This extract from May-June 1607 describes how its author viewed the role of religion in the relationship with the Native Americans. It appears in a text titled ‘The description of the new discovered river and country of Virginia; with the liklyhood of ensuing ritches, by England’s ayd and industry. / A brief description of the people.’ (CO1/1)
The wemen are very cleanly in making their bread and prepareing meat. I found they account after death to goe into an other world pointing eastward to the Element, and when they saw vs at prayer they observed vs with great silence and respect, especially those to whome I had imparted the meaning of our reverence. To conclude they are a very witty and ingenious people, apt both to vnderstand and speake our language, so that I hope in god as he hath miraculously preserved vs hither from all dangers both of sea and land & their fury so he will
make vs authors of his holy will in converting them to our true Christian faith by his owne inspireing grace and knowledge of his deity.
The women are very skilled in making their bread and preparing meat. I found that they claim that after death one goes into another world pointing eastward to the element. When they saw us at prayer they observed us with great silence and respect, especially to those who I had told the meaning of our reverence [worship]. To conclude, they are a very witty and ingenious people, capable both of understanding and speaking our language, so that I hope in god, as he has miraculously preserved us so far from all dangers both of sea and land & their fury, so he will make us authors of his holy will in converting them to our true Christian faith by his own inspiring grace and knowledge of his deity [divinity].
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7. This extract from May-June 1607 describes how its author viewed the role of religion in the relationship with the Native Americans.
- What hints are given that suggest the religious beliefs of this particular Native American tribe?
- What are the religious beliefs of the author?
- Why do you think the colonists hope to convert the Native Americans to Christianity?
- Can you spot the words ‘their fury’? Why do you think this is included?
- Has your view on the relationship between the English settlers and the Native Americans changed since Source 3? If so, how?