William Tecumseh Sherman is known primarily for having cut a swath of destruction through Georgia and the Carolinas during the Civil War. From the fame of these years, however, he moved into an eighteen-year phase of “insuring the tranquility” of the vast region of the American West. As commander of the Division of the Missouri from 1865 to 1869 and General of the Army of the United States under President Grant from 1869 to 1883, Sherman facilitated expansion and settlement in the West while suppressing the raids of the Cheyenne, Arapahoe, Kiowa, Comanche, and Crow Indians. Robert G. Athearn explores Sherman’s and his army’s roles in the settling of the West, especially within the broad framework of railroad construction, Indian policy, political infighting, and popular opinion.
Release on 2014-01-27 | by Charles F. Ritter,Jon L. Wakelyn
A Biographical and Historiographical Dictionary
Author: Charles F. Ritter,Jon L. Wakelyn
Category: Political Science
Provides an overview of the careers of the great military leaders and the critical political leaders of the American Civil War. Entries consider the leader's character and pre-war experience, their contributions to the war effort, and the war's impact on the rest of their lives. An assessment of their historical treatment puts their long-term reputations on the line, and results in a thorough revision of some leaders, a call for further study of others, and a reaffirmation of the accomplishments of the greatest leaders.
Release on 2011-02-07 | by Patricia Nelson Limerick
Author: Patricia Nelson Limerick
Pubpsher: W. W. Norton & Company
"Limerick is one of the most engaging historians writing today." --Richard White The "settling" of the American West has been perceived throughout the world as a series of quaint, violent, and romantic adventures. But in fact, Patricia Nelson Limerick argues, the West has a history grounded primarily in economic reality; in hardheaded questions of profit, loss, competition, and consolidation. Here she interprets the stories and the characters in a new way: the trappers, traders, Indians, farmers, oilmen, cowboys, and sheriffs of the Old West "meant business" in more ways than one, and their descendents mean business today.
A Reader's Guide to Nonfiction, Fictional, and Film Biographies of More Than 500 of the Most Fascinating Individuals of All Time
Author: Daniel S. Burt
Pubpsher: Greenwood Publishing Group
Category: Biography & Autobiography
From Marilyn to Mussolini, people captivate people. A&E's "Biography, " best-selling autobiographies, and biographical novels testify to the popularity of the genre. But where does one begin? Collected here are descriptions and evaluations of over 10,000 biographical works, including books of fact and fiction, biographies for young readers, and documentaries and movies, all based on the lives of over 500 historical figures from scientists and writers, to political and military leaders, to artists and musicians. Each entry includes a brief profile, autobiographical and primary sources, and recommended works. Short reviews describe the pertinent biographical works and offer insight into the qualities and special features of each title, helping readers to find the best biographical material available on hundreds of fascinating individuals.
Mention “ethnic cleansing” and most Americans are likely to think of “sectarian” or “tribal” conflict in some far-off locale plagued by unstable or corrupt government. According to historian Gary Clayton Anderson, however, the United States has its own legacy of ethnic cleansing, and it involves American Indians. In Ethnic Cleansing and the Indian, Anderson uses ethnic cleansing as an analytical tool to challenge the alluring idea that Anglo-American colonialism in the New World constituted genocide. Beginning with the era of European conquest, Anderson employs definitions of ethnic cleansing developed by the United Nations and the International Criminal Court to reassess key moments in the Anglo-American dispossession of American Indians. Euro-Americans’ extensive use of violence against Native peoples is well documented. Yet Anderson argues that the inevitable goal of colonialism and U.S. Indian policy was not to exterminate a population, but to obtain land and resources from the Native peoples recognized as having legitimate possession. The clashes between Indians, settlers, and colonial and U.S. governments, and subsequent dispossession and forcible migration of Natives, fit the modern definition of ethnic cleansing. To support the case for ethnic cleansing over genocide, Anderson begins with English conquerors’ desire to push Native peoples to the margin of settlement, a violent project restrained by the Enlightenment belief that all humans possess a “natural right” to life. Ethnic cleansing comes into greater analytical focus as Anderson engages every major period of British and U.S. Indian policy, especially armed conflict on the American frontier where government soldiers and citizen militias alike committed acts that would be considered war crimes today. Drawing on a lifetime of research and thought about U.S.-Indian relations, Anderson analyzes the Jacksonian “Removal” policy, the gold rush in California, the dispossession of Oregon Natives, boarding schools and other “benevolent” forms of ethnic cleansing, and land allotment. Although not amounting to genocide, ethnic cleansing nevertheless encompassed a host of actions that would be deemed criminal today, all of which had long-lasting consequences for Native peoples.
"Paul Hutton’s study of Phil Sheridan in the West is authoritative, readable, and an important contribution to the literature of westward expansion. Although headquartered in Chicago, Sheridan played a crucial role in the opening of the West. His command stretched from the Missouri to the Rockies and from Mexico to Canada, and all the Indian Wars of the Great Plains fell under his direction. Hutton ably narrates and interprets Sheridan’s western career from the perspective of the top command rather than the battlefield leader. His book is good history and good reading."–Robert M. Utley
How a Peculiar Victorian Zookeeper Waged a Lonely Crusade for Wildlife That Changed the World
Author: Stefan Bechtel
Pubpsher: Beacon Press
He was complex, quirky, pugnacious, and difficult. He seemed to create enemies wherever he went, even among his friends. A fireplug of a man who stood only five feet eight inches in his stocking feet, he had an outsized ambition to make his mark on the world. And he did. William Temple Hornaday (1854-1937) was probably the most famous conservationist of the nineteenth century, second only to his great friend and ally Theodore Roosevelt. Hornaday's great passion was protecting wild things and wild places, and he spent most of his adult life in a state of war on their behalf, as a taxidermist and museum collector; as the founder and first director of the National Zoo in Washington, DC; as director of the Bronx Zoo for thirty years; and as the author of nearly two dozen books on conservation and wildlife. But in Mr. Hornaday's War, the long-overdue biography of Hornaday by journalist Stefan Bechtel, the grinding contradictions of Hornaday's life also become clear. Though he is credited with saving the American bison from extinction, he began his career as a rifleman and trophy hunter who led "the last buffalo hunt" into the Montana Territory. And what happened in 1906 at the Bronx Zoo, when Hornaday displayed an African man in a cage, shows a side of him that is as baffling as it is repellent. This gripping new book takes an honest look at a fascinating and enigmatic man.
This is the first biography of Chief Left Hand, diplomat, linguist, and legendary of the Plains Indians. Working from government reports, manuscripts, and the diaries and letters of those persons—both white and Indian—who knew him, Margaret Coel has developed an unusually readable, interesting, and closely documented account of his life and the life of his tribe during the fateful years of the mid-1800s. It was in these years that thousands of gold-seekers on their way to California and Oregon burst across the plains, first to traverse the territory consigned to the Indians and then, with the discovery of gold in 1858 on Little Dry Creek (formerly the site of the Southern Arapaho winter campground and presently Denver, Colorado), to settle. Chief Left Hand was one of the first of his people to acknowledge the inevitability of the white man’s presence on the plain, and thereafter to espouse a policy of adamant peacefulness —if not, finally, friendship—toward the newcomers. Chief Left Hand is not only a consuming story—popular history at its best—but an important work of original scholarship. In it the author: Clearly establishes the separate identities of the original Left Hand, the subject of her book, and the man by the same name who succeeded Little Raven in 1889 as the principal chief of the Southern Arapahos in Oklahoma—a longtime source of confusion to students of western history; Lays to rest, with a series of previously unpublished letters by George Bent, a century-long dispute among historians as to Left Hand’s fate at Sand Creek; Examines the role of John A. Evans, first governor of Colorado, in the Sand Creek Massacre. Colonel Chivington, commander of the Colorado Volunteers, has always (and justly) been held responsible for the surprise attack. But Governor Evans, who afterwards claimed ignorance and innocence of the colonel’s intentions, was also deeply involved. His letters, on file in the Colorado State Archives, have somehow escaped the scrutiny of historians and remain, for the most part, unpublished. These Coel has used extensively, allowing the governor to tell, in his own words, his real role in the massacre. The author also examines Evans’s motivations for coming to Colorado, his involvement with the building of the transcontinental railroad, and his intention of clearing the Southern Arapahos from the plains —an intention that abetted Chivington’s ambitions and led to their ruthless slaughter at Sand Creek.