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Brethren by NatureNew England Indians, Colonists, and the Origins of American Slavery$
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Margaret Ellen Newell

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780801434150

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801434150.001.0001

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“I doe not see how wee can thrive untill wee gett into a stock of slaves”

“I doe not see how wee can thrive untill wee gett into a stock of slaves”

Slavery in the Puritan Atlantic World

(p.43) Chapter 2 “I doe not see how wee can thrive untill wee gett into a stock of slaves”
Brethren by Nature

Margaret Ellen Newell

Cornell University Press

This chapter considers the justifications for Indian slavery in the seventeenth century. Foremost among these rationales was the need for labor both in New England and in the Atlantic and Caribbean plantations where Puritans established trade and personal ties. Pequot Indian captives represented a crucial source of workers at a time when colonists desperately needed them. Ultimately, neither moral nor legal considerations checked the move to Indian slavery. Even ministers closely concerned with evangelization of Native Americans seldom went on the record against Indian slavery in the seventeenth century. Indeed, many clergymen themselves wanted Indian slaves. Reducing Indians to servitude offered a solution to labor shortages and a means of punishing, controlling, or acculturating local native populations.

Keywords:   Indian slavery, Indian slaves, Pequot Indians, servitude, English colonists, New England, slave labor

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