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Sebastien Rasles strongbox, ca. 1721

Contributed by Maine Historical Society

Sebastien Rasles strongbox, ca. 1721

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Father Sebastien Rasles (1657-1724) was a French Jesuit missionary who moved to Canada in 1689. He learned many of the customs and languages of the Wabanaki Indians of the Northeast, and became a trusted advisor to them.

Rasles started a Jesuit mission and built a church in the Wabanaki village of Norridgewock, on the Kennebec River. There, he worked to convert the Wabanaki, and celebrated Mass in the Wabanaki language.

In 1721 English settlers from Massachusetts raided Norridgewock (present-day Skowhegan) where Father Rasles was living. He escaped capture, but his strongbox, containing letters and documents, was confiscated. The box has a secret compartment.

In August 1724, a combined force of English militia and Massachusetts and Mohawk Indians destroyed the village at Norridgewock, killing as many as 100 Indians and Father Rasles.

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Other Information

  • Title: Sebastien Rasles strongbox, ca. 1721
  • Creation Date: circa 1721
  • Subject Date: 1721
  • Town: Norridgewock
  • County: Somerset
  • State: ME
  • Media: Wood, copper, leather
  • Dimensions: 36 cm x 25 cm x 18 cm
  • Local Code: A83*5
  • Object Type: Physical Object

For more information about this item, contact:

Maine Historical Society
485 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101
(207) 774-1822 x219

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