Across the Northeast, Indigenous people and colonial New Englanders have fashioned myriad expressions of memory that attest to certain versions of conflicted pasts. On one hand, colonial remembrances of violence and upheaval are abundant and amply legible in local historical societies, historical markers, family heirlooms, and many other forms of memorialization. Yet this seeming abundance of memory arises from equally powerful kinds of forgetting: collective colonial amnesias that endeavor to erase, sideline, overwrite, or delegitimize other dimensions of exceedingly complex histories and conceptions of homelands. This essay adopts a fresh focus on Indigenous/colonial remembrances through the lens of materiality, considering the wider historiographical and theoretical implications of recentering tangible objects and landscapes as conduits connecting past, present, and future. Physical objects interact with both mainstream and marginalized narratives in vital ways, opening pathways for profoundly interdisciplinary, multimedia accountings of the nature and changing forms of “memory” in early America. The essay reassesses a wooden pegboard from an Anglo-American dwelling said to have survived an Indigenous attack during King Philip’s War (1675–78). Using decolonizing methodologies, it conveys dramatically more complex conceptions of the past—and of ongoing Indigenous presence and resilience—than stories devised and maintained by Euro-American antiquarians have typically relayed.

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