78This roledemanded that, instead of simply noting facts, he also include the logicbehind 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 oftheir sense of justice.Williams employed the transcription and dialogue method of mediationinA KeyandThe Bloudy Tenent.InA Keyan Englishman and a Narra-gansett engage in dialogue; inThe Bloudy Tenent,Peace and Truth are inter-locutors: Peace is often charged with quoting the official positions of JohnCotton or Massachusetts Bay, and Truth patiently offers counter positions.He allowed both sides to make their own judgments but also attemptedto present them with a fuller picture of one another, and ultimately theinterlocutors in both pieces find common ground. As Williams wrote toWinthrop, he believed that by recording the actual words of the NativeAmericans, he could better foster understanding. After transcribing a Nar-ragansett leader’s speech, Williams admitted he disagreed with the leaderbut explained, ‘‘I was willing to gratifie him in this because as I know yourowne heart studies peace, and their soule good: So your Wisedome may77. Williams, ‘‘To John Winthrop, ca. 12 August 1637,’’CRW1:110.78. Williams, ‘‘To Governor John Winthrop, 20 August 1637,’’CRW1:112–14;‘‘To Governor John Winthrop, ca. 9 September 1637,’’CRW1:118–19.
596Early American Studies•Fall 2011make use of it unto others who happily take some more pleasure in Wars.’’79His determination that peace required dialogue prompted Williams to orga-nize face-to-face meetings between New England Native Americans andEnglish colonists who were at odds with each other.80But Williams became increasingly convinced that dialogue between twopeoples 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 1638.81He gave up on the goalof conversion because, he explained in 1644, ‘‘In matters of the Earth menwill helpe to spell out each other, but in matters of Heaven (to which thesoule is naturally so adverse) how far are the Eares of man hedged up fromlistening to all improper Language?’’82In other words, Williams had foundit possible for people to negotiate in most secular matters, but not in spiri-tual matters. InA KeyWilliams revealed how tightly men held to theirerroneous religious beliefs, even when confronted with the truth. For exam-ple, Englishmen who attempted to teach Native Americans the Genesisstory of Creation would probably meet the following response: ‘‘Wee neverheard of this before: and then will relate how they have it from their Fathers,thatKauta´ntowwitmade one man and woman of a stone, which disliking,