Courtesy Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield, MA

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Baptism Record of Abigail Nims

Abigail Nims was taken captive in Deerfield, Massachusetts, at the age of three. Her baptism record is seen here in a circa 1890 photograph taken by Emma Lewis Coleman. Abigail was first held by the Kanienkehaka at Sault-au-Récollet, and was adopted into a leading family in the Native community. Upon her conversion to Catholicism, she was baptized, and given a Native, Catholic name, Elizabeth Twatogwach. However, the French never gave up on incorporating Elizabeth (Abigail) into their community. The Sulpicians in Sault-au-Récollet worked for several years to ransom Elizabeth (Abigail) from her native masters, and also arranged for her to marry another Deerfield captive in the same community, Josiah Rising. When the community at Sault-au-Récollet moved to its present location of Kanesatake, the Sulpicians gave land just outside the borders of the Native community to Elizabeth (Abigail) and Josiah Rising as inducement to live among the French.

Date: circa 1890 
Topic: Historic 
Materials: photograph
Accession #: 1996.12.3575

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