The Native Americans were treated horribly by us. Everyone knows this, don’t believe your history teachers, it wasn’t all corn and roses when we arrived. When we came, we didn’t just come and steal their land, we also wiped away their history, culture and essentially , everything they knew. We also came here dragging our viruses and diseases that killed them by the thousands. We took over their sacred burial grounds, taking some of their bodies off to museums. We stole their lives, and then we stole their death. This is the story of just one Indian who finally got his peace in death.
Alexander Quaplsh, from Yarmouth Massachusetts and a member of the Wamponaag tribe, once fought with us as a member of the Continental Army defeating the British in the American Revolution. After the war, he settled down and married Sarah David, and settled in the Natick Massachusetts area and like his wife, became a member of the “praying Indians”
The “praying Indians” is a 17th century term referring to Native Americans of New England who converted to Christianity either voluntarily or involuntarily.
So Mr. Quaplsh fought with us for our freedom, then converted to Christianity and yet it took him hundreds of years to receive some dignity and respect for which he earned.
Alexander died some 244 years ago, but his body was removed from its resting place some 164 years ago and taken off to theWarren Anatomical Museum at Harvard University.
The remains were later investigated by the Native American Graves Protection and Reparation Act, which requires inventory done on any human remains in an anatomical museum’s collection. They must also contact Native American communities and tribes that may have any connection to the remains. In this case, because he was a part of the Wamponaag Peoples, tbey had some choice on where to bury Alexander’s remains
Alexander’s final resting place is now in Natick Massachusetts, on the grounds of the Natick Historical Society. He was the very first Native American Veteran, and one of the first “praying Indians” and Natick is the very first town established in Massachusetts for praying Indians.
The Historical Society and Musuem has a great display of tools, weaponry and art that is from the indigenous peoples from over 11,000 years ago. It’s a beautiful building, next to a beautiful and scenic river and dam. And on top of all that, think of the history you’ll learn here, I hope it’s able to open again soon, and if you’re in the New England area I recommend checking it out and stopping by the praying Indians at rest.
I’m glad Alexander got his peace and his forever burial spot at last…
And thank you sir for your service
Video of historical society grounds
All pictures are my own except Indian Peace Medallion