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"A Son Of The Forest. The Experience Of William Apes, A Native Of The Forest"
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The life and writings of William Apes are a window onto the little known and little understood world of Native Americans living in New England at the turn of the 19th century. Apes was of mixed parentage. He lived with his Pequot grandparents until he became a ward of the town at the age of four. The defining moment of his life was his conversion experience in May, 1813. From that moment, Apes became a committed Christian. He became an itinerant preacher in 1827 and was ordained as a Methodist minister in 1829. No less significant than his conversion experience was Apes' gradual discovery of his ethnicity. At a time when society in general scorned Methodism and Native Americans, Apes proudly embraced the faith and his race. For the remainder of his life, he wrote and spoke out against racism and ill treatment of Native people. Although he had attended only six winter terms of school, he was a prolific writer. He wrote "A Son of the Forest," the first published autobiography by a Native American, in 1828.
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