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Michael J. Simpson @the_aquidneck
, 20 tweets, 13 min read Read on Twitter
1/ Inspired by @bobplain, here is an #OTD in #RhodeIsland history: On this day, December 19th, in 1675, a ​major ​battle ​in #KingPhilipsWar took place known as ​the ​#GreatSwamp​Massacre. This fight ​topped ​any previous ​brutality ​by ​English ​soldiers ​in ​colonial ​wars...
2/ ...​prior like #PequotWar & #KieftsWar. ​Formally ​neutral ​in the ​war ​in ​early ​1675, ​the ​#NarragansettIndians' territory ​had ​served ​as ​a ​safe ​haven ​4 ​wounded #Native​American, ​mostly #Wampanoag, ​soldiers ​fighting ​in ​the ​conflict. ​The #UnitedColonies...
3/ ...(aka #MassachusettsBay, @Plimoth, #Connecticut & #NewHaven) ​demanded ​the ​#NarragansettIndians ​turn ​over ​these ​combatants, but the natives delayed any formal response. ​John ​Easton, in his "A Relation of the Indian Warr" ​wrote ​that ​soon ​after ​this ​refusal...
4/ ...​the #​United​Colonies ​sent ​a ​letter ​2 ​#RhodeIsland ​that ​resolved ​“2 reduce ​the ​Narragansetts ​2 ​conformity, ​so ​as ​not ​2 ​be ​troubled ​with ​them anymore,” ​& ​on ​September ​9th, ​1675, ​they ​formally ​declared ​war ​on ​the #NarragansettIndians.
5/ (Here is a digital version of that text.)…
6/ @Increafe​Mather ​wrote ​in his "A Brief History of the Warr with the Indians in New-England" that ​a ​month ​later, ​the ​English ​received ​intelligence that ​“the ​Narragansets ​were ​resolved ​(if ​they ​could) ​to ​destroy ​the ​English ​: ​but ​they were [​loat
7/ he] ​to ​begin ​to ​fall ​upon ​them ​before ​winter, ​but ​in ​the ​Spring ​when ​they should ​have ​the ​leaves ​of ​trees ​and ​Swamps ​to ​befriend ​them, ​they ​would ​doe ​it.”
8/ (& here is a digital version of that text, again.)…
9/ The ​English ​quickly ​gathered ​their ​forces ​at ​#BostonMA, ​and ​marched ​2 @smithscastle, ​the ​trading ​post of ​#Richard​Smith ​in ​modern-day ​#NorthKingstownRI, ​2 ​wait ​4 ​Connecticut ​forces ​2 attack ​what ​they ​believed ​to ​be ​a ​#NarragansettIndian...
10/ ...​stronghold. @IncreafeMather's relation ​of ​the attack ​on ​#Great​Swamp ​mirrored ​earlier ​battles ​like ​the ​#MysticMassacre ​& the #​Pound​RidgeMassacre, ​where ​soldiers ​stormed ​the ​fort ​& ​resolved ​2 ​burn it ​down, ​w ​its ​inhabitants ​captured ​inside.
11/ @IncreafeMather wrote: “The ​Indians ... ​fought ​stoutly, ​but ​were ​at ​last beat ​out ​of ​their ​Fort, ​which ​was ​taken ​by ​the ​English. There ​were ​100s ​of #Wigwams ​(or ​Indian ​houses) within ​the ​Fort, ​which ​our ​Souldiers ​set ​on ​fire, ​in ​the which...
12/ ...​men, ​women ​& ​Children ​(no ​man ​knoweth ​how many ​100s ​of ​them) ​were ​burnt ​to ​death.” @IncreafeMather ​continued ​on, ​speculating ​at ​the ​true ​level ​of ​destruction ​caused ​by the ​English ​soldiers, ​“many ​men, ​women ​& ​children ​were ​burned ​in...
13/ ...​their #Wigwams, ​but ​they ​neither ​knew, ​nor ​could ​conjecture ​how ​many ​: ​it ​is ​supposed that ​not ​less ​then ​a ​1000 ​#Indian ​Souls ​perished ​at ​that ​time.”
14/ Not ​all were ​killed: ​​several ​prisoners were taken ​2 be ​enslaved. ​Along ​w ​land ​gained ​by ​conquest, ​monetary ​benefits ​of selling ​these ​captives ​was a ​lucrative ​reason ​4 ​English ​colonists’ conflicts ​w ​the ​#Native​Americans ​of #NarragansettBay.
15/ These ​3 ​conflicts, ​the #​Pequot​War, #​KieftsWar ​& #KingPhilipsWar, represented ​3 ​attempts ​by ​#NativeAmerican ​peoples ​2 ​resist ​European ​colonies ​in #​New​England ​& #NewNetherland. ​Indeed, ​all 3 ​shared ​military ​tactics, ​even military leaders.
16/ ​These ​bloody conflicts ​were ​all ​part ​of ​a ​system ​of ​empire ​perpetrated ​by ​these ​European ​settlers, working ​2 ​extend ​their ​conquest ​as ​far ​as ​they ​could ​into ​the ​lands ​of ​the #NativeAmericans.
17/ Distinct from the #NativeAmericans of #NarragansettBay's way of war, which refused to kill women, children & elderly, the English way was a ​broad ​war ​of ​#genocide, ​that ​served ​as ​a ​mechanism ​for ​the colonists ​to ​attempt ​to ​eradicate ​#Native ​American...
18/ ...​peoples not only ​fm ​the ​record ​but also ​fm the ​very ground ​they ​stood ​on. They ​continued 2 #resist, ​& ​remained ​in ​the ​record, however, regardless ​of ​the ​tenacity ​of ​the ​bias ​of ​past ​#historians.
19/ No ​matter ​the ​brutality, ​the #Native​Americans ​of ​Narragansett ​Bay ​remained ​steadfast, ​& ​worked ​2 ​fight ​the softer, ​slower ​attempts ​at ​extinction ​through #PaperGenocide ​that ​continued throughout ​the ​centuries ​after ​these ​wars.
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