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Cover for the book Beyond the Covenant Chain

Beyond the Covenant Chain

The Iroquois and Their Neighbors in Indian North America, 1600–1800 Edited by Daniel K. Richter, and James H. Merrell
  • Copyright: 2003
  • Dimensions: 6 x 9
  • Page Count: 232 pages
  • Illustrations:
  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-271-02299-4
“A state-of-the-art look at Iroquois relations with other tribes. . . . An excellent example of how an Indian-centered approach to colonial history can contribute to our understanding of the broader world in which all colonial Americans lived.”
Beyond the Covenant Chain . . . will prove invaluable to anyone interested in the experiences of one of the most important and complex Indian peoples of colonial North America.”
“A must for serious students of the Iroquois and Indian-white relations in the colonial period.”
“These fine studies of Indian-Indian relations provide a more accurate picture of Iroquois power and presence in native North America and demonstrate that the field of Iroquois history is far from overworked.”

For centuries the Western view of the Iroquois was clouded by the myth that they were the supermen of the frontier—"the Romans of this Western World," as De Witt Clinton called them in 1811. Only in recent years have scholars come to realize the extent to which Europeans had exaggerated the power of the Iroquois.

First published in 1987, Beyond the Covenant Chain was one of the first studies to acknowledge fully that the Iroquois never had an empire. It remains the best study of diplomatic and military relations among Native American groups in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century North America.

Published in paperback for the first time, it features a new introduction by Richter and Merrell. Contributors include Douglas W. Boyce, Mary A. Druke-Becker, Richard L. Haan, Francis Jennings, Michael N. McConnell, Theda Perdue, and Neal Salisbury.

Daniel K. Richter is Professor of History and Director of the McNeil Center for Early American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. His most recent book, Facing East from Indian Country: A Native History of Early America (2002), won the 2001–2002 Louis Gottschalk Prize in Eighteenth-Century History and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in History.

James H. Merrell is Professor of History at Vassar College. His book, The Indians' New World: Catawbas and Their Neighbors from European Contact Through the Era of Removal (1989), won the Bancroft Prize, the Merle Curti Award, and the Frederick Jackson Turner Award. His most recent book is Into the American Woods: Negotiators on the Pennsylvania Frontier (1999).




Foreword by Wilcomb E. Washburn

Preface to the paperback edition by Daniel K. Richter and James H. Merrell


The Iroquois and Their Neighbors in the Early 1670s

The Iroquois and Their Neighbors in the Early 1760s


Daniel K. Richter and James H. Merrell

Part I Perspectives from Iroquoia

1. Ordeals of the Longhouse: The Five Nations in Early American History

Daniel K. Richter

2. Linking Arms: The Structure of Iroquois Intertribal Diplomacy

Mary Druke Becker

3. Covenant and Consensus: Iroquois and English, 1676–1760

Richard L. Haan

part II Near Neighbors

4. Toward the Covenant Chain: Iroquois and Southern New England Algonquins, 1637–1684

Neal Salisbury

5. "Pennsylvania Indians" and the Iroquois

Francis Jennings

6. Peoples "In Between": The Iroquois and the Ohio Indians, 1720–1768

Michael N. McConnell

Part III Distant Friends and Foes

7. "Their Very Bones Shall Fight": The Catawba-Iroquois Wars

James H. Merrell

8. Cherokee Relations with the Iroquois in the Eighteenth Century

Theda Perdue

9. "As the Wind Scatters the Smoke": The Tuscaroras in the Eighteenth Century

Douglas W. Boyce



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