In 1623, the Jamestown Colonists passed legislation that indicated their hostility
toward the indigenous people. Act 32 states:
that at the beginning of July next the inhabitants of every corporation shall
fall upon their adjoining savages, as we did last year, those that shall be hurt
upon services, to be cured at the public charge; in case any to be lamed to be
maintained by the country according to his person and quality.
That same year, "Mather the Elder" delivered a sermon in Plymouth in which he gave
special thanks to God for the devastating plague of
smallpox which wiped out the majority of the Wampanoag
who had been their benefactors. He praised God
for destroying "chiefly young men and children, the very
seeds of increase, thus clearing the forests to make way
for a better growth", i.e., the Pilgrims. This was the real type of
"thanksgiving" that the Pilgrims were offering their god in the 1600's.
In 1624 English soldiers killed 800 defenseless men, women, and children in their own village.
About this time, Virginia's governor William Berkley proposed a plan to kill all
the male indigenous people, and to sell the women and children into slavery. He
calculated that the price they would get for selling the women and children would
more than cover the costs of killing the men.
In 1626 the Dutch founded New Amsterdam (later New York). It was the Dutch who
introduced the barbaric practice of scalping into the land. Ironically, this
practice which was perpetrated upon the indigenous people would later come to be
attributed to the indigenous "savages"!
In 1630 Boston was founded. In sharp contrast to the true democracy practiced by
the indigenous people, voting rights in Boston were granted only to members of the
In 1636 a Colonist by the name of John Oldham was killed by some among the
Narragansett people indigenous to Block Island (off the coast of what is now
known as Rhode Island). The Colonists immediately retaliated by killing
more than a dozen Narragansett people (whether or not they had anything to do with
the murder of Oldham.)
Despite the fact that the Narragansett promised to bring Oldham's killers to
justice (and sent 200 warriors to Block Island to carry out the promise), the
Puritan leaders saw it as an opportunity to spill more blood. They attacked Block Island
with a force of 100 soldiers, but only managed to kill the few Narragansett who
were unable to flee. So they contented themselves with burning houses and crops.
The soldiers then headed back to the mainland where their governor ordered them to
attack the Pequot people (who, of course, had nothing to do with the Oldham murder.)
The Pequots ran out to greet the soldiers -- having no cause to imagine a conflict
between them. After negotiations failed, they were forced to flee as the soldiers
once again stooped to burning villages and crops.
The Pequots retaliated with a brief attack on Fort Saybrook.
Next, the Connecticut troops, led by John Mason, joined forces with some Narragansett
warriors (long time enemies of the Pequot). Mason planned a sneak attack at dawn
on the main Pequot village. When the Narragansett saw that he planned a wholesale
massacre, they decided to have nothing to do with it and withdrew. Mason told them
to watch how Englishmen would fight.
Mason had his men attack from two directions as the unsuspecting
Pequots slept. The soldiers began slashing and shooting at anything that moved.
The villagers were almost entirely innocent civilians with very few warriors in
"We must burn them!" Mason shouted, as he torched the wigwams -- many being still
And indeed such a dreadful Terror did the Almighty let fall upon their Spirits,
that they would fly from us and run into the very Flames, where many of them
perished... God was above them, who laughed his enemies and the enemies of his
people to Scorn, making them as a fiery Oven: thus were the Stout Hearted spoiled,
having slept their last Sleep, and none of their Men could find their Hands:
Thus did the Lord judge among the Heathen, filling the Place with dead bodies.
Mason, A Brief History of the Pequot War, p. 9-10
Underhill, who had started setting fire to the other side of the village,
had this to say of the event:
Great and doleful was the bloody sight to the view of young soldiers that never had
been to war, to see so many souls lie gasping on the ground, so thick, in some
places, that you could hardly pass along... Sometimes the Scripture declareth
that women and children must perish with their parents.
Underhill, Newes from America, p. 39-40
And Cotton Mather, the "Puritan divine" and revered pastor of the Second
Church of Boston, celebrated the burning of the feeble old men, women, and children
in their beds. He wrote:
In a little more than one hour, five or six hundred of these barbarians were
dismissed from a world that was burdened with them.
Mather, Magnalia Christi Americana
This is the same cleric who had this to say, in 1693, about the enslavement of Africans
in the US:
Negroes were enslaved because they had sinned against God.
Mather, Rules for the Society of the Negroes
The Pequot's land proved not to be enough for the Colonists, and eventually they
set their sights on the land of the Narragansett and the Wampanoag in "King Phillip's War"
In this war, the soldiers behaved in the by-now familiar way: killing thousands,
burning women and children to death in their homes, torching villages and crops...
In one battle alone 600 were massacred, many by fire, causing the "reverend" Cotton Mather to
refer to it as a "barbecue".
The pattern was set, and so it continued throughout the 17th through 19th centuries.
Treaties were evidently only made with the indigenous nations to lure them into
a false sense of security prior to attacking them. "treaties were made to be
violated" would've been a fitting motto for the European "settlers".