Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Passaconaway
|←Pasco, Samuel||Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography
|Passavant, William Alfred→|
|Edition of 1900. See also Passaconaway on Wikipedia, and our Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography disclaimer.|
PASSACONAWAY, Indian chief, b. in southern New Hampshire about 1580; d. near Litchfield, N. H., between 1665 and 1669. He was a Merrimack sachem, and the sagamore of Pamunkog, or Pennacook, holding control over the tribes of southern New Hampshire and part of Massachusetts. When the whites first settled the country he was at the head of a powerful confederacy, and is said by some authorities to have conveyed to John Wheelwright and his associates at Squamscut (now Exeter), 17 May, 1629, a tract of land that extended from Piscataqua to Merrimack rivers westward, and from the line of Massachusetts, thirty miles north; but this deed was subsequently pronounced a forgery. In 1662, in answer to a petition from Passaconaway, the general court of Massachusetts granted him a tract of several hundred acres near Litchfield, N. H. He invited the Indian apostle John Eliot to take up his abode near his tribe, so that they might be taught Christianity, and avowed his own belief in God. He was sagacious, and had a great reputation as a sorcerer. He made a feast for his people about 1660, delivered a farewell speech, and exhorted them to live in peace with the English, since he had used his arts as a “pow-wow” against them in vain.