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Great Plains Quarterly

Social and Behavioral Sciences

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At The Head Of The Aboriginal Remnant: Cherokee Construction Of A "Civilized" Indian Identity During The Lakota Crisis Of 1876, Paul Kelton Jan 2003

At The Head Of The Aboriginal Remnant: Cherokee Construction Of A "Civilized" Indian Identity During The Lakota Crisis Of 1876, Paul Kelton

Great Plains Quarterly

In 1876 the bilingual Cherokee diplomat and lawyer William Penn Adair expressed great pride in the level of "civilization" that his nation had achieved. Defining civilization as commercial agriculture, literacy, Christianity, and republican government, Adair believed that his society had reached a sophistication that equaled and in certain areas surpassed that of the United States. Speaking before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Territories, the diplomat claimed that his people produced surpluses of "every agricultural product that is raised in the neighboring States of Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, and Texas." Schools in the Indian Territory, he added, produced a ...