Penn Library

CULTURAL READINGS: Colonization & Print in the Americas


William Smith
Rosenbach Museum & Library
William Smith,
An Historical Account of the Expedition Against the Ohio Indians, in the year MDCCLXIV under the Command of Henry Bouquet, Esq.

London: T. Jefferies, 1766.

Detail of text

In North America, rhetorical prowess was central to Indian diplomacy. This engraving by Grignion after Benjamin West shows an Iroquois speaker with a string of wampum. The amount and color of the shell-beads on the wampum string reflect the importance and content of the message, which was memorized by the speaker. While Smith notes the importance of this custom, he dismisses the content of the speech as deceitful.

Print and Native Cultures

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