Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Stockbridge Bible Series: A Summary of 50 Years at the Massachusetts Mission Town

Here's a quote from my paper ("From Generation to Generation: The Story of the Stockbridge Bible") that was printed in the Spring, 2007 issue of The Book Collector. It summarizes the roughly fifty-year period in which the Stockbridge Mohicans lived at the mission town of Stockbridge, Massachusetts:

Although Stockbridge, Massachusetts was originally envisioned as a town for Indians with four English families to model 'civilized' Christian living, rules designed to protect the Indians from losing their land were bent by an increasing number of white settlers. Some of the land was taken by fraud. Trying to get their land back motivated the Stockbridges to fight against the British in the Revolutionary War. However, when many of them died and compensation from the United States was minimal, widows were left with no choice but to pay thier debts by selling more land. By the 1780's, the Indians felt compelled to leave the town that was set up for them. Although they had essentially been pushed out of their land and pushed out of their church, nobody at that time questioned their ownership of the Stockbridge Bible.
1)Hopkins' Historical Memoirs (p.20)
2)Frazier's Mohicans of Stockbridge (p.18-19)
3) Thelma Putnam's Christian Religion (p.46-47)
4) Shirley Dunn's Mohican World (p. 206, 213).

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