28 September 2012
Native Americans and Colonists
Native Americans and English colonists are two distinct groups that were in conflict. The colonists came to America to establish a better life for themselves, their family, and freedom to practice their faith. However, the Indians did not agree with their way of thinking of God and wanted the settlers to follow their own way of belief in God. As expressed in the three works Tecumseh, Richard Frethorne, and Mary Rowlandson, we will explore the causes and effects of the conflict between the Native Americans and English Colonists. When the English colonists came to America they encountered a new cultural clash with the Native Americans. As a result they were constantly in conflict with each other because of their misunderstanding of each others way of life, culture, and beliefs.
In the work of Tecumseh we see how the Indian treated the English settlers. They tried to help them but unfortunately, the English did not appreciate their help and were greedy for more. In addition, according to Tecumseh speech to the “Osages” he says, “nothing will satisfy them but the whole of our hunting grounds” (217). Some of the Native Americans gave Colonists a place, medicine, skin to sleep on, food to eat, and land to hunt and to plant their own food. However, others were very crude to Mary Rowlandson family because they killed many of her close family and friends. The conflict between the two groups did not end without bloodshed and sacrifice for what they believed and understood to be the truth. The Puritans taught and believed that they were the chosen people of God and if anything good or bad happened to them, it was the will of God. On the other hand, the Indians did not think the same way. Therefore there was a conflict of thinking that brought misunderstanding between the two groups. The Indians looked upon the English as an enemy because they wanted to take over their lands. In Tecumseh’s speech, he speaks to his followers the following: “We ourselves are threatened with great Evil” (217). The great evil that Tecumseh talks about is the English settlers because some wanted to kill Native Americans to take over all their lands. All that the Englishman had received from the Indians was not enough for them for if they would have recognized their blessing’s they would have lived in peace with each other. Unfortunately, pride came to rule over them which brought about conflict of misunderstanding.
In Richard Frethorne’s letter to his “Loving and Kind Father and Mother” he writes primarily to his parents complaining about his situation in America. Frethorne was an English servant who sold himself as an indentured servant so he can come to America to work and make money. Unfortunately, Richard Frethorne had many misunderstandings of what kind of life he would have in America unlike his experience of life back in England. Richard Frethorne explains to his parents how he is treated in America as followed, “ I do protest unto you that I have eaten more in one day at home in England than I have allowed me here for a week in America” (60). Those who were servants during the early sixteen century worked very hard and received very little in return. Richard Frethorne finds his situation helpless so he asks for his parents help. Moreover, adding to Frethone frustration and misunderstanding he is troubled by the Native Americans coming into their own land and killing many of his English friends. For Example, Richard Frethorne in his letter to his parents complains, “We are but thirty-two to fight against three thousand men if they should come” (60). Richard Frethone exaggerates to his parents on how many Indians are fighting against the colonist? They are few compared to the Indians. Again, Richard Frethorne compares the battle like Gilead. For Instance, Frethorne says, “For the fact that God is merciful and can save with few as well as with many as He...
Cited: Castro, Wendy Lucas. Stripped: Clothing and Identity in Colonial Captivity Narratives. “Early American Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal” 6.1 (Spring 2008) 104-136. Web. 24 September 2012.
Frethorne Richard, “Letter to his Father and Mother”. (1623). The Records of the Virginia Company of London (Washington,D.C.: Government Printing office, 1935), 4:58-62. Print.
Rowlandson Mary, “A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson.” The Norton Anthology American Literature. Shorter 7th ed. Ed. Reidhead Julia. New York, NY: Norton & Company, Inc, 2008. Pg. 118-134. Print.
Tecumseh. "Speech to the Osages." The Norton Anthology. Ed. Reidhead, Julia. New York, NY: Norton & Company, Inc, 2008. Pg. 217-218. Print.
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