Chat with us, powered by LiveChat

Covered with Night: A Story of Murder and Indigenous Justice in Early America

Nicole Eustace

Hardcover edition
W. W. Norton & Company
Liveright (Adult)
Social Issue: Slavery in Historical Context , Violence: Sexual Assault/Rape Reference/Discussion , Violence: Graphic Descriptions , Discrimination: Racial Insensitivity/Racism
$21.42   $17.85

An immersive tale of the killing of a Native American man and its far-reaching implications for the definition of justice from early America to today.

On the eve of a major treaty conference between Iroquois leaders and European colonists in the distant summer of 1722, two white fur traders attacked an Indigenous hunter and left him for dead near Conestoga, Pennsylvania. Though virtually forgotten today, this act of brutality set into motion a remarkable series of criminal investigations and cross-cultural negotiations that challenged the definition of justice in early America.

In Covered with Night, leading historian Nicole Eustace reconstructs the crime and its aftermath, bringing us into the overlapping worlds of white colonists and Indigenous peoples in this formative period. As she shows, the murder of the Indigenous man set the entire mid-Atlantic on edge, with many believing war was imminent. Isolated killings often flared into colonial wars in North America, and colonists now anticipated a vengeful Indigenous uprising. Frantic efforts to resolve the case ignited a dramatic, far-reaching debate between Native American forms of justice—centered on community, forgiveness, and reparations—and an ideology of harsh reprisal, unique to the colonies and based on British law, which called for the killers’ swift execution.

In charting the far-reaching ramifications of the murder, Covered with Night—a phrase from Iroquois mourning practices—overturns persistent assumptions about “civilized” Europeans and “savage” Native Americans. As Eustace powerfully contends, the colonial obsession with “civility” belied the reality that the Iroquois, far from being the barbarians of the white imagination, acted under a mantle of sophistication and humanity as they tried to make the land- and power-hungry colonials understand their ways. In truth, Eustace reveals, the Iroquois—the Six Nations of the Haudenosaunee, as they are known today—saw the killing as an opportunity to forge stronger bonds with the colonists. They argued for restorative justice and for reconciliation between the two sides, even as they mourned the deceased.

An absorbing chronicle built around an extraordinary group of characters—from the slain man’s resilient widow to the Indigenous diplomat known as “Captain Civility” to the scheming governor of Pennsylvania—Covered with Night transforms a single event into an unforgettable portrait of early America. A necessary work of historical reclamation, it ultimately revives a lost vision of crime and punishment that reverberates down into our own time.Map. Notes. Bibliography. Index. Black-and-white illustrations and reproductions.

Social Issue: Slavery in Historical Context , Violence: Sexual Assault/Rape Reference/Discussion , Violence: Graphic Descriptions , Discrimination: Racial Insensitivity/Racism




Page Count


Trim Size

9" x 6"




0: points 0



Scholastic Reading Counts


JLG Release

Aug 2021

Book Genres

Narrative Nonfiction


Eighteenth-century US history. Murder. Administration of criminal justice. Homicide investigations. Criminal investigations. Colonial Pennsylvania. Colonial American law and government. The Great Treaty of 1722. British imperialism. Susquehanna River Valley. Five Nations of the Haudenosaunee. Indigenous government. Indigenous justice. Diplomacy. 

Standard MARC Records

Download Standard MARC Records

Cover Art

Download Cover Art

Grades 9 & Up
Nonfiction High Plus
For Grades 9 & Up

In today's classroom, Common Core is king and this level helps support the need for quality nonfiction for teen readers. These stimulating informational texts invite teen readers to question assumptions and engage in high-order thinking while providing examples of excellence in research and presentation. The 12 books in this category will attract browsers as well as report-writers. May include some books written for adults.

14 books per Year
$249.90 per Year
Diversity,Mature Readers,Nonfiction,Biographies,History
Like this book?
Get more like this every month.
Grades 9 & Up
Nonfiction High Plus
14 books per Year
$249.90 per Year

Other Recommended Titles From Nonfiction High Plus

Nonfiction High Plus

November 2021

Nonfiction High Plus

October 2021

Nonfiction High Plus

October 2021

Nonfiction High Plus

September 2021
Copyright © 2017 Magento, Inc. All rights reserved.