Bagaduce Tribe

Bagaduce Indians. Bagaduce is the name of the peninsula in Hancock County, Maine, on which Castine is situated. Purchas mentions Chebegnadose (n should probably be u) as a town in 1602-1609 on Penobscot River in Abnaki territory, with 30 houses and 90 men, which may be connected with the more modern name. It is also, according to Willis 1 under the form Abagadusset (from a sachem of that name), the name of a tributary of the Kennebec. It is introduced here for the reason that Sullivan 2 applies the name, under the plural form Abagadusets, to a body of Indians which, in 1649, resided in this immediate section. Vetromile, however, says: “We are sure there was no Indian village at Castine, called at present Bagaduce, a corruption for matchibignadusek, water bad to drink. ” Ballard 3 gives as the full form matche-be-gua-toos, bad bay, referring to a part of Gastine harbor, and this is the meaning commonly given. Rasles gives bagadassek as meaning to shine. Dr William Jones suggests that the Chippewa pagŭdāsink, windward side, may be a related term.


Hancock County ME,

Hodge, Frederick Webb, Compiler. The Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. Bureau of American Ethnology, Government Printing Office. 1906.

  1. Willis, Coll. Me. Hist. Soc., iv, 103, 1856,[]
  2. Sullivan, Hist. Me., 95, 1795[]
  3. Ballard, Rep. U. S. Coast Surv., 1868, 248[]

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