Appropriations of Native Identity: Pocahontas and the Last Wampanoag

By Mary Ellen Lepionka. Read the entire article at Enduring Gloucester

Enduring Gloucester

Mary Ellen Lepionka

Frederick Mulhaupt (1871-1938) painted “Native American Life on Cape Ann” for the old Maplewood School in 1934. It was later moved to its current location at the O’Maley Middle School.

Erasure narratives, in which the Indians disappeared, reached even into science. Many early archaeologists and ethnologists believed that New England Indians were of little interest or consequence, not worthy of study. Archaeological sites in New England consisted only of shell heaps and burial grounds, paling in comparison to the monumental architectures of the Native civilizations of Mexico and South America. But the more the Indians were thought to have disappeared, the more people began to lament their loss. The “vanished Indian” was invented, and New Englanders began to exploit, and distort their memory. In the process, they misappropriated Native culture and identity.

Impersonating Indians and dressing up as Puritans and Indians became fashionable around the turn of…

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Pope night in Newburyport MA

November 5: Guy Fawkes Day (“Pope Night,” “Gunpowder Day,” “Bonfire Night”)

The Puritans who settled Massachusetts abhorred holidays, but they turned a blind eye to Guy Fawkes Day, November 5, a British tradition which celebrated the failed attempt by Guy Hawkes, a Catholic, to blow up the king and members of Parliament and thus remove Protestants from government. On the evening of November 5, 1605, Sir … Continue reading November 5: Guy Fawkes Day (“Pope Night,” “Gunpowder Day,” “Bonfire Night”)

The hanging of John Williams and William Schooler, July 1637

In 1637, two men convicted on separate counts of murder were executed in Boston on the same gallows.  John Williams was convicted of killing John Hoddy near Great Pond in Wenham on the road to Ipswich. William Schooler was tried in Ipswich and found guilty of killing Mary Scholy on the path to Piscataqua, A … Continue reading The hanging of John Williams and William Schooler, July 1637

A Catalogue of the Various Sects in England and Other Nations with a brief rehearsal of their false and damgerous tenenants

Lydia Wardwell on her presentment for coming naked into Newbury meeting house

In 1661, a new meeting house was erected in Newbury, Massachusetts. Men and women were assigned seats in accordance with their social rank and condition. Lydia Perkins, wife of Eliakim Wardwell of Hampton NH had become a Quaker, and the Newbury church issued demands that she should appear and give reasons for her withdrawal. Her angry … Continue reading Lydia Wardwell on her presentment for coming naked into Newbury meeting house