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Remembering the Modoc War

Redemptive Violence and the Making of American Innocence

Boyd Cothran

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Geisteswissenschaften, Kunst, Musik / Geschichte

Beschreibung

On October 3, 1873, the U.S. Army hanged four Modoc headmen at Oregon's Fort Klamath. The condemned had supposedly murdered the only U.S. Army general to die during the Indian wars of the nineteenth century. Their much-anticipated execution marked the end of the Modoc War of 1872–73. But as Boyd Cothran demonstrates, the conflict's close marked the beginning of a new struggle over the memory of the war. Examining representations of the Modoc War in the context of rapidly expanding cultural and commercial marketplaces, Cothran shows how settlers created and sold narratives of the conflict that blamed the Modocs. These stories portrayed Indigenous people as the instigators of violence and white Americans as innocent victims.

Cothran examines the production and circulation of these narratives, from sensationalized published histories and staged lectures featuring Modoc survivors of the war to commemorations and promotional efforts to sell newly opened Indian lands to settlers. As Cothran argues, these narratives of American innocence justified not only violence against Indians in the settlement of the West but also the broader process of U.S. territorial and imperial expansion.

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booster literature in the American West, Captain Jack Native American, commemoration, Lava Beds War, Grant's Peace Policy, critiques of multiculturalism, Gilded Age newspaper industry, Pocahontas in American literature, historical justice, Oregon, Jeff Riddle and the Indian History of the Modoc War, tourism and Indian war memorials, Winema, last Indian war, Indian Wars and the global war on terror, remembering violence, Captain Jack Medoc, partisan politics and the Indian Wars, Indians in dime novels, the execution of Captain Jack, Klamath Falls, California's Last Indian War, traveling Indian shows, Captain Jack Kintpuash, famous generals to die in Indian wars, veterans of the Indian wars, National Parks, California, lynching souvenirs in the American West, Klamath Tribes, marketplaces of remembering, American innocence, historiography, American West, Winema Pocahontas of the Lava Beds, Indian labor and the National Parks, murder of General Edward R.S. Canby, memorialization, promotional literature and frontier history, Modoc Tribe of Oklahoma, Gilded Age, Native Daughters of the Golden West, writing history as a form of settler colonialism, Lava Beds National Monument, historical memory and the Modoc War, Toby Riddle