, mooshaman ear.

dsh and s, sh: wadshoodet, washoodiet to shoot.

r and d: merobeesh, madabeesh thread, twine.

t and d: tapathook, dapathook canoe.

t and th: meotick, mae-adthike house; mattic, mathick stinking.

d and th: ebanthoo, ebadoe water.

th and z: nunyetheek, ninezeek five.

th and s, sh: mamud-thuk, memasook tongue; thamook, shamook capelan [caplin].

s and z: osenyet, ozegeen scissors.

s and sh: mamset, mamishet alive; bobboosoret, baubooshrat codfish.

p and b: shapoth, shaboth candle.

In regard to vowels, the inaccurate transmission of the words does not give us any firm hold; still we find alternation between:

a and o: bogomat, bogomot breast; dattomeish, dottomeish trout.

a and e: baasick, bethec beads.

oi and ei: boyish, by-yeech birch.


The points to be gained for the morphology of Beothuk are more scanty still than what can be obtained for reconstructing its phonology, and for the inflection of its verb we are entirely in the dark.

Substantive. The most frequent endings of substantives are -k and -t, and a few only, like drona hair, end in a vowel. Whether the substantive had any inflection for case or not, is not easy to determine; we find however, that maemed hand is given for the subjective meeman (in m. monasthus to shake hands) for the objective case; in the same manner nechwa and neechon tobacco, mameshook and mamudthun mouth. Other terms in -n are probably worded in the objective or some other of the oblique cases: ewinon feather, magorun deer's horns, mooshaman ear, ozegeen scissors, shedothun sugar. Cf. the two forms for head.

A plural is traceable in the substantives deyn-yad bird, deyn-yadrook birds; odizeet goose, pl. odensook geese; drona, pl. drone-ooch hair; and to judge from analogy, the following terms may possibly be worded in the plural form marmeuk eyebrow(s), messiliget-hook bab(ies?), moisamadrook wolves(?), berroich clouds, ejabathook sails. Compare also edot fishing line, adothook fish hook; the latter perhaps a plural of the former. The numerals 7, 8, 9 also show a suffix -uk, -ook.

Adjectives are exhibiting formative suffixes of very different kinds gosset and gausep dead, gasook dry, boos-seek blunt, homedich good, ass-soyt angry, eeshang-eyghth blue, ashei lean.

/310/ The phrase shedbasing wathik upper arm would seem to show, that the adjective, when used attributively, precedes the noun which it qualifies.

The numerals of our list are all provided with the suffix -eek or -ook; what remains in the numerals from one to ten, is a monosyllable, except in the instance of six and nine. Yaseek is given as one and as first (in the term for April)(187) but whether there was a series of real ordinals we do not know.

Compound nouns. A few terms are recognizable as compound nouns, and in them the determinative precedes the noun qualified.

wash-geuis moon, lit. "night-sun."

bobbiduish-emet lamp; probably "fire-oil."

kaesin-guinyeet blind; probably for "dry on eyes."

moosin- dgej-jebursut ankle; contains moosin moccasin.

adasweet-eeshamut December; contains odusweet hare, rabbit.

aguathoonet grinding stone; probably contains ahune stone in the initial agu-, agua.

No pronouns whatever could be made out with any degree of probability.

Concerning the verbal inflection we are almost entirely without reliable data, nor do we know anything concerning the subjective and objective pronouns necessarily connected with conjugational forms.

(1) Verbs mentioned in the participle -ing or in the infinitive generally end in -t and -k.

-t: amshut to get up, awoodet singing, bituwait to lie down, cheashit to groan, marot to smell, kingiabit to stand, washoodict to shoot.

-k: carmtack to speak, deschudoodick to blow, ebathook to drink, odishuik to cut.

(2) Imperative forms, to judge from the English translation, are the following:

deiood! come with us! dyoom! come hither!

dyoot thouret! come hither! (Rob. kooret! kooset!)

nadyed you come back(?)

cockaboset! no fear! do not be afraid!

bobathoowytch! beat him!

deh-hemin! give me!

(3) Participal forms are probably represented by amet awake, gosset and gausep dead, apparet sunken (Rob. aparit).

(4) The first person of the singular is, according to the interpretation, contained in the vocables:

ajeedick or vieedisk I like.

boochauwit I am hungry; cf. dauosett.

a-oseedwit I am sleepy; cf. bootzhawet sleep, isedoweet to sleep.

thine I thank you; cf. what was said of betheoate.(188)

(5) Other personal forms of singular or plural are probably embodied in the terms:

pokoodoont, from odoit to eat.

ieroothack, jeroothack speak, from carmtack to speak.

becket? where do you go?

boobasha; cf. obosheen warming yourself.

(6) Forms in -p and -es, if not misspelt occur in athep, athess to sit down, gamyess get up, gausep dead.

/311/ (7) No conclusive instance of reduplication as a means of inflection or derivation occurs in any of the terms transmitted, though we may compare wawashemet, p. 307, Nonosabasut, nom. pr. Is mammateek a reduplication of meotick?


Derivatives and the mode of derivation are easier to trace in this insular language than other grammatic processes. Although the existence of prefixes is not certain as yet, derivation through suffixes can be proved by many instances, and there was probably a large number of suffixes, simple and compound, in existence. Some of the suffixes were mentioned above, and what may be considered as "prefixes(?)" will be treated of separately.

Suffix -eesh, -eech, -ish forms diminutive nouns:

mammusemitch puppy, from mamasameet dog.

Mossessdeesh Indian boy.

buhashamesh boy, from bukashaman man.

woaseesh Indian girl, from woas-sut Indian woman.

Shoewanyeesh small vessel, from shuwan bucket, cup.

mandeweech bushes(?): hanyees finger.

Probably the term yeech short is only deduced from the above instances of diminutives and had no separate existence for itself.

-eet, a frequently occurring nominal suffix:

a-eshemeet lumpfish, deddoweet saw, gaboweete breath, kosweet dear, kusebeet louse, methabeet cattle, shebohoweet woodpecker, sheedeneesheet cocklebur, sosheet bat, tedesheet neck, wobesheet sleeve, probably from wobee white. Also occurring as a verbal ending; cf. above, hence it is possible that the nouns in -eet are simply nomina verbalia of verbs in -eet, it.

-k, a suffix found in verbs and nouns:

ebanthook to drink, from ebanthoo water.

obesedeek gloves, perhaps (if not plural form) from obosheen, q.v.

Verbs in -k were mentioned supra; -ook forms plurals of substantives, also numerals; in Micmac the suffix for the plural of animates is -uk, -k, for inanimates -ul, -l; in Abnaki -ak, -al.

-m occurs in nouns like dingyam clothes, lathum(?) trap, woodum pond; also in ibadinnam, jewmetchem, etc.

-n, suffix of objective case and of many substantives.

-oret, nominal suffix in bobboosoret codfish, bogodoret heart, manaboret blanket, oodrat fire, shawatharott man.

-uit, -wit occurs in kadimishuite tickle, ethenwit fork, mondicuet lamp, Demasduit, nom. pr., guashuwit bear; also in sundry verbs.

-ut occurs in nouns:

woas-sut Indian woman, mokothut fish-species, madyrut hiccough.

Prefixed Part of Speech.

Follows a series of terms or parts of speech found only at the beginning of certain words. Whether they are particles of an adverbial or /312/ prepositional nature (prefixes), or fragments of nouns, was not possible for me to decide. The dissyllabic nature of some of them seems to favour a nominal origin.

bogo- buka-: bogodoret, abbr. bedoret heart.

bogomat breast.

bogathoowytch to kill, beat.

bukashaman man.

buggishamesh boy.

shema bogosthuc muskito.

-ee is the prefix of numerals in the decad from 11 to 19.

hada-, ada-, hoda-, odo-, od- is found in terms for tools, implements, parts of the animal body. a is easily confounded with o by English-speaking people.

haddabothic body, hadabatheek belly.

hodanishit knee; cf. hothamashet to run.

hadalahet glass and glass-vase.

hadowadet shovel; cf. od-ishuik to cut, and godawik.

adamadret gun, rifle.

adadimite spoon.

ardobeesh twine; is also spelt adobeesh (Howley).

adothook fishhook.

adoltkhtek, odo-othyke boat, vessel.

mama-, mema-. The terms commencing with this group are all arrayed in alphabetical order on pp. 305, 306, and point to living organisms or parts of such or dwellings.

Remarks on Single Terms.

For several English terms the English-Beothuk vocabulary gives more than one equivalent, even when only one is expected. With some of their number the inference is, that one of these is borrowed from an alien language. Thus we have:

devil ashmudyim, haoot.

comb edrathu, moidensu.

hammer iwish, mattuis.

money agamet, beodet. The fact that agamet also means button finds a parallel in the Greek language, where the term for bead, ao'nawa, ao'nap, forms also the one for coined money: tchatu aonawa, "stone bead" or "metal bead."

bread annawhadya, manjebathook.

lamp boddiduish-emet, mondicuet.

star adenishit, shawwayet.

grinding stone aguathoonet, shewthake.

shovel gadawik, hadowadet.

trap lathun, shabathoobet.

See also the different terms for cup (vessel), spear, wife, feather, boy, rain, to hear, etc. Concerning the term trap, one of the terms may be the noun, the other the verb (to trap). Terms traceable to alien languages will be considered below.

The term for cat is evidently the same with that for seal and marten, the similarity of their heads being suggestive for name-giving. In the term for cat, abideshook, a prefix a- appears, for which I find no second instance in the lists; abidish is, I think, the full form of the singular for all the three animals.

/313/ Of the two terms for fire, boobeeshawt means what is warming, cf. boobasha warm, oodrat is the proper term for fire.

Smoke and gunpowder are expressed by the same word in many Indian languages; here, the one for gunpowder, baasothnut, is a derivative of basdic smoke.

The muskito, shema bogosthuc, is described as a black fly(?).

Whadicheme in King's vocabulary means to kill.

Beothik as name for man, Indian and Red Indian is probably more correct than the commonly used Beothuk.

Botomet onthermayet probably contains a whole sentence.

The term for hill, keoosock, kaasook is probably identical with keathut head.

Ecshamut appears in the names for December and January; signification unknown.

Ethnic position of the Beothuk.

The most important result to be derived from researches on the Beothuk people and languages must be the solution of the problem, whether they formed a race for themselves and spoke a language independent of any other, or are racially and linguistically linked to other nations or tribes.

Our means for studying their racial characteristics are very scanty. No accurate measurements of their bodies are on hand, a few skulls only are left as tangible remnants of their bodily existence (described by George Rusk; cf. p. 413). Their appearance, customs and manners, lodges and canoes seem to testify in favor of a race separate from the Algonkins and Eskimos around them, but are too powerless to prove anything. Thus we have to rely upon language alone to get a glimpse at their origin or earliest condition.

A comparison with the Labrador and Greenland Inuit language, commonly called Eskimo, has yielded to me no term resting on real affinity. The Greenlandish attausek one and B. yaseek one agree in the suffix only.

R.G. Latham has adduced some parallels of Beothuk with Tinne dialects, especially with Taculli, spoken in the Rocky Mountains. But he does not admit such rare parallels as proof of affinity, and in historic times at least, the Beothuks dwelt too far from the countries held by Tinne Indians to render any connection probable. Not the least affinity is traceable between Beothuk and Iroquois vocables, nor does the phonology of the two yield any substantial points of equality. Tribes of the Iroquois stock once held the shores of the St. Lawrence river down to the environs of Quebec, perhaps further to the northeast and thus lived at no great distance from Newfoundland.

All that is left for us to do is to compare the sundry Algonkin dialects with the remnants of the Beothuk speech. Among these, the Micmac of Nova Scotia and parts of the adjoining mainland, the Abnaki of New Brunswick and Maine, the Naskapi of Labrador will more than others /314/ engross our attention, as being spoken in the nearest vicinity of Newfoundland. The first of these, Micmac, was spoken also upon the isle itself. Here as everywhere else, words growing out of the roots of the language and therefore inherent to it, have to be carefully distinguished from terms borrowed of other languages. It will be best to make here a distinction between Beothuk terms undoubtedly Algonkin in phonetics and signification and other Beothuk terms, which resemble some words found in Algonkin dialects. Words of these two categories form part of the list of duplex Beothuk terms for one English word, as given on a previous page.

(1) Beothuk words also occurring in Algonkin dialects:

-eesh, -ish, suffix forming diminutive nouns: occurs in various forms in all the Eastern Algonkin dialects.

mamishet: mamseet alive, living; Micmac meemajeet, perhaps transposed from almajeet.

mattuis hammer; Abnaki mattoo.

mandee devil; Micmac maneetoo, Naskapi (matchi) mantuie.

odemen, odemet ochre; Micmac odemen.

Shebon, sheebin river; Micmac seiboo; sibi, sipi in all Eastern Algonkin dialects for long river.

wobee white; Micmac wabaee, Naskapi waahpou, wahpoau white; also in all Eastern Algonkin dialects; cf. B. wobesheet

sleeve, probably for "white sleeve," and Micmac wobun


(2) Beothuk words resembling terms of Algonkin dialects comparable to them in phonetics and signification. Some of them were extracted from R.G. Latham's comparative list, in his Comp. Philology, pp. 433-455.

bathuk rain; Micmac ikfashak, -- paesuk in kiekpaesuk rain; but the other forms given in Beothuk, badoese and watshoosooch, do not agree; cf. ebanthoo water.

boobeshawt fire. The radix is boob- and hence no analogy exists with Ottawa ashkote, Abnaki skoutai and other Algonkin terms

for fire mentioned by Latham.

bukashaman white man, man. Affinity with Micmac wabe akecheenom white man (jaaenan man) through aphaeresis of wa- is exceedingly doubtful. Compare the Beothuk prefixed syllable


emet oil; Abnaki pemmee, Ojibew bimide oil; Micmac mema oil, fat, grease.

kannabuch long; cf. the Algonkin names Kennebec, Quinnipiac long inlet), and the Virginian cunnaivwh long (Strachey, p. 190).

kewis, kuis sun, watch; watcha gewis moon (the form kuis is misspelt).

Micmak nakoushet sun, topa-nakoushet moon (in Naskapi beshung, beeshoon sun and moon).

The ordinary term in the Eastern Algonkin languages is gisis, kisus, kishis for both celestial bodies; goes is the Micmack month appended to each of their month-names.

Magaraguis, magaragueis, mangaroouish son. Latham, supposing guis to be the portion of the word signifying son, has quoted numerous analogies, as Cree equssis, Ottawa kwis, Shawano koisso, etc., but Robinson has mangarewius sun, King has kewis, kuis sun, moon, which makes the above term very

doubtful. Probably it was the result of a misunderstanding;

cf. magorun deer(?), kewis sun.

mamoodthuk dog, mamoosem-itch puppy; Micmac alamouch, elmoohe dog, elmoojeek puppies, Abnaki almoosesauk puppies (alma- in Abn.

corresponds to mama- in Beothuk.)

mamudthun mouth. Latham refers us to Abnaki madoon, Micmac toon, but Leigh has mameshook for mouth and memasook for tongue, which proves that mam, -mem is the radix of the Beothuk word

and not dthun.

manjebathook bread contains in its final part beothuk man people; and in its first perhaps Micmac megisee, maegeechimk to eat,

mijese I eat, or the French manger, obtained through Micmac

Indians. So the signification would be "people's food."

manus berries; Micmac minigechal berries may be compared, provided mini- is the basis of the term.

moosin moccasin, meoson shoe; probably originated from Abnaki (and other Algonkin): mkison moccasin through ellipse.

mootchiman ear; in Algonkin dialects tawa is ear and therefore Latham is mistaken in comparing Micmac mootooween, Abnaki

mootawee (my ear).

muddy, mudti, bad dirty; could possibly be the transformed Ottawa

and Massach. word matche, /315/ Mohican matchit, Odjibwe

mudji bad, quoted by Latham. Ashmudyim devil is a derivative

of muddy.

noduera to hear is probably the Micmac noodak I hear (him).

woas-seesh girl is a derivative of woas-sut woman, and therefore

affinity with the Naskapi squashish girl through aphaeresis is not probable, sehquow (s'kwa) being woman in that language. In the Micmac, epit is woman, epita-ish girl.

The lists which yielded the above Algonkin terms are contained in: A. Gallatin's Synopsis, Archaeologia Americana, Vol. II, (1836); in Collections of Massachusetts Histor. Society, I series, for 1799, where long vocabularies of Micmac, Mountaineer and Naskapi were published; in Rev. Silas T. Rand's First Reading Book in the Micmac Language, Halifax, 1875, 16mo.; also in Abnaki (Benekee) and Micmac lists sent to me by R.G. Latham and evidently taken with respect to existing Beothuk lists, for in both are mentioned the same special terms, as drawing knife, capelan [caplin], Indian cup, deer's horns, ticklas, etc. W.E. Cormack or his attendants probably took all these three vocabularies during the same year.

In order to obtain a correct and unprejudiced idea of our comparative Beothuk-Algonkin lists, we have to remember that the Red Indians always kept up friendly intercourse and trade with the Naskapi or Mountaineer Indians of Labrador, and that during the first half of the eighteenth century, when Micmacs had settled upon Newfoundland, they were, according to a passage of Jukes' Excursions, the friends of the Beothuk also. During that period the Beothuk could therefore adopt Algonkin terms into their language to some extent and such terms we would expect to be chiefly the words for tools, implements and merchandize [merchandise], since these were the most likely to become articles of intertribal exchange. Thus we find in list No. 1 terms like hammer and ochre, in list No. 2 bread, moccasin, and dog. We are informed that the Beothuk kept no dogs, and when they became acquainted with these animals, they borrowed their name from the tribe in whose possession they saw them first. The term mamoodthuk dog is, however, of the same root as mamishet, mamset alive, which we find again in Micmac,(189) and it is puzzling that the Beothuk should have had no word of their own for alive. Exactly the same remark may be applied to wobee white and the suffixes -eesh and -ook, all of which recur in Algonkin languages. Concerning shebon river, we recall the fact that the Dutch originally had a German word for river, but exchanged it for the French riviere; also, that the French adopted la crique from the English creek, just as they have formed bebe from English baby. The term for devil could easily be borrowed from an alien people, for deity names travel from land to land as easily as do the religious ideas themselves. The majority of these disputed terms come from Nancy, who had more opportunity to see Micmacs in St. John's than Mary March.

In our comparative list No. 2 most of the terms do not rest upon radical affinity, but merely on apparent or imaginary resemblance. In publishing his comparative list, Mr. Latham did not at all pretend to prove by it the affinity of Beothuk to Algonkin dialects; for he distinctly states (p. 453): "that it was akin to the (languages of the) ordinary American Indians rather than to the Eskimo; further investigation showing that, of /316/ the ordinary American languages, it was Algonkin rather than aught else." In fact, no real affinity is traceable except in dog, bad and moccasin, and even here the unreliable orthography of the words preserved leaves the matter enveloped in uncertainty.

The suffix -eesh and the plurals in -ook are perhaps the strongest arguments that can be brought forward for Algonkin affinity of Beothuk, but compared to the overwhelming bulk of words entirely differing this cannot prove anything. In going over the Beothuk list in 1882 with a clergyman thoroughly conversant with Ojibwe, Rev. Ignatius Tomazin, then of Red Lake, Minnesota, he was unable to find any term in Ojibwe corresponding, except wobee white, and if gigarimamet, net, stood for fishnet, gigo was the Ojibwe term for fish.

The facts which most strongly militate against an assumed kinship of Beothuk with Algonkin dialects are as follows:

(1) The phonetic system of both differs largely; Beothuk lacks f and probably v, while l is scarce; in Micmac and the majority of Algonkin dialects th, r, dr and l are wanting, but occur in Beothuk.

(2) The objective case exists in Beothuk, but none of the Algonkin dialects has another oblique case except the locative.

(3) The numerals differ entirely in both, which would not be the case if there was the least affinity between the two.

(4) The terms for the parts of the human and animal body, for colors (except white), for animals and plants, for natural phenomena, or the celestial bodies and other objects of nature, as well as the radicals of adjectives and verbs differ completely.

When we add all this to the great discrepancy in ethnologic particulars, as canoes, dress, implements, manners and customs, we come to the conclusion that the Red Indians of Newfoundland must have been a race distinct from the races on the mainland shores surrounding them on the North and West. Their language I do not hesitate, after a long study of its precarious and unreliable remnants, to regard as belonging to a separate linguistic family, clearly distinct from Inuit, Tinne, Iroquois and Algonkin. Once a refugee from some part of the mainland of North America, the Beothuk tribe may have lived for centuries isolated upon Newfoundland, sustaining itself by fishing and the chase.(190) When we look around upon the surface of the globe for parallels of linguistic families relegated to insular homes, we find the Elu upon the Island of Ceylon in the Indian Ocean, and the extinct Tasmanian upon Tasmania Island, widely distant from Australia. The Harafuru or Alfuru languages of New Guinea and vicinity, are spoken upon islands only. Almost wholly confined to islands are the nationalities speaking Malayan, Aino, Celtic, Haida and Ale-ut dialects; only a narrow strip of territory now shows from which portion of the mainland they may have crossed over the main to their present abodes.


Third Paper by Albert S. Gatschet.

(Read before the American Philosophical Society, Jan. 3, 1890.)

Among the three vocabularies which I have recently had the good fortune of receiving, there is one just as old as the century, and another comes from an aged person who has actually heard words of the language pronounced by a Beothuk Indian. I take pleasure in placing these lists before the Society, together with a number of new ethnographic facts gathered in the old haunts of the extinct race, which will prove to be of scientific value.

The Jure Vocabulary.

While engaged in surveying the Bay of Exploits during the summer months of 1886, Mr. Howley became acquainted with Mrs. Jure, then about seventy-five years old, who once had been the fellow-servant of Shanawdithit, or Nancy, at Mr. John Peyton's, whose widow died about the close of the year 1885. Mrs. Jure was, in spite of her age, hale and sound in body and mind, and remembered with accuracy all the little peculiarities of Shanawdithit, familiarly called "Nance." Many terms of Beothuk learned from Nance she remembered well, and at times was complimented by Nance for the purity of her pronunciation; many other terms were forgotten owing to the great lapse of time since 1829. Mr. Howley produced his vocabularies and made her repeat and pronounce such words in it as she could remember. Thus he succeeded in correcting some of the words recorded by Leigh and Cormack, and also to acquire a few new ones. He satisfied himself that Mrs. Jure's pronunciation must be the correct one, as it came directly from Shanawdithit, and that its phonetics are extremely easy, much more so than those of Micmac, having none of the nasal drawl of the latter dialect. She also pronounced several Micmac words exactly as Micmacs pronounce them, and in several instances corrected Mr. Howley as to the mistranslation of some Beothuk words. The twenty-three words which Mr. Howley has obtained from this aged woman embody nine new ones; this enabled me to add in parentheses their true pronunciation and wording in my scientific alphabet.

The Clinch Vocabulary.

A vocabulary of Beothuk has just come to light, which appears to be, if not more valuable, at least older than the ones investigated by me heretofore. It contains one hundred and twelve terms of the language, many of them new to us. It was obtained, as stated, by the Rev. John Clinch, a minister of the Church of England, and a man of high education, /318/ stationed as Parish priest at Trinity, in Trinity Bay, Newfoundland. The original is contained in the Record Book, preserved in the office of Justice Pinsent, D.C.L., of the Supreme Court at Harbour Grace, and it has been printed in the Harbour Grace Standard and Conception Bay Advertiser, of Wednesday, May 2, 1888, some biographic and other notes being added to it in the number of May 12th.

Among these the following will give us a clearer insight into the question of authenticity of Clinch's vocabulary. John Clinch was born in Gloucestershire, England, and in early youth studied medicine under a practitioner at Cirencester, where he became a fellow of Dr. Jenner, who discovered the celebrated specific against small-pox. In those times, no law compelled a man to undergo examination for diplomas; so Clinch migrated to Bonavista, Newfoundland, and established himself there in 1775 as a physician, but in 1783 removed to Trinity. Besides his practice, he conducted services in church, was ordained deacon and priest in London, in 1787, then worked over thirty years at Trinity in his sacred calling, until his death, which must have occurred about 1827. He has the merit of introducing vaccination upon that island, and there are people living now who were vaccinated by him. He was also appointed to judicial charges.

Simultaneously with Mr. Clinch, a Beothuk Indian stayed in that town, known as John August. Tradition states that he was taken from his mother when a child and brought up by a colonist, Jeffrey G. Street. He then remained in Street's house as an intelligent and faithful servant, and when arrived at manhood was entrusted with the command of a fishing smack manned by whites. Frequently he obtained leave to go into the country, where he probably communicated with his tribe. The parish register of Trinity records his interment there on October 29, 1788.

As there is no other Beothuk Indian known to have resided among white people of Newfoundland at that time, it is generally supposed that Mr. Clinch, who lived there since 1783, obtained his collection from none else but from John August. The selection of words differs greatly from that in Leigh's Vocabulary, but the identity of a few terms, which are quite specific, as hiccups, shaking hands, warming yourself, induces Mr. Howley to believe that he, Leigh, had Clinch's Vocabulary before him. One item in Clinch's list, "Ou-bee: her own name," seems to indicate that it was obtained from a female. Indeed, in 1803, a Beothuk woman was captured, presented to Governor Gambier, and subsequently sent back to her tribe. Mrs. Edith Blake, in her article, "The Beothuks," gives a description of her and of her presence at a social meeting at the Governor's house, St. John's.(191)

I have obtained a copy of the printed vocabulary through Mr. Howley. It was full of typographic errors, and these were corrected by him with the aid of a copy made of the original at Trinity by Mrs. Edith Blake, who took the greatest pains to secure accuracy. The Record Book states that Rev. Clinch obtained the vocabulary in Governor Waldegraves' time,(192) /319/ and the volume which contains it embodies documents of the year 1800; this date would form an argument against the supposition, that it was obtained from the female captured in 1803. Below I have reproduced all the terms of this vocabulary, as it surpasses all the others in priority, though perhaps not in accuracy. The words are all syllabicated, but none of them show accentuation marks; I have printed most of them in their syllabicated form.

Capt. Robinson has consulted and partly copied the Clinch vocabulary, as will be readily seen by a comparison of the terms in both.

The three Vocabularies combined.


CM. -- The W.E. Cormack vocabulary, from a Montreal copy of the manuscript.

J. -- The Jure vocabulary.

No letter. -- The Clinch vocabulary.

Words in parentheses contain the transcription of vocables into my scientific alphabet.

Abenick gaping, CM.

Abideeshook domestic cat, CM.

Abus-thib-e kneeling.

Adayook eight; ee-adajook eighteen, CM.

Adi-ab wood.

Adjieich two; ee-ajike twelve, adjeich atho-onut twenty-two, CM.

Adothe or odeothyke boat, vessel, CM.

Agamet buttons and money, CM.

Ah-wadgebick, awadgebick (awadshibik) middle finger, J.

Amshut or yamyess get up, CM.; cf. kinnup.

Anaduck sore throat, CM.

Arrobauth blood; ashabooutte or iggobauth (for izzobauth) blood, CM.

Atho-onut twenty; adjeich atho-onut twenty-two, CM.

Bashedtheek six; ee-beshedtheek sixteen, CM.

Bay-sot, bazot, besot, besut, to walk J.

Beathook Red Indian, CM.

Beteok good night, CM.

Boas-seek blunt, CM.

Bobodish sea pigeon, J.; bobbidish pigeon, black guillemot, CM.

Boddebmoot woman's bosom, CM.

Boo-it, buit (bu-it), thumb, J.

Boshoodik or boshwadit to bite, CM.

Botonet-onthermayet teeth, CM. (onthermayet alone means teeth; cf. below).

Buggishaman man, J.; bukashman or bookshimon man, CM.; pushaman, man.

Buggishamish boy, J.; bugasmeesh white boy, CM.

Chee-a-shit, groaning; cheasit, CM.

Chee-thing a walking stick.

Cobthun-eesamut January, CM.

Co-ga-de-alla leg.

Coosh lip.

Corrasoob sorrow; snow (snow, by confounding it with kausussa- book?).

Cowasazeek July, CM.

Cusebee louse; casebeet, CM.

Cush nails.

Dabseek four; ee-dabseek fourteen CM.

Deshudodoick to blow, CM.

Deu-is sun or moon (doubtful).

Dis-up fishing line.

Dogemat or ashoog-ing (Howley: ash-vog-ing) arrow, CM.

Drummet (drumt) hair, J.; don-na (Clinch).

Ebauthoo water; ebanthoo, CM.

Eemommoos, immawmoose (imamus) woman, J.

Eemommooset, immomooset (imamuset) girl, J.

Eewo-in, ewoin (iwo-in) knife, J.; yew-oin a knife.

Ejeedoweshin, edgedoweshin (edshidoweshin) fowl, J.

Ejibidinish silk handkerchief, CM.

Emeethook dogwood, CM.

Ersh-bauth catching fish.

Euano go out, CM.

Eve-nau feathers.

Gei-je-bursut; see moosin.

Giggaremanet net, CM.

Giwashuwet bear, CM.

Gosset stockings; gasaek, CM.

Gothieget ticklas, CM.

Goun chin, CM.

Gun or guen nose, CM.

Hadda-bothy body.

Hadibiet glass, CM.

Hados-do ding sitting.

Hanamait spoon.

Han-nan a spear; first letter uncertain.

Ha-the-may a bow.

Hedy-yan stooping.

Hods-mishit knee.

Hod-thoo to shoot.

Hod-witch fool.

Hurreen and huz-seen a gun.

Huzza-gan rowing.

Ii-be-ath yawning.

Io-ush-zath stars (doubtful).

/320/ Is-shu, izhu, ishu (izhu), make haste, J.

Ite-ween thigh.

Jib-e-thun (or, iib-e-thun) a trap or gin.

Jigganisut gooseberry, CM.

Yamyess; see amshut.

Yaseek one; ee-yagiesk eleven, CM.

Yeothoduck nine; ee-yeothoduck nineteen, CM.

Yew-one wild goose.

Yew-why dirt.

Keathut; gorathun (obj. case) head, CM.; he-aw-thou head, ke-aw- thon your head.

Kess-yet a flea.

King-able standing.

Kinnup, kinup, get up, J.

Koo-rae lighting; fire.

Koothabonong-bewajowite February, CM.

Kuis; mangaronish sun, CM.; kuis watch, CM.

Kuis and washewnishite moon, CM.

Mady-u-a leaves.

Magorum deer's horns, CM.

Mamasheek islands, CM.

Mamegemethin shoulders, CM.; momezabethon shoulder.

Mam-isutt alive, CM.

Mammadronitan lord bird(193), CM.

Mammasamit dog, J. (mammasavit is incorrect); mammasareet, mamoosernit dog, CM. (reet false for mit).

Mamooseemich puppy, CM.

Manarooit, blanket, CM.

Mangaronish; see kuis.

Manjebathook beard (on page 305; bread, which is probably false; see annawhadya), CM.

Mau-the-au-thaw crying; cf. su-au-thou.

Memajet anus, CM. (false for arms).

Memet hand, CM,; memen (obj. case) hands and fingers; meman momasthus shaking hands.

Me-ma-za tongue.

Menome dogberries.

Me-roo-pish twine, thread.

Mi-a-woth flying; meaoth flying, CM.

Midy-u-theu sneezing.

Mis-muth ear.

Mithie coal.

Moadamutt to boil, as dinner, CM.

Mom-au a seal.

Mome-augh eyebrow.

Moocus elbow.

Moosin and gei-je-bursut ankle, CM.

Mowgeenuck, mougenuk (maudshinuk) iron, J.; mowageene iron.

Mud-ty bad (dirty); mudeet bad (of character).

Mudy-rau hiccups.

Musha-a-bauth oakum or tow.

Nethabete cattle, CM.

Nine knife, CM. (false for u-ine, yewoin).

Nine jeck five; ee-ninezeek fifteen, CM.

No-mash-nush scalping.

Now-aut hatchet.

Obodish, obbodish, cat, J.; obditch a beast; cf. abideeshook.

Obosheen warming yourself.

Obseedeek gloves, CM.

Odasweet-eeshamut December, CM.

Od-au-sot rolling.

Oddesamick, odd-essamick (odesamik), little finger, J.

Odemet ochre, CM. (ochre mixed with oil, emet, Howley).

Onnus (ones) forefinger, index, J.

Oodzook seven; ee-oodyook seventeen, CM.

Oregreen (?) scissors, CM.

Oreru ice, CM.; cf. ozeru.

Osavate rowing, CM.

Osweet (oswit) deer, J.; osweet, CM.

Ou-bee (nom. pr. fem.) "her own name."(194)

Ou-gen stone.

Ou-ner-mish a little bird (species of?).

Outhermay teeth.

Ow-the-je-arra-thunum to shoot an arrow perpendicularly.

Pa-pa de aden a fork.

Pau-shee birch rind; paper.

Peatha fur, hair of beast.

Pedth-ae rain.

Pe-to-tho-risk thunder.

Pig-a-thee a scab.

Pis-au-wau lying.

Podibeac oar, CM.; poodybe-ac an oar.

Poopusraut fish.

Poorth thumb; cf. boad.

Popa-dish a large bird (species of?).

Posson the back.

Poss-thee smoke; cf. baasdic.

Pug-a-thuse beating; pug-a-tho throwing.

Pug-a-zoa eating.

Pug-e-non to break a stick.

Puth-u-auth sleep.

Shabathooret trap, CM.

Shamye currants.

Shansee ten, CM.

Shaub-ab-un-o I have to throw your trap.

Shau-da-me partridge berries.

Shebohowit; sheebuint woodpecker, CM.

She-both kissing.

Shedbasing upper arm, CM.

She-ga-me to blow the nose; shegamik, CM.

Shemabogosthuc muskito (black fly), CM.

Shendeek (or sheudeek?) three; ee-shaedeck thirteen, CM.

Shisth grass.

Shucodimit Indian cup, CM.

Sou-sot spruce rind.

Stiocena thumb, CM.

Su-au-thou singing.

Su-gu-mith birds' excrement.

Susut fowl, partridge.

Tapaithook canoe, CM.; cf. thub-a-thew.

Tedesheet neck.

The-oun the chin; cf. goun.

Thub-a-thew boat or canoe.

/321/ Thub-wed gie dancing.

Tis eu-thun wind.

Traw-na-soo spruce.

Tus-mug pin; tus-mus needle.

Tu-wid-yie swimming.

Waine hoop, CM.

Washeu night, darkness, CM.

Wasumaw-eeseek April, June, September, CM.

Washewnishite; see kuis and washeu.

Weshemesh herring, CM.

Who-ish-me laughing.

Widdun (widun or widan), asleep; also euphemistically for dead.

Woodrut fire, CM.

Wothamashet running, CM.; wothamashee running.

Wooth-yan walking.

Wyabick (wayabik) ring-finger, J.

Zatrook husband, CM.

Zosweet partridge (willow grouse), CM. (same word as susut).

Remarks on Single Terms.

The ending -bauth occurs so frequently that we may have to consider it as a suffix used in the derivation of substantives; thus we have, e.g., izzo-bauth blood, arsh-bauth catching fish, mushabauth oakum, tow.

emmamoose woman, emamoset child, girl, resemble strongly the following Algonkin terms: amemens child in Lenape (Barton), amosens daughter in Virginian (Strachey, Vocab., p. 183).

Ama'ma is mother in the Greenland Inuit.

The sound l occurs but four times in the words which have come to our notice: adolthtek, lathun, messiliget-hook, nadalahet. In view of the negligent handwriting in which all of these vocabularies have reached us, it is permitted to doubt its existence in the language.

menome dogberries is a derivative of manus berries.

mamoose whortle berries, Rob., is perhaps misspelt for manoose.

Cf. min grain, fruit, berry, in all Eastern Algonkin dialects.

ozeru, ozrook, ice; E. Petitot renders the Montagnais (Tinne) ezoge by "gelee blanche" (frost), t'en-zure by "glace vive." The resemblance with the Beothuck word seems only fortuitous.

poopusraut fish is identical with bobboosoret codfish (or bacalaos, Mscr.).

pug-a-zoa eating; the latter probably misspelt for beating.

stioeena thumb, CM., is misspelling of itweena, which means thigh, not thumb.

The new ethnologic and linguistic facts embodied in this "Third Article" do not alter in the least the general results which I deduced from my two previous articles and specified in Proceedings of 1886, pp. 226 to 428. On the contrary, they corroborate them intrinsically and would almost by themselves be sufficient to prove that the Beothuck race and the language were entirely sui generis. By the list contained in this "Third Article" the number of Beothuck vocables known to us is brought up to four hundred and eighty, which is much more than we know of the majority of other American languages and dialects.

The violent hatred and contempt which the Beothucks nourished against all the races in their vicinity seems to testify by itself to a radical difference between these and the Algonkin tribes. The fact that we know of no other homes of the Beothuck people than Newfoundland, does not entitle us to conjecture, that they were once driven from the mainland opposite and settled as refugees upon the shores of that vast island. It is more /322/ probable that this race anciently inhabited a part of the mainland simultaneously with the island, which would presuppose that the Beothucks were then more populous than in the historic period. Numerous causes may account for the fact that we do not notice them elsewhere since the beginning of the sixteenth century: fragmentary condition of our historic knowledge, rigorous colds, epidemics, want of game, famine, infanticide, may be [maybe] wars among themselves or with strangers. Some of these potent factors may have cooperated in extinguishing the Beothucks of the mainland from whom the island Beothucks must have once descended -- while the tribes settled upon Newfoundland may have increased and prospered, owing to a more genial climate and other physical agencies.

Lloyd's papers.

Mr. T.G.B. Lloyd, C.E., F.G.S., M.A.I., read a couple of papers on the subject of the Red Indians of Newfoundland, in 1873-4, before the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain.

The first of these papers gives merely a cursory review of the historical references, already fully dealt with. He quotes Cartwright's journal in full and makes that narrative the basis of his observations. Only a few remarks of his are worth recording.

Lloyd says, "Peyton confirms the statement of the Indians not having dogs, and also states they did not use narcotics."

During a short stay at Labrador last fall (1873) he was informed that about half a century ago a tribe of Red Indians was living near Battle Harbour, opposite Belle Isle, which committed depredations on the fishermen. A story is told of the Indians having on one occasion cut off the heads of two white children which they stuck on poles, but he adds Cartwright makes no mention of them in his journal of a residence of nearly sixteen years on the coast of Labrador, published in 1792, in which he speaks of Battle Harbour.(195) Peyton says the two small images found in Mary March's coffin by Cormack, were so placed along with several other articles she took a fancy to while in St. John's, by Buchan's people. Peyton also said the dress of the Indians consisted of two dressed deer skins, which were thrown over their shoulders. Sometimes they wore sleeves of the same material, but never anything else as a covering. On their feet they wore rough moccasins of deer skins (probably made from the shanks as do the Micmacs).

Their eyes were black and piercing. Men and women wore their black hair long. Their complexion was lighter than the Micmacs, and resembled that of Spaniards etc.

Stone pipes are said to have been found at their camping places, but Peyton is very positive they did not use narcotics of any kind.

Two half breed hunters who are supposed to be the last who saw the Red Indians, believe the remnant left the country and crossed the Straits of Belle Isle to Labrador.

/323/ John Lewis, a Mohawk Metis, who could speak several Indian dialects, informed Mr. Curtis that the Beothuck language was unknown amongst the Canadian tribes.

Lloyd's second paper treats mainly of their stone, bone and other implements found by himself in the course of a cruise around the island. He says, "These implements belong to the class known as surface implements." Numerous discoveries of chisels, gouge-shaped implements, stone pots, spear heads, etc., have been made in various parts of the island. The localities at present known, are comprised in the following list. Starting from St. John's and passing round the island north and west, they will be met with in the following order; -- at Fox Harbour Random Sound Trinity Bay, in Bonavista Bay, Funk Island, Twillingate Island, Bay of Exploits, Notre Dame Bay; Fogo Island; Granby Island and Sop Island White Bay; Conche, Howe Harbour, Hare Bay Bonne Bay, Mouth of Flat Bay Brook Bay St. George; Codroy River, Burgeo Islands; Long Island and Ragged Islands, Placentia Bay. To which may now be added, The River Head of St. John's itself, Collinet River in Peninsula of Avalon, the Beaches and Gambo Bonavista Bay, at Comfort Head, Swan Island, Yellow Fox Id. and other places in the Bay of Exploits. At Sunday Cove Island, Hall's Bay, Long Island, Pilley's Island, Middle and Western Arms, Rouge Har. South West Arm, Indian Burying place in Notre Dame Bay, Fleur de Lis,(196) La Scie, etc. At Cony and Cat Arms White Bay. At Pistolet Bay on the Northern extremity of Newfoundland, and on the west side of the Island, at Port au Choix, Cow Head, and other places. In the interior, at Grand Lake, Sandy Lake, Red Indian Lake etc.

It is worthy of remark that most of the above localities are situated on the sea coast. Mr. Lloyd then describes two localities where he discovered these implements, viz., at Sop Island and at Conche; in both cases they were covered by vegetable mould for a depth of a few inches. He found numerous small arrow heads and gouge shaped tools, broken fragments of pots and an immense number of chips and flakes. The ground had the appearance of having been burnt. Fragments of small bones of birds, also burnt, were mixed up with these implements, or arranged in small groups. They were the "Kitchen middens" of the Beothucks. At Conche, the implements were found at a depth of about 18 inches below the surface, and mixed up with them were some fragments of human skeletons, and seal bones all so much decayed as to crumble to pieces when handled. Drinking cups of soapstone, broken and entire, together with a stone knife about 18 inches long had been found here previous to Lloyd's visit.

Lloyd's description of the implements he found.

"These may be conveniently divided into nine classes, 1st. axe and chisel shaped tools, 2nd. gouge shaped tools, 3rd. broken stone pots, 4th. sinkers, 5th. spear and arrow heads, 6th. scrapers or planes, 7th. fish /324/ hooks, 8th. objects in the course of manufacture, 9th. whetstones, rubbing stones, and other miscellaneous articles.

"No. 1. These implements are made of rough pieces of stone by the simple process of rubbing down one end to a chisel shaped edge. Here he figures two of these, one of which was said to have been taken from a Red Indian wigwam in the year 1810. The man who got possession of it, said it fell from the hands of an Indian, who was apparently occupied in skinning or cutting up some animal, as it was covered with blood. None of these tools show any indication of having been mounted in handles.

"No. 2. These also appear to have been manufactured from any suitable shaped pieces of stone which came to hand. Some of these are made of chert, and are highly finished. All the articles belonging to class 1 & 2 shew marks of fracture on their bevelled edges.

"No. 3. A comparison of the fragments of stone vessels indicates that the larger ones, when whole, were from eight to nine inches in length and breadth, and about 4 or 5 inches in height, with a depth inside of some three inches or thereabouts. The material of which these vessels are composed, is impure steatite (serpentine or potstone). Mr. Lloyd thinks some of these vessels may have been used as lamps, from the fact of their having small holes bored through the sides for suspending them.

"No. 4. These sinkers were egg shaped pieces of soapstone. Mr. Lloyd describes one from the Indian burying place, which he thinks must have been used as a hook. It is a small oval shaped piece of soapstone 1 1/4 inches long, pointed at the lower end. It has two shallow grooves, one horizontal the other vertical, for the attachment of a line. On one side of the object there is a barbed-shaped projection which suggests the idea of a combination of sinker and hook for catching small fish.

"No. 5. Mr. John Evans, in his standard work on Stone Implements, places the javelins and arrow heads under the same heading, and remarks on the difficulty of distinguishing the one class from the other. Taking Mr. Evans for my guide, I have divided the specimens into the following classes: (a) Stemmed arrow heads; (b) double barbed triangular Do.; (c) abnormal forms.

"Class (a) must have been from 5 to 6 inches long, and must have been a spear head.

"Class (b). In point of number and excellence of workmanship these form the most important group. The specimens belonging to it show a gradual diminution in length, from about 3 inches down to 5 sixteenths of an inch, they also differ in the relation of the length of the two sides to the base, thus giving to the more elongated forms a straighter contour than the shorter ones, the bases are all hollowed out, some more than others. The larger ones have a notch cut in them on either side, near their bases. The arrow heads were made of hornstone and quartzite, which appear to be excellent material for the purpose.

"Class (c). These specimens represent a broad flat implement of chert of a somewhat leaf shaped form. The base, above which are two notches, is slightly notched. They are finely serrated all around the edges. Another /325/ is of a triangular shape in outline, slightly hollowed out at base above which are two notches.

"Mr. Evans says of North American forms, p. 362, `The arrow heads with a notch at the base on either side, is a prevailing type in North America. The triangular form usually but little excavated at the base, is also common there. For the most part the chipping is but rough, as the material which is usually chert, hornstone, or even quartz does not readily lend itself to fine work. They were made of various sizes, the smaller for boys, and those for men varying in accordance with the purpose to which they were to be applied.'

"(6) is a group of the class of implements generally termed `scrapers' for which various uses have been suggested -- such as for scraping skins and planing wood, as also for the manufacture of articles of horn and bone, for fabricating arrow heads, knives of flint, and as strike-a-lights. Those from Newfoundland are more or less triangular. They vary in size from 2 inches to 1/2 an inch in length, usually made of hornstone or opaque quartz.

"(7) These peculiar shaped objects appeared to me to have been used as scrapers for rounding the shafts of arrows, but Mr. Franks suggested that they were points of fish hooks fastened into shafts of bone, which latter were bound round the end of a strip of wood. Such articles were used by the Eskimos.

"(8) These consist of cores of hornstone a number of flakes & chips with a quantity of raw materials of quartz hornstone etc.

"(9) Various articles, one of which, a thin piece of micaceous slate about 4 inches long and 3/8 of an inch broad near the middle, tapering towards both ends, thus showing four groups of small notches arranged on one side of the stone. At pretty nearly equal distances apart, the notches are all about the same length. Besides this, several awl shaped tools of hornstone, one of them showing marks of wear at the point, another partially serrated on one side. Similar boring implements of flint have been found in Denmark in company with scrapers and other tools, numerous rubbing stones and flat pieces of slate, apparently whetstones etc.

"Though possessing many characteristics belonging to many tribes of North American Indians, the Beothucks appear to differ from the others in certain peculiarities as follows.

"1 Lightness of complexion.

"2 The peculiar form of their canoes.

"3 The use of trenches in their wigwams for sleeping places.

"4 The custom of living in a state of isolation far from the White inhabitants of the island, and the persistent refusal to submit to any attempt to civilize them.

"5 Non domestication of the dog amongst them.

"6 The art of making pottery was unknown amongst them."

Mr. L thinks the chisel shaped tools were used for skinning seals and other animals, and the gouge shaped for removing the vellum off the skins, and that both kinds were of service in hollowing out the soft stone vessels.

/326/ The scrapers. These form a series of implements of the hardest kind of stone, and are characterised by a similarity of form and style of workmanship. They vary in size down to such as can be conveniently grasped between the thumb and fore finger. The planes of their working forces meet at angles which make them more suitable for abrasion, by a backward than a forward movement of the hand. He thinks these were used for the fashioning of arrow and spear shafts and heads amongst other purposes.

The branches of the great Algonkin nation, recent and modern, include the Aborigines of Montreal, the Chippeways, and Crees of the NW. of Canada, the Montagnards and the Nascuapees of Labrador, besides the Ottawas and the Abanakis. In short they embrace the whole of the Indian tribes extending from beyond the head of Lake Superior to the Atlantic coast, with the exception of the Eskimos.

Beothuck Implements found on Long Island,

Placentia Bay.

About the year 1875 (?) a Mr. Samuel Coffin cleared a small piece of ground at a place called Spencer's Cove at the northern end of Long Island, Placentia Bay. This place was uninhabited at that time, but had been frequently visited by the fishermen to procure firewood. Mr. Coffin in clearing the soil came across a number of Indian implements and other relics of the Beothucks. The late Alex. Murray, C.M.G., F.G.S., the then Director of the Geological Survey of this island, who evinced a great interest in the subject of the Red Indians, despatched Mr. Albert Bradshaw of Placentia to examine and report upon the find. The following is Mr. Bradshaw's report.

ST. JOHN'S, July 15th, 1876.

Alexander Murray Esqr. F.G.S.


In accordance with your request, and the instructions contained in a letter bearing date -- ? to visit and examine Spencer's Cove on the North east end of Long Island, I beg to state that I have complied with the request, and submit to you the following report, as the result of my investigation.

1st. The specimens obtained by me, were found at the height of five feet above high water mark, in a deposit of black clay formed of the debris of the camps of the Indians. There are from eight to twelve inches of this deposit resting upon a bed of brown clay and pebbles.

2nd. Above the deposit in which the specimens were found, there are from twelve to fifteen inches of peat, formed from decomposed wood, and other vegetable matter. Immediately under this, and resting on the aforementioned deposit there is a layer of red slate. Although there were found a few of the arrow heads etc. above the slate, the principal quantity was discovered beneath it.

I have not met with any trace of iron or iron rust, in any part of the ground. The iron axe found by Mr. Coffin on the clearing is of more recent date and has evidently been lost by some person engaged in cutting timber.

I have not met with any shells or organic remains in or below the superficial deposit; nor have I in any case met with charcoal except the burnt wood about the site of their fireplaces.

I do not think it probable that iron in any of its uses had been known to the tribe of Indians who inhabited the Island at that period, for had it been used by /327/ them, it would be impossible from the quantity of land now under cultivation there, not to have met with some trace of it. I found the remains of a pot formed of stone, which goes far to prove that they employed stone for all the uses, for which more recently, iron has been substituted.

Some fifty or sixty years ago this place was covered with a heavy growth of timber, and judging from traces not yet totally destroyed, I was enabled to ascertain that the growth was of a large size, as many of the stumps measured from fifteen to eighteen inches through.

I found very few traces of bones, and even those were very much decomposed, and I am led to conjecture from the position of them, that they were the bones of inferior animals, being above the deposit of black clay and immediately beneath the peat formation.

I am not of opinion that the place was at all used as a burying ground, as if such were the case, I should have met with traces of bones beneath the surface.

The place has evidently been only used as a summer resort and a sort of factory for making and repairing tools and implements of warfare, as the traces amply testify, there being a large quantity of shavings and chips of stone which plainly shows that the manufacturing of tools has been extensively carried on here.

Mr. Coffin, in turning up the soil previous to cultivation has met with numerous spear and arrow heads, gouges and stone axes, grinding or rubbing stones, all of which appear to have some defect, none being entirely perfect. Showing that when they left the place they took everything that might be of any service to them, and leaving only those that were of little or no importance. This in my opinion is proof positive that they left the island for some reason, with the intention of not returning to it again.

It is worthy of mention that the remains of the pot above referred to was found to be composed of steatite and is an importation, as there is no serpentine to be met within the neighborhood of Placentia Bay.(197)


Similar stone implement factories to that described by Mr. Bradshaw, occur at several other points on the coast as well as in the interior. Of this character are several of those mentioned in Lloyd's paper, notably those at the Beaches Bonavista Bay, at Conche, N.E. coast, at Cow Head west coast, and at Grand and Sandy lakes in the interior. At each of the above localities numerous flakes and fragments of chert and other material are scattered around, together with incomplete or spoiled tools, and pieces of the rock from which they were made. This latter consists usually of black chert, pale bluish hornstone (a variety of flint), smoky and other varieties of quartz or quartzite. It is from such material most of the arrow and spear heads, also the scrapers are made. Many of the larger tools, such as the gouges, chisels, or "celts," fleshers, etc., are made of a hard altered slate, called feldsite slate, characteristic of some of the older geologic periods in this island. Most of these materials were found in the near vicinity of those workshops, which was no doubt the reason of their being so situated. In the same way, the soapstone or steatite pot factories were located in localities where cliffs of that material exist. At a place on the N.E. coast called Fleur de Lis, where a cliff of this material occurs, numerous fragments of half finished or spoiled pots and other vessels have been met with, and in the cliff itself, are plainly /328/ to be seen the outlines of similar vessels in process of being manufactured (see Plate XXXII).

Of an entirely different character to these are the burying-places, where in connection with the human remains, are always found the finished implements of stone, and sometimes of iron, stolen from the fishermen and a great variety of bone ornaments, fragments of shells, broken glass bottles, bones of small mammals and birds, packages of red ochre, fire stones, of pyrites, and a host of other things, but scarcely ever any chips or flakes of stone as in the former.

One of these sepulchres at Swan Island, Bay of Exploits has already been described, another which was found at a place called Port au Choix on the West coast, yielded a great number of articles, of a somewhat different type from those usually found in their burial places. They consisted of, (1) Two lower jaw bones of human beings, both broken. One was evidently that of a very old individual, three of the molar teeth on the right side and one on the left side are absent, and in each case the cavities are filled up with porous bone. None of the teeth remained in this jaw, but the cavities of twelve are seen. The chin looks very massive. The second jaw appeared to have had all its teeth but only four jaw teeth remain, the rest having fallen out. There were also twelve loose teeth including one molar. Most of these appear to be in a good state of preservation, yet a few show signs of decay on the crowns. A peculiarity of all these teeth, and for that matter all the Red Indian teeth I have ever seen is the fact that in every instance they are worn down smooth and quite flat on the crown, like a ruminants. I can only account for this feature by supposing that the Beothucks, like the Eskimos, were in the habit of chewing their skin garments along the edges to soften them in the process of dressing and manufacturing them. To effect this end the Eskimos work their jaws sideways, and no doubt the friction tends to wear down the teeth. There were also amongst these relics, part of an upper jaw showing nasal cavities; the teeth were gone but seven spaces where they had been are visible, and one space is filled up with bone, as in the lower jaw referred to above.

There were three long narrow pointed teeth, slightly curved, apparently those of a dog or seal, and five broken pieces of beaver's teeth, three lower and two upper.

(2) Two bone spear sockets, small and slightly made, a good deal decayed. Two fragments of a deer's leg bone, apparently cut or scraped, and used for some purpose or another. A third fragment had a hole bored through, near the edge. Two other slightly curved pieces have grooves cut along the inner side lengthways, and one of them has a hole bored through, at about 1/3 of the length. The hole is oblique, and cut with square angles; it has a slight notch also cut in the outer edge about 1/3 from the other end. The second piece has no hole in it, but in the middle of the outer edge a slight notch is seen. A third smaller piece of bone has a chisel edge at one end. Still another piece is shaped like the small blade of a penknife with a slit like the barb of a fishhook near one end. A much larger piece of bone, evidently of a Whale, is nearly square and /329/ about four inches long, bevelled away at one end to a chisel edge, and apparently the same at the other end which is now decayed. These chisels were at right angles to each other. Two other pieces of bone somewhat similar to the last, have blunt chisel edges at one end, but taper away to points at the other; also a round piece about the same length slightly tapering at both ends, and another piece of the same shape but much slighter and only 1 1/8 inches long. A bone needle nine inches long, very slightly curved, one end pointed, the other a little flattened with an oblong eye hole drilled through it. The inner and outer sides of this needle are bevelled away to fairly sharp edges. A slight groove extends along either side on the central or higher part, reaching from the eye to the point. I imagine this needle may have been used for sewing together the birch bark or skins used for covering their canoes and mammateeks, as it is too large for the ordinary purposes of making garments, moccasins, etc.

One large and one small piece of bone, much decayed, look as though they had been used as sockets for spear heads.

There are three peculiarly shaped and much decomposed pieces of ivory, with small holes drilled through either end, and a deep groove cut along one side extending from one hole to the other, as if intended for a string to pass through the holes and rest in this groove. While the hole at the thinner end passes right through from side to side, that at the other and thicker end does not reach from side to side, but comes out on the thick base of the object. Two of those pieces are about the same size 1 3/4 inches long by about 1 1/2 wide. They are thin and leaf like in shape. The third is about the same length as the other two but is only 1/2 an inch wide. Two other small pieces of ivory have the holes drilled at the sides instead of the ends, and only one of them has the connecting groove. All the holes in those articles are square or oblong, none of them appear to have been bored round as would be the case had a drill-bow been used. Two other small thin pieces of bone about 1 1/2 inches long each, but of different shapes, comprise this lot. One is quite thin, has jogs cut on the edges, and a hole bored through one end; the other has a deep groove on one edge extending about half its length, and a slight notch on the other edge near the smaller end.

There are seven flat oblong pieces of bone or ivory of peculiar shape. One is 2 1/3 inches long, one 3 1/2 and one 4 inches by about an inch wide. Each has notches or projections on the thin edges. One has a single small hole another two holes close together, bored through at one end, and each has thin delicate straight lines marked on the sides near the ends, with slight grooves cut in line with the holes. They are slightly rounded on one side, which may be the natural shape of the bone. Two others of somewhat similar shape, one being considerably larger than the rest. Neither of these has any hole in it; the smaller one only has a slight straight line down the middle of one side, the larger no markings at all; both are notched on the outer edges.

There are three other somewhat similarly shaped pieces but of much smaller size, being from 1 1/4 to 2 inches long, and about 1/2 an inch wide. One of these has two holes drilled, in line, at one end; one being quite /330/ small, the other and inner one large. Two shorter pieces of almost the same form, have each a hole at one end, and all are scored with two, three and four light straight lines near the ends. Three small pieces of ivory having holes bored at both ends and a deep groove connecting them are notched or barbed on the outer edges, and have a slight slit cut into the narrower ends. This end is tapered away like the spear sockets. The holes at the base or thicker end are oblong. These are all too small to hold a spear or arrow head of any size, but may have been used as sockets for children's or toy arrows.

Four long narrow barbed pieces of bone evidently used for fish or bird spears. Two of them have but one shoulder on either side while the others have two shoulders or barbs. Three of them are grooved out at the base, and have narrow slits cut in them, but the fourth tapers away to a fine point. Each of these has a fairly large hole bored through near the centre. They were evidently attached by a string to a handle in the same manner as the larger seal spear.

There is but one other small piece of ivory about 1 3/4 inches long by 1/2 an inch in width, with a notch cut on one edge, and a deep groove on the other running about two-thirds of its length.

The stone implements found here consisted of 27 flakes chiefly of black or drab coloured chert, two being of a yellowish jasper. Several small thin pieces of dark coloured slate or serpentine greenish in colour, some veined with lighter shades of serpentine. All these latter are highly polished on both sides, and some have the edges bevelled away. There are two pieces of broken spear heads made of black and greenish chert. Seven well made chert arrow heads of the stemless hollowed base pattern. These are black and bluish green in colour, also three oblong pieces of thin slate, ground smooth on both sides, and round on the edges. There were a few small bones of animals or birds, much decomposed.

I have a strong suspicion that all these implements, etc., from this locality, may possibly be of Eskimo and not of Beothuck manufacture. The situation of Port au Choix near the lower entrance of the Strait of Belle Isle, and close to the most projecting headland (Point Riche) on that part of the Newfoundland coast, would be just such as to attract those coasting and fishing people. But the character of the implements themselves are very Eskimo like. The bird or fish spears are unlike any found elsewhere in Beothuck sepulchres; the long bone needle would be just such an article as might be used in sewing their skin "Kayacks." Many of the smaller bone and ivory articles, might be used as buttons or fasteners for skin dresses, others for stops such as are still to be seen attached to their lines, or fastened on to the edges of their Kayacks, etc. The complete absence of red ochre amongst these remains is also very noticeable.

Finding of Beothuck Skeletons.

The same Mr. Samuel Coffin, who discovered the implements on Long Island, Placentia Bay, afterwards removed to Rabbit's Arm, Notre Dame Bay. While residing here he was made aware of an Indian burying cave /331/ having been discovered on a small island in Pilley's Tickle not far distant. He proceeded there to investigate and succeeded in obtaining a most valuable and interesting lot of remains and relics which are now in our local museum.

From Mr. Coffin I obtained the following particulars of this find. These remains were removed from their resting place by myself in September 1886. They were buried in a sort of cave formed by a shelf of rock with a projecting cliff above, on an island called Burnt Island in Pilley's Tickle, under the following circumstances. Some berry pickers it appears were on the island, when one of the boys in searching about, stood upon the grave and his foot broke through the slight covering placed over the bodies. Tearing up the stones and dirt he found the body of a child or young person beneath with several articles laying around it. They carried away the head and a number of the trinkets, which Mr. Coffin purchased from them. He then paid a visit to the place himself, and carefully removing all the loose covering so as to get a full view of the remains he thus describes them.

The body was lying on its left side, enshrouded in a skin covering, (probably beaver skin but now destitute of fur) the flesh side turned out and smeared with red ochre. This shroud was arranged loosely covering all the body except the head. Inside it was clothed with a sort of skin pants covering the lower limbs, which was neatly sewn together, and fringed at sides with strips of skin cut into fine shreds. On the feet were moccasins also fringed round the top. The toes of these moccasins were not gathered in, in the usual way, but slightly turned up and sewn straight across so as to form a square front. Besides those covering the feet, there were a couple of extra pairs of the same pattern, with the other articles laying about. All these were very neatly sewn with fine stitches apparently of deer sinew. The outer robe was also fringed with finely cut skin down one side of the front and along the lower end of the garment. On the other side of the front were fastened several carved bone ornaments and a couple of birds feet (ducks or gulls), this appeared to be the outer side. All had been smeared with red ochre, traces of which were clearly visible. The body itself was enshrouded in its natural skin, now dried and shrunken and resembling Chamois leather, and was almost perfect. Only one hand and a couple of the cervical vertebrae were missing. The other hand, as well as the feet, was perfect, even the nails were well preserved. The legs were bent up so that the knees formed a right angle to the body with the feet bent back against the seat. The head was well shaped and contained twenty fully developed teeth, with four more at the inner side of the jaws which had apparently not yet broken through the gums. This would indicate a youth of some ten or twelve years of age. Accompanying the body and arranged around it were a number of articles consisting [of] a small wooden image of a male child, two small birch bark canoes, miniature bows and arrows, paddles, a couple of small packages of red ochre tied up neatly in birch bark, and a package of dried or smoked fish, salmon and trout, made up in a neat parcel of bark and fastened with a net-work of rootlets like a rude basket. There were no stone /332/ implements found with the boy's body, but about 14 or 15 feet away, on the same shelf of rock, the skull and leg bones of an adult, with several loose bones of other parts of a skeleton were accompanied by several well made spear and arrow heads of stone, a stone dish, and an iron axe with wooden handle, of old English or French pattern, and an iron knife set into a rough wooden handle, with a few other articles of iron much corroded by rust. There were also a number of drinking cups and other small vessels made of birch bark. Most of these were very neatly made and well sewn together with fine roots, presumably to keep them from splitting. All these articles withoout exception were reddened with ochre.

Over the remains was formed a canopy of arched sticks supporting a covering of birch bark, of large heavy sheets, some of them sewn together with roots. These latter were evidently taken from a broken or disused canoe, judging from the thickness of the bark, and the manner in which it was sewn. Over this covering of bark was laid a pile of loose fragments of stone and gravel to conceal the remains.

It has been conjectured that this child may have been the son of a chief or otherwise a person of some particular distinction amongst the tribe, if we may judge from the evident care bestowed upon his interment, and the careful if not loving manner in which the little fellow was supplied with everything requisite for his journey to the "Happy Hunting Grounds."

These relics afford an insight into many subjects hitherto open to some doubt. First they clearly attest a belief in a future state of existence. Then again, presuming that the small models of the canoes, paddles and other articles are correct in every particular, seeing these are the work of their own hands, they confirm beyond all question the peculiar shape of those vessels and implements.

I have an idea that the sharp "V" shaped bottom of the canoe was intended the better to navigate our rough boulder choked rivers, as the fact of their narrow form would enable them to slip between boulders where a wider bottomed boat could not pass. It has also been suggested that this shaped boat, when ballasted, would sail better in open water, the sharp bottom acting as a keel. In like manner the long narrow bladed paddle, with sharp point, so unlike any of the paddles of other Indian tribes, which are generally short and wide, and more or less round at the end, appears to me to have been intended to answer the double purpose of pole and paddle.

About the year 1888, a Mr. George Hodder of Twillingate, came across some Indian remains in a cave on Comfort Island, Bay of Exploits, which he secured, and which were purchased for the museum where they now are, one being an almost complete skeleton of an adult. Mr. Hodder gave me the following particulars of this find. He says, "there were three or four caves on the island where Indians had been buried, but most of the bones had become so decayed that he could only find one perfect skull. Some of the fragments of others were very much larger, than the one we sent you. We had one under jaw that measured an inch wider, and leg bones that measured 2 or 3 inches longer. I believe he says that some /333/ of these men must have been 7 or 8 feet in height. The skeleton you have was in a cave from fifteen to twenty feet in length. The Indian was buried in a sitting posture, with a grass rope under his seat going up over his head, which was covered with a deer skin. He was then covered with Birch rind, and the cave filled in with rocks. He had buried with him quite a lot of arrows, broken in two pieces, also quite a lot of beads and bone ornaments, a lot of birds heads, a piece of iron pyrites, etc."

This skeleton which stands about five feet eight inches, and probably when in the flesh was fully six feet tall, presents several characteristics worthy of note.

Had it not been for the absence of both feet, which are only represented by one or two of the small bones, metatarsus, and phalanges, the right hand, one of the patellae, or knee caps, and the lower portion of the breast bone, it would be complete. All the other parts are in a good state of preservation. The left arm and hand are intact, the hand being still attached to the wrist and forearm by the dried, shrivelled up sinews which connected them. The leg bones are long and strong looking, especially the femurs, which are over a foot and a half in length. The skull is large, particularly in the occipital region, cheek bones prominent, frontal angle rather low, with a deep depression in the forehead just above the base of the nasal organ. This latter is very peculiar, and if we can judge from what remains of the bridge, must have been considerably turned up at the end, or otherwise of this shape:

[Insert here drawing of shape of the skull in question]

The lower jaw is thick and massive, the teeth, what are left of them, are sound and all exhibit the worn down crown already referred to. Taken as a whole this skeleton does not impress one favourably as to the intelligence of the individual, the skull in particular seems to indicate the characteristics of a rather savage, if not brutal nature. In this respect it differs much from all the other skulls I have seen of the Beothucks, which, as a rule, are well formed, with good facial angles, indicative of a fair degree of intelligence and mild disposition. Yet the careful manner in which the individual was buried seems to point to a person of some consequence, probably a chief. This is further borne out by the fact that the bones are smeared with red ochre, which could only have been done long after all the flesh had decomposed and fallen away. Whatever significance this red colour had for them, it apparently was not confined to the living only, for here we have an instance of its being applied to the remains of the dead, long after all the flesh had disappeared.

Still another skeleton was obtained on an island near Rencontre, South coast of Newfoundland, as far back as 1847, by the Rev. Mr. Blackmore, rural dean of Conception Bay, who presented it together with an account of the finding, to the Museum of McGill University, Montreal. The particulars are contained in a paper read before the Royal Society of Canada, by the Rev. George Patterson, 1891, and are published in the Transactions of that Society for the same year.

/334/ As it is of considerable interest, I give it here in full. "They were (says Mr. Blackmore) found in the year 1847 on an island forming one of the lower Burgeo group, called `Rencontre.' This island is uninhabited and considerably elevated; difficult also of access in rough weather. It is in a great measure covered with broken fragments of rocks which have fallen from the heights. About half way up the mountain (if I may so term it), and in a hollow formed by a large piece of fallen rock, with every opening carefully closed by small pieces of broken rock, we found the bones of a human being wrapped closely round with birch rinds. On removing these rinds a quantity of gravel mixed with red ochre became visible, and on removing this we found oblong pieces of carved bone, together with flat circular stones, some glass beads, two iron hatchet heads, so rusty that we could pick them to pieces, a bone spear head (socket?) the handle of a knife with part of the blade still in it, also some flints designed for arrow heads. All these articles were together, and had been placed apparently under or just before the head of the individual buried -- all carefully enclosed in the rinds. The skull was that of a full grown male adult, with a very flat crown and large projection behind. The place of interment was singularly wild, high up in a cliff overlooking a little cove facing the open sea, and only accessible on this side in very smooth water. It was discovered by a boy while gathering brushwood. This boy seeing a piece of wood projecting from the rock, pulled at it to add to his store, and so loosened the smaller rocks and found the cavity with its contents. The head of this stick, which was about four inches in diameter, was ornamented. There were four fragments of sticks, and they must, I imagine, have formed a canopy over the body.

"From the implements here found, it is evident the burial took place after they had intercourse with the whites, but so early that they still dwelt upon the coast hunting the seal and other inhabitants of the deep, still using their old implements, and there also depositing their dead."

There is in our local museum a skull and right femur of another Indian, the finding of which antedates all the above, and which event has a rather romantic history attached to it. It was procured in 1834 by the late Hon. Dr. Winter, M.L.C., under the following circumstances, as related to him by Alex. Murray, C.M.G., F.G.S., Director of the Geological Survey, in 1875. Dr. Winter stated that at the time, 1834, he was practising his profession at Green's Pond, on the north side of Bonavista Bay. "He was called upon one day by a person who wanted a troublesome tooth extracted. The patient stated that he was convinced that his sufferings were attributable to the fact of his having been in possession of the tooth of a Red Indian who had been killed on the `Straight Shore,' and whose body lay buried in a spot which he described. The Doctor extracted the aching tooth, and undertook to restore the Indian's grinder to its original owner. He hoped in this way to obtain the skeleton of one of the extinct race; while at the same time, he quieted the superstitious fears of the patient. Accordingly he hired a boat and proceeded to the locality described. After considerable labour the grave was discovered, and in it he found the skull, a thigh bone, a shoulder blade and a few other /335/ smaller bones; but the remainder had been carried off by wolves or foxes. The skull was in a good state of preservation, except that the cheek bone and the lower part of the socket of one eye had been broken, evidently, in the Doctor's opinion, by shot. Mr. Murray states that his specimen is exactly in this condition, thus proving its identity. Underneath where the body had lain the doctor found a concave circular hole, lined with birch bark, about twenty inches in diameter, at the bottom of which were two pieces of iron pyrites.' He also found the shaft of a spear stained with red ochre. The skull was presented by the doctor to the St. John's Mechanics' Institute, in 1850, where it was kept till the contents of the Museum were dispersed, when it found its way to the Geological Museum, where it still remains.

"Dr. Winter mentions that the boatman who accompanied him to the Indian's grave, finding that he meant to bring away the remains refused to trust himself in the boat, declaring `that neither luck nor grace would follow such doings, as robbing the grave.' He had to row the boat back himself, and the fisherman walked twenty miles through marshes and bogs rather than undertake the perilous voyage in company with a skull. The doctor deserves much credit for his efforts to preserve these interesting relics. It is also satisfactory to know that his patient had no return of the tooth ache, the Indian's tooth having been restored to the rightful owner, and the troublesome grinder extracted."

This skull and femur are in an excellent state of preservation, and are not nearly so weathered or decayed as most of the others, from which circumstance I would infer that the individual to whom they belonged had not been long buried.

In many respects these relics differ considerably from the others in the museum. The skull, while undoubtedly that of an adult, as it possesses or did possess its full complement of teeth, is not nearly so massive. The frontal angle is good showing a fairly high but narrow forehead, much slighter maxilla, less heavy brow, without any pronounced depression such as that described in the larger skeleton. The nasal organ also would appear to have been well shaped. In fact a delicate almost elegantly shaped cranium, if such a term can be applied to that object. The femur also is much slighter and fully two inches shorter than any of the others. All these peculiarities lead me to the conclusion that this was the skeleton of a female. There is no vestige of red ochre about the bones, possibly, only those of the male sex were so treated. The teeth, as usual, are worn down on the crowns but not to such an extent, and they are very white and perfect, exhibiting no signs of decay. One would almost be inclined to think that these were not the remains of an Indian at all, yet the manner of burial, as described by Doctor Winter leaves no room for doubt on this point.

Numerous fragments of skulls and disconnected vertebrae or other portions of human skeletons have been found from time to time especially in and around the Great Bay of Notre Dame, but it is rare to find a perfect cranium much less a complete skeleton.


Implements and Ornaments of the Beothucks.

In the foregoing pages various references will be found to these by the different authorities quoted, but so far no attempt has been made to classify them properly. They comprise the usual stone tools, such as spear and arrow heads, axes, chisels, gouges, lances, knives, fleshers, scrapers, and a great variety of nondescript articles for which it is difficult to assign a use. There are a few steatite, (soapstone) pots, some egg shaped sinkers and a pipe of the same material. Nowhere has there been found any utensils or fragments of baked clay, and it appears quite certain that the Beothucks were not acquainted with the Ceramic Art. There is an abundance of material in the island suitable for such purpose, and had they a knowledge of pottery they would scarcely have gone to so much labour in cutting out, and shaping into bowls, dishes, etc., those clumsy steatite utensils found in their burial places.


This represents four very crude stone implements, so much so, as almost to make it a matter of doubt as to whether some of them were ever used by the Red men. Yet the fact that they were found in that part of the country most frequented by them, and the evident chipping, or rather spawling of the two first, though this may have been accidental, seems to imply that they were made use of, while the third shows no indication of having been prepared in any way, but is just a heart shaped fragment of a slate boulder with a fairly sharp cutting edge and blunt point. Nos. 1 and 3 are large and stout towards the wider end, and supposing them to have been held in the hand would thus afford a good grasp. These may have been merely rude fleshers picked up at random, and cast aside after being used. No. 1 however, seems just such an implement as might be applied to the chipping of the smaller tools, as it is made from a hard dark bluish slate, of a tough nature. No. 2 was undoubtedly chipped or spawled around the sides and shows marks of blows on the upper end, its lower, or cutting edge, is just the natural cleavage. No. 4 is a piece of flattish hard red slate, chipped or spawled, but its cutting end has been ground down to a blunt edge. It also exhibits the mark of blows at the upper end, where it is considerably bruised. Such a tool may have been used for cleaving wood or splitting marrow bones.


Some of the implements figured here are still of a rather rude character. Nos. 1, 5 and 6 are ground down at the lower end, but 2, 3 and 4 are only chipped. These latter are all thin pieces of a hard white-weathering slate showing lines of stratification. They are scarcely sharp enough to be used for any purpose other than as fleshers. No. 3 is the largest of those leaf shaped implements I have met with. It may have been used as a knife for cutting up meat, as well as for skinning an animal. No. 7 is also a thin piece of hard slate of about 1/2 an inch in thickness. It is of a uniform width throughout, the two edges being partially ground, while the lower end has a good, well ground cutting edge.

Nos. 8 and 9 may have been axes, but are so short and thick at the upper end, as to afford no chance of attaching a handle to them, there being no groove by which to fasten it, yet their shape certainly suggests the axe or tomahawk.

10, 11, and 12 are well made knives, ground down on both sides to fine cutting edges. 11 and 12 show both sides of the same implement, and the base is cut away to receive a handle which must have been attached by strong sinews or strips of deer skin and held in place by the grooved base, which was clearly made to receive the binding so as to keep the knife in place. As No. 10 is but a broken piece of a broad flat knife we can only conjecture that the base was grooved in a somewhat similar manner. Both are thickest along the central line and No. 11 shows a distinct ridge in the middle. Nos. 13 and 14 show the back and side view of a peculiar curved implement, made of a hard white-weathering chert. It is well chipped, but not ground in any way, and has a pretty good cutting edge on either side. The point is round, as shown in figure. It has evidently been broken off from a handle into which the lower and smaller end was inserted. I believe this implement had been used as a crooked knife, as it bears a resemblance to that in use amongst the Micmacs, only the latter is made of steel.



These are specimens of the well-known Celts, which appear to have been common to savage people all the world over. They are nearly always of the same pattern, and consist of long flattish pieces of hard slate rock or other material found suitable for the purpose. They are usually about 6 or 7 inches in length, narrow at one end, and ground away to a good cutting or chopping edge at the other and wider end. All these figured here were well made implements of a hard feldsitic slate well ground down and polished over most of the surface. Nos. 1 and 2 are very perfect specimens and do not appear to have been much used. I have seen a similar implement in the Smithsonian Museum at Washington, with a wooden handle attached by thongs of hide, in the form of an adze. It looked as though it had been used for dressing down sticks for spear handles, etc., and possibly for hollowing out wooden troughs. With the exception of 1, 2 and 3, the remainder are all broken fragments. Complete specimens of this form are not often met with. No. 3 is of softer material than the rest and is much weathered, especially along the cutting edge. 7 and 8 are reduced specimens, after Lloyd. No. 9 stone adze with wooden handle attached.


These are all gouge shaped implements. No. 1 is a beautifully made tool of hard slate perfectly grooved out, with a very sharp cutting edge, part of which has been broken away. The front or upper side is flat, but it is round on the back and is about 1 1/4 inches in thickness. Nos. 2 and 3 show the front and back view of another similar gouge. This is also beautifully made, especially the grooved end, which is highly polished and has a keen cutting edge. The front of this tool is also flat and the back is rounded. It is somewhat thicker than No. 1 or about 1 1/2 inches. Nos. 4, 5 and 8 are smaller types of the gouge, the groove only being well ground. Nos. 6 and 7 are but slightly hollowed at lower end and the edge is not so keen. They are both partly ground on the sides, but otherwise rather rough. They do not display anything like the workmanship of the first lot.

It has been variously conjectured by some that these implements were used in dressing skins, shaping spear handles, paddles, etc., while others maintain they were used to gouge out wooden or log boats, but I know of no instance where it is recorded that the Beothucks made dugouts. I imagine they were applied to one or both of the first mentioned uses. I have seen the Micmacs use a somewhat similarly shaped tool made of a deer's leg bone (femur), one end of which was cut away and bevelled to a sharp curved cutting edge, the hollow inside part of the bone taking the place of the groove in these stone implements. It was used for removing the vellum from the fleshy side of the deerskins in the following manner: A smooth round stick of perhaps three inches in diameter was driven into the ground, or jammed between boulders to keep it firm. It stood at an angle sufficient to bring its upper or free end about 3 feet above the ground. Over this the green skin was thrown, which hung down on either side. The operator then rubbed off the vellum by fitting the grooved bone over that part of the hide which rested along the stick, pressing his chest against the elevated end and forcing the tool downwards with both hands. They also use another tool, made of a deer's shin bone cut open lengthwise and sharpened along its whole length, except at the thick ends, which latter are held in both hands. This tool resembles a drawing knife or spokeshave, and is drawn towards the operator while the other is worked from him. The former is called "Seskadedagan," the latter "Gigegan."

Those with the small narrow grooves could scarcely have been applied to this purpose of dressing skins, and I think must have been used for fashioning poles or shafts for spear handles etc.


Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 are or were all well made hunting spears or lance heads. No. 1 was a beautiful implement of hard red slate, perfectly shaped and ground down with great care. Along the centre of both sides where it is thickest is a distinct well-marked straight gable, as is also the case with No. 4. The outer edges are quite sharp, Nos. 2, 3, and 5 are more rounded in outline, with less pronounced central ridge or none at all. No. 24 is a reduced specimen after Lloyd, of a similar spear to No. 1. No. 4 is much smaller than the others. All have the tangs broken off, and with the exception of No. 5, the points also. No. 6 shows the front and side view of a very well made and polished tool which would appear to have been long and narrow throughout. If the outline of the absent parts be correct, it was evidently used as a drilling implement.

No. 7 is a long thin lance or possibly an arrow head. Nos. 8 and 9 are long spear-like implements of red slate well made and highly finished throughout. They seem to suggest a dagger or dirk, and were probably set in a handle. 10 is a lance or spear head. 11, a chipped arrow of hard feldsite slate, 12, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21 and 23 are not easily defined. They are rather large for arrow heads, yet small for spears. Some American authorities call similar tools, fishing spears.

16 is a rude flat chipped lance or spear head with notched base for fastening a handle by. 17, is a reduced leaf-shaped spear, after Lloyd. 18 and 19 are somewhat similar to 16 only much smaller, 19 shows two grooves on either side near the base. 22 is probably an arrow head, made of smoky quartz.



Some of the implements figured here are what is termed by American authorities, "turtle-backs." Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 15, 18, and 19 are all of this type, No. 4 being the most perfect specimen, showing the comparatively flat under, and peaked upper surface; what particular use they were put to is not easy to determine. That none of them could have been affixed to handles of any kind seems pretty evident. Possibly, they were used for skinning or fleshing animals, but they do not appear very suitable for such purpose and most of them are too small. All, with the exception of Nos. 7, 8, and 10 are made of black or dark coloured chert. 7 is greenish chert, while 8 and 10 are banded quartz.

Nos. 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 20, may have been used as spears as their shapes seem to imply.


This plate exhibits specimens of the different types of stone arrow heads used by the Beothucks. They are made from a variety of different materials, such as greenish slate, or horn-stone, black chert, red jasper, quartz, etc.

Some few are rather crudely made, but the majority are very perfect and show much fine and careful workmanship. Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 are of the former class. From No. 7 to 24 represent those triangular shaped arrow points with slightly curved bases. These appear from their abundance to have been the most commonly used form. Some of them are very small, and it is a matter of doubt as to how they were fastened to the shaft. It is supposed by some authorities that they were set into a slit and merely kept in place by gum from the spruce trees, but if this were so they could not have had a very firm hold.

Nos. 32, 33, 34, are beautiful and delicately made specimens, ground down on all sides perfectly smooth with keen edges and sharp points. The base is also ground to a fine edge. The two last have the central line or peak perfectly straight on both sides. No. 44 is another, similar in every respect, except that the base is square across instead of being curved. 43 is rather clumsy for an arrow head and may have been a lance or fishing spear. Nos. 45 and 46 show an extra deep indentation at the base, a form not at all plentiful.

Nos. 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, and 55 all represent various types of triangular arrow heads with short tangs and deep notches on either side of the base for the purpose of fastening them securely to the shaft by means of sinew or fine strips of hide. These are what are termed stemmed arrows.

Both these latter and the two former (45 and 46) are exactly like some arrow heads I have seen figured in the Transactions of the Royal Historical and Archaeological Journal of Ireland, for Jan. and April 1888. Nos. 56 and 57, 64 and 66 being all broken at the base, we do not know whether they were notched or otherwise. Nos. 58, 59, 60, 61, and 62, are all of a larger size and somewhat different pattern, especially the two last, which are much wider at the base, and slightly curved, but both exhibiting the notches for fastening, etc. No. 65 being broken across the middle leaves it difficult to decide whether it was an arrow or spear head. It is made of dark coloured, translucent quartz (smoky quartz), and is beautifully and evenly chipped all over, with sharp slightly serrated edges. If a spear head, it must have been a very elegant one.

67 is also a quartz or quartzite tool, but is not nearly so well finished as the preceding.


Here we have a variety of nondescript articles with a few others that can be easily defined. Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, and 12 are all either scrapers or graving implements. 4, 5, 6, 7, and 9 are thin spawls of dark greenish chert, which have evidently either been fashioned as we see them or else selected on account of their exceedingly sharp edges. I imagine these may have been used in carving the bone ornaments, described in Plates XXIV, XXV, XXVI, XXVII, XXVIII.

No. 8, the side view of which is like this

[Picture of item in question inserted here]

was probably used for boring the small holes in the bone, the point, now broken off, was evidently very fine and sharp. 12 is a piece of milky white quartz chipped and frayed at the edge. The smallness of these fragments suggests that they must have been held between the thumb and fore-finger when in use.

Nos. 13, 14, and 15, are thin pieces of slate quite smooth on both sides and ground on the edges. They were probably whetstones used for sharpening the smaller tools. No. 16 is a peculiar shaped piece of black chert, well chipped and having sharp edges. It looks like a sort of double pointed implement, but the extreme points are broken off. Possibly it was intended to be divided in two, and made into arrow heads. No. 17 shows two sides of a thin piece of whitish slate cut with some sharp implement, but not fashioned into any recognised [recognized] form. No. 18, also of dull whitish slate may have been intended for a lance head which was not completed. Nos. 19, 20, 21, 22, and 23 are flat pieces of serpentine; some of them are bevelled at the edges, and all are highly polished. As this kind of stone is too soft to be used other than for ornamentation, it is not easy to determine what they were. 22, with the notch at one side, does look as if it were intended for an arrow head.

/339/ Nos. 24, 25, 26, 27, and 28, are either plummets or sinkers and are all made of soapstone. The grooves at the top clearly indicate that they were attached to lines. No. 28 is reduced after Lloyd, and differs from the rest by having a sharp projecting point or barb at one side. Lloyd thinks this was used for fishing, as a hook.

No. 29 is a flat piece of whitish or drab slate with a broad bevelled edge at the base, where it is ground away from one side like a chisel. It has a cuneiform hole drilled through near this wide base. I have seen no other tool exactly resembling this figured anywhere. It may have been used as a knife, but the object of the hole is not apparent.

No. 30 is a beautifully made pipe of greenish serpentine. The bowl is octagonal shaped outside but perfectly circular inside. There is some doubt as to whether this can be really attributed to the Beothucks, especially as they are said not to have smoked. Again, it is so very fresh and unweathered, it looks as though it was quite recently made. The party who gave it to me, received it from a Micmac Indian, who picked it up near Pipestone Pond in the interior, and pronounced it to be of Red Indian manufacture. No. 31 may have been used as a hook, though a very clumsy one. It is a piece of fine grained reddish sandstone and looks as though it owed its peculiar shape to weathering or from being water worn.

No. 32 is a large sized scraper or perhaps knife with a fairly good cutting edge along the lower side. 33 is clearly a fragment of the basal part of a spear or lance head, made of black chert. No. 34 is a rather rudely made spear head of dull reddish porphyry. No. 35 are fragments of clay pipes of European manufacture, apparently French, for one section of a stem shows the Fleur de Lis with a Lion(?) Rampant, surmounted by a crown, Arms of Francis I of France(?). Whether the Boethucks [Beothucks] used these pipes, or only picked up the broken fragments near the French fishing establishments and looked upon them as curios cannot now be determined; at all events these fragments were found by myself in one of the Beothuck cemeteries. My own impression is, notwithstanding so many assertions to the contrary, that they really did smoke something, as most other Indians do. If not tobacco, which of course does not grow in Newfoundland, they, like the Micmacs, when short of that weed may have used Kinnikanick, i.e. the inner bark of the Red Willow (Redrod), or the root of the Michaelmas daisy dried. I have myself had occasion to resort to the former more than once, in order to eke out my scanty supply of tobacco. They may have at times, when on friendly terms with the French fishermen received both pipes and tobacco from them in barter.

The Beothucks certainly had a term for tobacco, "Nechwa," which is evidence that they must have been acquainted with the weed.(198) No. 36 is a tool of the gouge pattern, but having a very small groove. It was probably used for shaping and paring down arrow shafts. It is of a rather soft slate.

Nos. 37 and 38. Two spherical balls of limestone, probably used for gaming.


These are all rubbing stones. Nos. 1 and 2 are of fine grained sandstone. 1 being a reddish sandstone, 2, greenish gray. No. 3 is a hard close grained pinkish porphyry, and is worn quite smooth and polished on top and bottom. Nos. 4 and 5 are made of grayish grindstone, fairly hard and somewhat coarse grained. 6 and 7 are soft fine gray and greenish rock like a chlorite state. All exhibit well worn or rubbed down surfaces indicating that they were much used for sharping tools, etc.


These are all implements and other articles of bone. No. 1 is a long well made needle with an eye hole drilled through one end. It is from Port au Choix. Nos. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 are undefinable objects. 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, and 22 are mostly made of Ivory, evidently of Walrus tusk. What they were really intended for does not seem apparent; they may have been used in lieu of buttons for fastening their garments, etc.

Nos. 23 and 24 are barbed bone fishing or bird spears. I have seen one with the Micmacs of exactly the same pattern as 24, but made of iron.

Nos. 25, 26, 27, 28, and 28a are smaller types of the same. 25, 26, and 28a have deep notches cut in the base as if intended for inserting a handle or shaft. They also have holes drilled through them. It appears as though they must have been attached by a string to the handle or shaft, which in this case would probably be an arrow shaft, and when shot into a bird or fish would separate from the wood but still remain attached by the string, in a similar manner to the seal spear.

Nos. 29 and 29a were undoubtedly the bone sockets of small spears.

Nos. 30 and 31 were bone spears, also attached to the handles by a thong of hide.

No. 32 is a well-defined bone spear socket, such as was used for killing seals. The stone or iron point was set into a slot at the small end and then securely bound around the narrow neck by sinew /340/ or thong. The two holes were not drilled through, only about half way and are connected one with the other. This was where the string for attachment to the handle was tied. In the swallow tailed base is a fine groove for the point of the handle to be inserted. This implement was so constructed, that upon entering the body of a seal it became detached from the handle, but still held by the long cord which was carried up to, and over the end of the handle and thence back to where it was grasped in the hand. Another feature of its ingenious construction was, that owing to the cord being attached to the middle of the socket, as soon as it pierced the flesh of the animal, and a strain was put upon it by the effort to escape, the spear turned sideways across the aperture made in the skin and this prevented its withdrawing.

Nos. 33 to 43 are all pieces of bone of various shapes, 37, 38, and 39 have chisel-shaped points at one end. It is difficult to say what they were used for. 44 and 45 are two pieces of whalebone, partly cut but apparently not intended for use in their present form. 46 is a seal's tooth with a hole bored through one end. 47 and 48 probably buttons. All the remainder are only fragments of bone or ivory, except 50 which are two small and well formed disks of ivory.


No. 1 is a piece of bone cut round and smooth. It looks like European manufacture, and was probably a handle of some sort. Nos. 2, 3, 4, and 5 are tusks of animals, the first three being those of a pig. 2 and 4 have small holes bored in them to receive a string. 5 looks like the tooth of a large seal.

Nos. 6 and 7 are pieces of a deer's horn partly cut or shaped for some unknown purpose. No. 8 gives two sides of a bone spear, one of which shows the slit cut into the base to receive the shaft or handle. All the remaining articles on this and Plate XXVI are carved bone ornaments, such as are usually found deposited in the graves with the dead. There is a great variety of these carved bones, but in no two instances have I come across exactly similar designs. They are all made of sections of a deer's leg bones, and the carvings indicate that they were cut with some very sharp and fine edged tool, no doubt either broken fragments of glass bottles, which have been also found in the burial places, or else those sharp spawls of chert and quartz crystals figured in Plate XXII.

All the interstices of these carvings are filled with red ochre, and in the case of 47, 48, 49, and 50 the whole piece is smeared over with it. Probably the others were also, at one time, but it has become rubbed or worn off.

I have arranged these ornaments according to the shape of the base. From 9 to 50 are or have been cut straight across at the wider end. 51 is a spike of a caribou antler, perhaps used as an awl. Nos. 52 and 53, and in Plate XXVI, Nos. 1 to 8 show the base cut away obliquely, while 54 has the base slightly grooved and notched, and is also somewhat hollowed on either side.


All the ornaments figured here are of the swallow tailed type and have various designs carved upon them, differing in some respect, no two being exactly alike. Some of the smaller pieces are more ornate than the larger, most of them having the outside edges scolloped [scalloped] in different ways.


These represent a variety of nondescript forms, beginning with the three pronged or trident shaped ornaments, and passing on to other peculiar forms. The square and diamond shaped articles were undoubtedly used in gaming. The combs need no description.


Exhibit a selection of the various forms, drawn by Lady Edith Blake, wife of Sir Henry Blake, late Governor of Newfoundland. Her Ladyship took a deep interest in the subject of the Aborigines while here. She copied all these ornaments and also wrote a paper on the Beothucks which was published in the Century Magazine for December 1888. What the exact use or purpose of those ornaments was we do not know. The fact of so many of them being always found deposited with the dead seems to suggest some symbolic or talismanic idea. So far as I know they have not been found anywhere else except in the cemeteries. As almost every one of those ornaments had a small hole drilled through, near the smaller end, it is pretty clear they were attached by strings to something. A few of them still retain portions of the string. In the case of the little Beothuck boy's interment, some of these ornaments, together with bird's legs and feet were found attached to the fringe of his outer garment. Again, in the figure of the dancing woman drawn by Shanawdithit, the dress appears to be fringed in like manner, around the lower end by similar ornaments. If this were really the case, I imagine their purpose was to produce a rattling noise by striking against each other, in the manner of castanets, during the evolutions of dancing. It may be that such a dress was only worn on ceremonial occasions, of this however, we are left to conjecture only.

Nos. 20 to 36 are small discs of bone or shell, probably used on strings as neck ornaments.



Represents a few articles of iron found either at their encampments or in their cemeteries. Nos. 1, 2, and 3 are portions of the springs of steel traps, no doubt stolen from the furriers. The two latter being roughly beaten into the form of spear heads. No. 4 is a knife evidently of European manufacture, set into a rude handle, by the Indians, and I think from the shape of the latter and a slight bend in the knife blade, it must have been used as a crooked knife, as it closely resembles the Micmac implement so named.

No. 5 is the much decomposed remains of a very small, polled tomahawk, with handle attached. This was evidently made by the Indians themselves and shows much ingenuity in the form of the eye, etc. The handles of both these latter implements are as usual, coloured by ochre.

No. 6 is one of the spear heads stamped with the broad arrow, which Capt. Buchan had made aboard his ship, by his armourer in 1820, to be distributed amongst the Indians should he come up with them; but as he did not meet with them on this occasion, the spear points were tied in small bundles, and fastened to the branches of trees along the river side where the Indians most frequented, such as the portages over the falls. Some also were left at the deserted Mamateeks on Red Indian Lake.

Whether the Beothucks ever made use of any of these is not known for certain. That figured here was picked up on the side of the Exploits River in recent years.


Exhibits some articles made of Birch bark.

No. 1 is a package of dried or smoked fish.

Nos. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. These are five drinking cups of different patterns, all neatly sewn together.

No. 7 is a small model of a canoe, and 8 is the bow or stem part of another.

No. 9 is a small paddle. All these articles are smeared with red ochre, and were deposited in the grave with the little Beothuck boy's body.


Upper. Stone pots and lamps made of Soapstone hollowed out.

Lower. Cliff of Soapstone at Fleur de Lis, from which such pots were obtained. The figure shows several spots, half formed in the cliff but not broken off, also indentations from whence others were so derived.


Roasting sticks, fragments of bows and arrow shafts, tomahawk, etc.


Upper. Pieces of birch bark showing marks of stitching; fire stones, stone fragments etc.

Lower. Models of canoes, small drinking cups etc. all made of birch bark, found in grave of little boy.


Various bone and other articles, including a necklace, wampum as specified on plate.


These also are a recent find of carved bone ornaments, from a cave near the Southern Head of Long Island, Notre Dame Bay. While bearing a general resemblance in outward form to others already figured, yet the designs carved on them differ much from any that I have seen. They all exhibit the remains of the red ochre with which they were once smeared.


Recent find of stone implements. Nos. 1, 2, 3 are finely made lance heads or spears. Nos. 4 and 5 arrow heads. No. 6 is a long and perfectly formed spear, except that it is broken off at the base. From the length and shape of this implement I imagine it was used as a dagger or poignard set in a wooden handle. No. 7 is a perfectly made lance head and is interesting from the fact that it was obtained at the mouth of the small river, flowing into the Harbour of St. John's. It was frequently stated that the Indians did not frequent this neighbourhood. No. 8 is a smooth worn stone of peculiar shape, also found near the above river. Its shape may be purely accidental yet it was possibly used by the Indians for some purpose.


Concluding remarks on the Red Indians.

It only remains for me to offer some comments on the foregoing notices and attempt some solution of apparently conflicting and doubtful statements, etc.

First did the Beothucks or did they not possess dogs? Most authorities positively assert they did not. Cartwright speaks as though he was very certain on this point, when he remarks, "To complete their wretched condition, Providence has even denied them the pleasing services and companionship of the faithful Dog."

Old Mr. Peyton also assured me the Indians had no dogs and were very greatly afraid of them, nor do any of the settlers in their numerous traditions about them ever mention the presence of the dog.

Yet against this we have old Capt. Richard Whitbourne's statement about their wolves (Eskimo dogs?), and the story of his mastiff going off in the woods with the latter and coming back unharmed. The correspondent of the Liverpool Mercury also mentions seeing in one of their wigwams at Red Indian Lake in 1819, a slut with a litter of puppies. My own impression is, that originally they undoubtedly possessed dogs of the Eskimo breed, perhaps obtained from that people, and may have been driven in times of scarcity to eat them; more probably they destroyed them, lest their footprints in the snow or their howlings by night, might be the means of betraying their presence to their white enemies. I conjecture that the animal seen by the party above referred to was one of the ordinary short-haired common species of Newfoundland, stolen from some fisherman's establishment. Had it been one of the Eskimo breed, he would have stated the fact, as he was, no doubt well acquainted with that wolf-like animal.

As regards the whitewoman seen at Red Indian Lake amongst the Indians, by Lieut. Buchan, and to all appearance an Indian in dress, etc., I have in vain tried to obtain confirmation of this statement and have sought to ascertain whether any tradition existed amongst the fisher folk of a white girl having been kidnapped by the Indians, but to no purpose. Cormack also evidently sought for some information on this point, for I find in some notes of his the question was put to Shanawdithit as to the existence of a white woman. She answered, "No,"(199) and Cormack adds, "Buchan not correct." Nevertheless, I cannot see how Buchan could have made such a mistake. He was a man of superior education, most observant, and had an opportunity such as no other person (so far as we know) ever possessed, of a close intercourse with them, for several hours at their village, Red Indian Lake. His description of this particular woman is too exact to admit of doubt. He says of her: "Conceive my astonishment at beholding a female bearing all the appearances of an European, with light sandy hair, and features strongly similar to the French, apparently about twenty-two years of age, with an infant which she carried in her cossack, her demeanour differing materially from the others. Instead /343/ of that sudden change from surprise and dismay to acts of familiarity, she never uttered a word, nor did she recover from the terror, our sudden and unexpected visit had thrown them into." It was a pity Buchan did not think of interrogating this woman both in French and English, for even though she may have been kidnapped when quite a child, she would probably have recognized her own tongue, which ever it may have been, did she hear it once again. I also think he should have made an effort to bring the poor creature back to civilisation [civilization]. Probably he might have done so were the Indians there on his return to the Lake.

I conceive Buchan made a great mistake in taking with him so many of the furriers as guides, and moreover, allowing them to go armed. It is only natural to suppose that the Indians seeing these blood-thirsty enemies of their tribe amongst the party, would naturally conclude all the rest were of the same stamp, and actuated with the same desire for their destruction, hence their caution and the fatal termination of the expedition.

It was subsequently learnt from Shanawdithit that the killing of Buchan's two marines was occasioned by a misunderstanding on the part of the Indians, aided by their fears. All went well with the two hostages, who conducted themselves in a becoming manner, till the return of the Indian who fled from Buchan down the river. This individual reported that a large party were in hiding ready to march up and destroy them all. On receiving this report, the poor Red men were thrown into a state of alarm, but before deciding on the death of the hostages a council was held as to the best mode of procedure. Some were for immediate flight and taking the marines with them, but others argued that Buchan would be sure to follow them up in order to recover his men and that their only safety was in destroying them, so that they could not give any information as to the direction the Indians had taken. It would appear that the majority were loathe to murder the men who came to them in such a friendly way, and showed such confidence as to remain alone with them. The matter was decided by the chief and a few others surprising the unfortunate marines and shooting them in the backs with arrows, and then beating a hasty retreat.

Buchan certainly made another mistake in allowing that first individual to go free, had he held on to him till his return to the Lake, no doubt all might have been well. It was a great pity so favourable an opportunity at an amicable understanding should have been frustrated.



From Gatschet's 1st Paper

Articles and books on Newfoundland, in which express mention is made of the Boethuck [Beothuck] Indians are as follows; though this list makes no pretence of being exhaustive.

JACQUES CARTIER. Voyages of Discovery in 1534-35. Published by Canadian Government. Describes the Beothucks he met with at Quirpon on the Northern extreme of Newfoundland.

WHITBOURNE, RICHARD. "Discourse and Discovery of the New- Foundland," London 1622.

DE LAET, JOAN. "Novus Orbis" speaks of the Beothucks. 1633. pp. 34.

SIR WM. DAWSON. "Fossil Men."

CARTWRIGHT, JOHN. Remarks on the situation of the Red Indians, etc. 1768. Published by his Neice [Niece].

CARTWRIGHT, MAJOR GEORGE. "Journal of Transactions and Events on Labrador," London 1793.

HAKLUYT. Voyages, ed. London 1810. pp. 168-169 and 245.

CHAPPELL, LIEUT. EDW. "Voyages of the Rosamond," London, 1818.

CHAPPELL, LIEUT. EDW. "Voyage to Newfoundland," London, 1818(?). Illustrated. In chapter treating of the "Red Indians" pp. 169-187 he quotes Whitbourne's "Discourse and Discovery of New-Foundland."

ANSPACH, REV. LEWIS A. "History of Newfoundland." 1818.

"Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal" for Oct. 1828, Mar. 1829, contains an account of W.E. Cormack's second expedition in search of the Red Indians.

BONNYCASTLE, SIR R.H. Newfoundland, 1842, London, 1842. His chapter on Red Indians embraces pp. 251-278, vol. II.

JUKES, J.B., of the Geological Survey. "Excursions in and about

Newfoundland." London, 1842. On the Beothucks cf. ii, 126,

132, 133, 170-175.

MURRAY, CHAS. AUG. (Author of the "Prairie Bird," etc.). "The Red Indians of Newfoundland," Philadelphia: T.B. Peterson, 98 Chestnut Street (no date, about 1850?). Illustrated. The book is pure fiction the first chapter only contains some

ethnologic points.

"The Last of the Aborigines. A Poem founded on facts, in four Cantos." Dedicated to Master John Gaspard Le Marchant,

by George Webber, St. John's, N.F. Printed at Office of

"The Morning Post," 1851.

TOQUE, REV. PH. "Wandering Thoughts." London, 1856.

MULLOCK, RIGHT. REV. DR., R.C. Bishop of St. John's. Lectures on

Newfoundland, 1860.

HARVEY, REV. M. "Memoirs of an Extinct Race" in "Maritime Monthly."

GOBINEAU, COMTE A. DE. "Voyage a Terre Neuve." Paris, 1861.

LATHAM, ROB. GORDON. Comparative Philology. London, 1862. pp.


PEDLEY, REV. CHAS. "The History of Newfoundland from the earliest

times to the year 1860." London, 1863. cf. 338 sqq. The

appendix VII, pp. 506-522, contains extracts from W.E.

Cormack's "Itinerary through the central parts of the Island," 1822.

In the Journal of the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, the following treatises appear:

LLOYD, T.G.B., M.A.I. "On the Beothucks, a tribe of Red Indians, supposed to be extinct, which formerly inhabited Newfoundland." 1874. pp. 21-39.

LLOYD, T.G.B. "A further account of the Beothucks of Newfoundland." Ibid. pp. 223-248, with 3 plates.

LLOYD, T.G.B. "On stone implements of Newfoundland." Ibid. pp.

230-232, one plate.

BUSK, GEO., F.R.S. Description of two Beothuck skulls. Ibid.

pp. 230-232, one plate.

TOQUE, REV. PH. "Newfoundland as it was, etc." Illustrated. London, 1878. pp. 511.


HATTON, J. and HARVEY, M. "Newfoundland, its history, etc." Boston, 1883. On pp. 184-186 vocab. of Mary March.

STEARNS, WINIFRED ALDEN. "Labrador, a sketch of its people, its

industries, etc." Boston: Lee and Shepard, 1884. The

description, pp. 254-272, suggests interesting comparisons

of Labrador Indians with the Beothucks.

"New York Herald," correspondence of date Oct. 23rd, 1886.

STORM, PROF. GUSTAV. "Studies on the Vinland voyages." Copenhagen, 1888. The Beothucks are spoken of pp. 361,

362, etc.

"The Harbour Grace Standard," and "Conception Bay Advertiser."

Linguistic and Biographic Article, date May 2nd 1888.

HOWLEY, RIGHT REV. M.F. Ecclesiastical History, 1888.

MRS. EDITH BLAKE. "The Beothuck Indians," in the "Nineteenth Century" (Kegan and Co., Publishers, London). Dec. 1888.


"Ottawah," the Last Chief of the Red Indians of Newfoundland.

A Romance with Illustrations. London, pub. by E.

Appleyard, 86 Farringdon St. (No date, Author's name

not given.) Fiction only.

PROWSE, D.W. "History of Newfoundland from the records." London,


1. By J.B. Jukes, F.G.S., F.C.P.S; London, 1842. Vol. 11, page 129.

2. Noel Paul's Brook.

3. Life of Major Cartwright, by his niece, F.D. Cartwright, in two volumes, published by Henry Cobbin, New Burlington Street, London, 1826. The Weymouth must have been his last ship. That on whch he served at the date of the expedition was certainly the Guernsey as appears from his original MS.

4. Furrier's term for rapid.

5. "Hos non immissos canibus, non cassibus ullis:

Puniciae agitant pavidos formidine pennae."

Virgil has neglected the peculiar beauty of this passage by using only the general word tolis, which gives no idea of a sewel formed with coloured feathers.

6. This word is probably compoundd from see and well; another example is Semore (Mt See-more) near Birchy Lake, Upper Humber River.

7. Maple (Fraxinus Americana), called sycamore by the Newfoundland fishermen. Cartwright is not correct in stating that this was the only wood used for that purpose, they also used Mountain Ash and a hard tough species of fir.

8. This was the Indian (John August) mentioned by Capt. George Cartwright in his Journal of Transactions and Events, seen at Catalina, June 15th, 1785.

9. Micmacs and other tribes from the Continent.

10. Local term for rapid.

11. Badger Brook (?).

12. Red Indian Lake.

13. Twin Ponds (?).

14. Rev. Neville Stow, Chaplain of the Guernsey.

15. A construction of bushes or loose stones behind which a hunter conceals himself when watching for game.

16. Junction of Rushy Pond Brook(?).

17. Badger Brook.

18. Small Brook near Badger (?). Either Aspen or Leach Brook.

19. Bloody Pt., Red Indian Lake.

20. American name for the Balsam Poplar (Populus balsamifera) site of R. I. Village.

21. The balsam or balm of Gilead, is quite common on the west coast along the rivers in Bay St. George.

22. N.E. Arm of lake, where Millertown now stands.

23. Micmac and other continental tribes.

24. Halfway Mountain.

25. Hodges Hill.

26. This was His Excellency, Capt. The Hon. John Byron, who succeeded Capt. H. Palliser in 1769.

27. Cartwright says, "I saw no difference between the wigwam of the Mountaineer and Red Indians of Newfoundland."

28. It looks as though Capt. Geo. Cartwright not only assumed to himself the planning of the expidition up the Exploits river, but the carrying out of the same, thereby robbing his brother John of all the kudos, whereas it will be remembered by the latter's narrative, he merely formed one of the party and abandoned the enterprise when about halfway up the river.--J.P.H.

29. This was the first mentioned by his brother John Cartwright, who was captured in August 1768, and called John August. He died in 1788, and was interred in the Churchyard at Trinity. The following notice of his interment is taken from the Parish Register of the Church of England at that place.

October 29th, 1788.

"Interred John August, a native of this island, a servant of Jeffery G. Street."

30. I am indebted to Mr. W. G. Gosling for this and much other valuable information which he had copied for me from the records.

31. This term in Newfoundland parlance has not exactly the same significance as elsewhere. It is applied to the trapper or hunter who procures the skins of fur bearing animals, rather than to the person who cures and dresses the furs.

32. North Head is at the Western side of Exploits Bay. Dog Creek now Dog Bay.

33. I think Mr. Ougier is mistaken in this, and that he really refers to the Beothuck men Tom June and John August, who acted in that capacity. Mr. Ougier being evidently unaquainted with the northern parts of the island, easily made the mistake.

34. This is evidently the girl referred to by Mr. J. Bland in his first letters to the Governor as having been taken when the father and mother were killed, and afterwards sent to Trinity where she was reared up. She was subsequently taken to England by a Mr. and Mrs. Stone and died there about 1795. She was probably the person named Ou-bee from whom Rev. Clinch obtained his vocabulary?

35. I could not succeed in tracing the letter referred to, which I much regret as I have no doubt it must have been very interesting.

36. It has been said that June lost his life by upsetting of his skiff while entering the narrow dangerous gut leading into Fogo Harbour.

37. Presumably Capt. Le Breton made a report to the Governor, but I have failed to find it amongst the records of Government House, or elsewhere.

38. Voyage of H.M.S. Rosamond by Lieut. Edward Chappell, R.N., London, 1818.

39. History of Newfoundland, by Lewis Amadaus, Anspatch 1818.

40. She was first placed under the care of Mr. Andrew Pearce, a gentleman at Fogo, who hired men to take her back to the tribe.

41. Records, vide Vol. 19, p. 171.

42. Referred to on preceding pages.

43. I have used every effort to trace this picture, but without success. The accompanying sketch is a reproduction from a description by a local artist, Mr. John Haywood.

44. History of Newfoundland by Rev. Chas Pedley, 1863.

45. This proclamation was evidently addressed to the Mountaineer or Nascoppi of Labrador or Northern extremity of Newfoundland.

46. Governor's Poclamation respecting the Native Indians.

47. The Seewells, described by Cartwright.

48. This description seems to correspond with the sixth figure of Shawnawdithit's Sketch No. IX, "Mythological emblems." Ash-u-meet.

49. This is the Grand Falls of the Exploits River where is now situated the gigantic Pulp and Paper Mills of the Anglo-Newfoundland Company. (Harmsworth's)

50. Red Indian Fall.

51. This is a mistake, they certainly did boil some of their food, as attested by Whitbourne and other authorities.

52. This is not correct, there is plenty of birch in the interior.

53. Note from Peyton's diary of date March 1st, 1819. "On the night of the 18th of September, 1818, between the hours of 12 and 1/2 past 1, the wild Indians cut adrift from the wharf at Lower Sandy Point, Exploits, a boat loaded with salmon. The boat was found the next day, stranded on an island near Grego, or gray gull Island, -- sails gone and considerable other property stolen or destroyed. Guns, pistols, watch, money and many articles of personal apparel too numerous to mention. Cargo but little damaged."

54. I have one of those iron spear heads now in my possession. Although modelled after the Indians' own spears, Peyton averred they were not nearly so well made.

55. This is New-World Island.

56. This is a mistake in the date, it should have been 1810, 1811.

57. As may be seen from Capt. Buchan's own narrative, the author is not quite correct here, only one of the Indians remained with Buchan's party.

58. What I saw I should estimate at from three to four hundred, including women and children: of this however hereafter. This does not at all tally with Mr. Peyton's estimate.

59. Muskets

60. The possession of a beard is very unusual amongst full blooded Indians.

61. This was probably some member of the Slade family, whose firm carried on an extensive mercantile trade all over Notre Dame Bay, their principal establishment being located in Twillingate, with branch houses in all the settled harbours.

62. Red Indian Lake.

63. This information was derived from Shanawdithit.

64. Apparently Bonnycastle was misinformed, all other accounts represent her as a young woman some 23 or 24 years of age.

65. More probably Micmacs?.

66. It is a pity Peyton's offer was not accepted, as he knew more about them and their ways than any other living person. With the aid of the woman it is probable he might have succeeded in opening communication with her tribe, of which he expresses himself so confidant.

67. Mr. Forbes was the Chief Justice of the Colony at that time.

68. This appears to be still another name for Mary March.

69. Bishop's Fall.

70. What a pity this man Trivick acted so injudiciously. It would appear from his letter that he had about the best opportunity ever presented, at all events of later years to intercept and capture the Indians.

71. Beothuck term for woman.

72. At Placentia there lived at this time Josiah Blackburne, Esq., an interesting old gentleman, a magistrate and patriarch of the place, a Scot by birth, who related with the greatest delight the event of the visit of His Royal Highness the Duke of Clarence (His present Majesty William the IV) at this place in the year 17.. in His Majesty's ship. * * * *

In remembrance of His Royal Highness's visit, Her late Majesty Queen Caroline sent to Placentia the sum of four hundred pounds to build a chapel -- accompanied with a model, and church service of plate, in trust, to Mr. Blackburne. The chapel was erected, and is now an extremely chaste building. The model was probably of one of the Royal Chapels in England.

73. Captain Buchan's interesting narrative of his journey by way of the river Exploits to the encampments of the Red Indians, and of his interview with these people on the banks of the Red Indian Lake in the interior, during the winter season, when the face of the country was covered with snow and ice, could not throw much light upon the natural condition of the country upon the banks of that river and lake.

74. The late Hon. Chas. Fox Bennett, in 1882, informed me that he was the person referred to who was to have accompanied Cormack but that business interfered and prevented his doing so. He said he was well acquainted with W. E. Cormack, who was a particular friend of his.

75. Judging from the above, Cormack does not appear to have been well posted in Newfoundland history. It was not Sir George Calvert who founded the first Colony in Conception Bay, but John Guy, of Bristol, one of the Company of Merchant Adventurers of London and Bristol. It took place not in 1620, but in 1610. Sir Geo. Calvert (Lord Baltimore's) settlement was at a place called Ferryland, on the eastern seaboard 40 miles south of St. John's, in 1621. It was not he, but Sir Humphrey Gilbert who was lost at sea.

76. Equipment. -- My dress chiefly consisted of a grey moleskin shooting jacket, small clothes of worsted cord, three entire inside woollen body dresses, (no linen or cotton whatever,) worsted stockings and socks, Canadian long moccasin boots; the Indian wore leggings or gaiters made of swanskin blanketing, together with moccasins instead of boots. I was armed with a double-barrelled fowling piece and a brace of bayoneted-pistols, two pounds and a-half of gunpowder, and ten pounds of bullet and shot. The Indian had a single-barrelled fowling piece and a pistol, and the like quantity of powder and shot. Our stock consisted of a hatchet, two small tin kettles, for cooking; about twenty pounds of biscuit, eight pounds of pork, some portable soup, tea and sugar, pepper, salt, &c.; a blanket each, and one for the camp roof, a telescope, a pocket compass each: I took a small fishing rod and tackle, and various minor articles for our casual necessities and for mineralogical and other purposes of observation and notes. On another journey of the kind, I should very little vary this equipment.

77. This is not correct.

78. Or, Through Hill.

79. By Dr. McCullock in his valuable paper "On Peat" in the Edinburgh Philosophical Journal, No. 3 and 4, 1820.

80. Phonolite.

81. Ground hemlock.

82. Yellow birch.

83. Known locally as plaster holes.

84. Lynx (Lynx Canadensis).

85. Called Chicken Halibut.

86. History of Newfoundland, 1863.

87. Not so, he was her uncle.

88. In a list of disbursements for the district of St. John's from the 20th of October, 1822, to the 20th October, 1823, I find the following entries:

"Elizabeth Bryan, for attendance upon three Indian women, per order of Sessions" 1 pound, 10 shillings, 0d.

"Paid Hunters & Co. for sundries for the use of the Indian women" 3 pounds, 7 s. 6 d.

These were Shanawdithit, her sister and mother.

89. Peyton frequently expressed the same belief to myself.

90. Presumably Mr. W. E. Cormack.

91. Some accounts state that a second man accompanied the three women who was drowned also by falling through the ice in an attempt to escape.

92. This does not accord with Rev. Mr. Wilson's description of her appearance, but she may have fallen into flesh as she grew older.

93. Presumably the red hair of the individual was the attraction, red colour being held in great esteem amongst the natives.

94. In 1826 in the spring, recent traces of the Red Indians were seen by some Micmacs at Badger Bay Great Lake. Cormack.

95. I find the name of Capt. David Buchan, J.P., together with the names of R. Parry, Surrogate, and Josiah Blackburne, J.P., signed to a decree of the Surrogate Court at Placentia, Sept. 12th, 1808, in a suit of Maurice Power versus Thos. Baily, agent for Saunders, Sweetman & Saunders.

96. The Adonis only mounted 10 guns in all.

97. From the records we learn that Buchan had the distribution of 10,000 pounds sent by the British Government for the relief of the distressed.

98. A custom which is carried out to this day by the Colonial Government, who every year appoints the commander on the station a Justice of the Peace.

99. In 1824(?) Buchan was examined before a Committee of the British Parliament, presumably about the Butler-Lundrigan case.

100. Not Grand Pond (Lake) but Red Indian Lake.

101. Apparently old man Curtis makes a mistake about the mother's death, it was the eldest daughter who died first.

102. Does not agree with Mrs. Jure's statement.

103. The Beothucks did not scalp their victims, they cut off the heads.

104. I have seen a Micmac Indian perform this same feat.

105. Cormack always spelt her name thus, and he should be considered the best authority.

106. According to Mr. Thos. Peyton this gentleman was married to a sister of Wm. E. Cormack.

107. Since my return, I learn from the captive Red Indian woman Shanawdithit, that the vapour bath is chiefly used by old people, and for rheumatic affections.

Shanawdithit is the survivor of three Red Indian females who were taken by, or rather who gave themselves up, exhausted with hunger, to some English furriers, about five years ago, in Notre Dame Bay. She is the only one of that tribe in the hands of the English, and the only one that has ever lived so long amongst them. It appears extraordinary, and it is to be regretted, that this woman has not been taken care of, nor noticed before, in a manner which the peculiar and interesting circumstances connected with her tribe and herself would have led us to expect.

108. Not so -- Cormack appears to have been unaware of Lieut. Cartwright's expedition in 1768.

109. It should be remarked here, that Mary March, so called from the name of the month in which she was taken, was the Red Indian female who was captured and carried away by force from this place by an armed party of English people, nine or ten in number, who came up here in the month of March 1819. The local government authorities at that time did not foresee the result of offering a reward to bring a Red Indian to them. Her husband was cruelly shot, after nobly making several attempts, single handed, to rescue her from the captors, in defiance of their fire arms and fixed bayonets. Her tribe built this cemetery for him, on the foundation of his own wigwam, and his body is one of those now in it. The following winter, Captain Buchan was sent to the River Exploits, by order of the local government of Newfoundland to take back this woman to the lake, where she was captured, and if possible, at the same time, to open a friendly intercourse with her tribe. But she died on board Capt. B.'s vessel, at the mouth of the river. Captain B., however, took up her body to the lake; and not meeting with any of her people, left it where they were afterwards likely to meet with it. It appears the Indians were this winter encamped on the banks of the River Exploits, and observed Capt. B.'s party passing up the river on the ice. They retired from their encampments in consequence; and some weeks afterwards, went by a circuitous route to the lake, to ascertain what the party had been doing there. They found Mary March's body, and removed it from where Capt. B. had left it to where it now lies, by the side of her husband.

With the exception of Captain Buchan's first expedition by order of the local government of Newfoundland in the winter of 1810, to endeavour to open a friendly intercourse with the Red Indians, the two parties just mentioned are the only two we know of that had ever before been up to the Red Indian Lake. Captain B. at that time succeeded in forcing an interview with the principal encampment of these people. All the tribe that remained at that period were then at the Great Lake, divided into parties, and in their winter encampments, at different places in the woods on the margin of the lake. Hostages were exchanged; but Capt. B. had not been absent from the Indians two hours, on his return to a depot left by him at a short distance down the river, to take up additional presents for them, when the want of confidence of these people in the whites evinced itself. A suspicion spread amongst them that he had gone down to bring up a reinforcement of men, to take them all prisoners to the sea-coast; and they resolved immediately to break up their encampment and retire further into the country, and alarm and join the rest of their tribe, who were all at the western parts of the lake. To prevent their proceedings being known, they killed and then cut off the heads of the two English hostages; and on the same afternoon on which Capt. B. left them, they were all in full retreat across the lake, with baggage, children, &c. The whole of them afterwards spent the remainder of the winter together at a place twenty to thirty miles to the south-west, on the south-east side of the lake. On Capt. B.'s return to the lake next day or the day after, the cause of the scene there was inexplicable; and it remained a mystery until now, when we can gather some facts relating to these people from the Red Indian woman Shanawdithit.

110. Mr. Peyton informed me, that he saw Cormack before he entered upon this journey, that he was a lithe, active, robust man. When he returned from the expedition and revisited Mr. Peyton's house, the latter did not recognise him at first, he had changed so much. He presented such a gaunt, haggard and worn out appearance from the excessive toil and privation he had undergone, accompanied by hunger and anxiety, that he did not look much like the stalwart individual he saw depart for the interior a month previously.

111. It is to be regretted that these relics have all been lost to us.

112. Labradorite.

113. Deer Lake or Grand Lake(?).

114. The then Governor.

115. This is the first and only reference I have ever met with of the Beothucks using carved doorposts to their dwellings. It is to be regretted Cormack does not give us fuller particulars as to the character of those carvings. I presume they must have been somewhat similar to those grotesque figures used by the natives of the Queen Charlotte Islands off the west coast of British Columbia.

116. Also of a species of fir called boxy fir, a hard grown, tough, springy wood, so I have been informed by the Micmacs.

117. I believe the Beothucks derived the idea of this harpoon from the Eskimos, who are adepts in its use, are known to have possessed it a long time, and who moreover, depend more upon the seal and walrus for their livelihood than the former had any occasion to do. It is a most ingenious weapon, and while the general structure is the same, that of the Beothuck was slighter and more neatly constructed. It was called by them a-aduth.

118. This statement does not tally with that of any of the other authorities on the subject. Whitbourne, Cartwright, Buchan and even Cormack himself all affirm that the outside of the canoe was invariably covered with birch rind.

Possibly, they may have on some occasions, when pressed for time or when birch bark was difficult to obtain, resorted to deer skins for that purpose, as the Micmacs sometimes do, but it certainly was not the usual covering, and this is the only instance I have met with where such is mentioned.

119. Lloyd states that his Micmac guide, Souliann, told him they used the down of the Blue Jay for tinder.

120. This suggestion was apparently carried out. Bonnycastle affirms that he saw her miniature. It is probably a copy of this picture of Shanawdithit which appears as a frontispiece in the Annals of the Propagation of the Gospel, 1856, a photo of which is here reproduced.

121. Grand Lake.

122. Corruption of the French "Baie d'Espoir."

123. I cannot believe Buchan could have made any mistake about the white woman he saw at Red Indian Lake, and so particularly described in 1811. Shanawdithit's negation to this query may have been actuated from some special motive, perhaps fear for herself or her people for having kidnapped (?) a white child. More probably, however, Shanawdithit may not have remembered the white woman, seeing that she was only some 10 or 12 years of age at the time of Buchan's first expedition. Probably the white woman in question may have died soon after.

124. Here again there is evidently some mistake. The correspondent of the Liverpool Mercury clearly mentions a bitch with a litter of puppies in one wigwam at the time of Mary March's capture.

125. History says that Indians were brought from Newfoundland by Cabot, and presented to Henry VII. Capt. Richard Whitbourne describes them in 1620. See also Anderson on Commerce; Reves, Newfoundland, published in 1796; Barrow's Northern Voyages, etc.

126. We have no other record of this expedition. I think Cormack has mistaken the date and is really referring to the expedition of 1810-11.

127. This latter statement does not appear to be correct. All other accounts, including Peyton's own, only mention the death of one man, Mary March's husband.

128. Stated by one of the men who committed the deed.

129. The two Canadians informed the writer of this event.

130. A curious mistake for Cormack to make. It should have been 1811.

131. This was Red Indian Lake on the Exploits, and must not be confounded with Grand Lake on the Humber.

132. This man was Shanawdithit's uncle. The same person afterwards shot, at Badger Bay in 1823(?).

133. This statement does not seem to be correct. Only one man was shot (?).

134. Cormack was told this by one of the very barbarians who shot them.

135. This information bears evidence of being derived from Shanawdithit.

136. Drawings missing.

137. Wild Goose (Bernicla Canadensis).

138. A kind of tough springy hardgrown tree called "Boxey fir."

139. Occurs in many other localities.

140. This is the common Dolphin (Delphinus.)

141. There is nothing to show where these were written. Cormack had left the country for good long prior to this date. I think he was then residing at New Westminster, British Columbia.

142. This probably refers to his first expedition, which was evidently not published till a later date. It would appear from the foregoing notes that he still took a lively interest in the subject of the Aborigines. They appear to me to have been written at the suggestion of someone who knew him, probably Mr. Noad who was gathering material for his lecture, delivered in the following year, 1852.

143. Name wrongly spelt, the final syllable should read "thit."

144. See note at end of this bibliography.

145. New Glasgow is not in Prince Edward's Island, but in Nova Scotia.

146. On some of the old French charts of the northern extremity of Newfoundland (the Petit Nord), a track or path is shown, extending along the low flat shore forming the south side of the Strait of Belle Isle, and facing the Labrador coast, which is distinctly visible from here; being only about nine miles distant. This path is called "Chemin de Sauvage." There is also a place on this same shore still called "Savage Cove," which is probably the supposed place of their departure. This would seem to bear out the statement of the Micmacs. Again in the English Coast Pilot for 1755, there is a place near Hawkes' Bay, or Point Riche called "Passage de Savages."

147. John Day, one of Peyton's men confirmed this statement and said he was considerably over 6 feet in height.

148. Evidently from the fact of its being smeared with ochre, there can be little doubt the hair was black.

149. Possibly the object of thus colouring the person and clothing red may have been the better to conceal their movements from the enemy or to render themselves less conspicuous when pursuing the chase, especially in the autumn, at which season the bushes and shrubs covering the barrens where the caribou most resort, assume many tints of red and brown, corresponding closely with the red ochre of the Indians. Even the natural colour of an Indian's complexion seems designed by Nature to enable him the more easily to approach game of any kind, as I have frequently observed myself when in company with the Micmacs. A deer, goose, or black duck for instance will observe a white man's features much quicker than those of an Indian.

It was this assimilating the natural colour of the South African Veldt that caused our troops and volunteers during the Boer war to adopt the khaki coloured uniform, so as to render themselves less conspicuous to the enemy. Possibly, this fact may have suggested to the observant Red man the same idea of concealing his person by artificial means.

150. From Article on the Beothucks by Rev. Geo. Patterson, D.D. of the Royal Society of Canada, 1891. In referring to this practice, he quotes from Ezekiel (Chap. xxiii. 14, 15), referring to the idolatrous practices which the Jewish people borrowed from neighbouring nations, describes them as "doting upon the Assyrians, her neighbours, adding to her idolatries," "for when she saw men portrayed on the walls images of Chaldeans portrayed with vermilion." Jeremiah (Chap. xxii. 14) notices the King's vanity especially as manifest in having his house "painted with vermilion." And the Book of Wisdom (Chap. xiii. 14) represents them as colouring the idol itself in this manner, "laying on ochre (Greek Miltos) and with paint colouring it red, and covering every spot on it." With this accord the recently exhumed Assyrian monuments. M. Botta noticed several figures on the walls of Khorsabad yet retaining a portion of the vermilion with which it had been painted. There is in the British Museum among the marbles sent from Nimroud by Mr. Layard a large slab with the figure of the King standing holding in his right hand a staff and resting his left on the pommel of his sword, "still having the soles of his sandals coloured red."

"The Buddhist Monks in Central Asia all wear a red cloak."

151. The Australian Aboriginal painted his body with a mixture of red ochre and grease and also adorned the beard and hair of his head with same.

152. Mr. Watts died in 1908 at the advanced age of 98 years.

153. Since renamed Alexander Bay.

154. This occurred at New Bay. The Indians had constructed an ambush of bushes, from which they rushed out and seized Rousell before he had time to defend himself.

155. These rocks, the "Isle Ouseaux," of the old maps, were the principal habitat and last resting place of the Great Auk, Alca impennis, long extinct.

156. Place where the fishermen moored their boats.

157. What seems to bear out this story, is the fact that on the maps of to-day and in close proximity to Lance Cove is a headland called Salvage (i.e. Savage) Point.

158. This story is scarcely to be believed.

159. I think the old man must be mistaken about the bottom of the canoe being round, when such reliable authorities as Cartwright, Cormack, Peyton, &c., affirm so positively that it was V shaped.

160. This of course refers to a comparatively recent date when they learnt the use of iron, which they stole from the fishermen.

161. Mr. Thos. Peyton says "the man's name was Richards and was usually called Dick Richards. He was an old brute. He was one of my father's party at the capture of Mary March. He it was who shot her husband at that time, and caused all the trouble."

162. This is the fisherman's name for the whole of Notre Dame Bay.

163. A mistake, the names were Tom June and John August.

164. A mistake, it was his father John Louis.

165. Mathew (Mathy) Mitchel also confirmed Noel Mathews' story, but gave a somewhat different version of it. He says it occurred at Red Indian Lake, and that the woman did not go to the wigwam but when her husband failed to return in due time, she made her way out to Bay St. George where she informed her people of what had occurred. The Micmacs thereupon set out in a body for Red Indian Lake, found their dead comrade in the wigwam and then went after the Red men to wreak vengeance upon them.

166. This was evidently the same man John Gale who wrote the Governor, Sir Charles Hamilton, in Sept. 1819, about the depradations of the Red Indians (see page 118).

167. This was apparently the spoon mentioned by the man named Butler. Old Mr. John Peyton told me that several of the articles found by his party in 1819 at Red Indian Lake had been looted from a store in White Bay the fall before, thus confirming Gale's story.

168. This would bring the date of his birth back to 1767, so that he would be fully 33 years of age at the commencement of the nineteenth century.

169. Shells of the Mya truncata and Saxicava rugosa, locally called clams.

170. Probably a copy of the picture or portrait referred to by W.E. Cormack, and seen by Bonnycastle.

171. Mr. Gatschet says he obtained still another vocabulary from Rev. Silas Rand, which he calls the Montreal vocabulary, but he adds "it is only another copy or `recension' of the W.E. Cormack voc."

172. A table of the chief affinities between the Beothuck and the other Algonkin languages (or dialects) has been published by the present writer in the Proceedings of the Philological Society for 1850. Latham.

173. T.G.B. Lloyd, C.E., F.G.S., M.A.I., paper on the Beothucks Journal of the Anthropological Society, Vol. IV, p. 21, 1874(?).

174. Three women (?) also Oubee.

175. This so-called harp does not develop till the animal attains its third year.

176. Sea pigeon, Black guillemot, Uria grylle.

177. Two entirely different species of sea birds. The tern is, Sterna Wilsoni. The Turr is, Urea arra or lomvia.

178. Kittiwake Gull, Rissa tridactylus.

179. Fraturcula arctica.

180. More probably the eider duck, Somateria mollissima.

181. Perhaps, phoca foetida.

182. Thick billed Guillemot, Alca torda.

183. Mallotus villosus.

184. Sarracenia purpurea.

185. Robin thrush, Turdus migratorius, called Blackbird in Newfoundland.

186. The Willow grouse, always called partridge, locally.

187. Perhaps also in June, July, September.

188. The Algonkin na, -nu-, n- of the first person occurs in none of these examples.

189. Micmac: -- memaje I live, memajoo-okun life.

190. Linguistic stocks reduced like Beothuk to a small compass are of the highest importance for anthropologic science. Not only do they disclose by themselves a new side of ethnic life, but they also afford a glimpse at the former distribution of tribes, nations, races and their languages and ethnographic peculiarities.

191. I think it more probable Clinch's vocabulary was obtained from the young girl mentioned by Gov. Edwards.

192. That was from 1797 to 1800.

193. Harlequin Duck, Clangula histrionica.

194. Evidently the name of the person from whom the vocabulary was obtained.

195. Of course Cartwright does not mention the Indians at Battle Harbour, because if the date be correct, it occurred long after his time, or about 1825 to 1830.

196. Where the stone pots were manufactured.

197. In this Mr. Bradshaw is wrong, there is some soapstone on Sound Island, not far away.

198. I have only heard of one other steatite pipe having been found at Fleur de Lys, where the soapstone pots were manufactured. This was said to have some sort of an animal carved on the outside with its head projecting over the bowl. The scarcity of stone pipes may be accounted for by the fact that in all probability these people, like the Micmacs, used strips of Birch bark twisted into the form of a pipe, which after being used once was so burnt as to be useless and consequently cast aside.

The Eskimos living north of Hudson Strait make steatite pipes much like that figured here, though not so ornamental, in which they smoke some kind of moss.

199. Shanawdithit was probably too young at the time to remember.