Uncas : first of the Mohegans /
Michael Leroy Oberg.
Ithaca, N.Y. : Cornell University Press, c2003.
ix, 268 p : ill.
0801438772 (cloth : alk. paper)
More Details
Ithaca, N.Y. : Cornell University Press, c2003.
0801438772 (cloth : alk. paper)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Michael Leroy Oberg is Associate Professor of History at the State University of New York-Geneseo.
This item was nominated for the following awards:
Connecticut Book Awards, USA, 2004 : Nominated
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2003-12-01:
Uncas (c.1600-84), the Mohegan sachem, became the most influential Native American leader in southern New England by adroitly applying survival strategies in dealing with Puritan Colonial leaders. Uncas maneuvered among the various Algonquian tribes to gain for the Mohegans domination of trade networks. He fostered intertribal kinship ties and brought into the Mohegan fold captured Indians, strengthening his own tribe through diversification. By being a dependable informant and always affording military assistance, he and his tribesmen were staunch allies of the Colonists. Oberg (SUNY, Geneseo) covers all aspects of intertribal and Colonist-Indian relations and discusses military actions and horrible atrocities committed by both whites and Native Americans. Uncas's remarkable durability is the central theme; the author faults his character but admires his exceptional leadership and daring. Thoroughly researched in archival and ethnological sources, this book gives Uncas his due and clarifies trends in competing cultures. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. General and academic collections. H. M. Ward emeritus, University of Richmond
Appeared in Library Journal on 2003-04-01:
Unbeknownst to many, James Fenimore Cooper's Uncas in The Last of the Mohicans was actually based on a highly controversial Mohegan sachem who lived in 17th-century Connecticut. To the English colonists inhabiting the region, the historical Uncas was an honorable and dependable ally. To the Narragansetts, Uncas was a treacherous individual who colluded with the colonists to murder their sachem Miantonomi, thereby ushering in decades of bitter warfare between Mohegans and Narragansetts. Oberg (history, SUNY at Geneseo; Dominion and Civility: English Imperialism and Native America, 1585-1685) utilizes detailed research to separate Uncas from the mythology that has gradually shrouded his legacy. What emerges is a fascinating picture of a complex Native American leader who shrewdly and effectively utilized his alliance with the English to advance the cause of the Mohegan people, often at the expense of other native groups. This well-written work is recommended for all libraries in New England.-John Burch, Campbellsville Univ. Lib., KY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
This item was reviewed in:
Library Journal, April 2003
Choice, December 2003
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Main Description
Many know the name Uncas only from James Fenimore Cooper's The Last of the Mohicans, but the historical Uncas flourished as an important leader of the Mohegan people in seventeenth-century Connecticut. In Uncas: First of the Mohegans, Michael Leroy Oberg integrates the life story of an important Native American sachem into the broader story of European settlement in America. The arrival of the English in Connecticut in the 1630s upset the established balance among the region's native groups and brought rapid economic and social change. Oberg argues that Uncas's methodical and sustained strategies for adapting to these changes made him the most influential Native American leader in colonial New England. Emerging from the damage wrought by epidemic disease and English violence, Uncas transformed the Mohegans from a small community along the banks of the Thames River in Connecticut into a regional power in southern New England. Uncas learned quickly how to negotiate between cultures in the conflicts that developed as natives and newcomers, Indians and English, maneuvered for access to and control of frontier resources. With English assistance, Uncas survived numerous assaults and plots hatched by his native rivals. Unique among Indian leaders in early America, Uncas maintained his power over large numbers of tributary and other native communities in the region, lived a long life, and died a peaceful death (without converting to Christianity) in his people's traditional homeland. Oberg finds that although the colonists considered Uncas "a friend to the English," he was first and foremost an assertive guardian of Mohegan interests.
Table of Contents
Prefacep. vii
Introduction: Uncas in Myth and Memoryp. 1
World in Balancep. 15
The Mohegans' New Worldp. 34
The Rise of the Mohegansp. 63
Killing Miantonomip. 87
To Have Revenge on Uncasp. 110
Amongst the Englishp. 139
Uncas, the Mohegans, and King Philip's Warp. 171
Conclusion: Uncas's Legacyp. 204
Abbreviations Used in Notesp. 217
Notesp. 219
Indexp. 259
Table of Contents provided by Rittenhouse. All Rights Reserved.

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