The Life and Times of Chief Escumbuit
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
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
|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
|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