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SECOUDON (Secondon, Chkoudun), sagamo or chieftain of all the Saint John River Indians when Champlain and Du Gua de Monts discovered the river in 1604; d. before 1616.

He was referred to as an Etchemin chief but the modern designation for the Saint John River Indians is Malecite. His headquarters at that time was a village called Ouygoudy (or Menagoueche according to Ganong) on the west side of what is now Saint John harbour. Lescarbot, describing this village, which he visited in 1607, said it was enclosed by a strong stockade with many lodges inside, one of which was as large as a market hall with numerous families dwelling in it.

In 1605 Secoudon guided Champlain to an outcropping of copper ore on La Baye des Mines (Minas Basin) and later assisted Champlain and his companions when their pinnace was wrecked. He also acted as a guide to the French on two voyages along the New England coast. In 1606 Jean de Biencourt de Poutrincourt found Secoudon and Messamouet trading articles they had obtained from the French with the Indians of the Penobscot area.

At the time of Lescarbot’s visit to Secoudon at Ouygoudy he had assembled a war-party including Indians from as far distant as Gaspé. They were preparing to join Membertou of Port-Royal renown in an attack on the Armouchiquois of New England.

Father Biard was much impressed by Secoudon’s apparent interest in French civilization and by the fact that in imitation of the French he had erected a cross in front of his lodge and wore a cross around his neck. He also attended religious worship making a great show of piety.

In 1616 Father Biard referred to Secoudon as already dead at that time.

W. Austin Squires

Champlain, Works (Biggar), I; Lescarbot, History (Grant), II; JR (Thwaites), I, III.

General Bibliography

Cite This Article

W. Austin Squires, “SECOUDON,” in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 1, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003–, accessed June 8, 2023, http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/secoudon_1E.html.

The citation above shows the format for footnotes and endnotes according to the Chicago manual of style (16th edition). Information to be used in other citation formats:

Permalink:   http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/secoudon_1E.html
Author of Article:   W. Austin Squires
Title of Article:   SECOUDON
Publication Name:   Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 1
Publisher:   University of Toronto/Université Laval
Year of publication:   1966
Year of revision:   1979
Access Date:   June 8, 2023