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.Citations:

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


Hancock County ME,

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

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