This collection of essays examines, in context, eastern Native American speeches, which are translated and reprinted in their entirety. Anthologies of Native American orators typically focus on the rhetoric of western speakers but overlook the contributions of Eastern speakers. The roles women played, both as speakers themselves and as creators of the speeches delivered by the men, are also commonly overlooked. Finally, most anthologies mine only English-language sources, ignoring the fraught records of the earliest Spanish conquistadors and French adventurers. This study fills all these gaps and also challenges the conventional assumption that Native thought had little or no impact on liberal perspectives and critiques of Europe. Essays are arranged so that the speeches progress chronologically to reveal the evolving assessments and responses to the European presence in North America, from the mid-sixteenth century to the twentieth century.
Providing a discussion of the history, culture, and oratory of eastern Native Americans, this work will appeal to scholars of Native American history and of communications and rhetoric. Speeches represent the full range of the woodland east and are taken from primary sources.