James Knowles argued in 1834 that it was God's plan for America for New Englanders
to wipe out the Native Americans, because they would not “obey the
great law of God” which “obliged them to become civilized, and to adopt
those modes of life which would enable their territory to support the
greatest possible number of inhabitants.” Knowles concluded the
Americans could achieve this “by saving from ruin the helpless
descendants of the savage.”
There is a final, far more tragic means to convert the people. Kidnap the children.
- Rechristen them with English Christian names, forbid the use of their own names.
- Punish them for speaking their own language, or grab them when they are young enough not to have learned it very well.
- Force them to live at the Mission School and only visit home 1 or 2 days for the Christian Christmas.
- Cut their hair, strip them of their clothing and religious
artifacts, and denigrate the artifacts as uncivilized, backwards, or
- Do this all when they are young enough to not fight back.
Native populations were decimated by illness, starvation, and war.
But the actual native cultures were more decimated by the mission
schools and "Jesus" than anything else done to the various Indian
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