When reading John Smith’s account, it’s best to think of his writing as a kind of advertisement. Why might he represent the forests as vast, the climate as mild, and the Native Americans as docile?

We will begin by looking at a single moment of contact, revealing how one must read for lost traces in literary texts. We will read for evidence of the destruction of Patuxet, the Native American community upon which the Plymouth colony was founded.

Martin Print, A Voyage Set Out at the Citie of Bristol, 1524-1624 [First encounter with Tisquantum’s people]

John Smith, Travels and Works of Captain John Smith (1616) [Hunt kidnaps Tisquantum]

Thomas Morton, The New English Canaan (1637) [Chapter III, “New-Found Golgotha”]

  • Charles C. Mann, 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus (2005) [Selections]
  • Mary Louise Pratt, “Arts of the Contact Zone,” Profession (1991)