Massasoit of the Wampanoags


In the early part of this century, the author of this book was the head of a Massachusetts patriotic society. As the 300th anniversary of the Mayflower landing approached, he knew that celebrations of that event would be appropriately elaborate. He proposed that, in connection with those celebrations, a fitting monument be erected to Massasoit, the Great Sachem of the Wampanoags, who had entered with the colonists into a treaty of peace, friendship, mutual aid and protection that lasted forty years. Weeks recognized that the Pilgrim settlers of New England could not have survived and prospered without this bond, and it pained him that the eventual disintegration of the relationship between the European settlers and the native inhabitants of the New World had resulted in an inveterate historical bias that portrayed the Native Americans as a hopelessly brutal and savage race deserving of subjugation. "And so, without attempting to write history or even to essay the work of a compiler, the writer has prepared the following brief sketches of character, groups, tribes and men in such a way that a careful reading of the whole will present a living, moving panorama of the olden times, not a complete picture in any sense, but simply a sketch, a glimpse through the foliage that will reveal enough to lead to a better appreciation of the services rendered by the lost race in laying the foundation of our liberty." These words from the author's introduction give a good summary of the contents and general tone of the book.

The chapter headings provide a more specific account of the subjects covered: the Algonquins; the Wampanoags; Massasoit; Massasoit's Family; Samoset, Squanto, and Hobamock; the Narragansetts; Miantonomo; the Pequots, Mohicans, and other western tribes; and King Philip and his captains. To assist the researcher, Heritage Books has added an every name index. There are two illustrations: one of Massasoit and one of the author.

Alvin G. Weeks

(1920), 2008, 5½x8½, paper, index, 290 pp.

ISBN: 9780788427978