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Removable TypeHistories of the Book in Indian Country, 1663-1880$
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Phillip H. Round

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780807833902

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807899472_round

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The Coming of the Book to Indian Country

The Coming of the Book to Indian Country

(p.21) Chapter One The Coming of the Book to Indian Country
Removable Type

Phillip H. Round

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter outlines how John Eliot's literacy mission served not only as the cornerstone of later book-centered Euro-American ideologies of conquest but also as the starting point for several powerful alphabetic literacy complexes built and maintained by Native peoples in the eighteenth century. The coming of the book to Indian Country was a dialogic process. Books arrived in the New World and transformed it forever. Yet, just as significant, books were themselves transformed in the process. American books like those produced at Eliot's New England Mission press were often the result of bicultural cooperation and relied heavily on Indian compilers, translators, and editors. In the hands of these indigenous craftsmen, polemicists, writers, and readers, the European ideology of the book was put to the service of Native nation building in ways that far surpassed the expectations of the colonizers.

Keywords:   John Eliot, literacy mission, Euro-American ideologies, alphabetic literacy complexes, Native peoples, Indian Country

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