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Cornplanter: Chief Warrior of the Allegany Senecas
     

Cornplanter: Chief Warrior of the Allegany Senecas

by Thomas Abler
 

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The era following the American War of Independence was one of enormous conflict for the Allegany Senecas. There was then no Seneca leader more influential than Chief Warrior Cornplanter. Yet there has been no definitive treatment of his life--until now. Complex and passionate, yet wise, Cornplanter led his people in war and along an often troubled path to peace.

Overview

The era following the American War of Independence was one of enormous conflict for the Allegany Senecas. There was then no Seneca leader more influential than Chief Warrior Cornplanter. Yet there has been no definitive treatment of his life--until now. Complex and passionate, yet wise, Cornplanter led his people in war and along an often troubled path to peace. This incisive biography traces his rise to prominence as a Seneca military leader during the American Revolution, and his later diplomatic success in negotiations with the Federal government. The book also explores Cornplanter’s dealings with other Native American councils and with his own people. It tells how Senecas faced heavy pressure to sell their lands, and how they concurrently embraced a reformed and revitalized Iroquois religion, as inspired by Cornplanter’s visionary half-brother, Handsome Lake.

Thomas S. Abler skillfully weaves together previously discordant strands of the Chief Warrior’s life into a concise, animated and enlightening portrait. Even as Cornplanter examines a critical period in American history, it gives us a multi-dimensional knowledge of politics and diplomacy from the Seneca point of view. Thoroughly researched and clearly written, this is an ideal companion for students and aficionados of the American Revolution and early nationhood, the Iroquois, and New York State history.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Often overshadowed by half-brother Handsome Lake, Cornplanter was an important leader of the Seneca during an era that saw the waning of the Iroquois Confederacy (the Seneca were one of the six Iroquois nations) as white populations surged into their homelands. As eloquently described by Abler (anthropology, Univ. of Waterloo, Ontario; Hinterland Warriors and Military Dress), Cornplanter (c.1740–1836) first rose to prominence as an Iroquois warrior fighting alongside the British in the American Revolution. Following the conflict, he was involved in a number of peace treaty negotiations with the United States that resulted in the loss of Seneca lands. His role in the land cessions led to a decline of his standing among his people. Special attention is paid to how Handsome Lake's religious revitalization movement caused a rift among the Seneca that found the brothers on opposite sides. This excellent biography should be read alongside Anthony F.C. Wallace's Death and Rebirth of the Seneca. Recommended for academic and public libraries.
—John R. Burch Jr.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780815631385
Publisher:
Syracuse University Press
Publication date:
04/01/2007
Series:
Iroquois and Their Neighbors Series
Pages:
238
Product dimensions:
6.29(w) x 8.91(h) x 0.75(d)

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