Alvin Gardner Weeks.

Massasoit of the Wampanoags; (Volume 1) online

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ears as the last defiant cry of a people who dreamed
of a life of peace and harmony with the strangers
from across the great waters; but who, after half a
century of devotion to the work of bringing about
the realization of their dream, were rudely awakened
to the futility of attempting to reconcile the different
ideals, different manners of living, different customs,
different codes of honor and different stages of prog-
ress of the two races; and to the fact that the


attempt was bound to result in virtual vassalage
for the less advanced.

I speak of different ideals; but, while it is true
that the two races were widely separated in many
respects, a careful analysis of the cause for which
the red men fought shows that they made the su-
preme sacrifice for much the same ideals that actu-
ated the whites in their struggles for freedom.
They were contending for liberty, justice and equal-
ity, the liberty they enjoyed before the white man
came, justice at the hands of the men whose enter-
prise they had aided, in their dealings with them,
and equality with the colonists in the enjoyment of
that liberty and the administration of that justice.

And so the ^'lootash" of Annawon was nothing
more nor less than an appeal to his handful of fol-
lowers to stand firm for the ideals which we are
accustomed to call "American," and which are
American in a broader sense than we apply the
term, because they were the ideals of the first
Americans of whom we have any definite knowledge.

Annawon stood firm for the protection of the
families and homes of his people, for the graves of
his fathers and the freedom of his hunting grounds;
and out of respect to the memory of his race and his
valiant band, the last of the tribe of Massasoit, this
work has been prepared, in the hope that it may
aid in awakening a spirit of justice and fair play on
the part of the sons of their exterminators that
shall stand firm for a proper appreciation of their
character as the early defenders of the principles
we cherish; and of the part their friendship for the


colonists, in the days of their weakness, played in
laying the foundation upon which succeeding genera-
tions have established what we are pleased to call
the American Ideal.

The blind, unreasoning suspicion and hate of an
earlier age ruthlessly and needlessly crushed the
hopes and aspirations of a once free and friendly
people beneath the cornerstone of the structure, and
stained it with the lifeblood of a race. We cannot
wipe away the stain, but we may avoid participation
in the sins of the fathers, and make atonement for
them, by standing firm for the ideals for which the
children of nature, as well as the sons of their de-
stroyers, have shed their blood; and by giving to
the aborigines the meed of honor which is their due.
Let them take their place in history beside the men
of other races and other climes who have struggled
against the forces which would sweep them away;
who have fearlessly bared their breasts in defence
of their freedom and the right to transmit it to
their posterity.

The man dies, but the memory of his deeds re-
mains as a priceless heritage to those who come
after him; and the last defiant cry of Annawon to
his followers is his contribution to history, his legacy
to the world. In the cause of his ideals and ours,
humanity calls to us to hear and heed the cry,


Page loo. "Governor Winthrop of Plymouth" should read,
Governor Winthrop of Massachusetts Ba}-.

P.ige 123. "Winthrop, then governor of the PI) mouth
Colony" should read, Winthrop then governor
of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

Page 144, first line, "1674" should read 1764.

Page 210, last line, should read Wequash Cook and Herman

Page 266. Under caption "Annawon," line 4, "behalf"
should read belief.


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Online LibraryAlvin Gardner WeeksMassasoit of the Wampanoags; (Volume 1) → online text (page 18 of 18)