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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Native American genocide - Blood and Soil

This is part of my blog-a-book series on Ben Kiernan's Blood and Soil. I live near the two large American Indian, Mohegan and Mashantucket, casinos. The Mashantucket Pequots suffered genocide from English colonists when they were attacked in their walled village (picture) and the colonists killed all ages and genders by steel and lead and fire (original sources) in May, 1637. This scenario repeated on larger and larger scales as the Europeans spread further west. As in German south west Africa, missionaries who had identified with the nations they tried to convert protested to no avail. Even converted tribes were not spared.
In 1779, Washington [D.C.] had also decided “to carry the war into the Heart of the Country of the six nations” of the Iroquois northwest,” to ruin their crops now in the ground and prevent them planting.” That fall, General John Sullivan burned down 40 Iroquois towns and destroyed 160,000 bushels of corn. An Onondaga chief complained that American forces attacking his town had “put to death all the Women and Children, excepting some of the Yong Women, whom they carried away for the use of their soldiers and were afterwards put to death in a more shameful manner.”
During the Revolution, Pennsylvania paid $1,000 each for both male and females Indian scalps. In 1781, fearing Indian attack, the American commander Brodhead recruited 150 Pennsylvania militiamen “who considered killing Indians the same as hunting wild animals.” They marched on the Delaware capital at Coshocton, capturing 15 warriors, whom the Americans bound and then executed with tomahawks. One militia unit turned its sights on Delawares who had become Moravian Christians, but Brodhead intervened to stop the attack. Then, in February 1782, frontier Indians killed a white man, a woman, and a child. Colonel James Marshall, the military commander in Washington County of western Pennsylvania, ordered Lieutenant Colonel David Williamson and 160 militiamen to raid the Moravian Delaware community at Gnadenhutten. On March 8, as the 90 unarmed Indian captives prayed for their lives, the American militiamen beat them all to death and scalped them…The victims included 61 women and children. An observer stated that “they killed rather deliberately the Innocent with the guilty and it is liely the majority was the former.” Williamson subsequently obtained promotion, and never stood trial for his crime of murdering Indians because of their race. (325-6)
Read more on genocide, human rights, book reports, missions, missionary and history.

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