7:30 pm (Berwick Academy Arts Center)

George Washington often dominates the narrative of the nation’s birth, yet American history has largely forgotten what he knew: that the country’s fate depended less on grand rhetorical statements of independence and self-governance than on land–Indian land. Drawing on his forthcoming book of the same title, Dr. Colin Calloway will discuss how the first president contended with Native American people and power, and how they responded to his policies, and shaped Washington’s life.

In his sweeping new biography, “The Indian World of George Washington: the First President, the First Americans, and the Birth of the Nation,” Dr. Colin Calloway uses the prism of George Washington's life to bring focus to the great Native leaders of his time, and the tribes they represented. In the process, he returns them to their rightful place in the story of America's founding. 

“Historians continue to examine the significance of the relations early Americans had with Native Americans,” said Nicole St. Pierre, OBHS vice-president. “The interactions between early settlers and Native Americans are a featured part of our Forgotten Frontier exhibit at the Counting House Museum. This book continues the story, and ushers us into the time of the Revolution, and what the relations looked like then.”

“The Indian World of George Washington,” spans decades of Native American leaders' interactions with Washington. It traces his early days as surveyor of Indian lands, to his military career against both the French and the British, to his presidency, when he dealt with Native Americans as a head of state would with a foreign power, using every means of diplomacy and persuasion to fulfill the new republic's destiny by appropriating their land. By the end of his life, Washington knew more than anyone else in America about the frontier and its significance to the future of his country.

Calloway was born in England, and received his B.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Leeds. He has taught at the College of Ripon and York St. John in England, at Springfield High School in Vermont, and at the University of Wyoming. He has also served as editor/assistant director of the D’Arcy McNickle Center for the History of the American Indian at the Newberry Library in Chicago. He joined the faculty of Dartmouth College in 1995 and served four consecutive three-year terms as chair of the Native American Studies Program. He is now the John Kimball Jr. 1943 Professor of History and Professor of Native American Studies.

 

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