Friday, August 31, 2012

Mohican News Features the Latest Pow-Wow

The Mohican News has a new reporter.  Mark Shaw was the grandson of Virgil Murphy, a former tribal chairman.  Mark told me that he took about a thousand photos at the 36th Mohican Veterans Pow-Wow that was held August 10-12.  Only the best of those photos made it into the paper. 

The Pow-Wow took place at the Pow-Wow grounds, of course.  North of Lutheran Church of the Wilderness on Muhheconnuck Road (on the Stockbridge-Munsee reservation, Shawano County, Wisconsin).

LaKeisha Williams was Miss Moheconneew.

As he has for the last few years, Bear Man made an appearance.

See these and many other photos on the Mohican News website!

Friday, August 24, 2012

ACH Centennial Edition: The War of 1812 - Part I

This engraving, taken from Encyclopedia Brittanica Online depicts the Battle of the Thames, a decisive victory for the United States over the British and Tecumseh. (Please click on the image, it looks a lot better when enlarged.)

Congress was investigating William Henry Harrison for his aggressive tactics towards the Shawnee brothers and their city-state of Prophetstown at the same time that there was tension with Great Britain.  One of the issues was that the Canadian border had not been determined and some politicians wanted to conquer the British-owned territory to the north. 

According to historian and author Adam Jortner, the investigation being conducted on Harrison - then the governor of Indiana Territory - was something of an historical turning point.  United States officials tended to blame the British for stirring the pot with Indians (when actually it was people like Harrison who stirred it, but that is fodder for another blogpost).  Anyway, Harrison's political opponents were upset with his conduct towards the Indians, but another rather powerful political faction, known as the War Hawks or "young War Hawks," was so intent on building up reasons to go to war against the British that the report on the investigation of Harrison wound up not being about Harrison's actions per se, but instead about how he was reacting to a nasty conspiracy between the British and the Indians of the Old Northwest.

As Jortner put it in an online interview [to read it you'll have to "scroll down" after you get to the amazon page], William Henry Harrison saved himself by joining the "push for a broader war against all the Northwest Indians and Canada."  The War of 1812 was declared just five days after Congress made their report on the investigation of Governor Harrison.  

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Racial Identity Among the New York Indians - Chris Geherin Looks at "New Guinea"

The issue of African American blood running through the veins of the Stockbridge and Brothertown Indians has been a controversial one and I have avoided it for that very reason.  But today I surfed onto an award-winning journal article that is clearly part of Algonkian Church History.

Above: "Brothertown Descendant Greg Wilson, of Union Grove, Wisconsin, on a tour of Brothertown Indian Cemeteries" as noted in the blog "At Home in the Huddle 2."

The New York State Historical Association awarded its Kerr History Prize to Christopher Geherin for the best article in New York History in 2010.  The title itself says a lot:

New Guinea: Racial Identity and Inclusion in the Stockbridge and Brothertown Indian Communities of New York

The full text of the article - along with old photos and maps -  is found in the e-Journal, New York History.

Blogger's note:  Hey, I'm sorry, everybody.  It seems that the New York History e-journal is now a subscription site.  Here's their address:

Here are a few things that Geherin addresses:

1. William Gardner's status is something I addressed in an earlier post, but Geherin has more to say:

In 1824 the Stockbridge tribal council formally adopted William Gardner, identifying him as Narragansett. But in 1826 the legislature of New York defined Gardner as "coloured," and by the 1870s the tribe sought to exclude the Gardners by characterizing the family as "negro."
2. Rev. John Sergeant [Jr.] "mentioned preaching to a small nearby settlement of mulattoes."

3. Names of those (apparently only "heads of families") who lived in the so-called "New Guinea" settlement: Nathaniel, Joshua, and Peter Pendleton; John Baldwin; Henry and George Cook; and Margaret Reid

It should go without saying that Geherin did careful research and documented his sources.  Please refer to his article if you would like to check them.


Christopher Geherin, "New Guinea: Racial Identity and Inclusion in the Stockbridge and Brothertown Indian Communities of New York," New York History; Summer 2009 (2 Aug. 2012).