Friday, July 24, 2009

371 treaties

From  Anthony Head's review in the Times Literary Supplement (July 10) of Mark Felton's Today is a Good Day to Fight: The Indian wars and the conquest of the West, History Press, 2009:
The arrogance of the doctrine of Manifest Destiny went hand in hand with duplicity - the Americans made 371 traties with the Indian nations, "every one of them fraudulent and subsequently broken by the US Congress". The Sand Creek Massacre of 1864 set the stage for much subsequent savagery. Incited by Colonel John Chivington, a Methodist minister, the US Cavalry perpetrated acts of appalling barbarity on a tribe of peaceful Cheyenne who believed they were under protection, later riding into Denver to show off the scalps of a hundred of their victims: "Along with women's vaginas, men's penises, scrotums and dead foetuses, all were displayed to great acclaim in a local theatre and the men congratulated on a successful campaign against the 'savages'". Similar collections burgeoned over the years.