Author: Henry Rowe Schoolcraft
Release Date: 1851
Genre: Indians of North America
This is the autobiographical account of an explorer, government administrator, and scholar whose researches into the language and customs of the Chippewa and other Native American peoples of the Great Lakes region are considered milestones in nineteenth-century ethnography. After a childhood in Hamilton, New York, Schoolcraft gained attention for the reports and journals he wrote on trips west to explore mineral deposits in Arkansas, Missouri, and the old Northwest. Later, he joined the Cass expedition to the Lake Superior region, where he served as an Indian agent in St. Mary (Sault Ste. Marie) from 1822 to 1836. During that time, he continued to make regular exploratory journeys. On one of these, in 1832, he located the Mississippi River's source at Lake Itasca, Minnesota. From 1836 to 1841, Schoolcraft served as Michigan's superintendent of Indian Affairs and helped to bring about a treaty with the Ojibwa (1836), who as a result relinquished their claims to most of northern Michigan. Schoolcraft's memoirs are noteworthy for their detailed geographic, geological, political, military, folkloric, historical, and ethnographic information. Married to a woman of Native American background, he was sympathetic to certain aspects of the Indian societies he encountered. Nevertheless, he saw the sweep of new settlers into Indian lands as inevitable, and accepted as necessary the removal of Native peoples beyond the advancing boundaries of the United States. Schoolcraft believed that soldiers, diplomats, federal officials, and missionaries could do their jobs more effectively if they learned native languages and understood Indian customs. These motives, along with his literary aspirations, gave rise to his explorations of Indian cultural life. He discusses Indian myths and legends at length and talks about how he transformed them into his own Algic Researches (1839), the work that inspired Longfellow's "Hiawatha." Schoolcraft also corresponded or visited with Washington Irving, Thomas Jefferson, Albert Gallatin, and many of the era's other leading intellectuals, and details his conversations with them.
Author: Karl S. Hele
Publisher: Wilfrid Laurier Univ. Press
Release Date: 2008-09-30
The First Nations who have lived in the Great Lakes watershed have been strongly influenced by the imposition of colonial and national boundaries there. The essays in Lines Drawn upon the Water examine the impact of the Canadian—American border on communities, with reference to national efforts to enforce the boundary and the determination of local groups to pursue their interests and define themselves. Although both governments regard the border as clearly defined, local communities continue to contest the artificial divisions imposed by the international boundary and define spatial and human relationships in the borderlands in their own terms. The debate is often cast in terms of Canada’s failure to recognize the 1794 Jay Treaty’s confirmation of Native rights to transport goods into Canada, but ultimately the issue concerns the larger struggle of First Nations to force recognition of their people’s rights to move freely across the border in search of economic and social independence.
Author: Mark Renfred Cheathem
Release Date: 2008-01
This volume in the Perspectives in American Social History series highlights the extraordinary contributions of ordinary men, women, and children in the transformation of the country in the time of Andrew Jackson. * Contributions from highly accomplished social historians focusing on the Jacksonian and Antebellum periods * A selection of primary source documents including excerpts from David Walker's Appeal, Cherokee Nation v. Georgia, and the personal correspondence of Andrew Jackson
Since first contact, Natives and newcomers have been involved in an increasingly complex struggle over power and identity. Modern “Indian wars” are fought over land and treaty rights, artistic appropriation, and academic analysis, while Native communities struggle among themselves over membership, money, and cultural meaning. In cultural and political arenas across North America, Natives enact and newcomers protest issues of traditionalism, sovereignty, and self-determination. In these struggles over domination and resistance, over different ideologies and Indian identities, neither Natives nor other North Americans recognize the significance of being rooted together in history and culture, or how representations of “Indianness” set them in opposition to each other. In Indian Country: Essays on Contemporary Native Culture, Gail Guthrie Valaskakis uses a cultural studies approach to offer a unique perspective on Native political struggle and cultural conflict in both Canada and the United States. She reflects on treaty rights and traditionalism, media warriors, Indian princesses, powwow, museums, art, and nationhood. According to Valaskakis, Native and non-Native people construct both who they are and their relations with each other in narratives that circulate through art, anthropological method, cultural appropriation, and Native reappropriation. For Native peoples and Others, untangling the past—personal, political, and cultural—can help to make sense of current struggles over power and identity that define the Native experience today. Grounded in theory and threaded with Native voices and evocative descriptions of “Indian” experience (including the author’s), the essays interweave historical and political process, personal narrative, and cultural critique. This book is an important contribution to Native studies that will appeal to anyone interested in First Nations’ experience and popular culture.
Author: David Goudsward
Release Date: 2006-07-05
In New England today, there are megalithic stones, stone chambers and structures, carvings and petroglyphs, even an unidentified skeleton in armor that defy easy explanation. From Maine to Massachusetts, this work presents an examination of various unexplained historical remains in New England. From the most notorious to the lesser known, it explores not only the layout and dimensions of such sites--some reminiscent of Stonehenge with their huge stones, astronomical alignments and undiscovered purposes--but also the history and possible explanations for their existence. Theories regarding Norse, Phoenician, Irish, Celtic and Native American origins are presented here in an impartial and logical manner. Sites discussed include Mystery Hill in North Salem, New Hampshire (also known as America's Stonehenge); Dighton Rock in Berkley, Massachusetts; Newport Tower in Newport, Rhode Island; and the Bellows Falls Petroglyphs in Bellows Falls, Vermont. An appendix provides information regarding sites open to the public.
Author: Maureen Konkle
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
Release Date: 2005-11-16
Genre: Social Science
In the early years of the republic, the United States government negotiated with Indian nations because it could not afford protracted wars politically, militarily, or economically. Maureen Konkle argues that by depending on treaties, which rest on the equal standing of all signatories, Europeans in North America institutionalized a paradox: the very documents through which they sought to dispossess Native peoples in fact conceded Native autonomy. As the United States used coerced treaties to remove Native peoples from their lands, a group of Cherokee, Pequot, Ojibwe, Tuscarora, and Seneca writers spoke out. With history, polemic, and personal narrative these writers countered widespread misrepresentations about Native peoples' supposedly primitive nature, their inherent inability to form governments, and their impending disappearance. Furthermore, they contended that arguments about racial difference merely justified oppression and dispossession; deriding these arguments as willful attempts to evade the true meanings and implications of the treaties, the writers insisted on recognition of Native peoples' political autonomy and human equality. Konkle demonstrates that these struggles over the meaning of U.S.-Native treaties in the early nineteenth century led to the emergence of the first substantial body of Native writing in English and, as she shows, the effects of the struggle over the political status of Native peoples remain embedded in contemporary scholarship.
Author: Hugh M. Lewis
Publisher: Trafford Publishing
Release Date: 2004-10-25
Robidoux Chronicles treats with comprehensive documentary detail the factual history of the Robidoux lineage in North America from the first progenitor who arrived in Quebec in about 1665, through the famous six brothers who distinguished themselves as Mountain Men, up until even recent times on reservations in the US. Many members of the Robidoux family were intimately connected to the entire history of the North American fur trade. The six brothers, born in St. Louis before the coming of Lewis & Clark, were important fur-traders during the classical Rendezvous era of the North American fur trade. They became key players in the organization & articulation of the Overland Trail, only to die soon afterward in relative obscurity upon the plains of Kansas & Nebraska. By the 1950's, the story of the Robidoux had been almost entirely forgotten. Subsequent historians had lost all but a scant & fragmentary knowledge of the true role & exploits of the Robidoux & their French-Indian compatriots upon the frontiers of the old west. Antoine Robidoux was the first to establish permanent trading settlements west of the Rockies in the Inter-Montane corridor, & his brother Michel was one of the first expeditions to traverse the length of the Grand Canyon. The eldest brother Joseph became one of the earliest established traders on the upper Missouri & founded St. Joseph, Missouri, which was later to be the primary starting point of the Overland Trail. His younger brother Louis became one of the earliest ranch owners in California, becoming Don of the Jurupa, that encompassed the areas known today as Riverside, San Bernardino, San Jacinto & San Timoteo. An entire inter-tribal French-Indian ethnocultural orientation had developed upon the plains, prairies & mountains of the Trans-Mississippi west a good fifty years before the coming of the Iron Horse & the Pony Express, & has been carried on today in proximity to the reservations of Kansas & Oklahoma, South Dakota & Wyoming.
The early period at which Mr. Schoolcraft entered the field of observation in the United States as a naturalist; the enterprise he has from the outset manifested in exploring the geography and geology of the Great West; and his subsequent researches as an ethnologist, in investigating the Indian languages and history, are well known to the public, and may be appropriately referred to as the grounds of the present design, in furnishing some brief and connected sketches of his life, family, studies, and literary labors. He is an example of what early and continued zeal, talent, and diligence, united with energy of character and consistent moral habits, may accomplish in the cause of letters and science, by the force of solitary application, without the advantage of hereditary wealth, the impulse of patronage, or the prestige of early academic honors. Ardent in the pursuit of whatever engaged his attention, quick in the observation of natural phenomena, and assiduous in the accumulation of facts; with an ever present sense of their practical and useful bearing--few men, in our modern history, have accomplished so much, in the lines of research he has chosen, to render science popular and letters honorable. To him we are indebted for our first accounts of the geological constitution, and the mineral wealth and resources of the great valley beyond the Alleghanies, and he is the discoverer of the actual source of the Mississippi River in Itasca Lake.
Author: Timothy John Shannon
Release Date: 2008
A vivid portrait of the Iroquois nation during colonial America offers insight into their formidable influence over regional politics, their active participation in period trade, and their neutral stance throughout the Anglo-French imperial wars. 15,000 first printing.
Author: S. C. Gwynne
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2010-05-25
In the tradition of Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, a stunningly vivid historical account of the forty-year battle between Comanche Indians and white settlers for control of the American West, centering on Quanah, the greatest Comanche chief of them all. S.C. Gwynne’s Empire of the Summer Moon spans two astonishing stories. The first traces the rise and fall of the Comanches, the most powerful Indian tribe in American history. The second entails one of the most remarkable narratives ever to come out of the Old West: the epic saga of the pioneer woman Cynthia Ann Parker and her mixed-blood son Quanah, who became the last and greatest chief of the Comanches. Although readers may be more familiar with the tribal names Apache and Sioux, it was in fact the legendary fighting ability of the Comanches that determined just how and when the American West opened up. Comanche boys became adept bareback riders by age six; full Comanche braves were considered the best horsemen who ever rode. They were so masterful at war and so skillful with their arrows and lances that they stopped the northern drive of colonial Spain from Mexico and halted the French expansion westward from Louisiana. White settlers arriving in Texas from the eastern United States were surprised to find the frontier being rolled backward by Comanches incensed by the invasion of their tribal lands. So effective were the Comanches that they forced the creation of the Texas Rangers and account for the advent of the new weapon specifically designed to fight them: the six-gun. The war with the Comanches lasted four decades, in effect holding up the development of the new American nation. Gwynne’s exhilarating account delivers a sweeping narrative that encompasses Spanish colonialism, the Civil War, the destruction of the buffalo herds, and the arrival of the railroads—a historical feast for anyone interested in how the United States came into being. Against this backdrop Gwynne presents the compelling drama of Cynthia Ann Parker, a lovely nine-year-old girl with cornflower-blue eyes who was kidnapped by Comanches from the far Texas frontier in 1836. She grew to love her captors and became infamous as the "White Squaw" who refused to return until her tragic capture by Texas Rangers in 1860. More famous still was her son Quanah, a warrior who was never defeated and whose guerrilla wars in the Texas Panhandle made him a legend. S. C. Gwynne’s account of these events is meticulously researched, intellectually provocative, and, above all, thrillingly told. Empire of the Summer Moon announces him as a major new writer of American history.