Colonists, Indians & Slavery in Early New England
sponsored by the Racial Justice Initiative
Within 17 years of their arrival in New England, the Pilgrims were taking Indians captive, binding them into labor for individual colonial families, and trading others into the Atlantic slave trade. In this class, we will discuss the book Brethren by Nature: New England Indians, Colonists, and the Origins of American Slavery, published in 2015. The author, Margaret Ellen Newell, professor of History at Ohio State University, meticulously researched our earliest colonial history.
Newell’s research gives us a much fuller understanding of our spiritual ancestors’ relations with the indigenous population among whom they settled, providing us a deeper understanding of the holocaust that Indians in New England faced. In open class discussions, we will focus on two questions. 1. How do we reconcile the facts uncovered by this new research with what we learned in childhood about the Pilgrims? 2. How do we now spiritually connect to our Congregationalist forbears, both early Pilgrims, and their Abolitionist descendants?
This book study class is sponsored by the Racial Justice Initiative, for the purpose of increasing our knowledge about our Congregational history. Such knowledge aids us in the task of furthering social, economic, and racial justice, as well as deepening our understanding of our faith tradition.
We will read 2 chapters per week, over 5 weeks, and follow an open discussion format in class.