Deed from Warrabitta and Nanateonett to George Munjoy, 1666

Description

The female Wabanaki leader Warrabitta, also known as Joane or Jane, belonged to a web of leadership families on the Maine coast. English settlers were often unsettled by Wabanaki female governance.

In 1666, Warrabitta and Nannatconett signed a deed allowing George Munjoy to settle land “on the other side of Amancongan River at the great Falls the upper part of them called Sacarabigg” (Saccarappa Falls in Westbrook) where there was another planting ground, “and so down the River Side unto the lowermost planting Ground,” a considerable tract on the Presumpscot River.

Early deeds were often the result of longer councils and negotiations, but unlike later treaties, which included long speeches by Wabanaki leaders, here, only the deed survives. It is important to note that deeds like this one do not represent a relinquishment of vital planting grounds and fishing falls, but an agreement to share space, and to allow a settler like Munjoy to also inhabit this space.

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