Theophile Panadis’ original interview recorded by Gordon Day in 1961, reel 27, side 1
This is a copy of Gordon Day’s original transcription of the 1961 audio recording of Theophile Panadis’ recounting of Rogers’ Raid. The English language version of the story shown here is a literal translation of the Abenaki spoken text. English words are linked together with dashes whenever they match up to a single Abenaki word (for example, ahaigawa = “when-we-lived”).
Indigenous oral traditions about the past often combine personal recollections and communal memories, and link them to particular places and events. Specific phrases or figures of speech may have been memorized and reinforced by repetition or re-framing, so that a storyteller’s speech may change to match the cadence and word choices of those who came before him. Thus, Theophile starts out his narrative by explaining that he will try to tell this story, not in his own words, but in the words of his elders, to match “the way the way they [the old men] talked.” Certain moments are spoken of in present tense: for example, Theophile says, “he is going to warn them,” as though we are standing there at the moment when it happens.
This particular oral tradition provides some additional details that corroborate and expand on the account recorded by Elvine Obomsawin in 1959. Elvine’s family recalled the warning that came to the Council House during the evening before the attack. Theophile’s family recalled the fate of Samadagwis, the Stockbridge Mohican [Mahikan] scout who delivered the warning. This Mohican man might have been someone who had family relations or friends living at Odanak.
This on-line version has been edited as follows:
- Theophile Panadis’ original words are written in italics, and Gordon Day’s English translationfor those specific words appears underneath each line.
- Each sentence begins with a capital letter, and stands as a separate line, whereas the original text was one continuous narrative.
- The names of known individuals are identified when they appear in the text.
- Gordon’s original notations to himself regarding translation appear in parentheses: (note).
- Some explanatory comments have been added to make the text clearer in places – these notes appear in brackets: [note].
Rogers Raid by Theophile Panadis
Nekwagwadzi ôdokôdamen yo kôgassigaden aliwizit iglzmôn Rogers ôbinosak kedodanana odzi alôdokaziidit ktsaiyak.
I’ll-try to-tell-it here many-years-ago he-is-called an-Englishman [Major Robert] Rogers when-he-came-to our-village from the-way-they-talked the-old-men.
Idamok ali mahôwi alnôbak pagatkanoldidit odzi kpiwi ni odali maahlônô ni mziwita gassit alnôba odali maahlôn.
They-said that just the-Indians when-theycame-back from the-woods and there they-assembled and “every-single-Indian” there-were-assembled.
[Odanak was a large village where many Abenaki people came to seek refuge and live together.]
Neônigamikw aosa yo kwahliwi aiamiawigamigok ni adali wiagôzikhôziidit.
The-old-house [Council House] used-to-be near-here at-the-church that’s-where they-enjoyed-themselves.
Ni alemidebakak odali baiyôn pilewaka liwizo mahigani.
And late-in-the-night he-came-there a-stranger called [a] Mahikan [the Stockbridge Mohican scout, Samadagwis].
Ni onôdzi wawôdzemin wawôdokawô wôbanakia.
And he-is-going to-notify to-warn-them the-Abenakis.
Polewadikw polewakhokw kedawôsizemowôk ta kebahamwomwôk ni ktsayomwôk.
To-escape to-make-escape your-children and your-women and your-old-men.
Pamidebakak nita akwôbi nabiwi wzômi saba spôzewiwi kwakwataolgona.
This-very-night as-soon-as-possible because tomorrow morning they-kill-you.
Ni polewadin ni wakasta mail tali ni odali kôlezinô liwitôzik sibosek ni sanôbak agemôwo wadzi aptsigôbitamoodit odana.
And they-ran-away and a-few miles there that they-hide-themselves it-is-called at-the-brook [Sibosek] and the-men they they-stayed [in town] so-that they-protect the-village.
Ni omahagenemenô adali msegwikwek wigwôm ni olawakaktônô tavlawiba wakôlozin.
And they-choose-it there the-big-one house [Council House] and they-used-it like-would-be a-fort.
Ni adali aodoldiidit ni odzi alagwinôgwak taka aiyamiawigamigok odagwi noskozowak Rogers ta ozanôbama ni ga ogizi aptsigôbotamenô li atsakwiwik ni atsakwiwik bakalmegwat nda alemi aodiwen.
And there they-fought and from the-way-it-looks about-the-church that’s-where [the Abenaki men] they-went-to-surprise-them Rogers and his-men and (it is) they-could-stop-them until morning and next-day surely they-not-continue-fighting.
Ni akwôbi lestama ni ya pedegakanikhozinô wôbigidzik odagwedakamenô zibo ni ni alnôbak onosokozinô ali pegwatoodit odzi kokwawôdit nda milôdikw nda aida kizokw wadzi nawadadialiidit ala kakwsa maagenemoodit.
And as-much-as-I-hear and (yagik: those?) they-go-back (by their own effort) the-whites they-go-up-stream the-river and those (should be nigik) Indians they-follow-them as-much-as-they-can to-push-him [Rogers] not-to-give-him not er- time so they-hunt or something they-gather.
[In other words, the Abenaki men who chased Robert Rogers’ company out of Odanak pushed him so hard that there was no time for any of the English soldiers to stop to hunt or gather any provisions. This caused many of the English raiders to eventually die from starvation.]
Ni odzi altôgwak baami msali matsina wôbigit bedegakannit wadzi ôwiidit ndaki yo dali, ni ga atsakwiwik sôgenawihlôk mziwi gagwi kizi mvdziidit wôbigidzik, ni alnôbak ogwilawatassinô tôni odalnôbamowô (AO would say tôni li ‘if there were’) matsinadzik ala ômawitaôziidzik.
And from-as-it-sounds (as it is related) [as Theo recalls the sounds of the words being spoken] more many they-died the-whites travelling-back to-where-they-belonged than here, and next-morning it-becomes-quiet everything after they-left the-whites, and the-Indians they-look-for-them where the-Indians they-were-dead or they-were-wounded.
Ni yo Luwi Pol ôwdik salakiwi pskaiwi awani ogedewimamôdan.
And here Louis Paul Road-on suddenly to-the-side someone [the Mohican scout] was-groaning (Fr. se plaindre).
Ni nemô alosaadit wada ki pilewaka alessik omawtaôzo.
And here when-they-went this-one-is-there a-stranger he-is-lying – wounded.
A: ni gata odzipeton odemhigan odzi minotaôt.
Ah! and indeed he-takes-it his-hatchet to finish-him-off.
Ni adodzi na wikodek: idam, “akwi nita tagwakwtaasi.”
And then that-one [the Mohican] asked (for something): he said, “Don’t just-now strike-kill-me.”
Idam, “nda nia ngadawiba pôbatam. Asma nbôbatamo.”
He said, “I’m not – (new start) I’d like baptism. Not-yet I-am-baptized.”
Idam, “niga oligen.”
He-said (Abenaki), “That’s OK.” [literally, “That is good.”]
Idam, “ni nda atsi newadzônemo wizwôgan.”
He-said (enemy) [the Mohican man], “And not also I-have a-name.” [I have no name.]
“Tôni nawa kelizin?”
“How then you-are-called?”
“Nda wizwôgan newadzônemo.”
“Not a-name I-have.”
Idam, “tôni nawa kadawi liwizin?”
He-said (Abenaki), “How do you want to be called?”
He-said, Samaadzagwis.” [also spelled Samadagwis]
Idam, “tôni wadzi ôwian?”
He-said (Abenaki), “Where-from do-you-belong?” (Freely, where do you come from?)
Idam, niga oligen.
He-said [the Abenaki man], that-is-good.
Niga odzi nikwôbi li almidebihlôk nigliwizin Samaadzagwis.
And from now on (lit. to all time) you-will-be-called Samaadzagwis.
[The phrasing of this sequence of questions roughly follows the phrasing used by the priests during a Catholic baptismal ceremony. Samadagwis, the only one of Robert Rogers’ scouts who was wounded during the attack, was killed by the Abenaki men who found him immediately after his “baptism.”]