Academic journal article The Journal of Southern History

The Bringing of Wonder: Trade and the Indians of the Southeast, 1700-1783

Academic journal article The Journal of Southern History

The Bringing of Wonder: Trade and the Indians of the Southeast, 1700-1783

Article excerpt

The Bringing of Wonder: Trade and the Indians of the Southeast, 1700-1783. By Michael P. Morris. Contributions in Comparative Colonial Studies, No. 36. (Westport, Conn., and London: Greenwood Press, c. 1999. Pp. [x], 160. $55.00, ISBN 0-313-30843-8.)

Michael P. Morris addresses several promising themes in The Bringing of Wonder, including the role of women in the southeastern deerskin trade, the impact of traders on imperial diplomacy, and the effect of imperial warfare on Indians. Unfortunately, Morris draws on scarcely any secondary literature and only on a few sources of primary documents and, as a consequence, his book sheds no new light on its subject. The chapters on women are based for the most part on well-known published texts by Bernard Romans, William Bartram, and John Lawson, and these sections fail to address any of the important debates raised by historians over the last two decades. Theda Perdue's pathbreaking research on Cherokee women does not merit a citation. Two other chapters on the Seven Years' War and the American Revolution focus on imperial machinations and alliances--much in the tradition of David Corkran's work published nearly forty years ago. These chapters draw lightly on documents from the Public Records Office in London, but this area of the archives has already been well-mined, and Morris offers no new interpretations.

Because it is disengaged from the secondary literature of the last generation, the author of The Bringing of Wonder makes a number of tenuous assumptions, such as: Indians lived in a "static" economy until the arrival of Europeans (p. …

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