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First Americans: A History of Native Peoples, Volume 1 to 1850

By Kenneth W. Townsend, Mark A. Nicholas

Published by Pearson

Published Date: Jan 9, 2012


Tells the complete story of Native American history, including the native perspective.


First Americans provides a history of Native Americans, from their earliest appearance in North America to the present, that covers the complexity and diversity of their past. The text demonstrates Native Americans’ participation in determining their own future and helps students place Native American history in context with national and international developments.  


Present throughout the text is the "native voice," giving American Indians’ perspectives on historical developments. The text also enforces the reality that native people retain a presence in the U.S. today as a growing population with a rich diversity of roles, ideas, and contributions.


A better teaching and learning experience
This program will provide a better teaching and learning experience—for you and your students. Here’s how:

  • Improve Critical Thinking – To enhance student comprehension, each chapter includes features such as Chronologies, Key Questions, Review Questions, and Recommended Readings.
  • Engage Students – Special features are included to highlight the native voice and support the themes presented.
  • Support Instructors – Instructor’s Resource Center, Instructor’s Manual, Test Bank, MyTest, and PowerPoint presentations are available to be packaged with this text.


For the combined volume of this text, search ISBN-10: 0132069482

For volume two of this text, search ISBN-10: 0205055877



Table of Contents

Found in this section:
1. Brief Table of Contents
2. Full Table of Contents




Chapter 1 Native North America before European Contact

Chapter 2 Native Peoples and European Newcomers, 982–1585

Chapter 3 Spanish Borderlands, 1527–1758

Chapter 4 Seventeenth-Century Eastern Woodlands, 1607–1689

Chapter 5 Empire, 1700–1763

Chapter 6 The Indians’ Revolution, 1763–1814

Chapter 7 Removal, 1801–1846

Chapter 8 Western Indians and the United States, 1800–1850






Supplementary Material


About the Authors


Chapter 1: Native North America Before European Contact

Stories versus Science


We Were Always Here

The Scientific Evidence

Reading History The Kwakiutl Story of the Deluge

Clovis and Folsom Cultures

Changes in the West

California Indians

The Northwest

The Great Basin and the Plains

Agriculture-Based Societies in the Southwest

Cultural Diversity and the Arrival of Maize

The “Chaco Phenomenon”

Hohokam and Mesa Verde Cultures

Seeing History Anasazi Sites Compared

Eastern Woodlands

Early Eastern Woodlands Traditions

Adena and Hopewell Cultures

Mississipian Chiefdoms

The Iroquois

Seeing History Chiefdoms Maintaining Power Through Images

Reading History The Iroquois Origin Story


Review Questions

Recommended Readings

Native American History Online



Chapter 2: Native Peoples and European Newcomers, 982–1590

Conquests, Colonies, and Contradictions

An Iberian New World Order

Christopher Columbus and the West Indies: The Tainos Encounter Spaniards

The Maya, Aztec, and Inca Worlds


Chichen Itza and the Mayan City-States

Maya Women and the City-States


Pre-Aztec States in Mexico

Rise of the Aztec Empire


Aztec Gods and Religion

Aztec Women in a Warrior Culture


Growth of the Inca State

Inca Rule

The Power of Inca Women

Spanish Conquest, Spanish Rule

Fall of Tenochtitlan

Profile Malintzin, A Woman Negotiates with the Aztecs

Reading History A Woman’s Voice From

Postconquest Mexico: Ana Juana From Culhuacan

Conquest of the Incas

Profile Titu Cusi Yupanqui, an Inca Elite After Conquest

Conquest of the Maya

Reading History A Voice from the Mayan New

World Inquisition: Francisco Chuc of Sahcaba, August 11, 1562

French and English Newcomers

Pre-Columbian Encounters in North America: The Norse

Early Expeditions to the Northeast

Native Peoples and the French along the St. Lawrence River

Algonquians and the English at Roanoke

Profile Manteo, the Roanoke Interpreter


Review Questions

Recommended Readings

Native American History Online



Chapter 3: Spanish Borderlands, 1527–1758

On the Fringes

La Florida: A Maritime Borderland

The Indian Landscape of La Florida

Friars and Chiefdoms

Mission Life

Rebellion and Decline

Southeast Chiefdoms and Hernando De Soto

The Southwest Borderlands

Women and Caddoan Power

The Texas Mission-Presidio Complex

The World of the Pueblos

New Power in the Sword: The Spanish Invasion

New Power in the Church: The Franciscan Pueblo Missions

New Power in Governance: Encomenderos and Colonial Rule

Rebellion: The Pueblo Revolt of 1680

Reading History Declaration of the Indian, Juan.

Place on the Rio del Norte, December, 18, 1681

Northern Mining Frontiers

Serrano Peoples: Native Life in Sonora

Miners, Ranchers, and Moving Frontiers

Missionaries: Serrano Peoples and the Jesuits

Wanderers and Communities: Native Resistance to Spanish Rule

Early Borderlands Connections in the Southwest

Horses and Networks of Masculine Trade and Warfare

The Rise of the Comanches


Review Questions

Recommended Readings

Native American History Online



Chapter 4: Seventeenth-Century Eastern Woodlands, 1607–1689

Worlds Apart


The Rise of the Powhatan Confederacy

Powhatan and the English: Trade and Conflict

Indian War and the Emergence of Virginia

Profile Pocahontas in the Atlantic World

Southern New England Indians Encounter the English

Native Americans and Plymouth Bay

New England Indians Face English Expansion

Christianity and the Praying Town Model


Confederacies, Empires, and Villages

The Huron Ascendancy

War and Mourning: Five Nations’ Ferocity

Middle Grounding: The Pays d’en haut

Transformation of the Five Nations

Profile Kateri Tekakwitha

Maturing Colonies Ending a Century in Conflict: Metacom’s War and Bacon’s Rebellion

Metacom’s War

Reading History Mary Rowlandson’s Captivity Narrative, 1682

Bacon’s Rebellion


Review Questions

Recommended Readings

Native American History Online



Chapter 5: Empire, 1700–1763

Empires, a Chief, and a Prophet

Indians and Empires in the Northeast

Deerfield on the Edge of Empire

Reading History John Williams, Redeemed Captive Returning to Zion, 1774

Returning to New France and Shifting Strategies

New England Indians “Behind the Frontier”

Land and Indian Communities

Native Peoples and the Economics of the British Empire in New England

Religion, Education, and Indian Sovereignty

Profile The Transient Life of Sarah Gardner, Indian Woman

Reading History Samson Occom Tells His Story, 1768

A Mid-Atlantic Frontier

Delawares and the Quest for Land

The Pennsylvania Backcountry

The Indians’ “Great Awakening” in Pennsylvania

Profile Andrew Montour: The Frontier Negotiator

Reading History Esther: a Mahican-Moravian

Multitribal Zones and Imperial Pressure in the South

Trading Slaves and Deerskins

Native Americans and the Costs of French Expansion into the Lower Mississippi Valley

Tuscarora and Yamasee Wars and Breaking with the British

Profile Mary Musgrove: A Creek Woman Between Worlds

The Seven Years’ War and Indian Perspectives on Empire

The Redefinition of Empire and Racial Consciousness

Seeing History Neolin’s Master of Life


Review Questions

Recommended Readings

Native American History Online



Chapter 6: The Indians’ Revolution, 1763–1814

A Disease, a Continent, and a Revolution

The American Revolution

Questions of Iroquois Neutrality

For Liberty and Independence: New England Indians

Profile Molly Brant, an Iroquois Woman and British Loyalist

Dunmore’s War and the Old Northwest

The South and Choosing Sides

Seeing History A Draught of the Cherokee Country by Lientenant Henry Timberlake, 1762

Native American Recovery, Native American Resistance, 1783–1814

The Revolution Continues: Treaties and Bloody Years

The Civilization Program

Prophets and War

Profile Black Hoof, Shawnee Annuity Chief

Reading History Hansome Lake’s First Vision, 1799

Profile Hillis Hadjo, The Creek Prophet

Western Revolutions

The Borderlands Revolution: Comancheria

Comancheria: Wealth and Empire

Alta California: Missionary Revolutions

Mission Life

Profile Indian Leaders in the Franciscan Missions


Review Questions

Recommended Readings

Native American History Online



Chapter 7: Removal, 1801–1846

Do You Want Our Land?

Southern Removal

Cherokee “Civilization”

Cherokees Challenged

Reading History The Removal Act of 1830

Cherokee Removal

The Creek Road to Oklahoma

Choctaw Removal

Seeing History Nanih Waiya

Chickasaws Head West

Profile Pushmataha, Choctaw Leader Caught between Worlds

Resisting Removal

Seminoles Fight

Profile Coacoochee, the Mexican Seminole

The Black Hawk War

Reading History Black Hawk’s Autobiography

Removal from the North

Profile William Apess, a Pequot Helps the Mashpee

Restoring Sovereignty in the Indian Territory

Rebuilding the Cherokee Nation

Resurgence among Indians from the South

Indian Territory and the “Peculiar Institution” of Slavery


Review Questions

Recommended Readings

Native American History Online



Chapter 8: Western Indians and the United States, 1800–1850

Winning or Losing the West

Native Americans, the Corps of Discovery, and Constructing Empire

The Plains and Missouri River Indians

Pacific Northwest Indians

Reading History James P. Rhonda, The Truth About Sacagawea

The Pacific as the West

Russian America

Tlingit Culture, Resistance, and Competition

Rocky Mountain Fur Trading and the Pacific Northwest

Profile Smohalla, the Prophet

Winning or Losing the West?

The Transformation of California

Reading History Isadora: Widow of the Prince of Solano

California Indians and American Manifest Destiny

California’s “Sexual Frontier”

ProfileIshi, the Last Yahi Standing

Texas Indians in Upheaval

Profile Andele, the Mexican-Kiowa Captive

The Southwest Borderlands in Transition

Reading History Andele’s Account


Review Questions

Recommended Readings

Native American History Online




Glossary of Key Terms and Concepts


Photo & Text Credits




First Americans: A History of Native Peoples, Volume 1 to 1850

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