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Storm of the Sea: Indians and Empires in the Atlantic's Age of Sail
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Matthew R. Bahar (Assistant Professor of History, Assistant Professor of History, Oberlin College)
Storm of the Sea: Indians and Empires in the Atlantic's Age of Sail by Matthew R. Bahar (Assistant Professor of History, Assistant Professor of History, Oberlin College) at Abbey's Bookshop,

Storm of the Sea: Indians and Empires in the Atlantic's Age of Sail

Matthew R. Bahar (Assistant Professor of History, Assistant Professor of History, Oberlin College)


Oxford University Press Inc

British & Irish history;
History of the Americas;
Maritime history;
Colonialism & imperialism;
Indigenous peoples


320 pages

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Narratives of cultural encounter in colonial North America often contrast traditional Indian coastal-dwellers and intrepid European seafarers. In Storm of the Sea, Matthew R. Bahar instead tells the forgotten history of Indian pirates hijacking European sailing ships on the rough waters of the north Atlantic and of an Indian navy pressing British seamen into its ranks. From their earliest encounters with Europeans in the sixteenth century to the end of the Seven Years' War in 1763, the Wabanaki Indians of northern New England and the Canadian Maritimes fought to enhance their relationship with the ocean and the colonists it brought to their shores. This native maritime world clashed with the relentless efforts of Europeans to supplant it with one more amenable to their imperial designs. The Wabanaki fortified their longstanding dominion over the region's land- and seascape by co-opting European sailing technology and regularly plundering the waves of European ships, sailors, and cargo. Their campaign of sea and shore brought wealth, honor, and power to their confederacy while alienating colonial neighbors and thwarting English and French imperialism through devastating attacks. Their seaborne raids developed both a punitive and extractive character; they served at once as violent and honorable retribution for the destructive pressures of colonialism in Indian country and as a strategic enterprise to secure valuable plunder. Ashore, Indian diplomats engaged in shrewd transatlantic negotiations with imperial officials of French Acadia and New England. Positioning Indians into the Age of Sail, Storm of the Sea offers an original perspective on Native American, imperial, and Atlantic history.

By:   Matthew R. Bahar (Assistant Professor of History Assistant Professor of History Oberlin College)
Imprint:   Oxford University Press Inc
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 244mm,  Width: 167mm,  Spine: 26mm
Weight:   534g
ISBN:   9780190874247
ISBN 10:   0190874244
Pages:   320
Publication Date:   December 2018
Audience:   Professional and scholarly ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Matthew R. Bahar is assistant professor of history at Oberlin College.

Many historians recognize that colonial America was, in many ways, places, and periods, shaped by Indigenous power. But by sea power? Recovering a time when Indian sailors, ships, and nautical prowess dominated coastal waters from Nova Scotia to Massachusetts, Matthew Bahar adds another dimension to understanding the Wabanaki confederacy and expands the narrative of encounter in early America. --Colin G. Calloway, author of The Indian World of George Washington In this groundbreaking study, Matthew Bahar places Native American sailors at the helm. During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, he shows, Wabanaki seamen controlled the coast between Maine and Newfoundland by building, commandeering, and deftly navigating European vessels. Native sailors often overpowered European traders and fishermen, instilling fear across the Dawnland and demanding European deference to Native American authority. Deeply researched and altogether illuminating, Storm of the Sea makes significant contributions to both Native American and maritime history. --Christopher L. Pastore, author of Between Land and Sea: The Atlantic Coast and the Transformation of New England Storm of the Sea is a revisionist blockbuster. No one before has traced, or even barely hinted at, the story of how the Mi'kmaqs and Wabanakis appropriated European sailing technology to empower their people and control the coasts of Maine and the Canadian Maritimes during the colonial age. Matthew Bahar powerfully demonstrates that a series of Mi'kmaq and Wabanaki sachems led a 150-year 'blue water strategy' enabling indigenous people to exercise hegemony over this region. For generations, scholars have assumed that the English remained scarce in colonial Maine because they set their sights elsewhere. Bahar shows instead that indigenous mariners defeated them there, over and over again. Beautifully written, deeply researched, and original, this is the most important work on the Wabanakis, Mi'kmaqs and colonial Maine to appear in decades. --David J. Silverman, author of Thundersticks: Firearms and the Violent Transformation of Native America

  • Winner of Winner of the John Lyman Book Award for U.S. Maritime History of the North American Society for Oceanic History.
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