What Would William Apess Do?

Wiqomun (Welcome),

William Apess was a Pequot Minister, Author, and Activist in the first half of the nineteenth century who became the first Native of North America to begin publishing book-length narratives of his life and his advocacy for Native peoples. This page is designed to promote his accomplishments, foster awareness of his dynamic contributions to both Native American and American literature, and make available recent findings, claims, and scholarship that pertain to the growing body of work having to do with his life. It also dedicates itself to strategies of action and resistance modeled by William Apess in his life and writings, prompting the question we must ask ourselves in our own difficult times: what would William Apess do?

This site is also a resource for those who want to teach about William Apess in the classroom at all levels. Included are high resolution copies of his texts, a bibliography of sources relevant to Apess’s life and times, an image gallery, lesson plans, and a story map to help younger students navigate the terrain of William Apess’s experience.

We hope you will find this a useful space in which to learn, instruct, and revisit.

Taput ni (Thank you) for your support.


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