Native Christianity in 17th Century New England

University of Pittsburgh History Professor James Hill summarized the history of attempts to establish Christianity among the Native People in New England during the latter half of the 17th century in a 24-minute YouTube video on August 12, 2020. Dr. Hill began with a description of how John Eliot and Thomas Mayhew Jr. worked to establish 14 Praying Towns (see map, above) in which Native people could be converted to English culture as well as the practice of Christianity. Eliot published the first book in New England in 1663, a translation of the Bible in the Native language. King Philip’s War brought the conversion practice to a halt when the Praying Town inhabitants were forcibly moved to Deer Island where most of them died of exposure. Those engaged in the war against the English were either driven out or enslaved in the Caribbean. Some survivors managed to merge into the colonial economy through work as crew and even captains of whaling ships in the 18th century. Click here for the video of his talk.