In Search of New England's Native Past

Selected Essays by Gordon M. Day
A selection of core essays by one of the pioneers of Native American studies


This volume highlights the work of the late Gordon M. Day, renowned for his groundbreaking research on the history and culture of the Western Abenakis and their Indian neighbors. Where previous historians had tended to portray northern New England as an area largely devoid of aboriginal peoples, Day established beyond all doubt the presence of Abenaki settlements along the eastern shore of Lake Champlain as well as the upper reaches of the Connecticut and Merrimack rivers.

For nearly three decades, Day focused his work on the community of Saint Francis, or Odanak, in Quebec, to which Abenaki refugees from interior New England had fled, beginning in the mid-seventeenth century and continuing into the nineteenth. Drawing on t he methods of several disciplines, including ethnology, linguistics, and ethnohistory, he synthesized data from fragmentary historical records, oral traditions, and place names to reconstruct a world assumed to be lost.

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