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Full Access The Tawagonshi Tale: Can Linguistic Analysis Prove the Tawagonshi Treaty to be a Forgery?

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The Tawagonshi Tale: Can Linguistic Analysis Prove the Tawagonshi Treaty to be a Forgery?

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In 1968 the American physician Lawrence G. van Loon published the text of the so-called Tawagonshi Treaty. This treaty, allegedly drawn up in 1613 between Dutch traders and Iroquois tribal leaders, is by some considered to be the first treaty made between Europeans and Native Americans. Others, however, believe it to be a fake. In this article we try to establish at what date the text was written, using linguistic analysis. Our conclusion is that the anachronisms and anglicisms in the Tawagonshi Treaty demonstrate without doubt that the text was forged in the twentieth century. Although it is plausible that Van Loon was the forger, we have only circumstantial evidence for this but no direct proof.

Affiliations: 1: a)Tilburg, E-mail: harriehermkens@ziggo.nl ; 2: b) Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, E-mail: j.noordegraaf@vu.nl ; 3: c) RUN / Meertens Institute, E-mail: Nicoline.van.der.Sijs@meertens.knaw.nl

10.1163/18770703-00301003
/content/journals/10.1163/18770703-00301003
dcterms_title,pub_keyword,dcterms_description,pub_author
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In 1968 the American physician Lawrence G. van Loon published the text of the so-called Tawagonshi Treaty. This treaty, allegedly drawn up in 1613 between Dutch traders and Iroquois tribal leaders, is by some considered to be the first treaty made between Europeans and Native Americans. Others, however, believe it to be a fake. In this article we try to establish at what date the text was written, using linguistic analysis. Our conclusion is that the anachronisms and anglicisms in the Tawagonshi Treaty demonstrate without doubt that the text was forged in the twentieth century. Although it is plausible that Van Loon was the forger, we have only circumstantial evidence for this but no direct proof.

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/content/journals/10.1163/18770703-00301003
2013-01-01
2016-12-09

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