People Of The Long House

The Six Nations, or Iroquois, have been praised and abused more than any other Indians in North America. Cadwallader Colden praised them for their manly virtues: their courage, patriotism, and love of liberty. Conrad Weiser praised them for their honesty and democratic simplicity. Both men admired them for their statesmanship. The English colonies valued them highly as allies. Read more »

The Renegade

Etienne Brulé was one of the great explorers—the first white man to see Lakes Ontario, Erie, and Superior, the first to set foot in Michigan. Why have you never heard of him?

Growing up in the Great Lakes region of North America, I developed an early appreciation for the European explorers who had long ago traveled the waterways of my home. I read all the books I could find about adventurers like Champlain, Jolliet, Marquette, and Nicolet, and they defined what I thought I should be as a young man: tough, brave, single-minded, and born a couple of hundred years earlier. When I got older, though, I realized that my affection for these men was not shared by everyone.Read more »

Father To The Six Nations

Only Sir William Johnson, living among them in feudal splendor, won and kept the confidence of the Iroquois.

Warraghiyagey, He-Who-Does-Much, was the name the Iroquois gave to this Mohawk Valley immigrant whom they came to love as a father and trust even beyond the grave. William Johnson justified and returned their love.

La Salle And The Discovery Of The Great West

The story of La Salle’s exploration was magnificently told in Francis Parkman’s The Discovery of the Great West. First published in 1860, this classic work was completely revised after Parkman gained access to a treasure trove of French manuscripts, and was republished in 1879. A selection from Parkman’s history, dealing with La Salle and the episodes which are shown in the Catlin paintings, begins below.

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