Creator(s)

Virgil Barber

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Contributing Institution

Maine State Archives

Document Type

Text

Description

John G. Dean was an attorney in Ellsworth and a key member of the Maine Legislature tasked with settling the Northeastern Boundary between Maine and New Brunswick, which included buying up the ancestral homelands of the indigenous tribes. Virgil Barber was a Jesuit priest assigned to Old Town and the Penobscot Tribe until his recall in 1830. In the letter above, Barber transmits the Penobscot Tribe's answer to the proposed State purchase of two townships belonging to the Penobscots. “And what do white people suppose we must think when we see they wish to take from us one piece of land after another, till we have no place to stand on, unless it is to drive us, our wives, and our little children away? But if so great and so free a country as this would exterminate us, we have no chance anywhere else; we or our children must sooner or later be driven into the salt water and perish. When the United States were fighting for liberty, Gen. Washington sent for the Chiefs of our Tribe, and gave them his promise that, if we would remain neutral in the war, he would secure to us our rights. We have been faithful to our white brethren and all we ask in return, is, that their conduct towards us should be just and reasonable.” Lieutenant Governor John Neptune, Penobscot Tribe Answer to the proposed State purchase of two townships belonging to the Penobscots, 1829

Exact Creation Date

11-5-1829

Language

English

Letter from Virgil Barber to John G. Dean, Esq.


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