After reading “Second Thoughts of Colonial Historians and American Indians” by James H. Merrell, it is important to acknowledge the symbolicism of the language used by so many Colonial Historians as they recount significant instances throughout our Indigenous American History. In many comparisons, word selection used to describe the Native peoples, tend to simplify their existence as merely hunters and gatherers.
When the first colonists landed in the territories of the new world, they encountered a people and a culture that no European before them had ever seen. As the first of the settlers attempted to survive in a truly foreign part of the world, their written accounts would soon become popular with those curious of this “new” world, and those who already lived and survived in this seemingly inhospitable environment, Native American Indian. Through these personal accounts, the Native Indian soon became cemented in the American narrative, playing an important role in much of the literature of the era. As one would expect though, the representation of the Native Americans and their relationship with European Americans varies in the written works of the people of the time, with the defining difference in these works being the motives behind the writing. These differences and similarities can be seen in two similar works from two rather different authors, John Smith, and Mary Rowlandson.
When examining early American history it is commonplace, besides in higher academia, to avoid the nuances of native and colonizer relations. The narrative becomes one of defeat wherein the only interaction to occur is one of native American’s constant loss to white colonizers. It is not to say that the European colonizers didn’t commit genocide, destroy the land and fabric of countless cultures, but rather when looking at history it is important to take a bottom’s up approach to storytelling. We must examine in what ways the native Americans fought English colonization, not just through war, but also through the legal system that was established after the area was colonized.
West of the Revolution: An Uncommon History of 1776 (2014) is Claudio Saunt’s third book. Saunt, who completed his undergraduate work at Columbia and received his PhD from Duke, has taught at the University of Georgia since 1998 and is currently the department head of American Studies and the Associate Director of the Institute of Native American Studies. His other major works are A New Order of Things: Property, Power, and the Transformation of the Creek Indians, 1733-1816 (1999) and Black, White, and Indian: Race and the Unmaking of the American Family (2005).
Native American literature from the Southeastern United States is deeply rooted in the oral traditions of the various tribes that have historically called that region home. While the tribes most integrally associated with the Southeastern U.S. in the American popular mind--the FIVE CIVILIZED TRIBES (Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole)--were forcibly relocated to Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma) from their ancestral territories in the American South, descendents of those tribes have created compelling literary works that have kept alive their tribal identities and histories by incorporating traditional themes and narrative elements. While reflecting profound awareness of
It is without doubt that there has been a prominent distinction between the Native Americans and the English settlers upon landing in Virginia in the early 1600s. With the prior ‘knowledge’ from previous pioneers in America, the colonist had viewed the Natives in a vilified manner as savages without proper means of civilization. These so called ‘heathens’ were said
There may not be two more contrasting characters of early America then Thomas Morton and John Winthrop. Morton was nicknamed, "Leader of Misrule" while Winthrop was seen as the "model of [a] perfect earthly ruler" (147). These two figures not only help settle a new land, they also had firsthand knowledge of each other. They are not two people that lived years apart from each other but rather they lived concurrently. With two such polarizing people living in a small new land, there was bound to be at least one disagreement. We are fortunate to have writings from each of these two fascinating men. One can't help but be thoroughly entertained when reading the words that each man left behind. Morton was the rebellious and raucous and
In a world of startling current events that lead humanity to reflect on the past for answers, countless books are written to inform people of the world’s controversial history. Constantly, bias slithers into the writing of many authors, allowing history- without the painful truths- to be swayed by the winners. Nathaniel Philbrick’s Mayflower follows the journey of the Pilgrims, the winners in this case, as they venture to the New World and leave a destructive trail, leading to war with the Native Americans. As in any story, especially one involving war, there are two sides, and Philbrick makes it clear what side he fights for. Philbrick depicts the Pilgrims in a positive and biased manner through the detailed and glorified portrayal, biased Pilgrim quotations, and the clear contrast he creates between the Native Americans and the Pilgrims, presenting the Native Americans negatively and the Pilgrims as heroes.
The second half of the eighteenth century introduced a new expression to the literary world. The new expression was a voice that belonged to the African American writers. The African American writers wrote with a flair and brought a new perspective to the realm of literature. Literature, as America had known it, consisted of works from Christopher Columbus, John Smith, William Bradford, and Mary Rowlandson; these writers captured the essence of life, through their eyes. Through their eyes, the readers were able to see what life was like for Christopher Columbus through his letters capturing details of the voyages. Another famous writing in the eighteenth century was a voice from a different perspective than voyages but, it was a voice dealing with savages, as they were called. This voice was the voice of Mary Rowlandson, one of the first female writers in American Literature. Rowlandson’s narrative was based on her captivity with the Indians and the reestablishment of her life after she was returned to her hometown. Through narration and translation, the Native Americans were able to capture their literature in their native tongue. What type of literature could the Native Americans have to contribute to the literary world? The Native Americans, like other cultures, have stories that have been passed down from generation to generation, in the form of oral expressions. The oral expressions the Native
In addition, association with the Natives was just another obstacle the colonists had to face. Rowlandson’s publication gives a time stamp on how difficult relations with the Native Americans were from a colonial perspective. Time period was so important in Rowlandson’s case because her story this gave first insight to issues of the colonial perspective of the Natives. Before Rowlandson, there was no actual documentation of a front row seat to the world of the Native Americans. For example, during Rowlandson’s fourth remove she witnessed the death of a pregnant mother and the child (264). Imagine hearing this for the first time as a colonist; immediately an automatic biased opinion occurs. In Rowlandson’s case, there was more corruption and “devilish” behavior that clouded the good.
The entire work is centered on Mary Rowlandson and her experience in captivity instead of a general experience of English men under captivity of Native Americans. Though I believe it is somewhat objective, as she tells the unfolding events and the surrounding environment from an outer perspective, her own feelings and interpretation towards Native Americans and their actions are more emphasized. From her perspective, Native Americans are nothing but brutal savages, and many times she refers to them as “inhumane”. Their joy and delight over the defeat of English men is inhumane to her as much as their culture and tradition is. However, over the course of her captivity, she learns to live their way and find survival amongst them.
Jimin wakes up to the sound of explosions and fire. A thousand and some men meet their demise each day, and Jimin prays at night he’s not one of them. The war rages around him, and he gets off the make-shift bed to get changed into his gear to help out. He caps the patterned helmet and looks at himself in the mirror. His reflection stares back, sad and weary, a youth gone wrong. He smears camouflage onto his face, high on his cheekbones until there is nothing left of him but an empty vessel of war.
This semester I have learned valuable tools and techniques when it comes to writing and analyzing different types of literature. I will thoroughly explore what Whitman, Columbus and Smith meant in specific passages of a few of their literature works. Whitman’s free verse poems, “Leaves of Grass” and “Song of Myself”, seemed to be most appealing. I also found Christopher Columbus’s “Letter to Lluis de Santangel” and “Letter to Ferdinand and Isabella” to be quite intriguing about life back then. Even John Smith’s writings such as “The General Historie of Virginia” and “A Description of New England” enlightened me to what it was they saw when venturing out in the new world.
It was a stormy night in august on the year 1880. There was lightning shooting across the sky lighting up the night like a flickering light bulb. There was a man walking across the Nevada landscape, in his long black trench coat soaked to the bone with his black cowboy hat covering his face just enough to cover his eyes. His colt 45 revolver glimmering on his hip from the lightning. He was approaching a lone house out in the Distance. It was a small 2 room log cabin with a man, his wife, and their 6 year old son Inside. The cabin was a dark mossy brown wood with a rock chimney and mud packed in the cracks to keep the rain and wind out. It had one window near the door. As the man approached the cabin his pace never faltered he was heading straight
This chapter, set in another part of the woods, introduces three more characters. Two of them are familiar; that is, they are familiar if the reader is familiar with other works by James Fenimore Cooper. Hawkeye (or Natty Bumppo) and Chingachgook have been serialized in several of the author's books. This chapter not only shows the close ties of these characters as they discuss familiar subjects but also shows the knowledge of the author about Indian customs and the historical background of America. It also depicts his sympathy for the Indians who were colonized and driven off their lands by European settlers. Cooper depicts his Indians as having keen senses and extensive skills. Hawkeye, for all his woodcraft, cannot match them; he cannot