The Children of Aataentsic: A History of the Huron People to 1660

By Bruce G. Trigger | Go to book overview

Preface to the First Edition

This book is the product of nine years of intermittent study and research, followed by another five years during which almost all of my time not devoted to teaching and administration has been employed in writing it. My interest in the subject was aroused early in 1960 when, as a newly arrived graduate student at Yale University, nostalgia for Canada led me to write a long paper on French-Huron contact for a course on culture change offered by Professor E. M. Bruner. During my research, I sought to learn as much as possible about the Huron from primary rather than secondary sources. Using the facilities of the Sterling Library, I managed to survey a vast amount of literature in what now seems to have been a remarkably short period of time. The result was a paper titled “The Destruction of Huronia: A Study in Economic and Cultural Change, 1609–1650.” On the kind recommendation of the late Professor T. F. McIlwraith of the University of Toronto, this paper was soon published (1960). The favourable reception it received encouraged me to continue my interest in the Huron. While further research has led me to modify many of the ideas I expressed in that paper, it constitutes a brief prototype of all but chapters 1, 3, and 4 of the present work.

During later years as a graduate student at Yale I wrote two more papers that reflected my continuing interest in the Huron. The first was on an ecological theme (“Settlement as an Aspect of Iroquoian Adaptation at the Time of Contact” [1963b]; reprinted in B. Cox, ed., Cultural Ecology: Readings on the Canadian Indians and Eskimos. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1973, pp. 35–53) and was written for a course on the prehistory of eastern North America given by Professor Michael D. Coe; the second was “Order and Freedom in Huron Society” (1963a; reprinted in M. Nagler, ed., Perspectives on the North American Indians. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1972, pp. 43–56) for a course on the Anthropology of Law by Professor L. J. Pospisil. Both of these papers are essentially ethnographic. About the same time, I wrote a paper on “The Historic Location of the Hurons” (1962a) in which I challenged the traditional idea that the Huron had settled in the north as refugees from the Iroquois. During this period, my awareness of the importance of ethnohistory and of developments in Iroquoian studies was strengthened by my informal contacts with William N. Fenton and Elisabeth Tooker,

-xxxviii-

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The Children of Aataentsic: A History of the Huron People to 1660
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations xi
  • Illustrations xvi
  • Maps xxi
  • Preface to the 1987 Reprinting xxiv
  • Preface to the First Edition xxxviii
  • To Barbara, Isabel, and Rosalyn xliv
  • Chapter 1- Introduction 1
  • Chapter 2- The Huron and Their Neighbours 27
  • Chapter 3- The Birth of the Huron 105
  • Chapter 4- Alien Shadows 177
  • Chapter 5- Forging an Alliance 246
  • Chapter 6- The Quiet Years 331
  • Chapter 7- The Interregnum and - The New Alliance 455
  • Chapter 8- The Deadly Harvest 499
  • Chapter 9- The Storm 603
  • Chapter 10- The Storm within 665
  • Chapter 11- The End of the Confederacy 725
  • Chapter 12- Betrayal and Salvation 789
  • Chapter 13- Conclusions 841
  • Notes 851
  • References 857
  • Index 885
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