Pestilences of New England's first wars: An investigation of colonial trauma during the Pequot and King Philip's wars

Ashley A Bissonnette, Salve Regina University

Abstract

During the Contact Period (ca. 1600-1675 A.D.) southern New England Colonists and Native Americans underwent significant cultural changes associated with the introduction of European diseases, and the impacts of the Pequot (1636-1637) and King Philip’s Wars (1675-1677). These Colonial Period traumas impacted traditional modes of healing and with it the health and well-being of Indigenous and Colonial peoples alike. This dissertation focuses on changes in southern New England Colonial and Native American uses of traditional medicines, modes of healing, and dietary systems in the early Colonial Period, and how the breakdown in traditional modes of healing led to adverse health outcomes. Colonial Period trauma includes genocide, land deprivation, alteration of traditional subsistence patterns, slavery, and the loss of cultural identity through forced assimilation. The findings of this study reveal that repercussions of Colonial trauma effected both Colonial and Native populations resulting in adverse health status and disease that claimed more lives than those lost in battle. However in such adversity, advancements in medicine and New England’s first public health initiatives were made.^

Subject Area

Cultural anthropology|Health sciences|History

Recommended Citation

Bissonnette, Ashley A, "Pestilences of New England's first wars: An investigation of colonial trauma during the Pequot and King Philip's wars" (2016). Doctoral Dissertations (Off Campus access). AAI10245269.
http://digitalcommons.salve.edu/dissertations/AAI10245269

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