Perishing Heathens: Stories of Protestant Missionaries and Christian Indians in Antebellum America

By Julius H. Rubin | Go to book overview

PREFACE

At the top of a hill in the southeast corner of Connecticut’s Old Durham Cemetery stands a solitary grave marker, set apart from those of whites, the original English settlers and their successors—proprietors, goodwives, children, and servants. It is also sequestered from an adjacent section of graves designated for African American servants and slaves. Located at the margins of this community of the dead, apart from those who enjoyed varying degrees of social standing, property, and privilege in life, the marker reads,

Ann
Cornelius
A Indian Girl
died Dec’ 9th
1776 Aged
19 Years.

Who was this “Indian girl”? What tribe and natal community did she hail from? How did she come to reside in Durham and with whom? What can we discover about her brief life and the meaning of her Christian Indian identity? How did she die? Who paid the considerable sum for her carved gravestone?

-xi-

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