Overlooking the Indigenous Midwest: Prince Maximilian of Wied in New Harmony

Kyle Timothy Wertz, IUPUI University Library, IUPUI # Defaults To Publisher, Jennifer Guiliano, Marianne S. Wokeck, Stephanie Rowe
In the winter of 1832-1833, German scientist and aristocrat Prince Maximilian of Wied spent five months in the Indiana town of New Harmony during a two-year expedition to the interior of North America. Maximilian's observations of Native Americans west of the Mississippi River have influenced European and white American perceptions of the Indigenous peoples of North America for nearly two centuries, but his time in New Harmony has gone understudied. This article explores his personal journal
more » ... his published travelogue to discover what Maximilian's time in New Harmony reveals about his work. New Harmony exposed him to a wealth of information about Native Americans produced by educated white elites like himself. However, Maximilian missed opportunities to encounter Native Americans first-hand in and around New Harmony, which he wrongly thought required crossing the Mississippi River. Because of the biases and misperceptions caused by Maximilian's racialized worldview and stereotypical expectations of Native American life, he overlooked the Indigenous communities and individuals living in Indiana.
doi:10.7912/c2/84 fatcat:mqdpx42jd5cm7mfjgddie4ibge