E/MS Unit I

Activity 1: The Rev. William Apess Presents a Different Point of View

Share the key points from the Mass Moments essay on the life of William Apess. He published five books, including A Son of the Forest (1829), the first published autobiography written by an American Indian.

Apess’s final work was his “Eulogy to King Philip,” written in 1837, 161 years after the end of King Philip’s War. Discuss:

  1. How might a piece of writing be affected when so many years have passed since the events it describes?
  2. How do historians learn about events and people in earlier times?
  3. Where might Apess have gotten the information he used in this account of the war and its Indian leader?

Read aloud or share key points from the excerpts from the eulogy or have the students work in pairs or small groups and then answer the questions at the end of the document.