I was a Secotan living in the depths of Roanoke back in the day. Life, back then, used to be less complicated. My father used to farm for the family, in which he got to take home a variety of crops which we can live on as long we can suit the seasonal changes. There were times when he brought home meat when he goes out hunting with our neighbors. Those were perhaps some of the most endearing moments I ever had in my early life – simple, quiet and peaceful. Changes – neither which I knew I cannot control nor anyone of us during that time, eventually came to the fore (“History of the American Indians”).
I cannot forget the day when my father went home with a set of iron-made sharp tools, which, as he claimed, will be for chopping some wood in the forest for cooking and materials for making our home stronger. I cannot take my eyes off the sophistication those objects amassed; that possibly no one in the tribe could have given. Are these, by any chance, another perfect creation of Mother Nature, or was there anyone out there who is highly gifted enough to create such wonderful craft? This, I was not able to hold any longer – I immediately asked my father about the tools (“History of the American Indians”).
“It came from white men who landed on big boats”, my father said in awe. I asked him if they would be there on the coast tomorrow morning to see if I can have some of their tools. After he said yes, I slept and waited in my dreams for the next day (“History of the American Indians”).
I got up early the next day, hoping that I would be able to see the “white” men. I have never seen anyone who has lighter complexion than our family and the rest of the tribe, which made me more excited of this unusual encounter. Striding down the path leading to the coast, I slowly caught vision of the white men, wearing unusual outfits that covered them all over. I rushed faster towards them upon gaining side of their large vessel – a brown one with a cloth on top that is white and red in color. It was so huge that I felt even more thrilled to see what lies ahead of me (“History of the American Indians”).
“Excuse me sir, but can I take that one?” pointing to an object similar to what my father brought home last night. “Do you have anything to trade with you?” In a cryptic sense, I was not able to understand him at first, but when he pointed me the long line formed by my neighbors across, I began to figure out that they are conducting trade (“The Colonial Experience”). My fellow tribesmen, who were in line, brought fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, even corals. In return, I saw how happy they were when they got heavy pieces of metal tools in return. White men call those tools with a variety of names like “sword”, “axe”, and “guns”. Peace enveloped the scenario, with the white men telling all of us that they are settling in peace with us (“History of the American Indians”).
Those white men said that they would live with us and conduct trade in peace. They must have come from somewhere, but in any case, I did not feel any sense of danger as they mingled very well with the rest of the people in the tribe. Soon, more of their kind landed on our shoreline, and with them came people of their kind who can do a variety of things – like draw us with color. All of them said that they are all staying with us in peace (“History of the American Indians”).
Things, however, were not all peaceful as I somewhat knew from the time I saw them. As time passed, structures built in place of the trees and other plants and more of the white men living in our plains, my feeling that they were up to something strange grew deeper (Cheek 271). Surely, I cannot just ignore my fellow tribesmen talking about rumors that they are bound to take our lands over. However, when I saw that some women in our tribe transferred to the settlements of the white men to render them with such a seemingly life-long service (it seems that they were not leaving them, after all), my suspicion that they were taking advantage of all of us grew deeper (Cheek 271).
My father, a tribe leader by the way, were called up by the white men for a council, which seemed to be a matter of urgency. He and the rest of the leaders went to a place most of the white men called the Croatan. I can never forget that day – the day when I lost my father forever. My mother, who was crying the night when my father never returned home, got news of the tribal leaders shot in the Sound (“History of the American Indians”). Traitors, I told myself. I have confirmed my thoughts on those white men being treacherous when my fellow tribesmen started talking about them calling us “uncivilized”. That they were here to take the lands off us was a matter of great concern for all of us – far from our initial impression that they were benevolent people seeking new life in another land. They took the women, made them slaves and rape was prevalent. Diseases soon spread across the land and we had to escape to farther areas. Many of my fellow men died, and soon the white men – kind to us at first, took great advantage of our lands and called those their own. Our homes, ravaged and all, were things we cannot look back to at this point. Now, we have almost nothing to look back to as the people who first lived in the lands they seized from us. What was peace back then was actually a tool for getting us on their treacherous trap in favor of their interests in our lands (“History of the American Indians”).
Cheek, G. "Review of Reinterpreting New England Indians and the Colonial Experience by Colin G. Calloway; Neal Salisbury." American Indian Quarterly 29.3 (2005): 720-722. Print.
“History of the American Indians.” History World. n.d. Web. 27 Sept. 2008.
“The Colonial Experience.” ushistory.org. 2012. Web. 27 Sept. 2008.