The Loss Of Weetamoo

: 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
r /> 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.