My name is Nathan Braccio and I am an Assistant Professor of History at Lesley University. My webpage features important components of my research on the history of mapmaking and different ways of conceptualizing space in 17th-Century New England. This digital content serves as a companion to my manuscript, “Mapping New England: The Algonquian-English Cartographic Struggle, 1500-1700.”
Recent Mapping Projects
Indigenous Territories on the Connecticut Shoreline During the Mid-1600s
The map shown below was made using a combination of Indigenous maps, deeds, and testimony from the 1600s, along with maps made by Ezra Stiles in the 1700s. As Stiles often received second-hand information, I have chosen to not include territories he described that cannot be corroborated by other sources.
While the river boundaries for many of these territories are likely accurate, non-river borders as shown here are very approximate or speculative. The goal of the map is not to provide the exact territorial boundaries, but a sense of Indigenous ownership of land and the complexity of the system of territorial authority.
Some of the information found here is based on the following Indigenous map. If you would like to know more about the sources used please find them here.
Overlapping Algonquian Territorial Claims in Southeastern New England, Circa 1660
This is a map I made using QGIS that shows the complex mosaic of overlapping territorial claims among Algonquians in Southeastern New England. Here, I have largely used the names of sachems instead of polities. Tribal designations during this period are misleading. Leaders of individual villages shifted allegiance and often struggled for territory within polities. Over-reliance on European ideas of political organization obscures the complexity of Algonquian politics.
This is a map generated in Carto, showing settlements set up by banished colonists alongside the dates of official town incorporation. By tracing the replacement of settlements for banished colonists by towns under the colonial government, the map argues that banished colonists formed a colonial vanguard for settlement.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.