Demasduwit

Demasduwit, Shendoreth, Waunathoake, Mary March, one of the last of the Beothuks (b 1796; d at Bay of Exploits, Nfld 8 Jan 1820). An expedition sent to Red Indian Lake in March 1819 to recover stolen articles and establish friendly contact with the dwindling Beothuk tribe captured Demasduwit and killed her husband, Nonosbawsut. Demasduwit was taken to Twillingate and put in the care of Anglican missionary John Leigh, who recorded from her a Beothuk vocabulary. She was later brought to St John's and an unsuccessful effort made to return her to her own tribe. Demasduwit succumbed to pulmonary consumption and her body was returned to Red Indian Lake in February 1820 by a party led by British naval officer David Buchan. In 1828 W.E. Cormack saw her body, placed side by side with that of Nonosbawsut, in an elevated sepulchre erected by the last survivors of her people.