Fear To Familiarity: Life in Maryland's Northern Borderlands, 1652-1699





Paper Type

Master's Thesis


College of Arts and Sciences

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




“Fear to Familiarity: Life in Maryland’s Northern Borderlands, 1652-1699” is a study of how European settlers and Native American residents of the Chesapeake Bay’s upper western shore crafted ever-shifting intercultural relationships and negotiated a dynamic range of daily interactions during the last half of the seventeenth century. Although at the start of the period significant portions of the region’s different groups attempted to co-opt each others’ strengths in an attempt to forge an alliance against the Five Nations Iroquois, as the century progressed Maryland’s European settlers and the Iroquois of the Five Nations moved closer together at the expense of the native groups who lived between them. The shift in allegiance by Maryland’s colonial officials had an especially devastating effect on the Iroquois-speaking Susquehannocks, Algonquian-speaking Piscataways, and several other mid-Atlantic Algonquian-speaking groups, and helped the region’s European settlers flourish into the eighteenth century. Throughout the period of study, those on the peripheries of each of the region’s different groups’ various centers of influence had as much an effect on the ebb and flow of regional intercultural relationships as did those leaders who resided in the groups’ respective social and administrative centers. Ultimately, the individuals who actually interacted with one another both at the centers of influence and on the peripheries of the Bay’s upper western shore forged the majority of the region’s intercultural relationships during the latter half of the seventeenth century.

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