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Massasoit Leadership Dilemmas & Opportunities By: Phillip E. Chevalier.

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1 Massasoit Leadership Dilemmas & Opportunities By: Phillip E. Chevalier

2 Something to Ponder… Does man make the times or do times make the man?

3 Massasoit Very little is known personally of Massasoit except that he was strong and vigorous physically, his countenance grave, and a man of few words when speaking with the English.

4 Massasoit’s Life Massasoit was the principal leader of the Wampanoag people in the early 1600’s who encouraged friendship with English settlers. His name means Great Sachem. Massasoit was the principal leader of the Wampanoag people in the early 1600’s who encouraged friendship with English settlers. His name means Great Sachem. He was commonly known as Massasoit, but was called by many other names, including: Ousamequin, Woosamequin, Asuhmequin, Oosamequen, Osamekin, Owsamequin, Owsamequine, Ussamequen, and Yellow Feather. He was commonly known as Massasoit, but was called by many other names, including: Ousamequin, Woosamequin, Asuhmequin, Oosamequen, Osamekin, Owsamequin, Owsamequine, Ussamequen, and Yellow Feather.

5 Massasoit’s Life Massasoit held the allegiance of seven lesser Wampanoag Sachems and reigned over a number of Indian or Native American groups that occupied lands from Narragansett Bay Rhode Island to Cape Cod in present-day Massachusetts. Massasoit held the allegiance of seven lesser Wampanoag Sachems and reigned over a number of Indian or Native American groups that occupied lands from Narragansett Bay Rhode Island to Cape Cod in present-day Massachusetts. Massasoit visited Plymouth in 1621 and negotiated a treaty guaranteeing the English their security in exchange for their alliance against the Narragansett. Massasoit visited Plymouth in 1621 and negotiated a treaty guaranteeing the English their security in exchange for their alliance against the Narragansett.

6 Massasoit’s Life Massasoit is credited in preventing the failure of Plymouth Colony and the almost certain death by starvation of the English colonists. Massasoit is credited in preventing the failure of Plymouth Colony and the almost certain death by starvation of the English colonists. Forged critical, political and personal ties with colonial leaders John Carver, Stephen Hopkins, Edward Winslow, William Bradford, and Myles Standish, which culminated in a negotiated peace treaty on March 22, Forged critical, political and personal ties with colonial leaders John Carver, Stephen Hopkins, Edward Winslow, William Bradford, and Myles Standish, which culminated in a negotiated peace treaty on March 22, 1621.

7 Massasoit’s Life Massasoit's alliance with the English ensured that the Wampanoag remained neutral during the Pequot War in Massasoit's alliance with the English ensured that the Wampanoag remained neutral during the Pequot War in Under Massasoit’s leadership, the peace treaty lasted 40 years until his death around Under Massasoit’s leadership, the peace treaty lasted 40 years until his death around Relationships between the two groups grew increasingly worse culminating in King Phillip’s War fourteen years later after his death. Relationships between the two groups grew increasingly worse culminating in King Phillip’s War fourteen years later after his death.

8 Question What was happening to the native people in the New World prior to the English settlement in New England?

9 Dilemmas Kidnappings and other violence took place between the sea captains and fishermen touching the New England shore and the Indians before the English arrived. Massasoit must have viewed the English Colonists’ motives with grave suspicion.

10 Dilemmas Europeans unknowingly introduced diseases such as smallpox, typhus and measles. Lacking immunity to these new maladies, whole villages were destroyed as epidemics were sweeping up and down the coastline. ages/site/1793_2.jpg

11 Dilemmas Many Indians, even those who had not yet seen white men, considered them to be both ruthless and bearers of deadly illnesses. Indian societies were in turmoil at the colonists’ arrival.

12 Dilemmas The Wampanoag were devastated since two significant outbreaks of smallpox occurred during the previous six years prior to the English settlement.

13 Opportunities Massasoit first appeared with 60 warriors, his face painted red and wearing a thick necklace of white beads, signifying his great authority, on a hill overlooking the Plymouth. This was his first attempt in trying to strike fear into the hearts of the English colony huddled below. r/massasoit.jpg

14 Opportunities When Massasoit and his 60 warriors stood on the hilltop fearsomely looking down on Plymouth, the few colonists left scrambled for their guns. They slowly realized they were confronting not enemies capable of killing off the remainder of the weakened settlers, but friendly human beings who would give them food in exchange for English goods. They also viewed Massasoit as a Godsend sent by divine providence, and would help protect them against murderous tribes.

15 Dilemmas Massasoit perceived that receptivity was a slippery slope. Massasoit would never accept the English ways or their religion. Soon after the Pilgrims arrived, the local tribes organized a three-day religious ritual that attempted to exorcise the Pilgrims from Massachusetts altogether.

16 Dilemmas Massasoit was in a threatened state. Disease had recently swept through the tribe, ravaging his people and greatly diminishing their numbers. Massasoit was in a threatened state. Disease had recently swept through the tribe, ravaging his people and greatly diminishing their numbers. He had enemies eager to take advantage of the sharp reduction in the number of his warriors. The powerful Narragansett tribe were eager to slaughter both Massasoit and the Wampanoags. He had enemies eager to take advantage of the sharp reduction in the number of his warriors. The powerful Narragansett tribe were eager to slaughter both Massasoit and the Wampanoags. To the east, the English, were rumored to have valuable trade goods and strange, new, fire-breathing weapons. Caught in the middle between his traditional enemies to the west and the English on the coast to the east, Massasoit may had very little choice than to throw in his lot with the potentially helpful newcomers. To the east, the English, were rumored to have valuable trade goods and strange, new, fire-breathing weapons. Caught in the middle between his traditional enemies to the west and the English on the coast to the east, Massasoit may had very little choice than to throw in his lot with the potentially helpful newcomers.

17 Opportunities According to English sources, Massasoit prevented the failure of Plymouth Colony and the almost certain starvation that the Pilgrims faced during the earliest years of the colony's establishment, by providing food for the settlers and teaching them how to survive in the new world.

18 Opportunities Massasoit forged critical political and personal ties with the colonial leaders John Carver, Stephen Hopkins, Edward Winslow, William Bradford, and Miles Standish– ties which culminated in a negotiated peace treaty on March 22, culty/Fac_To1877ChapterDocFiles/ChapterImages/ Ch3massasoit.jpg

19 Opportunities These traditional political relationships shaped Indian understanding of English political systems and of the agreements made between them. The first treaty between Indians and English occurred in March 1621, when Massasoit, made a “League of Peace" with John Carver, the Governor of Plymouth Colony. war/pilgrims/governor-john-carver.jpg

20 Opportunities This initial treaty addressed Massasoit as “friend” and “ally” of King James, never mentioning the word “subject” at all. This was believed to be a clear signal to the Indians that they would enjoy an “alliance of equals” with the English.

21 Opportunities The stipulations of the original treaty implied reciprocity, or equality, despite some noted exceptions, such as the clause that demanded that Indians deliver any offender against the English to English justice but that lacked a reciprocal clause delivering offenders against the Indians to Indian justice.

22 Opportunities Historical records makes it clear that Massasoit assumed reciprocity applied to every aspect of the treaty, stated or not. He believed deeply in the spirit of the treaty, into which reciprocity seemed interwoven, versus letter of the treaty, exactly as it was written.

23 Dilemma & Opportunity When Massasoit believed that Squanto had betrayed him, he demanded Squanto be turned over to the Wampanoag. When Plymouth's governor resisted, Massasoit protested vehemently, “demanding him... as being one of his subjects, whom, by our first Articles of Peace, we could not retain.”

24 Opportunities Within a year of the first agreement, the word "subject" began to appear in interactions between the two peoples. Massasoit acknowledged himself content to become the subject of King James. By September 1621, at least nine other Wampanoag and Massachusetts Sachems had signed their names to an agreement also acknowledging themselves “to be the Loyal Subjects of King James.” There is good evidence to believe that Massasoit and these other sachems understood and accepted this relationship.

25 Opportunities & Dilemmas While their acceptance of this subject status might imply that these Indians also allowed the local English to have power over them, some Indians did not seem to think so. Rather, they seem to have believed that being subjects of the king made them the equals of the local English, who were also royal subjects.

26 Quotation “Give no more wampum to the English, for they are no Sachems, nor none of their children shall be in their place if they die; and they have no tribute given them; there is but one king in England, who is over them all.” Sachem Miantonomi Sachem Miantonomi

27 Opportunities History records in late 1621, Massasoit declared that he was “King James, his man,” and that his land was “King James his country.”

28 Opportunities Massasoit feared the religious conversion of his people so much that he tried to insert a clause in the peace treaty with the Plymouth settlers forbidding the colonists from even attempting it.

29 Dilemmas Maintaining the delicate balance of commanding his own people with their desire to expel the English and using immeasurable restraint when many violations of the treaty, that he signed with Governor Carver of the Plymouth Colony, and the aggressions against the natives in violation of the spirit of the treaty, if not the letter of the treaty. These gross violations continued throughout Massasoit’s lifetime, but he still used restraint to avoid the decimation of his people.

30 Dilemmas Massasoit knew that the Wampanoag choice was between hostility towards the English dominion or assimilation within it.

31 Dilemmas There was bound to be a conflict between European and Indian methods of living. The two could not co- exist on the same soil. The two races could not live side by side for very long, except by one of them conforming to the mode of life of the other. According to the Colonists, it was inevitable that the country must be either all savage or all civilized; but there was no danger to European ideals and civilization in trying the experiment of “leavening the whole lump,” to borrow from a Christian phrase.

32 Something to Ponder Given the problems and despite some earnest efforts at good will, the situation became inevitably worse.

33 Dilemmas New colonists arrived starting other settlements. These colonists were land poor in Europe and cared less about nurturing the old treaty and alliance made with the Wampanoag. What these new settlers wanted was land of their own; land that seemed theirs for the taking. They viewed the Indians as an obstacle that needed to be removed for them in order to fulfill their land dreams.

34 Dilemmas Further complicating the situation was the diversity of the settlers and the consequent rivalry among them. Originally conceived as a religious community with centralized government and a consistent authority, Plymouth was soon home to English with a variety of conflicting notions of what is sacred. This created turmoil in the colony and made it impossible to keep a consistent and humane policy towards the Indians. Conflict was all but inevitable.

35 Dilemmas Massasoit experienced how the colonists treated the Indians as a subject race, to whom they owed no duty. He understood the Colonists’ motives as they felt the Indians were in their way from fulfilling their plan to take over all the land, and whom were at liberty to provoke and annoy in every conceivable manner. Massasoit knew that the Colonists used this as an excuse to go to war and exterminate the Indians, which may have been the reason for using restraint.

36 Question Can giving up your land create a lasting peace? Can you make any connections to today’s world?

37 Opportunities For nearly forty years, the Wampanoag and the English of Massachusetts Bay Colony maintained an increasingly uneasy peace until Massasoit's death. Throughout this time, and in order to maintain the peace, Massasoit sold lands which the English insisted on having.

38 Quotation "What is this thing you call property?" he declared. "It cannot be the earth. For the earth is our mother, nourishing all her children, bears, birds, fish and all men. The woods, the streams, everything on it belongs to everybody and is for the use of all. How can one man say it belongs to him only?" Massasoit

39 Opportunities Over the decades, the two groups exchanged amiable visits. When Massasoit took ill, Plymouth sent emissaries on the two-day trek through the forest to Pokanoket to help cure their ally. After his recovery, Massasoit now saw that "the English are my friends and love me." Moreover, Massasoit felt duty-bound to observe that "whilst I live I will never forget this kindness they have showed me."

40 Opportunities On several occasions, Massasoit or his fellow Wampanoags probably saved the colonists from slaughter by warning them of mischief brewing in warring tribes.

41 Opportunities When Roger Williams, a renegade religious thinker forced out of the rigid theocracy of the English towns, appeared cold and starving at Massasoit's door, the chief took the desperate man in and made him welcome.

42 Dilemmas & Opportunities Facing a changing way of life and losing land to the new colonists created great turmoil within Massasoit, yet he kept mending relations with the English and thereby validating the fact that he was indeed a man devoted to pursuing peace at all costs.

43 Question Did Massasoit sell the Wampanoag birthright by aligning himself with the English?

44 Massasoit’s Legacy Massasoit's wisdom in seeking to establish friendly relations with the English and his desire to pave the way for the two races to live side by side in peace and harmony, demonstrated that he understood civility in a much broader sense than his English counterparts. Massasoit's wisdom in seeking to establish friendly relations with the English and his desire to pave the way for the two races to live side by side in peace and harmony, demonstrated that he understood civility in a much broader sense than his English counterparts. Massasoit understood the difference between the spirit of a treaty versus the letter of it. Massasoit understood the difference between the spirit of a treaty versus the letter of it. For forty years after signing the treaty, he met all the obligations set forth in it. His judgment was true, yet the Colonists never viewed the Indians as equals. As a result, the Wampanoag, who helped the first English colony in New England to survive, was all but wiped out as a result of their determination to forge peace at all costs. For forty years after signing the treaty, he met all the obligations set forth in it. His judgment was true, yet the Colonists never viewed the Indians as equals. As a result, the Wampanoag, who helped the first English colony in New England to survive, was all but wiped out as a result of their determination to forge peace at all costs.

45 Summary Dilemmas Opportunities 2 Outbreaks of disease 2 Outbreaks of disease devastated the Wampanoag. Belief in reciprocity and the Belief in reciprocity and the spirit vs. letter of the treaty made him subject to English. The powerful Narragansett The powerful Narragansett and the English weapons. Becoming a subject of King Becoming a subject of King James in the second treaty. Prevented starvation and failure of the first colony. Forged personal and political ties with prominent English leaders. Initial treaty referred to as friend & ally, not subject. Continuously pursued peace and was always trying to make amends.

46 Summary Dilemmas Opportunities Taking & Selling of the land. Taking & Selling of the land. Not being viewed as equals in the eyes of the English – new colonists. Not being viewed as equals in the eyes of the English – new colonists. Hostility or assimilation with the English. Hostility or assimilation with the English. Had a much deeper view of what civilized meant than the English. Had a much deeper view of what civilized meant than the English. Saved Roger Williams from an uncertain fate. Viewed English as his friends after he made a fully recovery. Brought food to the colonists and taught them how to live in their new environment.

47 Works Cited "Comparing Plymouth and Jamestown." Welcome to SAIL1620. Web. 21 July "Comparing Plymouth and Jamestown." Welcome to SAIL1620. Web. 21 July "Jenny Hale Pulsipher | "Subjects... unto the same king": New England Indians and the Use of Royal Political Power | The Massachusetts Historical Review, 5 |." The History Cooperative. Web. 18 July "Jenny Hale Pulsipher | "Subjects... unto the same king": New England Indians and the Use of Royal Political Power | The Massachusetts Historical Review, 5 |." The History Cooperative. Web. 18 July "Massasoit: Biography from Answers.com." Answers.com - Online Dictionary, Encyclopedia and much more. Web. 18 July "Massasoit: Biography from Answers.com." Answers.com - Online Dictionary, Encyclopedia and much more. Web. 18 July "Powell's Books - Review-a-Day - Gods of War, Gods of Peace: How the Meeting of Native and Colonial Religions Shaped Early America by Russell Bourne, reviewed by Salon.com." Powell's Books - Used, New, and Out of Print - We Buy and Sell. Web. 20 July "Powell's Books - Review-a-Day - Gods of War, Gods of Peace: How the Meeting of Native and Colonial Religions Shaped Early America by Russell Bourne, reviewed by Salon.com." Powell's Books - Used, New, and Out of Print - We Buy and Sell. Web. 20 July 2009.. "Teach and Learn | We Shall Remain | American Experience |." PBS. Web. 22 July "Teach and Learn | We Shall Remain | American Experience |." PBS. Web. 22 July


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