Brian 's Reviews > At the Crossroads: Indians and Empires on a Mid-Atlantic Frontier, 1700-1763

At the Crossroads by Jane T. Merritt
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Nov 02, 11

bookshelves: american-history-colonial

Jane Merritt makes an excellent addition to the discussion of Indians in the Mid-Atlantic region during the age of empire. This is a complex topic and Merritt does an excellent job of sorting it out. On that note this is a complex topic and this is not a book a novice in the subject would want to start with. It assumes knowledge of the Iroquois and the covenant chain as well as the Seven Years war. (See my other reviews for suggestions on those topics).

Merritt's book analyzes a variety of cross sections of Delaware Indian culture and their relation with Pennsylvania's (Quakers, proprietors, and frontiersman), Iroquois, and the French. She looks at the role of language, women and religion and how these each affected the relationships between the various groups. Utilizing sources from local to state level she is able to get at a large cross section that allows for significant corroboration. Unlike many where there is an Indian view and a colonial view in this case there we have a variety of colonial sources since they each represented a different viewpoint. The book chronologically covers the famed Walking Purchase during the time of William Penn to the conclusion of the Seven Years War (French and Indian War) and how it shaped the frontier. The idea that Indians and colonists lived at a crossroads where trade dictated interactions are thoroughly explored. For those who want to gain a greater understanding of the Mid-Atlantic world in colonial times you cannot go wrong with this book.
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