26 November 2014

Early Virginians, Cannibalism, and Chemical Warfare

Lies My Teacher Told Me by James Loewen, 1995, Excerpts

Profit was the primary reason most Mayflower colonist made the trip. As Robert Moore has pointed out, “Textbooks neglect to analyze the profit motive underlying much of our history.”

In 1623 the British indulged in the first use of chemical warfare in the colonies when negotiating a treaty with tribes near the Potomac River. The British offered a toast “symbolizing eternal friendship,” whereupon the chief, his family, advisors, and two hundred followers dropped dead of poison.

Textbooks omit the facts about grave robbing, Indian enslavement, the plague, and so on, even though they were common knowledge in colonial New England. The Early Virginians engaged in bickering, sloth, even cannibalism. They spent their early days digging random holes in the ground, haplessly looking for gold instead of planting crops. Soon they were starving and digging up putrid Indian corpses to eat or renting themselves out to Indian families as servants – hardly heroic founders that a great nation requires.

Pocahontas [Disney], The Virginia Company Song, 1995
On the beaches of Virginy
There's diamonds like debris
There's silver rivers flow
And gold you pick right off a tree
With a nugget for my Winnie
And another one for me
And all the rest'll go
To The Virginia Company
It's glory, God, and gold
And The Virginia Company

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