NODOGAWERRIMET (Noodogawirramet, Nov dogg aw wer imet), Norridgewock Abenaki sachem and orator; d. November 1765 at Cobbosseecontee Lake, Massachusetts (now Maine).
The renewal of Dummer’s treaty of 1727 by the Norridgewock, Penobscot, and Canadian Abenakis on 16 Oct. 1749 closed five years of hostilities between the Indians and Massachusetts. Soon after, however, one Norridgewock was killed and two others wounded by Englishmen at Wiscasset, Massachusetts (now Maine). Despite her promises to the Indians, the colony delayed the trials of the accused murderers. Frustrated by this, by the trespassing of English hunters, and by a proposal to establish English settlements on the Kennebec River, the Abenakis resorted to raids on frontier outposts.
Unlike the Canadian Abenakis who, with the strong encouragement of Governor La Jonquière [Taffanel], rejected English peace overtures, the Norridgewocks were genuinely eager to end this new fighting. Nodogawerrimet was one of the sachems leading their continued attempts to reach agreement with Massachusetts. In November 1751 he and two other chiefs asked to negotiate with commissioners from Massachusetts in hopes of breaking the impasse but were told that it was too late in the year. The following September Nodogawerrimet was among those who again urged a meeting.
At the conference, which was finally held at Fort St George (now Thomaston, Maine) in October 1752, the Indians declared their opposition to the proposed settlements on the Kennebec and to English hunting on tribal territory. The commissioners replied vaguely, and Nodogawerrimet was given two wampum belts: one for the Norridgewocks and the other for the Abenakis of Saint-François and Bécancour, who had not attended, as a symbol of Massachusetts’ good intentions.
The Norridgewocks carried their belt to another conference in June 1753. “We Do not want to Brack it,” they said, but they warned that they would not tolerate any settlements above Fort Richmond (now Richmond, Maine) on the Kennebec. Their continued opposition led to a declaration of war against them by Massachusetts on 13 June 1755.
There was no formal peace between the Abenakis and Massachusetts after the Seven Years’ War, and all the old issues continued to irritate the Indians. After repeated requests had been ignored by the governor, the Norridgewocks finally sent Nodogawerrimet to Boston in August 1765. The sachem explained that the Indians were upset because they had “found the Beaver mostly killed up” when they returned to their village after the war. But the Norridgewocks’ complaints were relatively few. Nodogawerrimet insisted that the law barring English fur-trappers from Norridgewock lands was being laxly enforced. He asked that his tribe receive payment in money for their skins so that they could pay their debts at Quebec. Finally, he begged the governor to replace the Jesuit at Bécancour, who had died.
Nodogawerrimet’s death in November 1765 showed the frail basis of English-Abenaki relations and the problems created by ever increasing numbers of settlers. Little had he realized that in August he had pleaded for his own life. He and his wife were neither the first nor the last Indians to be killed and robbed by marauding English hunters. The Norridgewocks were upset by the crime. The truck master at Ticonic (Fort Halifax, now Winslow, Me.) reported that “if ye English hunters is Determined to steel their Lives away by peace meals, for ye sake of Hunting, they say it’s better for them to Die lick men, then to be kill’d lick Dogs. . . .” Nevertheless, Massachusetts found the Norridgewocks below regard. A £100 reward was offered for the murderers, but they were not apprehended, and the demands Nodogawerrimet had made were ignored.
Mass., Archives, Council records, XII Documentary history of Maine, XII, XIII, XXIII, XXIV. “Indian treaties,” Maine Hist. Soc. Coll., 1st ser., IV (1854), 168–84. “Materials for a history of Fort Halifax: being copies and abridgements of documents . . . ,” Maine Hist. Soc. Coll., 1st ser., VII (1876), 165–98. NYCD (O’Callaghan and Fernow), X. R. H. Lord et al., History of the archdiocese of Boston in the various stages of its development, 1604 to 1943 . . . (3v., New York, 1944), II. H. O. Thayer, “The Indian’s administration of justice: the sequel to the Wiscasset tragedy,” Maine Hist. Soc. Coll., 2nd ser., X (1899), 185–211; “A page of Indian history: the Wiscasset tragedy,” Maine Hist. Soc. Coll., 2nd ser., X (1899), 81–103.