The Conversion of the Iroquois

Montcalm and Wolfe is filled with references to the Iroquois. What happened to them? They were a mighty player in the French/British battles, with a capital city named Onondaga. And now they’ve just disappeared?

Self is suddenly consumed with curiosity.

An energetic French missionary named Fr. Piquet was particularly successful in converting them.

  • “The nature of the spiritual instruction bestowed by Piquet and his fellow-priests may be partly inferred from the words of a proselyte warrior, who declared with enthusiasm that he had learned from the Sulpitian missionary that the King of France was the eldest son of the wife of Jesus Christ.”

Since the Iroquois seem to have vanished, self has to assume that their conversion was simply a prelude to their — er, complete loss of agency, and eventual disappearance from the historical record.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

#amreading MONTCALM AND WOLFE by Francis Parkman

This book is about The Battle of Quebec, an epic battle which ended French rule in Canada. The two commanding generals, named in the title, were killed.

Self had never heard of historian Francis Parkman until a few months ago, when an article in the New York Review of Books made passing reference to him.

On p. 54, the French governor of territory disputed by the English sends a message to Queen Alequippa of the Iroquois, who is rumored to hold British sympathies:

  • They (the British) hide from you their plans, which are to settle here and drive you away, if I let them. As a good father who tenderly loves his children, and though far away from them bears them always in his heart, I must warn you of the danger that threatens you. The English intend to rob you of their country; and that they may succeed, they begin by corrupting your minds. As they mean to seize the Ohio, which belongs to me, I send to warn them to retire.

Love the way the “belongs to me” is uttered almost casually. About territory. Which belonged first of all to the native Americans.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Sentence of the Day: AMERICAN GODS, p. 307

So far, really enjoying this road trip with supernatural elements thrown in.  There are so many interesting encounters, and Gaiman writes like a dream.

The below is part of a very long rant by a woman named Sam:

  • I believe that antibacterial soap is destroying our resistance to dirt and disease so that one day we’ll all be wiped out by the common cold like the Martians in War of the Worlds.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Dinner is Served: Spaghetti and Meatballs, AMERICAN GODS, pp. 304- 305

Shadow is invited to dinner by a woman named Marguerite Olsen and meets Marguerite’s half-sister Sam (same father, different mothers: Sam’s mom moved to Tasmania after meeting “a guy on the Internet who lived in Hobart”) Sam tells him

  • “how all the aboriginal natives of Tasmania had been wiped out by the British, and about the human chain they made across the island to catch them which trapped only an old man and a sick boy. She told him how the thylacines — the Tasmanian tigers — had been killed by farmers, scared for their sheep, how the politicians in the 1930s noticed that the thylacines should be protected only after the last of them was dead.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

AMERICAN GODS: A Visit from a Dead Wife

p. 117:

Shadow opened his eyes.

“Where did all the blood come from?” he asked.

“Other people,” she said. “It’s not mine. I’m filled with formaldehyde, mixed with glycerin and lanolin.”


“It’s easier to kill people, when you’re dead yourself,” she told him.

“It’s still a big deal,” said Shadow.

AMERICAN GODS p. 67: “the best lies”

  • “That is why you are a good fortune teller,” said Zorya Utrennyaya. She looked sleepy, as if it were an effort for her to be up so late. “You tell the best lies.”

AMERICAN GODS Quote of the Day

p. 71:

“I feel,” Shadow told her, “like I’m in a world with its own sens of logic. Its own rules. Like when you’re in a dream, and you know there are rules you mustn’t break. Even if you don’t know what they mean. I’m just going along with it, you know?”

“I know,” she said.

More AMERICAN GODS, p. 51

Shadow (Self really likes that name!) ends the conversation with Laura, his dead wife:

  • She opened the door to the hall. The fluorescent light in the hallway was not kind: beneath it, Laura looked dead, but then, it did that to everyone.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

#amreading : AMERICAN GODS, pp. 50-51

SPOILERS!

“I think there are several aspects of our marriage we’re going to have to work hard on.”

“Babes,” he told her. “You’re dead.”

“That’s one of those aspects, obviously.”

— from American Gods, by Neil Gaiman

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Sentence of the Day: AMERICAN GODS

Ideas are more difficult to kill than people, but they can be killed, in the end.

— p. 47, American Gods, by Neil Gaiman

Just starting to read American Gods, which she was drawn to because it seemed to be about hitchhiking. A kind of On the Road, with a twist of horror.

Finished Ape House a few minutes ago. Good job, Sara Gruen! The book succeeded in making self very curious about bonobos. She wonders if San Francisco Zoo has any?

A quick Google search revealed that:

  • Bonobos is the name of a men’s clothing chain based in San Francisco.
  • Bonobos is the name of a rock group.
  • They are endangered, they are found in only one country in the world: the Congo (Why only that one country?) According to the Bonobo Conservation Initiative, “they inhabit the heart of the Congo basin, the second largest rainforest on earth.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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