The Storied Landscape of Iroquoia explores the creation, destruction, appropriation, and enduring legacy of one of early America’s most important places: the homelands of the Haudenosaunees (also known as the Iroquois Six Nations). Throughout the late seventeenth, eighteenth, and early nineteenth centuries of European colonization the Haudenosaunees remained the dominant power in their homelands and one of the most important diplomatic players in the struggle for the continent following European settlement of North America by the Dutch, British, French, Spanish, and Russians. Chad L. Anderson offers a significant contribution to understanding colonialism, intercultural conflict, and intercultural interpretations of the Iroquoian landscape during this time in central and western New York.
Although American public memory often recalls a nation founded along a frontier wilderness, these lands had long been inhabited in Native American villages, where history had been written on the land through place-names, monuments, and long-remembered settlements. Drawing on a wide range of material spanning more than a century, Anderson uncovers the real stories of the people—Native American and Euro-American—and the places at the center of the contested reinvention of a Native American homeland. These stories about Iroquoia were key to both Euro-American and Haudenosaunee understandings of their peoples’ pasts and futures.
List of Figures
Introduction: Reading the Early American Landscape
1. Visions of the Great Island
2. Predators of the Vanishing Landscape
3. The Many Deaths of John Montour and the Mystery of the Painted Post
4. The Decline and Fall of the Romans of the West
5. The Burned-Over District
Conclusion: Storied Monuments
“Chad Anderson challenges us to move beyond easy generalizations about how settler colonists simply erased indigenous peoples from the North American landscape. His sensitive, deeply researched meditation on the lives and afterlives of the spiritualized geography of Haudenosaunee country is not to be missed.”—Daniel K. Richter, director, McNeil Center for Early American Studies, University of Pennsylvania
Daniel K. Richter
“A remarkable book about Iroquoia’s built environment—real, imagined, reimagined. From Big Bone Lick to the Book of Mormon, Chad Anderson shows how ancient landmarks haunted Americans—Native and non-Native—in the period of U.S. conquest. With subtle readings of Haudenosaunee sources, Anderson shows the rich possibilities of topographical history.”—Jared Farmer, author of On Zion’s Mount: Mormons, Indians, and the American Landscape