The approach of Thanksgiving, that quintessential American holiday, has me brooding once again over scientists’ slanderous portrayals of Native Americans as bellicose brutes. These scientists have replaced the myth of the noble savage with the myth of the savage savage. In two momentous early encounters, Native Americans greeted Europeans with kindness. Europeans had also killed, kidnapped and enslaved Native Americans in the region. State laws allowed and even encouraged the slaughter of Native Americans.