Saturday, March 19, 2016

Indian Biography: William Apess: Methodist Preacher

William Apess is most noted as he wrote one of the first published autobiographies written by a Native American.  An Indian of mixed blood, he was of the Pequot Tribe, descended through his mother of King Philip, a prominent chief.  He married his first wife, Mary Wood another Pequot Indian of mixed blood and they had four children.  After she passed away, he felt it his duty to preach.  He preached at white and Native American services.  He published his autobiography during this period.  "I felt convinced that Christ died for all mankind – that age, sect, color, country, or situation make no difference. I felt an assurance that I was included in the plan of redemption with all my brethren." – A Son of the Forest"
Over time he became more bitter about the way Indians had been treated by whites.  This showed in his preaching, as well as in tracts he wrote.  His second autobiography, The Experiences of Five Christian Indians" represented this change.  Among other things he wrote about King Philip as a leader equal to Washington, and talked about his murder.  As a result he was much less popular as a preacher.  He remarried and moved to New York were he died form a stroke.   
Material taken from WIkepedia and "American Indian Biographies"

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