Re: Iroquois and the Constitution

thomas w kavanagh (tkavanag@INDIANA.EDU)
Wed, 7 Feb 1996 20:16:59 -0500

On Wed, 7 Feb 1996, Joseph M. O'Neal wrote:

> One of the best sources I've seen for information on the Iroquois and the
> U.S. Constitution is Bruce Johansen's Forgotten Founders: How the
> American Indian Helped Shape Democracy. Harvard: Harvard Common Press,
> 1982.

Unfortunately, Johansen is problematic. Please look at his later materials
(Grinde and Joanhsen 1990; Johansen 1990) in which he backs off from some
of the more specific claims in Forgotten Founders. In those later works,
as I noted just yesterday, he no longer claimed that the Constitution was
copied or based on the League, just that the Founders were "influenced" by
it. Since we have yet to be able to specify what the Founders "knew" or
even "perceived" about the League, we are as yet unable to specify what
that "influence" might have been.

BTW, Johansen has a new book out, from a publisher in Santa Fe. I'll post
the full cite tomorrow back at my office.