Expat Pioneers

Kinner Holliser 1806

I have read several articles lately comparing Expats to Immigrants.  I suppose immigrants are a type of expat, at least in the beginning.  Landing in a foreign place, not knowing the customs or often the language.  Some expats never return to their home country, like immigrants.  Since my ancestors were immigrants, I suppose my roots of adventure lie there.  I have done some research on my family over the years and many of them were pioneers traveling in covered wagons, farming the land, running the village grocery store.  I came across this story about one of them who was living in Connecticut at the time – John Hollister, born in 1612 in Bristol, England and died in 1665, Wethersfield, CT.

Speaking of the peaceful relations existing between the early settlers of Wethersfield and the Indians, Chapin, in his “Glastonbury for Two Hundred Years,” pp. 12-13, says:

The nearest approach to hostilities that has come to our knowledge is furnished by the following tradition in regard to John Hollister, which has been supplied by a member of the family abroad: While Mr. Hollister resided on the west side of the river, he was accustomed to come over and cultivate his land at Nayaug, unprotected by company. On one occasion, a huge, stalwart Indian, claiming to be the most athletic and powerful man of the tribe, appeared before him, saying that he had been told that Mr. H. was the stoutest pale-face in the settlement and proposing a trial of strength in a fight. Mr. H. assented, and at it they went. After engaging in combat until both were wellnigh exhausted, they agreed upon a truce, and sitting down on a log, rested themselves. Having recovered breath and strength, they fought again, and again rested, fighting and resting until sundown, when neither having conquered, they exchanged tokens of friendship, and ever after lived in peace.


  1. Interesting post. As an expat I’ve also been thinking a lot about my immigrant ancestors (Sweden to America) and what a big step it was for them to cross that ocean never to return “home.”

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