Author: Increase Mather
From the edition of: 1676, published at Boston, Massachusetts
This edition: Copyright 2011, Norman P. Burdett
Increase Mather was a prominent clergyman in Boston, Massachusetts. He demurs that the only reason for his writing this book is to correct some inaccurate published accounts that had been circulating in London. Presumably, he found them unflattering of the English position in the War that had broken out in New England.
While his strong sectarian beliefs color his opinions, the facts that he presents are fairly accurate, seen in the light of other contemporary accounts.
Every turn of events is seen as the working of God's hand. If the Indians gain a victory, they are God's instrument to remind the Colonists of their failure to live up to His lofty standards. If the advantage falls to the English, Mather asserts that the devil-worshipping savages have been shown the power of God's vengeance.
We do however gain insight into the daily horrors that the war visits upon both parties and watch as the struggle for dominance teeters back and forth between the Native Tribes as they band together to expel the English from their traditional territory and the English who battle to maintain the foothold they have gained in the past half century, creating a Theocracy, taming a hostile land where they can practice their beliefs untroubled by the government in the mother country.
This war is the most destructive war between Native Americans and English Settlers in history in terms of the percentage of the English population killed.
Each side fought a war of devastation, each burning the homes and crops of the other and slaughtering at every opportunity without regard for the age or gender of their victims. Town after English town was burnt to the ground by the Indians, while the English soldiers missed no opportunity to wipe out Indian villages they came upon.
The war lasts a little less than fifteen months. At the end of it all the loss of lives and destruction of property leaves both parties in a devastated condition. The English gain the victory at a terrible cost, and the war signals the beginning of the end for the Indian way of life as a distinct culture in America.
Books in this series:
A Brief History of the War with the Indians (Abidged)
Rhode Island Deputy Governor John Easton
The Ordeal of the Thomas Eames Family
Captain Oliver´s Narrative
Captain James Oliver
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