WASP—White Anglo-Saxon Protestant—Men


Men! And, yes mostly white men of Anglo descent, the ones who took Indian lands away with treaties and wars, lies, legislation, disease, and depleting food stocks, who brought the slaves and wrote the Constitution and engaged in a Civil War over Black men and women as property—commodities to be bought and sold.

These white men manned the pulpits and kept women quiet and hung some of them as witches. (No wonder some women and girls “captured’ by Indians refused negotiated releases.) They set our nation on its course.

Ben Franklin—maybe the smartest of the white men at the beginning of the nation, wondered about that. And wondered why brown men could peacefully run tribes for centuries while the British colonists disagreed ardently on so much. One trick of the Brown Haudenosaunee Confederacy’s Peace Plan was that the women chose the leaders of the five tribes charged with keeping the peace.

Indian tribes across the continents had complicated and differing Read The Article

Race in America

I don’t know where I first heard or read that history books are often more about the time they are written in than the time they are written about. Several new books on Indians, and specifically the Nez Perce, support the idea.

O.O. Howard and Chief Joseph

I’m only 80 pages into the Vanderbilt professor Daniel Sharfstein’s just published Thunder in the Mountains: Chief Joseph, Oliver Otis Howard and the Nez Perce War. The first pages take us from the Civil War to Howard’s tenure as head of the Freedmen’s Bureau and responsibilities for the care of four million freed slaves. An early agonizing account follows General Howard, newly appointed head of the Freedmen’s Bureau, as he is dispatched to South Carolina by President Andrew Johnson; his task is to tell freed slaves who had been given “forty acres and a mule” by General Sherman that they must return the land to their former masters. This is a book Read The Article

Isaac Stevens’ Quest for Fame and Glory!


Isaac Stevens is known in the region as the architect of the 1855 treaties that created the Nez Perce, Umatilla, and Yakima reservations. He was Governor of the Washington Territory, which made him the Superintendent of Indian Affairs, and, along with his Oregon counterpart, Joel Palmer, the treaty maker on both sides of the Cascades and all the way to present-day Montana.

Stevens was a West Pointer who used his experience with the Army Corps of Engineers, Mexican-American War heroism, and election support for President Pierce to lobby for and win the bid to survey the most northern route for a transcontinental railroad. Congress had commissioned the survey of four routes west, and, I believe, the northern route never had a chance in Congress before Southern secession, but in 1853, when he came West and war was still almost a decade away, Stevens did not know this. And in my recent
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