Wednesday, September 18, 2019
English Views of the Native Americans :: essays papers
English Views of the Native Americans After reading chapter three of Unger's American Issues, I now have a better understanding of how English settlers looked upon the lifestyles of the Native Americans. Four key people that have led to this understanding are Hugh Jones, Hugh Henry Brackenridge, William Penn, and John Heckewelder. In their essay's they give accurate accounts of how the Native Americans lived, through their eyes. I also see how European beliefs reflected their views and how this set the stage for conflict among these groups. In Hugh Jones' essay titled, "Characteristics of the Indians," he basically gives a factual account of how the Indians live their daily life. Although his account is mostly factual, his European biases do play a major role in his interpretation of Indian ways. In one instance, in describing the Indians rejoicing and war dances, Jones says that they used, "the most antick [sic] gestures, in the most frightful dress, with a hideous noise" (Unger, p. 43). To Jones and other Englishmen their dress may seem frightful and the noise may sound hideous, but that is his opinion. To the Indians this is normal and a way of life. This just shows the white man's ignorance to the culture of the Native Americans. In a second instance Jones's describes the Indians in their "finest dress." He states that the Indians believe they are looking their best when they are ridiculously dressed. Once again he is giving his opinion of the definition of what is considered ridiculous to the English. Jones also pokes fun at many of the traditions of the Indians, for example, the way they wear their hair or the painting on their faces. He notes this as being comical and also uses sarcasm in portraying these traditions. Jones' essay provides many useful facts about the Indian way of life, but his European biases prevent him from disclosing the actual truth. Hugh Henry Brackenridge has a very opposing view towards the Indians. Jones never really gives his personal opinion on whether or not he liked the Indians, but Brackenridge make his view very clear. He makes this apparent in the title of his essay, "The Indians Have No Exclusive Claim to America." Brackenridge supports this notion with many references to the Bible. He states that "The whole of this earth was given to man, and all descendants of Adam have a right to share it equally" (Brackenridge, in Unger, p.