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Native Americans Discover Europeans
Digital History ID 637

Author:   Joseph Nicolar
Date:1893

Annotation: Nicolar, a Penobscot, recorded a Penobscot oral tradition about the arrival of the first Europeans.


Document: ...exciting news was brought from the extreme north to the effect that the white man's big canoe had come, and had landed its people who are still remaining on the land...and have planted some heavy blocks of wood in the form of a cross. These people are white and the lower part of the faces of the elder ones are covered with hair, and the hair is in different colors, and the eyes are not alike, some have dark while others have light colored eyes, some have eyes the color of the blue sky. They have shown nothing only friendship, they take...[our] hand in their own and bow their heads down and make songs in the direction of the stars; and their big canoe is filled with food which they eat and also give some to those that come to them and make signs of friendship.

Source: Joseph Nicolar, The Life and Traditions of the Red Man (Bangor, 1893), 128.

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