THE LEGEND OF MADOCKAWANDA
By: Frank Maguire 1970
(From the story told by Frank W. P. Bailey)
Once, in ages long forgotton, when the white men
were but legends,
And the rushing springtime waters formed the
highways of our fathers,
When the forests teemed with turkey, and with
deer and elk and beaver,
And the shellfish of the oceans were a food well-made
In those days the hemlock forests, and the pines
and oaks and maples
Covered mountain slopes and valleys with a velvet
coat of green.
Then the many tribes of Indians lived a life
serene and peaceful,
The Abnakis and the Micmacs each on their own
Long this happy age continued, without threat
of war or famine,
For the braves who roamed these forests were
at peace with all their brothers;
‘Til one day, a ship arriving gave an omen of
That the strange white men who landed would bring
more of their own people,
They would claim the tribal holdings, and disperse
the woodland nations.
Even as it was predicted, the great tide of white
And their settlements grew quickly, spreading
out across the forests.
These were men of many nations, and they sought
the red men’s service.
But for warlike aims they sought them, and they
saw the red men dying.
Many years of bloodshed passing, the once peaceful
tribes of Indians
Were enslaved, or dead, or homeless, and their
councils met no longer
One there was among these remnants of the tribes
which thrived no longer,
One whose memory kept the image of the great
tribes of his fathers;
He was called Madockawanda, one who loved his
One whose plan to help his people was yet great,
and wise, and daring.
And the chief, Madockawanda, planned to join
his Indian brothers
In a new and stronger nation, in a nation full
Thus he sought through all the region, men whose
memory of their fathers
Had instilled in them traditions of the tribes
which roamed the forests;
Men whose spirit was unbroken, and who loved
their Indian brethren.
Seeking these, he slowly molded, from the worn
and scattered fragments
Of the once unconquered nations, a tribe of brave
With their wives and with their children, with
their memories and dreams.
And as time went on this tribe grew from a meager
band of planners
To a nation with a strong voice, to a nation
"Add one, and stick together," was the motto of
And he carried out this motto, ‘til the many
tribes of Maine
Were part of a federation to protect them from
Thus the fearful, scattered pieces of the tribes
which ruled the forests
Were united through the efforts of a wise and
Thus a dreamer and a planner showed the worth
of dreams and planning.
And the brave men who worked with him found esteem
among their tribesmen.
The great nations of the red men are now but a
But the struggles of their leaders, truly fighting
for their birthright,
Can show us, who now succeed them, how to hope
and plan and strive.