Narratives of the Indian Wars, 1675-1699

Narratives of the Indian Wars, 1675-1699

Narratives of the Indian Wars, 1675-1699

Narratives of the Indian Wars, 1675-1699

Excerpt

Few students of American colonial history have failed to observe the difference in method employed by France and by England in their respective efforts to control the new continent. The government at Paris sent out its colonists, took much interest in their welfare, and weakened them by its excessive care. The English immigrants came to America of their own accord, developed along paths of their own choosing, and prospered under British neglect.

As the mother country treated her representatives in America so the colonists treated the Indians. From his arrival on the St. Lawrence the Frenchman regarded the Indian as a possible friend, and joined with him in his wars as well as in his hunting expeditions. No efforts were spared to cement an alliance between the two races, an alliance which gave the profits of the fur-trade to France and enabled the French in America to resist for a hundred and fifty years a much greater number of English rivals. Very different was the behavior of the New Englander toward the Indian. Nothing could induce him to regard the red man as an equal, although in no English colony save Pennsylvania was the Indian better treated. Massachusetts tried to educate the Indian, endeavored to convert him to Christianity, traded with him, and fought with him, but neither people felt at home in the presence of the other.

In another and not less vital way the policies of the French and English toward the Indians differed. The French were directed by a single head, and under that direction maintained a consistent attitude toward their neighbors. The English, lacking the direction of an efficient central government, fol-

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