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American Indians and the Rhetoric of Removal and Allotment

American Indians and the Rhetoric of Removal and Allotment

Copyright Date: 2015
Pages: 228
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  • Book Info
    American Indians and the Rhetoric of Removal and Allotment
    Book Description:

    Jason Edward Black examines the ways the US government's rhetoric and American Indian responses contributed to the policies of Native-US relations throughout the nineteenth century's removal and allotment eras. Black shows how these discourses together constructed the perception of the US government and of American Indian communities. Such interactions--though certainly not equal--illustrated the hybrid nature of Native-US rhetoric in the nineteenth century. Both governmental, colonizing discourse and indigenous, decolonizing discourse shaped arguments, constructions of identity, and rhetoric in the colonial relationship.

    American Indians and the Rhetoric of Removal and Allotmentdemonstrates how American Indians decolonized dominant rhetoric through impeding removal and allotment policies. By turning around the US government's narrative and inventing their own tactics, American Indian communities helped restyle their own identities as well as the government's. During the first third of the twentieth century, American Indians lobbied for the successful passage of the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924 and the Indian New Deal of 1934, changing the relationship once again.

    In the end, Native communities were granted increased rhetorical power through decolonization, though the US government retained an undeniable colonial influence through its territorial management of Natives. The Indian Citizenship Act and the Indian New Deal--as the conclusion of this book indicates--are emblematic of the prevalence of the duality of US citizenship that fused American Indians to the nation, yet segregated them on reservations. This duality of inclusion and exclusion grew incrementally and persists now, as a lasting effect of nineteenth-century Native-US rhetorical relations.

    eISBN: 978-1-62674-489-9
    Subjects: History, Language & Literature, Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-2)
  4. INTRODUCTION Colonization and Decolonization in the Native-US Relationship
    (pp. 3-18)

    In the fifteenth century, sauk nation elder nanamakee prophesied the impending contact between a strange race of Wasichus—or Europeans—and his people.¹ Nanamakee revealed to his community, “By the end of four years, you should see awhite man, who would be to you a father.” Sauk history tells that four years later Nanamakee traveled east to meet the Wasichus. According to his descendent Chief Black Hawk (Sauk), when Nanamakee came into sight, the Wasichus “took him by the hand and welcomed him into his tent…. He told him… that the Great Spirit had directed him to come here,...

  5. CHAPTER ONE The Ties That Colonize: Rhetoric from Nationhood to Removal
    (pp. 19-36)

    The colonial rhetorical relationship between the us government and American Indian nations did not begin in the 1830s with the Indian Removal Act. The relationship started even before the formation of the American republic, well back into the first Western-recorded contact between Natives and early European settlers. Of course, as Jill Lepore explains, the confluence of European cultures and Native populations in the New World later “would form the basis of American nationalism as it emerged in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.”¹ Ostensibly, then, early interactions between European and Native cultures marked the genesis of Native-US relations. Though...

  6. CHAPTER TWO Governmental Colonizing Rhetoric During Indian Removal
    (pp. 37-58)

    The ascendance of andrew jackson to the presidency in 1828 marked a pivotal shift in policy toward involuntary removal. The frontier character of an expanding United States was both scripted by, and layered over, his leadership. For Jackson, the key spirit of the nation was not a “revolutionary disposition as it had been understood by members of the founding generation,” but rather land.¹ As his domestic policies commenced, Jackson transformed Thomas Jefferson’s yeoman farmer into a pioneer, exploring the nation and widening its territory. But, before this pioneer spirit could fully flourish, Native nations on the frontier were to be...

  7. CHAPTER THREE Native Decolonial Resistance to Removal
    (pp. 59-80)

    Though the indian removal act clarified governmental and Native identities for US leaders, it did less to satisfy a great deal of American Indians. Native disagreements with the Act heightened the intensity of their reactions to US expansion and territorialism, but it was not the first time that Natives had rebutted removal. As the administrations of George Washington, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson crafted treaties for “protection and friendship”—beginning with the Delaware Treaty in 1778—they also called for small land cessions.¹ And, while American Indians sometimes conceded this land for the preservation of peace, there exist in the...

  8. CHAPTER FOUR Colonization and the Solidification of Identities in the General Allotment Act
    (pp. 81-102)

    Late nineteenth century us expansion reopened questions about Native communities by bringing western settlers ever closer to the reservations staked out for removed Native nations. US settlers caught up to the reservations in the West and every removed Native group was soon encircled by a rising tide of farmers, miners and entrepreneurs.¹ President Grover Cleveland put the Native nations’ position bluntly, noting in 1886, “Civilization, with the busy hum of industry… surrounds these people at every point.”² While during the removal era American Indians were isolated on the far reaches of the US nation, “all of this now changed” as...

  9. CHAPTER FIVE Pan-Indianism and Decolonial Challenges to Allotment
    (pp. 103-133)

    The ratification of the dawes act amplified american indian decolonial responses to the government’s policies, but Native nations had certainly been employing their voices throughout the course of the pre-Dawes reservation system. The primary point of contention for American Indian communities at that time was the growth of governmental influence over protected reservations. In 1854, Quinney (Mohican) argued that the US government had promised autonomous reservations in exchange for Native removal: “A residence was given—territory offered—and covenants of friendship exchanged.”¹ However, Quinney lamented the ways that the government had violated its pledges by remaining involved as a “Great...

  10. CONCLUSION: Identity Duality and the Legacies of Colonizing and Decolonizing Rhetoric
    (pp. 134-156)

    In 1906, after eight years of working his land through allotment, activist Dewitt Clinton Duncan (Cherokee) concluded that the Dawes Act had not improved his condition as either a self-sufficient American Indian or a US citizen. Duncan took particular umbrage with how the Interior Department intruded on Native lands, thus violating any semblance of sovereignty or citizenship. Of this colonial travesty, he exhorted a congressional committee, “Suppose the federal government send a survey company into the midst of some of your central counties of Kansas or Colorado or Connecticut and run off all the surface of the earth into sections...

  11. Notes
    (pp. 157-190)
  12. Bibliography
    (pp. 191-209)
  13. Index
    (pp. 210-214)