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Visit Archeology > Samuel de Champlain's Expeditions > Native American settlement

Native American settlement (near modern Bangor, ME)

In September of 1604, the Etechemin tribe held a conference in Samuel de Champlain's honor near present Bangor, Maine.

Champlain described the encounter:

"And I shall add that from the mouth of the river to the spot where we were, a distance of some twenty-five leagues, we saw neither town nor village, nor any traces that there ever had been any, but only one or two empty Indian wigwams which were constructed in the same manner as those of the Souriquois, that is, covered with tree-bark.

(NPS Photo) An axe head found at a Native American settlement.

(NPS Photo) An axe head found at a Native American settlement.

"I directed our interpreter to tell our Indians that they were to make Bessabez, Cabahis, and their companions understand that the Sieur de Monts had sent me to them, and also their country; that he wished to remain friends with them, and reconcile them with their enemies, the Souriquois and Canadians; moreover, that he desired to settle in their country and show them how to cultivate it, in order that they might no longer lead so miserable an existence as they were doing; and several other remarks on the same subject…I made them presents of hatchets, rosaries, caps, knives, and other little knick-knacks; then we separated. The rest of this day and the following night they did nothing but dance, sing, and make merry, awaiting the dawn, when we bartered a certain number of beaver-skins."

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