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Month: September 2020

Your Territorial Acknowledgment Is Not Enough

Your Territorial Acknowledgment Is Not Enough

My college does a territorial acknowledgment before many public events on campus. We are not alone in doing this. We acknowledge that SUNY-Geneseo stands in the historic homeland of the Seneca Nation of Indians and the Tonawanda Seneca Nation. It is an important first step, but one for which my feelings are ambivalent. We do this acknowledgment in rooms where no Native American students are present. We do it for ourselves.             During our commencement ceremony, a Haudenosaunee flag stands…

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I Watched The White House Conference on American History So You Don’t Have To

I Watched The White House Conference on American History So You Don’t Have To

In his comments at the close of the White House Conference on American History, a gathering that did not take place at the White House and that included few historians, President Donald Trump offered a chilling vision that is one more sign of the country’s steady advance towards despotism. Trump wanted to “preserve our glorious inheritance: the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights,” though nothing has threatened them so much as his administration. The Constitution, he…

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“I Have Just Killed My Wife”

“I Have Just Killed My Wife”

The newspaper coverage may as well have said that Mrs. Smith had it coming.             Have you ever been stopped in your tracks by something that you read? Those of you who do historical research, I will wager, can answer this question easily in the affirmative. It happened to me again early last week. And like a deep scratch, I am feeling it days later.             I had been listening to as set of audio recordings housed at the American…

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I’m So Bored with the Lost Colonists

I’m So Bored with the Lost Colonists

Do we have to do this? Sigh. Yes, we have to do this. The New York Times the day before yesterday published an article on Scott Dawson’s recent book, The Lost Colony and Hatteras Island. The book has generated a lot of attention because it purports to prove the location of the so-called “Lost Colonists” who attempted to settle Roanoke Island in 1587. For those of you unfamiliar with the basic contours of the story, in 1584 Sir Walter Ralegh…

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What You Need to Read, September 2020

What You Need to Read, September 2020

Interlibrary loan services have just restarted at my college’s library after this long Covid season. Classes are resuming, some in person, some in a hybrid format, and some entirely online. Here is your quarterly bibliography of what seemed notable to me in the field of Native American history. And, oh, by the way, I have signed a contract for the third edition of Native America which will be co-written with my friend and former student Peter Olsen-Harbich of William and…

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