This eloquent, pathbreaking account follows the Catawbas from their first contact with Europeans in the sixteenth century until they carved out a place in the American republic three centuries later. It is a story of Native agency, creativity, resilience, and endurance. James Merrell's definitive history helped signal a new direction in the study of Native Americans, serving as a model for their reintegration into American history. In an introduction written for this twentieth anniversary edition, Merrell recalls the book's origins and considers its place in the field of early American history in general and Native American history in particular, both at the time it was first published and two decades later.
JAMES H. MERRELL is Lucy Maynard Salmon Professor of History at Vassar College. He is author and editor of numerous books, including his second Bancroft Prize - winner (and a Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize), Into the American Woods: Negotiators on the Pennsylvania Frontier.