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A Feast for the Innocents: Honoring Native Americans lost in the Pavonia Massacre of 1643

February 5, 2018 11:50 am

KINGSTON — The Old Dutch Church of Kingston will host a memorial feast for all non-combatant Native American victims of massacres, and a teach-in with native author and historian Evan Pritchard, 1:30-3:30 p.m. Feb. 25 at the Old Dutch Church, 272 Wall St., Kingston. The event will also feature author Sally Bermanzohn, pioneer in the Truth and Reconciliation movement in the United States. Central to Pritchard’s lecture/discussion will be the Tappan, a nation of the Lenape Delaware, who were the hardest hit by the Pavonia massacre of February 25th and 26th, 1643, in which 110 or more Native Americans were killed, a great number of them Christian, many of them in their sleep. The massacre is also referred to as the “Slaughter of the Innocents.”

The Dutch honored their contributions in the name Tappan Zee, or “The Inland Bay of the Tappan,” their place of origin. In 1955, their memory was further enshrined by the naming of the Tappan Zee Bridge

near Nyack, but a few months ago that name was dropped for “Mario M. Cuomo Bridge,” without public input, and with a growing outcry from the public that these admirable riverkeepers should not be

forgotten and the name restored.

Evan Pritchard (who has taught at Bard, Vassar, Marist, and Pace) is the author of the new book The Tappan: Keepers of the River Crossings, and is slated to receive an Historian of the Year Award from the

Tappantown Historical Society later the same day for his research. Sally Bermanzohn, author of Through Survivors’ Eyes (2003) helped to establish the first Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Greensboro,

N.C., and testified at the hearings.

Join us for this time of remembering, honoring, learning, and feasting. Following the lecture and discussion, there will be a general conversation about the power of truth and the promise of reconciliation (as experienced in Southern Africa, the UN, Canada, Greensboro, N.C., etc.) and a brief ceremony of condolence and repentance for the many such massacres that remain untold. Book signing to follow. Free to the public. Donations welcome.