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Surviving Genocide: Native Nations and the United States from the American Revolution to Bleeding Kansas

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The first part of a sweeping two-volume history of the devastation brought to bear on Indian nations by U.S. expansion

"An elegant, organized narrative of the United States' dispossession of Native lands east of the Mississippi. . . . A remarkable book in its breadth and scope."—Ashley Riley Sousa, Canadian Journal of History

"Intense and well-researched, . . . ambitious, . . . magisterial. . . . Surviving Genocide sets a bar from which subsequent scholarship and teaching cannot retreat."—Peter Nabokov, New York Review of Books

In this book, the first part of a sweeping two-volume history, Jeffrey Ostler investigates how American democracy relied on Indian dispossession and the federally sanctioned use of force to remove or slaughter Indians in the way of U.S. expansion. He charts the losses that Indians suffered from relentless violence and upheaval and the attendant effects of disease, deprivation, and exposure. This volume centers on the eastern United States from the 1750s to the start of the Civil War.

An authoritative contribution to the history of the United States’ violent path toward building a continental empire, this ambitious and well-researched book deepens our understanding of the seizure of Indigenous lands, including the use of treaties to create the appearance of Native consent to dispossession. Ostler also documents the resilience of Native people, showing how they survived genocide by creating alliances, defending their towns, and rebuilding their communities.

ISBN-13: 9780300255362

Media Type: Paperback

Publisher: Yale University Press

Publication Date: 09-22-2020

Pages: 544

Product Dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.10(d)

Jeffrey Ostler is Beekman Professor of Northwest and Pacific History at the University of Oregon.

Table of Contents

Note on Terminology ix

Introduction: An Icy River and a Raging Sea 1

Part 1 Disease, War, and Dispossession

1 Trajectories, 1500s-1763 11

2 Wars of Revolution and Independence, 1763-1783 44

3 Just and Lawful Wars, 1783-1795 82

4 Survival and New Threats, 1795-1810 123

5 Wars of 1812 151

Part 2 Preparing for Removal

6 Nonvanishing Indians on the Eve of Removal, 1815-1830 183

7 West of the Mississippi, 1803-1835 215

Part 3 Removal

8 Removal and the Southern Indian Nations, 1830-1840s, 247

9 Removal and the Northern Indian Nations, 1830-1850s, 288

10 Destruction and Survival in the Zone of Removal, 18405-1860 327

11 The Name of Removal 359

Conclusion: Historians and Prophets 375

Appendix 1 The Question of Genocide in U.S. History 383

Appendix 2 Population Estimates by Nation 388

Notes 407

Bibliography 461

Acknowledgments 505

Index 509