I wrote about this on Wednesday and today a columnist at Indian Country Media takes on David Barton’s faulty history regarding the events surrounding King Philip’s War.
Larry Spotted Crown Mann’s article titled, David Barton’s Lies about King Philip’s War details the problems with Barton’s arguments during the infamous Wallbuilders broadcast where Barton said
What happened was the Indian leaders said “they’re trying to change our culture” and so they declared war on all the white guys and went after the white guys and that was King Philip’s War. It was really trying to be civilized on one side and end torture and the Indians were threatened by the ending of torture and so we had to go in and we had to destroy Indian tribes all over until they said “oh, got the point, you’re doing to us what we’re doing to them, okay, we’ll sign a treaty.”
Barton backtracked in late March and said he wasn’t condoning the treatment of the Indians but it was not convincing, especially when one listens to the entire broadcast.
Regarding the events leading up to King Philip’s War, Barton clearly has a retraction to make. He said the Moravian missionaries were in New England in the 1670s and they begged the native tribes to stop torturing their captives from other Indian tribes. Barton says they told the tribes to just kill them, instead of torturing them. First, it is hard for me to imagine Moravians urging the Indians to kill anyone, and second, the Moravians were not in New England until the 1740s. Barton got his history wrong and it led him to construct a false narrative. This is a big one. He needs to correct himself.
As Mann’s article points out, the English settlers desired to convert the Indians and some religious persons (John Eliot, the Mayhews?) may have complained to the Indians about torture. However, as Mann also points out, the English had some sinister methods at their disposal. Furthermore, the reasons for King Philip’s War were much more complex than Barton describes and involves, among other things, a failure on the part of the British to respect the land rights of the Indians. Creating a false dichotomy (torture vs. no torture) as Barton does, misrepresents the facts and seems to represent a biased view of the situation. Perhaps Barton’s belief in the Mormon inspired American Covenant, such as described in Timothy Ballard’s book extolling British Israelism, is behind this bias.
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