Bomazeen 
Norridgewock Sachem

"Bomazeen, or Bomazon, (d. 1724) was Sachem of the Nerigwok, or Norridgewock people [branch of the Abinaki Indian tribe]. Whether he was the next in succession to Arruhawikwabemt or not, or if he was a distinct chief among others of equal authority among the Nerigwoks, we have not learned.

Whether this chief was the leader in the attack upon Oyster River in New Hampshire, Groton in Massachusetts, and many other places about the year 1694, we cannot determine, but Thomas Hutchinson said he was "a principal actor in the carnage upon the English," after the treaty which he had made with Governor Spencer Phips, in 1693.

In 1694, he came to the fort at Pemmaquid with a flag of truce, and was treacherously seized by those who commanded, and sent prisoner to Boston, where he remained some months, and possibly up to four years, in a loathsome prison. He despised the English thereafter and sought revenge.

In 1706, new barbarities were committed. Chelmsford, Sudbury, Groton, Exeter, Dover and many other places suffered more or less. Many captives were taken to Canada, and many killed upon the way, A poor woman (Rebecca Taylor) who had arrived at the St. Lawrence River, was about to be hanged by her master. The limb of the tree on which he was executing his purpose gave way, arid while he was making a second attempt, Bomazeen, happened to be passing, and rescued her. Here was humanity. What a thrill of gratitude would our natures receive, were we able to record, or read, that at a certain time the arm of an Englishman was stayed, when the axe was about to descend upon the neck of a poor helpless Indian prisoner!

We hear of him just after the death of Arrahawikwabemt, in October, 1710, when he fell upon Saco with 60 or 70 men, and killed several people, and carried away some captives. He is mentioned as a "notorious fellow," and but few of his acts are upon record. Some time after the peace of 1701, it seemed to be confirmed by the appearance of Bomazeen, and another principal chief, who said the French friars were urging them to break their union with the English, "but that they had made no impression on them, for they were as firm as the mountains, and should continue so, as long as the sun and moon endured." On peace being made known to the Indians, as having taken place between the French and English nations, they came into Casco with a flag of truce, and soon after concluded a treaty at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, dated July 11, 1713. Bomazeen's name and mark are to this treaty.

When Captain Moulton was sent up to Nerigwok in 1724, they fell in with Bomazeen about Taconnet, where they shot him as he was escaping through the river. Near the town of Nerigwok, Bomazeen's wife and daughter were, in a barbarous manner fired upon, the daughter killed, and the mother taken prisoner.

Omitted here is Dr. Cotton Mather's account of Bomazeen's conversation with a minister of Boston, while a prisoner there, which amounts to little else than his recounting some of the extravagant notions which the French of Canada had made many Indians believe, to their great detriment, as Mather said: that Jesus Christ was a French man, and that Mary a French woman; that the French gave them poison to drink, to inflame them against the English, which made them run mad, etc.

 

— Indian Biography, by Samuel G. Drake, 1832, (edited)

 

Copyright © 2016 CelebrateBoston.com