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A vividly drawn portrait of the powerful Iroquois nation during colonial America
In the fourth title in The Penguin Library of American Indian History, Timothy J. Shannon tells the story of the most influential Native American confederacy of the colonial era. The Iroquois occupied a strategic region between Canada and New York and engaged in active trade and diplomacy with their colonial Dutch, French, and British neighbors. While they were famous as fierce warriors, it was actually their intercultural diplomacy that accounted for the span and endurance of their power in early America.
By carefully maintaining their neutrality in the Anglo-French imperial wars in North America, they were able to claim an unrivaled influence in colonial America at a time when other Indian nations experienced dispossession and dispersal. Europeans who wanted to remain in the good graces of the Iroquois had to learn the ceremonies and the use of sacred objects that their diplomacy entailed. Shannon's portrayal contradicts the notion of the “noble savage,” showing just how politically savvyand at times treacherousthe Iroquois Nation was in the face of colonialism.
About the Author
Timothy J. Shannon is an associate professor of history at Gettysburg College. He is the author of Indians and the Colonists at the Crossroads of Empire as well as numerous scholarly articles.
Table of Contents
Prologue: Four Kings and a Queen 1
Peace in the Balance 11
Linking Arms 47
"The Method of Doing Business" 78
Paths and Chains 103
Partners in Empire 134
New Nations 170
Epilogue: John Norton's American Frontier 210