Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Contact with Native Americans: Schmid VS Indians

The account of first contact with the Native American Indians during the exploration of the new world is from Frederick Schmid who was one of the first German Lutheran pastor and his letters describe contact with native Americans, the account goes on to describe how Frederick Schmid took a alternate approach to the native Americans compared to the generalised European view of them as nothing more than savage animals.

instead Frederick Schmid's letters go onto describe how he found their culture fascinating and rather than fearing the native Americans he admired them. Frederick Schmid eventually became a pastor and took it upon himself to teach his congregation to admire the Native American in the way that he did after coming into contact with an Ottawa Tribe in Detroit.

despite Frederick Schmid positive encounters with the native American most of the time contact between 'the white man' and the native American ended in conflict. another account i have found is from the perspective of a native American who's village was burned down in front of him/her. the account describes how the 'white man' went from tent to tent burning all their possessions as the Indians were forced to watch. the account ends with the quotation "The White Man proved himself to be the savage one."

From this account we are able to establish the barbarity of initial contact with the native americans particularly from the perspective of a native american, this is important as we have not until recent years (1970+) seen the attrocities committed by the native settlers as we are often only given the portrayal of native americans as savages who are then slain by heroic cowboys in typical western movies and this is the amount of exposure alot of people will have to the events that occured in the early settlement of north America. Although i believe this account to be after initial settlement had began, when europeans had a firm grasp on the land and were interested mainly in the conquest of the Frontier in order to gain new land, this account does give us an alternate view of what happened during the genocide of the Native American indians to what we see in movies and their interpretation of this era. - Schmid account. - Native American Account.

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