Abstract

Susquehannock Indians and Virginia colonists had a long history of friendship and alliance, but they unexpectedly went to war in 1675 over a misunderstanding about stolen pigs. That war, which has seldom attracted attention from historians except as the spark for the colonial insurrection known as Bacon's Rebellion, remains poorly understood. The Susquehannock-Virginia War lasted longer than the short-lived rebellion it spawned and produced more far-reaching transformations among both peoples, above all the growth of racialized divides in Virginia and the forging of new bonds between Susquehannocks and their indigenous neighbors. The key to understanding the causes and consequences of this conflict is an appreciation for Susquehannocks' and Virginians' distinct cultures of emotional experience and expression. These cultures were epitomized by the paradoxical fusion of grief and violence in the Susquehannocks' practice of mourning war and by the tangled relationship between fear and love embedded in the Virginians' patriarchal ideal. Such emotions were foundational to both peoples' conceptions of political and social order, and they shaped the pattern of conflict that continued for a decade. The fateful clash between emotional cultures reveals the centrality of grief and fear to the violent unfolding of settler colonialism.

Additional Information

ISSN
1933-7698
Print ISSN
0043-5597
Pages
pp. 401-436
Launched on MUSE
2017-07-25
Open Access
No
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