Indians and English: Facing Off in Early America

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Cornell University Press, 2000 - History - 297 pages

In this vividly written book, prize-winning author Karen Ordahl Kupperman refocuses our understanding of encounters between English venturers and Algonquians all along the East Coast of North America in the early years of contact and settlement. All parties in these dramas were uncertain--hopeful and fearful--about the opportunity and challenge presented by new realities. Indians and English both believed they could control the developing relationship. Each group was curious about the other, and interpreted through their own standards and traditions. At the same time both came from societies in the process of unsettling change and hoped to derive important lessons by studying a profoundly different culture.

These meetings and early relationships are recorded in a wide variety of sources. Native people maintained oral traditions about the encounters, and these were written down by English recorders at the time of contact and since; many are maintained to this day. English venturers, desperate to make readers at home understand how difficult and potentially rewarding their enterprise was, wrote constantly of their own experiences and observations and transmitted native lore. Kupperman analyzes all these sources in order to understand the true nature of these early years, when English venturers were so fearful and dependent on native aid and the shape of the future was uncertain.

Building on the research in her highly regarded book Settling with the Indians, Kupperman argues convincingly that we must see both Indians and English as active participants in this unfolding drama.


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User Review  - DarthDeverell - LibraryThing

In Indians and English: Facing Off in Early America, Karen Ordahl Kupperman argues, “Early encounters provoked a complex and varied series of reactions, and these were recorded in a mountain of ... Read full review

Indians and English: facing off in early America

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

In Settling with the Indians: The Meeting of English and Indian Cultures in America, 1580-1640, Kupperman contended that the confrontation was considerably more complex than scholars previously ... Read full review


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About the author (2000)

Karen Ordahl Kupperman is Silver Professor of History at New York University. She is the author of, Providence Island, 1630-1641: The Other Puritan Colony, winner of the Albert J. Beveridge Award of the American Historical Association for the best book in American history, and America in European Consciousness 1493-1750.

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