Drawing on archival and published documents in several languages, archeological data, and Iroquois oral traditions, The Edge of the Woods explores the ways in which spatial mobility represented the geographic expression of Iroquois social, political, and economic priorities. By reconstructing the late precolonial Iroquois settlement landscape and the paths of human mobility that constructed and sustained it, Jon Parmenter challenges the persistent association between Iroquois 'locality' and Iroquois 'culture,' and more fully maps the extended terrain of physical presence and social activity that Iroquois people inhabited. Studying patterns of movement through and between the multiple localities in Iroquois space, the book offers a new understanding of Iroquois peoplehood during this period. According to Parmenter, Iroquois identities adapted, and even strengthened, as the very shape of Iroquois homelands changed dramatically during the seventeenth century.
Jon Parmenter is Associate Professor of History at Cornell University. He has previously published article-length studies in Diplomatic History,The William & Mary Quarterly, French Colonial History, and Ethnohistory, in addition to essays contributed to edited collections.
is is an important book that promises to change the way we think about the Iroquois experience during the period of European settlement. It is a welcome nod toward a new history that considers mobility, as much as the bounded town or village, an important facet of both Native American history and colonialism. --Katherine Grandjean, Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History
Jon Parmenter’s e Edge of the Woods is a superb volume and will come to be seen as an indispensable reference source for Iroquoian history. It should occupy a prominent place on the book shelf of every serious scholar who is interested in the Aboriginal history of eastern North America. --Gary Warrick, Ontario History
is volume, with its extensive research, clear writing and graphics, and day-to-day, often moment-by-moment, chronicle of events, individuals, and groups that flowed back and forth across regions that become the United States and Canada, is a useful and interesting addition to the literature of the history, anthropology, political studies, and geography of the collision of natives and Europeans in eastern North America before the French and Indian Wars of the 1750s and later. --Thomas A. Rumney, American Review of Canadian Studies