Settler Colonization and Indian Slavery in 17th Century Sowams

The goal of the English was to colonize New England by acquiring full or partial political control over Native societies and territories, founding a colony, occupying it with settlers, and exploiting it economically.  Compared to other settlements on the East Coast of America, this was relatively easy to do in New England because of the assistance of the Pokanoket Tribe. The Thanksgiving myth, the story that every child in America has been told, serves to hide the reality of the invasion: Though indigenous people were here in 1620, they rapidly disappeared over the next 75 years through disease, war, export for slavery and dispersal. Few English ever lamented this loss, and most celebrated the emptying of a vast frontier for economic expansion. In this 19-minute YouTube video, Sowams Heritage Area Project Coordinator Dr. David Weed describes the evolution of Indian slavery in and around Sowams, the home of the Massasoit Osamequin.

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