Friday, April 19, 2013

Colin G. Calloway's "Pen and Ink Witchcraft"

Colin G. Calloway is Professor of Native American Studies and John Kimball Jr. Professor of History at Dartmouth College. His books include One Vast Winter Count: The American West before Lewis and Clark, for which he won the Merle Curti Award and the Ray Allen Billington Prize, The Shawnees and the War for America, The Scratch of a Pen: 1763 and the Transformation of North America, and New Worlds for All. He recently won the 2011 American Indian History Lifetime Achievement Award.

He applied the “Page 99 Test” to his latest book, Pen and Ink Witchcraft: Treaties and Treaty Making in American Indian History, and reported the following:
As it happens, Pen and Ink Witchcraft does pass the page 99 test. Page 99 contains the following statement:
The power dynamics that had produced the intercultural diplomacy of the colonial era were changing. Americans were eager to expand and impatient with long-winded protocols that allowed all parties ample time for reflection and discussion. As American power increased, respect for Indian customs and concerns diminished and long-standing practices and rituals of reciprocity eroded. More and more often, treaties were conducted on American terms and by American schedules. Treaties established boundaries but the boundaries became ever more permeable and impermanent.
The book examines the development of Indian treaty making and how negotiations were conducted. It focuses on three major treaties as case studies that not only illustrate how treaties were made, by whom, and why but that also trace how treaty making changed over time, from early colonial treaties where Indian forms and rituals shaped a new American diplomacy, to treaties in the early US that primarily targeted Indian land, then removed Indian peoples to the West, and finally to treaties that confined Indian peoples in the West. The statement on page 99 pretty well reflects the story.
Learn more about Pen and Ink Witchcraft at the Oxford University Press website.

Also see: Colin G. Calloway's five top books on Native Americans and colonizers.

--Marshal Zeringue