Courtesy Claudia Chicklas, daughter of Elizabeth Mary Sadoques

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Portrait of Elizabeth Mary Sadoques

Elizabeth Mary Sadoques, an Abenaki woman, was the daughter of Israel Msadoques and Mary Watso, originally from Odanak, in Québec, Canada. She was one of the first Native women to receive a nursing degree in the United States. Elizabeth was living in Keene, New Hampshire, and working as a nurse for the aging painter Abbot Handerson Thayer when she met Elizabeth B. Fuller of Deerfield, Massachusetts, in 1921. The two women talked and learned that they were both descended from the Williams family. Elizabeth Fuller wrote to her mother, “The nurse we have is a pure blood indian (sic) and has [an] ancestor named Eunice Williams who was taken capture (sic) from Dfd. Very interesting I think--she is a charmer from the word go and very refined.” In 1922, Elizabeth Sadoques went to Deerfield to read a paper on Eunice Williams and her Abenaki descendants at the Annual Meeting of the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association. Deerfield residents heard the Abenaki oral tradition of how the Watso family had visited "Williamsecook," the Abenaki name for Deerfield, in company with Eunice Williams's granddaughter in 1837. They also heard how the Watso and Sadoques families had passed on the name of Eunice as well as the family story to succeeding generations. Unfortunately, Elizabeth's oral history was largely ignored by Deerfield historians until long after she had passed away. Since 2003, however, her daughter and grandchildren have participated in exhibits, web sites, articles, and even historical re-enactments of their ancestral memories of connections to Deerfield.

Date: circa 1922 
Topic: Portraits 
Materials: Photograph
Dimensions: n.a. 
Accession #: n.a.

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