ABBADIE DE SAINT-CASTIN, JOSEPH D’, Baron de SAINT-CASTIN, French officer and Abenaki chief; son of Jean-Vincent d’Abbadie* de Saint-Castin and Pidianske (Marie-Mathilde), an Abenaki woman; fl. 1720–46 in Acadia.
After the death of his brother Bernard-Anselme* in 1720, Joseph d’Abbadie inherited the title of Baron de Saint-Castin – he was the fifth of that name – but it appears that he did not attach much importance to it for he never went to France to assert his claims to his inheritance. He stayed among the Abenakis of Acadia with one of his brothers whose name we do not know. Having always lived in the tribe, Joseph was much more “Abenaki” than Bernard-Anselme, and the Indians conferred upon him the rank of great chief.
The Abenakis felt themselves in no way bound by the treaty of Utrecht, which France had signed in 1713 and which handed Acadia over to England. The governor of New France, Philippe de Rigaud* de Vaudreuil, secretly backed up the Abenakis. On 10 Nov. 1720 he asked the council of Marine to transfer the lieutenant’s pay of the deceased Bernard-Anselme to the two Saint-Castin brothers, “who keep the Indians of this tribe faithful to French interests.” Guerilla warfare was immediately intensified, and the English seized the baron by trickery. The captain of an English vessel invited Saint-Castin aboard to take some refreshment, then suddenly got under way and headed for Boston, Massachusetts. Saint-Castin was kept in prison in Boston from November 1721 till May 1722 and was released only in the hope of appeasing the Indians.
In 1726 Saint-Castin was in effect recognized as a French officer. During the next 20 years he and his brother continued to serve the king of France by keeping the Abenakis on the French side and by carrying on vigorous guerilla warfare against their New England neighbours, but during lulls in the fighting they and the Abenakis renewed their profitable trade with their erstwhile enemies.
On 25 Aug. 1746 Joseph’s brother died of wounds received in a brawl. From that year on we lose track of Joseph too. Baron Jean-Vincent d’Abbadie de Saint-Castin’s inheritance, which Joseph had not claimed, fell to Marie-Anselme, Bernard-Anselme’s eldest daughter, and her descendants. Official correspondence mentions a nephew of Joseph whose services were acquired by the court of France and who waged war with the Abenakis. The name Saint-Castin or its English distortion Castine still survives in America.