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Category: TDIH

It Is Time to Talk about Thomas Jefferson’s Policies toward Native Americans

It Is Time to Talk about Thomas Jefferson’s Policies toward Native Americans

One letter more than many others encapsulates Thomas Jefferson’s Indian policy.  On this day in 1803, Jefferson wrote that letter to William Henry Harrison, then the governor of Indiana Territory. My first paper in grad school was an exploration of Jefferson’s Indian policy.  Wish I still had a copy of that.  Jefferson’s views of Indians, I believed, were shaped by his understanding of the Ancient Saxons who inhabited England in the centuries before the Norman Conquest.  Among Jefferson’s favorite books…

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Thinking of Gnadenhutten, 8 March 1782

Thinking of Gnadenhutten, 8 March 1782

I have thought a lot lately about the old charge that University faculty are all left-wingers who distort the minds of the tender children enrolled in their courses.   I have never believed this.  When I took my first job in Montana, my colleagues in the history department included a Missouri Synod Lutheran pastor who despised liberals and loved Rush Limbaugh, an Iraqi Seventh-Day Adventist who worried that African Americans would move to Billings because it was easier there to commit…

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Oliphant v. Suquamish: Forty Years Ago Today

Oliphant v. Suquamish: Forty Years Ago Today

  Today is the anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling in  Oliphant v. Suquamish, a case that involved a native community along the Salish Sea, a white interloper, and the evisceration of the power of native peoples to govern and preserve order in their communities.  The Court issued its ruling on this date in 1978. When I revised Native America and completed the second edition, I wanted to include more discussion of the role played by the American judiciary in…

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