No middle ground : Pennacook-New England relations in the seventeenth century

Daly, John (1997) No middle ground : Pennacook-New England relations in the seventeenth century. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

Pressures brought about by the European settlement of northeastern North America during the seventeenth century shaped the history of the Pennacook Confederacy which developed in the Merrimac River Valley. Early contacts with Europeans encouraged the formation of the confederacy as Micmac raids, epidemic disease and initial English settlement pushed the survivors of coastal Pawtucket villages and the inland Nashaways to accept the leadership of Passaconaway, sagamore of Pennecooke village. Passaconaway sought peace with the colonists of New England and his policies were continued by his son and successor, Wannalancet. The period between 1633 and 1675 was relatively stable. In their three villages of Pennecooke, Wamesit and Nashaway the Pennacooks sought to accommodate themselves to the growing English presence, often by trading furs and accepting Christianity. In turn the English provided protection from Mohawk aggression. -- After the outbreak of King Philips War in 1675, a peaceful policy became virtually impossible. The majority of the Pennacooks remained neutral yet suffered repeated insults and attacks by the colonists. Nashaways sided with King Philip and were destroyed by New England. After the war Pennacook survivors repudiated Wannalancet's peaceful policy and gravitated to the leadership of his nephew, Kancamagus. Kancamagus cultivated relations with the French as a counter-weight to New Englanders, who had become increasing friendly with the Pennacooks1 Mohawk enemies. When England and Prance went to war in 1689, Pennacooks attacked the English settlement at Dover, New Hampshire which was under the jurisdiction of Richard Walderne. This target was a logical choice because Walderne, a fur trader and militia commander, had been a long-time adversary. By attacking Dover the Pennacooks committed themselves to a permanent pro-French, anti-English orientation. The failure of Pennacook efforts to coexist with the English illustrate the impossibility of Indian attempts to preserve their independence and simultaneously accommodate the New England colonies.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/1032
Item ID: 1032
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves [192]-199.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > History
Date: 1997
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: United States
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Pennacook Indians--History--Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775; Pennacook Indians--Government relations--To 1789; United States--History--Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775

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