From the Pequot War forward, Alvin Josephy wrote in a 1979 article in The Indian Historian,
Whites gave the Native Americans three options. The first was that they could stop being Indians and turn themselves into Whites. They would have their hair cut, wear White men’s clothes, become Christians, live in White men’s houses, become farmers or mechanics, and adopt the White men’s language, customs, ways of living, values, society, and culture. In other words, they would become assimilated and disappear as Indians. If they refused, they would have to be pushed away, westward to a safe distance, where they would have no contact with White society. They would continue as “wild” Indians, unconquered, but neither a physical or cultural threat to the Whites. If they refused to move or become assimilated, they had a third option: extermination.
…during the four years of the Civil War… more Indian tribes were destroyed by whites and more land was seized from them than in almost any comparable time in American History. Although some of the most heinous massacres of Indian peoples… accompanied this process, the warfare in various parts of the West was inconclusive, and continued on after 1865, when Regular troops… sought under Sherman, Sheridan, Custer and others to complete the conquest of those tribes that were still able to resist.
|Sand Creek Massacre|
In 1964, at Sand Creek in Colorado, Colonel John Chivington descended on a peaceful village of 550 Southern Cheyenne and Arapaho, and his Colorado cavalrymen bashed in babies’ heads and took scalps, skin, and genitals, which they later paraded in Denver.
Rich, I shared your blog on FB although I find my FB friends respond better to puppy and kitten pics than something as hard-hitting as your blog. Painful reading, but well said.
Great work here. Keep it up.
Matters of Doubt appears on Sept.10. Let's nail a date your way. I'll come for the fun of it and bring a few books to sign!
RIch, I wonder if you could clarify if The Indian Historian was a magazine or a book. Who published it? Was it part of American Heritage? I'm wondering how Alvin's assessment was received at the time this came out. We still have a hard time accepting the truth about our own history – 40 years after he wrote this. I am wondering how this article was received in 1979, who published The Indian Historian, and who it was written for. Was he shouting into a well?
Indian Historian is a periodical. not part of american heritage. piece was given first as a speech at u of michigan same year. I do not know how alvin's thinking on civil war and indians was received at the time. i do know that he kept writing and speaking and that he checked himself with indian friends constantly–he was always trying to give them voice.
i am going to try to learn more about Indian Historian.. there is not much
on the web.
Whitman has a full run of the Indian Historian: http://library.whitman.edu/record=b1038329~S1
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