⒈ Pequot War Analysis

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Pequot War Analysis



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The Pequot War

The Pequot war was a war between the Europeans and the Pequot Indians. The only major problem with expanding the settlement was the Pequot Indians. Though, the feud had also involved other Indian tribes including the Mohegans; the Mohegans, however, shared. They traveled for hunting and gathering during spring and summer when it was warmer. During the Winter, they stayed cozied up in their villages. They first met the English in and the movement caused many problems between the two people. In fact, the first contact between the English and Pequot tribe. This date is the first one the historians choose because the battle at Mystic, it;s cause and effect, induced and set a pattern for the Americans and Indians future relationships with each other over the next two centuries.

The Massacre at Mystic challenges the reader to rekonsile the tragic irony of the American history. America is a nation found in high ideals that was also built on slaughter, destruction of epic portion of Native American population. When the Puritans arrived in New England. The Pequot War started in and ended in The war consisted of the Pequot people and a coalition of English settlers from the Massachusetts Bay. It was a brutal war and was the first sustained conflict between Native Americans and Europeans in northeastern North America.

The primary cause of the Pequot War was the struggle to control trade. The Dutch brought on economic, political, and cultural changes when they arrived on Long Island and in the Connecticut River valley at the beginning of the 17th century and of English traders and settlers in the early s. The world they entered into was dominated by the Pequot. The root of the Pequot War was the struggle for control of the fur and wampum trade in the Connecticut River valley. The situation was precarious because of the resentment held by the subservient Native American tribes for their Pequot overlords.

So, when the English wanted to join in on the scene, those other tribes sought alliance with them, shifting the balance of regional power. This brought conflict as the competition for control of trade escalated quickly. As tensions grew between all parties, the murder of trader John Oldham by the Manisses Indians of Block Island in July, resulted in a military response by the English of Massachusetts Bay that led directly to the Pequot War. This was the beginning of the Pequot War.

Get Access. Read More. The Great Colonial Hurricane of also placed a great deal of pressure on the harvests of that year, according to historian Katherine Grandjean, increasing competition for winter food supplies for several years afterwards throughout much of coastal Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. This in turn precipitated even greater tensions between the Pequots and English colonists who were ill-prepared to face periods of famine. A more proximate cause of the war was the killing of a trader named John Oldham who was attacked on a voyage to Block Island on July 20, He and several of his crew were killed and his ship was looted by Narragansett -allied Indians who sought to discourage settlers from trading with their Pequot rivals.

Oldham had a reputation as a trouble maker and had been exiled from Plymouth Colony shortly before the incident on Block Island. They knew that the Indians of Block Island were allies of the Eastern Niantics, who were allied with the Narragansetts, and they became suspicious of the Narragansetts. News of Oldham's death became the subject of sermons in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

Endecott's party of roughly 90 men sailed to Block Island and attacked two apparently abandoned Niantic villages. Most of the Niantic escaped, while two of Endecott's men were injured. The English claimed to have killed 14, but later Narragansett reports claimed that only one Indian was killed on the island. The Massachusetts Bay militia burned the villages to the ground. They carried away crops which the Niantic had stored for winter and destroyed what they could not carry. Endecott went on to Fort Saybrook. The English at Saybrook were not happy about the raid, but agreed that some of them would accompany Endecott as guides.

Endecott sailed along the coast to a Pequot village, where he repeated the previous year's demand for those responsible for the death of Stone, and now also for those who murdered Oldham. After some discussion, Endecott concluded that the Pequots were stalling and attacked, but most escaped into the woods. Endecott had his forces burn down the village and crops before sailing home. In the aftermath, the English of Connecticut Colony had to deal with the anger of the Pequots. The Pequots attempted to get their allies to join their cause, some 36 tributary villages, but were only partly effective. The traditional enemies of the Pequot, the Mohegan and the Narragansett, openly sided with the English. The Narragansetts had warred with and lost territory to the Pequots in Now their friend Roger Williams urged the Narragansetts to side with the English against the Pequots.

Through the autumn and winter, Fort Saybrook was effectively besieged. People who ventured outside were killed. As spring arrived in , the Pequots stepped up their raids on Connecticut towns. They killed six men and three women, a number of cattle and horses, and took two young girls captive. They were daughters of William Swaine and were later ransomed by Dutch traders. In May, leaders of Connecticut river towns met in Hartford, raised a militia, and placed Captain John Mason in command. Mason set out with ninety militia and seventy Mohegan warriors under Uncas; their orders were to directly attack the Pequot at their fort.

Underhill and Mason then sailed from Fort Saybrook to Narragansett Bay, a tactic intended to mislead Pequot spies along the shoreline into thinking that the English were not intending an attack. After gaining the support of Narragansetts, Mason and Underhill marched their forces with Uncas and Wequash Cooke approximately twenty miles towards Mistick Fort present-day Mystic. They briefly camped at Porter's Rocks near the head of the Mystic River before mounting a surprise attack just before dawn. The Mystic Massacre started in the pre-dawn hours of May 26, when Colonial forces led by Captains John Mason and John Underhill, along with their allies from the Mohegan and Narragansett tribes, surrounded one of two main fortified Pequot villages at Mistick.

Only 20 soldiers breached the palisade's gate and they were quickly overwhelmed, to the point that they used fire to create chaos and facilitate their escape. The ensuing conflagration trapped the majority of the Pequots; those who managed to escape the fire were slain by the soldiers and warriors who surrounded the fort. Mason later declared that the attack against the Pequots was the act of a God who "laughed his Enemies and the Enemies of his People to scorn", making the Pequot fort "as a fiery Oven", and "thus did the Lord judge among the Heathen.

The Narragansetts and Mohegans with Mason and Underhill's colonial militia were horrified by the actions and "manner of the Englishmen's fight… because it is too furious, and slays too many men. The destruction of people and the village at Mistick Fort and losing even more warriors during the withdrawal pursuit broke the Pequot spirit, and they decided to abandon their villages and flee westward to seek refuge with the Mohawk tribe.

Sassacus led roughly warriors along the coast; when they crossed the Connecticut River, the Pequots killed three men whom they encountered near Fort Saybrook. They caught up with the refugees at Sasqua, a Mattabesic village near present-day Fairfield, Connecticut. The English surrounded the swamp and allowed several hundred to surrender, mostly women and children, but Sassacus slipped out before dawn with perhaps eighty warriors and continued west.

Sassacus and his followers had hoped to gain refuge among the Mohawk in present-day New York. However, the Mohawk instead murdered him and his bodyguard, afterwards sending his head and hands to Hartford for reasons which were never made clear. In September, the Mohegans and Narragansetts met at the General Court of Connecticut and agreed on the disposition of the Pequot survivors. The agreement is known as the first Treaty of Hartford and was signed on September 21, Other Pequots were enslaved and shipped to Bermuda or the West Indies, or were forced to become household slaves in English households in Connecticut and Massachusetts Bay. Let the whole Earth be filled with his glory! Thus the lord was pleased to smite our Enemies in the hinder Parts, and to give us their Land for an Inheritance.

This was the first instance wherein Algonquian peoples of southern New England encountered European-style warfare. After the Pequot War, there were no significant battles between Indians and southern New England colonists for about 38 years. This long period of peace came to an end in with King Philip's War. According to historian Andrew Lipman, the Pequot War introduced the practice of Colonists and Indians taking body parts as trophies of battle. The earliest accounts of the Pequot War were written within one year of the war. Later histories recounted events from a similar perspective, restating arguments first used by military leaders such as John Underhill and John Mason , as well as Puritans Increase Mather and his son Cotton Mather.

Recent historians and others have reviewed these accounts. In , an artist and archaeologist teamed up to evaluate the sequence of events in the Pequot War. Their popular history took issue with events and whether John Mason and John Underhill wrote the accounts that appeared under their names. Most modern historians do not debate questions of the outcome of the battle or its chronology, such as Alfred A. Cave , a specialist in the ethnohistory of colonial America. However, Cave contends that Mason and Underhill's eyewitness accounts, as well as the contemporaneous histories of Mather and Hubbard, were more "polemical than substantive. Vaughan writes that the Pequots were not "solely or even primarily responsible" for the war. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

New England. Pequot War. Mystic Fairfield. Main article: Mystic massacre. Bureau of Ethnology 43 : For historical research, refer to Alfred A. Spiero and Bruce E. Snow and Kim M. Tweedy 5 Oct Indian Country Today.

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