In the Seventeenth Century, while under intense pressure from raids by the better-armed Iroquois, the Susquehannock Indians opened a robust trade in firearms with Maryland and the surrounding colonies.  This attempt to even the military playing field is one of the first in a string of regional arms races that came to define Native America’s colonial experience.

David J. Silverman is Professor of History at the George Washington University.  He is the author of, among other works, Red Brethren: The Brothertown and Stockbridge Indians and the Problem of Race in Early America (Ithaca, 2010).  His essays have won major awards from the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture and the New York Association of History.  Dr. Silverman is currently writing a book for Harvard University Press with a working title of Thundersticks: Firearms and the Transformation of Native America.

The talk, titled Balancing the Scales: The Susquehannocks, Maryland, and the Firearms Trade of the Seventeenth Century, will be held on October 23, 2014 at 7:00 PM in the Maryland Archaeological Conservation Lab at Jefferson Patterson Park & Museum as part of its 2014 Speaker Series.  This lecture is sponsored in part by the Friends of Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum and by the MARPAT Foundation in memory of Thomas W. Richards.  The talk is free and open to the public.  Light refreshments will be served. 

Jefferson Patterson Park & Museum, a state museum of archaeology and home to the Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory, is a program of the Maryland Historical Trust, a division of the Maryland Department of Planning.  It is located on 560 scenic acres along the Patuxent River and the St. Leonard Creek in St. Leonard, Calvert County, Maryland.  For more information, call 410-586-8501 or visit