Our Beloved Kin: Remapping A New History of King Philip's War

Gookin's Letter Regarding James Printer's Nephew

Honred sr                                                                                                        224a
I have according to the Councell’s [Council’s] order clothed
fitted & furnished with apparel 2 indian boys
for yor messenger; And have sent them down
by my sonne Samuel Gookin who hath dispersed
the mony for their clothing [which] coming to –
fifty three shillings four pence [which] please to
order the treasurer to satisfy him: I have
no more to ad at present. But my due report
presented remaining-
My sonne will present a pticular acct of the disbursement-
please to order some pson
to receive them [torn] [and] keep
them safe [lest?] [torn: they?] [may]
Slipp away being possibly afraid
to go for England – But I pray
[God] [they] not bee put in prison for
now [they] are cleane [and] free from

Transcribed by Maggie King

From Massachusetts Archives, volume 30, manuscript # 224a, October 18, 1676

Contextual information:

This letter deals with the preparations involving the transport of Annaweekin’s son and another boy to England by Daniel Gookin and his son, Samuel. After King Philip’s War, Native children whose parents were killed or taken captive were frequently bound to labor as indentured servants in English homes. The letter above references two “indian boys.” At least one of the boys was a son of Annaweekin, brother of James Printer (Nipmuc). Both of Annaweekin’s sons are mentioned in a document located in Neil Salisbury’s edited version of the Mary Rowlandson captivity narrative. A Memorandum of Indian Children Put Forth into Service to the English dated August 10, 1676, names two sons of “Annaweeken.” Only one of the boys is named and aged specifically, “Joseph…aged about 11 yeares,” who was “taken from Capt [Thomas] Prentice & sent up Mr Stoughton.” The other boy (age unknown) was sent to “old Goodman Myles of Dedham.”[1] Daniel Gookin was interested in sending the boys to England as proof that the English were taking good care of Native children to justify colonial enterprise through warfare. It is mentioned that the boys were to be sent with Stoughton to England.[2] Parts of the document are also referenced in Jenny Hale Pulsipher’s book, Subjects unto the Same King: Indians, English, and the Contest for Authority in Colonial New England.[3]

[1] “A Memorandum of Indian Children Put Forth into Service to the English, August 10, 1676,” in The Sovereignty and Goodness of God by Mary Rowlandson with Related Documents, ed. Neal Salisbury (Boston: Beford/St. Martin’s, 1997), 144.

[2] “Indian Children,” 144.

[3] Jenny Hale Pulsipher, Subjects unto the Same King: Indians, English, and the Contest for Authority in Colonial New England (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005), 97, 198-9, 317.

Indentured Servitude 

Material from Lisa's presentation:  
JP's Post-War Presence 
Boston as a place, both before and after KP’s war, that was still, in part, Native space: Printer was not alone in Cambridge
“The Puritan missionaries labored with their native allies to develop new networks that could operate independently of aboriginal kinship and political ties.” (Mandell 17) But what eventually happened was the reconstruction of indigenous kinship ties and relations, connected by Native preachers/teachers, as well as a developing and adapting common culture which incorporated indigenous traditions as well as Christian practices.
“Before King Philip’s War few Indian scholars survived Harvard, and after the war few (if any) tried to enter the college, so in May 1698…Harvard pulled down the structure and used the brick to construct the new Stoughton College.” (Mandell? 47)
Ironically, “the building constructed of the bricks from the Indian College was named for [a] man who…profited from” the dispossession of Nipmuc lands. (213)
James Printer lived to a ripe old age, with many descendants, serving as a leader, teacher, and preacher in his community of Hassanamisco, and influential in other Native Christian towns, such as Natick, as well. (see O’Brien, Mandell, other notes, Mass Archives docs)

Timeline of events 

1680-5  Second edition of the Algonquian bible published1681 Meeting of Nipmucs in Cambridge w/ colonial reps re: their claims to their territory (Mandell 44)1682    The Sovereignty and Goodness of God published1698    Grindall Rawson and Samuel Danforth’s report relate that some Hassanamiset families have returned to this village: “At Hassinamisco are 5 families, unto whom James Printer stands related as teacher.” (“Account of an Indian Visitation, CHMS 1st ser, 10: 134)1709    Printer publishes Psalter and Gospel of John1717    James Printer dies

This page has paths:

This page references: