Tragic Encounters: A People's History of Native Americans

Tragic Encounters: A People's History of Native Americans

Language: English

Pages: 420

ISBN: 1619025744

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Page Smith was one of America’s greatest historians. After studying with Samuel Eliot Morison at Harvard, Smith went on to a distinguished academic career that culminated with him being the founding Provost of Cowell College, the first college of the new campus of the University of California at Santa Cruz. But he made his mark with a history of the United States published in eight volumes, each volume carrying the subtitle “A People’s History of the United States. These were ground-braking histories, composed as a long continuous narrative loosely organized around the themes present in each age or period. There were sourced almost entirely in contemporaneous accounts of the events covered, and they set the ground for a whole new approach to history, that perhaps culminated in the work of Howard Zinn.

During the last years of his life, Smith concentrated on composing a history of Native Americans after the first European contact. This manuscript was discovered unpublished after his death. Using his wonderful technique of narrative, discovering in the events of each period the thematic overview of that period, he again turns to contemporaneous documents to provide the structure and substance of his story. From Jamestown to Wounded Knee, the story of these Native peoples from coast to coast is explored, granting these oppressed and nearly destroyed people a chance to tell their own broad story. We know of no other similar attempt, and this book will surely caution and intrigue readers as they are offered a new slant on a very old subject.
















Colorado was more conciliatory. Black Kettle, the Cheyenne chief, took his grievances to Evans at a council. The governor reminded him that he had earlier refused to parley and had sent word that he wanted nothing to do with Evans or the Great White Father in Washington, the United States government. A state of war existed, Evans declared, and matters were out of the hands of the military. General Patrick Connor, who had won his laurels as an Indian fighter against the Bannock and Shoshone, was

casualties; twenty-four officers and men were killed, and another forty-two wounded. The Nez Percé, after four months of fighting against three different expeditions dispatched against them in a journey that had covered more than 1,300 miles, were still dangerous. Some of the Nez Percé women and children, among them Joseph’s twelve-year-old daughter, escaped but the remaining warriors—some 120—found themselves besieged by Miles’s much larger force. A few days later Howard arrived with more

they too resolved not to flee, which would have suggested that they were guilty. The next day, a party of militia arrived in Salem, disarmed the Indians, and led them back to Gnadenhütten. There they bound them and took their knives. In Zeisberger’s words, “They made our Indians bring all their hidden goods out of the bush, and then took them away; they had to tell them where in the bush the bees were, help get the honey out; other [things] they also had to do for them before they were killed. .

wide, slow and turbid. Three hundred braves of the Kansas tribe lived in several villages near the river. Like the Missouri, they had been greatly reduced in numbers by the Iowa, who, though they belonged also to the Siouan family, had thrown in their lot with the Algonquian Sac. The Sac and Iowa, armed with rifles, had inflicted heavy casualties on the Kansas villages. The river Platte was one of the principal reference points for the expedition. When they reached it on July 22 they had come

small party leave to enter a field in which pumpkins were. They would not enter without leave, though starving. These they ate raw with the greatest avidity.” By March, 1832, it was estimated that there were 4,500 Choctaw west of the Mississippi, but well over 8,000 remained in the state. Ironically, the Indians for whom the removal policy might have been the hardest were those who had gone further in adapting to white ways. Such a one was the Choctaw chief Toblee Chubee, who—a convert to

Download sample