Essay on Natives in American Culture

Submitted By weberdanielm
Words: 552
Pages: 3

Collin Calloway has an interesting view on the practice on the writing down and recording of history. He makes a few good points in his interdiction that stand out and challenge other historian’s views on the documentation of early Native American history. History has been documented and recorded since the beginning of time, but different people have always portrayed events in a different way.

Calloway makes the first point that history cannot be told from a single perspective. There are always two sides to every story. Sometimes there are different ways of remembering the same events. This leads into the second point of the perspective of cause and effect. Europeans saw the Americas as free open land for the taking when the Native Americans after 1492 were suffering and dying off from European diseases brought by Columbus and future visitors. Thirdly Calloway points out that Native American history was rarely written down. Oral history was more of a tradition to pass stories about the past down through their ancestors. Finally Calloway’s last argument that made the most sense was the fact that people weren’t always educated enough or truthful enough to record history as it actually happened. We see this throughout history when military leaders embellish their war stories or when history is modifies to make one person or country look better than another. Calloway makes all valid and believable arguments that somewhat agree with other historians, but he may be missing a valuable argument that other historians have already thought of.

In the reading “Thinking like an Indian”, Hoxie makes an interesting argument that not every native American had the same experience He argues that with every tribe being a little different, that oral and recorded history will vary from tribe to tribe. In his article he explains how Neolin, a Delaware teacher theorized that Natives and whites should be completely separate societies. This theory was followed by Tecumseh’s brother Tenskwatawa when he helped spread Neolin’s theory and he also started more of an anti-American movement among Natives. This theory wasn’t so much supported but more or less modified by Seneca Handsome Lake. He saw the Europeans just as another…