On Our Own Ground: The Complete Writings of William Apess, a Pequot

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Univ of Massachusetts Press, 1992 - History - 344 pages
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This book brings together all of the known writings of William Apess, a Native American of mixed Pequot and white parentage who fought for the United States in the War of 1812, became a Methodist minister in 1829, and championed the rights of the Mashpee tribe on Cape Cod in the 1830s. Apess's A Son of the Forest, originally published in 1829, was the first extended autobiography by an American Indian. Readable and engaging, it is not only a rare statement by a Native American, but also an unusually full document in the history of New England native peoples. Another piece in the collection, The Experiences of Five Christian Indians of the Pequo[d] Tribe (1833), concludes with an eloquent and unprecedented attack on Euro-American racism entitled "An Indian's Looking-Glass for the White Man." Also included are Apess's account of the "Mashpee Revolt" of 1833-34, when the Native Americans of Mashpee petitioned the government of Massachusetts for the right to elect their own representatives, and his Eulogy on King Philip, an address delivered in Boston in 1836 to mark the 160th anniversary of King Philip's War. In his extensive introduction to the volume, Barry O'Connell reconstructs the story of Apess's life, situates him in the context of early nineteenth-century Pequot society, and interprets his writings both as a literary act and as an expression of emerging Native American politics.

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User Review  - PhyllisHarrison - LibraryThing

I bought this book at a book fair at the local historical society where I donated some books. I was delighted to find this book just as it started to rain. They were not prepared for the change in ... Read full review

On our own ground: the complete writings of William Apess, a Pequot

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Editor O'Connell (English, Amherst Coll. ) has gathered together the complete 19th-century writings of Apess, a mixed blood of Pequot and white descent. A Textual Afterword discusses difficulties with ... Read full review


A Son of the Forest 1831
The Increase of the Kingdom of Christ A Sermon and The Indians The Ten Lost Tribes 1831
The Experiences of Five Christian Indians of the Pequot Tribe 1833
Indian Nullification of the Unconstitutional Laws of Massachusetts Relative to the Marshpee Tribe or The Pretended Riot Explained
Eulogy on King Philip as Pronounced at the Odeon in Federal Street Boston
Textual Afterword
Bibliographic Essay

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About the author (1992)

Editor Barry O'Connell is professor of English at Amherst College.

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