A century of dishonor: a sketch of the United States by Helen Hunt Jackson

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By Helen Hunt Jackson

First released in 1881 and reprinted in several versions seeing that, Helen Hunt Jackson’s A Century of Dishonor is a vintage account of the U.S. government’s fallacious Indian coverage and the unfair and vicious remedy afforded North American Indians through expansionist americans. Jackson wrote the ebook as a polemic to "appeal to the hearts and judgment of right and wrong of the yankee people," who she was hoping could call for legislative reform from Congress and redeem the country’s identify from the stain of a "century of dishonor." Her efforts, which represent a landmark in Indian reform, helped commence the lengthy strategy of public wisdom for Indian rights that keeps to the current day.Beginning with a criminal short at the unique Indian correct of occupancy, A Century of Dishonor keeps with Jackson’s research of the way irresponsibility, dishonesty, and perfidy at the a part of americans and the U.S. executive devastated the Delaware, Cheyenne, Nez Perce, Sioux, Ponca, Winnebago, and Cherokee Indians. Jackson describes the government’s remedy of the Indians as "a shameful checklist of damaged treaties and unfulfilled supplies" exacerbated through "a sickening list of homicide, outrage, theft, and wrongs" dedicated through frontier settlers, with merely an occasional Indian retaliation. Such outstanding occasions because the flight of leader Joseph of the Nez Perces and the Cherokee path of Tears illustrate Jackson’s arguments.Valerie Sherer Mathes’s foreword strains Jackson’s existence and writings and locations her within the context of reform advocacy in the course of 19th century expansionism. This unabridged paperback version includes an index, and the total appendix, which include Jackson’s correspondence in regards to the Sand Creek bloodbath and her document as particular Comminnioner to enquire the desires of California’s project Indians.

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The peace policy was little more than a name. No change was made in the Indian system; no rights of property were given; no laws were passed to protect the Indians. The President did take the nomination of Indian agents from politicians, who had made the office a reward for political service. He gave the nomination of Indian agents to the executive committees of the missionary societies of the different churches. Where these Christian bodies established schools and missions, and the Government cast its influence on the side of labor, it was a success.

See also Valerie Sherer Mathes, Helen Hunt Jackson and Her Indian Reform Legacy (Austin: Univ. of Texas Press, 1990). 4. Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Journals and Miscellaneous Notebooks of Ralph Waldo Emerson, 18661882, vol. 16, ed. Ronald A. Bosco and Glen M. Johnson (Cambridge: The Belknap Press of Harvard Univ. Press, 1982), 98, 105. 5. Jackson to Warner, 18 November 1879, The Warner Collection, Watkinson Library, Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut. 6. For the text of these letters see Valerie Sherer Mathes, "Helen Hunt Jackson and the Campaign for Ponca Restitution, 18801881," South Dakota History 17 (Spring 1987): 3641.

The present number of Indians in the United States does not exceed three hundred thousand, but is possibly as large now as when the Europeans began the settlement of the North American continent. Different tribes then existing have dwindled, and some have become extinct; but there is reason to believe that the vast territory now occupied by the United States, if not then a howling wilderness, was largely an unpeopled solitude. The roaming wild men who met the new discoverers were, however, numerous enough to make the Indian problem at the outset a serious one, while neither its gravity nor its difficulty yet shows signs of diminution.

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