Colin Calloway Summary

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Colin Calloway’s text is a collection of Native American events, as told through their perspective, during the colonial era. These Native American texts are a collection of letters, speeches and treaties. Their “voices” give the reader a better understanding of the differences in customs, cultures, and values from those of Europeans.

Calloway’s introduction provides important background information about the early eastern North America and Canada habitation. The author’s includes the problems surrounding the letters, speeches and treaty negotiations have with regard to their authentic account of the events. European Americans were literate, but their interpretations of Native Americans’ historical accounts were unfair and distorted. For
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Missionary Joseph McClure, along with his interpreter Joseph Pepee, a Christian Delaware spoke about the Europeans’ God and the decline of Native Americans. “The white people worship the true God, and it please him, and God blesses and prospers them. We and our fathers worshiped Devils, or them that are no Gods, and therefore God frowns upon us.”4 Europeans used trade debt to acquire more land from the Native Americans. Native Americans spoke freely at formal councils among colonists. Still, tensions continued and no treaty demanding submissiveness and obedience to “His Majesties” as ordered by Congress, could dissolve the friction between the Native Americans. In 1744, the Treaty of Lancaster, Pennsylvania was the most massive loss of Indian land. Calloway also wrote about Dartmouth College, established in 1769 designed to provide Indians with a formal education, in which the author also attended. There were mixed feelings as to whether Native American fathers thought their son’s should learn skills to prepare them to participate in a white society. Wars continued and treaties were written, only to be dissolved time and time again. Some Indians took to commercial trapping and other acquired other colonist’s professions. “European trade goods and European alcohol contributed to the destabilization of Indian societies. Each created its own form of dependency and undermined the ability of Indian communities to resist encroachment on their land.”5 Finally, in 1786 Native Americans united their opposition, stood strong against further land expansions from the Europeans, for which they held their ground for 10

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