SUNY New Paltz distinguished professor writes biography of Wisconsin Oneida Nation's founder
NEW PALTZ -- Distinguished Professor Laurence Hauptman, a faculty member of the SUNY New Paltz History Department for 31 years, recently published his 13th book on Native Americans, Chief Daniel Bread and United Nation of Indians of Wisconsin. Hauptman wrote the book with L. Gordon McLester III of Oneida, Wis., an Oneida historian and tribal member, and the founder of the Oneida Historical Society. It was published by the University of Oklahoma Press.
Chief Daniel Bread (1800-1873) played an essential role in establishing the Oneida Indians' presence in Wisconsin after their removal from New York, but has not been recognized as the Oneida community's founder. In this book, Hauptman and McLester rectify that historical oversight, challenging the long-held views about Eleazer Williams' leadership of the Oneidas and connecting Bread's life story with the 19th-century history of the Oneida Nation. "The book fills a void, since there are few biographies of Iroquois and other Eastern woodlands Indians in this period," explains Hauptman.
A complex character, Bread supported acculturation and missionary schools and maintained working relationships with Indian agents, yet took his people's cause to Washington and confronted President Andrew Jackson when the Federal-Menominee treaties reduced Oneida lands and threatened tribal existence in Wisconsin.
"For many years, Hauptman has been the most productive historian in the field of Iroquois studies, and McLester brings in a valuable connection with the present Oneida community," said William T. Hagan, author and leading expert in the country on Indians. "This book provides what is so frequently missing from other books on this subject ¾ a discussion of the Indian resistance."
Hauptman and McLester also co-edited The Oneida Indian Journey: From New York to Wisconsin, 1784 - 1860 - a collection of essays by Indian and non-Indian scholars, which was awarded the State Historical Society of Wisconsin Book Award of Merit in 2000.
Professor Hauptman is nationally recognized in the field of Native American studies and is a leading authority on the history of the post-colonial Iroquois. As an expert on Indian policy in New York state, he has twice received the Peter Doctor Memorial Foundation Award - a distinguished service award and the highest honor that can be bestowed by the Iroquois for work that has been beneficial to the image of the Indian.
Hauptman's recent publications also include Between Two Fires: American Indians in the Civil War (Simon & Schuster, 1995) and Conspiracy of Interests: Iroquois Dispossession and the Rise of New York State (Iroquois and Their Neighbors) (Syracuse University Press, 1999), which received the John Ben Snow Prize for the best book published by Syracuse University Press that year. Hauptman's books have twice earned the Choice Magazine Award for an outstanding scholarly book.
At the request of Senator Daniel Inouye, Representative Amory Houghton and the Seneca Nation of Indians Tribal Council, Professor Hauptman presented oral and written expert testimony on the history of the Seneca Nation/city of Salamanca lease controversy before the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Interior and Insular Affairs, and the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Indian Affairs. In 1998, he received a plaque and special recognition from the president of the Seneca people for his research and testimony.
The SUNY New Paltz professor has served as a consultant to the Cayuga Indian Nation of New York, the Seneca Nation of Indians and the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation.
Hauptman earned his doctorate in American history from New York University. In addition to SUNY New Paltz, he has taught at NYU, the University of New Mexico and Saint Bonaventure University Graduate School. In 1986, he was a Senior Fellow at the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government. In September 1999, the SUNY Board of Trustees appointed Hauptman a distinguished professor, the highest rank that can be achieved by a State University educator. He resides in New Paltz.
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