SENECA SURRENDER and A Wish From the American Indian

banner 2Howdy!

My newest release, SENECA SURRENDER, is soon to make it’s way to AMAZON.  SENECA SURRENDER brings to mind a mountain of research that I was doing when I wrote this book.  Some of that research was a little startling and it took me a while to put pieces together so as to understand the Iroquois a little better.  But this search through old records and old books and accounts of people who were living at this time in history brought my attention to a little known fact that I thought I’d share with you.

Before I go on, let me make sure to say that I’ll have a drawing today and will post the winner of a free e-book probably on Wednesday or Thursday evening.  Please do check back, since we do not contact you when you are a winner.  Okay?

Seneca Surrender Gen Bailey 3 Web

This is my newest cover from Prairie Rose Publications.  Isn’t it a beauty?  I love the colors (the story takes place in autumn in Upper State New York) — one of the prettiest places on earth at this time of year.

So today’s blog is about SENECA SURRENDER and Greece.  Greece? you say.  Why am I, an American Indian Romance author, blogging about about Greece and SENECA SURRENDER in the same breath (or sentence)?  Truth is, in my studies, I found much to admire in what today is known to us as the Age of  to Pericles.  And what struck me then and what keeps my attention now is that there are some striking similarities to the Age of Pericles and The Iroquois Confederation.  Don’t leave just yet.  Hear me out and I’ll explain a little.

While I was writing the books, Black Eagle and Seneca Surrender I was studying the Iroquois Confederacy.  In learning about it, I became fascinated by its history — not just history of tribes and such, but a history of a people who freed themselves and their neighbors from the horrors of war, who lived truly Of the people, By the people and For the people.   Long ago the Iroquois Confederacy was founded by Hiawatha (the real one) and a man called the Peacemaker.  Not only did they found this Confederacy, they set into motion a wish for an entire Nation and a people — a wish that all men would live in freedom, that all men would have a voice in their government and they founded The Iroquois Confederacy to bring peace to the land they called Turtle Island (North America).  So what does this have to do with Greece?  Well, it reminded me of the age of Pericles.

Pericles lived around 495? – 429 BC.  And he did much the same for Greece and Rome and England, France and the United States, as Hiwatha and the Peacemaker did for the Iroquois Confederation.  Here are some of his famous quotes from the man:

Freedom is the sure possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it.

If Athens shall appear great to you, consider then that her glories were purchased by valiant men, and by men who learned their duty.

Instead of looking on discussion as a stumbling block in the way of action, we think it an indispensable preliminary to any wise action at all.

Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you.

Make up your mind that happiness depends on being free, and freedom depends on being courageous.

Wow!  Words of wisdom from our past.  Now, it wasn’t that Pericles was a successful politician.  In fact, pretty much the opposite.  What he did do, however, is this:  he influenced and sparked freedom in not only Greece, but in Rome, England, France and the United States.  Our ancestors understood and read about Pericles, and they came to realize how valuable freedom is.  It was Pericles who said,

”Every man may have a voice and may express his opinion in his government and the actions of his culture.  Men are entitled to that voice.  And the culture itself should contribute to them the availability of information so that they can know what the culture consists of.”

Not only did he say that all men should have a voice in their government, he said that all men WILL have a voice in their government, forever.  Now that’s a pretty brave thing to say, considering that an incredibly long period of time could find him to be wrong.  It sounds to me like it comes straight out of the mouth of Thomas Jefferson, for he said much the same.

At the time of Pericles, this idea — that all men should be free — that all men should have a voice in their government — that all men should be allowed to understand and contribute to their government — was a new idea.  Republics and freedom are not the average form of government on this planet I’m afraid.  There seem to be men who seek power in order to enslave others to do their bidding — and they seem to hide their intentions so well that often they come to power before anyone can do anything about it.

Now, prior to Pericles, tyrants ruled.  But after Pericles, and since that time, those tyrants who have sought to impose their will on the common man have perished and some not so prettily.  Sure they might succeeded for a number of years,but their demise is almost always forewarned, foretold and often accomplished messily.  Interestingly, it has been so since the Age of Pericles.

Our Founding Fathers were more than aware of the Age of Pericles and were educated in this so thoroughly, that many of them read and even spoke Greek.  Thomas Jefferson was such a man.

Now, I’m not saying that the Peacemaker and Hiawatha were as influential as Pericles, but I will say that the Iroquois Confederation lasted about 500 years — and is in fact one of the longest living Republics that we know of.   Hiawatha and the Peacemaker set up this form of  government to end war forever.  It made every man and woman free to speak and to utter their opinions to anyone and in any place — without consequence.  That the Iroquois Confederacy lost its power was not due to its inadequacy, for it influenced a people for well over 500 years and brought prosperity and peace to an entire people.  Their power was lost in duplicity, land grabs, lies, dishonesty — plus half of their people being on the wrong side of the Revolutionary War — the Mohawk sided with England mostly — due to their pledge to the English.  They were also conquered by a division of the Mohawk, which was accomplished shortly before the French and Indian war, when the Mohawk were influenced by the “Black Robes” and found that they couldn’t agree on religion.

imagesca9921j1But the Iroquois set into motion a wish — a desire, and a knowledge that the future of Turtle Island (America), would be free of war and free to live…forever…

Now I think that this is quite an accomplishment — and I so wish that this history were a little better known.  There have been many great people who have lived on this planet.  I thought I’d mention these three, who have so captured my admiration.

I’d love to talk with you today, so please come on in and tell me what you think of all this.  Please tell me, did any of you learn this in school?  About the Iroquois or about Pericles?  I didn’t, that is certain.  Sometimes I wonder why because it’s so vital to a good and a free people.


I’ll be giving away a free copy of the e-book, BLACK EAGLE today so please come on in and leave a comment.  I’m interested to know, did you learn any of this in school?

SENECA SURRENDER will be coming soon in October, but meanwhile BLACK EAGLE is on sale here:

Get your copy today.

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KAREN KAY aka GEN BAILEY is the multi-published author of American Indian Historical Romances. She has written for such prestigious publishers as AVON/HarperCollins, Berkley/Penguin/Putnam and Samhain Publishing. KAREN KAY’S great grandmother was Choctaw Indian and Kay is honored to be able to write about the American Indian Culture.
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19 thoughts on “SENECA SURRENDER and A Wish From the American Indian”

  1. It’s been a while since I studied history at school, so I’m not sure anymore what I learnt at school and what I learnt elsewhere. By the way, the cynical history reaader here points out though, that freedom in Greece and Rome in Pericles time was relative. There wasn’t much freedom for you if you were a slave! And Thomas Jefferson? He had slaves, so he certainly didn’t live as he preached. And he even tried -among other things-unsuccessfully to persuade the British to compensate the U.S. for slaves whom the British had freed at the end of the war.

    • Thanks so much for the post, Minna. Actually Thomas Jefferson tried to free his slaves — he tried to free them in the courts legally. He also stated that slavery was — gosh now I can’t recall the word he used — but it meant that slavery was a terrible thing. Thomas Jefferson also tried to free the slaves in The Declaration of Independence — but one of the representatives from So. Carolina would not sign the document with that phrase in it. These are things that the would be powers nowadays never mention. He also inherited slaves from his own parents, from his father-in-law as well. We forget the times in which he lived.

      Yes, he owned slaves, but he kept them well, did not misuse them, freed the “slaves” in his will — who were of his own lineage — in his will. AND, and let’s not forget this — he tried several times to free them utterly. That he failed in those attempts does not negate the fact that he tried.

      I’ve read his early history, and one thing to remember is the times in which he lived. Slaves at this time period, having come from Africa, didn’t have the knowledge or wherewithal to do for themselves and were dependent on their slaveholders for their sustenance — without whom they would have perished. Notice what happened to them after the Civil War — many, very many of them perished from hunger due to not being able to earn out their own way in life yet.

      Also, let’s remember that he inherited many of his slaves from his father, from his father-in-law, as well. They were not inexpensive to keep, and yet he kept them in good stead. And let’s never forget that he SEVERAL TIMES TRIED to legally free them. IMPORTANT point.

      Those who seek to take over a country, will also try to demonize their Founding Fathers — conveniently leaving out their very good intentions. Let’s also not forget this.

  2. It should be everyone’s wish that we live in a society such as the Iroquois Confederacy – where we would all work together to be outstanding examples of political organization and enjoy peaceful lifestyles.

  3. Hi Karen,
    No I didn’t learn about any of these great men in school but then there is very little accurate history about the Native Americans that is taught in schools both when I was young and now. In fact the history that they teach has a very one sided and inaccurate slant to in most of the time because it is written fro. The point of view of the people that took over the land and pushed out the native tribes. That’s not even counting the civil war,vietnam, etc.etc.etc…. It just seems to go on and on. Look at the elections today and you will have to wonder how history will record it. As a great result or a small footnote?

    Tammy Ramey

  4. Hi Tammy!

    Yes, it’s true. And I guess that’s why I get to excited when I read accounts that were written at the time period in history that I’m writing about. Of course, one can go wrong on this, also.

    For instance, one of the drunken traders — can’t recall his name at the moment — was very, very cruel to the Indians — thus, in his written accounts, his maligns them — when in fact those things he was writing about them — were what he did himself to them. So I always make it a point — when I read history to know a little about the person who is doing the writing. Makes a difference, since a criminal is going to accuse those he harms of doing those things that he, himself, does.

    Puts a whole new slant on this, I think.

  5. Hi Karen,

    What a fascinating post! I always learn so much from your generous posts. You do so much research and I always enjoy learning of the Iroquois Nation. The parallels you draw between Pericles and Hiawatha were very interesting.

    I wish I had a more discerning eye as I research things and try to learn the truth behind what is written. I feel that way when watching the news now too. I trust so little of it to be the truth. There is always a hidden agenda it seems depending on which station is citing the “news.” (Do I sound a bit cynical?)

    Thank you for shining a light on a part of American’s history that needs to be emphasized to the younger generation!

    • Hi Kathryn!

      Thanks so much for coming here today and for your insights on this. Like you, I believe nothing on the news — I learned long ago that we live in a 180 degree reverse vector when it comes to certain things — and the news agencies don’t speak the truth. In fact, I usually take what they say and look in the 180 degree opposite direction for the truth. : ) We have to be cynical in today’s world. I keep telling my kids that. We no longer live in the 70’s or 80’s or even the 90’s. We live in a world with poison pumped into the water (flouridation and industrial waste from us and from China), with GMO foods, which have a pesticide in every cell of the plant, with GMO cotton clothing — sprayed with all kinds of chemicals for some or another reason, with processed food that is really anything but real food, with propaganda on TV, on radio, on internet, etc. etc. The thing that I figure is with news, TV, Radio, it’s pretty much the exact opposite is true. And in truth, I don’t watch TV, listen to the radio or even go to the movies anymore. I get tired of the same old propaganda done up in “entertaining” ways. So cynical? In my youth, I trusted everyone and almost everything. But as I’ve grown up, I’ve learned that one must be cynical and not trust until that person shows their stripes (or their halo). So I think I’m sounding cynical, also. : ) Probably more so than you.

  6. A very apropos discussion, since tomorrow is World Peace Day. We have raised a peace pole every year for five years at my school, and will continue to do so with prayers for world peace.

  7. Wow! Karen this is wonderful. By the way, Karen, did you know that you were the winner of one of my books 2 weeks ago. We don’t contact you — as many sites do. But let me remind you that you were the winner and if you go to my website at — you can let me know what e-book you’d like — if you would like any of them. : )

  8. I do remember history class stressing that the founders of the US were educated in a system stressing the Greek roots of Western culture. Unfortunately, the influence of the Iroquois Confederacy was not mentioned very often, let alone stressed. There is much of our history that is glossed over or ignored. It is unfortunate. There is a richness to our history that should be presented to our children.
    Keep educating everyone with your posts.

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