Week 11: The First Frontier Chapter 11: Endings

Thought Questions:

  • What was the author’s purpose in writing?
  • How did the author succeed or fail in their purpose?
  • What left an impression on you?
  • How do the experiences of the “First Frontier” provide guidance for our attitudes and actions as citizens today? 
  • How can the lessons of the “First Frontier” apply to making the United States (or your home nation) a stronger better nation today?

Optional Supplemental Reading

Week 10: The First Frontier Chapter 10: War Chief, Peace Chief

Thought Question

  • What themes from previous chapters are tied together in this chapter? 

Optional Supplemental Reading


Week 9: The First Frontier Chapter 9: The Long Peace Ends

Thought Questions: 

  • How was the “long peace” different in New England and Pennsylvania? 
  • How did gender and intermarriage effect relations between different Europeans and Native Americans?
  • Why was religion of less importance in 1750 than in 1620? 
  • How does this episode in history relate the Colonial Era (pre 1763) to the Revolutionary Era to follow? 

Resources: Map One | Map Two

Primary Sources:

Optional Supplemental Reading


Week 8: The First Frontier Chapter 8: One Head, One Mouth and One Heart

Thought Questions:

  • What differences made the experience of Native Americans and Europeans in Pennsylvania distinct?


Primary Source: 

Optional Supplemental Reading


Week 7: The First Frontier Chapter 7: Oppressions, Grievances, Provocateurs

Note: We will cover the Caribbean origins of the Carolina colony when we read The Americans: The Colonial Experience 

Thought Question:

  • What similarities and differences are seen in Virginia, New England and Carolina settlement? 

Optional Supplemental Reading

David La Vere teaches American Indian History at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. He is an award-winning author and public speaker. Born in New Orleans, he served a hitch as a Marine Corps infantryman, then earned a B.A. in Journalism from Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. Upon graduation, he spent five years in Dallas as an advertising copywriter. Discovering he enjoyed writing history more than writing ad copy, he returned to Northwestern State and earned an MA in History, From there he went on to Texas A&M University for his Ph.D. in History. He came to UNC Wilmington in 1993 and is now a professor of history there. La Vere has just finished his seventh book, titled The Tuscarora War: Indians, Settlers and the Fight for the Carolina Colonies, and published in October 2013 by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Press. Besides books, he’s written numerous articles for Our State North Carolina magazine and for historical journals. La Vere often lectures around the state, giving talks about the history of North Carolina Indians. He has given a talk at the Oxford Round Table at Oxford University, England on diversity in society.

Primary Sources

Week 6: The First Frontier Chapter 6: Our Enemies Are Exceedingly Cruel 

Note: We will be looking at the influence and activity of the French when we read The Americans: The Colonial Experience. One of the advantages to reading multiple surveys will be our ability to focus on different specific topics related to an event each time we read through a new book. This also avoids the myopic disadvantages of dwelling on a single event for an extended period. 

Thought Questions:

  • How are the Pequot War, King Phillip’s War and King William’s War similar and different on both the macro colony level and micro participants level 

Optional Supplemental Reading

Article Thought Question:

How were the New England Confederation and the Dominion of New England similar and different? In what ways were they successful and failures? Why did the New Englanders view they differently? 

Primary Sources: Captivity Narratives 


Primary Source Thought Question

  • How is gender reflected in the different captivity narratives? How does Cotton Mather’s and others retelling of female captivity narratives in their own voice effect our understanding? (in the above and other reading)? 

Week 5: The First Frontier Chapter 5: Between Two Fires

Thought Questions:

  • In what ways was King Phillip’s War also a Native American civil war? 
  • In what ways did economic circumstances effect relations between Native Americans and Europeans? 

Optional Supplemental Reading

Article: What Was the New England Confederation? 

Map: Native American Regions approximately during King Phillip’s War 

Primary Sources: 

Primary Source Thought Question:

  • Understanding history means understanding the world views and context individuals lived in. What does Mary Rowlandson’s account tell us about her viewpoint and context of events?


Week 4: The First Frontier Chapter 4: Why Should You Be So Furious?

Thought Questions: 

  • How did the different approaches Virginia and New England settlers took with Native Americans effect the nature of their relationships? 

Primary Source:

From DigitalCommons@University of Nebraska Lincoln 

Thought Question for primary source document (John Mason):

  • Understanding history means understanding the world views and context individuals lived in. What does John Mason’s account tell us about his viewpoint and context of events? 

Optional Supplemental Reading

Thought Questions on Supplemental Reading:

  • How did religious beliefs about the events occurring around them effect how Europeans and Native Americans understood their situations?

Week 3: The First Frontier Chapter 3: Stumbling onto a Frontier

Thought Questions

  • What are the general attitudes of Europeans towards Native Americans? 
  • What are the general attitudes of Native Americans towards Europeans? 
  • How did nationality impact different European encounters with Native Americans?
  • How did Native American rivalries effect their European encounters? 

Optional Supplemental Suggested Reading

Thought Question for supplemental reading:

  • What norms and themes do both Horn and Weidensaul introduce about Native Americans and Europeans?
  • How do the cultural pictures of Europeans and Native Americans show the contrast between them?

The Jamestown Historical Society 

Primary Sources 

The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques, and Discoveries of the English Nation 

Week 2: The First Frontier – Chapter 2: Before Contact 

Thought Questions – Chapter 2 

  • How does knowing about the migrations and epidemics that swept through North America before 1600 effect our understanding of the Native
  • Americans the early settlers encountered?

Optional Supplemental Suggested Reading

  • A Land As God Made It: Jamestown and the Birth of America by James Horn Chapter 1
  • A History of the American People by Paul Johnson – “Jamestown: The First Permanent Foothold”

    James Horn was born in Kent, England, and grew up on the outskirts of London. He taught for 20 years in British universities before moving to the US in 1997. He is an expert on the early history of Virginia and 16th and 17th- century America in general. Horn has worked at the College of William and Mary, University of Virginia, Monticello, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, and is now President of the James Rediscovery Foundation at Historic Jamestowne, the original site of the first permanent and successful English colony in America. He is the author most recently of A Land As God Made It: Jamestown and the Birth of America; Captain John Smith, Writings; and A Kingdom Strange: The Brief and Tragic History of the Lost Colony of Roanoke, and is currently writing two books: 1619 – The Origins of Modern America and War Chief: The Remarkable Life and Times of the Great Indian Warrior Opechancanough. 

Optional Supplemental Suggested Reading (If you are interested in archeology in the United States)

  • Early Native Americans in West Virginia by Darla Spencer: Chapters 1 and 2 (2016)

    Darla Spencer focuses her career on studying early Native American civilizations and archeology. She is a registered professional archaeologist and currently serves as a board of directors member for Council for West Virginia Archaeology. She is the secretary and treasurer for the West Virginia Archaeological Society. She has also worked with the Native American History Council of West Virginia. Darla teaches Native American studies at West Virginia University.

Thought Question on supplemental reading

  • How do the Native Americans Europeans encountered differ from the peoples that preceded them?

Week 1: The First Frontier – Introduction and Chapter 1: Mawooshen

Thought Questions – Introduction

What is the purpose in the author using the story of the Hochstetler Farm?
What is the author’s purpose in writing and how does he organize his writing?

Thought Questions – Chapter 1 

  • What is the significance of the words Native Americans used to describe themselves? 
  • How are Europeans and Native Americans similar and different and what effect does this have? 

    Optional Supplemental Suggested Reading 

  • The Barbarous Years: Chapter 1 by Bernard Bailyn (2013)

A History of the American People by Paul Johnson – “Raleigh the Proto American and the Roanoke Disaster”

Bernard Bailyn is an American historian, author, and academic specializing in U.S. Colonial and Revolutionary-era History. He has been a professor at Harvard University since 1953. Bailyn has won the Pulitzer Prize for History twice. 

Thought Question – Supplemental Reading 

  • Bailyn and Weidensaul focus on different aspects of Native American culture. How does this contrast help understand the Native American reaction to encounters with Europeans? 

    The Hakluyt Society 
    Founded in 1846, the Hakluyt Society seeks to advance knowledge and education by the publication of scholarly editions of primary records of voyages, travels and other geographical material. 

    The 1606 grants by James I to the London and Plymouth companies (from Wikipedia)