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A Treatise on the Six-Nation Indians   By: (1851-1919)

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In "A Treatise on the Six-Nation Indians" by J. B. (James Bovell) Mackenzie, readers are transported back in time to the rich and complex world of the Six Nations, providing us with a comprehensive account of their history, culture, and way of life. This remarkable book serves as an invaluable resource for anyone interested in understanding the Indigenous peoples of North America and their contribution to society.

Mackenzie's research is evident from the very beginning, as he delves into the origins of the Six Nations Confederacy and the historical events that shaped their existence. Through his meticulous study, the author presents a nuanced portrayal of the tribes, highlighting their unique customs, social structures, and religious beliefs. Additionally, his inclusion of firsthand accounts and primary sources adds depth and authenticity to the narrative.

One of the book's strengths lies in Mackenzie's ability to connect the past to the present. By examining the impact of European colonization, he reveals the challenges faced by the Six Nations, including the loss of land, encroachment on their sovereignty, and attempts to assimilate their culture. This contextualization allows readers to not only grasp the historical significance of the Six Nations but also empathize with the struggles they continue to face today.

Moreover, Mackenzie's writing style is engaging, combining a scholarly approach with a lively narrative. He effortlessly weaves together historical facts, personal anecdotes, and captivating descriptions of the Six Nations' daily life, painting a vivid picture of the people and their environment. This approach makes the book accessible to a wide range of readers, from academics to casual history enthusiasts.

While "A Treatise on the Six-Nation Indians" offers a comprehensive overview of the subject matter, some readers may find certain sections overwhelming in terms of detail. The abundance of information can occasionally be intimidating, especially for those unfamiliar with Indigenous history. However, this minor drawback is easily overlooked considering the wealth of knowledge and insights offered throughout the book.

In conclusion, J. B. Mackenzie's "A Treatise on the Six-Nation Indians" is a meticulously researched and thought-provoking exploration of one of North America's most influential Indigenous groups. It stands as a testament to Mackenzie's dedication and commitment to preserving and sharing the history of the Six Nations. Whether you are an avid historian or a curious reader seeking to expand your knowledge, this book is an invaluable resource that deserves a prominent place on anyone's bookshelf.

First Page:

This file was produced from images generously made available by the Canadian Institute for Historical Microreproductions.


( Page 28 lines 7 9 .)

It has seemed to me that it was not quite ingenuous in myself to attribute to the Indian writer in question (Rev. Peter Jones), the reflection on his countrymen, obviously conveyed in my expression, "discovering in him such in dwelling monsters as revenge, mercilessness, implacability."

That writer's position, more fairly apprehended, is this: That, while confessing these to be blots on the Indian nature, in the abstract, he yet seeks to fasten them on many whites as well.



The little production presented in these pages was designed for, and has been used as, a lecture; and I have wished to preserve, without emendation, the form and character of the lecture, as it was delivered.

J. B. M.



As knowledge of the traditions, manners, and national traits of the Indians, composing, originally, the six distinct and independent tribes of the Mohawks, Tuscaroras, Onondagas, Senecas, Oneidas, and Cayugas; tribes now merged in, and known as, the Six Nations, possibly, does not extend beyond the immediate district in which they have effected a lodgment, I have laid upon myself the task of tracing their history from the date of their settlement in the County of Brant, entering, at the same time, upon such accessory treatment as would seem to be naturally suggested or embraced by the plan I have set before me... Continue reading book >>

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