"It is one hundred and ten years since Lewis Henry Morgan published his League of the Ho-de-no-sau-nee, or Iroquois, and his is still the best general book on this classic people. Morgan gave the world, in the oft-quoted words of Major J. Wesley Powell, who founded the Bureau of American Ethnology, 'its first scientific account of an Indian tribe.' Since then so much has been written about the Iroquois that their combined ethnological and historical literature rivals that of any primitive people, being exceeded only in the bibliography by the Eskimo and Navaho. And most Iroquoianists today would agree with the endorsement of Alexander Goldenweisser forty years ago, that the 'best general treatise on the Iroquois' deserves another printing for the general public . . .
"With Francis Parkman's History of the Conspiracy of Pontiac, launched in the same year, and Darwin's The Origin of the Species (1859), that decade saw important firsts in ethnology, history and natural science."
—from the Introduction by William N. Fenton