Historian to speak on guides, Thoreau and the Wabanaki trail

Posted Nov. 17, 2011, at 11:38 a.m.

BELFAST, Maine — James Eric Francis Sr., the Penobscot Nation Tribal Historian and director of the Penobscot Nation Culture and Historic Preservation Department, will present an informative program on Thursday in Belfast.

Francis will talk about Henry David Thoreau’s visits to Maine and the Penobscot guides who helped him on the Wabanaki Trail. Thoreau made trips to Maine in 1846, 1853 and 1857, each of which followed ancient Wabanaki canoe routes through vast wilderness.

Thoreau climbed “Ktaadn” in 1846, visited Chesuncook Lake with Penobscot guide Joe Attean in 1853 and reached Eagle Lake in the Allagash with guide Joe Polis in 1857 before returning to Indian Island via the East Branch of the Penobscot River.

Francis’s presentation will begin at 7 p.m. at Waterfall Arts. The talk is being co-sponsored by Unity College’s Center for Environmental Arts and Humanities and the Sheepscot Wellswpring Land Alliance. The talk is being conducted in conjunction with “Meditations on Thoreau,” a photography exhibit in the Clifford Gallery.

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