Chapter 4. White Men and Red

Skin color

A curse on our country is the belief that skin color is significant. To the cursed, physical appearances mean everything. The cursed imagine they see a color for each race. The color is a sign of inherent differences, they think, that show how “white” people are superior.

John Lawson’s opinion of the Indians of North Carolina

He heaped admiration upon them for both their physical and mental abilities, but, still, he called them savages.

First Indian war

The Plymouth Colony had an agreement with Chief Massasoit of the Wampanoag, which the Wampanoag thought protected their people and lands, but the agreement didn’t limit what the colonists could take from the Wampanoags and neighboring tribes. After Massasoit died, and his first son died, his second son, Metacomet, tried to live with the colonists’ demands, but the colonists continued to take more and more, so he began to work on opposing them militarily. Tensions resulted in violence after John Sassamon, a native who had adopted Christianity and had graduated from Harvard College, informed the Plymouth colony governor that Metacomet had been planning to gather Indian allies and to attack dispersed colonial settlements. Sassamon was killed, and three Wampanoags were arrested, tried for the murder, and hanged. After that, the Pokanokets destroyed the settlement of Swansea. Then the colonists destroyed the Wampanoag town at Mount Hope. Podunk and Nipmuc tribes joined the fight. Eventually, Indians destroyed twelve towns and caused widespread damage and loss of lives, but the Wampanoags were attacked both by the colonists and the Mohawks, and were left without land.


The Narragansetts were neutral on the conflict between the Plymouth colony and the Wampanoags, but their neutrality didn’t matter. After the war started, the colonists accused Narragansetts of joining the Wampanoag in attacking colonial settlements, and sheltering Wampanoag warriors and their families. A large militia of colonists was raised, and they slaughtered about six hundred Narragansetts.

Indian captivity

She praised God for saving her from the “merciless heathen.” Indian guns killed her child but God showed His wonderful power in giving her a spirit to bear her affliction.

Indian wars

They didn’t have any rights, so they chose to fight.


The bounty for an Indian’s head was four shillings and sixpence but during the King Philip’s war the bounty was raised. Thirty shillings got Philip’s head stuck on a pike in Plymouth. King Philip was named Metacomet chief of the Wampanoag.

Indian adoption

Canafatauga and Delaware conducted guerrilla warfare from Fort Duquesne in Pennsylvania in league with the French against the English. They captured James Smith about eighteen years old and adopted him after a hazing into the Delaware tribe. He was amazed because the Indians subjected their other captives, having defeated General Braddock and his troops, to cruel torture and death. They pulled out Smith’s hair except for a topknot, which they braided and decorated with silver brooches; they pierced his ears and nose, washed him in the river, painted and dressed him finely, and adopted him with smoking of tobacco and a speech by the old chief.