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E/MS Unit I: Two Cultures Collide: Early Relations Between English Settlers and Indigenous People in Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay Colonies Lesson B: Indian “Praying Towns”
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Document E/MS I-9: Teaching and Preaching: Excerpt from John Winthrop’s Journal, Describing the Rev. John Eliot’s Methods of Instructing Indians, 1647

[Eliot's] manner of proceeding was thus: he would persuade one of the other elders or some magistrate to begin the exercise with prayer in English; then he took a text, and read it first in the Indian language, and after in English; then he preached to them in Indian about an hour; (but first I should have spoke of the catechising their children, who were soon brought to answer some short questions, whereupon he gave each of the men apple or a cake), then he demanded of some of the chiefs, if they understood him; if they answered, yea, then he asked them if they had any questions to propound: askpropound. And they had usually two or three more questions, which he did resolve…

[One] question was, what was the reason, that when all Englishmen did know God, yet some of them were poor. His answer was, 1. that God knows it is better for his children to be good than be rich; he knows withal, that if some of them had riches, they would abuse them, and wax: actwax proud and wanton: immoralwanton, etc.. therefore he gives them no more riches than may be needful for them, that they may be kept from pride, etc. to depend upon him, 2. he would hereby have men know, that he hath better blessings to bestow: givebestow upon good men than riches, etc., and that their best portion: share of an inheritanceportion is in heaven, etc.

[Another] question was, if a man had two wives, (which was ordinary with them), seeing he must put away one, which he should put away. To this it was answered, that by the law of God the first is the true wife, and the other is no wife; but if such a case fell out, they should then repair: gorepair to the magistrates, and they would direct them what to do, for it might be, that the first wife might be an adulteress: a married woman having sexual relations with a man who is not her husbandadulteress, etc., and then she was to be put away.

When all their questions were resolved: agreed toresolved, he concluded with prayer in the Indian language.

From John Winthrop's journal for 1647.