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Indian Affairs
Digital History ID 97



The history of Native Americans is commonly viewed as tragedy. Indian history, from this point of view, is the story of declining population, lost homelands, and cultural dislocation. There is, however a much more positive side to this history. This is a story of cultural persistence and survival in the face of extraordinary challenges, dislocations, and population loss. Despite the destructive effects of disease, Native Americans maintained a remarkable capacity for resistance and independent action.


...It is Represented to us yesterday the damage that we have done in Virginia, in destroying your goods and People, & in taking of your women and children Captives &c. we Confess to have done so But there is a Covenant made 2 Year ago with Colonel Coursey in the Presence of his honor the governor that we might freely come towards your Plantations, when we went out a fighting to our Indian Enemies to Refresh our selves if we were hungry, & we came there, & got nothing, then we took Indian Corn and Tobacco, whereupon the English coming out shot some of our People dead, and afterwards wee defended ourselves out of which these disasters are Proceeded, You say that it is our faults, and we think that the firing upon us is the Occasion....

Yesterday it was told us, that which is already Past is forgiven, for which we do thank you, Yea we thank you heartily, and Confess that the Pole or Stake of unity hath been fallen, but now Reared up again; Let all that which is Past not only be forgotten but be Buried in a Pit of oblivion, yea I say in a Bottomless Pitt where a Strong Currunt of a River Runs through, that which is now thrown in it, may never appear more.... 2.

We have understood Yesterday, that if wee come nigh any Christians in your Country, that we must Stand Still, and lay down our armes. Tis good, we accept of it. But let it not be of so bad a Consequences as Colonel Coursey saying was, for he said Likeways, that we might come there as friends, when we went out fighting against our Indian Enemies, But our going thither did bring these disasters. Let us have Victuals when we go fighting against our foresaid Enemys....

Source: Gilder Lehrman Institute

Additional information: Propositions of Col. Wm. Kendall authorized by the Governour, Council and Burgesses of Virginia

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