Commonwealth Museum – Gallery One Exhibit, 1630 to 1763

The Commonwealth Museum, located within the Massachusetts Archives at 220 Williams T. Morrissey Blvd, in Boston, includes a display of Native and colonial history in Gallery One. Click here for a five-minute segment of the video tour. Click here for the entire 21-minute video of the tour. Click here for a Director’s Tour on June 1, 2023 organized by the Partnership for Historic Bostons.

(Above) A very brief story of the First People in what is today the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is displayed in Gallery One of the first floor exhibit in the Museum. Click on the other pictures for a larger version.

(Above, left) The history of King Philip’s War is summarized and includes several documents, including (right) the 1675 order of the Massachusetts Colony forcing all Native people onto Deer Island and instructions to Daniel Gookin that James Printer should show friendship for the Colonists by “bringing some of the Indians’ heads.” (Center) A quote from Metacomet in writings by Quaker John Eastman on June 16, 1675 states: “They said when the English first came, their king’s father was as a great man, and the English were as a little child; he prevented other Indians from wronging the English, and gave them corn and showed them how to plant, and let them have 100 times more land than now the king had for his own people.”

(Above, left) A 1644 order that all Natives should disarm. (Above, center) A 1661 letter by John Eliot requesting 2,000 more acres of land for the Natick praying town. (Above, right) A copy of the statement on August 30, 1675 that anyone “that shall finde any Indian travelling or skulking in any of our Towns or Woods . . .to command them under their Guard, and Examination, or to kill and destroy them as they best may or can.” Click here for a summary of all such orders