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SU Press author to discuss three major Iroquois elders in Sept. 28 lecture
SU Press author to discuss three major Iroquois elders in Sept. 28 lectureSeptember 16, 2008SU News ServicesSUnews@syr.edu
Laurence M. Hauptman, historian and author, will present a lecture about Iroquois history on Sunday, Sept. 28, at 2 p.m. at the Onondaga Historical Association Museum, 321 Montgomery St., Syracuse, based on his most recent book, “Seven Generations of Iroquois Leadership: The Six Nations since 1800,” published this month by Syracuse University Press.
The Sept. 28 program will focus on the lives of three major Iroquois elders who lived in the 18th and 19th centuries. Through the eyes of these three centenarians, Hauptman will examine the history of the Iroquois (Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca, Tuscarora) Indians and their struggle to maintain their culture and territory. This is an effort that continues to this day, often with great political controversy. The three elders to be discussed:
- Dina A. John (1774?-1883), a famous resident of the Onondaga Reservation and survivor of the Van Shaick Expedition-She served in the War of 1812 and became a leading artist-entrepreneur in Central New York.
- Skenandoa (1706?-1816), the famous but controversial Susquehannock (Andaste) adopted by the Oneidas, who served the Americans in the American Revolution-Two of his daughters were married to Joseph Brant. A founder of the First Christian Party who was strongly influenced by the Rev. Samuel Kirkland, his name appears on many “land sales” in so-called “New York-Oneida Treaties” after the American Revolution.
- The:wo:nyas (He breaks wire, needles, awls there) (1753-1859), Chainbreaker or Governor Blacksnake-A Seneca who fought on the British side during the American Revolution, he was the nephew of Ganyodaiyo (Handsome Lake) and an outstanding Allegany Seneca of the early 19th century. He helped save the Oil Spring Reserve, laying the basis of the land claim over Cuba Lake settled in June 2005.
In addition to the lecture, Hauptman will sign copies of his book. By focusing on the distinct qualities of Iroquois leadership, Hauptman’s book reveals how the Six Nations have survived in the face of overwhelming pressure. Employing a biographical approach and extensive research, the author explores how leaders use the past to enable cultural, economic and political survival.
Hauptman is a SUNY Distinguished Professor of History at the SUNY College at New Paltz, where he has taught for 37 years. He is the author, co-author, editor or co-editor of 15 books that focus on the history of Native Americans. He has testified as an expert witness before committees of both houses of Congress and in the federal courts, and has served as a historical consultant for the Wisconsin Oneidas, the Cayugas, the Mashantucket Pequots, the Senecas, and the Seneca-Cayugas. Hauptman has been honored for his research by both the Iroquois nations and by the New York State Board of Regents.
His lecture is made possible through the Speakers in the Humanities, a program of the New York Council for the Humanities that creates opportunities for distinguished scholars to present free programs to the general public.