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Abenaki Native Americans, basketmakers, have long history in Lake George

Norman Johnson was "tall and slender, with high cheekbones and hair that has a tendency to curl up at the ends as it falls in black and gray shocks over his shoulders," the Times said. He had little to say to the writer apart from comments on the weather or the wares which he peddled.

Angeline Sarah Johnson sat in the corner of the shop making baskets. She wore a "faded black hat" and "a pair of heavy-rimmed glasses." She carried on conversations in broken English while weaving baskets, sometimes complaining that answering questions interfered with her work, the Times said.

As the author spoke primarily with Angeline Johnson, her story dominates the account in the Times. She gave her age as approximately 60 years and noted that she had no record of the year of her birth. According to the registers of Saint-Pierre-de-Sorel, a parish in central Quebec, she was born September 25, 1847. Angeline told a story of coming to Lake George with her parents, Louis-Lazare Ot doson-Gansha Tutteson and Marguerite Shaouigonet) to make their living there and at Saratoga.

According to Times citing Angeline Johnson, "After six years of success and happiness the elder Tutteson learned that he and his family had been exiled from the tribe of Abenakis, for according to Canada's Indian Act, any tribe member who is absent from his home more than five years is disowned and his property forfeited. The banishment from the tribe was at first keenly felt by the Tutteson family, but they decided to pass the remainder of their days at Lake George," the Times said.

Nevertheless, Angeline Johnson engaged lawyers to restore her family's property and standing within the Abenaki community, and that of her husband, as well. The article indicated that he was "exiled from the tribe" subsequent to their marriage, but his particular situation likely owed more to a much longer history of off-reserve living as he was born and raised in New York, as well as to his white father. For decades, the Indian Act legislated that aboriginal women who married white men lost their legal status as Indians, and that their children would also be considered non-native in the eyes of the law.

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