Did Europeans Steal America from the Indians?

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Did Europeans Steal America from the Indians?

Not Stolen: The Truth about European Colonialism in the New World, by Jeff Flynn-Paul (Bombardier Books, 2023). Softcover, 397 pages.

Michael HoffmanOct 2, 2023

Reviewed by Michael Hoffman


Not Stolen: The Truth about European Colonialism in the New World is a unique, though embryonic, defense of the European-American enterprise of discovery and settlement. It is not an academic book. It is intended as a popular work for the masses. As such it sometimes scratches the surface of this disputed history when it should delve deeper.

The author has refrained from adopting a whining or aggrieved tone with his “just the facts” approach—and there is something to be gained from those facts, which are of value in the national debate over the supposed moral requirement that the heirs of the whites who founded these United States return, or otherwise pay reparations, for the “theft” of Manhattan island and the rest of the country—to the descendants of the Indians who allegedly stole no land themselves and who, to this day, serve as models of probity compared with barbarous Caucasians.

In the war of ideas Jeff Flynn-Paul (J.F-P) ought to have given it all he’s got, and overlooked no significant detail. That sort of effort is not however, on offer in Not Stolen, rendering it vulnerable to counterattack by the concentrated force of opponents whose books, in some cases, contain the scholarly apparatus missing from Not Stolen.

One fault is the near absence of footnotes. There are a few sprinkled here and there, which make the blank spaces at the bottom of too many pages all the more conspicuous. Many of the author’s most controversial and potentially myth-busting deflations of the received opinions of woke academics are lost opportunities, in that they are made on the basis of Jeff Flynn-Paul’s ipse dixit alone.

On p. 309 we encounter the statement: “Apaches had been responsible for a series of attacks on their Indigenous neighbors, as well as nearby white settlers. In 1854 the superintendent of Indian affairs wrote of the Apaches that ‘no other single band of Indians has committed an equal amount of depredations upon, and caused so much trouble and annoyance to the people (both Indigenous and white) of this territory. He concluded, ‘whenever there is any mischief brewing, invariably the Apaches have a hand in it.”

Who was the superintendent of Indian affairs in 1854? We’re not told. With regard to what incident or incidents were his hostile characterizations made? We’re not informed. What depredations by the US government or white settlers had been inflicted upon the Apaches by 1854? Again, J.F-P doesn’t say. Rather than fill in the gaps, we’re provided with a declaration that could have been a transcript of remarks by Brigadier General Joseph R. West, the Apache-hating assassin of Mangas Coloradas, a tribal chief of the Chiricahua band of Apaches who, while on a peace mission, was treacherously murdered on West’s orders in 1863.

The author would know the answers had he consulted the now standard history, The Apache Wars (2016) by Paul Andrew Hutton. Mr. Flynn-Paul seems to have no knowledge of it. Hutton’s book pulls no punches with regard to either white or Native violence and injustice. One is alternately moved between anger at the crimes of whites in one chapter of The Apache Wars, and outrage at Indian crimes in another.

Not Stolen’s thesis is correct: generally speaking with some exceptions, indigenous Americans were not above ritually torturing, murdering, kidnapping, brutally enslaving and even eating their fellow Natives in rival tribes. The notion that Ithaca, New York’s Cornell University (and a hundred other institutions of higher learning equally contested), is situated on land “stolen from Native people” is a hoax, given that in the case of Ithaca, the Iroquois themselves expropriated the land from other tribes.

The benighted omission of the history of Native American civil wars is the foundation upon which the cries for Cornell to be “returned” to the Iroquois (to cite one instance), are put forth. Lost in the folds of dainty political correctness are the facts of the ferocious inter-tribal warfare of the Natives.

In the Southwest in the mid-19th century, to speak of an “Apache tribe” connoting a nation, would be a misnomer, unless it was a designation employed to distinguish between the Apache and for example, the Comanche or the Navajo. Otherwise, “Apache” only designates shared ethnic and linguistic characteristics common to “bands” of Chiricahua, Mescalero and White Mountain (among other bands), that were often (to put it mildly), not in affiliation or solidarity with one another, and who resided in lands ethnologists term “Apacheria.” Their divisions contributed to their defeat.

As part of the internecine warfare prior to and even in the midst of white settlement, the theft of tribal land by other Indian tribes was typical: the Iroquois stole land from the Huron; the Blackfeet purloined territory from the Flathead. On and on the examples of massive theft of territory by fellow Natives fill the records of the chronicle of North America, extending back to pre-Columbian annals, when “white racism” and “European settler-colonialism “were not factors.

This thieving is not an indicator of some special perfidy of the Indians of North America. It is a universal fact of ethnology, visible in most pre-Christian (and many pretend “Christian”) nations and cultures. Our Anglo-Saxon ancestors “stole” Britain from the Picts, and in turn our Norman ancestors stole it from the Saxons. Who pays reparations to whom in that scenario?

The psychological consequences of inducing a permanent mentality of grievance in a nation of people are crippling. The Picts, Saxons and Normans all moved on and formed one nation, whose unity led to the remarkable historical fact of the small island nation of Britain at one time governing nearly one-fourth of the earth and producing the Chaucers, Miltons and Magna Cartas that contributed to the liberty and ennoblement of humanity.

During the 1947 partition of India, the competing territorial claims of tribes of Hindu Marathi, Gurjars and Jats, Punjab Sikhs, and Muslim Pashtuns and Meos, concerning who stole what land from which ethnicity, resulted, according to historian Priya Satia of Stanford University, in the mass murder of between 500,000 and two million civilians.

If there is anyone more obtuse than white liberals, I’ve haven’t met them. Their idée fixe that prior to “the coming of the white man” the Natives of North America were proto-hippy flower children inhabiting a harmonious near-paradise, is preposterous.

Some of the most potent supporting documentation which subverts the pre-Columbian North American paradise myth will be found in David Graeber and David Wengrow’s 2021 vade mecum, The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity. The data they marshal—new evidence of the relentless genocide, slavery and occult diabolism perpetrated by Native nations in the western hemisphere against each other—would have made it the volume Not Stolen should have been. Unfortunately, Graeber and Wengrow’s text is accompanied by obsequious qualifications intended to soften the blow its radical facts administer to woke dogma.

Of course Flynn-Paul studied the findings in The Dawn of Everything for the benefit of his own book, right? Wrong. In fact, one wonders whether he troubled to read it. Instead, he derides it as moronic political correctness: “In this book (The Dawn of Everything), Graeber and his coauthor, David Wengrow…suggest any history, emphasizing positive sides of European civilization, can be read as a retroactive apology for genocide…”

Yes, they do camouflage their historical dynamite in that manner. How else would their findings have successfully eluded the gatekeepers and gained a contract from a major New York publishing house?

From the pages of Graeber and Wengrow’s The Dawn of Everythingwe learn about the Calusa Indians of the Florida Keys—the slavery, genocide and dictatorship perpetrated by their leaders (p. 151). We are informed concerning the Natchez people of Louisiana: their monarch was known as the Natchez Sun. “He appeared to wield unlimited power. His every movement was greeted by elaborate rituals of deference, bowing and scraping; he could order arbitrary executions, help himself to any of his subject’s possessions and do pretty much anything he liked” (The Dawn of Everything, p. 156).

Graeber and Wengrow report that “Among Aboriginal societies on the Northwest Coast…(f)rom the Klamath River northwards, there existed societies dominated by warrior aristocracies engaged in frequent inter-group raiding and in which, traditionally, a significant portion of the population had consisted of chattel slaves. This apparently had been true as long as anyone living there could remember…Throughout this entire region, a 1500 mile strip of land from the Copper River delta to Cape Mendocino, inter-group raiding for slaves was endemic, and had been for as long as anyone could recall. In all these societies of the Northwest Coast, nobles alone enjoyed the ritual prerogative to engage with guardian spirits who conferred access to aristocratic titles, and the right to keep the slaves captured in raids” (pp. 176-177, 182).

“… slaves (of the Natives) on the northwest coast were hewers of wood and drawers of water, but they were especially involved in the mass harvesting, cleaning and processing of salmon and other anadromous fish…The first European accounts of the region in the late eighteenth century speak of slaves…These accounts suggest that perhaps a quarter of the indigenous Northwest Coast population lived in bondage —which is about the equivalent to proportions found in the Roman Empire, or classical Athens, or indeed the cotton plantations of the American South.

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“What’s more, slavery on the Northwest Coast was a hereditary status: if you were a slave, your children were also fated to be so…Current archaeological and ethno-historical research…suggests that the institution of slavery goes back a very long way indeed on the Northwest Coast, many centuries before European ships began docking at Nootka Sound to trade in otter pelts and blankets…on the (North)west Coast we can… observe how many of the elements that later came together in the institution of slavery emerged at roughly the same time, starting around 1850 B.C., in what’s called the Middle Pacific period…” (p. 186).

There is a superabundance of these heretical revisionist truths in The Dawn of Everything. My copy is replete with highlighting and underlining on many dozens of pages. Graeber and Wengrow’s book, however marred by their pro forma genuflection to the gods of woke, is unique historical treasure. Flynn-Paul isn’t interested. His book suffers for it.

Not Stolen has no bibliography. Turning to the book’s index we find more that’s missing. One can’t write a history of the Natives of North America without consulting the canonical texts. The following are absent from Not Stolen:

Alvin M. Josephy Jr.’s magisterial trilogy, The Indian Heritage of America; The Nez Perce Indians and the Opening of the Northwest; and The Civil War in the American West

John C. Fremont,  Narratives of Exploration

Alden T. Vaughan, The New England Frontier (second edition)

Jon Parmenter, The Edge of the Woods: Iroquoia, 1534-1701

Paul Andrew Hutton, The Apache Wars

Anthony J. Hall, Earth into Property

Douglas Edward Leach, Flintlock and Tomahawk

Alan Taylor, American Colonies: The Settling of North America

Alan Gallay,  The Indian Slave Trade

Elliott West, The Last Indian War

H.W. Brands, The Last Campaign: Sherman, Geronimo and the War for America

Hugh Thomas, Conquest

Barbara Graymont, The Iroquois in the American Revolution

Fay A. Yarbrough, Choctaw Confederates

Duane Schultz, Over the Earth I Come

James C. Olson, Red Cloud and the Sioux Problem

Gary L. Roberts, Massacre at Sand Creek

Jerry Enzler, Jim Bridger

E. Laveille, The Life of Father De Smet S.J.

George Washington and the Native Americans

The value of some of the books in my selection are of course open to dispute, but that none of them were consulted is dismaying. We would add Collin C. Calloway’s The Indian World of George Washington to the missing sources were it not for the fact that J.F-P mentions it only to disparage it: “He (Calloway) insists that Washington’s overriding goal was to steal as much land as possible from the Native Americans” (p. 259).

That statement does not do justice to Calloway’s sometimes intemperate but nonetheless deeply researched chronicle of Washington’s attitude and dealings with the Indians, which rewards the reader with an abundance of detailed documentation. To dismiss a history packed with new discoveries because we object to a handful of the author’s injudicious insults, leaves us marooned mainly among screeds favorable to our preconceptions and bias.

Calloway’s critique of Washington is no antifa tirade. Did J.F-P even read it? To those like Williams College Professor Susan Dunn who have studied the book, “Calloway ‘dismisses the old Eurocentric stereotypes of Indians as savages, whether bloodthirsty or noble…Calloway offers no less complex a portrait of Washington. On the one hand, he recognizes that Washington was sympathetic to the Indians’ plight, based on his considerable experience interacting with powerful Indian leaders during the French and Indian War. For Washington, Indians could never be mere abstractions. Calloway also notes that in August 1789, the well-intentioned new president told Congress that ‘a due regard should be extended to those Indian Tribes whose happiness, in the course of events, so materially depends on the national justice and humanity of the United States.’ But on the other hand, he depicts Washington as an imperialist, coldly committed to national expansion onto Indian lands and willing to inflict severe punishment…”

Dunn writes further, using Calloway as her source: “Despite Washington’s humane intentions, Native Americans continued to pay the price for the country’s westward expansion, and treaties ultimately proved a futile exercise. “They, poor wretches, have no Press (newspapers) through which their grievances are related; and it is well known, that when one side only of a story is heard, and often repeated, the human mind becomes impressed with it, insensibly,’ a sympathetic and insightful Washington wrote in 1795, effectively acknowledging that he was powerless to enforce a just accommodation with America’s indigenous population. By 1796, he had become even more disillusioned. ‘I believe scarcely any thing short of a Chinese Wall, or a line of Troops,’ he dejectedly told his secretary of war, “will restrain Land Jobbers, and the encroachment of Settlers, upon the Indian Territory.’

“Calloway is deeply ambivalent about Washington’s part in the Indian world, including his unsuccessful efforts to protect Indian territory and his wish to steer Native Americans toward assimilation into white society. He does credit Washington with devoting ‘more time, thought, and ink’ to questions of relations with Native Americans than most of his contemporaries and most other presidents, and recognizes that Washington ‘saw his policies as setting Indians on the road to survival, not destruction, giving them the opportunity to remake themselves as American citizens.’

“He also acknowledges that the president’s ‘hopes, intentions, and policies to do something for Indian people could not compete with the human and economic forces arrayed against them….

“He (Calloway) notes that the Senecas in western New York borrowed from Quaker teachings to build a new Iroquois religion and way of life, that they adopted American technology, farmed, lived in log homes, worked in the market economy, and sent their children to school, all the time preserving their beliefs and values, their kinship ties, and their customs, ‘maintaining an unchanging core beneath the surface of change…They took some of what [Washington] offered, kept what they could of their old ways, and created new ways to be who they were. Indian societies shuddered under the shock of assault, and then held.’

“…George Washington is arguably an exception. Indeed, based on the evidence that Calloway provides, he was the only prominent founder to invest his enormous prestige in a just solution to America’s Native American dilemma. And in the end, even Calloway concedes that ‘the nation-to-nation relationship between the federal government and Indian tribes today in some ways resembles that which Washington, in many of his writings and some of his policies, aspired to establish.’ The pioneering anthropologist Lewis Henry Morgan would have agreed. In 1851 he noted that in Iroquois belief there was no place for white men in the Indian heaven, ‘but an exception was made in favor of Washington.” —Susan Dunn, New York Review of Books, April 5, 2018.

Discarding and denigrating Calloway, like the heave-ho Flynn-Paul gives to Graeber and Wengrow, detracts from his book’s scholarship and effectiveness.

Not Stolen is a defense of “capitalism” against “Marxism.” J.F-P’s origin story for the denigration of Western civilization is missing several hundred years. He claims that the root of “radical anti-Europeanism—the same anti-Europeanism that has gone mainstream in the past few years—lie in the intellectual ferment of the 1960s and ‘70s…(a)s New Left campus Marxism reached a high-water mark…”

The West has been ritually detested for longer than 60 or 70 years. Inside the Talmudic gnosis, the West has been traduced for centuries. Muslims are the ones the Right wing media have made to represent hostility toward our civilization, but Talmudic detestation is 1,700 years old. Leftist denigration of the West has its deepest intellectual root in the Talmudic tradition, not Islam. “Conservatives” dare not utter or even investigate that verity.

Pages 6-23 contain a defense of Christopher Columbus which is of merit.

In chapter three J.F-P studies the origins of the myth of black inferiority, quoting the Encylopedia Britannica online: “the myth of black inferiority did not really take hold in Europe until the very end of the 18th century.” He is dangerously close to replicating the fantasy writing of the Right wing when he posits so late a date for the onset of anti-black racism.

The earliest known anti-black racism arose in rabbinic antiquity, where it originated and became established. The Bible-nullifying Babylonian Talmud and Midrash teach a racist phantasmagoria which has led to unimaginable misery for black people.

In Genesis 9:25 we read, “Cursed be Canaan! The lowest of slaves will he be to his brothers.” There is no racial designation of Canaan in the Bible—it does not identify Canaan as black. Neither in the New Testament nor the Old is there so much as a hint of any identification of slaves with black people. That teaching is found in the Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 108b, wherein Ham, the father of Canaan, is said to be black-skinned: “Three violated the directive and engaged in intercourse while in the ark and all of them were punished for doing so. They are: the dog, the raven, and Ham, son of Noah. The dog was punished in that it is bound; the raven was punished in that it, spits, and Ham was afflicted in that his skin turned black. In Sanhedrin 70a it is taught: “All agree that Ham castrated Noah and some say that Ham sodomized Noah.”

This repulsive nonsense is also expounded in the rabbinic Midrash on Genesis, Bereishit Rabbah 36, with added emphasis on Canaan: the Midrash has Noah declare, “You have prevented me from begetting a fourth son, therefore I curse your fourth son. You have prevented me from doing something that is done in the dark, therefore your seed will be ugly and dark-skinned. Ham and the dog copulated in the ark, therefore Ham came forth black-skinned while the dog publicly exposes its copulation.”

“Enlightened” Arabic and Christian writers who credited the bigoted Talmud and Midrash with Biblical bona fides, spread the reprehensible rabbinic teaching identifying the hereditary slave Canaan as being of the black race, eternally doomed to enslavement.

The Islamic scholar Ibn Abd al-Hakam (ninth century died 870/1) taught: “Canaan was the one who was ensnared in sin in the ark and Noah cursed him and he emerged black [aswa¯da]” (Cf. Futu¯h Misr, ed., in Charles C. Torrey, The History of the Conquest of Egypt, North Africa and Spain Known as the Futu¯h Misr of Ibn GAbd al-H akam, New Haven, 1922, p. 8). Al-Hakam’s report is said to have been derived from a lengthy isnad (“chain of tradition”) going back ultimately to Abd Alla¯h ibn Abba¯s (died 686/8), a contemporary of the prophet of Islam. Kagb al-Ahba¯r (circa 652 A.D.), a Judaic-Yemeni convert to Islam, taught that the cursed descendants of Ham had been “begetting black [aswadayn] children until they “multiplied and spread along the shore.”

J.F-P excludes the Talmudic provenance of Arab and Muslim contempt for black people, reporting it minus a theological context “… there is abundant evidence that medieval and early modern Arabs were more racist towards Africans than Europeans were, and from a much earlier date….The Arab world was importing slaves from Africa long before the Europeans…” (pp. 59-60). Arabs and Muslims are such easy targets.

Furthermore, the etiology of anti-black racism is observed in appalling detail in the canonical writing of one of the most venerated rabbis in the West: Moses Maimonides, counselor and physician to the family of the Islamic sultan of Egypt.

His Guide of the Perplexed, written centuries after the Talmud and Midrash, is considered by “Conservatives” who campaign for the restoration of Western civilization, a “philosophical masterpiece.” In the uncensored translation of Maimonides’ celebrated Guide of the Perplexed we read:

“…the Negroes found in the remote South, and those who resemble them from among them that are with us in these climes. The status of those is like that of irrational animals. To my mind they do not have the rank of men, but have among the beings a rank lower than the rank of man but higher than the rank of the apes.” (Guide of the Perplexed, vol. II, pp. 618-619, translated by Shlomo Pines [University of Chicago Press].

In light of his reputation for having deep insight into the Old Testament, Maimonides exerted a significant influence over some Protestants. His heritage of hate was instilled in many of the educated elite of the antebellum South.

Where the masonic occult has influence one often finds pride of place for the Talmud. Among the occult regimes of the Renaissance West, Elizabethan England was at the top of the pyramid, guided by the queen’s Astrologer Royal, the Kabbalistic necromancer Dr. John Dee. Occult Talmudism led to the slave trade undertaken at the behest, and for the financial enrichment, of Queen Elizabeth I, who dispatched her pirate captains John Hawkins and Francis Drake to further her commerce in African flesh.

What is missed at this juncture is the datum that the Crown’s predatory capitalism spared neither Africans nor the poor whites of Britain. From the enclosure laws to the mass kidnapping of penurious English and Scottish people for enslavement in 17th century British America, the lower class in Britain were trash in the eyes of English royalty and plutocracy. Philosopher-theologian Timothy Nourse declared that the common people of England were “very rough and savage in their dispositions, being of Leveling principles, and refractory to government, insolent, and tumultuous…the best way, therefore, will be to bridle them, and to make them feel the spur… Such men are to be looked upon as trashy weeds or nettles, growing usually upon dunghills…” (Campania Foelix [1706], pp. 15-16 and 273-274; italics added).

These indigent, “trashy dunghill” whites were said to be fit only to be terrorized by “jailers and hangmen.” One legal instrument for achieving that terror was the evolution of a British system of jurisprudence which sought capital punishment for what had been petty misdemeanors. English criminal law in the early modern period was a usury-capitalist system for terrorizing unpropertied Englishmen. Class interest was disguised as penal jurisprudence. There are many examples. For the sake of brevity I will cite a representative one: in 1713 a new law punished with death “any larceny of goods from an unoccupied house or establishment worth 40 shillings or more.” (Cf. “An Act for the more effectual Preventing and Punishing of Robberies of Houses” [12 Anne, c. 7]).

History is not a case of “white, western civilization versus people of color,” a falsehood imposed as part of the divide-and-conquer strategy of the Cryptocracy. Rather, we have witnessed in the chronicle of the West a war waged by a system of usury banking in violation of the Word of God, in which victims of any race or color are viewed as expendable by the capitalist ruling class. Union Army General Sherman terrorized Southern white civilians and Plains Indians with equal savagery.

To brand my analysis as “socialist” or quasi-Marxist would be a canard. The intellectually dishonest and treacherous Karl Marx has been utilized as the poster boy for discrediting any analysis that deconstructs the foundations of the ascent of Mammon in a manner subversive of the Right wing’s “Capitalism is a western blessing” narrative. Biblical free enterprise is a blessing. Usury capitalism is the accursed engine of the deracinated Money Power that subjugates us to this day.

Chapter 4 is titled,“Were the Conquistadors Bloodthirsty Zealots?” (pp. 71-96). Flynn-Paul’s study of race and the Spanish in the New World is instructive and compelling.

In chapter 5 the author confronts “settler-colonialism’…a racially motivated drive to replace or exterminate Indigenous inhabitants altogether.” Though J.F-P would seem to deny it, this is what Union Army Generals William T. Sherman and Philip Sheridan openly espoused in the far West after the War Between the States.

“By January 1862, Sherman believed that the ‘irregular’ opposition he discerned really showed that virtually all civilians in the South should be numbered as legitimate enemies of the Union army…he blamed ‘every man, woman and child’ in the South, viewing them all as collectively responsible for any act against the invading union forces…Throughout this period Sherman’s use of the word extermination was frequent and exuberant.” (T. Hunt Tooley, “All the People are Now Guerrillas,” The Independent Review, Winter, 2007, pp. 362-364).

After being placed in command of the Military Division of the Missouri, Sherman built upon his tactics of destroying homes and property that he had inflicted on Southern whites during the war with the Confederates, and developed a “predatory” war strategy with regard to Plains Indians. Explaining in a Sept. 23, 1868 letter to his brother, Sen. John Sherman, that Natives had been provided with reservations on which to live, Sherman concluded:

“All (Indians) who cling to their old hunting grounds are hostile and will remain so until killed off.” He insisted that the U.S. Army must “take chances and clean out Indians as we (the army) encounter them.” Sherman is quoted by John F. Marszalek in Sherman: A Soldier’s Passion for Order, pp. 262-63, as follows: “During an assault, the soldiers cannot pause to distinguish between male and female, or even discriminate age. As long as resistance is made, death must be meted out, but the moment all resistance ceases, the firing will stop and all survivors turned over to the proper Indian agent.”

Flynn-Paul minimizes settler-colonialism in the American West, overlooking the Union army generals who spoke in favor of annihilating the American Indian, as well as spokesmen for the American media of the time, including a South Dakota newspaperman by the name of L. Frank Baum who would gain enduring fame with his novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. In the December 20, 1890 issue of The Saturday Pioneer, Baum wrote:

“The Whites, by law of conquest, by justice of civilization, are masters of the American continent, and the best safety of the frontier settlements will be secured by the total annihilation of the few remaining Indians. Why not annihilation? Their glory has fled, their spirit broken, their manhood effaced; better that they die than live (like) the miserable wretches that they are.”

J.F-P defends against the accusation that colonial capitalism was racist with this stunner: “If economic historians agree on anything, it is, that capitalism never actually existed” (p. 106). Capital is defined as wealth in the form of money. Capitalism is a system for increasing the accumulation of money, above all other concerns. The Left imagines that this was for the racist advantage of theWhite Race.” Yet, the white ruling class in Britain, as we have shown, viewed their own impoverished kinsmen as barely human. Those English paupers were as much a target of exploitation and brutalization as any Native American in 19th century Arizona.

Capitalism, operating within settler-colonialism, generally speaking is not guilty of racist motives. It is guilty of unconscionable avarice, which led to the merchandising of humans and the removal of subject peoples. This activity must viewed in the context of Native American plundering and despoiling in the western hemisphere, both prior to the coming of the white man and long afterward, in which neighboring tribes and ethnicities were removed and subjugated.

A similar pattern was repeated in Asia, Africa and the Arab world. The contrast between the nearly exclusive focus on British and European colonialism, and the exemption from outrage given to Third World nations in light of their perpetration of land encroachment, mass murder, and enslavement, is where the author should have centered his argument, rather than on the denial of the undoubted depredations inflicted by the Money Power on native populations.

Like his howler that there is no such thing as capitalism, the author again skates on thin ice when he claims that “…a significant portion of American wealth was derived from slave labor in the South…has also been debunked time, and again, most recently by Phillip W. Magness, in chapter 1 of his critique of the 1619 project…In sum, all the evidence points to the conclusion that the wealth of modern Europe and America was categorically not built on the backs of African slaves.”

All the evidence? He cites a grand total of two references. For one of them (Magness) he gives no source. Contrary to Mr. Flynn-Paul’s rash asservation, cotton was in fact, the greatest material prize of the American South in the 19th century, akin to oil in the 20th. (Cf. Harold D. Woodman, King Cotton and His Retainers: Financing and Marketing the Cotton Crop of the South, 1800-1925; also Gene Dattel, Cotton and Race in the Making of America: The Human Costs of Economic Power; and Michael R. Cohen, Cotton Capitalists: American Jewish Entrepreneurship in the Reconstruction Era).

The latter half of Not Stolen is an improvement. The author debunks notions of Thanksgiving and the Puritans as racist:

“The year 2020 marked the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower, and yet few American news outlets bothered to run a story on the Pilgrim’s landfall at Plymouth…The historical first thanksgiving resulted in a peace treaty between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag that lasted more than two generations, until the outbreak of King Philip’s war in the 1670s…Unfortunately, today’s Internet has become overburdened with anti-Thanksgiving articles in messages that portray it as an attempt to airbrush atrocities committed against Indigenous peoples. Any lingering messages of hope, reconciliation, social cohesion, and democratic renewal, have been jettisoned in favor of a scramble to paint the American founders as fundamentally wicked. For better or worse, the Internet is where most teachers and journalists now turn for information on historical events. A Google search on the story of Thanksgiving returns a depressing litany of self perpetuating clickbait…

“According to BBC journalist Nick Bryant, the Puritans should not be celebrated; instead, they should be called out for a long list of sins…Bryant’s article follows the Princeton-educated historian, David J. Silverman, in turning the Plymouth narrative completely on its head…in his book This Land is Their Land: the Wampanoag Indians, Plymouth Colony, and the Troubled History of Thanksgiving…”

As Flynn-Paul points out, Silverman and dozens of writers like him, spin reports of Puritan victories in the Indian wars as “one-sided instances of colonist-on-Indian aggression,” that were unprovoked by any Native atrocities. Indian massacres of the English-Americans meanwhile, are reported as justifiable defensive actions.

“In the Pequot War of 1636-37, the Connecticut colony suffered months of raids on military forts and stockpiles without declaring an offensive war against the Indians. Only after the Pequots killed several women and children at Wethersfield did the colonists ally with local Indians to bring an offensive war to the Pequots. This campaign culminated in the…Pequot War or Mystic Massacre when a force of some 77 Connecticut militia and over 250 of their Native allies attacked and massacred a Pequot stronghold.

“King Philip’s War in the 1670s also began with a surprise attack by Indians. It to resulted in the massacre of a large number of colonists.… In the series of massacres perpetrated in 1675–76, the death toll to the colonists was fully 2,500 people—approximately one-third of the total population of New England.

“…According to William M. Osborn…the total casualties of Indian-settler massacres between 1511 and 1890 were about 7,193 Natives who died at the hands of Europeans, and about 9,156 Europeans who died at the hands of Native Americans. (Cf. Osborn, The Wild Frontier: Atrocities During the American-Indian War from Jamestown Colony to Wounded Knee);’ end quote from J.F-P.

In all the encounters between white Christians and Native Americans, the Puritans of New England were among the most earnest in seeking their spiritual and corporeal well-being. Puritan missionary David Brainerd shortened his life by his arduous evangelical toil. From 1743 to 1747, he served American Indian tribes near Stockbridge, Massachusetts, and at the Forks of the Delaware River before succumbing to tuberculosis at age 29.

The first complete Bible printed in the Western Hemisphere was published for the benefit of Native Americans, in a dialect of the Algonquin Indians. Puritan missionary John Eliot translated the Scriptures from the original languages into the Massachusetts Bay Indians’ language, Massachuset. Prior to the arrival of the Puritans, Massachuset did not exist in written form. Eliot lovingly created the first written form of the language. After years of work, the Massachuset Bible was completed in 1663. A new edition was printed in 1685, followed by a primer, catechisms and devotional books.

Puritan immigrant ministers helped form two Native American churches and fourteen tribal towns where Christian Indians predominated. By 1671 Martha’s Vineyard became a center of Indian Christianity, where Native ministers preached and officiated, led by the Indian Hiacoomes who had been converted by Thomas Mayhew. John Eliot pursued the welfare of New England Indians for the rest of his life. He recruited young Native men as missionaries and invited them to join his church in Roxbury. At a time when only a few thousand Puritans inhabited New England, dozens were engaged in creating conditions both spiritual and temporal that would improve the lives of Native Americans. Thanksgiving rightly symbolizes this noble aspiration of harmony between diverse communities.

On p. 185 the author approaches the eponymous gist of his book, in a section devoted to the topic: “Did Indians Steal Each Other’s Land?” He writes:

“Any map of the New World Indian tribes prior to 1789—and even afterwards—should…come with the caveat that this pattern (of inter-tribal Indigenous violence) was continually fluid; the logic of tribal anarchy means that no one group held a specific territory for more than a few generations before migration, food scarcity, warfare, or other upheavals changed the boundaries. The idea that these lands permanently belonged to any of these groups is thus a Eurocentric fiction colored by our own familiarity with European property norms…

“In 1649 the Iroquois took advantage of the weakened position of the Huron people to practically wipe them off the North American map…In the process of the Beaver Wars, the Iroquois stole land from the Huron and other tribes, equal in size to their original territory in New York State…By 1780, the Iroquois Nation had stolen the equivalent of at least six times their original territory, all from neighboring tribes…

“…after 1700, a push by the Comanches, displaced many Apache Indians, who, in turn put pressure on the Pueblo Indians, raiding them, and spoiling them of their own food supplies. The fierce Comanche went on to displace, assimilate, and/or annihilate dozens of other tribes and smaller groups in a series of well-documented attacks. Neighboring tribes feared them as a merciless scourge.…

“(I)n early Virginia, the Jamestown settlers arrived to find that Chief Powhatan had subjugated no fewer than two dozen tribes during his own lifetime, via a combination of warfare, intimidation, and intrigue. In Massachusetts, the Mohawks, Narragansetts, and Wampanoag had all displaced one another, or were threatening to do so, within a generation of the foundation of the Plymouth colony…”

Not Stolen is a book worth obtaining, even though it is not a substitute for a thorough, full-scale debunking. It will remain on my library shelf as a reference work in those passages where its claims can be corroborated. If Mr. Flynn-Paul were to revisit the subject and flesh out the history in a second edition he might give us the book this one should have been. In the meantime, even with its flaws, Not Stolen merits acquisition and study.