‘When Indians and Americans Got Along’ – Announcing the Readex Breakfast at the 2018 ALA Annual Conference

On Sunday, June 24, Readex will host a special breakfast presentation titled “When Indians and Americans Got Along: An Alternative History of the Louisiana Territory.” An open discussion will follow the talk by Stephen Aron, professor of history and Robert N. Burr Chair at the University of California, Los Angeles.

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About the Presentation

In this enlightening talk, Prof. Aron—a leading authority on the American frontier—disputes textbook histories that treat the ejection of Indians from their lands as inevitable and relations between native peoples and American pioneers as unremittingly hostile. Aron’s spirited presentation uncovers an alternative history in which some Indian and American migrants to Spanish Louisiana, including most famously Daniel Boone, overcame their enmities and cordially cohabited.

Drawing on Spanish colonial records and the Territorial Papers of the United States, Aron explores how former enemies found common ground in the 1790s and how generally friendly interactions continued after the Louisiana Purchase transferred the territory to the United States. But in the decade after the War of 1812, he explains, amicable relations gave way to pressure from a new group of settlers and to the demands of “American democracy.” These changes challenged the authority of territorial officials like William Clark and paved the trail for Indian removals to and through the Louisiana Territory.

About the Speaker

IAC0021.jpgStephen Aron is professor of history and Robert N. Burr Chair at the University of California, Los Angeles. He previously taught at Princeton University, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, and St. John’s University where he held the Peter and Margaret D’Angelo Chair in the Humanities. Aron was elected to the membership of the American Antiquarian Society in 2011 and to the Society of American Historians in 2015. In 2017, he served as President of the Western History Association. He is author of How the West Was Lost: The Transformation of Kentucky from Daniel Boone to Henry Clay (1996); American Confluence: The Missouri Frontier from Borderland to Border State (2006); and The American West: A Very Short Introduction (2015) and other works. He is currently writing a book with the working title Can We All Get Along: An Alternative History of the American West.


If you plan to attend the 2018 American Library Association Annual Conference, and would like to receive an invitation to this breakfast event, please contact Erin Luckett before June 1, 2018.

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