Abenaki Warrior

The Life and Times of Chief Escumbuit

by Alfred E. Kayworth

 

Media Reviews and Articles

Kayworth's novel is written in an easy to read style, offering portraits of Abenaki Indians from several points of view.  The novel travels with Escumbuit on the war path from Andover, Massachusetts right up to Newfoundland, Canada.  It visits the deaths of over 150 English settlers and examines the 98 notches on Escumbuit's war club.

The novel also explores the more mundane activities of everyday Indian life including:  farming techniques, hunting and trapping, gender roles within the Indian tribes and the sociopolitical aspects of Indian life.  Kayworth examines Escumbuit's exile from one tribe for the murder of a fellow warrior and stays with the controversial chief in his fall from glory.

Throughout the book, Kayworth consistently portrays people, villages and countryside in a manner that makes the reader feel as if he is inhabiting New England in the 1600's.   The minds eye can clearly see each and every scene Chief Escumbuit travels through.   A new understanding of the importance of the events in Chief Escumbuit's time can be gained by reading Kayworth's penetrating novel.

The Derry News
Derry, New Hampshire
1 May 1998
By:  Kerry Johnson, Staff Writer

 

 

Al Kayworth, a retired...salesman, wanted to write a book about Big Island Pond, New Hampshire where he spent his summers as a teen.  But the spirit of Escumbuit, a long forgotten Abenaki Indian chief, seems to have intervened and insisted that his story be told instead.  Kayworth was intrigued by the little data he was able to glean [locally].  So much so that he researched further and decided to write Abenaki Warrior...The Life and Times of Chief Escumbuit.

Kayworth says he was apprehensive about the reaction to his book from the current-day Abenaki tribe members.   He needn't have been.  In recent months, since the book's publication by Branden Publishing Company in Boston, several Abenaki descendants have written or e-mailed him.  "One woman wrote saying she was 'stunned and very pleased'," he said.   "So little has been written to present their side of the story."

Another, Lou Annance of Mechanics Falls, Maine, praised Kayworth's attention to research.  "I enjoyed your book very much," he e-mailed Kayworth, "and I am so grateful that you researched before writing and publishing.  So many people write books and do not do enough research before they publish."

The Boca Raton News
Boca Raton, Florida
9 April 1998
By:  Maria Sempepos, Staff Writer

 

 

As a child, tales of Escumbuit and the Abenakis fascinated Kayworth.   He dreamed about what it would be like to live on an island without any modern conveniences, forced to find food, shelter and clothing on your own.

Kayworth spent the entire summer of 1996 researching the history of the area and his interest became focused on Escumbuit.  He uncovered English historical works that described the Abenaki chief as a murderer and a "monster," and French accounts that labeled him a hero.

He used both in writing his own book, filling in the large gaps with more general historical information about Abenakis of that time period and his own imagination of what Escumbuit's thoughts and motivations must have been.

The New Hampshire Sunday News
Manchester, New Hampshire
31 May 1998
By:  Matt DeRienzo, Sunday News Correspondent

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