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Tag: American Revolution

I’m So Bored With The Founding Fathers

I’m So Bored With The Founding Fathers

I have been thinking the past two days about the juxtaposition of Native American Heritage Month, something that has been commemorated for almost thirty years now, and the President’s recently proclaimed “National American History and Founders Month.” I am teaching courses this semester on the American Revolution and Native American History. Linking the two stories is easy. Native peoples, after all, did not refer to the American founders as patriots, heroes or freedom fighters. No. They called them “Butchers,” “Killers,”…

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What’s So Great about the American Revolution?

What’s So Great about the American Revolution?

Recently I attended a planning meeting for New York’s commemoration of the 250th anniversary of the American Revolution. National, state, and local organizations are planning events. Although I am all for public engagement with history and its consequences, discussions like these sometimes fill me with dread. New York’s state historian Devin Lander convened this meeting at the Ganondagan State Historic Site, where French forces attacked and destroyed a Seneca town late in the seventeenth century. His goal is to create…

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Don’t Call Me A Taxpayer

Don’t Call Me A Taxpayer

You have heard it before. I am not sure how long political leaders have been doing it, but it has increasingly come to bother me.  A representative in Congress, asked about this or another issue, will make reference to “the American Taxpayer,” as in, “we can’t waste the taxpayers’ money,” or the “American taxpayers did not send us to Congress” for whatever thing it is that representative opposed.             I find myself bringing this up in my classes. I am…

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How Does a Story End?

How Does a Story End?

Driving from Rochester to Washington a couple of weeks ago, I saw this historical marker on Route 15, just north of the Pennsylvania state line. It commemorated the “final episode” of the Sullivan-Clinton campaign in 1779. American forces invaded the western Iroquois homelands and burned towns throughout the “Finger Lakes” region of western New York. I tell the story of the Sullivan-Clinton campaign in Native America. I have also written about it on this blog here and here. Because I…

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Indigenizing the American Revolution

Indigenizing the American Revolution

This past weekend, I flew to Atlanta to participate in the conference hosted by the Consortium on the Revolutionary Era. It was, as I indicated in an earlier post, the first time I presented any of the research from my current project to an academic audience. I was part of a round table discussion called “Indigenizing the American Revolution.” While some of the panelists presented rather straight-forward papers, my goal was to suggest some changes in thinking about how we…

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