Indigenous Peoples of the Merrimack River Valley in the Early Seventeenth Century
William Wood’s book, New England’s Prospect, originally published in 1634, is a familiar primary source to many interested in the early history of New England. The 90 some pages manuscript offer insights into the region’s early 17th century environment, native peoples, and European-indigenous relations. It is an often-cited work by scholars of New England. There are few accounts available for this period, especially those that discuss the Merrimack River Valley, a scholarly area of my interest. It is this scarcity of materials that makes New England’s Prospect an especially valuable primary source. Moreover, Wood’s manuscript also provides a glimpse into the 17th century world of global cultural contact. This should make this manuscript also an interesting source to Atlantic and world historians.