Jefferson and the Indians: The Tragic Fate of the First Americans / Edition 1

Jefferson and the Indians: The Tragic Fate of the First Americans / Edition 1

by Anthony F. C. Wallace
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0674005481

ISBN-13: 9780674005488

Pub. Date: 05/02/2001

Publisher: Harvard

In Thomas Jefferson's time, white Americans were bedeviled by a moral dilemma unyielding to reason and sentiment: what to do about the presence of black slaves and free Indians. That Jefferson himself was caught between his own soaring rhetoric and private behavior toward blacks has long been known. But the tortured duality of his attitude toward Indians is

Overview

In Thomas Jefferson's time, white Americans were bedeviled by a moral dilemma unyielding to reason and sentiment: what to do about the presence of black slaves and free Indians. That Jefferson himself was caught between his own soaring rhetoric and private behavior toward blacks has long been known. But the tortured duality of his attitude toward Indians is only now being unearthed.

In this landmark history, Anthony Wallace takes us on a tour of discovery to unexplored regions of Jefferson's mind. There, the bookish Enlightenment scholar--collector of Indian vocabularies, excavator of ancient burial mounds, chronicler of the eloquence of America's native peoples, and mourner of their tragic fate--sits uncomfortably close to Jefferson the imperialist and architect of Indian removal. Impelled by the necessity of expanding his agrarian republic, he became adept at putting a philosophical gloss on his policy of encroachment, threats of war, and forced land cessions--a policy that led, eventually, to cultural genocide.

In this compelling narrative, we see how Jefferson's close relationships with frontier fighters and Indian agents, land speculators and intrepid explorers, European travelers, missionary scholars, and the chiefs of many Indian nations all complicated his views of the rights and claims of the first Americans. Lavishly illustrated with scenes and portraits from the period, Jefferson and the Indians adds a troubled dimension to one of the most enigmatic figures of American history, and to one of its most shameful legacies.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674005488
Publisher:
Harvard
Publication date:
05/02/2001
Series:
Belknap Press Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
416
Sales rank:
1,033,402
Product dimensions:
5.81(w) x 8.87(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: Logan's Mourner

The Land Companies

The Indian Wars

Notes on the Vanishing Aborigines

Native Americans through European Eyes

In Search of Ancient Americans

Civilizing the Uncivilized Frontier

President Jefferson's Indian Policy

The Louisiana Territory

Confrontation with the Old Way

Return to Philosophical Hall

Conclusion: Jefferson's Troubled Legacy

Notes

Acknowledgments

List of Illustrations

List of Documents

Index

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