Revenge and Retaliation: Settling America
Neonate’s entire repose was to acquire land for his king, and he was not to be stopped, not by orders and definitely not by his own morals. In the 1623 An Indentured Servant’s Letter Home by Richard Foreshorten he complains of his work and living conditions as a crop servant In the new land. Freestone’s experience In America could have been better had a good relationship between his village and the natives been established. Ultimately, the differences in religions, customs, and standards lead to a long and painful relationship between the colonists and natives.
Colonists proved themselves to be aggressive in pushing their values and religions onto the natives. And the settlers’ hostile way of acquiring land forced the natives to reciprocate the colonists’ actions. Also, the lack of evidence of peaceful trading did not help to mend the broken relationship of the two cultures. The ongoing feud between the colonists, of any culture, and the natives were kept alive through acts of retaliation and revenge of both parties. The religion of the colonists urged them to change and convert the natives, which ultimately led to rebellion.
In The Jesuit Relations the natives were Initially very receptive to converting. The monolayer’s would force their religion onto heir native patients, making them say prayers and recite catechism. It seemed that the natives grew comfortable with the colonists, therefore, spending more and more time with them. However many of these natives were ill, and after some time, illness spread from village to village. Whole villages were lost to disease, and the natives deemed the missionaries as the cause of their tribulations.
With no other explanation, the natives saw the missionaries as the cause. The text from The Jesuit Relations reads , “… Those who had been nearest to us, had happened to be the most ruined by diseases… He same would be the fate of all the others if the course of misfortune were not stopped by the massacre of those who were the cause of it. ” (Paul Lee Jejune, The Jesuit Relations, 13) This statement summarizes the hostility of the natives towards the missionaries. In many of the readings one term has been commonly used to describe the Native Americans, that term being “barbarians. This display of hostility and desire to massacre innocent people supports the colonists’ the missionaries, they would not have reverted to their “natural” barbaric nature. The clash of their cultures was too great for the natives to comprehend. Trade amongst the natives and the colonists were not mentioned in the provided texts; however it can be assumed that goods were exchanged among the two. The wealth of the goods provided by the Native Americans seemed to have fueled the greed of the colonists, therefore resulting in a deteriorated relationship.
Many of the readings had no mention of a trade between colonists and natives. It seemed, that at times, a peaceful trade would aid in the welfare of both parties. Richard Freestone’s, And Indentured Servant’s Letter Home shows how the lack of communication between the two cultures was detrimental to their relationship. Foreshorten described that the colonists could not work in the conditions of the land, however, this was something the natives would be experienced at. But instead of offering for any type of trade, the natives slaughtered the village, and in return two of the natives were captured and made into slaves.
If communication had been established it is possible that a healthy relationship could have stemmed. There was always the chance that even though communication was established the relationship could have still suffered due to greed by the Colonists. A great example of greed is found in Juan De Neonate’s Letter from New Mexico. Neonate wrote of the treasures he came upon along his Journey which included pearls, salt, mines, and a multitude of buffalo. The reader can assume that Neonate procured many of these items through a trade with the locals.
Trading, however, did not satisfy Neonate since he pushed for his King to allow him to seize the land. Acquisitions of land by foreigners were, more often than not, violent affairs. As more land was attained, more feuds grew. Fueled by his desire for more, Neonate vaguely described how he procured the loyalty of the local people in his letter to the King, “They are a people whom I have compelled to render obedience to His Majesty, although not by means of legal instruments like the rest of the provinces. ” Noun De Neonate, Letter from New Mexico, 7) Neonate shows that he is not paused by morals and will have his way by any means.
He Jokingly hints that he used illegal means of gathering obedience from the natives. The reader can assume that this involved threats and possibly torture. History shows that the natives do not stand for being pushed around, and Neonate learned this when one of his men was murdered by twelve natives. The hostility, as expected, only grew as Neonate retaliated by burning the village. In Neonate’s quest to secure land, his relationship with the datives became a very violent one. In each of the above mentioned readings, both the colonists and natives could have handled the situation better.
Neonate’s attempt to order obedience by the natives was in a violent manner, in which the natives responded with the same level of violence. Freestone’s village was basically massacred by the natives, and in turn his master captured two of the natives and kept them as slaves. The natives that interacted with Lee Jejune and Lament were especially barbaric, as they were violent towards the missionaries with no Just cause. In any case, the natives were not prepared to deal with these people who were so efferent from them.