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Into the American Woods: Negotiators on the Pennsylvania Frontierby James H Merrell
Synopses & Reviews
We know them from Conrad, Greene, and Le Carre, as spies, diplomats, renegades, and traders. They've been with us since the mythic past, when Hermes carried messages from the gods to the Greeks, and when Deganawidah with his disciple Hiawatha built the Great League of Peace among the Iroquois. They are the go-betweens, the shadowy figures who move between us and them, linking different worlds.
On the Pennsylvania frontier they were++ Germans and Irish, Delawares and Iroquois, with names like Weiser, Croghan, Shickellamy, and Osternados. These were the "wood's men", at home in the woods, knowledgeable in the ways of the other, able to negotiate the thickets of cultural misunderstanding and mistrust. From the Quaker colony's founding in the early 1680s into the mid-1750s, they did the hard, dirty work that helped maintain the fragile "long peace" between Indians and colonists. But skilled as they were they could not prevent the colony's sickening plummet from peace to war after 1750. The harsh lesson of the woods was the final incompatibility of colonial and native dreams about the continent they shared.
Book News Annotation:
Focuses on the variety of people who acted as intermediaries to prevent war and win peace between colonial settlers and native Americans in the early 18th century. Merrell (history, Northwestern U.) emphasizes the risks they took trying to reconcile two very different cultures, their successes and failures, occasional dishonesty, and the contempt they often suffered from both sides. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (email@example.com)
Includes bibliographical references (p. 329-438) and index.
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