Indian Chiefs: Cherokee Chiefs
List of Famous Chiefs
Reading: 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus. Description: 1491 is not so much the story of a year, as of what that year stands for: the long-debated (and often-dismissed) question
of what human civilization in the Americas was like before the Europeans crashed
the party. The history books most Americans were (and still are) raised on describe the continents before Columbus as a vast, underused
territory, sparsely populated by primitives whose cultures would inevitably bow before the advanced technologies of the Europeans.
For decades, though, among the archaeologists, anthropologists, paleolinguists, and others whose discoveries Charles C. Mann
brings together in 1491, different stories have been emerging. Among the revelations: the first Americans may not have come
over the Bering land bridge around 12,000 B.C. but by boat along the Pacific coast 10 or even 20 thousand years earlier; the
Americas were a far more urban, more populated, and more technologically advanced region than generally assumed; and the Indians,
rather than living in static harmony with nature, radically engineered the landscape across the continents, to the point that
even "timeless" natural features like the Amazon rainforest can be seen as products of human intervention. Continued below...
Mann is well
aware that much of the history he relates is necessarily speculative, the product of pot-shard interpretation and precise
scientific measurements that often end up being radically revised in later decades. But the most compelling of his eye-opening
revisionist stories are among the best-founded: the stories of early American-European contact. To many of those who were
there, the earliest encounters felt more like a meeting of equals than one of natural domination. And those who came later
and found an emptied landscape that seemed ripe for the taking, Mann argues convincingly, encountered not the natural and
unchanging state of the native American, but the evidence of a sudden calamity: the ravages of what was likely the greatest
epidemic in human history, the smallpox and other diseases introduced inadvertently by Europeans to a population without immunity,
which swept through the Americas faster than the explorers who brought it, and left behind for their discovery a land that
held only a shadow of the thriving cultures that it had sustained for centuries before. Includes outstanding photos and maps.
Recommended Reading: Famous
Indian Chiefs: Their Battles, Treaties, Sieges And Struggles With The Whites For The Possession Of America (Hardcover;
516 pages). This comprehensive book, regarding famous Native American Indian Chiefs, is drawn from the chiefs'
own words from rare manuscripts, diaries, treaties, Bureau of Indian Affairs, special collections, national archives, and
repositories, and it vividly portrays the chiefs' struggles, thoughts and views. There are two sides to every story and this
is their story - the untold story and it has finally been explored and portrayed with this scholarly research. I highly recommend
Recommended Viewing: 500 Nations (372 minutes). 500 Nations
is an eight-part documentary (more than 6 hours and that's
not including an interactive CD-ROM filled with extra features) that explores the history of the indigenous peoples
of North and Central America, from pre-Colombian times through the period of European contact and colonization, to the end
of the 19th century and the subjugation of the Plains Indians of North America. 500 Nations utilizes historical texts,
eyewitness accounts, pictorial sources and computer graphic reconstructions to explore the magnificent civilizations which
flourished prior to contact with Western civilization, and to tell the dramatic and tragic story of the Native American nations'
desperate attempts to retain their way of life against overwhelming odds. Continued below...
Mention the word "Indian," and
most will conjure up images inspired by myths and movies: teepees, headdresses, and war paint; Sitting Bull, Geronimo, Crazy
Horse, and their battles (like Little Big Horn) with the U.S. Cavalry. Those stories of the so-called "horse nations" of the
Great Plains are all here, but so is a great deal more. Using impressive computer imaging, photos, location film footage and
breathtaking cinematography, interviews with present-day Indians, books and manuscripts, museum artifacts, and more, Leustig
and his crew go back more than a millennium to present an fascinating account of Indians, including those (like the Maya and
Aztecs in Mexico and the Anasazi in the Southwest) who were here long before white men ever reached these shores.
the arrival of Europeans like Columbus, Cortez, and DeSoto that marked the beginning of the end for the Indians. Considering
the participation of host Kevin Costner, whose film Dances with Wolves was highly sympathetic to the Indians, it's no bulletin
that 500 Nations also takes a compassionate view of the multitude of calamities--from alcohol and disease to the corruption
of their culture and the depletion of their vast natural resources--visited on them by the white man in his quest for land
and money, eventually leading to such horrific events as the Trail of Tears "forced march," the massacre at Wounded Knee,
and other consequences of the effort to "relocate" Indians to the reservations where many of them still live. Along the way,
we learn about the Indians' participation in such events as the American Revolution and the War of 1812, as well as popular
legends like the first Thanksgiving (it really happened) and the rescue of Captain John Smith by Pocahontas (it probably didn't).
Reading: Trail of Tears: The
Rise and Fall of the Cherokee Nation. Description: One of the many ironies
of U.S. government policy toward Indians
in the early 1800s is that it persisted in removing to the West those who had most successfully adapted to European values.
As whites encroached on Cherokee land, many Native leaders responded by educating their children, learning English, and developing
plantations. Such a leader was Ridge, who had fought with Andrew Jackson against the British. Continued below...
As he and other
Cherokee leaders grappled with the issue of moving, the land-hungry Georgia legislators, with the aid of Jackson, succeeded
in ousting the Cherokee from their land, forcing them to make the arduous journey West on the infamous "Trail of Tears." ...A
treasured addition for the individual remotely interested in American Indian history as well as general American
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