Analysis Of Reverend John Heckewelder's The Arrival Of The Europeans

Decent Essays

First contact between the Indigenous Americans and Europeans is perhaps one of the most impactful points in Native American history, setting an important precedent for the power dynamic during the next century. This initial contact between the two contrasting groups is one that can be described with words of awe, great ignorance, and perhaps unfortunate circumstances as it would be the precursor to the eventual exploitation of the American Indigenous people. Although there are few sources of Native record on the topic, with help from Reverend John Heckewelder’s account, The Arrival of the Dutch, it is possible to better understand the critical responses of the Indigenous people from first contact in Manhattan. Furthermore, analysis of how …show more content…

The Reverend explains this preparation, saying, “plenty of meat for a sacrifice; the women were required to prepare the best of victuals… and a grand dance” (p. 40). To be short, the Natives truly believed that this was indeed one of their gods. From the food to the grand dance, these responses are for those of gods, and there did not seem to be any hesitation in what they had believed to experience in the sighting of the vessel. In addition to the physical preparation, there was also intense discussion about what this visit could represent and how to rejoice or repent when the great Mannitto arrived on shore. To be sure, all of these responses were without confirmation nor any direct signs that it was indeed the great Mannitto. These responses, furthermore, would not only ingrain a sense of inferiority among the Natives, but soon also a sense of superiority within the Europeans. Although the Natives were not cognizant of the real identity of the people on board the ship, their initial assumption continued into first contact on the beach of Manhattan and served as unintentional support to the Europeans’ preconceived notion of their own superiority. This accidental coincidence can be seen when the Reverend describes the interaction

Get Access
Get Access