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Our Beloved KinA New History of King Philip's War$
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Lisa Brooks

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780300196733

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300196733.001.0001

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The Harvard Indian College Scholars and the Algonquian Origins of American Literature

The Harvard Indian College Scholars and the Algonquian Origins of American Literature

(p.72) 2 The Harvard Indian College Scholars and the Algonquian Origins of American Literature
Our Beloved Kin

Lisa Brooks

Yale University Press

This chapter recovers the history of the Harvard Indian College and highlights the multiple cultural, literary, and oral traditions that intersected in colonial Cambridge, Massachusetts. It includes analysis of the missionary schools in which Wawaus, or James Printer, a young Nipmuc scholar, and his Wampanoag, Patucket, and Nipmuc peers were trained alongside English students. Native scholars were trained in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew literatures and participated in the production of the first bilingual works of American literature, including the “John Eliot” bible, printed at the Harvard Indian College, where the first printing press in the colonies was housed. This chapter includes an extensive interpretation of the Latin address of Caleb Cheeshateaumuck, the first Native American graduate of Harvard College. The Harvard Indian College provides a necessary foundation for understanding the complex role of “praying Indians,” or members of Indigenous mission communities, as scribes and scouts during King Philip’s War. The chapter demonstrates that Indigenous scholars were not merely students who received, or were subjected to, colonial education but became significant contributors to a multilingual American literary tradition.

Keywords:   James Printer, Caleb Cheeshateaumuck, John Eliot, Harvard Indian College, Book History, Printing, Multilingual literature, Colonial Education, Harvard College, Mission Communities

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