The American Indian Who Got the Better of the British and the American Colonists
Top of Mind with Julie Rose - Radio Archive, Episode 850 , Segment 2
Episode: United Indians vs. United States, Swindler Sachem
- Jul 6, 2018 6:40 pm
- 51:48 mins
Guest: Jenny Hale Pulsipher, PhD, professor of history, Brigham Young University, author of "Swindler Sachem: The American Indian Who Sold His Birthright, Dropped out of Harvard and Conned the King of England" We’re turning the tables a bit this Fourth of July week and looking at America’s early years from the perspective of the indigenous people who were here first. This hour, we look at a fascinating American Indian named John Wompas was born around 1637 near what today is Grafton, Massachusetts. He was a Nipmuc Indian, but he didn’t come from any royal lineage in the tribe. His father was not a chief – or “sachem,” as the tribe’s leaders were called. And yet, John Wompas would become prominent in both Nipmuc and English communities. He would study at Harvard. Become the first Indian involved in the transatlantic sea trade. Get rich off of real estate deals. End up in debtor’s prison in London and con the King of England into helping him. It’s a remarkable story, which BYU history professor Jenny Hale Pulsipher tells in her book, “Swindler Sachem," just published by Yale University Press. We first spoke with Pulsipher last fall.