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"The question which has puzzled, and still puzzles": how American Indian authors challenged dominant discourse about Native American origins in the nineteenth century.

It is however, still a matter, of doubt and perplexity; it is a book sealed to the eyes of man, for the time has not yet come when the Great Ruler of all things, in His wisdom, shall make answer through his inscrutable ways to the question which has puzzled, and still puzzles the minds of the learned civilized world. How came America to be first inhabited by man?

William W. Warren, History of the Ojibway People

This quote from William Whipple Warren invites us into the topic of this essay: the ways American Indian authors, particularly three contemporary Anishinaabeg writers, engaged with the question of Native American origins during the racially polarized project of "imagining" the nation of the United States throughout the nineteenth century. Answering the question of origins was central to continued colonization in North America; quite simply, Native people had to be explained to be superseded (WIN, 5). Since first contact, European Americans have presented myriad answers to the question, How came America to be first inhabited by humans? With the rising importance of print capitalism in post-revolutionary America, explanations of Native origins became widely disseminated and consumed by the public and politicians alike. The accessibility of these theories directly influenced nineteenth-century popular sentiments about American Indians and colonial policies regarding their future. This was most notable with regard to removal policies, which were aimed at accomplishing one of the essential components of the colonial project of the United States, the territorial dispossession of Indian lands. (1) This process was vital to the colonial project, and it stood in stark opposition to the fact that it was on the well-being of indigenous lands that the very survival of indigenous peoples depended. (2) Having answers to the question of Native origins that challenged the magnitude, duration, and even the very legitimacy of Native Americans' presence and tenure in America offered powerful colonial tools for furthering tribal land dispossession.

In this essay I argue that American Indian authors had a keen understanding of the political and racial implications the varied answers European Americans were offering about their origins held for their communities. By tackling dominant origin theories, they interrupted the white-supremacist discourse surrounding the topic. Their answers were crafted delicately so as to be salient to their predominantly white audiences and yet also actively promote indigenous sovereignty, a sovereignty inherent in peoplehood. (3) This peoplehood was "inseparably linked to sacred traditions, traditional homelands, and a shared history as indigenous people." (4) With the ongoing colonial project of the United States attempting to strip indigenous groups of key aspects of their peoplehood, including language, sacred history, religion, and land, through "the means of territorial dispossession, assimilation, religious conversion, or outright extermination," we can understand their answers, which sought to protect this peoplehood, as bold acts of resistance. (5)

My primary focus is on three Anishinaabeg writers: Kahkewaquonaby (Peter Jones), Kahgegagahbowh (George Copway), and William Whipple Warren, who were, for the most part, writing contemporaneously (between the mid-1830s and 1850s) and who were each embroiled in fights against colonial land grabs and removal policies focused on their communities in Canada and the United States during this period. (6) These three multifaceted individuals, with their own unique life histories, were bound by ongoing problems of misrepresentation and oppression in their communities and their willingness to represent Anishinaabeg history and knowledge to white audiences (WIN, 163). Each tracked contemporary debate and discourse on Native American origins in North America. In their written works they constructed and disseminated answers to these dilemmas that actively attended to the challenges of ongoing colonization in their specific communities as well as envisioned a wider Native American sovereignty. Before detailing the historical context of origin questions in the nineteenth century, I draw brief attention to the tantalizing hints offered to us in the opening quote from Warren about how these Anishinaabeg authors creatively engaged with discourse on the question of Native origins.

Warren says the origin question has puzzled and still puzzles the "learned civilized world," referring to his predominantly white audience and, of interest, excluding the subject of his work, the Ojibway, from being "puzzled" by this question. Indeed, Warren writes that the way American Indians populated "this important section of the earth" (i.e., America) has remained for thousands of years unknown to people of the "Old World," informing us that the question of where the American Indian came from "puzzles" European Americans but not the Ojibway (HOP, 54). He says that, as for the Ojibway, he can give no more appropriate information on their belief of their "own first existence" than to provide a definition of the name they have given to their race--An-ish-in-aub-ag (HOP, 56). Warren defines them as "Spontaneous People" (HOP, 56), indeed, a bold statement, as one of the most highly respected European American scholarly authorities on American Indians of the era, Henry Rowe Schoolcraff, had defined them as "Common People." With this statement Warren makes it clear that the Ojibway have a very specific understanding of their origin. They are spontaneous people, spontaneous meaning indigenous, natural, that is, a people always in America, and thus there is no puzzle to them about their origin. (7) Warren proceeds to go to great lengths to offer his personal explanation of Ojibway origins, which deals specifically with one of the dominant theories of origins in European American contexts (the "lost tribes of Israel" theory).

Warren both engages dominant discourse on origin theories as well as provides this deeply indigenous view of "their own first existence," as a people always on their land. Together, this allows him to radically undermine the very logic of removal, colonial policy aimed at dispossessing his community from their land, which, if successful, would tear at the survival of his community. Asserting this sense of always present allows Warren to demonstrate that his community has an abiding peoplehood that includes their homelands. This in turn endows them with an inherent sovereignty that demands respect and protection. I argue that these three scholars shared this awareness of the devastating impact a loss of independent homelands would have on Anishinaabeg peoplehood and that they each engaged with origin questions to try to orient popular discourse on this topic in ways that promoted indigenous sovereignty. With each explicating in some way a sense of always present, they asserted an indigenous peoplehood, including language, sacred history, religion, and land, that was basic to survival and identity and worthy of protection.


The American Indian held a complicated yet central position in the project of imagining the new nation, the Republic of the United States. (8) The revolution of 1776 envisioned a radical break from the past and the formation of a political system markedly different from that of dynastic England. Because it was conceived as a break from the metropole, the revolution left America seeking an identity that was "American." (9) As the American Indians were distinctly non-European, they became central to this identity building. Playing Indian "allowed rebellious Americans to cross and confound boundaries of national identity." (10)

While people played Indian to imagine a new American nationalistic identity, there was always a conflict between real Indians and these ideological Indians, who let Americans be savage yet civilized and rebellious yet ordered. The existence of real Indians had long been fascinating and mysterious to American colonists, but by the start of the nineteenth century they were increasingly seen as hindrances to America's geopolitical expansion into Indian Territory. The new patriots came to see them as enemies of the nation. (11) The place of Indians posed major dilemmas for the emerging republic. (12) As a consequence, the nineteenth century saw the "rapid naturalizing of the epistemology of racial difference in regard to Native peoples" (WIN, 39).

At the heart of the nationalistic and racially polarized discourse and debate over this "Indian Problem" was the question of the origin of real Indians. Native people had to be explained to be superseded (WIN, 5). The advance of print capitalism was making it possible for rapidly growing numbers of people to think about themselves and to relate themselves to others in profoundly new ways that let them imagine themselves as part of an "American" republic. (13) While ideas on the origins of Native Americans had circulated since the earliest history of the American colonies, it was with this increase in print capitalism in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries that views on Native Americans' geographic and racial origins became widely accessible.

Questions about Native origins, their past activities, and ultimately their futures intertwined to form a major part of political, social, and intellectual discussions during the critical developmental sequence of the United States from the end of the revolution through the close of the nineteenth century. This era, the heart of the colonial building of the United States as a nation, was marked by a seemingly ceaseless land hunger made manifest in removal policies aimed at the territorial dispossession of Indian lands. (14) Again, this process was diametrically opposed to the needs of the indigenous peoples occupying what was now the United States.

One of the republic's "founding fathers;' Thomas Jefferson, took great interest in questions about Native American origins. Jefferson was interested first in determining whether living Native Americans were connected to the people responsible for the evidence of past activity, namely, the thousands of earthen burial mounds scattered throughout the Midwest and Southeast. To answer this question, Jefferson--or, rather, his slaves--excavated one such mound in Virginia. (15) This work is often considered the first "modern" archaeological excavation in the United States, and from it Jefferson concluded that the mounds had been built by ancestors of living American Indians.

Next, Jefferson was interested in the origins question, asking "from whence came those aboriginal inhabitants of America?" To address this issue of Native American origins, Jefferson considered both continental geography and the language of living Native American groups and assessed what other living groups Native Americans could be logically linked to based on these factors. Citing Captain Cook's finding of the "narrow streight" between Asia and North America combined with what he saw as resemblances between modern Native American languages and customs and those of Asia, Jefferson concluded that Native Americans were most likely connected to Asia. He concluded that "the resemblance between the Indians of America and the Eastern inhabitants of Asia, would induce us to conjecture, that the former are the descendants of the latter, or the latter of the former" Jefferson also asserted that there is likely a great antiquity to American Indians' presence in North America. (16)

This "scientific" approach to the question of Native American origins, which suggested that their origins were ancient and connected in some way to Asia, did not satisfy scholarly or public speculations about Native American origins in the early nineteenth century. Other explanations, ones based on biblical views and ones promoting less permanence for Native Americans in America, would continue to circulate and ascend in popularity. A religious explanation of Native Americans' origins, that they had descended from the lost tribes of Israel, had been extant since early colonial times. Many early British American colonists (including Cotton Mather, Roger Williams, and William Penn) had accepted the idea based on observed similarities of Hebrew and American Indian languages. (17) With the increase of print in late-eighteenth-century and early-nineteenth-century America, this idea gained widening promulgation and achieved broader appeal than Jefferson's "natural history" approach.

James Adair, who traded and lived with American Indians from 1735 until 1775, published The History of the American Indians in 1775, which laid out a biblically based argument for Native Americans as descendents of the Hebrews, some of the lost tribes of Israel. (18) Mthough widely read (Peter Jones owned Adair's book), Elias Boudinot's book A Star in the West, which built directly on Adair's argument, can be credited with popularizing this theory in the early nineteenth century (SF, 216). Boudinot (not to be confused with the famous Cherokee leader of the same name) was a key statesman of the early republic who was president of the Continental Congress and signed the Treaty of Paris in 1783. (19) In 1816 he published A Star in the West: or A Humble Attempt to Discover the Long Lost Ten Tribes of Israel, preparatory to their return to their beloved city, Jerusalem. Boudinot had two goals for "proving" that American Indians were the lost tribes of Israel. On the one hand, he wanted to "bring declarative glory to God." (20) On the other hand, he aimed to show that Indians were republicans and thus had a place in the new nation--the poor treatment they had received by the English had made them hostile and savage, but their true nature was good and holy. Boudinot's argument for the American Indians as lost tribes aimed to assert Indians as worthy of protection in the new republic.

Boudinot supported his arguments by a comparison of Hebrew and American Indian customs. He looked at each group's "language, received traditions, established customs and habits, known religious rites and ceremonies, and their public worship and religious opinions and prejudices." (21) In its review of the book, the Portico pointed out that Boudinot's arguments imagined "a peculiar resemblance between the Jews and Indians, in particular points, which are applicable in a thousand other ways, among a thousand different people." (22) Even though this contemporary scholarly journal pointed out flaws in Boudinot's arguments, the idea that North America had been originally populated by some of the ten lost tribes of Israel became one of the most popular explanations of Indian origins circulating in the nineteenth century. (23) Other contemporary nineteenth-century scholars expounded on and, thus, further popularized Boudinot's ideas. One important example of this was Ethan Smith's View of the Hebrews, published first in 1823. Smith draws heavily on Boudinot and follows his exact logic of comparing lists of traits between Hebrews and American Indians, and, like Boudinot, he concludes a need to "restore" the Native Americans because of their heritage as the lost tribes. (24)

Connected to ongoing speculation about the origins of Native Americans was concern with who exactly built the thousands and thousands of earthen mounds spread throughout North America. Recall, Jefferson had concluded these were the result of activities of ancestors of living Native Americans. (25) However, his explanation, coinciding with his "scientific" explanation of an ancient and Asian origin for Native Americans, failed to gain currency in nineteenth-century America. With territorial dispossession of Indian lands a priority, people did not want to believe that contemporary Native Americans had a capacity for great works, because it was a lot easier to take land from "savages who could never use it 'properly' than from people who were capable of the level of culture implied by the great mounds and earthworks." (26) A myth that began developing in the waning years of the eighteenth century suggested in fact that these mounds were actually constructed by a white race destroyed by the modern Indians, the "Mound Builder" race, a myth that would greatly amplify such land grab justifications. (27) The myth of the Mound Builders blossomed in the nineteenth century, promoting the idea that the earthen mounds had been built by a civilized white race that was then destroyed by red savages. (28)

The popular lost tribes of Israel theory merged with growing claims that the earthen mounds in the Midwest and Southeast were actually constructed by this white Mound Builder race: "In pursuit of 'white' forerunners to Native America, the venerable 'ten lost tribes of Israel,' once a popular explanation of the Native presence in the Americas, mutated into a popular explanation of the 'white' Mound Builders in the Americas." (29) Joseph Smith's Book of Mormon, produced in 1830 and widely known in its time, helped develop this merger of the lost tribes of Israel theory with the Mound Builder myth. (30) Joseph Smith was "certainly exposed to much of the Mound Builder mythology as well as the prevalent belief in the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel." His Book of Mormon encapsulated in a well-integrated manner the lines of speculative thought on Native American origins and mounds circulating during the early nineteenth century. Smith proposed that North America was settled by Lehi, a Hebrew who had left Jerusalem and sailed to the Americas around 600 B.C. Upon arriving, Lehi's children split into two warring groups: the kind-hearted, white-skinned, farming, and metal-working Nephites and the marauding, red-skinned Lamanites, who eventually overran the Nephites after they had built all the great works in North America. (31)

As the theory of the lost tribes amalgamated with the increasingly popular Mound Builder myth and caught hold in public and political circles, the fact that the lost tribes theory had originally meant to explain Native presence in the Americas and secure their place in the republic was quickly forgotten. (32) While Boudinot's argument for the American Indians as lost tribes aimed to assert Indians as worthy of protection in the new republic, as the lost tribes theory was linked into this growing myth it became connected to a completely opposite political purpose--the support of Indian removal.

Throughout the nineteenth century the Mound Builder myth was circulated widely through the mainstream print media and "won broad acceptance by scholars and the American public." (33) An example of this myth's popular appeal can be found in the literary works of William Cullen Bryant. In 1832 he published his poem "The Prairies," inspired by his travels in Illinois, home to one of the largest American Indian chiefdoms and mound centers in the New World (Cahokia). In the poem he embeds the Mound Builder myth:
   And burn with passion? Let the mighty mounds
   That overlook the rivers, or that rise
   In the dim forest crowded with old oaks,
   Answer. A race, that long has passed away,

   Built them;--a disciplined and populous race....
   The red man came--The
   roaming hunter tribes, warlike and fierce,
   And the mound-builders vanished from the earth.
   The solitude of centuries untold
   Has settled where they dwelt. (34)

This myth, wildly popular in the nineteenth century, was not dismissed by the scholarly community until 1894, when anthropologist Cyrus Thomas, sponsored by the Smithsonian, demonstrated and extensively disseminated the knowledge that American Indians had built the mounds. (35) Although modern archaeologists consider this to be the end of the debate, this was hardly true in terms of the theory's popular acceptance, and, in fact, this theory still circulates in some cult archaeology circles today. (36)

This myth stood in clear opposition to Jefferson's conclusions about who built the mounds, but it was more convenient in the political world of the nineteenth century, as it directly appealed to American sentiments and furthered the colonial project of the expansion of the United States. The colonial justifications emerging from the Mound Builder myth are obvious: if Indians killed a white race, the white race was justified in killing or removing them. This political ramification certainly helped the myth circulate and ascend to such popularity. In particular, frontiersmen who were eager to fulfill Manifest Destiny were very supportive of this myth, as they stood to gain economically from the removal of Indians from their original lands. (37)

The ultimate political use of this myth came from President Andrew Jackson, who employed it as he argued for passage of the Indian Removal Act of 1830. In his First Annual Message to Congress, December 8, 1830, Jackson stated:
   Humanity has often wept over the fate of the aborigines of this
   country, and Philanthropy has been long busily employed in devising
   means to avert it, but its progress has never for a moment been
   arrested, and one by one have many powerful tribes disappeared from
   the earth. To follow to the tomb the last of his race and to tread
   on the graves of extinct nations excite melancholy reflections. But
   true philanthropy reconciles the mind to these vicissitudes as it
   does to the extinction of one generation to make room for another.
   In the monuments and fortresses of an unknown people, spread over
   the extensive regions of the West, we behold the memorials of a
   once powerful race, which was exterminated or has disappeared to
   make room for the existing savage tribes. (38)

Popular and often wildly speculative ideas on Native American origins infiltrated the American public as well as major scholars and politicians of the nineteenth century. These various speculations and theories on Native American origins directly shaped American colonial policies and, consequently, American Indian lives in the nineteenth century. Explanations of Native American origins that undermined their connection to America, like the Mound Builder theory, which gained such popularity, helped propagate hateful and racist ideas and justify the physical removal of American Indians from their lands, this territorial dispossession being one of the essential components of the colonial project that was the building of America. (39) The Mound Builder myth allowed the removal of tribes from their homelands to be recast and envisioned as appropriate vengeance "on behalf of that great and martyred ancient culture." (40) American Indian scholars of the nineteenth century held positions in these speculations and debates, and I now turn to an examination of the ways three Anishinaabeg writers engaged with this dominant discourse surrounding origins. (41)


Three nineteenth-century writers--Kahkewaquonaby (Peter Jones), Kahgegagahbowh (George Copway), and William Whipple Warren--were intimately concerned with removal policies of the era and left "a record of living and thinking at a point of radical change for Native peoples, a change that was difficult enough for people to live through, more difficult still to represent in English" (WIN, 189). All three wrote after the Indian Removal Act (1830) had been passed, after the lost tribes myth amalgamated with the Mound Builder myth, which was used in support of Indian removal, and during times when each of their communities faced mounting pressure on their homelands. They moved freely and adeptly among various disciplines as they conducted their written examinations and articulations of their (and their communities') post-apocalyptic situations. (42) All three engaged the dominant discourse on the geographic and racial origins of American Indians to "undercut white versions of the progressive evolutionary narrative" that was forecasting the vanishing of Native Americans. (43)

In approaching American Indian authors, there has been scholarly concern that "since neither English nor writing is 'native' to Native Americans, the fact that Native peoples write in English detracts from the Indianness of the literatures" (WIN, 29). As Arnold Krupat notes, even though Native Americans had developed "writing" in a broad sense, "the letter and the book, were not found among native cultures in the precontact period." (44) Thus, Krupat has suggested that writing will always signify "for the Indian the cultural other" and that perhaps it is oration that is the only true Indian literature. (45) Krupat has suggested that Indian writings should be seen as bicultural composite compositions; while written by Indians interested in the old ways, Indian writing is written by authors who have become "extremely sophisticated in their manipulation of new--Euramerican, written--ways." (46)

Indeed, each of the Native authors I consider in this essay occupied multivalent (bicultural and beyond) positions in nineteenth-century America, and the transmission of their writing was undoubtedly impacted by the experience of colonization. I remain aware of the challenges Womack poses by asking how much these authors sought to please a white audience and what we make of an author "who is purposefully writing to satisfy white stereotypes." (47) Native authors of the nineteenth century left an intellectual history that was often "skewed" (given their literacy and positions in American society) in favor of Native integration into American society. (48) Recognizing this, I agree we must keep in mind that "the written record cannot fully account for a varied and powerful tradition of American Indian resistance." (49) I brought these considerations to my study of these Native-authored works.

However, I follow the lead of scholars like Weaver, Womack, Warrior, Senier, Konkle, and Brooks, who assert that too much time has been wasted trying to dissect whether a given writer is "really an Indian." (50) This has led the ways in which Indian literature as an essential means of struggle, of resistance, has been overlooked. Womack directly challenges the ethnocentric bias at the heart of setting the standard for an authentic Indian literature as oration, a move aimed at upholding "cultural purity," stating that "Indian cultures are the only cultures where it is assumed that if they change they are no longer a culture. In most other cultures, change is viewed as a sign that the culture is vibrant and alive, capable of surviving." (51)

Early American Indian authors "creatively responded to forced colonization" by using writing as an adaptive tool or map for communal activity, resistance, sovereignty. (52) It was critical for American Indians, faced with continued colonialism and the ceaseless land hunger of whites, to learn and manipulate English in order to preserve themselves; American Indians of the nineteenth century wrote their own histories and traditions to write themselves into a political future (WIN, 38). As Weaver eloquently states, "They write that the People might live." (53)

This model of American Indian writing as a form of resistance and as a means of directly promoting indigenous nationhood and sovereignty is useful for considering the ways these three nineteenth-century Anishinaabeg writers engaged origin questions. Drawing on this conceptual framework, we can approach these three nineteenth-century Anishinaabeg writers as active contributors to this critical sociopolitical debate in nineteenth-century North America. Tackling origin questions in print was essential work against the grain of the increasingly "dominant social ideology" that Native Americans were recent and even illegitimate occupants of America. (54) These three scholars shared a deep awareness of the devastating impact that having no independent tribal lands would have on Anishinaabeg peoplehood and their inherent sovereignty. While each engaged with questions of Native American origins differently, each did so in a way that tried to orient popular discourse on this topic around the promotion of indigenous sovereignty. Each, even if subtly, provided a sense of his community as always present in America, a move that establishes an unquestionable peoplehood for his community, which in turn works to endow that community with an inherent sovereignty demanding respect and protection. We can understand these three were practicing what Weaver calls "communitism," a combination of "community" and "activism," with their writing on the origins issue by using always to promote sovereignty. Always asserted not just that "the People might live" but that they deserved to live and to live with all aspects of their peoplehood intact--their language, sacred history, religion, and, perhaps most pressingly, their land, things that had been theirs from time immemorial. (55)

Before turning to this discussion I note that beyond taking into account issues surrounding the creation and production of written forms, I also paid attention to culture-specific boundaries and the influence these had on the ways I read and understood the Others (the American Indian authors). (56) I do not pretend to, nor am I in any position to, resolve the issues surrounding the writing and reading of American Indian writers, but I worked to remain aware of some of the key issues involved with both of these processes.


Peter Jones (Kahkewaquonaby, meaning "Sacred Feathers") was born in 1802 in Burlington Heights near Hamilton, Ontario, part of the Credit River Indian community. He was the son of Augustus Jones, a retired surveyor of Welsh descent who was trusted by the Mississauga, and Tuhbenahneequay, the daughter of a Mississauga chief. Augustus had two wives, Kahkewaquonaby's mother, who was Mississauga and was not a Christian convert, and another, who was Iroquoian and was a Christian convert. Wary of losing his social standing for having two wives, which went against European American social and religious norms, Augustus cut ties with his Mississauga wife, lived with his Iroquoian wife, and farmed. Kahkewaquonaby was raised by his mother and trained in traditional Mississauga ways until 1816, when his father began to teach him the "settled" life. This is the year he became Peter Jones (SF, chaps. 1-5).

Peter Jones is perhaps most well known for his devotion to Christianity and the Wesleyan Methodist Church. He was baptized Anglican in 1820 but did not actually convert internally; he was born again in 1825. He became devoted to the Methodist Church and was a key missionary among the Mississauga for the church. His "intercultural skills made Christianity familiar and accessible to his native audience," and he was a highly successful missionary (SF, 84). Viewing conversion of his tribal community to Methodism, which preached sobriety and settled life, as the best hope for their perseverance, Jones returned to Credit River and began converting his family and friends. He began moving his missionary message outward among the Ojebway throughout Canada, including to Rice Lake. Here, some of his most significant converts were the parents of George Copway. The young Copway, sixteen years Jones's junior, became his treasured student. The two were closely connected, as Copway married a close friend of Jones's wife and became a Native Methodist minister. Copway assisted Jones in his missionary efforts among their shared tribal communities. Copway was exiled from the Methodist Church in 1846 for financial impropriety, a personal and professional blow to Jones that ended their close relationship.

Although Jones has been considered (and dismissed) by some as a fully assimilated Christian Indian, as Weaver observes, a review of his life and work discloses a different picture of a passionate defender of Native rights, a promoter of sovereignty. (57) Peter Jones followed the removal process in the United States very closely because he knew this issue would come to Canada. Right before he left for his first tour of England in 1830 to raise money for his Methodist mission in Canada, he knew Andrew Jackson had been elected president. This development worried Jones, who was deeply opposed to removal. While in England he met Eliza Fields, whom he married and who became a key aid in his missionary efforts. Upon his return to North America Jones became depressed by the racism he saw emerging from the governmental policies of the United States and British Canada as well as in his own church (SF, 152-53). He continued to closely follow the implementation of the Indian Removal Act in the United States, with particular interest in the case of the Cherokee. (Since he saw settled Indian life as preventing removal, their fate greatly interested him.)

Seeing the impending reality of Cherokee removal, by the mid to late 1830s Jones became even more convinced that to avoid a similar fate, a complete removal from their homeland, the Ojebway had to secure title deeds to their land. He envisioned a multistep process for securing lands; most immediately, he wanted title deeds for all existing reserves, and then he wanted to see a place of refuge for all Great Lakes Indians (American and Canadian) established in the Saugeen Tract in Upper Canada (SF, 171-72). Indeed, the harsh removal of southern Indians in the United States was leading many tribal people from the U.S. Great Lakes region to come to Canada in the late 1830s and early 1840s, and American Indian hating and associated policies were weighing heavily on Canadian tribal communities' minds.

In 1838 Jones went to England for the second time to secure deeds for Credit River. Although he met with Queen Victoria herself, who promised the deeds, they never materialized. By the early 1840s his hope for securing lands and having a united tribal homeland had diminished, and his health had deteriorated. The Credit River Mississauga left for Owen Sound in the mid-1840s, and by the close of that decade almost no fertile lands remained in any Ojebway hands (SF, 212). Despite these major setbacks, Peter Jones continued to fight for tribal rights, turning his attention to education and making yet another trip to England, this time to raise money for a tribal residential school in 1845. He left Credit River and in 1851 moved to Echo Village, where he continued to read current European American work on Native Americans, collecting a notable library (SF, 216). He died in 1856, and many Mississauga attended his funeral. Jones never lost the respect of his people, and while he sought to refashion his community following white guidelines, he did so to promote their survival, their sovereignty. (58)

Jones had many items published during his lifetime, most of which pertained to his role as a clergyman and missionary, namely, sermons and speeches. After his death in 1856 his wife collected his diaries and notes and supervised the publication of two books: Life and Journals of Kah-ke-wa-quo-nU-by (Rev. Peter Jones), Wesleyan Missionary (1860) and History of the Ojebway Indians; with Especial Reference to Their Conversion to Christianity (1861). Jones had begun writing History in the 1830s and had stopped working on it by 1845 because he was too ill to continue (WIN, 181). While Jones may have read Copway's work, the temporal sequence informs us that History was an independent account; it was not a response to Copway. (59)

As discussed previously, Peter Jones followed contemporary dominant discourse on American Indians throughout his life and was actively concerned with issues of removal and Native sovereignty. He read books on Native Americans by European American "experts," adeptly citing such work throughout History. He gives quite lengthy consideration to the issue of Native American origins in chapter 2 of History of the Ojebway Indians. The way he engages this topic indicates that he closely followed the debates about origins, and he understood and actively responded to the political implications of different theories. Jones's method of tackling the issue of origins combined a tone that could be digested by a predominantly white audience, an adept engagement with the dominant discourse, and an accommodation of the indigenous view of always; this combination challenges removal.

Chapter 2 of History is titled "Ideas of Their Origins," and the subjects covered are "Tradition of Nanahbozhooo--My own opinion as to their origin--reasons for not supposing them descended from the ten lost tribes of Israel--Desire that this subject should be inquired into" (HOW, 31-38). Jones begins this chapter on origins by dedicating five pages to the Ojebway's own version of their origin. He states that "for several years past I have made it a subject of inquiry among the aged sachems of the Ojebway nation of Indians,--What are the opinions entertained by them, and transmitted from our forefathers, regarding the origin of our race?" (HOW, 31). He discusses how some tribes "believe that a great man, endued with the spirit of the gods, by the name Nanahbozhoo (the meaning of which is now lost) made the world and the Indians in America" (HOW, 32, emphasis added). He then dedicates the next three and a half pages to this story (and a total of five and a half pages of the chapter to tribal versions of their origin and only two and a half to dominant theories of their origin). Although he concludes his section on their origin stories with a dismissal, stating that "many of their traditions are founded on dreams, which will account for the numerous absurd stories current amongst them" (HOW, 36), the disproportionate amount of time he gives to their origin, one that asserts the Indian was made in America, asserts a people who were always present, is significant.

After his lengthy consideration of the Ojebway's own stories Jones turns to dominant theories. He engages the lost tribes of Israel theory, stating that "much has of late years been said and written on the theory of the North American Indians having descended from the ten lost tribes of Israel. There are many things to favour this opinion, and many against it. When I read the book called 'The Star in the West,' and 'Smith's View of the Hebrews,' I was strongly inclined to favour the theory" (HOW, 37). Jones shows he has followed the dominant discourse on the topic of Native origins and has read Boudinot's as well as Smith's influential work, in which each argues that Native Americans are descended from the lost tribes of Israel to assert their place in the republic. Indeed, Donald Smith notes that in his early sermons Jones often drew similarities between the Hebrews and Native Americans to make the Holy Bible more accessible to tribal communities. One wonders if Jones's early inclination to favor this theory was in part inspired by seeing fellow American Indian author William Apess support the lost tribes theory proposed by Boudinot in his autobiography, A Son of the Forest: The Experience of William Apess, a Native of the Forest. Most of Apess's appendix supports the version of the theory laid out by Boudinot because Boudinot's argument demanded a place for Native Americans in the republic. (60) Although Jones does not directly cite Apess, it is clear that Jones seriously considered this version of the lost tribes theory, which promoted the belief that Indians deserved a place in the colonial world. However, at some point Jones finds problems with this theory:

Certainly many of the customs and sacrifices of the Indians resemble very much those of the children of Israel, such as observing days of purification, offering the first-fruits of the earth, burnt offerings, and reckoning time by moons. But, on the other hand, they have no Sabbaths, no circumcision, no altars erected, and no distinction between clean and unclean animals. It would seem almost impossible for the descendents of the Israelites ever to have lost the recollection of their Sabbath days, and the rite of circumcision, both of which were so solemnly enjoined upon them. (HOW, 37)

Instead, he supports a new theory, one that, despite his devout Christianity, is very secular (the theory that Jefferson supported in his "natural history" approach), the idea that the Native Americans were of Asiatic origin: "From all I have heard and read on the subject, I am inclined to favour the opinion that the Indians are descendents of the Asiatic Tartars, as there appears to me a more striking similarity in features, customs, and manners, between them and my countrymen than any other nation" (HOW, 37). One of the striking similarities Jones points to as key to changing his mind was mound building (HOW, 251). By suggesting Native Americans are descendents of Tartars, Jones dismantles the Mound Builder myth, giving American Indians proper credit as constructers of the mounds. The progress in Jones's thinking about Native origins suggests that although the idea of a religious connection between Native Americans and Hebrews appealed to his Christian sensibilities (he had discussed that connection in his sermons), he was aware that the lost tribes of Israel theory had been linked with the Mound Builder myth, which was used to support removal. Thus, he endorsed a theory that argued against this, even though it is specifically secular.

Further evidence that Jones was acutely aware of and opposed to the damaging implications that the conflation of the Mound Builder myth and the lost tribes of Israel theory held for American Indians comes from a short anecdote in History that condemns the Book of Mormon. As stated previously, the Book of Mormon was partly responsible for conflating these two ideas during the peak of the removal era. Chapter 17 of Jones's History is entitled "The Capacity of the Indians for Receiving Instruction" and contains several short poems and stories by American Indians to prove this capacity. One of these, "The Mormon Book and an Indian," begins with a converted Indian on the Bay of Quinty passing through a white settlement and hearing a preacher "extolling another book he called the Mormon Bible." At the end of his sermon the preacher opens the floor for questions, and all the whites sit quietly. Shocked by the lack of outrage from the whites, the converted Indian asks to speak.

A great many winters ago, the Great Spirit gave his good book Bible to the white man, over the great waters. He took it, and read it, and it make his heart all over very glad. By-and-by, white man come over to this country, and brought the good book with him. He gave it to poor Indian. He hear it, and understand it, and it make his heart very glad too. But when the Great Spirit gave his good book to white man, the evil spirit Muhje-munedoo try to make one too, and he try to make it like the one the Good Spirit made, but he could not; and then he got so ashamed of it, he go into the woods, dig a hole in the ground, and then he hide his book. After lying there many winters, Joe Smith go and dig it up. This is the book this preacher has been talking about. I hold fast on the good old Bible, which has made my heart so happy. I have nothing to do with the devil's book. (HOW, 198-99)

Significant for its clear condemnation of the Book of Mormon, this short story includes another interesting aspect. Jones tells us it is an Indian who has the bravery to stand up to the preacher and promote true Christianity while the whites sit and say nothing. With this, Jones paints Indians as more Christian than whites and makes a strong statement about how Indians can stand up to dominant discourse on their origins and their removal, calling the Book of Mormon, with its racial, white-supremacist implications of mound building, the "devil's book." This is a clever critique and a perhaps subtle but still salient attack on the idea of a white race of Mound Builders.

Jones's engagement with the question of origins is extremely interesting. He gives many details on the Ojebway's own version of events, which promotes the idea that they were made in America. They know themselves as a people who were always present in America. By describing this, Jones is acknowledging that they had an abiding peoplehood "inseparably linked to sacred traditions, traditional homelands, and a shared history as indigenous people." (61) Through establishing their peoplehood, he establishes their sovereignty, since "sovereignty is inherent in peoplehood." (62) Although he dismisses their versions of their origin as inaccurate, we can ask if this was a move to please his white audience more than an accurate representation of his deepest feelings on the matter. He then proceeds to directly challenge dominant European American theories of his day, rejecting the lost tribes of Israel theory after it was connected to the Mound Builder myth and removal in the United States, and he condemns the Book of Mormon, which furthered this. He then lays out a secular theory of origins that directly credits American Indians as the builders of the mounds. The progress of his thoughts on the subject make it clear he followed the contemporary debate and that his engagement with the topic can be understood as resistance.


George Copway (Kahgegagahbowh) was born in 1818 near the mouth of the Trent River in Ontario. A son of John Copway, a Mississauga chief, he belonged to the Mississauga band from near Rice Lake just north of Cobourg on Lake Ontario. As mentioned previously, his parents were converted to Christianity in 1827 by Peter Jones and his Mississauga Methodists. Copway converted to Christianity in the early 1830s and by 1834 was participating in Methodist missionization efforts. In the summer of 1840 he married Elizabeth Howell, a white woman and friend of the wife of Peter Jones. He and Elizabeth spent two years in Minnesota, between 1840 and 1842, trying to bring Christianity to the Upper Mississippi Ojibway in an area that was a major conflict zone between the Sioux and Ojibway. Copway and Elizabeth moved their mission several times, eventually settling at Fond du Lac, at the head of Lake Superior. (63) In 1842 Peter Jones wrote Copway, asking him to return to mission work with the Mississauga in Canada. (64) Copway was accused of fraud by the tribal communities in which he was missionizing and was exiled from the Methodist Church in 1846.

After his expulsion (and a short prison term) he went to the United States, where he had a brief explosion of fame as a writer and Indian lecturer-performer. He was a prolific writer, publishing three books, several newspaper articles, and several pamphlets and briefly running his own newspaper. (65) Copway's first book, his autobiography, The Life, Letters, and Speeches of Kah-ge-ga-gah-bowh, or G. Copway, Chief Ojibway Nation, was published in 1847. In 1850 Copway published The Traditional History and Characteristic Sketches of the Ojibway Nation. Both of these works show he was fluent with dominant scholarly and popular discourse on Native Americans, citing adeptly the works of proto-anthropologists like Lewis Cass and Henry Rowe Schoolcraft. In fact, unlike Jones, Copway took an overt, or what we could call an anthropological approach, to his work, striving to follow methods in collecting information. In Traditional History he refers to collecting oral traditions and notes by writing that "there are rules to follow by which to determine whether they are true or false. By these rules I have been governed in my researches." (66) He was in turn well regarded in the contemporary intellectual sphere; when his second book was published he received personal accolades from the likes of Washington Irving, Thomas McKenny, Henry Rowe Schoolcraft, and John Lloyd Stephens. (67) It is notable that he also kept abreast of the work of contemporary fellow Anishinaabeg writer William Warren, including in Traditional History a long excerpt from a publication of Warren's that appeared in the Minnesota Pioneer. (68)

Copway seemed to have a knack for self-promotion, and some of the events of his fame make him seem more like a man pursuing a life of leisure than an avid Indian advocate (WIN, 191). Although he was flamboyant and self-promoting, Copway's writings and public actions still show he was deeply invested in Native American sovereignty as he struggled to record and explain the key political moment the Ojibway found themselves in the middle of the nineteenth century, battling for their homelands in the face of modernity and the continuous tide of removal (WIN, 191). A brief discussion of his work and an exploration of the way he handled the question of Native American origins illustrate these aspects of his writing.

In chapter 15 of his autobiography Copway recounts the firsthand experience he had with U.S. removal efforts among the Ojibwa), during his time in western Ojibwa), territory when he was present for the Treaty of 1842 at La Pointe. He says it is from the time of this treaty that he can "date the dissipation, misery, and ruin, of this part of our nation" and lays out why this treaty was so negative:

1. Because it induced speculators to visit them yearly to sell their goods at enormous prices; and their whiskey, which inevitably ruins both body and soul.

2. Because it opens the door for all sorts of unprincipled men and vagabonds. The miners, too, many of whom are no better than pickpockets.

3. Because, in possessing so much money, without any correct views of economy, utility, or prudence, it becomes to them "the root of all evil"--a curse instead of a blessing.69

Copway's critique of whites and the impact of this treaty continues; he accuses a large majority of whites of "continually laying plans by which they can extort from these unlettered and ignorant Indians, whatever they possess." (70) His condemnation of this treaty is complete, and he places the blame squarely with whites. William Whipple Warren, age seventeen, and his father, Lyman Warren, were present for the negotiation of this treaty. It was here that William got his start as an interpreter for the U.S. government (WWW, 23).

In the same year Copway's autobiography was published, the United States concluded another major treaty with the Ojibway that set out even more clearly the U.S. government's removal goals. With the Treaty of 1847 the United States sought to remove and concentrate the Chippewa on the land west of the Mississippi as soon as possible, making room for the incoming white population and providing land for two tribes whose removal had already been decided, the Winnebago and the Menominee (WWW, 35). William Warren was a key interpreter for the U.S. government at this treaty negotiation. Although the removal plans laid out in this treaty failed, 1847 marked the beginning of perpetual removal efforts on the part of the United States among the Ojibway that would ultimately end in their removal to the White Earth Reservation in 1868.

Copway responded to these removal efforts in print and lectures throughout the eastern United States. He advocated his plan for a separate Indian state (named after himself) whereby all tribes in the eastern United States would be concentrated on a large tract of land west of the Mississippi (in the heart of the territory populated by the Sioux, the Ojibway's enemies). Copway proposed that Indians would eventually form their own government and gain statelike status. Copway felt that a separate Indian state would secure many advantages for the Indians: "Poverty would be unknown, plenty would reign, and cheerfulness aid them in their work." (71) His plan had many similarities to one proposed by lames Doty, the governor of Minnesota, during the time Copway was missionizing there and during the negotiation of the Treaty of 1842. Doty's plan failed to gain support, as did Copway's transformed version several years later. (72)

In 1850 Copway published The Traditional History and Characteristic Sketches of the Ojibway Nation. By this time the U.S. government's plans to dispossess the Ojibway of their homelands were abundantly clear; on October 11, 1849, only seven months after the Minnesota territory had been created, "the legislature passed resolution to evoke Chippewa's rights to hunt, gather and fish in ceded lands as guaranteed in Article 5 of the treaty of 1837 and to remove them from all lands to which their title had been extinguished" (WWW, 82). The government asked the bands to move to Sandy Lake in the winter of 1850 to receive their annuities, and while waiting there, several Ojibway died. Although this second attempt at removal failed, it showed that the United States was unapologetic about its "forward" progress and removal plans. Copway was aware of the ongoing removal attempts among the Ojibway in the United States, and his criticism of whites in this book was much more aggressive than in his autobiography. (73)

Copway's addressing of the Native origin question in these two books also reflected these political changes. He only directly engages dominant European American theories on the origin question in his autobiography:
   My readers will then be able to judge whether we are to be
   identified with the dispersed and "lost tribes of Israel." Can it
   be possible that, had we sprung from any of the Hebrew tribes, we
   should be so completely ignorant of a Messiah, a Sabbath, or a
   single vestige of the Levitical Law? But enough of this for the
   present. (74)

As discussed previously, by 1847 the lost tribes theory had amalgamated with the Mound Builder myth, which was used to support removal. Copway, writing after this, was clearly skeptical of arguments that the Indians were the lost tribes of Israel. He follows his skeptical dismissal of this theory with what I think can be interpreted as a statement about Ojibway origins that promotes them as always present, as then having a peoplehood with inherent sovereignty: "As far as I am able to learn, our nation has never been conquered; and have maintained their ground wherever they have conquered." (75) We see him establish they were never conquered--they have always maintained their ground, always present on and holding their land. It is clear Copway does not spend much time trying to engage and disassociate European American theories on Native origins from removal, as Jones does. Instead, he simply dismisses the claims and focuses on telling his and his people's story.

In Traditional History in 1850, after removal was in full swing among the Ojibway and after numerous Ojibway had died at Sandy Lake, Copway did not engage with dominant European American theories on Native origins. He instead focused his effort on relating Native Americans' own stories, humanizing them to the public, and arguing for their place in the United States. Copway dedicates several chapters of this book to presenting the Ojibway's own view of their origin, their historical tales, and their religious beliefs. (76) We see a shift, a sense of urgency rising in Copway in this second work for telling their history and their version of events (in fact, eight of the seventeen chapters in this book start with "their"). Although detailing the Ojibway worldview does not directly confront dominant discourse on the origin question, it nevertheless challenges this discourse by serving as a countermythology to European American myths about Native origins and Native Americans' destiny to vanish. (77)

Copway's approach to the question of Native origins in his writings responded to the rapidly changing political circumstances of the Ojibway in nineteenth-century America. Over time the actions of the government toward American Indians, and his tribal community in particular, pushed him personally and politically to become a stronger critic of whites and a proponent of indigenous rights. This is evident in his writings and his approach to origin questions. Although he is well versed in the dominant theories of the day and acknowledges the lost tribes of Israel theory, Copway chooses to focus his energy on promoting the Ojibway's own traditions and views. By informing his (white) audience that the indigenous perspective of their origin is that they never have been conquered, he is asserting that the Ojibway are a people who always held their land, who had their own fundamental peoplehood and inherent sovereignty deriving from this basic reality. This approach undermined nineteenth-century colonial removal logic, which, as we have seen, included justifying land grabs based on theories of Native origins that discredited Native Americans' tenure in and connection to America.


William Whipple Warren was born on May 27, 1825, at La Pointe on Lake Superior. He had a notable pedigree as the son of Lyman Warren, a Mayflower descendent who became a major Lake Superior trader, and Mary Cadotte, whose father, Michel, was a trader married to the daughter of Waub-ij-e-jauk, chief of the Crane clan of the Chequamegon region (WWW, I). Warren spent his youth at La Pointe amidst a close-knit mixed Ojibway and white trading community where the principal language was Ojibwe (WWW, 7). When he was eleven he went with his paternal grandfather to New York for schooling. He returned to the Lake Superior region in 1841.

As mentioned previously, the Treaty of 1842 at La Pointe cast Warren into what would become his (albeit short) lifelong role, that of an interpreter and intercultural broker between the U.S. government and the Ojibway community (including the mixed bloods, of which he was one). Alfred Bunson had just been appointed subagent for La Pointe in October 1842 and missed the treaty negotiations. In December 1842 he spent three weeks in the Warren home at La Pointe, where William served as his official interpreter for tribes coming to complain about the treaty from October (their maJor complaints were that the treaty did not provide for mixed bloods and that it raised the prospect of removal) (WWW, 23-24). William remained as an interpreter for the U.S. government based out of La Pointe until after the Treaty of 1847. During this time at La Pointe he gained an interest in Ojibway stories and collected them from elders. After helping serve as an interpreter on the Treaty of 1847, Warren moved to work with Henry Rice, an influential fur trader who had been a key U.S. representative in these treaty negotiations, at Crow Wing on the Mississippi.

Concurrently in 1847, the U.S. Senate authorized the Indian department to conduct a vast ethnological survey of the Indian tribes, which was supervised by Henry Rowe Schoolcraft. Schoolcraft sent 350 questions and census forms to Indian departments for distribution. Henry Rice passed the forms on to Warren, who worked among the Mississippi and Pillager bands of Ojibway. This work shifted Warren from storyteller to tribal historian and, one could argue, auto-anthropologist (WWW, 65). Like Copway, he became concerned with developing methods for collecting information, even to the point of writing Schoolcraft to ask for training and offering his services (WWW, 166-67). Henry Rice submitted Warren's answers to the ethnology survey inquiries, which were published in the Minnesota Pioneer (and cited by Copway in Traditional History) (WWW, 54). (78)

In 1851 Warren was elected to the Minnesota State Legislature. Here he was encouraged by his fellow legislator and editor of the Minnesota Democrat, Col. D. A. Robertson, to publish his history of the Ojibway people. A series of articles ran in this newspaper throughout 1851 and formed the basis for History of the Ojibway People, which Warren finished in 1852. After finishing this book, Warren went to New York to find a publisher (and to see doctors, as his health was failing). He was turned down by every publisher and died on his return to Minnesota in 1853 at the age of twenty-eight. This work was almost forgotten, published posthumously only in 1885 by the Minnesota Historical Society.

Warren's entrance in 1851 to the legislature occurred just after the incident at Sandy Creek and in the midst of still another removal effort among the Ojibway, this time to remove the Ojibway from Wisconsin and consolidate them in Minnesota Territory. Warren was a vocal critic of the Sandy Lake incident, although his insider government perspective led him to believe that removal was inevitable. Warren chose to become involved in assisting the U.S. government with this second removal effort, encouraging the government to proceed in ways he felt would avoid similar negative consequences for the Ojibway as well as trying to secure good lands west of the Mississippi for the relocation.

Although Warren was publicly involved as a government agent in removal, the evidence suggests that his private view can hardly be considered a full endorsement of U.S. removal policy. In a letter to his cousin on July 6, 1851, that he marked as "private" Warren confesses he had felt "somewhat dubious" about taking an official position in the government's newest removal plans (WWW, 127). However, he writes that he chose to be involved so that he could promote his plan for Ojibway unity. He envisioned that when they were removed to this area, all of the Ojibway (and mixed bloods) could unite as a single tribe, which would allow them to be able to bargain with the government from a position of strength. In this letter to his cousin he cries that "united action" must be the Ojibway motto (WWW, 127-28). (79) He feels that if he could share his plan with the Ojibway, they would agree to remove faster so they could unite and fight the U.S. government. Warren's position on removal combined a practical acceptance of what he saw as impossible to avoid (which it turned out to be) with a strong desire to develop a means to maintain some semblance of Native sovereignty in the face of continuous threats against it.

Warren was dedicated to being a bridge between the Ojibway and the U.S. government, working to promote faithfully the views of the Ojibway, including their antiremoval feelings, to the government and yet also secure a place for them in the expanding country by assisting with removal policies. Unlike Copway and Jones, Warren never slides into familiar terms for the Ojibway in his writing, never calling them his "brethren," never using "our," never claiming it as his history too; instead, he always keeps some distance. Indeed, he always identified as a mixed blood and never as an Ojibway in his lifetime (WWW, viii). However, Warren also repeatedly claims that his sharing of blood and language made him uniquely positioned to be an authority on Ojibway history, and, as previously mentioned, he was willing to challenge European American scholars' accounts of the Ojibway on this basis (WIN, 199). That he occupied multiple, even conflicting, spheres in his life, negotiating public and private identities and feelings, is manifested in his writing, including his positions on the question of Native origins. If this situation leads some to pause and ask if he should be considered an American Indian author, we must conclude that he should be, for he always held a proactive commitment to his community and the wider Native American community and always prioritized Native perseverance and sovereignty (80) As hinted at in the opening of this article, the way Warren engages the question of Native origins in History shows us exactly this--he demonstrates intellectual familiarity with dominant discourse on the subject, awareness of the political implications of origin theories circulating in the mainstream, and a desire to present the indigenous view of"their own first existence," that of always present but in a way digestible to white audiences (dismissing it while reifying it). This combination allows him to undermine the utility of dominant theories on Native origins in supporting removal.

Warren begins his dialogue with the origins question in chapter 3 of History of the Ojibway People, "Origin of the Ojibways." Again, Warren writes that the origin question has puzzled and still puzzles the "learned civilized world,' referring to his predominantly white audience and, of most interest, excluding the subject of his work, the Ojibway, from being "puzzled" by this question. Warren begins this chapter with a discussion of the "beliefs of the Ojibways respecting their origin." Again, he writes that as for the Ojibway, he can give no more appropriate information on their belief of their "own first existence" than to provide a definition of the name they have given to their race, An-ish-in-aub-ag (HOP, 56). Warren defines them as "Spontaneous People" indeed a bold statement, as one of the most highly respected European American scholarly authorities on American Indians of the era, Henry Rowe Schoolcraft, had defined them as "Common People" (HOP, 56). With this statement Warren makes it clear that the Ojibway have a very specific understanding of their origin. They are spontaneous people, spontaneous meaning indigenous, natural, that is, always present in America. There is no puzzle to them. This bold assertion of always present declares that the Ojibway understand themselves as having a spontaneous peoplehood that incurs with it, among other things, a natural claim to an independent homeland and likewise spells out their spontaneous (or indigenous, inherent) sovereignty. However, Warren dismisses their views, just as Jones does in History, stating that the Ojibway "have their beliefs and oral traditions, but so obscure and unnatural, that nothing approximating certainty can be drawn from them" (HOP, 55). Although this could be a way to make his work more digestible to white audiences or a sentiment he holds strongly, the fact remains that this bold assertion of always present, of spontaneous peoplehood and related sovereignty, starts his discussion of origins, framing it, if you will.

Warren then seeks to express, he tells us, his "humble opinion" about the origin of the "Algics or Algonquin" and in particular the "Ojibway tribe." He engages one of the dominant theories of Native origins of the day, arguing that they "may be descended from a portion of the lost tribes of Israel, whom they also resemble in many important particulars" (HOP, 62). It is interesting that Warren writes that this belief has not been derived from Boudinot's work or other scholars but that it "has grown on me imperceptibly from my youth, ever since I could first read the Bible, and compare with it, the lodge stories and legends of my Indian grandfathers" (HOP, 62).

To make his argument and in a manner strikingly similar to Boudinot, Warren lists several analogies that the Hebrews and Algics share: a belief in one unseen Great Spirit, never using God's name in vain, a shared belief in the power of dreams, similar rites, fasts, and sacrifices, and menstrual taboos (HOP, 63-65). He also details several traditional Ojibway stories to show parallels between them and Bible stories (HOP, 66-75). Of most interest, in seeking out analogies between the Ojibwa), and Hebrews, Warren provides us with copious information about what the Ojibway think about their origin as well as their belief system. Warren's discussion, while he claims to be proving that the Indians were the lost tribes of Israel, also details the Ojibway's own version of their origin, a version that directly contradicts the lost tribe theory. Transitioning between presenting Ojibway points of view and making a dominant European American argument, Warren's desire to engage dominant discourse as well as make sure he relays the indigenous perspective of always is apparent.

Warren makes his lost tribes argument after this theory had amalgamated with the Mound Builder myth and used to justify removal. However, it is clear that he was aware of these implications, that he had followed the dominant discourse around this issue. He proceeds to directly address the question of who built the mounds, dedicating almost all of chapter 13 to argue that the mounds were indeed the products of American Indians. This discussion clearly indicates that although Warren did view American Indians as descendents of the lost tribes of Israel, he did not subscribe to the transmuted version of this theory that helped promote the Mound Builder myth: "Having read the conflicting opinions of men who have casually passed through the county, and seen these apparent remains of the works of a former race, my attention was early drawn to this subject, and my inquiries among the more aged and intelligent men of the Ojibways have been most minute, and to my mind, satisfactorily answered" (HOP, 178). Warren concludes that rather than the remains of a "former race;' the earthen mounds throughout the Midwest, particularly in the upper Mississippi River area, may "safely be considered as the remains of the earthen lodges of these former occupants (Gros Ventres) of this fair region" (HOP, 179). Warren got this information from one of his major informants, Flat Mouth (Esh-ke-bug-e-coshe), a chief of the Pillager Ojibway who had interacted with a tribe known to "the Ojibways by the name of Gi-aucth-inne-wug, signify[ing] 'men of the olden time' and named by the French, Gros Ventre," who claim to have "been former possessors of the country from which the Mississippi takes its rise" (HOP, 178). Flat Mouth informs Warren that this group, driven off by the Dakota, now occupies the upper Missouri River and still lives in wigwams. The group is large enough to have been responsible for the construction of the mounds in the upper Mississippi region. Modern interpretations of mounds consider them intentional constructions, often designed for burials or other ceremonial purposes rather than just remnants of old houses. (81) Warren's argument, although not quite in line with this modern understanding, still credited American Indians with building the mounds, directly rebuking the Mound Builder myth.

Some evidence that this interpretation of Warren's directly challenged the Mound Builder myth comes from the work of Jacob V. Brower, a European American writer focused on securing, surveying, and plotting the upper Mississippi and Missouri regions for the U.S. government. In his 1897 publication, The Missouri River and Its Utmost Source, he writes that he first read Warren's explanation of the mounds in the Minnesota Democrat. (Like much of Warren's history, this account was first published in rough form in his Minnesota Democrat series.) Brower concludes that "these historic suggestions indicate how very ignorant the Ojibway Indians were of the fact that a Mound Building race of men preceded them in the regions of the north." (82) Warren's interpretation clearly challenged the Mound Builder myth, and even after Cyrus Thomas had debunked it, this myth was still being widely used on the frontier to continue to push forward U.S. expansion and the development of tribal homelands. Warren's interpretation dismissed this myth, threatening Bower and the larger project of surveying and incorporating the upper Mississippi and Missouri areas.

Warren answered the questions of Native origins with a theory that, by the time he was writing, had amalgamated with a racist myth used to support removal. However, Warren explicitly separates his opinion on Native origins from this myth by explaining the Indian construction of the mounds. Warren moves easily among the dominant discourse on Native origins, delicately separating his view of the Ojibway as the lost tribes of Israel from the Mound Builder myth and the utility of these ideas for supporting removal. Warren also challenges removal logic by framing his entire discussion of Native origins through the Ojibway's own understanding of their "first existence?' He begins by telling us they were hardly "puzzled," like European Americans, by the question of their origin, informing us that they understood themselves as always present in America, the "Spontaneous People," a sentiment that shapes the rest of his discussion.


Looking at these three nineteenth-century Anishinaabeg authors, Kahkewaquonaby (Peter Jones), Kahgegagahbowh (George Copway), and William Whipple Warren, it is clear each was aware of the implications different answers to the question of Native origins held within the social and political milieu of the nineteenth century. Each clearly understood that questions about Native origins and their past activities were directly intertwined with their futures. They knew that the seemingly ceaseless land hunger, aided by removal policies aimed at completing the territorial dispossession of Indian land, was diametrically opposed to the needs of their communities. It was bent on having independent indigenous lands on which the very survival of indigenous peoples depended. (83) All three knew that the dominant discourse of their day about Native origins was challenging the magnitude, the duration, and even the very legitimacy of Native Americans' presence, connection to, and tenure in America and that this was helping further land dispossession.

As each writer engaged with origin questions, he grappled with the multifaceted aspects of his personal position in the world, yet each developed written answers that can be understood as acts of indigenous resistance and persistence. (84) All three delicately constructed answers about Native origins that both appealed to their white audiences and formed acts of "communitism." (85) They dealt adeptly as scholars with dominant European American theories of Native origins and mound construction, showing their audience that they were versed in this dominant discourse. Both Peter Jones and William Warren endorsed dominant versions of Native origins in their work, but as they did this, they were careful to separate their views from the dire implications for land possession involved in the Mound Builder myth. While Jones and Warren endorsed a dominant theory of Native origins, all three authors still provided their audience with their communities' own view of their origin, and this was significant.

By telling their audience that Indians were made in America, or that the Ojibway were never conquered, or that the Ojibway view of their own "first existence" is contained succinctly in their view of themselves as "Spontaneous People" Kahkewaquonaby (Peter Jones), Kahgegagahbowh (George Copway), and William Whipple Warren each provided a counternarrative to European American speculations on Native origins foundational to the contemporary mythology that it was Native Americans' destiny to vanish. (86) Asserting in these ways that Native Americans were always present, they told their audience that their communities had a fundamental peoplehood in which sovereignty was inherent and that this peoplehood and sovereignty had been theirs from time immemorial. This construct of always established a claim to the past as well as the future, implying that these basic and abiding elements of their communities should--must--remain theirs in the future. These assertions, while sometimes subtle in the authors' written works, still directly countered the dominant colonial dialogue forecasting Native Americans' disappearance. Establishing indigenous peoplehood as something organic, spontaneous, permanent, these three nineteenth-century Anishinaabeg authors challenged the dominant discourse on questions of Native origins, opening room for envisioning how truly indigenous origin stories might be written.

Questions about where Native Americans came from, and when, did not cease at the close of the nineteenth century, when the "West was won" and assimilation was in full swing; rather, a torrid debate still brews around these questions today. We need look only to the case of the Kennewick Man, which continues to be fought in the courts, to see just how unresolved debates on Native American origins are and to see just what large (and sometimes very painful) gaps remain between "scientific" and American Indian views of their origin. (87)

In Red Earth, White Lies Vine Deloria Jr. takes to task European Americans interested in American Indian origins. He argues that little progress has been made in the "scientific" study of Native origins, arguing that the major contemporary theory for these origins, the Bering Land Bridge Theory, is simply a redux of racist nineteenth-century arguments: "The Bering strait became first the ecclesiastical and then the scientific trail from Jerusalem to the Americas." He continues by arguing that, beyond being a remnant of the racist politics of the nineteenth century, the Bering Land Bridge Theory does not fit with "scientific" data, does not mesh with any American Indian oral traditions, and has "existed only in the minds of scientists."ss How do we reconcile these positions and feelings with the continued and expanding quest for answers about American Indian origins, a quest of great interest in science and to the public still today? (89)

What may help as we move forward in building (and debating) theories of the "First Americans" is to look back, to know how this was always a political issue wrought with racist overtones, and to heed this historical perspective. Understanding how nineteenth-century American Indian authors actively and creatively engaged with the question of origins, producing statements on the matter that were balanced and dynamic acts of American Indian resistance and persistence, may offer models for how we can make room for multiple voices in discussions today. I defer to an interesting solution offered to us by Peter Jones many years ago: more indigenous people becoming actively involved in the scientific exploration of this question and true collaboration between European and American Indian "learned men" (but I add women too). He concludes his discussion of origins with this vision, one that, although offered over 150 years ago, has gone largely unheeded and thus still seems relevant, even urgent, for today:

If it were possible for a few of the most enlightened Indians in each nation to visit that part of Asia which lies nearest the Behring's Straits, for the purpose of examining minutely into the language, customs, and manners of the Tartars, they would, in my opinion, discover such a similarity between the people of the two countries, as to lead to the satisfactory conclusion that the aborigines of America are descended from the Asiatics. It would be exceedingly gratifying to me were the fact ascertained, and I hope I may yet see the day when the attention of some of the learned and scientific men in Europe and America shall be turned to this subject. (HOW, 38)


The idea for this article emerged years ago when I participated in the CIC-AIS Graduate Student Seminar "Authors and Indians: Performance, Manuscript, and Print in Nineteenth-Century Native America" at the Newberry Library in Chicago. I want to thank Gregory Dowd for taking a chance on sending an archaeology graduate student to participate in this course on literature. Thanks also to Phil Round, who taught this course. Here, opening the pages of Warren, Copway, and Jones for the first time, I learned how much American Indian authors had to teach me. I owe a major debt of gratitude to Siobhan Senier, who has acted as a mentor since I came to the University of New Hampshire. Siobhan pushed me to contextualize these authors within a critical framework, never letting me get away with the excuse that as an archaeologist I couldn't understand literature. Her guidance and the critiques of two anonymous reviewers greatly (an understatement) improved this article. All errors and shortcomings, of course, remain mine. The following abbreviations have been used in citing material in the text and notes:

HOP William W. Warren, History of the Ojibway People (1885; St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 1984)

HOW Peter Jones, History of the Ojebway Indians; with Especial Reference to Their Conversion to Christianity (London: A. W. Bennett, 1861), available at the Newberry Library

SF Donald Smith, Sacred Feathers: The Reverend Peter]ones (Kahkewaquonaby) and the Mississauga Indians (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1987)

WIN Maureen Konkle, Writing Indian Nations: Native Intellectuals and the Politics of Historiography 1827-1863 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004)

WWW Theresa Schenck, William W. Warren: The Life, Letters, and Times of an Ojibwe Leader (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2007)

(1.) See Susan A. Miller, "Native Historians Write Back: The Indigenous Paradigm in American Indian Historiography," Wicazo Sa Review 24, no. 1 (2009): 25-45; Tom Holm, J. Diane Pearson, and Ben Chavis, "Peoplehood: A Model for the Extension of Sovereignty in American Indian Studies," Wicazo Sa Review 18, no. 1 (2003): 7--24.

(2.) Susan A. Miller, "Native America Writes Back: The Origin of the Indigenous Paradigm in Historiography" Wicazo Sa Review 23, no. 2 (2008): 9-28, 12.

(3.) Miller, "Native Historians," 32.

(4.) Hilary N. Weaver, "Indigenous Identity: What Is It and Who Really Has It?" American Indian Quarterly 25, no. 2 (2001): 240-55, 245. Peoplehood has these interwoven components that link to and extend sovereignty and identity.

(5.) Holm, Pearson, and Chavis, "Peoplehood," 17; I am informed by and drawing on, here and throughout this article, Craig Womack's perspective of Native American literature as acts of resistance explored in his Red on Red: Native American Literary Separatism (St. Paul: University of Minnesota Press, 1999) and ]ace Weaver's view from That the People Might Live: Native American Literatures and Native American Community (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997) of Native American literature as "communitism" (a combination of "community" and "activism"). All authors I explore in this article embody these premises. They have all taken a "proactive commitment to community" in their writing as well as in the whole of their lives, as they were dedicated to promoting indigenous sovereignty.

(6.) Gerald Vizenor considers these men in his chapter "Three Anishinaabeg Writers,' in The People Named the Chippewa: Narrative Histories (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1984), 56-74, itself a critical modern assertion of tribal origins from a non-Eurocentric perspective aimed at stopping the continued dispossession of tribal peoples. I take this term from him to refer to these three scholars collectively. When discussing specific authors, I will use the names these authors used for their own tribal groups, even in cases where these are not the modern-day versions.

(7.) Merriam-Webster's dictionary offers these six definitions for "spontaneous": "1: proceeding from natural feeling or native tendency without external constraint 2: arising from a momentary impulse 3: controlled and directed internally: self-acting 4: produced without being planted or without human labor: indigenous 5: developing or occurring without apparent external influence, force, cause, or treatment 6: not apparently contrived or manipulated: natural. See

(8.) As Benedict Anderson discusses in Imagined Communities, rev. ed. (1983; London: Verso, 2006), 6, a nation is an imagined political community, yet this does not mean imagining that a nation is a falsity; it is creation, an active process.

(9.) See Anderson, Imagined Communities, 191-93, for an interesting analysis of how, while seen as a radical break from the past, the American Revolution was not nearly the high-stakes game it is often portrayed as because it was a revolution of creoles who, ultimately, were white kinsmen.

(10.) Phillip Deloria, Playing Indian (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1998), 63. See the first three chapters of this eloquent work for details on the complex ways American Indians and "playing Indian" were used, counterposed, and interposed throughout the building of the early republic.

(11.) See Deloria, Playing Indian, chaps. 1-3; as well as Steve Conn, History's Shadow: Native Americans and Historical Consciousness in the Nineteenth Century (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004) for more detailed discussions.

(12.) See Colin Calloway, The American Revolution in Indian Country: Crisis and Diversity in Native American Communities (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1995); and Anthony Wallace, Jefferson and the Indians: The Tragic Fate of the First Americans (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999) for details on American Indians in postrevolutionary America.

(13.) Anderson, Imagined Communities, 36.

(14.) See Miller, "Native Historians"; and Holm, Pearson, and Chavis, "Peoplehood."

(15.) David Hurst Thomas, Skull Wars: Kennewick Man, Archaeology and the Battle for Native American Identity (New York: Basic Books, 2000), chap. 3.

(16.) Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia, ed. Merrill D. Peterson (1781--82; New York, 1984). Electronic version accessed at the Electronic Text Center, University of Virginia Library, public/JefVirg.html, 226, 227.

(17.) See Roger Williams, A Key into the Language of America (London: Gregory Dexter, 1643).

(18.) James Adair, The History of the American Indians (London: Edward and Charles Dilly, 1775), available at the Newberry Library.

(19.) Elias Boudinot, the founder and editor of the Cherokee Phoenix, took his name from this Elias Boudinot because he paid for his education. Cherokee Boudinot was born Gallegina Watie. While one imagines Boudinot was familiar with white Boudinot's theories on the origins of Native Americans, in preparing this essay I read Cherokee Editor: The Writings of Elias Boudinot, ed. Theda Purdue (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1983) and found no reference to the specific question of American Indian origins or the lost tribes of Israel theory in his writings compiled there.

(20.) Elias Boudinot, A Star in the West: or A Humble Attempt to Discover the Long Lost Ten Tribes of Israel, preparatory to their return to their beloved city, Jerusalem (Trenton, NJ: D. Fenton, S. Hutchinson and J. Dunham, 1816), 279, available at the Newberry Library.

(21.) Boudinot, A Star in the West, 88.

(22.) Review of Boudinot's A Star in the West (Baltimore: Neale, Wills and Cole, 1816-18), Portico: A Repository of Science and Literature. I found this contemporary review of Boudinot in loose papers that came with other information on Boudinot at the Newberry Library.

(23.) Corm, History's Shadow; Thomas, Skull Wars; and Barbara A. Mann, Native Americans, Archaeologists, and the Mounds (Washington, DC: Peter Lang, 2003) offer details on the rise in popularity of this theory in the nineteenth century.

(24.) Ethan Smith, View of the Hebrews (Poultney, VT: Smith and Shute, 1823), 133.

(25.) Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia, 226.

(26.) Donald Blaksee,"John Rowzee Peyton and the Myth of the Mound Builders;' American Antiquity 52, no. 4 (1987): 784-92, 789.

(27.) Clark R. Mallam, "Mound Builders: An American Myth," Journal of the Iowa Archaeological Society 23 (1976): 145-75.

(28.) Randall McGuire, "Why Have Archaeologists Thought the Real Indians Were Dead and What Can We Do about It?" in Indians and Anthropologists: Vine Deloria Jr. and the Critique of Anthropology, ed. Thomas Biolsi and Larry Zimmerman (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1997), 63-91, 69.

(29.) Mann, Native Americans, 68.

(30.) Joseph Smith, The Book of Mormon: An Account Written by the Hand of Mormon upon Plates Taken from the Plates of Nephi (1830; Salt Lake City, UT: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1986).

(31.) Mann, Native Americans, 154, 71. While many have suggested that Joseph Smith's Book of Mormon was greatly influenced by Ethan Smith's View of the Hebrews (which was greatly influenced by Boudinot's A Star in the West), Joseph Smith clearly developed the connection with the Mound Builder myth separately from Ethan Smith, who never made these same assertions. As Mallam suggests, "Joseph Smith was heavily influenced by a combination of romanticism and the vanishing race theory" ("Mound Builders,' 154).

(32.) Mann, Native Americans, 71.

(33.) Thomas, Skull Wars, 128.

(34.) William Cullen Bryant, "The Prairies;' in Poems (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1836).

(35.) Cyrus Thomas, "Report on the Mound Explorations of the Bureau of Ethnology;' in Twelfth Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, 1890-91 (1894), 3-730.

(36.) To see the continued popularity of these ideas in cult circles, explore the journal Ancient American,

(37.) See Thomas, Skull Wars; McGuire, "Why Have Archaeologists Thought"; Mann, Native Americans; and Robert Silverberg, Mound Builders of Ancient America (Greenwich: New York Graphic Society, 1968) for more details on the Mound Builder myth and Manifest Destiny.

(38.) Andrew Jackson, "Case for the Removal Act, First Annual Message to Congress, December 8, 1830," emphasis added.

(39.) See Miller, "Native Historians"; and Holm, Pearson, and Chavis, "Peoplehood."

(40.) Silverberg, Mound Builders, 58.

(41.) Although I am currently focusing on this specific group of authors, I explored the work of other American Indian authors to understand more broadly the ways Native intellectuals were engaging origin discourse throughout the nineteenth century and the synergy between them. During this process I was struck by how many American Indian scholars engaged the issue of origins in their work, even if they just gave it the slightest mention. As mentioned above, I did not find Elias Boudinot engaging the dominant origin theories, but he does make an assertion of Native origination of the mounds. In 1825 he wrote: "Their bones now moulder beneath some lonely shed and the scant earth which covers them is all they can claim; and perhaps even that is cleft in twain by the plough that procures you nourishment. Their possessions once were great--a boundless country, supplying them with game--and the multitude of watery elements were theirs. You now live on their ruins! Can you still harbor revenge?" (Cherokee Editor, 47). Other American Indian authors I examined in preparing this essay who engaged with the dominant discourse on origins were Andrew J. Blackbird, History of the Ottawa and Chippewa Indians of Michigan (Ypsilanti, MI: Ypsilantian Job Printing House, 1887); Joseph Nicolar, The Life and Traditions of the Red Man, ed. Annette Kolodny (1893; Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2007); William Apess, A Son of the Forest: The Experience of William Apess, a Native of the Forest, in On Our Own Ground: The Complete Writings of William Apess, a Pequot, ed. Barry O'Connell (1831; Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1992), 1-98; Peter Dooyentate Clarke, Origin and Traditional History of the Wyandotts, and Sketches of Other Indian Tribes of North America (Toronto: Hunter, Rose, 1870), available at the Newberry Library; Simon Pokagon, "O-GI-MAW-KWE-MIT-I-GWA-KI" Queen of the Woods (Hartford, MI: C. H. Engle, 1899), available at the Newberry Library; and "Ponawatamie Book of Genesis: legend of the creation of man," birch-bark document, 1890s, Newberry Library. I offer this list to show the potential for exploring this subject more.

(42.) Sidner Larson, "Following Multiple Perspectivism in James Welch's 'Winter in the Blood' and 'The Death of Jim Loney,'" American Indian Quarterly 31, no. 4 (2007): 513-34, 513.

(43.) Scott Michaelsen, The Limits of Multiculturalism: Interrogating the Origins of American Anthropology (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1999), 122. Although Michaelsen recognizes that the goal of Jones's and Copway's autoethnography and metahistories was to achieve this undercutting, he questions if they could ever be successful, challenging whether "the establishment of Indianness in any manner, according to whatever history and anthropology, can free itself from the dominations inherent in identity formation."

(44.) Arnold Krupat, For Those Who Come After: A Study of Native American Autobiography (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985), 30.

(45.) Krupat, For Those Who Come After, 30. See Weaver's analysis of this position (That the People Might Live, 22-25).

(46.) Krupat, For Those Who Come After, 36.

(47.) Womack, Red on Red, chap. 4.

(48.) As Siobhan Senier says of American Indian authors writing in the Era of Assimilation, "A group of visible and articulate indigenous people who advocated assimilation--those, like Posey and LaFlesche, dubbed Red Progressives--were responsible for a good many of the Native-authored texts we now read from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This group of writers left an intellectual history that is, in the words of Robert Allen Warrior, 'skewed ... in favor of the integrationist position.' Tending to suppress dissent, Warrior notes, these people did not give full voice to treaty-based, nationalist discourses that hold firmly to ideals of self-determination and cultural autonomy" ("Allotment Protest and Tribal Discourse: Reading Wynema's Successes and Shortcomings," American Indian Quarterly 24, no. 3 [2000]: 420-40, 425).

(49.) Senier, "Allotment Protest," 425. Indeed, we know the spoken word was critical to American Indian identity and resistance throughout the nineteenth century, often in contrast to European Americans' command of the written one: "Despite Euroamericans' skill with printed texts to secure their interests, the Haudenosaunee used the spoken word and the rituals of treaty negotiations very effectively in their relations with the European colonists" (Granville Ganter, "Red Jacket and the Decolonization of Republican Virtue;' American Indian Quarterly 31, no. 4 [2007]: 559-81, 560).

(50.) Weaver, That the People Might Live, 44-45; see Womack, Red on Red; Robert Allen Warrior, Tribal Secrets: Recovering American Indian Intellectual Traditions (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1995); Siobhan Senier, Voices of American Indian Assimilation and Resistance: Helen Hunt Jackson, Sarah Winnemucca, and Victoria Howard (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2003); Lisa Brooks, The Common Pot: The Recovery of Native Space in the Northeast (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2008).

(51.) Womack, Red on Red, 31.

(52.) Brooks, The Common Pot, xxvii-xxviii.

(53.) Weaver, That the People Might Live, 45.

(54.) As Krupat argues, "Indian autobiography was important for keeping man inseparable from his Indianness in the era of kill the Indian and save the man; this idea can be extended to Indian author's engagement with origin questions-this was essential for working against the socially dominant ideology that Indians' origins were recent and/or violent both of which made them illegitimate holders of their land" (For Those Who Come After, 74).

(55.) Weaver, That the People Might Live, 45; Holm, Pearson, and Chavis, "Peoplehood."

(56.) Greg Sarris, Keeping Slug Woman Alive: A Holistic Approach to American Indian Texts (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993), 131.

(57.) Weaver, That the People Might Live, 59.

(58.) Tim Fulford, Romantic Indians: Native Americans, British Literature, and Transatlantic Culture 1756-1830 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006), 263.

(59.) Michaelsen, The Limits of Multiculturalism, 108.

(60.) Apess, A Son of the Forest, 52-98.

(61.) Hilary N. Weaver, "Indigenous Identity: What Is It and Who Really Has It?" American Indian Quarterly 25, no. 2 (2001): 240-55, 245. Peoplehood has these interwoven components that link to and extend sovereignty and identity.

(62.) Miller, "Native Historians," 32.

(63.) See Donald Smith, "Kahgegagahbowh: Canada's First Literary Celebrity in the United States," in Life, Letters and Speeches, ed. A. Lavonne Brown Ruoff and Donald B. Smith (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1997), 23-60, for details on Copway's life history.

(64.) George Copway, The Life, Letters and Speeches of Kah-ge-ga-gah-bowh, or G. Copway, Chief Ojibway Nation, in Ruoff and Smith, Life, Letters and Speeches, 113.

(65.) Smith, "Kahgegagahbowh."

(66.) George Copway, The Traditional History and Characteristic Sketches of the Ojibwa), Nation (London: Charles Gilpin, 1850), 19 (reprinted by Kessinger Publishing in 2001).

(67.) Michaelsen, The Limits of Multiculturalism, 108.

(68.) Copway, Traditional History, 59-67.

(69.) Copway, The Life, Letters, and Speeches, 142.

(70.) Copway, The Life, Letters, and Speeches, 143.

(71.) Copway, Traditional History, 281.

(72.) Smith, "Kahgegagahbowh," 36-37.

(73.) A. LaVonne Ruoff, "Copway, George," in The Heath Anthology of American Literature, 4th ed., ed. Paul Lauter (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2001).

(74.) Copway, The Life, Letters, and Speeches, 89-90.

(75.) Copway, The Life, Letters, and Speeches, 90.

(76.) Copway, Traditional History, chap. 2, "Their origin, or course of migration according to their traditions"; chap. 9, "Their legendary stories and historical tales"; chap. 12, "Their religious belief."

(77.) Weaver, That the People Might Live, 15.

(78.) Copway, Traditional History, 59-67.

(79.) This to me seems to share tones with Doty's and Copway's plans for a united Indian state in the upper Mississippi region.

(80.) Warren indeed embodied what Weaver sets out in That the People Might Live as critical for being an American Indian author, that is, "communitism."

(81.) A very nice treatment of mounds as American Indian sacred structures is Jane Buikstra and Douglas Charles, "Centering the Ancestors: Cemeteries, Mounds, and Sacred Landscapes of the Ancient North American Midcontinent," in Archaeologies of Landscape: Contemporary Perspectives, ed. Wendy A. Ashmore and A. Bernard Knapp (Malden: Blackwell Publishers, 1999), 201-28.

(82.) Jacob V. Brower, The Missouri River and Its Utmost Source (St. Paul: Pioneer Press, 1897), 156.

(83.) Miller, "Native America," 12.

(84.) Again, I am informed here by Craig Womack's perspective of Native American literature as acts of resistance explored in Red on Red.

(85.) Again, I am drawing on Weaver's concept detailed in That the People Might Live.

(86.) Weaver, That the People Might Live, 15.

(87.) For a very thoughtful and detailed assessment of the Kennewick case, see Thomas, Skull Wars.

(88.) Vine Deloria Jr., Red Earth, White Lies: Native Americans and the Myth of Scientific Fact (New York: Scribner, 1995), 6.

(89.) Exemplifying the popularity of interest in this subject, consider the March 13, 2006, issue of Time magazine where Kennewick Man graced the front cover, with the title "The Untold Saga of Early Man in America" and the long article "Who Were the First Americans?"; Thomas Dillehay's popular The Settlement of the Americas: A New Prehistory (New York: Basic Books, 2001); or, very recently, hype over the 14,300-year-old finds from Paisley Cave, Oregon, in April 2008 (with the news of this find running in outlets across America). Also gaining popularity are genetic approaches to the question of "First Americans" that combine mtDNA evidence from ancient skeletal materials and living American Indian populations to locate their geographic origin and date their entrance to the New World. See Nicholas Wade, Before the Dawn: Recovering the Lost History of Our Ancestors (New York: Penguin, 2007) or do a simple Google search of "First Americans DNA" to find thousands upon thousands of news articles about recent discoveries on this topic.
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Author:Howey, Meghan C.L.
Publication:The American Indian Quarterly
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Sep 22, 2010
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