78 This role demanded that instead of simply noting facts he also include the

78 this role demanded that instead of simply noting

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78 This role demanded that, instead of simply noting facts, he also include the logic behind the information. By so doing, he moved from being an outside ob- server to a participant-observer, engaging with, instead of just watching, Native Americans. Even as he objected to their claims, he began to recog- nize the coherence of the Native Americans’ reasoning and the nature of their sense of justice. Williams employed the transcription and dialogue method of mediation in A Key and The Bloudy Tenent. In A Key an Englishman and a Narra- gansett engage in dialogue; in The Bloudy Tenent, Peace and Truth are inter- locutors: Peace is often charged with quoting the official positions of John Cotton or Massachusetts Bay, and Truth patiently offers counter positions. He allowed both sides to make their own judgments but also attempted to present them with a fuller picture of one another, and ultimately the interlocutors in both pieces find common ground. As Williams wrote to Winthrop, he believed that by recording the actual words of the Native Americans, he could better foster understanding. After transcribing a Nar- ragansett leader’s speech, Williams admitted he disagreed with the leader but explained, ‘‘I was willing to gratifie him in this because as I know your owne heart studies peace, and their soule good: So your Wisedome may 77. Williams, ‘‘To John Winthrop, ca. 12 August 1637,’’ CRW 1:110. 78. Williams, ‘‘To Governor John Winthrop, 20 August 1637,’’ CRW 1:112–14; ‘‘To Governor John Winthrop, ca. 9 September 1637,’’ CRW 1:118–19.
596 Early American Studies Fall 2011 make use of it unto others who happily take some more pleasure in Wars.’’ 79 His determination that peace required dialogue prompted Williams to orga- nize face-to-face meetings between New England Native Americans and English colonists who were at odds with each other. 80 But Williams became increasingly convinced that dialogue between two peoples could not always dislodge deeply entrenched beliefs or stereotypes. He saw this clearly in his efforts to convert Native Americans to Christian- ity, a project he abandoned sometime after 1638. 81 He gave up on the goal of conversion because, he explained in 1644, ‘‘In matters of the Earth men will helpe to spell out each other, but in matters of Heaven (to which the soule is naturally so adverse) how far are the Eares of man hedged up from listening to all improper Language?’’ 82 In other words, Williams had found it possible for people to negotiate in most secular matters, but not in spiri- tual matters. In A Key Williams revealed how tightly men held to their erroneous religious beliefs, even when confronted with the truth. For exam- ple, Englishmen who attempted to teach Native Americans the Genesis story of Creation would probably meet the following response: ‘‘Wee never heard of this before: and then will relate how they have it from their Fathers, that Kauta ´ntowwit made one man and woman of a stone, which disliking,

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