This chapter addresses the problem of the “vanishing Indian” by examining the ways in which the English used their own ideas about “proper” land use and ownership to displace Indians, especially in the Indian town of Natick, and to mark the place of Indians in the social order of colonial Massachusetts. English notions about the social place of Indians were not monolithic and they changed over time. Different notions about land use and ownership, and how they figured in properly constituting social relations, were central to the colonial encounter. For the English, owning land as a commodity importantly structured their notions about identity and place in society. English colonists could imagine a place for Indians within the colonial social order only as social, cultural, and religious converts fixed in bounded places where English notions of property and “propriety” would prevail. In effect, the English, who as colonists were rootless people by definition, displaced their own dislocation on to Indians.
|Title of host publication
|Empire and Others
|Subtitle of host publication
|British Encounters with Indigenous Peoples 1600-1850
|Taylor and Francis
|Number of pages
|Published - Jan 1 2020
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© Martin Daunton, Rick Halpern and contributors, 1999.