- What events led up to the Pequot genocide?
- What role did ritual mutilations play in the Pequot genocide?
- How did the Native American allies of the Puritans react to the Pequot genocide?
- What was the purpose of Native American “Praying Towns” and how did they function?
- In what ways did the forced collectivization of the Native Americans of Southern New England into prison communes impact New England?
- What role did Puritan religious beliefs play in the wars and genocides of Native Americans?
- How did King Philip’s War of 1675-1676 (Metacom’s Rebellion) begin?
- How did the Native Americans of Southern New England adapt to Puritan warfare?
- Who was King Phillip?
- What was the end result of King Phillip’s War?
Response / Thought Quotes
“Instead of viewing the precolonial landscape as beautiful, the leading Puritans perceived, in William Bradford’s phrase, “a hideous and desolate wilderness full of wild beasts and wild men.” The New English saw the Indians as their opposite—as pagan peoples who had surrendered to their worst instincts to live within the wild, instead of laboring hard to conquer and transcend nature.”
“Roger Williams conceded, “It is a strange truth, that a man shall generally finde more free entertainment and refreshing amongst these Barbarians, than amongst thousands that call themselves Christians.””
“John Winthrop explained, “As for the Natives in New England, they inclose noe Land, neither have any setled habytation, nor any tame Cattle to improve the Land by, and soe have noe other but a Naturall Right to those Countries, soe as if we leave them sufficient for their use, we may lawfully take the rest.” The colonists appointed themselves to judge how much land the Indians needed, which shrank with every passing year. The resolves of the town of Milford in Connecticut in 1640 were especially blunt: “Voted that the earth is the Lord’s and the fulness thereof; voted, that the earth is given to the Saints; voted, we are the Saints.””
“Captain Mason exulted, “God was above them, who laughed his Enemies and the Enemies of his People to Scorn, making them as a fiery Oven … [and] filling the Place with Dead Bodies!” Only about five inhabitants survived by breaking through the surrounding circle of their enemies.”
“Some have said: “Should not Christians have more mercy and compassion?” But he retorted, “Sometimes the Scripture declareth [that] women and children must perish with their parents. We had sufficient light from the Word of God for our proceedings.”
“Governor William Bradford recalled: It was a fearful sight to see them thus frying in the fire and the streams of blood quenching the same, and horrible was the stink and scent thereof, but the victory seemed a sweet sacrifice, and they gave the praise thereof to God, who had wrought so wonderfully for them, thus to enclose their enemies in their hands and given them so speedy a victory over so proud and insulting an enemy.”
Optional Supplemental Reading
Chapter 9 Tobacco and Slaves: The Development of Southern Cultures in the Chesapeake, 1680-1800 by Allan Kulikoff