The Texture of Contact: European and Indian Settler Communities on the Frontiers of Iroquoia, 1667-1783by David L. Preston
The Texture of Contact is a landmark study of Iroquois and European communities and coexistence in eastern North America before the American Revolution. David L. Preston details the ways in which European and Iroquois settlers on the frontiers creatively adapted to each other’s presence, weaving webs of mutually beneficial social, economic, and/i>
The Texture of Contact is a landmark study of Iroquois and European communities and coexistence in eastern North America before the American Revolution. David L. Preston details the ways in which European and Iroquois settlers on the frontiers creatively adapted to each other’s presence, weaving webs of mutually beneficial social, economic, and religious relationships that sustained the peace for most of the eighteenth century.
Drawing on a wealth of previously unexamined archival research, Preston describes everyday encounters between Europeans and Indians along the frontiers of the Iroquois Confederacy in the St. Lawrence, Mohawk, Susquehanna, and Ohio valleys. Homesteads, taverns, gristmills, churches, and markets were frequent sites of intercultural exchange and negotiation. Complex diplomatic and trading relationships developed as a result of European and Iroquois settlers bartering material goods. Innovative land-sharing arrangements included the common practice of Euroamerican farmers living as tenants of the Mohawks, sometimes for decades. This study reveals that the everyday lives of Indians and Europeans were far more complex and harmonious than past histories have suggested. Preston’s nuanced comparisons between various settlements also reveal the reasons why peace endured in the Mohawk and St. Lawrence valleys while warfare erupted in the Susquehanna and Ohio valleys.
One of the most comprehensive studies of eighteenth-century Iroquois history, The Texture of Contact broadens our understanding of eastern North America’s frontiers and the key role that the Iroquois played in shaping that world.
-Timothy J. Shannon, author of Iroquois Diplomacy on the Early American Frontier
-Daniel K. Richter, author of Facing East from Indian Country: A Native History of Early America
"Students of Iroquois culture and backcountry history will be surprised and challenged by this book, which shows in a new way that conflict was never inevitable in the backcountry. Even on the eve of the Revolution, there was still the possibility of Indian-European amity in the Iroquoian borderlands."—Daniel Ingram, Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography
"Well-written, thoroughly researched . . . . [Preston’s] major contribution is the wonderful descriptions of Indian economic, cultural, and social relations with diverse whites in the Mohawk Valley."—L. M. Hauptman, Choice
L. M. Hauptman
"Preston has created an original and stimulating narrative by engaging with frontier peoples on their own lands and on their own terms."—Christopher Bilodeau, Ethnohistory
"Preston is an ambitious and stimulating writer, and his book is worthy of use in the graduate or advanced undergraduate classroom."—Gregory Evans Dowd, American Historical Review
Gregory Evans Dowd
Meet the Author
David L. Preston is an assistant professor of history at the Citadel.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews