Abenaki Warrior

The Life and Times of Chief Escumbuit

by Alfred E. Kayworth

About The Author

Alfred E. Kayworth (11397 bytes)




Kuai Kuai Nedobak: (Greeting Friends)

As a boy I roamed the same ground where buckskin-clad Indians had stalked animals for thousands of years. In the depths of the Great Depression of the early 30’s, I earned money to buy guns and steel traps by selling the furs of animals I trapped in the fields and woodlands of my rural environment.

I earned my college tuition by guiding YMCA summer campers to the summit of Mount Washington over ancient Indian trails and by leading them on extended trips on Lake Winnipesaukee in large war canoes. My early fantasy was to live surrounded and supported by the beauty and bounty of nature.

Diverted from this dream by the need to earn a living, I managed to earn a degree in Physical Education with an English minor at Indiana University where I was a gymnast and a spring board diver. As a naval officer in World War II, I served in the Atlantic and the Pacific. After my discharge from service, I returned to Methuen, MA. where I traveled in a sales position. Transferred to Florida in 1962, I was assigned duties in Latin America where I learned to speak Spanish. From 1971 to 1983 my work took me to Latin America, the Caribbean Islands and Europe.

The property I bought on Escumbuit Island fulfilled my boyhood dream of living with nature. Having grown up with the legend of Chief Escumbuit, I now walked on the same ground trod by that legendary Indian Sachem. There, amidst the peaceful island setting and the encircling lake, I began to think about writing The Life and Times of Chief Escumbuit for my friends, family and grandchildren. The story, written on Escumbuit Island found its way to the mainland, and one day my answering machine carried a message: I borrowed your manuscript from your neighbor and I am fascinated by the story.   I have a friend who is a publisher who would like to talk with you about it.

In addition to the various newspaper articles and requests to sign copies of my book, another reward has been the relationships I have established with several descendents of the Abenaki Indians from Maine to far away California. Their reviews of my book have been generous and I appreciate their enthusiastic support. From them I learned that some of the terminology I used in writing Abenaki Warrior may be considered either inaccurate or offensive to some Native Americans. A short glossary and brief explanation of why these terms should not be used is included here:

bulletSquaw - It may be a French corruption of an Indian vulgarism to describe women. Used in movies and books for years, it has a derogatory connotation for all women.
bulletStone Age Indian - The Abenaki Indians who greeted the first settlers had a well-developed culture. It included a governing body, a family structure and a system of commerce and religion. It was the newcomers who regarded them as savages.
bulletSavage - Same as Stone Age. They fought the invaders of their homeland ferociously and with courage against overwhelming odds, but they fought for a just cause.
bulletColorful Costumes - A better term is regalia. The Indians were not performers.

Today, at 78, I learn something new almost every day. At night, by the campfire on Escumbuit Island, my thoughts go back to the Chief and his family, and I am not alone.

Wlibamkanni (be well),

Al Kayworth