Bashabez b. ? d. 1616 Chief ? to 1616
Chief Bashabez was the first Penobscot leader documented by the Europeans. He is mentioned around 1568 by David Ingram, a shipwrecked English sailor. Ingram reported that Chief Bashabez was the Head Chief of “Norumbega,” a confederation of seven or eight Abenaki-speaking Indian nations. This may have been the confederacy that is historically called Mawoshen. Ingram also reported that the capital, or chief town, of this confederacy was called “Arembee.” It is believed to have been situated where Brewer, Maine is today.
Samuel de Champlain, sailing for France, met Chief Bashabez in 1604. Champlain followed the Penobscot River north and as far inland as Kenduskeag (now Bangor, Maine.) Chief Bashabez and thirty Penobscots aboard six canoes arrived in Kenduskeag a few days later from a northern village, and the local Penobscots sang and danced in greeting.
Chief Bashabez was killed as the final act of the Micmac Wars (1606-1616.) These wars began because of the death of Panounias, a Micmac warrior. He was killed by an Indian from the Saco River Valley. Membertou, a grand Chief of the Micmac led raids along the coast of Maine avenging the death of the Micmac warrior Panounias. The Micmac had a huge advantage due to the fire arms they obtained from Port Royal, the French settlement near the Annapolis Basin in Nova Scotia. Chief Membertou’s final act was to kill Chief Bashabez because Panounias was killed in Penobscot Territory.