Charles Doleac7:30 pm (Berwick Academy)

Join Charles B. Doleac as he discusses The 1713-14 Treaty negotiations in Portsmouth between the English and the “Eastern Indians” of the Maine coast. The Treaties of 1713-14 have a direct connection with ideas concerning the Rights of Indigenous People in the headlines today.

Sponsored by the Old Berwick Historical Society, the program will be held on Thursday, January 23, starting at 7:30 pm at Berwick Academy's Jeppesen Science Center on Academy Street.  The public is invited and volunteers will serve refreshments.

The national rivalries and imperial intentions of the French and English played out against the “First Nations” people who inhabited the northeast North American coast for 10,000 years. After the decimating epidemics of 1616-19 and war with the Iroquois, the First Nations of the four Maine coastal alliances and families had formed a confederacy of the Wabanaki, the “people of the dawnland.”

The 1713 Treaty of Utrecht ending Queen Anne’s War in Europe attempted to set the French and English boundaries in the New World. It put the English in charge of the coastal regions that are now Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine and gave France control of the St. Lawrence River Valley around Quebec. The land in between was Wabanaki territory and both France and England agreed to respect the other’s First Nations allies. The Wabanaki questioned how France and England could be talking about control of their ancestral land.  A treaty between the English and the Wabanaki was necessary for there to be peace in “the dawnland”.

The treaty negotiations in Portsmouth and the diplomacy employed by the First Nations were important first steps toward recognition of a New Hampshire governing Council separate from Massachusetts and for the impact they had on opening the Portsmouth door to development as the commercial and military hub on the frontier. The Treaty brought a short period of peace for the frontier towns of South Berwick and Kittery, and enabled the resettlement of other Maine towns taken by the Wabanaki. The Treaty stands as an example of colonial treaties with the Native Americans when they were still a potent military force.  It is a critical resource for understanding what went right and wrong between the settlers and indigenous people in light of the recently adopted UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People.

Attorney Charles Doleac is a New Hampshire Superior Court Mediator and senior partner with the Portsmouth firm of Boynton, Waldron, Doleac, Woodman and Scott.  He received his law degree from New York University School of Law and leads seminars on professional ethical code as Ethics faculty member of the Center for International Law in Dallas, for the Southwestern Legal Foundation's Ethical Institute, for the New Hampshire Municipal Association and others. As an Aspen Institute moderator, Attorney Doleac led dialogues on leadership, ethics and East/West comparative cultures.

His study of the 1713 Treaty of Portsmouth grew out of his interest in law, ethics and diplomacy. He is the founder and President of the Japan-America Society of New Hampshire and founder/moderator of the Portsmouth Peace Treaty Forum that encourages the study of the Portsmouth Peace Treaty of 1905 and its meaning for modern diplomacy. Mr. Doleac is a New Hampshire Humanities Council lecturer on the Portsmouth Peace Treaty of 1905 and the 1906 Nobel Peace Prize that President Theodore Roosevelt won for his Treaty diplomacy. He founded the Treaty of Portsmouth Tri-centennial Committee to study the 1713-14 Treaties, prepare appropriate 300th anniversary commemorations and partnerships and to advance understanding of First Nations-colonial diplomacy and the impact of those early-contact treaties on modern First Nations issues of law and sovereignty.

More information on the Counting House Museum and all the Old Berwick Historical Society's programs is available at www.oldberwick.org, or by calling (207) 384-0000.

 



 

 

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