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Month: November 2019

So, Colonel Richard Henry Pratt of Carlisle Indian School Fame Literally used to live around the Corner.

So, Colonel Richard Henry Pratt of Carlisle Indian School Fame Literally used to live around the Corner.

            Because I teach a first year writing seminar at my college on the history of the Carlisle Boarding School, I have spent a fair amount of time reckoning with the words and deeds of Colonel Richard Henry Pratt, the Indian’s school’s founder and chief propagandist.              The school’s history fascinates me.  In my own research on the history of the Onondaga Nation, I have followed those who attended the school through its records and reconstructed their lives as much…

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I’m So Bored With The Founding Fathers

I’m So Bored With The Founding Fathers

I have been thinking the past two days about the juxtaposition of Native American Heritage Month, something that has been commemorated for almost thirty years now, and the President’s recently proclaimed “National American History and Founders Month.” I am teaching courses this semester on the American Revolution and Native American History. Linking the two stories is easy. Native peoples, after all, did not refer to the American founders as patriots, heroes or freedom fighters. No. They called them “Butchers,” “Killers,”…

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Good Injun Now: The Killing of Mitchell Patterson

Good Injun Now: The Killing of Mitchell Patterson

He’s a “Good Injun Now.” That’s how a headline in the Buffalo Morning News announced the death of Mitchell Patterson, a Tuscarora Indian whose life of violent crime came to a close on Lock Street in Buffalo in January of 1895. That headline writer was riffing on the famous line attributed to the American military leader Philip Sheridan, perhaps the most famous thing Sheridan ever said: “The only good Indian is a dead Indian.” It was a joke that headline…

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