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Turns of the Centuries Exhibit > Native American Indians 1780-1820
This theme in other eras: 1680-1720 | 1780-1820 | 1880-1920

Native American Indians 1780-1820

1780-1820Native American Indians

As white populations surged around them, Algonkian people in New England--Wampanoag, Mohegan, Pequot, Narragansett, Nipmuc, Scaghticoke, Mahican, Abenaki, Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, Micmac, Maliseet, and many others-- lived what seemed to their white neighbors to be marginal existences. Local histories and newspapers began to interpret the deaths of elderly Native individuals as part of a more general death or disappearance of Native Americans as a people. Even as this "last of the Indians" myth of disappearance gained strength, written records, including tribal records, government documents, and family papers reveal a persistent and continuous Native American presence in New England. The life and writings of William Apes (1798-1839), a Pequot preacher, provide rare insights into Native life and community. Apes drew attention to racism and legal injustices, revealing the sophistication of Native peoples' understanding of their situation.

William Apes, a Pequot, from his book "A Son of the Forest," 1831

See the Digital Collection for further information.

Explore these subthemes to better understand Native American Indians at this time.

Place in Time

Place in Time : "A martyr to his cause"

William Apess was a Pequot man who spoke out for Native people in an era of discrimination and abuse.

Two Worlds

Two Worlds : Continuity and Persistence

The life and writings of William Apess reveal a persistent and continuous Native American presence in southern New England.

Points of Contact

Points of Contact : Traveling Old Trails

A visit to their Deerfield, Massachusetts relations drew attention to a group of Abenaki moving through their traditional homelands.


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