Re: Cycles/ Constitution/Bancroft

thomas w kavanagh (tkavanag@INDIANA.EDU)
Sun, 11 Feb 1996 16:59:33 -0500

On Sun, 11 Feb 1996 lanclos@GARNET.BERKELEY.EDU wrote:

> A slight correction--while I did participate in some parts of that
> discussion, I don't remember making that point precisely.
> On Sun, 11 Feb 1996, John McCreery wrote:
> > Some time ago, Donna Lanclos mentioned the ebb and flow of the notion that
> > the Iroquois Confederacy influenced the U.S. Constitution in high-school
> > history books.

The "ebb and flow" comment was by " N.Bannister - L.Maners"
( on, I think, Jan. 31.

So far the earliest reference I have found to the Itroquois and the
Consitution is, as cited in Gail Landsman's 1992 Ethnohistory article, a
comment by Matilda Joselyn Gage in 1893 that "the most notable fact
connected with women's p[articipation in governmental affairs among the
Iroquyois is the statement of Hon. George Bancroft that the form of
government of the United States, was borrowed from that of the Six
Nations" (Lansdman 1992:263; Gage 1980(1893):10). However, as Landsman
also notes, (note 4, p. 276) "Gage offers simply "History ogf the United
States, Vol 1" as a citation for this assertion. A search through the
1864 and 1897 editions [the latter would be too late as the source of an
1893 citation, tk] of Bancroft .. . . failed to turn up any statement by
Bancroft to the effect that he form of the U.S. government was influenced
by the Iroquois."

The search continues.