The Tribes and the States

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The Tribes and the States is a book written by American child prodigy William James Sidis that outlines the history of the Native Americans, focusing mostly on the Northeastern tribes and continuing up to the mid-19th century. It was written around 1935 but was never published for lack of completion at the time of Sidis' death. Sidis wrote the history under the pseudonym "John W. Shattuck". Much of the history was taken from wampum belts; Sidis explained, "The weaving of wampum belts is a sort of writing by means of belts of colored beads, in which the various designs of beads denoted different ideas according to a definitely accepted system, which could be read by anyone acquainted with wampum language, irrespective of what the spoken language is. Records and treaties are kept in this manner, and individuals could write letters to one another in this way."[1]

Much of the subject matter of the book is centered on the influence of Native Americans on migrating Europeans and the effect of Native Americans on the formation of the United States. It describes the origination of the federations that were to be an important event to the Founding Fathers.


  1. ^ William James Sidis, 'The Tribes And The States: 100,000-Year History of North America' (via
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