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"Eulogy on King Philip as Pronounced at the Odeon"
(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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Little is known about the experience of Native Americans living in southern New England during the 19th century. The life and writings of William Apes are a window onto this poorly documented and little-understood world. Apes was an ordained Methodist minister with strong religious convictions. His mother and grandparents were Pequots but Whites raised Apes after the age of four. Apes' eulogy for King Philip defied the traditional white interpretation of the Wampanoag sachem King Philip and King Philip's War (1675-1676). The desire to rehabilitate King Philip's reputation and draw attention to the wrongs committed by "pilgrims" upon "Indians" is a dominant theme. At a time when most Americans remembered King Philip as the cruel and treacherous leader of a Native American rebellion, Apes turned the accepted history of the war on its head, calling Philip "the greatest man that was ever in America."
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