ATECOUANDO (Athiconando, Decwando, Descouando, Adeawando, Addeawando, Adiawonda, Adeawanadon, Athurnando, Beawando, Dewando, Deowando, Edewancho, Ontaniendo), a prominent chief of the Pigwacket tribe of the Abenakis; fl.1701–26.
Those spellings of his name which are not obvious disfigurements by copyists fall into two groups yielding different Abenaki names, attekȣehaµnedo, “the Deer Spirit-power,” and atiéhaµnedo, “the Dog Spirit-power” The fact that two Abenaki names emerge seems to be coincidence, since the sequence of events makes it likely that there was only one person behind the many spellings. In fact, Edward Tyng* employed both Decwando and Deowando for the same person in one letter. The Decwando series has been preferred here; Ramezay and Bégon*, quoting Father Joseph Aubery* who knew both the chief and the Abenaki language, wrote Athiconando (the latter form is meaningless but was probably miscopied from Athicouando). Aubery himself wrote Atecouando.
In the earliest documents there are suggestions that Atecouando was a Penacook, and he appears to have been working for war in the uneasy summer of 1688 which preceded the outbreak of King William’s War. On 29 Nov. 1690 he witnessed the truce and exchange of prisoners made between the Abenakis and the English “upon the water in canoes” at Sagadahoc, at the mouth of the Kennebec River, Maine. In 1701 he began to appear as an important chief representing the Pigwackets in their negotiations with the English. On 3 June of that year six Abenaki chiefs signed a peace with New England and promised to try to bring those Indians then in Canada into the agreement. They refused to stop travelling to Canada, however, since they would then be wholly dependent on the English for trade supplies, and they also objected to receiving English missionaries. Atecouando signed as one of the two chief sachems of “Narrackamagog.” In December of the same year he was one of the two “Sagamores of Arrocomecoog” who sent Sampson Hegan, Bomoseen, and other messengers to Boston. (The Indian fort of “Narracomecock” was at the head of the Saco River and was probably equivalent to Pigwacket (Pequawket, now Fryeburg, Me.); it should not be confused with a place of a similar name on the Androscoggin River.) Atecouando was one of the Pigwacket chiefs at the 1702 treaty at Sagadahoc and one of three chiefs from Pigwacket and Penacook (now Concord, N.H.) who signed the treaty at Casco Bay on 20 June 1703. Nescambiouit was also a prominent Pigwacket chief, but Atecouando seems to have become the principal chief of the tribe by about 1706, since at this time he led his entire village to Canada to settle at the mission on the Saint-François (St Francis) river.
During Queen Anne’s War some of the Pig-wackets scattered to other missions, and many died. At the end of the war in 1713 the Penobscots and Norridgewocks made peace with the English [see Mog], and in July of the following year Atecouando and other Pigwacket chiefs ratified the treaty at Portsmouth, N.H. The Indians were anxious to have trading posts established to the east. They reasserted their claim to the land but invited the English to live at Cocheco (Dover, N.H.) and Saco, Me. At the last minute the English declared that the Indians were the queen’s subjects and that therefore the queen owned all the land eastward. It is doubtful whether the Indians understood the claim and its implications.
In the winter of 1714–15 Atecouando’s family returned to Pigwacket to hunt and to plant their fields the following spring. In August 1715, he returned to Saint-François to ask Rigaud de Vaudreuil for permission to remove all the Indians there and at Bécancour, together with their missionary, Father Aubery, to Pigwacket. He had the further hope of attracting some “Loup” Indians probably Schaghticokes, from the vicinity of Fort Orange (Albany, N.Y.). Since Saint-François was important for the defence of New France, the French tried to dissuade him from returning to the ancient home of his tribe. He persisted, however, perhaps because of the superiority of English trade goods, and formed a village of about 25 warriors. He promised to return to Canada in case of another war. On 12 Aug 1717, he was one of the chiefs who signed the ratification of the 1713 and 1714 treaties at Georgetown, Me [see Wowurna]. Some of his tribe attended a meeting at Georgetown in July 1721 and one at Norridgewock (now Old Point in south Madison, Me ) in October of that year, but it is not known whether Atecouando was among them.
In 1722, the hostilities known to New England historians as Lovewell’s War broke out between the English and the Abenakis. It appears likely that Atecouando kept his promise and returned to Saint-François at this time, since he apparently did not take part in the raids by a band of Pigwackets led by Paugus. He probably returned to Pigwacket late in 1726. Although Jacob Wendell’s census had listed only seven men in the Pigwacket tribe that year, John Gyles*’s census in November listed “Edewancho” as chief of 24 warriors there.
This is the last certain appearance of Atecouando in history. At the treaty signed at Falmouth (Portland, Me.) in July 1727 [see Wenemouet], the Pigwacket chiefs were not listed separately, but among the Arosaguntacook chiefs from Saint-François we find “Suzack, son of Beawando,” suggesting Sozap, son of Atecouando. This may be an indication that the latter was already dead or too infirm to travel to Falmouth. Some Indians remained at Pigwacket until King George’s War began in 1744, when a few joined the English and the majority probably returned to Saint-François. More than 20 years after the treaty of Falmouth, a Jérôme Atecouando* began to appear as a grand chief of the Saint-François nation, but his connection with the earlier Atecouando is uncertain. Jérôme may have been the son of Atecouando of Pigwacket and the “Saarom” of the Falmouth treaty, or was possibly younger than Sozap and therefore not distinguished in the document.
Archives du Séminaire de Nicolet, Que., Joseph Aubery “Dictionnaire Abnaquis-François,” 157, 161, 183, 242, 258, 435; “Dictionnaire François-Abnaquis,” 128. AN, Col., B, 38, f.452; C11A, 35, ff.62–65 Coll. de manuscrits relatifs à la N.-F., III, 23, 58. “Correspondance de Vaudreuil,” APQ Rapport, 1947–48, 296–305, 332 Documentary hist of Maine, V, 164–66; VI, 436; IX, 145; X, 50–51, 87–95; XXIII, 31–32, 67–69, 291. JR (Thwaites), LXVII, 28–37; LXIX, 72–73. Maine Hist. Soc. Coll., 1st ser., III (1853), 355–58, 361–75, 377–412. Mather, Magnalia Christi Americana, 609–10 New Eng. Hist and Geneal. Register, XX, 9 NYCD (O’Callaghan and Fernow), IX, 904 Penhallow, Hist. of wars with Eastern Indians (1859), 16.
Frederick Kidder, The Abenaki Indians; their treaties of 1713 and 1717 . . . (Portland, 1859), 20–23; The expeditions of Capt. John Lovewell . . . (Boston, 1865), 108.