This collection of fifteen essays examines the lives of important but relatively unknown Native Americans. The chapters explore the complexities of Indian-colonial relations from the seventeenth to the early nineteenth centuries, from Maine to the Ohio valley. The volume is interdisciplinary, drawing on the methods and insights of social history, cultural anthropology, archaeology, and the study of material culture.
Few works have directed attention toward such lesser-known figures as Shickellamy, an Oneida diplomat; the Mohawk sachem Theyanoguin; Awashunkes, a Saconett sunksquaw; or Molly Ockett, a Pigwacket doctor. These individuals operated at the often dangerous and always uncertain interstices separating their world from that of the European settlers, as they worked for the security and survival of their peoples during the first centuries of contact. Their efforts helped shape events that determined the course of history in the colonial Northeast.