Who Were the Indians?



     In After Columbus:  Essays in the Ethnohistory of Colonial America (1988), James Axtell talks about the making of moral judgments about Indian-White relations.  He says that academic historians began to see it was necessary to make Indians central rather than peripheral in U. S. history after William Washburn, in a 1957 article in Ethnohistory, "A Moral History of Indian-White Relations:  Needs and Opportunities for Study," called attention to the fact that "previous histories of Indian-White relations were marred by the 'one-sided moral assumptions' of their white authors, and that Washburn called for a 'sympathetic understanding of the irreconcilable values at the heart of that 'tragedy'."  A few months later, Washburn wrote another article called "The Moral and Legal Justification for Dispossessing the Indians" (published in Seventeenth-Century America:  Essays in Colonial History, 1959, edited by James Morton Smith) in which he examined the justice or injustice of the European quest to explore America.  "As he had advocated in his previous article," Axtell says, "he contrasted the European justifications with the realities of Indian life and showed the former to be hollow."

     This marked the beginning of an era in which many articles and books about Indian-White relations were published which made moral judgments condemning Whites.  Axtell cites as a vivid example Francis Jenning's The Invasion of America (1975): "Virtually a casebook in moral history, the Invasion of America sought to expose the fallaciousness of the 'cant of conquest', the willful propaganda ideology mouthed by the seventeenth-century English colonists to 'overpower their own countrymen's scruples' about the invasion of Indian land and sovereignty. ... Convinced that it would take a might 'struggle to break the bonds of ideology so long established and so firmly fixed,' Jennings armed himself with a veritable arsenal of wit and words, mounted a formidable breed of hard-nosed, keen-eyed research, and rushed courageously into the pray. ... His admittedly 'strong aversion' to the Puritan gentry,' which he asserted, was 'largely' acquired in the course of research, resulted in a vivid vocabulary of condemnation that left no reader unmoved, either to fist-pounding affirmation or apoplectic disapproval.  Unforgettable phrases such as 'masterful guile', excruciating cant', 'heedless grasping', 'deed games', 'missionary racket', kaleidoscopic fanaticisms', 'brutal charades', 'backcountry European thugs' not only conveyed Jenning's understanding of the colonial conflict between Indians and whites but identified his own moral position with unmistakable clarity."

     Another writer who has spoken strongly about the role of Europeans and their descendants in the killing of Native Americans is David Stannard.  In his American Holocaust:  Columbus and the Conquest of the New World (1992) he says:  "Reminders are all around us, if we care to look, that the fifteenth and sixteenth century extermination of the indigenous people of Hispaniola [where Columbus landed, now Haiti and the Dominican Republic], brought on by European military assault and the importation of exotic diseases, was in part only an enormous prelude to human catastrophes that followed on other killing grounds, and continue to occur today -- from the forests of Brazil and Paraguay and elsewhere in South and Central America, where direct government violence still slaughters thousands of Indian people year in and year out, to the reservations and urban slums of North America, where more sophisticated indirect government violence has precisely the same effect -- all the while that Westerners engage in exultation over the 500th anniversary of the European discovery of America, the and place where all the killing began."

     In Culture of Complaint (1993), Robert Hughes issues a warning about such condemnations of Columbus and his successors:  "The reading of history is never static.  Revise we historians must.  There is no no such thing as the last word.  And who would doubt that there is still much to revise in the story of the European conquest of North and South America that we inherited?  Its scheme was imperial:  the epic advance of Civilization against Barbarism:  the conquistador brings the Cross and the sword, the red man shrinks back before the cavalry and railroad.  Manifest Destiny.  The white American myth of the 19th century.  The notion that all historians propagated this triumphalist myth uncritically is quite false:  you only have to read Parkman or Prescott to realize that.  But after the myth sank from the histories deep into popular culture, it became a potent justification for the plunder, murder and enslavement of peoples, and the wreckage of nature."

     Hughes goes on:  "So now, in reaction to it, comes the manufacture of the opposite myth.  European man, once the hero of the conquest of the Americas, now becomes its demon:  and the victims, who cannot be brought back to life are canonized. ... Our predecessors made a hero, almost a saint, of Christopher Columbus.  He has monuments from Barcelona to the Antilles ... and all over North America, the mainland he never glimpsed. ... Whereas a PC [politically correct] book like Kirkpatrick Sale's The Conquest of Paradise makes him more like Hitler in a caravel, grasping and filled with apocalyptic fancies, landing like a virus among the innocent people of the New World."

     "This new stereotype," says Hughes, "a rebirth of Rousseauistic notions about the Noble Savage, brings a new outfit of double standards into play.  Thus the Taino of Puerto Rico [and Hispaniola] become innocent creatures living in a state of classless nature, like hippies in Vermont when Kirkpatrick Sale and I were young, whereas they liked to be carried around in litters by their slaves.  If only the people of the Americas, from Patagonia to the Great Lakes, had not been conquered by the Europeans, would they not still be in bliss?  Are we not so much worse than they?"

     "Well, yes, up to a point," Hughes replies to his own question.  "The arrival of the Spaniards in the Americas was an unutterable catastrophe for the peoples of South America and the Caribbean, as the imperial push of Anglos through North America was for its native tribes ... Can we say Columbus bears the guilt for this?  In a general and emblematic way, yes, for he led Europe to America.  In terms of personal guilt, no, for he did not plan these gigantic massacres by sword and disease. ... He remains the greatest of all Atlantic explorers.  His only rival in history was Captain James Cook, as brave a man but a far more rational and humane one, who added most of the Pacific and Antarctic Oceans to the European horizon nearly three centuries later.  Cook is my hero; Columbus is white America's ex-hero."  Hughes was born in Australia, although he moved to the United States in 1970, when he became the art critic for Time magazine.  Thus he was taught when young that Cook was a great man (one may check the postage stamps of Australia for confirmation) as persons in the United States and elsewhere in the Americas are, or at least were, taught that Columbus was a great man (one may check the postage stamps of many countries in the Americas for confirmation).

     From the beginning of Indian-European-African-Asian interaction starting in the 16th century A.D., there were sharp distinctions made between races.  At the time, there seemed to be quite clear differences based on physical appearance, especially prevailing skin and hair colors and types.  Today it is not an easy matter to decide who is an Indian and who isn't.  In Lakota Woman (1990) by Mary Crow Dog and Richard Erdoes, Crow Dog is reported as saying:  "I should make it clear that being a full-blood or breed is not a matter of bloodline, or how Indian you look, or how black your hair is.  The general rule is that whoever thinks, sings, acts, and speaks Indian is a skin, a full-blood, and whoever acts and thinks like a white man is a half-blood or breed, no matter how Indian he looks."  This conflicts somewhat, though, with her earlier statement:  "It is not the big, dramatic things so much that get us down, but just being Indian, trying to hang on to our way of life, language, and values while being surrounded by an alien, more powerful culture. It is being an iyeska, a half-blood, being looked down upon by whites and full-bloods alike [in South Dakota]."  Mary is evidently using "half-blood" to mean "mixed-blood", not intending a strict "half".

     "The United States," Russell Thornton observes in American Holocaust and Survival (1987), "has a long history of legally defining American Indians, in large part because of the early history of considering American Indian tribes as sovereign nations."  He quotes Felix S. Cohen:  "The term 'Indian' may be used in an ethnological or in a legal sense.  If a person is three-fourths Caucasian and one-fourth Indian, that person would not be considered as Indian for ethnological purposes.  Yet legally such a person may be an Indian."  (Handbook of Federal Indian Law, 1942, reprint 1982.)  Thornton says:  "Given the long-standing and probably increasing importance of tribal membership or affiliation in determining who is an Indian, many statutes use tribal membership as the essential criteria [sic], however it may be determined."  In many, but not all, cases, membership is determined by criteria specified in a written constitution.  He observes that as of the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 and subsequent decisions by the Indian Claims Commission, there are some 300 federally recognized tribes in the United States, and some 150 to 200 other Indian groups that "have the potential to be federally recognized tribes with federally approved constitutions."  Thornton goes on to discuss the considerable difficulties in defining what constitutes a "tribe", either ethnologically or legally.  Ethnological definitions depend on a variety of technical matters, such as social and political organization, and kinship relationships.  With regard to legal definitions, Felix Cohen says (quoted by Thornton):  "The term tribe has no universal legal definition. ... In most instances the question of tribal existence can be resolved by reference to at treaty, statute, executive order, or agreement recognizing the tribe in question.  In other cases the definition of tribe, like many other such generic terms, will depend in part on the context and purposes for which the term is used."

     Robert C. Owen reports under "Indians, American" in The Academic American Encyclopedia (Electronic Version) (Grolier, Inc., 1992):  "In 20th-century America no single definition of precisely who is an Indian exists.  To be eligible for federal Indian aid in the United States, a person must live on or near a federal reservation or be of Eskimo or Aleut descent.  Persons who are listed on the rosters of state reservations or who can prove one-fourth or more Indian ancestry are generally accepted as Indians by the U. S. government. ... In Latin America, cultural style rather than physical type or even ancestry is generally the criterion that determines whether one is deemed an Indian.  Individuals or groups who speak Indian languages, wear Indian clothes, and participate in Indian cultural activities are identified as Indians.  Many members of the Spanish-speaking mestizo class are genetically little different from person classified as indio."  I don't know on what grounds Owen bases his conclusion about genetic similarities or differences.  Much has been done in connection with mapping human genomes since 1992, but I'm not aware of any studies or techniques which would discriminate reliably in this connection.

     The  epigraph for the first chapter of Why Don't They Give Them Guns?:  The Great American Indian Myth (1990) by Stephen E, Feraca, a retired employee of the U. S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, is called "How Much Blood You Got", attributed to "A South Dakota Sioux to a German Jew in the Bronx."  Feraca says:  "identifying Indians or defining Indianness cannot in this country be divorced from the presumption of blood quantum [amount og Indian 'blood'].  It is, however, fundamental to the understanding of what makes an Indian, and to what functional degree, to distinguish among that which is legal, racial, cultural and sociological.  I am persuaded that my spouse's situation well illustrates how an individual fits or does not fit these basic classifications.  She is a duly enrolled member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, more specifically designated as a Removal Mille Lacs Mississippi Band member, affiliated with the White Earth Reservation, the tribal organization encompassing five other reservation entities.  She is, therefore, legally an Indian on the basis of such enrollment.  Her father was White.  According to tribal and agency records she possess one-sixteenth Chippewa blood derived from a great-grandmother, who was designated as one-half blood.  She looks quite Indian."

     Feraca goes on to ask:  "But what is an Indian supposed to look like?  Almost simplistically, the answer is that an Indian looks Mongoloid.  Anthropologists and other social scientists are today most reluctant to think in terms of race or have abandoned the concept altogether, preferring to speak of 'population groups' or the like, but such terminology does not lend itself to the problems at hand.  A biologically full blooded Mohave, or someone who has inherited such traits regardless of other ancestry, does not look like a Navajo similarly situated.  A San Juan Pueblo does not resemble a Teton Sioux, and a Western Apache is easily distinguished from Tlingits and other Alaskans although related to Athapaskans of the state and Canada.  They all do, however, have Mongoloid traits and all derive ultimately from Asia.  I am not suggesting that Indians look Chinese but the wife of an Indian Health Service doctor in South Dakota once observed that some of the local Sioux 'look like they ought to be operating hand laundries.'  She was unaware that such 'unspecified' Mongoloid features (another term in disrepute) are common in Indian people throughout the Americas."

     According to Feraca:  "Much more important than any real or presumed Indian features, particularly in view of the fact that Indians themselves often embrace individuals without a single Indian racial trait, are sociological factors.  By this I mean whether someone is accepted and recognized by either Indian society or the larger society [the Whites] as an Indian and treated as such.  My wife is sociologically Indian as far as both societies are concerned, and she has been denited the use of restaurant toilet facilities and has been hooted at by Whites.  Culturally Indian she is not, although acquainted with some traditional and many more relatively recent traits associated with an Indian lifestyle."

     Feraca goes on to describe a man who "represents the stereotype of the equestrian Plains Indian, is a native speaker of the Plains or Bungi dialect of Chippewa, also speaks Plains Cree, and is enrolled nowhere."  Due to the fact that his family moved so often in Montana, and were "landless", none of them ever appeared on any of the censuses used to establish tribal rolls, and therefore according to rules which bind the Chippewa Cree tribe, he can't be admitted as a "legal" Indian.  Feraca says this man's situation is not unique, and that it is particularly ironic "in view of the thousands of indibiduals who are sociologically, culturally and racially White but are tribal members."  Feraca also mentions the numerous members of the Seminole Nation of Ojlahoma who appear to be Blacj, but are in fact mixed bloods, often descended from escaped slaves of Georgia who fled to the Florida homeland of the Seminoles and intermarried with them.

     The "blood quantum" required for legal Indian status, and eligibility for federal payments, has become more stringent as time has passed.  Feraca says:  "A fine old man residing on Fort Peck Reservation in Montana said, 'I wouldn't have made it today.  I don't have the blood.' "  Furthermore:  "Ultimately blood quantum may be characterized as nothing more than the perversion, as applied to racial mixtures, of the ancient and unscientific belief prevalent in the Old World and still very much in vogue, that one inherits blood from all ancestors and that with blood are inherited physical, mental and cultural attributes (the 'blood will tell' cliché).  As applied to North American Indians, the concept and terminology are about as old as European contact, 'half breed,' 'full blood,' and 'pure blood' being household terms long before the era of Westward Expansion.  It is to be expected, therefore, that the concept would be incorporated into Indian affairs legislation and regulations.  An Act of May 25, 1918, places the limit for special education services to Indians, including day school enrollment, at one-quarter blood.  Employment services involve the quarter blood quantum criterion for adult vocational training. ... Not too idly, I have often wondered how many people actually conceive of a measurable quantity of Indian blood either coursing through their veins or, in truly medieval style, being stationary in a specific part of the corpus. ... Blood quantum designations were established long after the tribes had intermixed with Europeans and, particularly in the Southeast, also with Africans.  Even if the admixture had not begun so early, there still remains the fact that Indian people are not the products of controlled breeding; no society is.  But there are plenty of official documents and directives that more than imply that such is the case."

     In any case, as Indians, Europeans, Negroes (Native Americans, Caucasians, Africans or Blacks) interacted after Columbus started things in the Americas, biologically based definitions of mixed offspring were considered important.  In his American Holocaust and Survival:  A Population History Since 1492 (1987), Russell Thornton devotes a chapter to the "definition and enumeration of American Indians."  Naturally, who counts as an American Indian is important in estimating the sizes of Native American populations.  Thornton observes that starting from the time of conquistadores (the conquerors), the Spanish (and presumably the criollos), Americals of Spanish or other European descent) developed an elaborate classification of breeds.  He says:  "Offspring of Europeans and Indians (indios) were mestizo, offspring of Europeans and Africans were mulato, offspring of Africans and Indians were zambo [basic meaning, knock-kneed]."

     Thornton quotes Nicolás Sánchez-Albornoz (The Population of Latin America:  A History, 1974) who lists 24 additional terms (with an "etc."), most of them now obsolete, designating mixed breeds of various degrees and kinds.  Thornton also gives a list from 18th century New Spain (which included not only present-day Mexico, but also a considerable part of the present-day southwestern United States) consisting of a chain of 16 items, taken from Race Mixture in the History of Latin America (1967) by Magnus Morner.  This starts:  "1. Spaniard and Indian beget mestizo [hybrid, crossbreed],  2. Mestizo and Spanish woman beget castizo [basic meaning, of good breed],  3. Castizo woman and Spaniard beget Spaniard [!],               4. Spanish woman and Negro beget mulatto [original meaning may have been young mule; one "t" in Spanish],  5. Spaniard and mulatto woman beget morisco [basic meaning, Moorish or Muslim; in Spain, Moor converted to Christianity],  6. Morisco woman and Spaniard beget albino [which also has its usual English meaning in Spanish],  7. Spaniard and albino woman beget torna atrás (turn back, return backwards),  8. Indian and torna atrás beget lobo [wolf, or possibly a drunk]," and so on, down to coyote, coyote mestizo, and ah te estás (there you are, or there you stay).

     In The Leopard's Spots:  Scientific Attitudes Toward Race in America (1960), William Stanton describes Peter A. Browne (born 1782) who advanced a theory of racial differentiation by classifying hair types.  Stanton tells us that Browne found there are 3 prevailing forms of cross-sectional shapes of hair corresponding to skin color, "that of the white being oval, that of the Indian cylindrical, and that of the Negro 'eccentrically elliptical'."  In his treatise The Classification of Mankind, by the Hair and Wool of their Heads, with the Nomenclature of Human Hybrids (1852), Browne introduces mulattin for crosses of Whites and Blacks, costin for crosses of Blacks and Indians, and mestisen for crosses of Whites and Indians.  In each of these categories he found by precise measurements 7 degrees of hybridity, which he specified by ratios.  For mulattins, he has hepta mulattin (14:2, i.e. 14 parts White to 2 parts Black); hexa mulattin (12:4); penta mulattin (10:6); tetra mulattin (8:8); tria mulattin (6:10); di mulattin (4:12); and mono mulattin (2:14).  Stanton notes that compound hybrids led to such linguistic feats as hepta-hypo-mono-            mulattin and penta-hyper-mono-mulattin.  Browne also made some conclusions about racial superiority on the basis of hair structure.  Stanton, quoting Browne, says: " 'According to the rules of science,' he [Browne] philosophized, the organ which 'employs a greater variety of apparatus in the performance of its functions is to be considered the 'more perfect'.  In the white man's hair, Browne had found a 'canal' for the distribution of 'coloring matter' which was 'entirely wanting' in hair from the head of the Negro.  'The inference,' he concluded, 'is irresistible.  The hair of the white man is more perfect than that of the negro; and, as we know, by experience, that of all pile [Browne's general term  for the hair and wool of people and animals], that of the head of man is most completely organized, we will not, perhaps, be wandering astray, in ranking the hair of the head of the white man as a perfect hair.' "  Browne had concluded in the 1840s, Stanton says that "there was no difference between hair from the head of the Negro and wool from the back of a sheep, except in th 'degree' of 'felting power' ", and also that white people's hair would not 'felt'.  "Since the white man's covering was hair and the Negro's wool," says Stanton, "Browne had 'no hesitancy in pronouncing that they belong to two different species'."

     We may compare Browne's conclusions with those of James Cowles Pritchard, who published in 1813 his Researches into the Physical History of Man, well before the work of Browne published in 1852.   Pritchard writes:  "The short crisp hair of the Negro, and the long and lank hair of the Americans [Indians] and Kalmucs [a Mongolian group], are so different from that of Europeans, that some writers have hence drawn an argument in favour of the hypothesis we are combating.  The hair of the Negro is the greatest anomaly of this kind that presents itself.  Its short and curled appearance gives it some resemblance to the covering of the sheep.  From this loose analogy, it has received the term of wool in common discourse, and as names react upon opinions, it has hence been generally considered as a growth of the same sort with the excrescence produced by that animal.  But no person who should take the trouble of comparing the hair of an African with the wool of a sheep, would hesitate in rejecting this notion."  Pritchard goes into detail on differences between hair and wool, and concludes:  "The hair of the African has no resemblance to wool in either of these respects.  It consists indeed of finer filaments than that of Europeans, which arise from smaller bulbs or roots, but it appears, in other particulars to be a production of the same kind.  But if the head of the Negro were really covered with proper wool, we should not allow it to be a specific difference, since other species of animals exist, of which some tribes are clothed with wool, and others with hair."   Pritchard continues by giving examples of sheep of different varieties some of which are covered with a fine wool, and other are covered with coarse hair.

     There are other perplexing, almost overwhelming, complexities of terminology in connection with American Indians.  The words, "America", "American, "Americans", "North (or South or Central or Meso or Latin or Hispanic, etc.) America", and the like, are replete with ambiguities.  The word "America" is of course not of Native American origin.  Vino Deloria, Jr., an Indian himself, somewhere tells the story of the Indian who was asked by an anthropologist what Indians called America before the Europeans came.  "Ours," said the Indian.  The word "America" was derived from the name of a minor mapmaker named Amerigo Vespucci -- in Latin, Americus Vespucius.  In Chambers Biographical Dictionary (revised edition, 1984, edited by J. O. Thorne and T. C. Collocott, we read that he lived 1451-1512 and:  "His name was absurdly given to two continents (America) through an inaccurate account of his travels published at St. Dié in Lorraine in 1507, in which he is represented as having discovered and reached the mainland in 1497.  This account was based on Vespucci's own letters, in which he claims to have made four voyages.  Sir Clements Markham in his introduction to a translation of the letters (Hayluyt Society, 1894), proved one of these to be a pure fabrication, the others quite unsupported."

     In The Washington Monthly magazine for March, 1993, Jack Hitt has an article called 'Original Spin:  How lurid sex fantasies gave us 'America.' "  He sayd:  "Despite the generous treatment he receives in third-grade history books, Amerigo the man was a dweeb [slang : an unattractive, insignificant, or inept person].  According to Hitt, around 1500, Amerigo sailed on at least two voyages on which he made maps of part of the coast of South America.  Hitt says:  "In one harbor, he observed that the natives elevated their huts on pilings above the water and was reminded of Venice.  On his map he wrote, 'little Venice', or in Spanish, 'Venezuela'.  On another occasion Amerigo entered a huge river during January.  Plumbing the shallows of his imagination, he wrote in Potuguese, 'Rio de Janeiro'."  The originals of Vespucci's letters are lost, and maybe Amerigo wasn't responsible for the way they got into print.  Maybe they were transformed by the people who had them printed, in the early unregulated days of printing with movable type.  Hitt says:  "Imagine your average squire in 1505 reading the following description of randy savages of the New World.  'They do not practice marriage:  Each an takes all the women he desires; and when he wishes to discard them, he repudiates them without discrediting himself or disgracing the woman; for in this the woman has as much liberty as the man.  They are ... excessively libidinous and the women much more than the men; for I refrain out of decency from telling of the art with which they gratify their immoderate lust.' "  Hitt continues:  "And yet decency can't quite keep its tenuous hold on the author when the topic of wanton women comes up (and it frequently does).  The reader learns that 'the greatest mark of friendship which they show you is that they give you their wives and their daughters, and fathers and mothers feel highly honored when they bring you their daughter, even though she be a virgin, if you sleep with her.' "  And so on.  Hitt observes:  "One 1976 study counts 22 editions of Columbus's letters in the 35 years after he first sailed.  Amerigo's editions add up to 60, making them the overwhelming bestsellers of the age."

     Amerigo's letters circulated throughout Europe.  A man named Matthias Ringman, who lived in a small French academic community, got a copy of one that Amerigo sent to the political bodd of Florence, Italy, a man named Piero Soderini.  Ringman was engaged in producing a new edition of Ptolemy's Cosmographia (original, 2nd century A.D.), and asked his friend Martin Waldseemüller, a noted cartographer, to assist by drawing an updated map of the world.  Waldseemüller's map shows a crude outline of the South American coast, a few Caribbean islands, and an amputated chunk of North America.  After consultation with Ringman, Waldseemüller decided to call the whole lot, AMERICA.  On the map, Waldseemüller says (translated):  "I see no reason why we should not call it 'America', that is to say, land of Americus, for Americus its discoverer, a man of sagacious wit."  Ringman's edition of the Cosmographia was published in 1507.  He died soon afterwards.  His was the only map with the name "America" on it for some time.  Waldseemüller himself removed it from his own later versions of the map, perhaps because he'd learned a little more about Amerigo.  Yet in 1538, Gerhardus Mercator (or Gerhard Kremer -- Hitt says George Mercator for some reason), the famous cartographer and geographer, applied the name to the entire Western Hemisphere (west of Europe by the shorter water route, that is), and the name stuck.  Hitt concludes:  "America was not baptized in the honest sweat of labor, but in the maddening confusion of hype."

     Besides the complications of the name "America" there's the problem of old versus new designations for the people who lived in it before Columbus, such as the relatively recent change from American Indian (or Amerindian, or Indian, or Red Indian, or Injun, or redskin) to Native American.  One knows that Columbus called the first people he met Indians in the mistaken belief he had arrived in India by going west instead of east from Europe.  As Stephen Feraca observes (loc. cit.), the Europeans also gave the name "India" to that huge region in Asia which now bears that name.  Feraca, who, as I said earlier, worked at the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, says:  "Whatever the sociological or historical problems, the term 'Indian' as applied to the early inhabitants of the Americas has great strength and is overwhelmingly acceptable to Indians."

     There are also extensive difficulties with the names the British had for an Indian tribe or band, sometimes more than one name for a single tribe, and with different spellings for a single name.  Then there are the names the French or Spanish or speakers of other European languages called a tribe, the names that other tribes called a tribe, and a tribe called itself.  This is in addition to problems of deciding what constituted a "tribe", which was sometimes based on European models which distorted or misrepresented the actual groupings of Indians.

     Then, too, in matters related to Indian affairs in North America, words like "British" and "English" are sometimes used to mean natives of Great Britain (Britain tout court, United Kingdom) or, in the case of "English," England proper, or maybe taking "English" to mean what others call "British", meaning the whole of what is often currently called the United Kingdom.  Sometimes these terms are not meant to refer to natives of the British Isles, but to people who have descended, at least in some good degree, from natives of these regions, or to people who were natives of the British Isles who migrated to the New World and became or didn't become "naturalized" citizens.  In the era of the American Revolution (also known as the War of Independence, etc.), the British in America split up to some fair extent into British (Loyalists or Royalists)) and Americans (rebels, or as the winners say, patriots), along with those who were neutral, undecided, wavering, or with divided loyalties.  In Crown and Calumet:  British-Indian Relations, 1783-1815 (1987), Colin G. Calloway says:  "Scots dominated the higher echelons of the North West Company, and Orkneymen provided manpower for the Hudson's Bay Company [fur-trading companies].  Prominent members of the British Indian Department were of Scots or Irish descent, and British regiments recruited from Scottish glens and Welsh valleys as well as from the towns and villages of England.  Moreover military posts were often also the foci for a number of political, social, and economic activities that brought together British redcoats, French-Canadian traders, Indians from far and near, mixed-bloods, and their wives and children in fluid and heterogeneous communities."

     The State of Native America:  Genocide, Colonization, and Resistance (1992) is a collection of articles edited by M. Annette Jaimes.  In speaking of "the holocaust in North America" in her introduction, Jaimes refers to a number of comparatively recent genocides: the slaughter of over a million Armenians by the Turks in 1915, the murder of over a half million East Timorese in Indonesia during the 1960s, what she calls the autogenocide of about three million Khmers in Kampachea (Cambodia) during the 1970s, the ongoing eradication of Amazon Basin peoples in Brazil, etc.  There have been other mass killings since Jaimes wrote this, e.g. those in Rwanda (Ruanda) in 1994.  But, she says, the closest parallel in recent times to the destruction in the United States of its indigenous population of Native Americans is the extermination of Jews, Romanies (gypsies), Slavs and others under the Nazis in Germany from the 1930s to the middle 1940s, in what is commonly know now simply as the Holocaust.  Jaimes cites as a notable example of the kind of extermination of Native Americans carried out by White Americans, the Sand Creek Massacre which I have treated in Chapter 1 of this work.  At first sight, to compare this operation with the Holocaust seems incongruous.  Only a few hundred Indians were killed at Sand Creek, whereas the people killed in the Holocaust number in the millions.  However, I take it that Jaimes has in mind the extermination of Indians over a much longer period, getting on for 400 years, to be taken in comparison with the Holocaust, which took place over a period of about 15 years.  This leads me to the topic of the next chapter:  how many Indians were there, before and after Columbus arrived?

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