By Amy E. Den Ouden
Via concentrating on the advanced cultural and political points of local resistance to encroachment on reservation lands through the eighteenth century in southern New England, past Conquest reconceptualizes indigenous histories and debates over place of birth rights. As Amy E. Den Ouden demonstrates, Mohegans, Pequots, and Niantics dwelling on reservations in New London County, Connecticut—where the most important indigenous inhabitants within the colony resided—were less than siege through colonists who hired a number of skill to expropriate reserved lands. Natives have been additionally subjected to the rules of a colonial executive that sought to strictly regulate them and that undermined place of origin rights by means of depicting reservation populations as culturally and politically illegitimate. even supposing colonial strategies of rule occasionally incited inner disputes between local men and women, reservation groups and their leaders engaged in sophisticated and occasionally overt acts of resistance to dispossession, hence demonstrating the facility of historic cognizance, cultural connections to land, and ties to neighborhood family. The Mohegans, for instance, boldly challenged colonial authority and its land encroachment guidelines in 1736 through maintaining a “great dance,” within which they publicly affirmed the management of Mahomet and, with the help in their Pequot and Niantic allies, articulated their reason to proceed their criminal case opposed to the colony. Beyond Conquest demonstrates how the present Euroamerican scrutiny and denial of neighborhood Indian identities is a tradition with an extended heritage in southern New England, one associated with colonial notions of cultural—and eventually “racial”—illegitimacy that emerged within the context of eighteenth-century disputes concerning place of birth rights.
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Extra resources for Beyond conquest: Native peoples and the struggle for history in New England
8000 ——— Normal P PgEnds: , (28 Dilemmas of Conquest 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 edged. This, of course, is another point expressed by the Mohegans’ 1736 leadership ceremony, at which they named a woman, Anne, as their sachem or sunksquaw. 36 An Eastern Pequot leader, Mary Momoho, protested encroachment on the Stonington reservation during the ﬁrst half of the eighteenth century, informing colonial legislators in one of her petitions that “we suppose there will be some pleas made that wee are almost all dead & indeed so we be but yet wee have Thirty three men yet alive .
In the vision of nineteenth-century New England historian William Weeden: “that great awakening of the human mind, the new birth of man, which no term fully embodies, which no single movement, not even the Reformation, could contain, swept over the Aryan races, impelling them to new explorations, new conquests of their mother earth” (Weeden 1963:2–3). ” Weeden’s conquerors are not simply white and ﬁnally American; they are the representation of humanity – more “native” to colonized terrain than indigenous people.
Ind 1st, 1:101; see chapter 5) Such manipulations of reservation communities’ internal affairs reﬂect, to borrow Gerald Sider’s phrase, the “peculiar intimacy” of colonial domination (Sider 1987:11). For it was, ultimately, the dismantling and destruction of reservation communities themselves (what came to be referred to as detribalization) that was required to make reservation land fully “accessible” to colonists. The ties to kin and locality that held reservation communities together and lent authority to their leaders (as the 1736 Mohegan leadership ceremony so explicitly announced) were a source of power, creating possibilities for resistance that were not necessarily a triﬂing matter for the Connecticut government.