Katherine Grandjean, Wellesley College

Center for American History and Culture Programs
Early American History and Culture Seminar
Thursday, September 27, 2012

5:30 pm to 7 pm

Room 101

“Native Tongues: Threatening Speech and Language Exchange in the Borderlands of the Colonial Northeast”
Katherine Grandjean, Wellesley College

In early America the “frontier” existed in the realm of talk and rumor as much as it did on the ground. Nowhere was that fact more evident than in the borderlands between New England and New Netherland in the mid-seventeenth century. Although the English and Dutch colonies are rarely studied together, they were closely connected by Long Island Sound. More language exchange occurred, here, than scholars have realized. Where trade brought together the English, Dutch, and Algonquian worlds, people talked—and not always in the same tongue. Still, shared language did not always lead to greater understanding. Many spoke threateningly. For Native people leveraging against the growing heft of the English colonies, threatening speech may have proved an especially effective “weapon.”

Cost and registration information: 

Scholl Center Seminar papers are pre-circulated electronically.  For a copy of the paper, e-mail the Scholl Center at scholl@newberry.org.  Please do not request a paper unless you plan to attend.