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William Apess And The Mashpee Revolt

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William Apess and the Mashpee Revolt

Growing up in multiple homes and struggling with alcoholism would have dampened the spirit of any man, but William Apess used his misfortunes to strengthen his will to fight for what he believed in. His Pequot ancestry and their demise as an Indian nation, along with his Christian beliefs led him to unprecedented territory in the struggle for the proper treatment and equality of all people. His most notable accomplishment involving the Mashpee revolution places him at the top of the elite in oratory and literary protesting.
The Pequot tribe inhabited most of Southeastern Connecticut when the colonists arrived to the new world. The Pequot were among the most feared tribes in Southern New England in relation to the colonists. Actually, the name “Pequot” is of Algonquian descent and translates to mean “destroyers”. As the Pequot were migrating westward continuous altercations with the colonists arose. One incident in particular led to the murder of an English man believed to be a traitor by the Pequot. John Endicott, of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, organized an attack against the Pequot in retaliation for the murder of the alleged traitor, John Oldham. On May 26, 1637 the Pequot were attacked by some colonists as well as the Pequot former tribesmen the Mohegan and Uncas. Nearly all the Pequot villages were burned and nearly all of the Pequot were killed. Some small groups did escape but most were found and either murdered or sold into slavery to other Indian nations as well as residents of the West Indies. After the “Pequot War”, the Pequot name was all but eliminated giving way to the Mohegan. The pride of the Pequot people and their immense hatred of the Mohegan tribe were very prevalent t...


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...pess is arguably the most influential oratory and literary objector to the mistreatment of minorities, and specifically Native Americans.

Hutchins, F. G. Mashpee: The Story of the Cape Cod Indian Town. New Hampshire:
Amarta Press, 1979
Cave, A. Alfred. The Pequot War. Massachusetts: University of Massachusetts press,
1996
Connell, Barry O'., Dictionary of Literary Biography, Native American Writers of the United States. Ed. Kenneth M. Roemer. Vol. 175. Detroit. Gale Research Co., 1997.

Reuben, Paul P. "Chapter 3: William Apess " PAL: Perspectives in American Literature- A Research and Reference Guide. WWW URL: 04-10-2008

Tiro, Karim M., "Denominated "Savage" :Methodism, Writing and Identity in the Works of William Apess, A Pequot." American Quarterly. American Studies Association, 1996.



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