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UNDERHILL, John, Governor and Capt. [1609-1672] -- English-American soldier-of-fortune, Immigrant: Winthrop Fleet

Relationship to me: 1C11
UNDERHILL family Outline Descent Tree(s) ODT
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He came to MBC in 1630 with the Winthrop Fleet, but he was no religious refugee. He was more like a loose cannon. His official role was to organize the militia, which he did quite capably. But he is chiefly remembered for his brutal treatment of the Indians in several conflicts. Many are of the opinion that his actions set the stage for the subsequent bad treatment of the Indians for the next three hundred years.

Nonagenarian Myron Luke, Professor emeritus of history at Hofstra University, has this to say of him:

He was a man of so many different colors. He's a man who you'll never be able to quite understand. He's known as an Indian fighter who devastated the Indians; that is what they did in those days. On the other hand, there is no evidence that he was bloodthirsty in any way. He's a terribly complex man, and that is why I like him.
 -30-
 

Chronology

1628
Cadet of the Guard with the Prince of Orange (Holland)
1630
Came to MBC with the Winthrop Fleet directly from Holland, where he had been a captain in the military service
1637
Played a major part in defeating the Pequot
1638
Banished for unorthodoxy (with Anne Hutchinson)
1638-1640
Governor of Dover Colony (NH)
1643
Entered the service of the Dutch
1644
Underhill kills more than 120 Indian men, women and children in a great massacre (Battle of Ft Neck)
1652-1653
Back in English service for the Dutch War (1653)
1665
He represents Oyster Bay at the Hempstead convention

Selected Works

  • News from Americs (1638)
  • Bookmarks (off-site links)

    Bookmarks:2003-03-02 15:27:28

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