The Mohicans of Stockbridge

The Mohicans of Stockbridge

The Mohicans of Stockbridge

The Mohicans of Stockbridge

Synopsis

Few American Indian tribal names are as well recognized as that of the Mohicans. Yet despite the legendary images fixed by James Fenimore Cooper, little is known on the actual people. The Mohicans of Stockbridge, the first thoroughly researched and documented study of the Mohicans of Stockbridge, Massachusetts, reveals a history fully as interesting as any fiction.

A major contribution to ethnohistory and to the history of the colonial Northeast.... Frazier has given them such a full colonial and Indian context that they become a revealing microcosm of all the important trends in Indian-white relations in early America. In situating them in a colonial panorama from Canada to the Carolinas, he ensures that no one will mistake this for an antiquarian exercise, particularly since his ethnohistorical touch is so sensitive and his historical grasp so strong.

Excerpt

On a small reservation in Shawano County, Wisconsin, live several hundred descendants of people immortalized by James Fenimore Cooper. While Cooper was a boy growing up in New York, these people lived about fifty miles from him. Before that, their ancestors had concentrated along the Housatonic River in western Massachusetts in a small village called Stockbridge. It was this village that gave them the name by which they are officially known today, the Stockbridge Indians. That name, and the effort to subsume them into colonial culture, virtually obliterated from American consciousness the fact that they were--and their descendants today are--Mohicans. The mythic characters created by James Fenimore Cooper probably helped sustain the impression that, like the Knights of the Round Table, Mohicans were legendary figures of a misty romantic past, who may never have existed.

My hope for this book is that it will bring public awareness to the existence of these people and their contribution to a significant segment of American history. The story is not one of noble savages or strong, silent men of nature with infallible instincts, loyally guiding frontiersmen through the dangers of wild America. But it is the story of genuine nobility of spirit, quiet strength, and loyalty almost beyond belief, demonstrated by a people who were physically, emotionally, and economically close to tragedy much of their lives. This story is, then, the . . .

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