1651English Puritan minister John Eliot began to establish “Praying Towns” for the protection and assimilation of Indigenous people who converted to Christianity.People and Communities, Events & Anniversaries, State Events, Indigenous People's History

The General Court granted permission for these “Praying Towns,” which were established on the frontiers under the supervision of Daniel Gookin, the colony’s “Indian Agent.” The purpose was to separate and protect Native people from their unconverted kin, as well as from colonists, and to free up more land for colonial settlement. Some Indigenous men were selected to be educated at Harvard Indian College, established in the 1640s, to become missionaries among their own people. The Puritan minister John Eliot translated the New Testament into an Indigenous language. The introduction of Praying Towns and Christianity was divisive for Indigenous families and communities. Some Cape Ann Pawtucket joined the Praying Indian Town of Wamesit (present-day Lowell).

“John Eliot’s Brief Narrative.” Collection at Bartleby.Com, 15 June 2022, https://www.bartleby.com/lit-hub/american-historical-documents/john-eliots-brief-narrative/.
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