Annotated Bibliography for Research Projects

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Annotated Bibliography

Anderson, Virginia DeJohn. “King Philip’s Herds: Indians, Colonists, and the Problem of Livestock in Early New England.” [1] William and Mary Quarterly. Vol. 51, No. 4. 1994. Google Scholar. Web. 5 December 2019

This article analyzes the role that the early colonists' livestock practices played in exacerbating diplomatic and cultural tensions between the Native Americans and the colonists leading up to King Philip's War in 1676. On page 607 we see how this may have related specifically to those living in what is now Kingston (then northern Plymouth). According to the last paragraph of the page, continuing down to page 608, there was a "powerful hostility towards domestic animals" amongst the Native Americans that "dated from the earliest years of English settlement" when colonists "established towns on the sites of former Indian villages depopulated by the epidemics that preceded their arrival" (like the Pilgrim settlers of Plymouth Colony had). The text then notes how this method of settlement led to a close proximity between the two cultures, i.e. the land "owned" by the Pilgrims and the land in which the Wampanoags cultivated their corn and trapped and hunted for wild animals. The Pilgrims let their livestock, brought over by Edward Winslow in 1624, roam freely in the woods to forage, and the livestock were known to feed upon nearby Indian cornfields. The practice became such a problem that Wampanoag women would "implore" their husbands to help them roll tree trunks over their "Auqunnash" (storage pits of dried vegetable foodstuffs) to blockade their corn from the settlers' livestock. English hogs would also eat Native shellfish beds, another important food source. The author cites complaints by the Wampanoags to Plymouth authorities in the Plymouth Colonial Records. Plymouth authorities were less than cooperative, claiming to "know nothing."

The article uses this specific issue of livestock, an issue which certainly didn't go away as colonial settlements grew, to illustrate the unjust practices of the colonists when forced to confront the Native Americans over grievances. Colonial New Englanders were "notoriously litigous" and enforced their own court system, foreign to the Native Americans, as the only means of resolving disputes and grievances. Animal trespass laws were also enforced unequally. Pages 610 to 613 fully document this fundamental choice by the colonial authorities--that they could make no recognition of the inherent problems in their livestock practices in contrast to the Native American way of using the land which did not involve ownership and the fencing in of cornfields to keep out livestock or the constant maintenance of traps to let out livestock caught accidentally, to name two examples. As the author says, and as King Philip eventually recognized, the colonial governments chose to value the protection of their livestock over their diplomatic relationships with the Native Americans. The author claims this was one of the driving forces that led to King Philip's War, which decimated the New England Native American population.


Bailey, Sarah Y. The Story of the Jones River in Pilgrim Plymouth 1620-1726 which in the latter year became Kingston, Massachusetts. Kingston Branch of the Alliance of Unitarian Women. 1920. Kplma.org. Kingston Public Library. Web. 21 December 2019.

This book was published on the 300th year anniversary of Plymouth, MA by Kingston residents to celebrate the history of Kingston before it was incorporated as its own town. It goes over why Plymouth settlers eventually began expanding settlements to live along the Jones River, and why those living along the Jones River eventually wanted to separate in the first place (the then mandatory walk and/or ferry ride to the Plymouth church was considered too long).

Bailey begins the book by talking about the Patuxets, the subset of the Wampanoag tribe who lived in a region spanning from Marshfield south to the Cape, as far west as Middleborough and Pembroke. Bailey mentions that they exchanged a quantity of sassafrass that grew along the Jones river with an English trader named Martin Pring in 1603--the first instance of foreign trade in the region. Bailey also mentions that an explorer named Thomas Hunt captured as slaves twenty Patuxets in 1614. The Patuxet people were then tragically wiped out in an epidemic that struck their entire tribe in 1617.

Page 8 is particularly interesting, because Bailey mentions that the presence of a growing herd of livestock in Plymouth was a definite factor that led to the colonists' expansion into present-day Kingston. It seems, according to Bailey, that the herd had grown large enough for each family to own their own "stock," so accordingly, they now "needed grazing land." It's then further said that the "great price" for cattle and corn at the growing Massachusetts Bay colony also "furnished another incentive to agriculture" as Bailey puts it. Kingston was settled, according to Bailey, in twenty acre parcels that were distributed by lot. Bailey says that the land parcels were chosen to live on based on what was "suitable for cultivation." This probably, as we saw in Virginia DeJohn Anderson's piece cited above, had important implications for the Native Americans.


Chartier, Craig C. “Analysis of the Archaeological Collection of the Kingston Public Library Local History Room: Cram and Allerton Site Collections.” Plymouth Archaeological Rediscovery Project. Google Scholar. Web. 5 December 2019.

This work contains analyses of two artifacts collections contained in the Adams Center. The archaeological significance of the John Cram Collection and the Isaac Allerton House Collection are both described in depth in this analysis, including what can be drawn from them about Native American settlements in Kingston during the Pre-Contact period. There is a good background summary on what is known in general about New England’s Pre-Contact history on pages 5 through 18, and that section describes how Kingston was inhabited, starting with the initial colonization of the Clovis Native Americans to New England during the Paleo period 13,000-10,000 years ago. Pages 34-37 go over the "mobile economy" of the Late Archaic to Early Woodland people who used the Cram site in Kingston as their seasonal home from April to October (the Wampanoags of the 17th century used this same subsitence pattern). Estaury sites such as those along the Jones River were places where thousands would gather to eat, collect, and dry lobster and shellfish to then be stored for the winter, which would be spent further inland. More details are given in the pages mentioned of the various other uses of summer sites. Furthermore, the importance of deer for the Native Americans who lived here is gone over as well on these pages in great detail.

The bottom of page 21 describes the Colonial Period (1675-1775) in Kingston, and mentions that "Native and African American populations remained an important element of the population in Kingston..." where some were likely involved in the sea trades while others worked as hired laborers or servants. Chartier says that "Native populations were likely pushed west of the main settlements to inland, less desirable areas such as the southern uplands" in Kingston.


Coombs, Linda. Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community and War by Nathaniel Philbrick Culturalsurvival.org. Cultural Survival Quarterly Magazine. 2007. Web. 4 January 2020.

This is a review that Coombs, herself a Wampanoag, gave of Philbrick's Mayflower. Instead of seeing this book as a revelation into the story of Wampanoag and Pilgrim relations in the 17th century, simply because it includes Wampanoags in the story to a greater extent than in the "traditional" narrative taught in schools, Coombs sees Mayflower as an example of what the Abenaki historian Marge Bruchac calls "recolonizing." This is the use of misinformation "without considering the false and degrading impression it perpetuates regarding Native peoples' characters, cultures, and feelings" (Coombs). Coombs claims (and backs up her claims with examples) that Philbrick uses stereotypes, misconceptions, and gross cultural error to create a sensationalist recreation of the history he's dealing with. For example, there are several instances where Native leaders are portrayed as manipulative, self-serving, and power-hungry individuals. These are not true characterizations of these historical figures and the way in which the Wampanoag political structure functioned. Yet Philbrick's Eurocentric style of writing manages to cast these sachems in harmful stereotypes with no corrective analysis for those who might take these descriptions at face value. The most troubling example of this sort of tone and attitude throughout the text is mentioned by Coombs as the fact that instead of quoting erroneous 17th century European perspectives of Native Americans, Philbrick will express them in his own voice. She quotes a passage in which Philbrick, speaking as the narrator, says the Pilgrims were fearful to land on Cape Cod because the land "could have been full of hostile natives." Philbrick also relied on a crucial 17 century European mistranslation of the name of one of the Native Americans who helped the Pilgrims. Hobbamock was thought to have a name that meant Satan, and Philbrick goes along with this notion in his narrative. Yet according to Jessie Baird of the Wopanaak Language Reclamation Project, "Hobbamock" was actually an English contortion of "Ahahpamuk." This translates instead to "one that is humble."

Coombs notes that Philbrick does mention English misdeeds, but that "native people still come across in a negative manner, while, by contrast, the English come out looking good." I agree with Coombs after having read the Mayflower. I think the way Philbrick describes the Pilgrims' unprovoked theft of the Wampanoag's corn and tools on their first expedition ashore indicates the truth in Coombs review. Philbrick mentions the act, saying "Looting houses, graves, and storage pits was hardly the way to win the trust of the local inhabitants." Philbrick seems to have gotten out of this event only what it meant with concern for the Europeans--that they were putting themselves at danger and ruining their chances of alliance. This is completely different from the way Wampanoags even today still view this historical act. In Wamsutta Frank James' now famous "suppressed speech" (which he later told beneath the statue of Massasoit on Cole's Hill and is still commemorated 50 years later in the National Day of Mourning), James said that "The Pilgrims had hardly explored the shores of Cape Cod for four days before they had robbed the graves of my ancestors and stolen their corn and beans...Massasoit, the great Sachem of the Wampanoag, knew these facts, yet he and his People welcomed and befriended the settlers of the Plymouth Plantation." For James, this act marked the beginning of a repeated pattern of theft and other unreasonable behavior by the settlers and their ancestors, and was not, as Philbrick portrays it, an interesting tidbit to be mentioned for the poetic reiteration that Philbrick gives the Pilgrim's journeying to a place known as "Thieves Island" on page 71. This isn't simply irony from the Wampanoag perspective. It is part of the continuing "sting" of colonization. However, the point of Coombs' review is not so much to critique Philbrick but to illustrate how his book fits into a pattern of scholarship on history involving Native peoples which doesn't take their perspective into account. All those who aren't Native Americans who are dealing with this history must be aware of the mistakes pointed out in Philbrick's book by Coombs.


Drew, Emily F. A History of the First Congregational Parish in Kingston, Massachusetts. 1942. Print. 4 January 2020.

The author describes this book as "A brief sketch of the History of the First Congregational Parish in Kingston, its three meeting houses, and a list of its ministers." Page 4 says that, "at a later date" after the first church was built, "seats in a gallery at the peak of the roof were provided for the Indian and negro servants..." However, Drew then says that these seats "did not exist long, being found impractical" (5). The implications behind this passage deserve further scrutiny. How did the black and Native American servants mentioned view the Kingston Parish's theology and practices, and vice versa? Was the decision that the seats were impractical part of a shift in the attitudes of the whites towards blacks and Native Americans in the Town? What factors sparked this shift? How did such a shift, if it occurred, affect the African Americans and Native Americans? These questions and more should be researched. What we can tell from this passage, however, is that the black and Native American servants were treated as second class citizens--segregated in church and relegated away from the whites to the roof of the building.

Page 24 describes the ministry of abolitionist Reverend Augustus Russell Pope, who served Kingston First Parish Church as its minister from 1843 to 1849. This was "a time when feeling ran high and hot, not so much this time in parish matters, perhaps, as in national matters." Drew is referencing the political development of the "Free Soilers" cause (or the idea that no more new states should be entered into the U.S. as states where slavery was legal). Reverend Pope "was Free Soil in his politics, that is, he was an Abolitionist, and there were still many in Kingston who believed in the keeping of slaves" (24). Drew describes Pope as a minister who believed that "he had the privilege of saying and preaching what he felt was right" and "believed in taking politics into the pulpit" even though some of his parishioners were Whigs and strongly opposed his views.


Goodwin, Nathaniel. Revolutionary War Recruiting Book [2]. Pilgrim Society. Pilgrimhall.org Pilgrim Hall Museum. Web. 6 November 2019.

These recruiting and enlistment records left by Lieutenant Colonel Nathaniel Goodwin give records of those who served in the Revolutionary War, and he included in his listings identifications of soldiers in terms such as “Negro,” “Black,” or “Mulattoe,” as well as “Indian.” From this list we know that African Americans and Native Americans from Kingston served in the Revolutionary War under Colonel Theophilus Cotton’s regiment. Jack Tomson and John Williams are two examples of African Americans from Kingston we know served, and Benjamin Jeffrey was a Native American from Kingston who served as well. There are other names that are not labeled specifically as being from Kingston but who may have been as well.


“List of the Families.” Kingston, MA Census of 1796. Kingston Public Library. MC 23 (3).

Lists the names and birthdays of a handful of African Americans living in Kingston at the time of the census. The list includes African Americans such as Juba Mullatoe (listed under the Jonathan Holmes family), Bathesba and Esther (listed under the Hollis family), Flavia (“a negro maid servant”) and Rookesby (“a maid girl”) both listed under the William Sever family, and Dill (a “negro girl”) listed under the Zephaniah Willis family.


“United States Census, 1790: Kingston, MA.”

This census has a category titled “All other free persons,” which meant African Americans, Native Americans, and all other non-whites enumerated. There were listed 13 in this category, and they were listed as living with white families in Kingston such as that of John Fuller, Cornelius Sampson, Zephaniah Willis, etc. A man named Quash Quande was also listed as an “other free person.”


“United States Census, 1800: Kingston, MA.”

In this census, the names of “other free persons” included African Americans such as Catt Negro, Quath Negro, Quash Negro, and Cuff Negro. There were 35 blacks counted total.


Vendetti, Tom. “Cuff Stephens, a slave living in Kingston, MA.”

This is a summary of the life of a black slave who lived in Kingston named Cuff Stephens, who was eventually granted his freedom and given a small house on the Jones River. It was compiled by First Parish Church archivist Tom Vendetti.


“Vital Records of Kingston, Massachusetts to the Year 1850.” New England Historic Genealogical Society. Boston, MA. 1911.

Includes in this list of Vital Records (which is drawn from First Parish Church records and private1796 records by Rev. Zephaniah Willis) a category titled “Negroes, Etc.” This category includes the names of 14 African Americans from Kingston.


“1754 Massachusetts Slave Census.” Primaryresearch.org. Web. 11 November 2019.

In 1754, Governor William Shirley ordered that an enumeration of all slaves, both male and female, over the age of sixteen be completed by each town. Kingston listed 3 male slaves and 3 female slaves. It is also noted that “at the lighthouse there are 3 male and 1 female slaves.”


"Historic & Archaeological Resources of Southeast Massachusetts: A Framework for Preservation Decisions" [3] 2019-12-13.