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News Release

Roundtable Lecture to focus on Early History of American Frontier

Bethlehem, Pa., April 6, 2006—The Moravian College Monday Night Roundtable program will present guest speaker, Dr. James Paxton, assistant professor of history, who will discuss a fascinating new perspective about the early history of the American frontier, on Monday, April 10, at 7 p.m. in Prosser Auditorium, Haupert Union Building, Locust and Monocacy Streets. The lecture is free and open to the general public.

Paxton observes that “The American frontier, we are told, was a violent place where Europeans and Native Americans fought for control of the land. Yet there is another story of the frontier, one in which Natives and newcomers lived for long periods of time in more or less peaceful coexistence. This neglected history of the frontier is less dramatic but no less important than conflict to understanding our past. How then did people from very different cultures understand one another? Before Native Americans and Europeans began to trade, make military and political alliances, and fought over land, they told stories. They told stories about where they came from, who they were, and what they valued. On the eighteenth-century New York frontier, Mohawks and Europeans created stable multicultural communities, in part, because they were able to tell stories that incorporated each other”.

Jamie Paxton teaches American history and the history of Native North America at Moravian College. He received his BA from the University of Toronto and his MA from Virginia Tech. Currently. Currently, he is completing his Ph.D. at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario. His dissertation explores the ways Europeans and Native Americans negotiated cultural differences to create inclusive, multicultural, frontier communities. While Jamie focuses on the Six Nations Iroquois, he also researches and has written about Loyalists, Upper Canada, and the American Civil War.

A cafeteria-style dinner ($8.25) is available at 6:15 p.m. in the United Brethren Church Room, Haupert Union Building, Moravian College. For more information, call 610-625-7880.