Tappan Adney's Maliseet Studies: More Than Canoes

Presented at the 34th Algonquian Conference, Language and Linguistics
Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario
October 24-27, 2002

by James W. Wheaton

Here are the Notes to the paper.

1. The Survival of the Bark Canoe, by John McPhee; Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 1975.

2. Adney spelled the name "Malecite" in most of his writings, although his earliest publication spelled it "Milicete." Although the accepted spelling today is "Maliseet," I note that the website of the Woodstock First Nation says: "Note: Although the term Maliseet is the one generally used for the First People of the St. John River Valley, Wolastoqiyik is becoming more common as it is their term for themselves." Adney spelled this "Wulastook" in the late 1940s.

3. Recorded narrative of Leon Thornton, Canterbury, NB, July 1985.

4. University of New Brunswick archives - E. Tappan Adney Papers MG H22 Case 3, File 5, page 6

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5. Telephone conversation on January 2, 2002.

6. Adney sketched portraits of some of his Indian friends, three of which are reproduced here from copies. These can be found in the Adney Collection at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts.

7. "How an Indian Birch-Bark Canoe is Made," Supplement to Harper's Young People, July 29, 1890, pages 673-675; "Building of a Birch Canoe," Outing, Vol. 36, 185-189, May 1900. Daniel Beard incorporated Adney's information in his American Boy's Handy Book in 1903.

8. "Abstract of the proceedings of the Linnaean Society of New York, for the year ending March 1, 1893, with a paper by Tappan Adney on 'Milicete Indian Natural History.'" Page 21. He had actually read his paper before the Society in 1889.

9. Ibid, p. 26.

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10. Among the Adney Collection at the Mariners' Museum is a memo written probably in October 1937 that states, in part: "...the late Peter Polchies of Lower Woodstock Reserve was known as "Doc" or "Doctor" Polchies to distinguish him from several others of the same name. He was a real artist, a noted carver of stone pipes and of canoe paddles. Several of these paddles of maple beautifully proportioned and finished are line carved with figures of moose, caribou and other animals of the woods, as well as flowers and formal patterns...Such marvellous keenness of eye and steadiness of hand is shown in this work any artist would be proud..."

On July 14, 1949 Adney memorialized the death of "Oromocto Pete" Polchies, a first cousin of "Doctor" Peter Polchies, through an article in the Woodstock Sentinel-Press that provides a great deal of information about the Polchies family.

11. In June 1987, Peter Paul was inducted as a Member of the Order of Canada.

12. Copies of letters to and from Diamond Jenness are in the Adney Family Archives.

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13. Copies of the Adney correspondence with Fannie Hardy Eckstorm are in the collections of the University of Maine at Orono, Shelflist 610-621a, ORO Special Collections. The actual copy of the letter quoted is in Box 31 of the Adney Collection (E-7) at the Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts.

14. See "The Fannie Hardy Eckstorm Collection of Penobscot Mythology," by Jill F. Kealey McRae, Papers of the Twenty-Sixth Algonquian Conference, 1995, p. 251.

15. Part of a letter from Tappan Adney to Frank Speck dated December 19, 1942 (Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts - Speck Collection E-44, Box 11)

16. Part of a letter to Frank Speck dated January 15, 1944 (Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts - Speck Collection E-44, Box 11)

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17. New Brunswick Provincial Archives, MC300 M54/15.

18. Letter from William Saulis, Chief, Acting Secretary of the tribe, dated December 20, 1948 "verbatim copied" by Tappan Adney on the letterhead of The St. John River Indian Tribe Wulastooks. Source: Adney family archives.

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