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Wars & Rumors of Wars in Early New England

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The Cost of Battles Not Fought: Wars & Rumors of War in Early New England

 

Topics: Early settlement, Native Americans, Pequot War, 17th Century New England, Early 18th Century New England, Early American Communication Networks
Length: 45 minutes

This thought-provoking and image-rich presentation looks at the role rumors played in the early wars between English settlers and the native people whose land they occupied.  Focusing on the first and most shocking of these conflicts – the Pequot War of 1636-1637 – it argues that rumors, rather than actual conflict, account for the greatest expenditures of time, resources, and psychic energy in this, and probably most other, human conflicts.

Whether you know the story of Pequot War well or barely at all, this talk shows just how important the first of New England’s Indian Wars was, even as it leaves you thinking about the toll of violence, real or imagined then and now. Today, as in the past, the cost of battles not fought can leave deeper and more lasting scars than the battles themselves.