1644: A Turning Point in Cape Ann History

Masconomet.                       William Henry Tappan (1821-1907)

By Mary Ellen Lepionka

Histories are benchmarked with turning points—significant events that change all that follows. In large and small ways they affect the lives of persons, nations, species. A turning point for me in my work on Cape Ann’s past was discovering how subjective history is, a hard fact for a truth-seeker. Native people did not write history at first. The English, therefore, thought they had none, nothing of significance anyway, and barely mention them in town records. But in scraps of ancient texts and translations, I had found a long, rich, Native history—a kind of parallel universe. Was there a way to bridge the disconnect between the histories of Cape Ann’s early English settlers and the Native people living here at the time?

I decided to look at a single year—and chose 1644, which had turning points for both the Indians and the colonists. The colonists had just made the Cut connecting Ipswich Bay with Massachusetts Bay via the Annisquam River. They built the first cut bridge, the first meetinghouse on the green, and the first mill at Alewife Brook. Gloster Plantation had become a town, and it was a happening place. The first fishing vessel was built and launched. Ten Pound Island was reserved for rams. People were not allowed to cut trees without permission of the town proprietors. Mandatory church attendance was in effect as well as mandatory drills for men on the military training field adjacent to Meetinghouse Green. Towns were supposed to admit Indians to church services, but a decree of the General Court of the Mass. Bay Colony in 1644 barred them from randomly entering towns or townspeople’s homes without invitation.

In 1644 fishermen were not allowed to fish on Sundays, a frustration that contributed to the downfall of Rev. Richard Blynman, who had control of the Cut, Cut Ferry, and Cut Bridge in lieu of pay as the town minister. The minister was unpopular also as a Puritan hardliner in a town containing Pilgrims and freethinkers as well as fishermen. Records of the Circuit Court in Salem and the Court of Assistants in Ipswich include several cases of Gloster men being whipped and/or fined for blasphemy against Rev. Blynman. He and his party left or were driven out a few years later, including the first Town Clerk, Obadiah Bruen, appointed in 1644 after the General Court decreed that all towns must keep vital records.

The “cut bridge” aka Blynman Bridge, connecting Gloucester Harbor via the Annisquam River (a saltwater estuary) to Ipswich Bay. Mid 20th century postcard.

In 1644 Masquenomenit (Masconomet)—hereditary sagamore of Kwaskwaikikwen (Newbury), Agawam (Ipswich), Wanaskwiwam (Cape Ann), and Nahumkeak (Beverly-Salem)—was also in Circuit Court at Salem. He was there on March 8 with leaders of remnants of the Massachuset and Pennacook confederations. There was Cutchamakin of Neponset, brother of the late grand sachem Chicatawbut, lost in the smallpox epidemic of 1633, and Josias Chickatawbut of Nonantum, the late grand sachem’s grandson. There was Nashacowam of Nashua, New Hampshire, a Pennacook, and Wassamagin of Wachuset, a Nipmuck. And there was Squaw Sachem, tributary to Pappiseconewa (Passaconaway) of the Pennacook and widow of Nanepashemet—late grand sachem of the Pawtucket Confederation of Abenakis.

Squaw Sachem—her name was never recorded—had lost two of her three Christianized sons in the smallpox epidemic of 1633 and in 1639 had sold Cambridge, Watertown, Newton, Arlington, Somerville, and Charlestown to the English. She and her surviving son, Wenepoykin (disfigured by smallpox and known to the English as George No-Nose and later as George Rumney-Marsh) soon also sold the land that became Lynn, Saugus, Revere, Medford, Wakefield, Woburn, Stoneham, and Winchester. They threw in their lot with Passaconaway, who himself appeared in the Circuit Court at Salem the following year to add his signatory mark to the Oath of 1644.

In 1644 John Endicott was Governor of the Mass. Bay Colony and John Winthrop was Deputy Governor. Winthrop’s son, John Jr. was preparing to return to New London as founder of Connecticut Colony and to his new wife, having lost his young first wife and child in childbirth at Ipswich ten years before. In 1644 he gave Castle Hill, which Masquenomenit had deeded to him in 1637, to his brother-in-law Samuel Symonds, Deputy Governor of Ipswich. In 1644 the General Court voted to allocate 100 pounds to build up the nearby fort on Castle Island, lying just north of Hog (Choate) Island on Castle Neck River. The fort was to receive the benefit of 150 tons of lumber from Nantasket, a garrison, artillery, and a commander.

That was Masquenominet’s fort. The Sagamore had invited the English to occupy it—to help defend the Pawtucket from their enemies. Pawtucket enemies were the Tarrantines, mainly Micmac and Maliseet from Nova Scotia and the Canadian Maritimes. They annually raided Pawtucket farms for corn, which would not grow at their latitudes. They also abducted women and carried out intergenerational blood vengeance. It was for vengeance that in 1631 one hundred Tarrantines had come down the coast in canoes (another account says it was one hundred canoes) to attack Masquenomenit at Castle Hill. In another attack the following year a dozen Englishmen from Charlestown exploring in the vicinity, including John Winthrop Jr., came to Masquenomenit’s aid just in time to prevent a disastrous defeat at the hands of the Tarrantines. Masquenomenit had sold Castle Hill and his farm on Argilla Road to the English in gratitude and subsequently encouraged them to settle Ipswich. For the English, it was a chance to prevent further French incursions down the coast on the Gulf of Maine.

In 1644 William Stevens was Gloucester’s Deputy to the General Court. He had also been appointed to a three-man “Commission for Ending Small Causes” (i.e., handling local complaints). The Court insisted on Stevens’ participation because he was elected by the townspeople. Gloucester had sent the Town Clerk Obadiah Bruen in Stevens’ place, because Stevens was one of those unfortunate citizens who had expressed disapproval of the interpretation of the gospel being offered by the controversial pastor Richard Blynman (and who also stood accused of anti-royalist sentiment). The General Court wasn’t having any of Gloucester’s politics, however, and insisted that the rightfully elected Deputy attend. Stevens was at Circuit Court in Salem on March 8 and witnessed the signing of the Oath of 1644. I wonder what he thought of the six Indian “chiefs” with their retinues.

Richard Mather (1569-1669), c. 1665.          Attributed to John Foster (1648-81)

They had come to petition the Court, to place themselves under the protection of the English. That protection, against both the Tarrantines and the increasingly unfriendly colonists, came at a price. They had to swear that they “voluntarily & without any constraint or persuasion, but of our own free motion, put ourselves, our subjects, Lands, and estates under the Government and [will be] protected by them according to their just laws.” They also had to swear an oath to accept certain conditions, expressed in the following nine questions, put to them by the Puritan cleric Richard Mather, who recorded their answers.

  • Will you worship the only true God, who made heaven and earth, and not blaspheme?
  • Ans: “We do desire to reverence the God of the English and to speak well of Him, because we see He doth better to the English, than other gods do to others.”
  • Will you cease from swearing falsely?
  • Ans: “We know not what swearing is.”
  • Will you refrain from working on the Sabbath, especially within the bounds of Christian towns?Ans: “It is easy to us, — we have not much to do any day, and we can well rest on that day.”
  • Will you honor your parents and all your superiors?
  • Ans: “It is our custom to do so, — for inferiors to honor superiors.”
  • Will you refrain from killing any man without just cause and just authority?
  • Ans: “This is good, and we desire so to do.”
  • Will you deny yourselves fornication, adultery, incest, rape, sodomy, buggery, or bestiality?
  • Ans [after some explanation]: “Though some of our people do these things occasionally, yet we count them naught and do not allow them.”
  • Will you deny yourselves stealing?
  • Ans: “We say the same to this as to the 6th question.”
  • Will you allow your children to learn to read the word of God, so that they may know God aright and worship him in his own way?
  • Ans: “We will allow this as opportunity will permit, and, as the English live among us, we desire so to do.”
  • Will you refrain from idleness?
  • Ans: “We will.”

To seal the deal the six sagamores and sachems paid 26 fathoms of wampum (that amounts to a minimum of 6,240 shell beads, roughly 624 colonial dollars in value), essentially buying protection by paying tribute. Wampum was legal tender in Mass. Bay Colony at that time for both colonists and Indians. In turn, each “chief” was given 2 yards of red woolen cloth and a pot of wine. The Puritan ministers wrote home to England that a new age of spreading the gospel among the Indians had begun. And the Indians went home with the news that a new age of coexistence had begun under the justice of English laws.

So 1644 was a turning point in Cape Ann history for all its peoples, even if things didn’t turn out as expected, or perhaps because of that. Turning points can be thrilling, uplifting, or horrifying, and the actors heroes, villains, or fools. However subjective, one thing rings true to me about history: It is strange, and as a body of personal narratives, nothing if not sad.

 

Mary Ellen Lepionka lives in East Gloucester and is studying the history of Cape Ann from the Ice Age to around 1700 A.D. for a book on the subject. She is a retired publisher, author, editor, textbook developer, and college instructor with degrees in anthropology. She studied at Boston University and the University of British Columbia and has performed archaeology in Ipswich, MA, Botswana, Africa, and at Pole Hill in Gloucester, MA. Mary Ellen is a trustee of the Massachusetts Archaeological Society and serves on the Gloucester Historical Commission.

Urgent Meeting on the Future of Addison Gilbert Hospital.

Addison Gilbert Hospital

On Wednesday, December 6th at 5:00 pm in the GHS Auditorium, the Mass Department of Public Health will conduct a public hearing on the application for Determination of Need filed by CareGroup Inc, Lahey Health and Seacoast Regional Health System with respect to their intent to affiliate to create a new comprehensive and distributed healthcare delivery system in the Eastern Massachusetts marketplace. The applicant intends to establish and incorporate a new parent organization, NewCo, which will function as the sole corporate member of the entities.

What does this mean for us on Cape Ann? Our local hospital, Addision Gilbert, currently under Lahey Health, will be merged into this new organization NewCo, who will then deliver our health care.

Please attend this important meeting to express our interest in keeping current service levels at AGH.

 

Learning Outside the Box: Yoga at Gloucester High School

Standing Bow on the Beach                                             @ Melissa Abbott

By Holly Clay

When something transforms our life, it’s a big deal. When it’s for free, even better! “I never would have imagined that a class I took in school, just to get more gym credits, would change my life in the ways that it did. I feel very fortunate to have been introduced to yoga through the school system because it has changed my life, for free, and it has been extremely rewarding,” reflects a Gloucester High School (GHS) student.

GHS has been offering yoga as a physical education elective for four years. Inspired by his personal toe dip into yoga, high school teacher John Sperry launched the GHS program. A scholarship made yoga training possible. Sperry attended the highly respected Kripalu Center program, earning certification to teach. The training paid off and the GHS yoga offering came to surpass his wildest expectations.

John Sperry

“Yoga’s the most popular elective at GHS,” Sperry says. “We’re up to offering three classes a day [2016-17 academic year].” The sessions take place on the stage, in the school auditorium. The first couple years the space was dark, the ceiling needed patching, and dust caked the stage. Still the students, as many as 35 at a time, filed in one after another, happily anticipating the yoga ahead. This year a facelift has improved the physical surroundings, but the participants’ facial expressions needed no such adjustment. Receptive as always, the high schoolers melt into a yogic groove.

“Being introduced to this class was the best thing to ever happen to me,“ one student comments at the close of term. And, says one of the boys, “Yoga has been very beneficial for me… I have taken more away from this one class, than most of the other classes I find myself in as the year comes to a close.” Praise like that lets Sperry know yoga’s accomplishing something.

The high school experience is loaded with stress. Teen worries loom large and depression can follow in their wake. Yoga and mindfulness strike right at the root of agitation. The young people in Sperry’s classes point again and again to reduced anxiety and improved mood as fundamental yoga outcomes.

“I have struggled with severe anxiety for the past year of my life. I had never had anxiety prior to last year, and since taking yoga I have seen a major difference in my mental stability,” one student says.

“I have a somatoform disorder that causes me to have physical pain/symptoms when I get anxious and stressed out. Because I have trouble expressing my emotions and opening up to others, I tend to stress myself out and cause myself pain,” explains a young man. He says through yoga class sessions, “I have learned to better understand my mind and how I can prevent my self-destruction…By the end of class I feel much better than I did at the beginning of class.”

Sperry teaches coping strategies, explicitly, in the yoga classes. The kids try them on for size in class, regularly, and then adapt them for use “off the mat,” in real life.

“…It’s crazy to think that a class I have only been taking for two months has taught me better coping skills than …therapists…,” a student asserts. She continues, describing a challenge she overcame with yoga techniques. “…I started having an anxiety attack about two weeks ago in the middle of the night. I couldn’t calm down and was in full-blown panic mode for no reason. I didn’t have my medication with me, so I decided to sit on my bedroom floor and do some of the breathing techniques and stretches I learned during my yoga class. After about 15 minutes … I began to calm down…” Clearly, what she was learning in class felt relevant.

Breathing and the breath lie squarely at the center of any yoga practice. In fact, awareness of breathing patterns lies at the heart of most mindful arts and ancient meditation traditions. In westernized yoga, elongating and softening the rhythm of the breath not only help us synchronize our movements, but also ease tension. The pressure lifts.

“ I never really thought about the importance of breathing until I felt the changes that it does to your mind,” a female sophomore comments.

A junior agrees, noting an enduring effect on the nervous system. “Before I took the class I was very stressed to the point that I had to take anxiety medicine, and now I haven’t been needing to take it, at all.”

“Slow the breath, slow the mind,” goes the adage. With the down tempo, we experience a release from recurring or obsessive thoughts. Solid science backs up this ancient premise. In laboratories fMRI’s record brain waves and show a cessation of electron hyper activity. Studies on people employing breathing techniques point to reductions in heart rates. Monitors demonstrate a build-up and release of pleasant and calming endorphins like dopamine. An unperturbed state of mind aids concentration. It leaves us receptive to studying or focusing on mental tasks.

“When I think about filling my belly, bottom of my lungs, top of my lungs, and expanding my chest with air to make room for my heart, I am able to better focus,” one girl writes in a reflection piece.

Students learn the ‘Resting Pose’.

It’s not only mental faculties that respond to conscious movement and breathing. Comments corroborate what science tells us about yoga’s effect on the whole body. Athletes, for example, notice a shift.

A lot of the time during a workout I tend to breathe quickly and heavily. Yoga has a helped me learn to control my breath and pace myself better,” says one of the young people. When I control my breathing, I can focus more on the exercise I’m doing and work out better. It also helps me quiet my mind and focus on what is actually going on instead of on distracting thoughts.”

Yoga this semester has taught me to control my body better … and clear my mind,” adds a second student, with another chiming in about sore muscles and joints. “There have been new poses, such as the frog pose, that I find really help with pain that I consistently deal with because of skateboarding. [The pose] really stretches out my hips, and I have been having problems with pain and soreness in my left hip for a few months.”

Sperry works numerous yogic and mindfulness approaches into the curriculum. He invites guest teachers and takes students on yoga studio “field trips.” Some kids report liking gentle yoga; others prefer something more energetic and taxing. One thing is clear from the responses the students are writing: the combination of movement and a concluding rest or mindful period strikes a chord.

“It was nice to incorporate quick movements for more of an ‘exercisy’ feel,” notes one o the young women. “I think that moving my body a lot helps me stretch deeper and then I can relax and feel the benefits of corpse [resting] pose more.”

Sometimes Sperry devotes an entire class period (classes range in length from about 30 minutes to almost an hour) to guided relaxation or mindfulness. That means, Sperry softly tells a story or describes a scene, while the students visualize, lying or sitting quietly on their mats.

“As for relaxation techniques,” says one male student, “I have found the beach meditation to work the best for me, says one male student. “I really connect with this technique, the sensation of being in the pool of water is very relaxing for me. …My mind felt like it had been massaged…, and my muscles felt like jelly.”

“I find that the relaxations where you tell a story work better for me because I can immerse myself in the scene and don’t get distracted,” notes another. “I also liked doing the relaxation where we focus on one part of the body at a time. It allows me to make sure I relax every muscle and I can realize when I hold tension in certain muscles. I can also focus on parts of the body I normally ignore. … Relaxations have been really helpful for me because I feel like they make me more tuned into my body and I now have techniques to quiet my mind and deal with stress,” notes another.

Sometimes the young people talk about bringing “on the mat” practices to bear on school success.

I’m happier in class and can get work done easier without the stress,” says one senior, a boy. “… yoga took [stress] out of my body. … My grades have gone up and I’m more relaxed.”

“After partaking in the class in the morning I feel like I have earned a sense of calmness. I am then able to carry that sense of calmness and openness with me to class,” one female, a senior, comments. “This has helped me not only to focus more efficiently, but it also helps with my anxiety. I have clinical anxiety so I always have a million and one thoughts running through my head, but after finishing…I feel more at ease with myself…that short amount of time…can change the entire mood of my day. “

Another girl reflects, “…[sometimes] people talked [during yoga class], and…[they] did not even try to do the poses.. I found I was able to focus my attention on my breath and on my yoga, instead of getting bothered and distracted by others. That was a great learning experience for me. It helped me learn more self-control and concentration.” As a result, she was able to generalize the yoga session experience to other classroom situations.

Students also talk about new-found strengths, such as the courage to explore the unfamiliar. Finding ease while building a repertoire of accomplished, physically-demanding poses, encourages moving outside comfort zones, both intellectual and physical.

Patrick Riley, Gloucester Yoga Collective Instructor and GHS Graduate, in an ‘Inversion’

“Another learning experience I had during this half-year of yoga was how to try new things without being nervous. I tried many new poses when I was not sure if I was able to do it. I was able to do a lot more than I had expected,” says one of the students. This confidence extends into other parts of life.

As one freshman says, “I enjoy learning new poses that challenge me to exceed my comfort level.”

As students communicate their reactions, they’re developing and practicing critical thinking skills. The student is talking and/or writing analytically, and so, sharpening mental teeth and flexing the cognitive muscle. In addition, she/he is developing “metacognitive awareness,”* an understanding of one’s personal learning style. With that understanding, the student can tweak approaches to studying. The practice of reflecting on the practice paves a path to improved learning.

On one end of the spectrum we have, “Since I joined the class, there has been a noticeable improvement in my perception of my body and my surroundings. Yoga is a way for me to connect with myself and be aware of the things that usually go unnoticed, like the quiet flow of air filling our bodies as we breathe. This class gives me the opportunity to be more in touch with the intangible forces of nature.”

And on the other, the straight-forward side we hear, “I think I may become a yoga instructor, or something along those lines, to help me be more calm and happy everyday,” or even better, for the teacher who brought yoga to Gloucester High, “I would like to say thank you. You have a seriously great role model in my last two years of high school. … I have learned so much and gained so much confidence… Thank you, Mr. Sperry.”

** Metacognitive Awareness: “All learning processes and behaviors involving any degree of reflection, learning-strategy selection, and intentional mental processing that can result in a student’s improved ability to learn.” http://excellenceinschoolcounseling.com/develop-a-cba/define-student-excellence-overview/self-knowledge-overview/metacognitive-awareness/

Holly Smith demonstrates an ‘Arm Balance’.

Writer Holly Clay offers classes at the Gloucester Yoga Collective (GYC) at 114 Main Street, next to Sugar Magnolia’s. Sperry has organized GHS yoga “field trips” to the GYC studio on Main Street and GYC instructors have taught at the High School. The studio offers classes for people at all ages, and stages and instructors, some in their 20’s and others in their 50’s and 60’s, run the studio cooperatively. The 11 am Thursday class for veterans and people living with post-traumatic stress is free for vets with a $5 suggested contribution for all others.

Holly Clay is settled in Gloucester after many years of living overseas and in Washington, D.C. Holly is a member of the Gloucester Historical Commission and the Annisquam Historical Society.  With a background in education and writing, her professional energies are currently devoted to studying and teaching yoga and meditation.

Dogtown Headed for National Register

Public meeting on November 29 in Kyrouz Auditorium in Gloucester City Hall, 7pm

Dogtown. 1934           Marsden Hartley (1877-1943)

By Mary Ellen Lepionka

During the week of November 13 a team of archaeologists from the Public Archaeology Laboratory (PAL) in Providence will be conducting fieldwork in Dogtown. They will begin mapping and describing an area to be nominated to the National Register of Historic Places, a National Park Service program to honor historically significant buildings and landscapes. National Register listing confers special status on a property or area as a cultural heritage to be proud of and to preserve.

As an honorary designation, National Register status carries no restrictions on the use of property, which is entirely up to the owners and communities to decide. The only condition is that state or federally funded projects will be subject to review by the Massachusetts Historical Commission, which will issue a statement on whether or not a given project will be harmful to any historical and cultural resources identified in the listing.

The PAL archaeologists will identify and scientifically map all the historical and cultural features in Dogtown, including trails, stone walls and bridges, cellar holes and mill sites, quarries and motions, boulders with names and stories, and rock piles and scenes that inspired artists and writers. As a result of National Register status, Dogtown will become more eligible for grants for rehabilitation projects and educational programs. The hope is that our communities will be inspired to undertake landscape restoration and maintenance for public safety and public access and for the protection of Dogtown as a cultural as well as a natural resource. The hope is also that Dogtown will be preserved as the “wilderness” everyone loves for everyone’s recreational enjoyment. National Register status will lay a new groundwork—a first step—for the future of Dogtown.

A public informational meeting about the Dogtown project will be held on November 29 in Kyrouz Auditorium in Gloucester City Hall, 9 Dale Ave., starting at 7pm. Presenters will include Betsy Friedberg from the Massachusetts Historical Commission, who will explain how the National Register program works and what it does and does not do, and Kristen Heitert, the lead archaeological on the PAL team, who will present an initial plan for defining the boundaries of Dogtown as a National Register District. People attending the meeting will be asked to respond to that plan and to express their views about what makes Dogtown special. What should be the boundaries of the proposed National Register District? What cultural features should be described as part of it?

The Dogtown archaeological survey is funded through a matching grant from the Massachusetts Historical Commission and the Dusky Foundation and is financed by the City of Gloucester. The Gloucester Historical Commission (GHC) applied for the grant and is coordinating the project in collaboration with the Rockport Historical Commission (RHC). The local project coordinator is Bill Remsen, and the committee includes GHC co-chairs Mary Ellen Lepionka and Bob Whitmarsh, Jude Seminara, RHC chair Jim Ugone, and Tom Mikus of the Rockport Rights of Way Committee. The PAL team will also have the assistance of members of the Dogtown Advisory Committee, the Cape Ann Trail Stewards, the Gloucester Archives, and the Friends of Dogtown, who will be serving as information sources and trail guides.

We hope everyone with an interest in Dogtown will come to the informational meeting on November 29, but anyone who cannot may also send their comments to Bill at wremsen.ipa@gmail.com and/or Mary Ellen at melepionka@comcast.net.

Mary Ellen Lepionka lives in East Gloucester and is studying the history of Cape Ann from the Ice Age to around 1700 A.D. for a book on the subject. She is a retired publisher, author, editor, textbook developer, and college instructor with degrees in anthropology. She studied at Boston University and the University of British Columbia and has performed archaeology in Ipswich, MA, Botswana, Africa, and at Pole Hill in Gloucester, MA. Mary Ellen is a trustee of the Massachusetts Archaeological Society and serves on the Gloucester Historical Commission.

Appropriations of Native Identity: Pocahontas and the Last Wampanoag

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 the century. The history of English-Native relations had been reduced to iconic moments—deed signings and massacres. In the celebration of Gloucester’s 250th anniversary in 1892, Robert Pringle designed four horse-drawn floats with costumed actors frozen in significant poses: Samuel de Champlain warily greeting the Pawtucket on Rocky Neck in 1606; Roger Conant arbitrating the feud between Captain Hewes and Myles Standish on Fisherman’s Field in 1625; Samuel English, the “Last Sagamore of Agawam”, deeding Gloucester to the English in 1701; and Gloucester militiamen drawn up against the British in the War of Independence. Pringle also had a Myles Standish—diminutive red-bearded soldier with fiery temper and Napoleonic hauteur—circulating through the throngs of thrilled spectators with “Puritans and Savages” in tow.

Bicentennial celebrations throughout the Northeast included speeches in honor of someone in the community identified as the last Indian. In the 1890s Zerviah Gould Mitchell of Lakeville was billed as the “Last of the Wampanoags”, for example, despite the fact that she (a) was Mahican, not Wampanoag, and (b) had two daughters with descendants whose descendants are living to this day. Her designation as the last had to do with the concept of racial purity. To be authentically Indian you had to be pure-blooded.

Believing there were no more pure-blooded Indians left east of the Appalachians, beginning in the mid-19th century New Englanders developed a nostalgic, romantic craze for them. We got Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s “Hiawatha”, the Last of the Mohicans by James Fennimore Cooper, and “The Bridal of Pennacook” by John Greenleaf Whittier. Henry David Thoreau canoed up the Concord and Merrimack. Monuments were erected in town parks throughout the Northeast in memory of famous Indians—Uncas, Canonicus, Miantonomo, Masconomet, Samoset, Squanto, Massasoit. Streets are named after them in Winniahdin (“In the vicinity of the heights”), a neighborhood on Little River in West Gloucester developed in the 1890s as a summer colony. No less than twelve statues of Massasoit stand in twelve different cities and towns, all eager to claim him for their own.

By 1900 it became popular to impersonate Indians on stage as well as in parades, in addition to writing romantic fiction harking back to the days when there were Indians. Most notably, the famous actor Edwin Forrest played Metamora, “the Last Wampanoag” in a melodrama about the vanished Indians. Metamora toured internationally and was a sellout equivalent to Hamilton today.

Appropriations of Native identity were not new. Pocahontas, for example, first appears in a 17th-century engraving by Simon de Passe as a dour Englishwoman-by-marriage (to John Rolfe in Virginia Colony). Then, in an anonymous 19th-century etching she is a chaste but ravishing (or ravished) beauty holding a calumet (peace pipe). Now, in a 21st century Disney cel she appears as a competent, liberated, athletic (but still sexy) girl. As in Snow White, forest animals and little birds adore her.

The acme (or perhaps the nadir) of appropriation was the Improved Order of Red Men (IORM), a fraternal organization and secret society for white men that spread in the late 19th century. Their stated intentions were to preserve beliefs and values of the vanished Indian and his way of life. It involved organizing as a tribe, meeting at council fires, and dressing up as Indians. Until the mid-1900s actual Indians, blacks, those of mixed race, immigrants, and the unemployed were not allowed to join.

On parade in Gloucester’s 250th anniversary celebration in 1892 were IORM Wingaersheek Tribe No. 12 of Gloucester, Wonasquam Tribe No. 23 and Winnekoma Council Daughters of Pocahontas No. 41 of Rockport, Chebacco Tribe No. 93 of Ipswich, Ontario Tribe No. 103 of Wenham, Manataug Tribe No. 1 of Marblehead, Naumkeag Tribe No. 3 of Salem, Masconomo Tribe No. 11 of Peabody, Chickataubut Tribe No. 13 of Beverly, Passaqui Tribe No. 27 of Haverhill, Taratine Tribe No. 24 of Swampscott, and three tribes from Lynn: Sagamore Tribe No. 2, Winnepurkit Tribe No. 55, and Poquanum Tribe No. 105. In “Degree of Pocahontas” parade floats, white women in the IORM women’s axillary impersonated squaws.

The Improved Order of Red Men

The Red Men remained active on Cape Ann—I remember them in parades when I was a child—perhaps you do too–with black braided wigs, mysterious loincloths, bloodied tomahawks. They made war whoops, and we would shriek. They would prowl on the fringes of parades and menace onlookers, pretending to scalp the boys at the curb, taking pretty girls captive. They would reach into the crowd and grab the girl, tie her hands or put a rope around her neck, and force her to walk a ways in the parade before letting her escape. (I shudder now to recall how badly I wanted to be that girl.)

The IORM movement did not start to wane until the 1950s as the American Indian Movement began. Wingaersheek Tribe No.12 of Gloucester was not officially disbanded until 2009. Participants thought they were preserving the best of authentic Native American culture when they more often were passing on distorted and mythologized interpretations of Native history and culture and perpetuating the narratives of erasure. The wrong stories and stereotypes even became enshrined in our social institutions. Charles Allan Winter’s beautiful mural in Kyrouz Auditorium in Gloucester City Hall, created in 1934—the masthead for “Enduring Gloucester”—features a solitary seated “naked” Indian smoking a peace pipe, no doubt representing legendary Pawtucket neutrality toward the English throughout Agawam during the colonial period.

Elsewhere in City Hall, Frederick Mulhaupt’s mural misrepresents the Indians while meaning to commemorate them as a part of Gloucester’s history. No Pawtucket ever dressed like that or had pots and blankets decorated thus, nor did they ever conduct trade with Vikings. (Actually, there is not a shred of evidence that Northmen ever set foot here, and Thorvald is not buried on the Back Shore. Robert Pringle and others promulgated this idea during the Viking craze of the 1890s, while earlier histories of Cape Ann do not mention them at all—but that is another whole story.)

Meanwhile, Mulhaupt can be forgiven for artistic license and not knowing better. We must all be forgiven, I think. We are all products of our time and place and cannot be held accountable for what happened in the past. Plus, most people in any time and place don’t really know what’s happening to them most of the time or understand how their actions and beliefs are shaping human history. We can only be responsible for how we respond once we figure it out. As FDR says in the legend under the Kyrouz Auditorium mural, we must build for tomorrow.

Pocahontas (1910 silent film)

In our special place that is Gloucester, over the sweep of time, I see that in the first hundred years of contact colonists’ admiration for Native Americans as noble savages was replaced by fears of Englishmen becoming savages themselves and by derogatory views of Indians. The red man became the white man’s enemy and after that the white man’s burden as conquered people. Over the next hundred years, the narratives of erasure were written and acted upon. Then in the hundred years following their “disappearance”, Native Americans were remembered, lionized, impersonated. Native identity was appropriated and they became romantic heroes and victims in literature and in art. In the last 50 years New England Indians have been rediscovered as not so vanished after all, nor so romantic. I wonder what the next 50 years will bring.

Many Native Americans today are politically active. They have been risking rediscovering and redefining who they are–intent on language revival, cultural preservation, and the reconstitution of true communities, incorporating western as well as eastern expressions of Native culture. As a scientist and historian, I see great interest and consequence in this enterprise, certainly worthy of study. I think all our early literatures need to be reread, our histories rewritten, and new narratives put together for more accurate, integrated, truths. I wonder what that would look like—a history that integrates colonial and Native lives and events. Hmmm….

Cigar Store Indian Princess. Courtesy of Cape Ann Museum
Unknown Carver c. 1855
On display at H. C. Brown Tobacco Shop, Gloucester, from 1905 to 1945.

 

 

Mary Ellen Lepionka lives in East Gloucester and is studying the history of Cape Ann from the Ice Age to around 1700 A.D. for a book on the subject. She is a retired publisher, author, editor, textbook developer, and college instructor with degrees in anthropology. She studied at Boston University and the University of British Columbia and has performed archaeology in Ipswich, MA, Botswana, Africa, and at Pole Hill in Gloucester, MA.  Mary Ellen is a trustee of the Massachusetts Archaeological Society and serves on the Gloucester Historical Commission.

 

Fred Buck’s Footsteps by Willie ‘Loco’ Alexander

Photo © 2017 Anne Rearick

For Your Listening Pleasure ~

© Anne Rearick.

 

Willie Alexander. The Alexander family arrived in Gloucester in 1950; we left in 1955. I returned here in June 1997 to live with my wife, photographer Anne Rearick. I’ve been making music & art my whole life. I made my first recordings for Capitol Records in 1965 with The Lost. I am currently recording with Tony Goddess at Bang a Song Studios in Gloucester.

Principles

By Holly Clay

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***

It’s Labor Day in Gloucester Harbor. Eve Robinson sits composed and dignified in Principles’ cockpit.  Though Eve is legally blind, she appears to gaze out over the glistening water, to engage me with her eyes. At peace on Principles, the 48-foot schooner owned by her partner Derek Durling, she nonetheless senses the splendor of the decorated schooners, the high energy the visiting vessels bestow.

Eve hails from Tunstall, near Kirkby Lonsdale in Lancashire, the North of England.

“It’s the kind of place you do not criticize anyone because you know they belong to someone else,” she says.

Her remark could equally apply to Gloucester. It reflects a principled approach to life. No wonder she feels at home on a mooring in the “Inner Harbor.”

Though it was only recently, in 2016, Eve and Derek first encountered Gloucester, they are solidly hooked. “We were racing last year; that’s when we discovered Gloucester. It’s a special place; the people are special. They have time to talk and be nice,” says Eve.

Derek says they returned this year, ostensibly, for the Gloucester Schooner Festival on Labor Day weekend. Principles was already at its mooring in June, so it’s clear other attractions worked their magic on Eve and Derek. Friendships have a lot to do with it, like those with Inner Harbor folks, sailors mostly, like Fred Shrigley, Beth Leahy, Rob Bent, Mark Sheldon, and Bradley Royds.

Bradley Royds trimming sails

Royds piloted Principles north from the Bahamas at the start of Summer, with then skipper Justin. The meaning in the associations doesn’t escape Derek.

Quite simply, “we made friends here. We like Gloucester. There’s a nice mix and it’s not touristy.”  He says he and Eve are more than comfortable just being on the boat. They feel part of the community.

Derek first saw the schooner Principles in 1995/96 at a Newport, RI rally.

“I thought she was the most beautiful vessel I’d ever seen,” he remembers. Her name comes from the first owner. A corporate leader, he left his company when the board made an unconscionable decision.

“He said he resigned, because ‘It was the principle of the thing,’” Derek continues, adding that he narrowly missed a chance to buy Principles in 2006. Nevertheless, in due course, his turn came. He’s owned Principles for three years now.

She “definitely has” kept him and Eve young, Derek says.

When young, Derek married an American woman. Ironically, he didn’t reside over here until after her death several years ago. He lived mostly in the U.K., minus a brief Royal Air Force posting here or there. Derek’s first opportunity to own a sailboat and learn the sailing arts came while he was stationed in Scotland. The North Sea was his teacher.

Meanwhile, Eve, also married with one son, Malcolm, made a pleasant life for herself in England. In fact, she made a career out of her passion for kitchen arts, beginning as a cooking demonstrator in Manchester, England auditoriums. It wasn’t long before the headmistress of a nearby independent school approached her to teach home economics.

The Clergy Daughters’ School in Casterton, Cumbria, where she taught, “was a special place, because the Bronte sisters attended services and classes there,” explains Eve. “I had no experience with teaching,” she continues, but she always heeds the principle, “answer when opportunity knocks.”

“I stayed there for many years…I loved it.  I had an affinity for it. And better yet, it supported my cars.” Eve loves classic cars.

The same principle, combined with more than a little spunk, propelled Eve into a sailing life in 2013, even though, by then, she’d lost her eyesight.

“What would I have done sitting in a big house all by myself? Life needs to be more than that. You lose heart if you don’t get out and do something, anything. It would have been just existing. I’m not decrying it,” she adds.  But she knew, she was made for something more exciting.

Deric and Eve set out from Glasson Dock, Lancashire on a cold day in December 2013. Companions in the years after their spouses’ deaths, they share a love of music and each has an indomitable spirit, just what they needed to face a ferocious Atlantic in winter. As became their custom, they had a skipper named Euwin, on board.

“The idea was to go round the coast ‘til butter melts,’ then have a go at the Atlantic.  When we got to Hollyhead, Wales, trouble with the engine generator stalled us. Don’t ever go to Hollyhead! We finally did get over to Cork.”

In Cork, more challenges, topped with dollops of good fortune, awaited. As Eve tells the story, “Euwin approached us, declaring ‘by the way, I’ve engaged a nurse.’ Hannah the nurse arrived with a suitcase, a big one, an electric blanket, and a teddy bear,” not the usual comportment for a sailing lass. Clearly, she had been invited aboard for a variety of reasons, not least of which was Euwin “fancied her.” Eve smiles. But wouldn’t you know, before the ship had left Cork, Eve broke her wrist, another disappointment causing another delay. Nevertheless, Hannah brought joy to the situation. “She was well-organized. The medicine kit was complete. And she gave me the Teddy Bear,“ Eve says. “And so, we dawdled…” until Eve was fit for travel. They headed first to Belize, which didn’t suit them, and ultimately to Treasure Key in the Bahamas where they bought a house.

Eve doesn’t shy away from talking about her lost eyesight.

“Back in 2007, I was driving along when I almost drove right into the back of a tractor-trailer,” she explains. “It was my sight, you see. Something was affecting it.  We drove to Liverpool. It turns out I’d had a hemorrhage. The surgeon said, ‘we can operate to clear the damage,’ but not without grave risk.”

He then suggested a less risky surgery that would restore a vague sense of dark and light. Eve opted for the latter operation. It was successful. Light and shadow provide guidance. She’s holding out hope for stem cell replacement, once it’s invented for vision. She giggles: “At my age, I don’t have a lot of time to wait.”

“All my life I’ve been age-conscious,” Eve continues, speaking of another heartfelt principle. Put another way, she doesn’t talk or think about age, “consciously.” “When asked my age, I always say, ‘What’s it got to do with anything.’ I’ll be 90 in September. One time I was driving in England. Someone passed me recklessly, took off the side of the car. The driver apologized and took the blame; we exchanged information. I left the scene, thinking ‘well enough.’ But my husband Eddie, retired by this point, was adamant I must report the damage to the police.”

Off Eve went to the police station where she sidled up to the Sergeant. They were well-known to one another, yet he had to pose the usual questions.

“He asked, ‘what’s the damage?’ And, ‘what’s your name?’ He knew my name perfectly well. Then, he asked my age. ‘Guess,’ I shot back. ‘30,’ he said. ‘That’ll do,’ I said.” It was the principle of the thing.

Eve comes by her principled nature honestly. Her mother, half Lebanese and half French, arrived in England a child bride. A marriage to a man 20 years her senior had been arranged. She spoke no English.

“I think my grandparents thought, ‘we’re giving her a new life.’ It was bad in Syria and Beirut.”

The union was unhappy. Her mother made the best of it, eventually accomplishing much in her own right. WWII trapped Eve’s father in West Africa, primarily in Lagos, Nigeria, running the southern hemisphere portion of his shipping business. There was no one to run the U.K. business, so Eve’s Mother took over.

“She had to do it all. Unusual for a woman of that generation and one who’d been as privileged as she.”

His return after the war was difficult.

“My mother had gained much independence and sovereignty,” reflects Eve, who learned by example to cultivate the same for herself.

The joys of experiencing a new way of life – being in America, or spending time in Gloucester – endure.  Eve and Derek tested their feelings on the matter this last June, returning to England for her granddaughter’s wedding. It was their first visit since they embarked in 2013.

“It was funny going back. I was dreading it, but the visit turned out to be just lovely,” Eve says. “But, I wouldn’t consider going back for good. We really don’t like the weather. This,” she says sweeping her arm before her, as if to embrace the whole of the Inner Harbor, “is living.”

And then the wisp of a lady, with more than her share of pluck asks, “Do you know, I got to go up in a glider, in Franconia, this summer?”

About the 2017 Race

Principles placed first in her class of mid-size schooners and second overall, behind the world-class contender Columbia, who dwarfs Principles, in size only. Eve’s and Derek’s Gloucester friends comprised the bulk of the enthusiastic crew, who brought her victoriously through the race.

Parting After the Race

 

Holly Clay is settled in Gloucester after many years of living overseas and in Washington, D.C. Holly is a member of the Gloucester Historical Commission and the Annisquam Historical Society.  With a background in education and writing, her professional energies are currently devoted to studying and teaching yoga and meditation.

The Skiff

model by author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

by Eric Schoonover

Maybe we’ll go down to the beach
letting the water come up to our knees.

There’s a skiff there, in the weeds,
empty and waiting, its oars akimbo:

inviting.  We’ll troll, maybe, my fingers
over the side, to feel the water

mutter and slide, catching so many
motes as my hand can hold. But then

the plash and now the squeak of the oarlocks
do take us away, furtive. Maybe I’ll look

at your legs, brown, and beyond, facing me
and maybe I’ll think of our love that’s

always been held by the water.
Maybe we’ll float off the boat

and our bodies will then drift
to the isles where it all began.

Where maybe we’ll hold so
tight, against the harbor’s

famed serpent, now wilting, sliding
our firm lustrous bodies into a lasting kiss.

 

SPollack Photo

Eric Schoonover is a writer living in Gloucester. His most recent book, Telling Tales: A Gathering of Stories was published in 2016. Harboring, a novel about a Gloucester artist, will be published in 2018.

BOATING OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE COMMUNITY PRESENT AND FUTURE

Gloucester Harbor.                                                                 Aldro Thompson Hibbard (1886-1972)

 

The City’s initiative to develop a boating facility is under study.  The consultant will be making a public presentation at the October 3rd Waterways Board meeting.  This is part of the planning process where people can provide input to the consultant before plans move forward.
 
It is necessary to support the Harbormaster with an upgraded and modernized office.  
There is a need to provide adequate shore side accommodations for visiting boaters.  
This is the opportunity for resident boating needs to be supported.
 
There are dories to row year round at St. Peter Square.  More than 100 Gig rowers participate at Maritime Gloucester.  SailGHS high school sailing team and summer sailing programs serve many children each year.  There is a fair amount of boating access but there are gaps of access for young children, families and older folks.  These established boating programs demonstrate that there is room to serve more residents in accessing the water.
 
Community boating clubs offer opportunities for family-friendly rowing and sailing.  These centers are great community assets. They provide lessons, boats, equipment, restrooms/showers and other shoreside amenities in support of waterfront activities.  Boating season begins as early as April and can comfortably continue well into October.
 
For examples of these centers in neighboring ports, look at New Bedford’s site communityboating.org.  The Portland Maine area offers several clubs.  See sailmaine.org.  Sailsalem.org is Salem’s Community Boating club.  Community Boating on the Charles River in Boston is the oldest center in the country. 
 
Promoting economic development with community development rooted in community values serves to shape the character of a downtown center which residents can be connected to, not disenfranchised from. 
To participate in this process you can attend the public meeting on Tuesday, Oct 3rd at 6:00 pm in City Hall.

About the Indians: Why Didn’t We Know?

       “The Pequots” Oil Painting by Nancy Griswold, 10” x 20”, © All Rights Reserved

by Mary Ellen Lepionka

So, while the English were at Gloster Plantation and Duncan’s Point, the Pawtucket were in Riverview, where they coexisted more or less until the 1690s. Having found out about this, I wondered why we hadn’t known about it. Why were we told there weren’t any Indians here after 1620? Why are schoolchildren being taught about the Native people of Cape Cod instead? Wampanoags were not even a tribe historically—the name means “Band of Brothers” and was adopted by warriors from several South Shore Massachuset bands in the 1676 war against the English (King Philip’s War) and the resistance movement that followed their defeat. Today’s tribe using that name represents a reconsolidation of survivors. More importantly, the people who lived on Cape Ann were not Massachuset. They were Abenaki-speaking Pennacook-Pawtucket.

Gloucester is less forthcoming on this topic than others, but all the colonists of coastal towns In Essex County omitted the Indian villages from their maps. Town histories and centennial addresses dismiss the subject except in reference to deeds, accusations of mischief, fears of uprisings, and laws regulating commerce. Most town records begin with the quitclaim deed giving them clear legal title to their land, complete with the duly witnessed signatory marks of local sagamores. The word Indian does not appear in Obadiah Bruen’s retrospective account of Gloucester’s founding, written in 1650, nor in John Babson’s history of 1860. In 1895 the publicist Robert Pringle devotes two paragraphs, one claiming that Indians deserted the area before the English came and the other referring to their artifacts and graves dug up here.

“Whether pestilence or other causes led to their final desertion is a matter of speculation. The only evidences of their occupancy were found on the northerly side of the Cape, where great heaps of clam shells attested their former presence. The town was thus spared from the terrors of Indian warfare…” (Pringle 1895: 17).

 The few later retrospective accounts about Indians in letters and diaries—such as Ebenezer Pool’s 1823 recording of his grandfather’s memories—are dismissed as tall tales, unreliably second-hand.

Today we know that “pestilence” was not the whole answer, nor did the Indians annihilate each other through internecine warfare. But we somehow got the idea of extinction, and it stuck. Perhaps it began with the colonists’ need for foundation myths. There had to be heroic founding fathers, superior accomplishments, and “firsts” to be proud of. Anglo-European chauvinism and prejudice against Indians naturally followed.

First Massachusetts state seal: “Come over and help us”

The colonists saw Native Americans as “other” and looked down on them as inferior. European superiority was expressed by every group making contact—with the possible exception of some French—beginning with Verrazano in 1524, based mainly on differences in technology, material culture, religion, and the concept of modernity. The Indians were primitive wanderers, heathens who practiced sorcery and other strange behaviors, and they were naked. Like Adam and Eve before the Fall they did not understand the concept. Attempting to clarify, one sachem asked Edward Winslow, “Are deer also naked?” So it was only natural—perhaps even divinely ordained—that “modern” Europeans should replace the primitive man.

Consider, too, the skeletons in the Massachusetts Bay Colony closet—the scalp bounties, the slave ships, the internment camps—embarrassing facts that, if known, might make us not so proud. The truth is the colonists everywhere made the Native inhabitants unwelcome, discouraged them in every way, and dispossessed them of their livelihoods and lives. How much more convenient to have them simply disappear.

History is written by groups in power—the winners. Michel-Rolph Trouillot, a Haitian anthropologist, wrote, “Historical narratives are premised on previous understandings, which are themselves premised on the distribution of archival power.”

“The archival power of local texts transformed what happened–a long and continuing process of colonialism and Indian survival–into that which is said to have happened: Indian extinction. Local texts have been a principal location in which this false claim has been lodged, perpetuated, and disseminated. The extinction narrative lodged in this archive has falsely educated New Englanders and others for generations about Indians, and it has been—and is still—used as an archival source itself, sometimes to be taken as factual evidence of Indian eclipse” (Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History, 1997).

Pequot Village (Now New London, CT)

So, the extinction narrative became immortalized in a story passed down generation after generation, assumed through sheer repetition to be true. New Englanders were complicit in this process, which began with the replacement of Indian place names with English ones and the disbarment of Native groups from legal status. The village of Pequot became New London, CT, for example, and the Pequot River became the Thames. The General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony made it a felony to speak the name Pequot. The Pequot were massacred at Mystic—Our John Mason and John Endicott were there with conscripts from Cape Ann. Surviving Pequot were shipped to Bermuda as slaves, and the Court declared them legally extinct (they number around 2,000 today).

Assumptions and claims legitimizing erasure included the idea that the Indians had no civilization or history of their own, no religion, no towns, no record of their past. In his 1895 history of Manchester-by-the-Sea, for example, D. F. Lamson, expressing the prevailing view, dismisses the Indians in this single opening paragraph.

“The history of America begins with the advent of Europeans in the New World. The Red Men in small and scattered bands roamed the stately forests and interminable prairies, hunted the bison and the deer, fished the lakes and streams, gathered around the council-fire and danced the war-dance; but they planted no states, founded no cities, established no manufactures, engaged in no commerce, cultivated no arts, built up no civilizations. They left their names upon mountains and rivers…but they made no other impress upon the continent which from time immemorial had been their dwelling place. The record of their past vanishes like one of their own forays into the wilderness. Their shell heaps and their graves are the only remains left to show that they once called these lands their own. They made no history (Lamson 1895: 1).

The dehumanizing wilderness narrative, in which it is right that Indians should disappear as forests are cleared, was expressed as late as 1909 in a scientific article on trees:

“The indigenous fauna increases in a land of aboriginal hunting folk of low culture, but decreases swiftly and surely in contact with civilized men. Aboriginal man is part of the fauna of a region. As a species he has struck a balance with other indigenous species of animals and as such is a ‘natural race’. Like the lower animals, the native man also vanishes from the region of settlement” (Spencer Trotter, The Atlantic Forest Region of North America, Popular Science, October 1909: 387).

Pequot War    

This was the other side of the divine providence argument, expressed in the 1630s by John Winthrop, governor of the colony, and his son, John Winthrop Jr., governor of Ipswich and founder of Connecticut Colony—that the demise of Indians was a result of divine intervention favoring their replacement by the godly English.

As time went on, erasure narratives were extended through beliefs about degeneracy. Indians stereotypically were devil worshippers and hostile to whites. Their status as slaves, indentured servants, debtors, or wards of the state subject to poverty and alcoholism was proof of their degeneracy. People claiming to be Indians could be denied their identity on the basis that they were not pure-blooded or did not speak an Indian language or no longer practiced Indian ways. This was opposite to the one-drop rule applied to blacks, in which one drop of African blood made you black whatever other blood you had in you. For Indians, one drop of white blood did not make you white, but you also were no longer a real Indian. This concept of degeneracy, along with latent racism, may lie behind notions some people have that Native groups in New England today lack authenticity.

In 2010, 2,718 residents of Essex County identified themselves as Native American, most living in Salem, Peabody, Beverly, Middleton, Gloucester, and Danvers, in that order. They include descendants of the people who were living here in 1623 when the Dorchester Company landed at Half Moon Beach. Now that we do know about the Indians here, my question is, will our archive embrace a truer history? Will my grandchildren’s children be able to learn about the Pawtucket who lived here and did not disappear?