Document Type


Department or Administrative Unit


Publication Date

Summer 2016


Military sources combined with existing ethnohistorical narratives about the experience of Algonquian groups living ‘behind the frontier’ in colonial southern New England provide insight into the impact of imperial warfare on Indian peoples. Virtually every indigenous male in the region after King Philip’s War served in the colonial military. Tribes used the service of their men as leverage in negotiations with colonial governments as they attempted to advance their own agendas and protect their sovereignty. Yet Indian soldiers died in large numbers, mainly from infectious disease. Death rates for Indian soldiers were so high that it affected tribal demographics and led to increasing intermarriage and intermixing between the region’s Indian and African populations. Other issues faced by Natives in the aftermath of the wars included the long-term injury and disability of veterans, the unresolved fate of men captured during the fighting, and the psychological impact of wartime trauma on veterans.


This article was originally published in Early American Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

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Early American Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal


Copyright © 2016 The McNeil Center for Early American Studies. All rights reserved.