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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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“Indians we have received into our houses”

“Indians we have received into our houses”

Pequot War Captives in New England Households

(p.60) Chapter 3 “Indians we have received into our houses”
Brethren by Nature

Margaret Ellen Newell

Cornell University Press

This chapter considers the interactions between Pequot Indian captives and the English. The Indians' presence in homes, streets, inns, churches, stores, and fields forged a hybrid society where Indians and Europeans came into daily contact at all social levels. They shaped each other's lives and institutions in post-Pequot War New England, and not just in the emerging New England culture of labor. Indians formed friendships and sexual relationships with servants and neighbors; they exchanged work and food technologies, information and tactics, fears and confidences. Their presence prompted changes in labor law and control. Indians attended English churches and schools, including Harvard; they exposed English observers to Indian religious practices, funerary rites, and other important Native American communal rituals. Indians and English raised and nursed each other's children, sharing intimate elements of their family lives. By taking Pequot captives, English colonists did not distance themselves from Indians but instead linked themselves to them.

Keywords:   Indian slavery, Indian slaves, Indian captives, Pequot Indians, servitude, English households, New England, Native Americans

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