Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Atlas of Great Lakes Indian History

It can be a lot easier to learn history if maps are avaliable.  That is a central premise of a book that can be very helpful to anybody trying to understand Indian history in the Great Lakes states and Ontario, Canada.  The Atlas of Great Lakes Indian History was edited by Helen Hornbeck Tanner and the Cartography is by Miklos Pinther.  It is far from just a book full of maps.  Instead, maps illustrate the text.  The two formats complement each other very nicely.

If you want to locate an Indian village in one of the Great Lakes states, this book is the place to look (see especially pages 88-89).  If you want a clear understanding of the Blackhawk War, the map and text provided (151-154) might be the best place to start.  For most peole it will be as much as they need to know. I doubt there is a better source for getting an understanding of "the frontier in transition" for this part of the country.  Tanner and Pinther have done us a great service.

Here's an example of one of the maps (click on it to get a better veiw):

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