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The Chiefs Now in This City: Indians and the Urban Frontier in Early America with Colin Calloway

February 16, 2023 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm



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This is a virtual program, presented on Zoom. A Zoom link will be sent to SCHS members before the presentation. 

Join us for a virtual presentation by Dartmouth Professor Colin Calloway discussing his new book, “The Chiefs Now in This City: Indians and the Urban Frontier in Early America.” Indian people spent a lot of time in early American cities, primarily on diplomatic or trade business, but also from curiosity and adventurousness. Colin Calloway, National Book Award finalist and one of the foremost chroniclers of Native American history, has gathered together the accounts of these visits and from them created a new narrative of the country’s formative years, redefining what has been understood as the “frontier.”Calloway’s will discuss what Native peoples observed as they walked the streets, sat in pews, attended plays, drank in taverns, and slept in hotels and lodging houses. In the Eastern cities they experienced an urban frontier, one in which the Indigenous world met the Atlantic world. Calloway will reveal not just what Indians saw but how they were seen. Crowds gathered to see them, sometimes to gawk; people attended the theatre to watch “the Chiefs now in this city” watch a play.

Their experience enriches and redefines standard narratives of contact between the First Americans and inhabitants of the American Republic, reminding us that Indian people dealt with non-Indians in multiple ways and in multiple places. The story of the country’s beginnings was not only one of violent confrontation and betrayal, but one in which the nation’s identity was being forged by interaction between and among cultures and traditions.

Colin G. Calloway is John Kimball Jr. 1943 Professor of History and Native American Studies at Dartmouth College. He is the author of several books, most recently The Indian World of George Washington (OUP 2018), which was a National Book Award Finalist, and which won the Excellence in American History Book Award from the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the George Washington Book Prize.


February 16, 2023
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm