Pen and Ink Witchcraft: Treaties and Treaty Making in American Indian History

Paperback | October 15, 2014

byColin G. Calloway

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Indian peoples made some four hundred treaties with the United States between the American Revolution and 1871, when Congress prohibited them. They signed nine treaties with the Confederacy, as well as countless others over the centuries with Spain, France, Britain, Mexico, the Republic ofTexas, Canada, and even Russia, not to mention individual colonies and states. In retrospect, the treaties seem like well-ordered steps on the path of dispossession and empire. The reality was far more complicated.In Pen and Ink Witchcraft, eminent Native American historian Colin G. Calloway narrates the history of diplomacy between North American Indians and their imperial adversaries, particularly the United States. Treaties were cultural encounters and human dramas, each with its cast of characters andconflicting agendas. Many treaties, he notes, involved not land, but trade, friendship, and the resolution of disputes. Far from all being one-sided, they were negotiated on the Indians' cultural and geographical terrain. When the Mohawks welcomed Dutch traders in the early 1600s, they sealed atreaty of friendship with a wampum belt with parallel rows of purple beads, representing the parties traveling side-by-side, as equals, on the same river. But the American republic increasingly turned treaty-making into a tool of encroachment on Indian territory. Calloway traces this process by focusing on the treaties of Fort Stanwix (1768), New Echota (1835), and Medicine Lodge (1867), in addition to such events as the Peace of Montreal in 1701 and the treaties of Fort Laramie (1851 and 1868). His analysis demonstrates that native leaders were hardlydupes. The records of negotiations, he writes, show that "Indians frequently matched their colonizing counterparts in diplomatic savvy and tried, literally, "to hold their ground." Each treaty has its own story, Calloway writes, but together they tell a rich and complicated tale of moments in American history when civilizations collided.

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Indian peoples made some four hundred treaties with the United States between the American Revolution and 1871, when Congress prohibited them. They signed nine treaties with the Confederacy, as well as countless others over the centuries with Spain, France, Britain, Mexico, the Republic ofTexas, Canada, and even Russia, not to mention ...

Colin G. Calloway is Professor of Native American Studies and John Kimball Jr. Professor of History at Dartmouth College. His books include One Vast Winter Count: The American West before Lewis and Clark, for which he won the Merle Curti Award and the Ray Allen Billington Prize, The Shawnees and the War for America, The Scratch of a P...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:400 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.68 inPublished:October 15, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190206519

ISBN - 13:9780190206512

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments1. Treaty Making in Colonial America: The Many Languages of Indian Diplomacy2. Fort Stanwix, 1768: Shifting Boundaries3. Treaty Making, American-Style4. New Echota, 1835: Implementing Removal5. Treaties in the West6. Medicine Lodge, 1867: Containment on the Plains7. The Death and Rebirth of Indian TreatiesAppendix: The TreatiesNotesBibliographyIndex