Benjamin Franklin
1706 - 1790

Franklin wrote the following after a large group of innocent Indians were massacred because of the actions of others from another Tribe:

"If an Indian injures me, does it follow that I may revenge that Injury on all Indians?

"It is well known that Indians are of different Tribes, Nations and Languages, as well as the White People.

"In Europe, if the French, who are White People, should injure the Dutch, are they to revenge it on the English, because they too are White People?

"The only Crime of these poor Wretches seems to have been, that they had a reddish brown Skin, and black Hair; and some People of that Sort, it seems, had murdered some of our Relations.

"If it be right to kill Men for such a Reason, then, should any Man, with a freckled Face and red Hair, kill a Wife or Child of mine, it would be right for me to revenge it, by killing all the freckled red-haired Men, Women and Children, I could afterwards any where meet with."

Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7
Chapter 8 | Chapter 9 | Chapter 10 | Chapter 11 | Chapter 12 | Chapter 13 |Chapter 14 
Chapter 3

We Were Not the Savages - European Greed and the Mi'kmaq Resolve to Fight

Where today are the Pequot? Where are the Narragansett, the Mohican, the Pokanoket, and many other once powerful tribes of our people? They have vanished before the avarice and the oppression of the white man, as snow before a summer sun.—Tecumseh

During the 1600s, posing a dark omen of horrors to come for the Mi’kmaq, England’s Massachusetts Bay colony and the English Crown’s smaller New England colonies conducted a no-holds-barred war against the area’s First Nations that would see many wiped out and the rest reduced to remnants of their former greatness. Not one was left unscathed.

Upon their arrival in the early 1600s, English Puritan colonists at first pretended friendship with the area’s First Nations, even to the extent of feasting with them in thanks for the bounties supplied by the Great Spirit. However, when the time was ripe, they dropped all pretences of friendship and resorted to treachery. Their treachery was caused by blatant lust for the wealth of their hosts. They wanted prime Indian agricultural land and the Indians out, and stooped to the lowest levels to realize their goals. The inhuman barbarities they committed in realizing their quest are legend.

With the passage of time, the descendants of the English colonists invented many fairy tales to cover up the extent of the atrocities their ancestors committed during this period: for instance—this is probably the most widespread figment of their imaginations—the myth that the first recorded European Thanksgiving in the Americas was held to celebrate a genuine love fest of respect and admiration between the local First Nations people and the Pilgrims. The story is pure romantic hogwash. It was strictly one-sided. The locals, in line with the strictures of their civilizations, which mandated that strangers be welcomed with generosity and respect, did welcome the English with open arms—supplying them with food when they were starving and teaching them how to survive in their land. Unfortunately for them, their compassion and generosity were not reciprocated.

The harvest feast mentioned took place in Plymouth in 1621. Sachem Massasoit attended and supplied most of the food—duck and geese, and venison from five deer. However, on the English Puritans’ side the good will was shortlived. Within a few years, after their numbers had increased substantially, all pretence of friendship disappeared, and they undertook a very successful war of extermination against the local First Nations. By the end of the 1600s, many thousands had been slaughtered, thousands more sold into slavery and all local

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