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Historical Practices Argue ThatNon-Indians Have Supplanted Indians

(p.55) Chapter 2 Replacing
Firsting and Lasting
Jean M. O’Brien
University of Minnesota Press

This chapter talks about the local narrators’ replacement of the Indian peoples through crafting a historical account invalidating prior Indian history as a dead-end civilization, and replacing it with a New England history of property agreements and fair relations that authorized their claims to the land. This message of replacement was also evidenced in other settings such as historical commemorations, relics and ruins, place-names, and the land itself. According to Michel-Rolph Trouillot, this kind of memorialization contributes to the creating, altering, and sanctioning of the public meanings attributed to historical events. Through these inaccurate perpetuations, local accounts demolished the complex history of Indian and English relations, and established the idea of rightful English replacement of Indian peoples.

Keywords:   Indian civilization, New England history, historical commemorations, Michel-Rolph Trouillot, American Indian-English relations

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