Indigenous Bondages, Fugitive Geographies, and the Edges of Atlantic Memories
This chapter examines how King Philip’s War gave rise to a significant but often ignored or misperceived history of bondage, enslavement, and diaspora that took Native Americans far from their northeast homelands, and subjected them to a range of brutal conditions across an Atlantic World. It focuses on Algonquians’ transits into captivity as a consequence of the war, and historicizes this process within longer trajectories of European subjugation of Indigenous populations for labor. The chapter examines how Algonquian individuals and families were forcibly placed into New England colonial as well as Native communities at the war’s conclusion, and how others were transported out of the region for sale across the Atlantic World. The case of King Philip’s wife and son is especially complex, and the chapter considers how traditions around their purported sale into slavery in Bermuda interact with challenging racial politics and archival traces. Modern-day “reconnection” events have linked St. David’s Island community members in Bermuda to Native American tribes in New England. The chapter also reflects on wider dimensions of this Algonquian diaspora, which likely brought Natives to the Caribbean, Azores, and Tangier in North Africa, and propelled Native migrants/refugees into Wabanaki homelands.
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