Jean-Vincent d'Abbadie de Saint-Castin
Baron de St Castin
Escout, Béarn, France
|Died||1707 (aged 54–55)|
King Philip's War (1675-1676)
Jean-Vincent d'Abbadie de Saint-Castin (1652–1707) was a French military officer serving in Acadia and an Abenaki chief. He is the father of two prominent sons who were also military leaders in Acadia, Bernard-Anselme and Joseph. He is the namesake of the former capital of Acadia, Castine, Maine.
Jean-Vincent was born at Escout, Béarn, France, the youngest of three sons in this noble family. Little is known of his early years other than he lost his mother in infancy and his father before his teens. He left for Canada at the age of thirteen as an ensign in the army, a suitable pursuit for the younger son of a noble.
He was likely part of Alexandre de Prouville's brutal campaign against the Iroqois in 1666 although his name does not appear in surviving records until 1670 when he was part of the repossession of Acadia by the French. It was in the Penobscot River area that he gained his knowledge of the Penobscot and was eventually adopted into a local tribe.
In 1674 he made his way to New France after a harrowing experience there with Dutch led by Jurriaen Aernoutsz conquered the capital of Acadia and renamed the colony New Holland. Governor Frontenac gave Saint-Castin the task of allying the Abenaki with the French and recaptured the capital of Acadia the following year (1675). He took this role seriously and, while he became the third Baron de Saint-Castin on the death of his elder brother that year, he appears to have devoted his time to becoming an Abenaki.
During King William's War, after Benjamin Church successfully defended a group of English settlers at Falmouth, Maine in the fall of 1689, Castin returned to the village in May 1690 with over 400 soldiers and destroyed the village.
He took an Indian wife, the daughter of the Penobscot chief, Madokawando.
He died at Pau, France, in 1707.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes. France: Vols. IX–X. 1876–79.
- The history of the great Indian war of 1675 and 1676, commonly called Philip ... By Benjamin Church, Thomas Church, Samuel Gardner Drake, pp175-176
- Robert Le Blant, Une Figure légendaire de l’histoire acadienne: Le baron de Saint-Castin (Dax: P. Pradeu, 1934);
- Pierre Daviault, Le Baron de Saint-Castin, chef abénaquis (Montréal: Éditions de l’AC-F, 1939);
- Aline S. Taylor, The French Baron of Pentagouet: Baron St. Castin and the Struggle for Empire in Early New England (Camden, Maine: Picton Press, 1998);
- Marjolaine Saint-Pierre, Saint-Castin: Baron français, chef amérindien, 1652–1707 (Sillery, Quebec: Septentrion, 1999).
- Stanwood, Owen. Unlikely Imperialist: The Baron of Saint-Castin and the Transformation of the Northeastern Borderlands. French Colonial History, Volume 5, 2004, pp. 43–61
- Saint Castin, New Dominion Monthly. 1869
- The Baron of Castine - Longfellow
- Dictionary of Canadian Biography
- "Saint Castin, Jean Vincent de l'Abadie, Baron de". Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography. 1900.
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