Primary Source: Miantonomo, A Naragansett Plea for Unity (1642)

European Exploration, Perception of the Other, and the Columbian Exchange 

How did the Columbian exchange link worlds?

Miantonomo was a Narragansett chief who pled to his fellow tribal leaders in New England to unite against the English colonists and drive them out. In the excerpt below his complaint highlights the differences in English animals and farming techniques that Miantonomo feels have destroyed the native lands.

Brothers, we must be as one as the English are, or we shall all be destroyed. You know our fathers had plenty of deer and skins and our plains were full of game and turkeys, and our coves and rivers were full of fish. But, brothers, since these Englishmen have seized our country, they have cut down the grass with scythes, and the trees with axes. Their cows and horses eat up the grass, and their hogs spoil our bed of clams; and finally we shall all starve to death; therefore, stand not in your own light, I ask you, but resolve to act like men. All the sachems both to the east and the west have joined with us, and we are resolved to fall upon them at a day appointed, and therefore I come secretly to you, cause you can persuade your Indians to do what you will.

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