Joseph English: Loyalty and Survival in the Life of a Colonial Native Scout
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CitationWebster, Benjamin. 2021. Joseph English: Loyalty and Survival in the Life of a Colonial Native Scout. Master's thesis, Harvard University Division of Continuing Education.
AbstractJoseph English was a man of Native American ancestry who served in New England’s military in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Captured in action and taken prisoner to Canada, he escaped, returned to Massachusetts, and went on to achieve renown as a scout and pilot in the Merrimack Valley. As a descendant of sagamores on both sides of his family, he also participated in land transactions with English colonists. This thesis reviews primary evidence on Joseph from archival documents, deeds, and other sources to construct a rough narrative of his life. It also puts Joseph’s life into context by exploring matters such as the intercolonial wars pitting New England against New France and its Native allies, the position of “friend Indians” within Massachusetts, and the nature of Anglo-Native land transactions.
Finally, the paper attempts to explain why Joseph, a Native person, chose to align himself so closely with the interests of the English colonists. It finds that in cooperating with the settlers, Joseph English was carrying on a family tradition already in its third generation. Through land transactions and military service, he demonstrated his loyalty and deflected the hostility of white settlers. At a time when Indians in New England faced numerous threats, Joseph chose allegiance to the English as the most promising strategy for survival.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37367607
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