By the end of the American Revolution, southern New England's Indian population had essentially been declared extinct through popular literature and prevailing opinion. At the same time, there were nearly 4,500 Indians documented in census records in southern New England, 50 percent of whom lived in nonreservation English towns. This article draws on ethnogeography as an analytic tool for exposing colonial epistemologies and discourse about Indian “disappearance” and elucidating hidden Indian histories in southern New England. Census records are used to illustrate major population trends as tribal land dispossession and changing notions of tribal citizenship reshaped Indian communities on and off the reservations during the colonial period. In addition to the regional population analysis, other record groups are used to detail the histories of several nonreservation Indian populations that have persisted as part of a diverse and long-established indigenous landscape.
Jason Mancini; “In Contempt and Oblivion”: Censuses, Ethnogeography, and Hidden Indian Histories in Eighteenth-Century Southern New England. Ethnohistory 1 January 2015; 62 (1): 61–94. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00141801-2821683
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