A few years after his official banishment from Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay, Roger Williams wrote to John Winthrop, assuring the governor that he had “not yet turned Indian.” At first, it may appear that the statement constituted banter between friends and was written in jest. But Williams was making no joke because his “turning” Indian was not just a possibility; it was expected.
This talk traces the interactions between the Narragansett and the English colonists who resided within their community. And appraises how conflicting interpretations about the parameters of tenancy within the Narragansett Country informed the discord that created Rhode Island.
Dr. Mack Scott is a historian, educator, and member of the Narragansett Indian Nation. His work focuses on the intersections of race and identity and employs agency as a lens through which to view and understand the voices, stories, and perspectives of traditionally marginalized peoples.