Views toward Native and/or African Americans.
Colonial authors of the fifteenth and sixteenth century William Bradford, Cotton Mather, and, Sarah Knight, centered their literary writing on personal experiences. These three authors writing styles gave rise to different opinions regarding personal views toward Native Americans and/or African Americans. It is easy to determine differences and similarities between these authors when taking in account religious background, social upbringing and personal convictions that would later transform this literally era.
A strong belief in Puritanism offered preconceived ideas regarding Native Americans in the 1500’s, which lead to William Bradford’s initial fear of barbaric creatures. It is recorded in scripture as a mercy to the Apostle and his shipwrecked company, the barbarians showed them no small kindness in refreshing them, but these savage barbarians when they met with them were readier to fill their sides full of arrows than otherwise (352-353). Bradford’s idea of Native Americans could not have been more misconstrued, calling them wild beast and wild men (353). After arriving to the new land, Bradford’s crew grew very dependent on the once deemed beast, for the beast directed them how to set their corn, where to take fish, and to procure other commodities (357). Bradford accepted Native Americans because he had no other choice; he knew his people were in need. He saw the Native Americans in pure form before evil ways of English were stowed upon them.
Cotton Mather came from a long line of influential puritans. For years Mather strived to live up to his father’s accomplishments, never succeeding. Mather’s upbringing gave him platonic world-views, believing that spiritual and earthy realms overlapped, so that the events of this world were but temporal shadows an eternal reality (531). Mather had no personal prejudice toward Native Americans; he wanted to be their advocate, embracing them...