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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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“Such a servant is part of her Master’s estate”

“Such a servant is part of her Master’s estate”

Acculturation, Resistance, and the Making of a Hybrid Society

Chapter:
(p.85) Chapter 4 “Such a servant is part of her Master’s estate”
Source:
Brethren by Nature
Author(s):

Margaret Ellen Newell

Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:10.7591/cornell/9780801434150.003.0005

This chapter examines the assimilation and rejection of English culture by Pequot Indian captives. The slaves who acculturated enough to understand the society and system in which they now had to operate had some advantages, including success at creating new social bonds to replace the ones lost through captivity. However, the very act of acculturation also meant at least temporarily severing ties to one's own past, family, and meaningful ethical and spiritual universes—or, if not severing, then learning new beliefs, words, and behaviors well enough to operate in both worlds. This might make reintegration into the old sociocultural system difficult. It also might erode the sense of separate identity that helped captives and enslaved persons resist their captors' efforts to define them. Pequot captives confronted all these choices and made different decisions.

Keywords:   Indian slavery, Indian slaves, Indian captives, Pequot Indians, acculturation, English culture, assimilation

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