People of the Long House

The “Long House,” characteristic lodging of the Iroquois, also described their political union in which each Iroquois nation remained sovereignty under a common roof which sheltered them all.

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 Spirit Of ’54

More than two decades before the Revolution broke out, a group of Americans voted on a scheme to unite the colonies. For the rest of his life, Benjamin Franklin thought it could have prevented the war. It didn’t—but it did give us our Constitution.



Improbable it may seem, but an industrious, aquatic, fur-bearing rodent deserves a share of the credit for the first real effort at unifying Britain’s American colonies. Just as we tend to forget that the Americas were discovered as a byproduct of the search for pepper, the reason the beaver’s contribution has gone unsung all these years is, in the words of the journalist Henry Hobhouse, “Men have always liked to believe in their own influence.” Read more »