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Newton History Series: A Town Called Rejoicing

This program is part of the Newton History Series cosponsored by Historic Newton and The Newton Free Library.

History tells us that John Eliot, the "Apostle to the Indians," came to the area of present-day Newton in 1646 to preach to the local indigenous communities of Massachusetts and Nipmucs in their own language. His mission was part of an overall endeavor by the Puritans to convert the Natives of the land to Christianity. Both history and tradition tend to place Eliot speaking down to the "children of the forest" gathered at his feet. As we mark the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrim's first landing at Plymouth, however, it is an opportune time to re-situate this encounter in Native space. What did Native people have to gain by welcoming Eliot into their community and what were they ultimately prepared to sacrifice under increased colonial pressure to adopt a foreign religious belief structure?


Programming on Comcast Ch. 9, RCN Ch. 13, Verizon Ch. 33

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