U.S. History at 250 Series

Celebrate the 250th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence with these free articles from The American Historian

Rethinking Encounters

This issue of The American Historian (Part 1 of our U.S. History at 250 series) features four essays on rethinking encounters between Europeans and Indigenous groups.

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Revisiting Indigenous “Encounters” with Colonialism, Past and Present

Christine Delucia “All people have a creation story, a narrative that explains their origins, sense of place, and uniqueness,” William Bauer writes in California Through Native Eyes: Reclaiming History. Such narratives are “not inert historical sources and interpretations. Rather they are living understandings of what happened in the past.

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Rethinking Encounters

Alejandra Dubcovsky “If the goal is to learn about Native people,” my son asked his eighth-grade teacher, “why are we following the conquistadores?” It was a good question, his teacher conceded, but then insisted on an answer all too familiar to historians: “we are just following what the sources say.” My son was not satisfied.

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Indigenous Digital Humanities and “Firstings”: Situating French Fort Caroline in Mocama History

Denise I. Bossy In the middle of the unceded homelands of the Timucua-speaking Mocamas sits a replica of la Caroline, a modest wooden French fort originally built in 1564 in present-day Jacksonville, Florida.[1] The replica fort is too small. And it is in the wrong place.

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Disruption Then Disease: Contextualizing Colonization and Disease in Indigenous North America

Tai S. Edwards Simplicity is often appealing, especially when examining Indigenous peoples’ histories in North America. Most people in the U.S. think they understand the impact of European diseases (sometimes called “virgin soil” epidemics) on Indigenous communities.

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Unthinkable History: Encounters in Native North America

Michael Witgen On April 8, 1788, a party of American settlers, employees of the Ohio Company of Associates, docked their flat-bottomed galley boat at the confluence of the Ohio and Muskingum Rivers in the newly organized Northwest Territory of the United States.

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