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Exhibition Join In: Voluntary Assocations in America

William Hubbard. A Map of New-England, Being the First That Ever Was Here Cut . . . , ca. 1677. Geography and Maps Division, Library of Congress

Native Americans—An Original Exclusion

The American tradition of forming voluntary associations first emerged in the English-speaking societies that arrived on the shores of a continent inhabited by thousands of Native American communities, among them the various tribes of the Wampanoag people who lived where the Mayflower passengers came ashore. Each of these nations had distinctive ways of associating. These peoples experienced displacement, war, and devastation in conflict with settler societies. While Indigenous peoples also influenced the newcomers, their enduring exclusion has been the context for all that followed.