Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Seafaring Indians and the Invasion of New England

Detail from a 1685 map at the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University.
This is a quick post to direct your attention to a lovely piece over at Slate: Masters of the Atlantic: The forgotten contest between colonists and seafaring Indians for command of the American coast, by Andrew Lipman, a professor at Barnard. The piece combines my favorite topic, unexpected and forgotten aspects about the encounter between natives and Europeans, with a deft ability to tell a story. Lipman shows how the Algonquian peoples of the northeast had advanced seafaring technology of their own when Europeans showed up, and how the seas themselves were important zones of contact and conflict for two centuries. Indian pirates! I also found this podcast interview with Lipman which covers much of the same ground. Lipman's book, The Saltwater Frontier: Indians and the Contest for the American Coast, comes out in a few months.

Slate has quite a lot of historical content, including The History of American Slavery podcast, The Vault which highlights "historical treasures, oddities and delights," and useful historical context pieces for current events and popular culture, like Who Was Hugh Glass?

Back in the day, when I was a grad student looking for a dissertation topic, I almost settled on writing a history of American Indians in the early 19th-century whaling industry. (I settled on a very different topic.) Lipman's excellent work has me thinking about paths not taken...


James Stripes said...

Slightly different, but related topic Jace Weaver, Red Atlantic: American Indigenes and the Making of the Modern World, 1000–1927. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2014.

The going and coming of Tisquantum across the Atlantic, of course, is well known. Weaver demonstrates that this experience was far from unique.

Mossy Climber said...

Thanks for your excellent posts on #PacificNWHistory !!