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Indian Hill Relic Seventeenth Century Pennacook Purse at Peabody Essex Museum Gift of Mosley Family

The story behind the purse from Mr Ernest S Dodge 1949

The quill bag first attracted the attention of Dr. Frank G. Speck when he visited the Poore house at Indian Hill. At that time it was in a little frame screwed to the wall of a small back entry. Also inside the frame was a label, hand printed in faded ink on orange cardboard, which label reads:

PURSE Made on Indian Hill and given to John Poore 1650

After negotiating with Mr. William Sumner Appleton of the S. P. N. E. A. the pouch, with certain other ethnological specimens, was deposited with the Peabody Museum of Salem. I removed it from the frame and found inside another, much earlier, label. This label is written in black ink on heavy white paper. The condition of the paper and the character of the handwriting indicates considerable age—how much, is the question. The text of this second label reads:

This purse was manufactured by the Indians and purchased of them by my Grandfather who paid them with articles valued at one dollar. The hide the purse is made of was dressed by them & the quills worked in are said to be those of the Porcupine—Benjamin Poore.

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