Dispossession by Degrees: Indian Land and Identity in Natick, Massachusetts, 1650-1790

Dispossession by Degrees: Indian Land and Identity in Natick, Massachusetts, 1650-1790

Dispossession by Degrees: Indian Land and Identity in Natick, Massachusetts, 1650-1790

Dispossession by Degrees: Indian Land and Identity in Natick, Massachusetts, 1650-1790

Synopsis

Despite popular belief, Native peoples did not simply disappear from colonial New England as the English extended their domination in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Rather, the Native peoples in such places as Natick, Massachusetts, creatively resisted colonialism, defended their lands, and rebuilt kin networks and community through the strategic use of English cultural practices and institutions. So why did New England settlers believe that the Native peoples had vanished? In this thoroughly researched and astutely argued study, historian Jean M. O'Brien reveals that, in the late eighteenth century, the Natick tribe experienced a process of "dispossession by degrees," which rendered them invisible within the larger context of the colonial social order, thus enabling the construction of the myth of Indian extinction.
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