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Lesson 9
Comparing Lives: The Assault on Peskeompskut from Two Different Perspectives

Subject Areas
• U.S. History - Colonial America and the New Nation
• U.S. History - Native Americans

Middle & high school

Learning Objectives
After completing these activities, students will be able to:
• Describe what happened during the Assault on Peskeompskut
• Describe two different points of view on the cause of the Assault on Peskeompskut
• Compare and contrast two women's lives in terms of work, role in the community, values and concerns
• Provide examples of what these two women did and did not have in common
• Express opinions about why each woman thought the assault happened and how each might have felt about it

• Investigating
• Speaking
• Observing and describing
• Interpreting written and visual information
• Comparing and contrasting
• Thinking critically
• Making inferences
• Representing ideas and information orally
• Understanding cause and effect

Time Required
Activities - one to two class period; discussion - one class period

In this lesson, students compare two women's lives across cultures in times of unrest in Massachusetts in the late 17th century. They begin to understand that differences in values, roles and needs can cause problems and that different cultures deal with these problems in different ways. They gain an awareness of multiple perspectives and solutions to problems.

Guiding Questions
How did Eunice Mather Williams and Weetanusk think and feel about the Peskeompskut Assault?

illustration of Weetanusk


  illustration of Eunice Mather Williams

Eunice Mather Williams
Illustrations by Francis Back.

Preparing to Teach

  1. Go to the Story Menu on the 1704 website and click Assault on Peskeompskut. Read the Overview tab, the English tab, and the Wôbanaki tab.
  2. Go to the People Menu, find Weetanusk and Eunice Mather Williams, and read about them. Read up to the section titled "1704," of Eunice's character narrative.
  3. Go to the Artifacts Menu and look in the Personal Items/Clothing and Household Objects sections to find items these women might have owned.

Teaching the Lesson

  1. If students are using computers in class, instruct them to complete the Student Activity Sheet for this lesson. If they will be using computers elsewhere, either give them the Student Activity Sheet URL (http://1704.deerfield.history.museum/teachers/lesson9_student.jsp), or print the Student Activity Sheet and distribute copies to students.
  2. Hold a class discussion, making sure to cover all of the points listed in For Class Discussion below.
  1. What did each of these women have in common? If they could have met, what parts of the other's life would each have understood? (For example, fear of attack) What parts might they not have understood? (For example, why the Native people wouldn't leave an area the English felt they owned; why the English attacked Peskeompskut.)
  2. Think about how each woman might have felt about the Peskeompskut Assault. Return to Assault on Peskeompskut. Read the Overview, and the English and Wôbanaki points of view. Be prepared to discuss the following questions in class:
    a.) Although there is no mention of the Assault on Peskeompskut in Eunice's character narrative, you can gain general information about how her people felt about it by reading the Overview and English tabs. What might Eunice have said about why the assault happened? What did she and her people feel they needed in order to survive? How did they feel threatened? Were they wrong? Why or why not?
    b.) What would Weetanusk have said about why the assault happened? To her and her people, what was wrong about it? What did they feel they needed in order to survive? How did they feel threatened? Were they wrong? Why or why not?

Suggested answers to the Student Activity Sheet.

From the Explanations Menu on the 1704 website:

  • Bringing History to Life: The People in The Many Stories of 1704, by Freda Brackley
  • English Colonization, by Kevin Sweeney

From the Meet the Five Cultures section of the 1704 website:

  • English
  • Wôbanakiak


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