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Covered with Night: A Story of Murder and Indigenous Justice in Early America (Pulitzer Prize Winner)

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Winner • Francis Parkman Prize (Society of American Historians)
Finalist • National Book Award for Nonfiction
Best Books of the Year • TIME, Smithsonian, Boston Globe, Kirkus Reviews

The Pulitzer Prize-winning history that transforms a single event in 1722 into an unparalleled portrait of early America.

In the winter of 1722, on the eve of a major conference between the Five Nations of the Haudenosaunee (also known as the Iroquois) and Anglo-American colonists, a pair of colonial fur traders brutally assaulted a Seneca hunter near Conestoga, Pennsylvania. Though virtually forgotten today, the crime ignited a contest between Native American forms of justice—rooted in community, forgiveness, and reparations—and the colonial ideology of harsh reprisal that called for the accused killers to be executed if found guilty. In Covered with Night, historian Nicole Eustace reconstructs the attack and its aftermath, introducing a group of unforgettable individuals—from the slain man’s resilient widow to an Indigenous diplomat known as “Captain Civility” to the scheming governor of Pennsylvania—as she narrates a remarkable series of criminal investigations and cross-cultural negotiations. Taking its title from a Haudenosaunee metaphor for mourning, Covered with Night ultimately urges us to consider Indigenous approaches to grief and condolence, rupture and repair, as we seek new avenues of justice in our own era.

ISBN-13: 9781631495878

Media Type: Hardcover

Publisher: Liveright Publishing Corporation

Publication Date: 04-27-2021

Pages: 464

Product Dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.60(d)

Nicole Eustace is professor of history at New York University. She is the author 1812: War and the Passions of Patriotism and Passion Is the Gale: Emotion, Power, and the Coming of the American Revolution. She lives in Mamaroneck, New York.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 Tomorrow's Doom 13

July 30-August 1, 1722

Chapter 2 Taquatarensaly (Captain Civility) 40

Chapter 3 When Things Go Ill 46

February 1722

Chapter 4 Sawantaeny 63

Chapter 5 Sorrow Will Come Fast 69

March 6, 1722

Chapter 6 John Cartlidge 87

Chapter 7 What Content and Decency Require 93

March 7-14, 1722

Chapter 8 Peter Bezaillion 112

Chapter 9 Two Heads Are Better Than One 119

March 15-17, 1722

Chapter 10 Weenepeeweytah and Elizabeth Cartlidge 137

Chapter 11 Forgive Anyone Sooner Than Thyself 144

March 21-26, 1722

Chapter 12 Isaac Norris 161

Chapter 13 He Will Go To Law 171

April 4-7, 1722

Chapter 14 Satcheechoe 194

Chapter 15 Stark Naught 200

May 4-11, 1722

Chapter 16 William Keith 219

Chapter 17 Take Him Now 228

June 15-July 2, 1722

Chapter 18 Ousewayteichks (Smith The Ganawese) 244

Chapter 19 Money and Good Men 251

August 3-15, 1722

Chapter 20 James Le Tort 267

Chapter 21 A Word to the Wise 275

August-September 1722

Chapter 22 James Logan 297

Chapter 23 Stiff Obstinacy 307

October 3-5, 1722

Chapter 24 Civility's Last Word 323

Acknowledgments 339

Notes 345

Bibliography 407

Index 429