Monday, 22 October 2012
Women settler in Connecticut
''There are everywhere in the Towns as I passed a Number of Indians, the Natives of the Country, and are
the most savage of all the savages of that kind that I had ever Seen: little or no care taken (as I heard upon
enquiry) to make them otherwise. They have in some places Lands of their own, and Govern’d by Laws
of their own making; they marry many wives and at pleasure put them away, and on the least dislike or
fickle humor, on either side, saying stand away to one another is a sufficient Divorce. And indeed those
uncomely Stand aways are too much in Vogue among the English in this (Indulgent Colony) as their
Records plentifully prove, and that on very trivial matters, of which some have been told me, but are not
proper to be Related by a Female pen, though some of that foolish sex have had too large a share in the
Sarah Kemble Knight, Remarks on “this whole Colony of Connecticut”
This extract tells of one woman's findings whilst settling in Connecticut. Her ideas about how the Natives have lived, and have no intention to change how they have lived surprises her and makes them seem uninterested in the settlers. She seems to be appalled by how the Natives have managed themselves with marriage, the 'Laws on their own making' appears to her to be wrong, as her upbringing in England taught her differently.
In this extract I imagine that the settlers wanted the Natives to believe in what they believed in and were confused by their way of living. By calling them 'savages' she implies that they are in the wrong and should convert to their laws and their beliefs.