The Life of William Apess, Pequot

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The Life of William Apess, Pequot

Philip F. Gura, Traber Burns


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The Pequot Indian intellectual, author, anditinerant preacher William Apess was one the most important voices of thenineteenth century. Here, Philip F. Gura offers the first book-length chronicleof Apess’ fascinating and consequential life.

After an impoverished childhood marked by abuse,Apess soldiered with American troops during the War of 1812, converted toMethodism, and rose to fame as a lecturer who lifted a powerful voice ofprotest against the plight of Native Americans in New England and beyond. His1829 autobiography, A Son of the Forest,stands as the first published by a Native American writer. Placing Apess’activism on behalf of Native American people in the context of the era’s risingtide of abolitionism, Gura argues that this founding figure of Nativeintellectual history deserves greater recognition in the pantheon of antebellumreformers.

Following Apess from his early life through thedevelopment of his political radicalism to his tragic early death and enduringlegacy, this much-needed biography showcases the accomplishments of anextraordinary Native American.