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The Loss Of Weetamoo


Source: Myths And Legends Of Our Own Land

Winnepurkit, sagamore of the coast settlements between Nahant and Cape
Ann, had married Weetamoo, daughter of Passaconaway, king of the
Pennacooks, and had taken her to his home. Their honeymoon was happy, but
old ties are strong, and after a little time the bride felt a longing to
see her people again. When she made known this wish the husband not only
consented to her visit, but gave her a guard of his most trusty hunters
who saw her safe in her father's lodge (near the site of Concord, New
Hampshire), and returned directly. Presently came a messenger from
Passaconaway, informing his son-in-law that Weetamoo had finished her
visit and wished again to be with her husband, to whom he looked for an
escort to guide her through the wilderness. Winnepurkit felt that his
dignity as a chief was slighted by this last request, and he replied that
as he had supplied her with a guard for the outward journey it was her
father's place to send her back, for it stood not with Winnepurkit's
reputation either to make himself or his men so servile as to fetch her

Passaconaway returned a sharp answer that irritated Winnepurkit still
more, and he was told by the young sagamore that he might send his
daughter or keep her, for she would never be sent for. In this unhappy
strife for precedent, which has been repeated on later occasions by
princes and society persons, the young wife seemed to be fated as an
unwilling sacrifice; but summoning spirit to leave her father's wigwam
she launched a canoe on the Merrimack, hoping to make her way along that
watery highway to her husband's domain. It was winter, and the stream was
full of floating ice; at the best of times it was not easy to keep a
frail vessel of bark in the current away from the rapids, and a wandering
hunter reported that a canoe had come down the river guided by a woman,
that it had swung against the Amoskeag rocks, where Manchester stands
now, and a few moments later was in a quieter reach of water, broken and
empty. No more was seen of Weetamoo.

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