Sunday, Dec. 1, 2013
Pen & Ink Witchcraft: Treaties and Treaty Making in American Indian History (Oxford University Press), by Colin G. Calloway
Dartmouth history professor Colin Calloway reminds us that in “winning the West,” violence and guns were abetted by law and treaties—what some American Indians called “pen and ink witchcraft.” Calloway focuses on three pivotal treaties between the U.S. and Indian nations within the context of treaty making from colonial times through the final pacts after the Civil War. Each treaty involved a different set of circumstances, and while the American Indians were almost always at a disadvantage, some tribal leaders managed to bargain. Some 400 treaties remain in force and continue to shape the lives of Indians and surrounding communities.