LaForge Figure 10

Figure 10: A map of Michilimackinac from around 1818 depicts the island from the perspective of the American military, emphasizing the location of the old and new forts and the cruising and anchoring grounds of American fleets. While the cartographer did not intentionally depict Native presence, the map also shows Point St. Ignace, another significant Odawa place where Odawa people grew traditional crops and gathered food that they also exchanged as provisions for troops at Michilimackinac throughout the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. War Department. Office of the Chief of Engineers. 1818-9/18/1947, View of the Island of Michilimackinac From the First Station, National Archives at College Park – Cartographic, public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.


Welcome to Commonplace, a destination for exploring and exchanging ideas about early American history and culture. A bit less formal than a scholarly journal, a bit more scholarly than a popular magazine, Commonplace speaks—and listens—to scholars, museum curators, teachers, hobbyists, and just about anyone interested in American history before 1900. It is for all sorts of people to read about all sorts of things relating to early American life—from architecture to literature, from politics to parlor manners. It’s a place to find insightful analysis of early American history as it is discussed in scholarly literature, as it manifests on the evening news, as it is curated in museums, big and small; as it is performed in documentary and dramatic films and as it shows up in everyday life.

In addition to critical evaluations of books and websites (Reviews) and poetic research and fiction (Creative Writing), our articles explore material and visual culture (Objects); pedagogy, the writing of literary scholarship, and the historian’s craft (Teach); and diverse aspects of America’s past and its many peoples (Learn). For more great content, check out our other projects, (Just Teach One) and (Just Teach One African American Print).


How to cite Commonplace articles:

Author, “Title of Article,” Commonplace: the journal of early American life, date accessed, URL.

Sophie White, “Trading Looks Race, Religion and Dress in French America,” Commonplace: the journal of early American life, accessed September 30, 2019,


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