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  • Illinois Indians made a bid for power in early America, based on bison and slavery

    The Illinois Indians of the late 1600s were not the beleaguered people that many historians have portrayed them to be, but instead were making an aggressive bid for power, says University of Illinois historian Robert Morrissey. And contrary to assumptions in many historical accounts of the period, their motivations had little to do with Europeans.

    The Illinois Indians of the late 1600s were not the beleaguered people that many historians have portrayed them to be, but instead were making an aggressive bid for power, says University of Illinois historian Robert Morrissey. And contrary to assumptions in many historical accounts of the period, their motivations had little to do with Europeans.

    Photo by L. Brian Stauffer

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  • Editor’s notes: To reach Robert Morrissey, call 773-616-9292; email rmorriss@illinois.edu.

    The article “The Power of the Ecotone: Bison, Slavery, and the Rise and Fall of the Grand Village of the Kaskaskia” is openly accessible from the Journal of American History at http://jah.oxfordjournals.org/content/102/3/667.full

    Morrissey also is the author of the book “Empire by Collaboration: Indians, Colonists, and Governments in Colonial Illinois Country,” published in 2015. (Links here to U. of I. news release and publisher’s page.)