Our Minds in the Gutters: Sexuality, History, and Reader Responsibility in George O'Connor's Graphic Novel Journey into Mohawk Country
With the 2006 publication of the graphic novel Journey into Mohawk Country, illustrator George O'Connor introduces a twenty-first century readership to the journal of Dutch fur trader Harmen Meyndertsz Van den Bogaert. Written in 1634, the journal provides a record of Van den Bogaert's visit to and business negotiations with the Mohawk Indians on behalf of the Dutch West India Company. Using a straightforward style of report, Van den Bogaert specifies his travel route, records the knowledge he gains of Mohawk customs, and details the outcome of his negotiations, including his tentative agreement with the Mohawk to trade their furs exclusively with the Dutch. Read beside other contemporaneous contact narratives, Van den Bogaert's journal presents a world in flux where the successful negotiation of business transactions and cross – cultural relationships is by no means assured.
In O'Connor's hands, the dry, factual narrative receives a humorous renovation which he develops through his style of illustration and manipulation of panel space. Given facial canvasses for the traders mentioned in the journal, O'Connor depicts awkward outsiders who express trepidation, frustration, wonder, discomfort, and happiness during their travels. He extends the humorous tone of the illustrations to depictions of the traders playing games with one another. Additionally, O'Connor uses panel space to humorous effect. Within the panels which contain portions of Van den Bogaert's text, he manipulates illustrations to create ironic disconnects in the meanings of the text and that of the images. Moreover, in single text – less panels and some sequences of text – less panels, O'Connor significantly deviates from the writing, adding subplots which do not exist in Van den Bogaert's text. In the most recurrent of these subplots, he includes amorous relationships for the Dutch fur traders. While the illustrated Van den Bogaert seems to sustain a playful flirtation with one Mohawk woman, his companion, Willem Thomasen, appears to carry on a more serious liaison with another Mohawk woman.
While the graphic novel version of Journey into Mohawk Country can be entertaining, O'Connor's subplots and the readers' chronological, temporal, and cultural distance from the seventeenth century writing frustrate pleasure – reading for the academic and imperil non-fictional reading for the novice student of history. Gauging the gulfs in meaning between Van den Bogart's writing and O'Connor's images, I question the wisdom of presenting a primary historical document in graphic novel format. Perhaps the biggest drawback of the melding of fact and fiction lies in the unacknowledged power the ambiguous narrative gives its readers to articulate a history of Dutch/Mohawk contact while being almost wholly unaware of its facts.
Though O'Connor visually alters Van den Bogaert's text through tone and image, he still wishes to claim truth value for his product. In his introduction, he observes of the 1634 journal text "none of his entries have been altered or abridged; all is as Van den Bogaert recorded it" (4). However, the mere inclusion of images changes the narrative considerably. Defining comics as a language in The System of Comics, Thierry Groensteen argues that the image acts as the central means by which meaning is created within this language. He indicates that narrative is not an exclusively linguistic act, and he aims to break the "linguistic hegemony of general semiotics and, therefore, of the too-frequent mechanical application of dogmas of literary narratology to every other form of storytelling" (10). Following Groensteen's theory, the Van den Bogaert text cannot retain its initial integrity when presented in graphic novel format.
More importantly, the seventeenth century text loses further comprehensiveness because of the way that comics' readers participate in creating the text's meaning. Groensteen says that comics "offer the reader a story that is full of holes, which appear as gaps in the meaning" (10), and he indicates that a page of comics "demands to be traversed, crossed, glanced at, and analytically deciphered" (19). For readers of Journey into Mohawk Country, navigating the holes and meanings can prove daunting. These actions require relying on one's previous knowledge of Native American and European sexual customs of the seventeenth century or relying on one's own imagination. While O'Connor gives some historical background to aid interpretation, he provides numerous points at which interpretation is vital. In some panel sequences, his illustrations call for readers to gauge the degree to which sexual exploration occurs. In other sequences, O'Connor relegates suggestions of sexual contact to the white space between panels. What responsibility to history, then, do readers bear when their minds are caught, literally and figuratively, "in the gutter"?
I. Setting the Sexual Scenes: an Examination of Panel Sequencing
Throughout Van den Bogaert's account of his travels among and dealings with the Mohawk, women receive little attention. In the journal, which spans from December 11, 1634 to January 21, 1635, he mentions encountering women only six or so times. The first time that he records the travelers meeting women, he does so by way of flat observation. On January 12, 1634, the party of Dutch fur traders and their guide arrive at a cabin, and Van den Bogaert writes, "there was no one there but women" (16). Utilizing Van den Bogaert's first observation of women, O'Connor introduces two of the women who become key silent characters in the Mohawk country of his illustrations. In his visual presentation of these women, O'Connor depicts three partially-nude Mohawk women sitting inside a cabin as they are surprised by their Dutch visitors [Fig. 1].
In this single wordless panel, the women's figures and the placement of the panel which contains them are crucial to all interpretive work of Mohawk womanhood and sexuality that follows. First, this panel contains the sole depiction of the Mohawk women in their native dress. In Intimate Matters: A History of Sexuality in America, John D'Emilio and Estelle Freedman observe, "most native peoples did not associate either nudity or sexuality with sin" (7). Depicting the women in a historically-accurate way, O'Connor shows them naked from the waist up with an apron-like covering attached at the waist. To mitigate the effect of this partial nudity on his readers, though, he positions the women in partial profile, so that their breasts are not bared.
In the context of seventeenth century Mohawk custom, this panel is not itself scandalous. Nevertheless, given the illustrated Van den Bogaert's reaction to the partial nudity, this panel becomes sexually suggestive. Additionally, it is positioned prominently on the page. O'Connor situates the partial female nudity within the third panel of eight on the page. Occupying the upper middle portion of the page, this panel is surrounded by the fur traders' movements outside, their reactions to the women, and their unheard conversation. In these panels, the reader follows the illustrated Van den Bogaert's male gaze as it penetrates the cabin, traveling past a second interior frame of parted curtains which make up the cabin's door. Combining Van den Bogaert's reaction with the doubled framing of women's nudity in interior space, nudity appears necessarily sexual.
Finally, O'Connor's strategy of illustration here allows him to comment on Van den Bogaert's writing. In this sequence of panels, O'Connor offers a causal relationship for the fur traders' decision to stop for the night: they choose to stay because women are present. In contrast, Van den Bogaert writes that the traveling party only has a half-mile left to walk, and he records the presence of the women before noting, "I could not move my feet because of the rough going; so we slept there" (16). By rendering foot pain a convenient excuse, O'Connor introduces the heterosexual desire which will inform future panel sequences.
In the opening panel for the next day, January 13th, O'Connor's reason for emphasizing the fur traders' interest in Mohawk women becomes evident [Fig. 2]. Though he includes no drawings to indicate that sexual activity has taken place, O'Connor uses this panel to first introduce Willem Thomasen's love interest, the woman in orange, as the traders' fellow traveler. In this panel, the association between sexual availability and newfound friendship is subtle but present. The woman in orange stands close to Thomasen as the travelers' party bids goodbye to its hosts. But O'Connor generates ambiguity by depicting the farewells in mid-action such that the travelers stand in a largely undifferentiated group with their hosts. Regardless, the woman in orange is show in company among the travelers for many of the ensuing illustrations.
As the narrative progresses, O'Connor offers a romantic opportunity for the illustrated Van den Bogaert. On December 18, 1634, the journal text notes that "three women came here," and, in O'Connor's illustration, he shows Van den Bogaert flirting with a Mohawk woman who wears blue throughout the narrative. Then [Fig. 3], in a sequence running from page 86 to 87, the illustrated Van den Bogaert reacts eagerly to another meeting with the woman in blue.
She bypasses him quickly, however, and hugs Arias, a chief. In response, the illustrated Van den Bogaert expresses disappointment. In these sequences of romantically (or sexually) suggestive panels, any serious sexual overtones that might be generated by Thomasen's relationship seem dispelled by the more playful flirtation of Van den Bogart in his overtures towards the woman in blue.
Later, in another important sexually – suggestive series of panels, O'Connor pictures the traders settling down for the night of January 10, 1635 [Fig. 4].
In the five panels on this page, O'Connor's illustrations again diverge from Van den Bogaert's writing. In the third panel, the text reads "they [the Onnedagens] brought some beaver pelts with them" (111), but the illustration shows Chief Arenias and the woman in blue naked in bed together. This depiction seems to affirm the futility of Van den Bogaert's flirtation. Then, in the fourth panel, Van den Bogaert writes, "I went and thanked them for coming to visit us" (111). Again, as the writing focuses on business or social interaction, O'Connor juxtaposes it with completely unrelated images: the panel shows an illustration of Thomasen and the woman in orange reclining together and playing shadow puppets. In the final panel of the day's series, business-related text continues while the point of view moves outside, away from, and above the cabin. From this perspective, the reader looks down on the settlement from behind the viewpoint of the mysterious Indian who has been following the traders. This doubled focus – the Indian's gaze on the settlement and the reader's gaze on this watchful figure – reinforces the importance of this panel.
Sequenced between one overtly sexual scene and one scene portraying a watchful figure, the actions of the reclining Thomasen and the woman in orange must be defined by the reader through an interpretation of visual cues. Because the closest panels depict physical intimacy and quasi-voyeurism, a reader could readily conclude that the amorous relationship is also sexual (after all, one cannot play shadow puppets all night). However, in the fourth panel, O'Connor's drawing again frustrates reader certainty. First, the couple is fully clothed and exhibits a playful attitude. Second, because the figures are positioned at the extreme bottom left corner of the panel, the physical matter which supports them exists outside of the panel's frame. As a result, O'Connor evades portraying a definitively sexual pose. Just as a reader would be justified in perceiving sexual contact, s/he could also argue that this scene merely shows the couple's continued affectionate attraction.
II. Interpretive Choices Past and Present: O'Connor's Spatio-Topical Focus
Van den Bogaert's Dutch-language journal is relatively new to the historical archive. In his afterword, O'Connor thanks Charles T. Gehring and William A Starna for their English translation of the seventeenth century Dutch, and the copyright for this translation is dated 1988. In Island at the Center of the World, Shorto indicates that, in 1974, Gehring was presented with 12,000 pages of documents relating to New Amsterdam (4-5). As O'Connor conceptualized his illustrations, he conducted further research, much of which he details in a blog on the First Second website. Though research informed O'Connor's choices of illustration style and panel layout, the fruits of this study do not necessarily make readers more knowledgeable of seventeenth century Dutch and Mohawk history. O'Connor includes an introduction and afterword to the graphic novel, but both are brief.
In Van den Bogaert's journal, he identifies his purpose for traveling: to learn the truth about the rumors of Mohawk trading agreements and report back to his superiors (8-9). As a result, the facts that he records – places he visits, people he meets, and transactions he makes – fulfill that purpose. In contrast, O'Connor illustrates this document to make it interesting to a twenty-first century audience. By gauging what is "interesting," though, he gains power over history. In Lies My Teacher Told Me, James W. Loewen notes, "textbook author still write history to comfort descendents of the 'settlers'" (99), and, by comforting his readers, O'Connor benefits from their purchasing power.
Minimizing the (apparently boring) importance of the trade agreement, O'Connor overlooks a powerful point of the narrative: at one point, the Mohawk were quite powerful. Because both the French and the Dutch profited from the sale of furs, the Mohawk were able to sell their services to the highest bidder. Their skill at hunting and negotiation enabled them to become valuable players in international trade. In American Colonies, Alan Taylor notes, "because Indians voluntarily performed the hard work of hunting the animals and treating their furs, traders could immediately profit in America without the time, trouble, expense, and violence of conquering Indians to reorganize their labor into mines and plantations" (94). Moreover, the Mohawk were fearsome warriors. Part of the Five Nations league, the Mohawk competed with the allied Montagnais, Algonkin, and Huron (Taylor 101). And, as the Mohawk carried out a near-constant mourning war to replace tribes-ndash; people, Jesuits wrote about how much they feared for the French colony (112).
In O'Connor's version of the journal, though, the narrative becomes a more comfortable "boy meets girl" story [Fig. 6]. The early sexual suggestiveness of panels in which women are portrayed yields one of the most derivative series of panels in the graphic novel. As Van den Bogaert details the gifts the traders receive upon finalizing their business arrangement, his words literally fade into the background. A lucky Thomasen has won a "rock, paper, scissors" game, allowing him to spend the day freely with the woman in orange. For three pages [Fig. 7], they cavort lovingly while the barely still-present voice of Van den Bogaert counts beavers in the background.
While the real story here would initially seem that of the Mohawk – they get a tentative promise of four hands of sewant per fur – the images keep the readers' focus on Thomasen's love life.
In O'Connor's presentation, the business of life, the point of the actual Van den Bogaert's travels, comes second. If this is "the" story that young students are exposed to when they learn about the Dutch and the Mohawk, or, more generally, the Europeans and the Native Americans, then they will be missing quite a bit.
III. Reading Reader Responses
Consistently, the readers of Journey into Mohawk Country participate in sexualizing the women's bodies though they may not necessarily perceive the interpretive work they perform. In "Native American Sexuality in the Eyes of the Beholder," Gordon Sayre maintains, "colonists could not describe [sexuality] in frank or objective terms" (37). O'Connor faces a similar problem with objectivity; to effectively portray seventeenth century Mohawk women, he confronts his readers' twenty-first century sexual mores. His conundrum is further compounded by the text's silence concerning sexuality and his unwillingness to add explanatory text. Moreover, Sayre argues, "nowhere, not even in war and trade, was the observer's relationship to the behavior he described more fraught with semiconscious desires and fears" (37). This statement might also be made of those who read O'Connor's graphic novel.
Given the significant additions that O'Connor makes to Van den Bogaert's writing, what might readers make of the relationships that the Dutch fur traders formed with these Native American women? Typically, reader responses vary widely. In a review for Booklist, Jesse Karp says, "The diary is absent of racism, but there is a single frame of nudity and a bloodless depiction of a scalping." Karp approaches the graphic novel by gauging what material might be problematic for younger readers. From this perspective, though accounts of racism, nudity, and scalping are historically accurate to describing European contact with Native American peoples, Karp judges this subject matter as inappropriate for certain readers.
In similar form, readers interpret the romantic attachments O'Connor includes based on present-day expectations for heterosexual behavior. In The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, reviewer Elizabeth Bush mentions Van den Bogaert lusting after Arenias' "wife," and she identifies Willem's companion as a "girlfriend." Because O'Connor does not define these relationships, other readers have different interpretations. Writing for The Daily Crosshatch.com, Sean Carroll maintains "one of the characters ... seems to acquire a Mohawk bride during the course of the story." Whether identified as a girlfriend or bride, the woman in orange takes on some form of meaning contingent on the readers' conception of proper romantic attachments.
Only a few reviewers or bloggers questioned how O'Connor's addition of visual subplots might have affected readers. In the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, Elizabeth Bush notes, "O'Connor takes Bogaert's terse record of the journey and creates not only a literal pictorial rendering of their adventures in graphic novel format but fleshes it out with credible, if speculative subplots." Here, Bush exercises a healthy skepticism about the added material which few reviewers show. Additionally, blogger Edwin Turner of Biblioklept observes, "O'Connor's work here illustrates the first-person narrative's slippery claims on truth and the limited viability of a 'true' historical account." Though Van den Bogaert provides a personal account of this travels – his own interpretation of history – at least his journal falls within an agreed upon genre definition.
IV. Sexual Journeys into Seventeenth Century Mohawk Country
By introducing amorous relationships into Van den Bogaert's journal, O'Connor perhaps unwittingly complicates the graphic novel. During the seventeenth century one's sexual contact and sense of propriety was influenced by one's gender, culture, geographical location, and level of contact with other cultures. And while global exploration could open new sexual vistas, cross-cultural contact was fraught with issues of power. As Stephanie Wood notes in "Sexual Violation in the Conquest of the Americas," these sexual relations involved everything from "ethnographic voyeurism" to long-term commitment to rape, and they were carried out in some form by many Spanish, English, French, and Dutch explorers and settlers (12). Along with other factors such as trade and land negotiations, the management of sexual desire (for good or ill) helped govern relations between cultures.
Historically, though Europeans did have sexual contact with Native Americans during the seventeenth century, they also learned that Native American sexual customs involved more freedoms than their own. D'Emilio and Freedman note, "in certain tribes, women, like men, could exercise considerable choice in their selection of sexual partners" (7). For settlers whose former customs called for the protection of women and female chastity, this liberty could be shocking. Some Europeans, such as the English, responded this openness by banning interracial unions and punishing European offenders (Godbeers 160). Even so, Godbeers indicates that traders readily engaged in relationships with Native American women following tribal customs. Formed for the mutual benefit of native and settler, these unions were practical for social relations as well. Citing the personal experience of a trader named Lawson, Godbeers indicates that traders got sexual favors, the companionship of a Native American family, privileged trading status with the particular tribe, and the care of a housewife (181).
In the text which provides part of O'Connor's source material, The Island at the Center of the World, Russell Shorto offers insight into how Van den Bogaert himself might have construed relationships between Native American women and European men when he wrote his journal. Russell Shorto notes,
Following the [trade] agreement, Van den Bogaert was given a house, presents, and thick portions of bear meat. Although he doesn't mention it, he may have been given other things as well, for the detailed list of Mohawk vocabulary words he compiled includes the words and phrases for man, woman, prostitute, vagina, phallus, testicles, "to have intercourse," "very beautiful," "When shall you return?," and "I do not know" (80).
Given this vocabulary lesson – especially the term "prostitute" – one returns to the graphic novel with another question: are Van den Bogaert and/or his companions "given" the sexual favors of the women they encounter?
Though the prostitution of Mohawk women might seem likely to some readers, history affirms that the term "prostitution" as Europeans defined it does not accurately apply to seventeenth century Native American sexual practices. D'Emilio and Freedman note, "In cultures in which one could not 'own' another person's sexuality, prostitution – the sale of sex – did not exist prior to the arrival of European settlers" (8). Through their own interpretation of sexual contact, then, some European settlers read prostitution onto the bodies of Native women. Nevertheless, these settlers felt they were justified in making these associations. As Richard Godbeers observes,
the notion of reciprocal exchange was universal in Native American cultures, providing a fundamental structure with accompanying rituals of civility for any interaction, including courtship. Young women who asked for goods in exchange for sexual intimacy were insisting upon a social etiquette that Europeans frequently misinterpreted, blind as they were to the underlying cultural logic. (177)
When men neglected to proffer the expected gift, they could cause rifts in cross – cultural relations.
Additionally, not all seventeenth century settlers in the New World viewed prostitution with disdain. Perhaps because the New Amsterdam colony contained such a motley assortment of settlers, women who chose to prostitute themselves could do so with relative freedom. Shorto notes that the preponderance of sailors, traders, pirates, and slaves in the colony ensured that "prostitution became a mainstay" (83), and he cites at least two examples of prostitutes who continued their sex work even after they married (83, 85).
During the seventeenth century, the range of sexual behaviors that people practiced was not limited to heterosexual sex. In fact, though Shorto observes that Van den Bogaert was married and fathered four children (187), he also records an event which queers the trader's sexual history. Sometime in 1647, Van den Bogaert was caught in flagrante delicto with his black male servant, Tobias (188). Because sodomy was a serious legal infraction for the Dutch, Van den Bogaert fled. This incident occurred over ten years after the journal was written, and there is no way of knowing if he had practiced homosexual sex earlier.
However, it seems strange that O'Connor chose not to introduce any homosexual content in his subplots, especially given the permissiveness of Native American sexuality. This omission seems especially narrow-minded in light of Van den Bogaert's quick return to Mohawk counter after the discovery of his sexual crime. Having no biblical dictates against certain types of sexual contact, Native American society included men who had sex with other men (D'Emilio 7). Termed berdache from the French word for sodomite, these men lived comfortably in their communities (7).
Returning to the journal, one can recall that Van den Bogaert was offered a home among the Mohawk. On January 3, 1635, Van den Bogaert records the Mohawks' promise to him: in thankfulness for his generosity in their business transactions, they swear "that I should go to all these places by naming all the castles, and I would go there freely and be free there in every place; I would have house, fire, wood, and anything else. Whatever I received would be mine" (100-101). In light of this proclamation, Van den Bogaert's decision to return to the Mohawk makes perfect sense; food and shelter may not have been all they had to offer.
Currently, many scholars are studying the historical work of Native American sexuality in confrontation with normative Western sexual mores. In "Stolen From Our Bodies First Nations Two – Spirits/Queers and the Journey to a Sovereign Erotic," Qwo-Li Driskill outlines the difficulty of such study. Driskill indicates that present-day Euroamerican terms "queer," "transgender," and "gay" do not adequately describe the possibilities for sexuality within Cherokee contexts. Moreover, Driskill argues,
While homophobia, transphobia, and sexism are problems in Native communities, in many of our tribal realities these forms of oppression are the result of colonization and genocide that cannot accept women as leaders, or people with extra-ordinary genders and sexualities. As Native people, our erotic lives and identities have been colonized along with our homelands. (52)
Clearly, though Driskill sees a problem in native communities, homophobia and sexuality-based discrimination is widespread in twenty-first century America.
VI. Re – readings and Reservations: Challenges to the "History" of the Graphic Novel
With this knowledge of Van den Bogaert's sexual history and seventeenth century Native American appreciation of different sexualities, one can challenge O'Connor's heteronormative romances by rereading panel sequences in a willfully specific way. Returning to Van den Bogaert's contact with the woman in blue, one could read this not as a heterosexual flirtation but as an inquiry about any "hot guys" who might be available among the Mohawk. From this perspective, the illustrated Van den Bogaert's reaction to the discovery of the woman in blue's relationship with Arenias takes on a different connotation. Instead of expressing disappointment that she has a partner, he could be venting his frustration that Arenias does.
I offer the preceding interpretation as a way to make O'Connor's narrative fit my knowledge of history, but I am not sure that this somewhat forced reading adequately addresses the history lesson O'Connor gives (or fails to give). By insinuating women to undefined heterosexual roles and by leaving out the historically-recorded evidence of Van den Bogaert's queer sexuality, O'Connor's text remakes history in a myopic way. Reading O'Connor's blog about his creative process, it is clear that he strove for historical accuracy as he penned illustrations for the journal.
However, O'Connor's omission of queer sexuality can be seen as both problematic, but predictable, given his publisher's mandate. On the First Second website, they note, "First Second aims for high quality, literate graphic novels for a wide age-range, from Middle grade to Young Adult to Adult readers" (Siegel). Additionally, they offer teaching aids to help instructors incorporate graphic novels into classroom discussion for four of their titles (but, thankfully, not Journey into Mohawk Country). Seen from this viewpoint, the First Second editors and writers are performing a self-proclaimed role not only as entertainers but as teachers. Some reviewers of O'Connor's graphic novel support this claim: on Newsarama.com Michael May says, "O'Connor's book is as thoroughly thrilling and funny as it is educational" (par. 5). Similarly, on the Precocious Curmudgeon blog, David P. Welsh (former writer for Comics Reporter and Comic World News) proclaims of Journey, "Only slight embroideries...Valuable educational tool." Though these writers find no problem with using a fictionalized narrative as a teaching tool, I wonder at their knowledge of history and relation to the classroom.
In O'Connor's hands, Journey into Mohawk Country exists less as a document relating to the Dutch/Mohawk fur-trading business of the seventeenth century and more as a generalized narrative of Anglo-Indian contact both actual and mythologized. It makes us question how the graphic novel expects to fit into genre categories. Can the document retain claims to historical "accuracy," and, if not, what is the use of this particular fiction to education in the field of history? Ideally, readers should approach Journey into Mohawk Country as if they do not already know the story; do not already know the cultural paradigms into which they may easily fit; and are not willing to "buy" incomplete narratives as just one of many own-able pieces of Native American existence.
Bush, Elizabeth. Review of Journey into Mohawk Country. Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books. 60:3 (November 2006): 116.
D'Emilio, John and Estelle B. Freedman. Intimate Matters: A History of Sexuality in America. Second Edition. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1997.
Driskill, Qwo – Li. "Stolen From Our Bodies First Nations Two – Spirits/Queers and the Journey to a Sovereign Erotic." Studies in American Indian Literatures: the Journal of the Association for the Study of American Indian Literatures. 16:2 (2004): 50 – 64. Carroll, Sean. Review of Journey into Mohawk Country. The Daily Cross Hatch. 27 March 2007. a href=http://thedailycrosshatch.com/2007/03/27/journey-into-mohawk-by 21 March 2008.
Godbeer, Richard. Sexual Revolution in Early America. Baltimore: the Johns Hopkins UP, 2002.
Groensteen, Thierry. The System of Comics. Translated by Bart Beaty and Nick Nguyen. Jackson: UP of Mississippi, 2007.
Karp, Jesse. Review of Journey into Mohawk Country. Booklist. 103:4 (15 October 2006): 38.
Loewen, James W. Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong. New York: Touchstone, 1995.
May, Michael. "Fringe Benefits: Journey into Mohawk Country" (review). Newsarama.com. 11 June 2007. http://blog.newsarama.com/2007/06/11/fringe-benefits-journey-into-Mohawk-country/. 21 March 2008.
O'Connor, George and Harmen Myendertz Van den Bogaert. Journey into Mohawk Country. New York: First Second, 2006.
Sayre, Gordon. "Native American Sexuality in the Eyes of the Beholders." Sex and Sexuality in Early Americas. Edited by Merril D. Smith. New York: New York UP, 1998.
Shorto, Russell. The Island at the Center of the World: the Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan and the Forgotten Colony that Shaped America. New York: Vintage Books, 2005.
Siegel, Mark. "Editorial Vision: First Second." :01 First Second. http://www.firstsecondbooks.com/visionEnglish.html 21 March 2008.
Taylor, Alan. American Colonies: the Settling of North America. The Penguin History of the United States. Edited by Eric Foner. New York: Penguin Books, 2001.
Turner, Edwin. Review of Journey into Mohawk Country. Biblioklept. 3 August 2007. http://biblioklept.org/2007/08/03/journey-into-mohawk-country/ 21 March 2008.
Welsh, David P. "From the Stacks: Journey into Mohawk Country" (review). Precocious Curmudgeon. 26 August 2006. http://precur.wordpress.com/?s=journey+into+ mohawk+country 21 March 2008.
Wood, Stephanie. "Sexual Violation in the Conquest of the Americas." Sex and Sexuality in Early Americas. Edited by Merril D. Smith. New York: New York UP, 1998.