Cornell University Press has released a new Critical Edition of Cadwallader Colden’s The History of the Five Indian Nations Depending on the Province of New-York in America. The Critical Edition includes several essays that consider Colden’s original text across social, cultural, and political contexts.
The History of the Five Indian Nations was originally published in 1727 and revised in 1747. In the book, Colden discusses the religion, manners, customs, laws, and forms of government of the confederacy of tribes composed of the Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas, and Senecas (and, later, Tuscaroras), and gives accounts of battles, treaties, and trade up to 1697.
Since Cornell University Press first reprinted Colden’s History in 1958, the book has served as a resource for scholars and students interested in Iroquois history and culture, Enlightenment attitudes toward Native Americans, early American intellectual life, and Anglo-French imperial contests over North America.
The new Critical Edition features materials not previously included, such as the 1747 introduction, which contains descriptions of Iroquois culture, government, economy, and society. New essays by John M. Dixon and Karim M. Tiro place The History of the Five Indian Nations in historical and cultural context and provide an introduction to the historic culture of the Iroquois, as well as their relationship to other Native people.