life of indian colonial convictsWhy were native Indians sentenced to death, how were they treated. What did they do in oder to be condemned?

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rrteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

You need to be more specific. Do you mean by colonial courts? Natives were not often sentenced to death by them. Generally speaking, though, whether Indian people would fall under colonial court jurisdiction would depend on time and place. Large, powerful tribes, like members of the Iroquois or Cherokee, for example, would seldom have members tried in colonial courts, unless their leaders agreed to hand over people for trial. Others who lived in "praying towns" in the northeast or chose to live in colonial towns would be subject to the same laws as whites. A famous example of this would be John the Indian, an accuser and accused in the Salem witch trials. And, of course, many thousands of natives were slaves in the seventeenth century and even a bit later, and they would be subject to laws governing slaves, which could include mutilation or execution. Native American civilians were often massacred by colonial militia and vigilantes, as a long history from the Powhatan wars to Mystic to the Paxton Boys shows.

accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In order to be condemned native Americans had to be deemed to have broken a ever-changing list of laws, that, if we analyse this process carefully, lended itself very neatly to enable those in power to condemn native Americans as and when they pleased. There was certainly no hard and fast list of laws that stayed the same during the colonial period of history.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
Native Americans would not have understood American or British laws, but they would have been subjected to them. Indians would be subject to British law when India became a colony of Britain, regardless of the original tribal law.

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