An ardent sentimentalist, Van Pelt is describing a harmonious relationship between the country’s first settlers and the area’s Native American inhabitants, focused primarily on sharing and community.
Of course, he glosses over what ultimately turned into a troubled relationship that boiled over 16 years later at a gruesome massacre in Groton, which is commemorated by the Capt. John Mason statue, which sits at the Palisado Green on Route 159.
The statue was subject to repeated vandalism and red paint was spread over Mason’s hands with the word “murderer” scrawled over the statute.
What ensued was years of wrangling between the tribal members and the Town Council over what to do with the statue, and a peace was finally brokered to move the statue to its current home in Windsor, where Mason lived most of his life and is considered to be one of the town’s founders. He also is considered a hero for defending the town of Wethersfield against a raid by Pequots.
“It was certainly a contested issue,” said Jason Mancini, another researcher from the Pequot Museum. “The tribe was adamant to not have that statue there.”
Jackson no longer is a member of the tribal council, and now runs the We-Tu Bait and Tackle Shop in North Stonington. Not only was the tribe upset that the state has designated the site of the massacre as an appropriate place for the monument, but a plaque that characterized Mason’s actions as “heroic victory” was a slap in the face to local Pequot descendants.
“The plaque was very offensive,” Jackson said.
The statue was moved to Windsor in 1995, and the editorializing on the original plaque was discarded and replaced with neutral wording, describing how the statue came to town.
In other words, Peanuts is propaganda for a white male Christian America. Males dominate, nonwhites are rarely seen, and everyone's presumably a believer. Compare this strip to something like Doonesbury, Boondocks, or La Cucaracha and you'll see how insular and old-fashioned it is.
As for the Mason statue, you gotta love how blatant people were about celebrating the killing of Indians. A nine-foot statue dedicated to the Anglos' "heroic victory." While you're at it, why not make it 100 feet tall and show it crushing Indian bodies underfoot?
But the statue to a less offensive location and changed the plaque's wording, so this controversy is more or less over. For more on the subject, see Best Indian Monuments to Topple.
Below: Linus shares the American myth of Thanksgiving with his white friends and a token nonwhite guest.
Plus: John Mason, the "heroic" Indian killer.