What is it about?

This essay examines particular episodes of violence between Native peoples and white settlers in the American West and the competing narratives created by the two groups. The contested memory of the US-Dakota War, the Sand Creek Massacre, the Modoc War, the Northern Cheyenne Exodus, the Wounded Knee Massacre, and the legacy at Fort Smith, Arkansas, all provide a lens through which to view the formation of white victimhood and the idea of American innocence.

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Why is it important?

Key works about the historical memory of these episodes of violence are explored for the issues surrounding the politics of memory and how Native peoples face the contestation head-on


This paper allowed me to place my research on the U.S.-Dakota War into context with other scholarship pertaining to white-Native violence in the American West.

John Legg
George Mason University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: White Lies, Native Revisions: The Legacy of Violence in the American West, Great Plains Quarterly, January 2019, Project Muse,
DOI: 10.1353/gpq.2019.0054.
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