Of Pearl Ash, Emptins, And Tree Sweetnin’

America’s First Native Cookbook

Cranberry sauce. Johnnycake. Pumpkin pie. Indian pudding. Though all these uniquely American concoctions had been bubbling and browning in American kitchens for 150 years before the signing of the Declaration of Independence, not a single recipe for any of them had ever appeared in print.Read more »

A Place For All Seasons

A photographic portrait of Lake Placid, New York, in the pre-Olympic Age

The Algonquin Indians, legend has it, called the natives who inhabited the mountains of upstate New York ” Adirondacks,” or “Those Who Eat Bark.” And so the mountains got their name—although by the end of the nineteenth century not many of those who came to the mountains would have been driven to eating bark.Read more »

Warriors’ World

A Cheyenne Self-Portrait

 

Much of the most glorious of Cheyenne art appears on the lined and paginated leaves of old ledger books. Created by warrior artists in the late nineteenth century, the scenes show victories and events from the days of freedom before the white invasion and continue through the period of conflict that ended in the loss of Cheyenne liberty. By the 1880’s, the vibrant, spirit-filled life depicted by these warrior artists was gone. Read more »

The Forty-Day Scout

A trooper’s firsthand account of an adventure with the
Indian-fighting army in the American Southwest

In the early summer of 1872, Kiowa or Comanche Indians killed and scalped two white ranchers to steal their sixteen-shot Henry rifles. The Indians spared one man’s Mexican wife and a servant boy, and the survivors reported the murders to the authorities at Fort Bascom, New Mexico. The U.S. Army, including the 8th Cavalry, Colonel John Irvin Gregg commanding, was bugled off on a punitive expedition into the Staked Plains of West Texas, the homeland of the warlike tribesmen. Read more »

Stringing Along With H. H. Bennett

The Winnebago Indians called him 0Ke-wah-gah-kah (“Man Who Takes the Pictures”) and he certainly did that, over a career that spanned more than four decades. His name was Henry Hamilton Bennett, and the landscape he spent most of his life recording was that of the Wisconsin Dells, a region of ancient sandstone through which the Wisconsin River had carved a witchery of caves and palisades and curious rock formations. Read more »

Good Reading

The Plains Acrossi The Overland Emigrants and the Trans-Mississippi West, 1840-60

by John D. Unruh, Jr. University of Illinois Press Illustrations, tables, maps 565 pages, $20.00 Read more »

Getting To Know The National Domain

One hundred years ago, Congress created two agencies—the U.S. Geological Survey and the Bureau of Ethnology. Both, according to the author, have since “given direction, form, and stimulation to the science of earth and the science of man, and in so doing have touched millions of lives.”

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“Chief Satanta, I Presume?”

Henry Morion Stanley, who later found Dr. Livingstone, reports the Treaty of Medicine Lodge, Kansas, October, 1867

In the summer of 1867, after more than a year of relative peace between Indians and whites, the southern Plains were in a shambles. It was an old story of blood and blunder by then. Consider this brief scenario: at dawn on November 29,1864, Colonel John Chivington, 1st Colorado Cavalry, had led his men in a surprise attack on a sleeping camp of some seven hundred Cheyenne at Sand Creek, Colorado.Read more »

“God…would Destroy Them, And Give Their Country To Another People…”

The mysterious diseases that nearly wiped out the Indians of New England were the work of the Christian God-or so both Pilgrims and Indians believed

In December of 1620, a group of English dissenters who “knew they were pilgrimes,” in the words of William Bradford, stepped ashore on the southern coast of Massachusetts at the site of the Wampanoag Indian village of Pawtuxet. The village was empty, abandoned long enough for the grasses and weeds to have taken over the cornfields, but not long enough for the trees to have returned. The Pilgrims occupied the lonely place and called it Plymouth. Read more »

When New York Feared The French

In 1693 the people of New York had more to worry about than a fiscal crisis, as the newly revealed documents on these pages attest. The British colonies were in the fourth year of King William’s War—a bloody struggle that had already seen fierce wilderness fighting and the savage destruction of Schenectady by the French and their Algonquian allies. Now New Yorkers feared that a daring blow was to be aimed against Manhattan.Read more »