two-hour documentary about the Pequot War


Last Updated: 19 years

We are pleased to announce that Mystic Voices: The Story of the Pequot War has been selected for national PBS distribution through American Public Television’s Exchange Service. This two-hour documentary about a significant event in the early history of America has the potential of being shown by 145 local PBS stations nationwide. Forty-six stations have indicated their intent to broadcast, and another 18 are still considering. We need your help.

We suggest that this program is especially relevant for National Native American Heritage Month in November, as well as for the history of the Puritans and Pilgrims.

The Pequot War of 1636-1637 was the first declared war in American history.

The English Puritans’ execution of the “Pequot massacre” at a place called Missituck (Mystic) was a pivotal event in the early history of the United States. For the first time, northeastern tribes experienced the total warfare of European military methods. For the first time, the Puritans realized they held the power to dominate the people they saw as Godless savages.

Although the War was a small conflict by today’s standards, the Puritans’ religious rhetoric made their victory over the “heathens” an almost mythical influence in the formulation of all Colonial/American Indian policy for the next three centuries across the continent.

Not just a history lesson about a single regional tribe, Mystic Voices addresses the broader effects of early contact between Native Americans and Europeans. It not only encompasses the pertinent history of Britain, Holland, and all of Europe, but also aspects of the oral and documented history of the Algonquian-Speaking Peoples.

The documentary explores the underlying religious, social, and economic issues that led to this early clash of European and Native American cultures.

It does not characterize the War solely as a regional Pequot/Colonial conflict for control of territory, but rather as a struggle between different value systems. Mystic Voices reveals the historical significance of the War, not only for Native Peoples and descendants of the European colonists, but also for Native Peoples across America and for all Americans today.

Perhaps more importantly, it also provides insight into how the voices of our ancestors help us understand who we are as a nation.

Mystic Voices was the winner of two Emmy® Awards from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for Outstanding Achievement, Documentary Program, and Outstanding Achievement, Program Writing. The Awards were presented by the Boston/New England Chapter of the Academy in ceremonies on May 7 in Boston. The documentary also was nominated for two other Emmys®: Outstanding Music Composition and Outstanding Cinematography/Videography. It also features the voice of Academy Award nominee Roy Scheider, and has additional music by the Grammy nominated Joanne Shenandoah.

With all of this good luck we still need your help . . .

If you would like to have Mystic Voices broadcast in your area, we suggest that you call or email your local PBS station programmer and ask that the documentary be included in the station’s schedule. Your call could make a difference in assuring that the documentary is aired in your state and your location. Your call will only take a minute or two and it could make the difference between whether or not Mystic Voices gets aired in your state. Help us get this true story on the air!

Even if you only leave a message for the programmer this can make a difference. The more stations to broadcast it, the better chances of educating viewers on the subject matter and the more exposure—nationwide—for the films’ participants.

The phone number for each local PBS station can be found by visiting and using the “Station Finder” (found at the bottom of their page) by zip code or state.

Mystic Voices: The Story of the Pequot War was premiered on Rhode Island Public Television in November 2004 and the station, WSBE, has received numerous requests for more airdates.

To learn more about Mystic Voices, please visit our website at the following web address.

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