The Huron Wendat Feast of the Dead

Author: Erik R. Seeman
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 0801898544
Format: PDF, ePub
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"Two thousand Wendat (Huron) Indians stood on the edge of an enormous burial pit... they held in their arms the bones of roughly seven hundred deceased friends and family members. The Wendats had lovingly scraped and cleaned the bones of the corpses that had decomposed on the scaffolds. They awaited only the signal from the master of the ritual to place the bones in the pit. This was the great Feast of the Dead." Witnesses to these Wendat burial rituals were European colonists, French Jesuit missionaries in particular. Rather than being horrified by these unfamiliar native practices, Europeans recognized the parallels between them and their own understanding of death and human remains. Both groups believed that deceased souls traveled to the afterlife; both believed that elaborate mortuary rituals ensured the safe transit of the soul to the supernatural realm; and both believed in the power of human bones. Appreciating each other’s funerary practices allowed the Wendats and French colonists to find common ground where there seemingly would be none. Erik R. Seeman analyzes these encounters, using the Feast of the Dead as a metaphor for broader Indian-European relations in North America. His compelling narrative gives undergraduate students of early America and the Atlantic World a revealing glimpse into this fascinating—and surprising—meeting of cultures.

When Benjamin Franklin Met the Reverend Whitefield

Author: Peter Charles Hoffer
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 1421405008
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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SeemanKing Philip's War: Colonial Expansion, Native Resistance, and the End of Indian Sovereignty by Daniel R. MandellThe Caning of Charles Sumner: Honor, Idealism, and the Origins of the Civil War by Williamjames Hull HofferBloodshed at Little Bighorn: Sitting Bull, Custer, and the Destinies of Nations by Tim Lehman

Words of the Huron

Author: John L. Steckley
Publisher: Wilfrid Laurier Univ. Press
ISBN: 1554581354
Format: PDF
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Words of the Huron is an investigation into seventeenth-century Huron culture through a kind of linguistic archaeology of a language that died midway through the twentieth century. John L. Steckley explores a range of topics, including: the construction of longhouses and wooden armour; the use of words for trees in village names; the social anthropological standards of kinship terms and clans; Huron conceptualizing of European-borne disease; the spirit realm of orenda; Huron nations and kinship groups; relationship to the environment; material culture; and the relationship between the French missionaries and settlers and the Huron people. Steckley’s source material includes the first dictionary of any Aboriginal language, Recollect Brother Gabriel Sagard’s Huron phrasebook, published in 1632, and the sophisticated Jesuit missionary study of the language from the 1620s to the 1740s, beginning with the work of Father Jean de Brébeuf. The only book of its kind, Words of the Huron will spark discussion among scholars, students, and anyone interested in North American archaeology, Native studies, cultural anthropology, and seventeenth-century North American history.

The Mantle Site

Author: Jennifer Birch, University of Georgia
Publisher: AltaMira Press
ISBN: 0759121028
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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The Mantle Site is the most detailed analysis of an ancestral Wendat community, discussed in the context of the historical development of Northern Iroquoian societies. It considers themes of identity formation, interaction, and increasing economic and sociopolitical complexity.

Hell Before Their Very Eyes

Author: McManus, John C.
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 1421417669
Format: PDF, ePub
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On April 4, 1945, United States Army units from the 89th Infantry Division and the 4th Armored Division seized Ohrdruf, the first of many Nazi concentration camps to be liberated in Germany. In the weeks that followed, as more camps were discovered, thousands of soldiers came face to face with the monstrous reality of Hitler’s Germany. These men discovered the very depths of human-imposed cruelty and depravity: railroad cars stacked with emaciated, lifeless bodies; ovens full of incinerated human remains; warehouses filled with stolen shoes, clothes, luggage, and even eyeglasses; prison yards littered with implements of torture and dead bodies; and—perhaps most disturbing of all—the half-dead survivors of the camps. For the American soldiers of all ranks who witnessed such powerful evidence of Nazi crimes, the experience was life altering. Almost all were haunted for the rest of their lives by what they had seen, horrified that humans from ostensibly civilized societies were capable of such crimes. Military historian John C. McManus sheds new light on this often-overlooked aspect of the Holocaust. Drawing on a rich blend of archival sources and thousands of firsthand accounts—including unit journals, interviews, oral histories, memoirs, diaries, letters, and published recollections— Hell Before Their Very Eyes focuses on the experiences of the soldiers who liberated Ohrdruf, Buchenwald, and Dachau and their determination to bear witness to this horrific history. -- Daniel D. Holt, editor of Eisenhower: The Prewar Diaries and Selected Papers, 1905-1941

Death in the New World

Author: Erik R. Seeman
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
ISBN: 0812206002
Format: PDF, Docs
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Reminders of death were everywhere in the New World, from the epidemics that devastated Indian populations and the mortality of slaves working the Caribbean sugar cane fields to the unfamiliar diseases that afflicted Europeans in the Chesapeake and West Indies. According to historian Erik R. Seeman, when Indians, Africans, and Europeans encountered one another, they could not ignore the similarities in their approaches to death. All of these groups believed in an afterlife to which the soul or spirit traveled after death. As a result all felt that corpses—the earthly vessels for the soul or spirit—should be treated with respect, and all mourned the dead with commemorative rituals. Seeman argues that deathways facilitated communication among peoples otherwise divided by language and custom. They observed, asked questions about, and sometimes even participated in their counterparts' rituals. At the same time, insofar as New World interactions were largely exploitative, the communication facilitated by parallel deathways was often used to influence or gain advantage over one's rivals. In Virginia, for example, John Smith used his knowledge of Powhatan deathways to impress the local Indians with his abilities as a healer as part of his campaign to demonstrate the superiority of English culture. Likewise, in the 1610-1614 war between Indians and English, the Powhatans mutilated English corpses because they knew this act would horrify their enemies. Told in a series of engrossing narratives, Death in the New World is a landmark study that offers a fresh perspective on the dynamics of cross-cultural encounters and their larger ramifications in the Atlantic world.

Children of Aataentsic

Author: Bruce G. Trigger
Publisher: McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP
ISBN: 0773561498
Format: PDF, ePub
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Trigger's work integrates insights from archaeology, history, ethnology, linguistics, and geography. This wide knowledge allows him to show that, far from being a static prehistoric society quickly torn apart by European contact and the fur trade, almost every facet of Iroquoian culture had undergone significant change in the centuries preceding European contact. He argues convincingly that the European impact upon native cultures cannot be correctly assessed unless the nature and extent of precontact change is understood. His study not only stands Euro-American stereotypes and fictions on their heads, but forcefully and consistently interprets European and Indian actions, thoughts, and motives from the perspective of the Huron culture. The Children of Aataentsic revises widely accepted interpretations of Indian behaviour and challenges cherished myths about the actions of some celebrated Europeans during the "heroic age" of Canadian history. In a new preface, Trigger describes and evaluates contemporary controversies over the ethnohistory of eastern Canada.

Coxey s Army

Author: Benjamin F. Alexander
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 1421416220
Format: PDF, ePub
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In 1893, after a major British bank failure, a run on U.S. gold reserves, and a late-June stock-market crash, America was in the throes of a serious economic depression. Unemployment rose, foreclosures climbed, and popular unrest mounted. By the following spring, businessman and Populist agitator Jacob S. Coxey was fed up with government inactivity in the face of the crisis. With the help of eccentric showman Carl Browne, he led a group of several hundred unemployed wage earners, small farmers, and crossroads merchants on a march from Massillon, Ohio, to Washington, D.C., to present a "petition in boots" for government-financed jobs building and repairing the nation’s roads. On May 1, the Coxeyites descended on the center of government, where Coxey attempted to deliver a speech on the Capitol steps. The police attacked, a melee ensued, and Coxey and Browne spent a month in jail. Meanwhile, other Coxey-inspired contingents were on their way east from places as far away as San Francisco and Portland. Some of them even hijacked trains along the way. Who was Coxey, and what motivated him—along with the angry marchers who joined his cause? What did other Americans think of the protesters? Was there ever any chance that the protesters’ demands would be met? Where did the agitators fit in with the politics of their day, and how did their actions jibe with the other labor-related protests happening that year? In this concise and gripping narrative, Benjamin F. Alexander contextualizes the march by vividly describing the misery wrought by the Panic of ’93. Alexander brings both Coxey and his fellow leaders to life, along with the reporters and spies who traveled with them and the diverse group of captivated newspaper readers who followed the progress of the marches and train heists. Coxey’s Army explains how the demands of the Coxeyites—far from being the wild schemes of a small group of cranks—fit into a larger history of economic theories that received serious attention long before and long after the Coxey march. Despite running a gauntlet of ridicule, the marchers laid down a rough outline of what, some forty years later, emerged as the New Deal.

My Lai

Author: William Thomas Allison
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 142140706X
Format: PDF
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On March 16, 1968, American soldiers killed as many as five hundred Vietnamese men, women, and children in a village near the South China Sea. In My Lai William Thomas Allison explores and evaluates the significance of this horrific event. How could such a thing have happened? Who (or what) should be held accountable? How do we remember this atrocity and try to apply its lessons, if any? My Lai has fixed the attention of Americans of various political stripes for more than forty years. The breadth of writing on the massacre, from news reports to scholarly accounts, highlights the difficulty of establishing fact and motive in an incident during which confusion, prejudice, and self-preservation overwhelmed the troops. Son of a Marine veteran of the Vietnam War—and aware that the generation who lived through the incident is aging—Allison seeks to ensure that our collective memory of this shameful episode does not fade. Well written and accessible, Allison’s book provides a clear narrative of this historic moment and offers suggestions for how to come to terms with its aftermath. -- Kevin Braam

The Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798

Author: Terri Diane Halperin
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 142141970X
Format: PDF, Kindle
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In May 1798, after Congress released the XYZ Affair dispatches to the public, a raucous crowd took to the streets of Philadelphia. Some gathered to pledge their support for the government of President John Adams, others to express their disdain for his policies. Violence, both physical and political, threatened the safety of the city and the Union itself. To combat the chaos and protect the nation from both external and internal threats, the Federalists swiftly enacted the Alien and Sedition Acts. Oppressive pieces of legislation aimed at separating so-called genuine patriots from objects of suspicion, these acts sought to restrict political speech, whether spoken or written, soberly planned or drunkenly off-the-cuff. Little more than twenty years after Americans declared independence and less than ten since they ratified both a new constitution and a bill of rights, the acts gravely limited some of the very rights those bold documents had promised to protect. In The Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798, Terri Diane Halperin discusses the passage of these laws and the furor over them, as well as the difficulties of enforcement. She describes in vivid detail the heated debates and tempestuous altercations that erupted between partisan opponents: one man pulled a gun on a supporter of the act in a churchyard; congressmen were threatened with arrest for expressing their opinions; and printers were viciously beaten for distributing suspect material. She also introduces readers to the fraught political divisions of the late 1790s, explores the effect of immigration on the new republic, and reveals the dangers of partisan excess throughout history. Touching on the major sedition trials while expanding the discussion beyond the usual focus on freedom of speech and the press to include the treatment of immigrants, Halperin’s book provides a window through which readers can explore the meaning of freedom of speech, immigration, citizenship, the public sphere, the Constitution, and the Union.