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tv   Discussion-- Red  CSPAN  December 22, 2013 7:00pm-7:36pm EST

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fever and he was only 45 years old when he passed away in the middle of the fights. and when they were were still conducting this business. so this was such a tragedy for orval and the family as well. at 315 he passed away, age 45 years and a short life full of consequence and unfailing intellect, great self reliance and great modesty, pursue pursuing his life steadily. and this was on thursday, may the 30th. it's a very formal and emotional tribute to his son. and a few days later, he actually writes with a lot of shake your hand that it does not
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seem possible that wilbur is gone. and so probably he felt his lost the most. and i think that really demonstrates how this is a story of an entire family, those who went through a lot of different things in their lives, not just this in flight, but a lot of tragedy and emotion, and a lot of interesting things that teach us something about what it was like, what life was like early in the 20th century. >> for more information on booktv's recent visit to dayton, go to c-span.org/local content. ..
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about my book but i decided in the end it might be easiest to explain how i came to write it. because i take the fact back to the summer of 2006. i should say i love being a historian graduated in the 19 nineties but that was tested in june of 2006 kafta degette i spent that month at a historical
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society to work on the cypress hills massacre and let me ask has anyone heard of the cyprus hills massacre? i saw why would be spending time at the event because the notorious 1870's slaughter in which a group of montana will strappers sits across the border and the indians was going to use this eve and to explain the hardening of the u.s.-canada border ever asking the so-called wild west of the united states and the my old west of western canada north of the 49th parallel. this is why we were in montana that summer. some were very bored with the story which is about the sign in the early going of the new project. adding to my displeasure i guess is the fact that i was living in
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on glamorous life which is the life of an academic. eni tv dinners, eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch every day and allowing myself only one by yet coke in the effort to stretch my grant from the historical society as far as i could do was a generous award but i wanted to make certain that i could get by and my month entirely on the side and from the historical society and was also a way for my wife and then a three-year goal the daughter of the time. i thought i needed something to show for my month in helena so one day midway through i decided to take the afternoon off to abandon the massacre to see what else was in the historical society and i'd always heard from friends of mine that this was one of the great repositories of the west. i had a wonderful stuff and it was a beautiful buildings located in the shadow of the
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capital thought i will see what else i can find in the archives and this whole cyprus hill's business isn't turning out cows i hoped. i thought immediately of a novel called fools crow. does anyone know eight clacks i'm shocked. maybe you can go and find a copy of that after you've got a few copies of my book to give as a holiday present. it was written by an author named james welch and the historical fiction related in the 1870's and it's a wonderful novel beautifully written but very powerful and giving its readers a chance to get a sense of what should the invasion of montana looked like in the era after the civil war from the perspective as a wonderful teaching tool and i use it all the time and i taught at a
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matter of fact at the university of nebraska which is where i was employed and i loved it all over again and have my undergraduate students. so i loved the book and was fresh in my mind and i decided to where i am might spend time that day by interconnected it to my time in montana and one incident on which the novel hinges is the mall full of a character that is a fur trader married to an indian woman and in an awful he is killed by the cousin on his ranch north of tel not in august of 1869. this murder sets in motion a series of defense that culminates tragically in the massacre of 1870 which is the darkest day in history and that was an even someone had taken place.
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james welch have invented him as a literary device simply to move the story along. a microphone real and a photograph the biographical information. malcolm clarke was a real person and the watershed event. he was one of the most important pioneers from the 1840's until the 1850's. it's an extremely accomplished family of mixed ancestry who
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were the people in between and had a separate and additional and indigenous status from the government, recognized as such an independent people. and i think that such of course lived in the united states as well but they were extremely hard to track because of the rather by an eerie formulation in the u.s. as people were either indiana or white and there wasn't much room for people in between at least certainly not on the census records of the 19th century. i'd been interested in such people but i had given up the chase until i had given up on that day and i had fallen down the family in demand than ever after the cypress hills massacre. quickly though with a group of leaders put in a plug of the
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wondrous novel about the massacre called the english man's body written by a great novelist. if you're interested in that event, this isn't a project on which i will be returning however, they were not quite what i had expected perhaps because of my familiarity with george. anybody see a couple of mog he sort of ties that in colorado history and some fascinating ways he was the mixed blood son of the prominent trader william dent in eastern colorado and northern new mexico and was somebody that walked in the world after the massacre but was involved as a victim 1964 high
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of shorter the distance is on the plains he felt particularly alienated and split again between the two worlds, the white world of his father and indianapolis his mother and he obviously had the deep antipathy towards many white people for what had happened to his family at the creek to be and he gave lots of interviews to the anthropologist and was regarded as the leading expert but he retreats to alcoholism and by is and that indymac at the end of the first world war so knowing a little bit about this i think that i would expect of the clark family later generations that had the sort of same social pathologies but what i found especially in the later generations were the issues that had been for his younger brother charles who renounce his own
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heritage and plundered flights after san creek before he was killed by those working for the government when charles was just 22. clark had attribute that got one of them with the indian service and was a source of inspiration. moreover, we found other variables, gender, class status. it's the shifting ground of racial and racial identity from roughly 18521950. the people of the mixed native white ancestry of the west has incorporated by the u.s. and the period after the civil war.
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let me spend a couple minutes talking about the book and hopefully i would love to answer some questions if you've got any. so i build it around the members drawn from the three generations of the family and i began with of the 1844 wedding of malcolm clarke who was the teenage daughter of the prominent for your and his wife. the marriage to us i'm sure seems pretty unusual given the gulf between them in terms of race and customs about a decade older than his wife, but this is often a common set up in the country at this time largely because of economic reasons which isn't to say love didn't play a role in these marriages. it certainly did, but the driving motivating factor was economics for a white fur trader
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by marrying an indian woman he got access torch please access to his father in law and all of his relatives that he could sell as a profit in the american company for whom malcolm clarke worked. the indians on the other hand have been very resistant in all varieties, anglos and other indians for jealously guarding their territory that the reason that they were relenting married to their daughters when white fur traders was the same economic benefits an indian man who married his daughter to a white fur trader and got access to the son-in-law of year in trade goods. this is important for the sort of media consumption and also for patronage being able to distribute other members of the tribal or the particular ban which could be useful in winning the positions of power in the travel authority.
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so economics underpins a lot of these relationships. malcolm clarke had come up misery around 1840 after a rather checkered you if he had been born in the midwest at fort wayne indiana which is a military outpost and raised primarily at fort snelling in mud is now downtown minneapolis st. paul to became quite an outdoorsman and also very fond of defending his personal honor and to get them into trouble later on and i will come back to that in just a moment, but clark had a pension for violence in a very early age and that is what got him into hot water at the u.s. military academy when he had a role in the fall of 1844 to go to malcolm an appointment that was done then as of now.
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as i and a state the admission system certainly then there are a few slots for young men from each of the state's. they managed to enroll in the class of 1838. so malcolm is expelled and then shortly thereafter reinstate none other than andrew jackson stationed in national with the family in the 18 twenties just before andrew jackson goes to washington to assume the presidency in 1828 so jackson intercedes and unfortunately malcolm clarke couldn't stay out of his way or accept the fortune
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no one left to speak for him for beating his class that i cannot get to the bottom of and again, an affront to his personal honor he leaves school west point in the fall or excuse me in the spring of 1836 and arrives at texas right after the end of the texas revolution so he misses out on the fortunes and the glory like a lot of the young men at that time and then ultimately does what a number of those young men do which is he goes to the fur trade and the upper missouri with the help of a family connection. he ends up on the upper missouri in the fall of 1840. he becomes one of the most successful traders working any member of the most important posts for the union, fort mackenzie and especially but clark never mastered his temper
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and has told you he is murdered at the age of 52 for the reasons that are still debated. was it because of the long family dispute over some horses and a spyglass to one story told is it because he might have us all ted his life that is a story that is certainly told on the reservation and the one that seems a bit more compelling but any way he is murdered in the first few chapters are about his relationship i used to explain the history particularly in terms of their contact with the expanding and you will american nation and the second chapter looks at malcolm clarke and concludes on the ranch on 1869. the turning chapter who is the eldest son of malcolm and on the night that his father is murdered in august of 1869, the
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horse is traveling on the run away from their ranch by another one of their indian can and here is his companion singing a song out pretty unusual since pretty hot enemies and he becomes suspicious and terms and faces his companion and shot in the face of point-blank range travelling below the skin but along the cheek bone exciting just below his year and he falls out of his saddle and is dragged for some yards before he slips loose and he lies there bleeding profusely and plays dead because of his kinship relationship to the assailant he is left for dead which turns out if they turned his body over they would have found that he still lived. anyway, he survives this
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miraculously and has a full recovery so much he's able to ride with his younger brother nason with the second u.s. calvary which goes out to chastise the military of the day and this leads to a tragic event at the river in january of 1870 and of which horace and me fan who are in their twenties and teens respectively participate in the slaughter of their own blood relatives and the massacre one of the things that got me interested is that there remains totally obscure french were the folks in colorado know a lot about that folks elsewhere do as well or wounded knee in 1890 and these are sort of the book ends of the indian war of the region of the civil war and it takes place in the middle but it belongs in the conversation with any discussion of such atrocities by the american military forces in the post
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civil war period. the second calvary assembles having tracked the camp as it turns out which is so often the case in the indian massacres at the [cheering] period overlooking the big event in the river in the extreme north central montana and its bitter cold and a pretty robust standard and of the troops have made a pretty grueling march over land to find this can't and they do they deploy above the camp about 400 men in total and even every fourth man was holding a horse still summer between to hundred 50 to 300 guns trained on the village and as the sun comes up, the indian who has led to the colonel and his men to the indian camps to saenz the land and precisely is
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the camp that the troops had been ordered to avoid because of was the camp of heavy runner much like black kettle at san creek and even though he realizes that the last moment but still a moment in time enough to add avert the disaster that in sued the commanding officer orders to troops under his command to open fire and so the annihilate the cant that involves shooting at all of the lodge's but also at the cords that are binding the indian lodge collapse on the fire within canada so it incinerates or suffocates the women, children and old men primarily who are inside the tepees because most of them were off on a buffalo hunt trying desperately to find some provision for their families. and of course as they find out later on the most tragic part of
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all is that most of the people in the camp are dying from the disease that would erupt periodically on the great planks so 173 women, children and old men many of them suffering from smallpox dies in this event in which the clerks are intimately tied and that is in january of 1870. so, in spite of his antipathy because of the murder of his father, he marries a woman in the late 1890's and he lived among them on their reservation and effectively becomes one of them which i think is an interesting twist in the story. eventually he sells a portion of his land. has anyone here done to glacier park cracks near the lodge? it is actually built on property that once belonged to the family that is a piece of his
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allotment. she applies for and receives an allotment from the government and owns a piece of property and lives among them and sells a piece of his land to the great northern railway that built the great lodge that is still in existence today. so that is his story. his sister helen is the subject of chapter 4 which is an extraordinary life if there is one story that probably compelled me to write this more than any other it is helen and she has a really fascinating career. so after her father's murder, she heads east for a time and has a brief but acclaimed career on the broadway stage and one of her contemporaries describes her and i love this house quote, 5 feet and 10 inches of magnificent womanhood. and she's striking. there are some pictures of her in the book. very striking with her hair and a shock of black running through. a very tall and had a voice that
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made her especially effective as a theatrical actor. she returns in 1875 for the reasons i cannot quite track that we have something to do with bankruptcy but she ends up with a schoolteacher in the mid 1870's and then has a sort of second installment in a fascinating career she becomes the first woman elected to office in the history of the montana territory in 1892 when she becomes the superintendent of schools for lewis and clark county which is the wealthiest sizable county have that time and that is where helena is located. she has a political patron and old friend of her father's that helps her win but she is the first woman to run and she serves in that position from the 1880s and then has what i consider to be the most fascinating installment of her career which comes in the 1890's when she travels to oklahoma
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which was then called indian territory to serve as an alloting agent bringing devotee reservations and other groups that had been targeted for the allotment of the federal government because the act passed in 87 which legislative indians needed to live like a house what historians call to be forced to assimilate by taking of the individually held plots of land, farming and so on and yet it was to sort of break up and polarized the tribal mass instead theodore roosevelt said some years afterwards and so he was sent out in the field to do this job expressly because of her indian heritage. the groups she was sent to a lot for the groups that were reluctant to accept and so the commissioner of indian affairs who knew of them because this was a prominent family even in the 19th century suggested in his many words that he would have more given the fact she had
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indian ancestry. so it is the fact of her how race that wins this job but as far as i can tell she is a generous individual in this regard and i have only one other woman that serves as an alloting agent and no one of the mixed ancestry and the indian service none of them are in such positions, high ranking positions and power and authority so she has a fascinating career and returns ultimately to montana in the 20th century and finds herself ostracized for the so-called 400. i'm not sure if montana has 400 residents at this time but 400 is the gilded age shorthand for any social setting and so, helen supposedly felt ostracized by those folks. she denied it rather vigorously saying she was very proud of her indian heritage but the whispers apparently daunted her and so she ultimately seeks her own allotment and lives on a reservation with her brother with a sort of drastic literary right in the shadow of glacier
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national park until her death in 1923. i finished the book with the most famous clark family member of all, john lewis clark who was the son, helen's nephew and malcolm clark's grandson. john was born in 1881 but render debt in you to buy scarlet fever, another epidemic disease that would occasionally burn through the reservation. but john became a world renowned sculptor of the western wildlife and take some one art class at a pivotal moment in his youth i believe that basically taught himself how to carve by molding figurines out of the that he blood from the missouri river and his career takes off in the 19 teams and in his late thirties and forties he is friends with charlie russell and a famed cowboy artists and patrons included john d.
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rockefeller jr. and loren d. harding and what i was interested in his career is that although he is a very famous carver, the foremost of the western wildlife, mountain goats, lions, grizzly bears and salon, she turns almost not exclusively, but quite intensively to the native themes leader in his career and there are some really beautiful pieces and again there are some pictures in the book and give a sense of what he was out to put some gorgeous tallows mostly meant i think to capture of a life ways during the buffalo days of the early to mid 19th century i should say from that time that he was born in the late 19th century. for all of his accomplishments certainly doesn't become wealthy in his disability is probably made travel difficult but i think also that the very heartening racial boundaries if
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it is a boundary between the blackfeet reservation and montana for the were much less so for him in the early to mid 20 a century. john was inducted into the gallery of the outstanding montana hall of fame in 2003 and this is a really neat thing that they do to have a photograph plaque i should say in the rotunda of the gorgeous capitol building. there are only two or three dozen such individuals, john clark is one of them and helen will join in 2015. they are the only family members that are in this rotunda and the others are folks i'm sure who you will know, gary cooper, charlie russell himself, grand steward and so the the two of them, to our left thirtysomething so 115, that is the math even i can do they are commemorated in the gallery of
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outstanding montana. so today they are associated with the darkest day in history at the massacre but the names are also edged into the landscape of northern montana and if you've been to the national park, then you have seen the mount holum of that is in the upper valley for the lake that is in the upper region of the park for lake isabel foot is in the southwest corner named for the younger sister so they are literally in described in the landscape of this beautiful place with which they are deeply associated and so the story as i tell it is the journey through the complex landscape of race with attention to what they have gained and there was plenty but also what they lost along the way. thanks so much. [applause] >> i would love to answer some questions if you have any.
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>> i have an unrelated question. what do you think about the controversy about the washington redskins? >> actually i am not unhappy that you asked that. not often degette talk about current events and anybody that bothers to listen. i made this point to some friends who have asked me the same question. by understand the argument that daniel snyder and others that would defend the use of the name i understand the arguments they have made and they insist that it is sort of written the team legacy of the history and that it's meant to be the most important argument and it's meant to be something that actually honors native people, but what i would say is that there is no way that particular can be used to honor to if native people.
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it is intimately bound up in the language of indian slaughter. you see it throughout the historical record. red skin was never applied in the 19th century kind of leak or benignly. it was a racial epithet right up there with the worst ones that we could imagine today so i really don't think there is any defense and i think it is a matter of when, not if and if they would be really why is to change the team name to do it sooner so there is only one way this could end up and i think this is a conversation that will probably engulf the other teams as well, the rather offensive cartoonish image of the cleveland indians and the conversation has already begun. so i think this is probably the me be on the way out as it were. the redskins is a particularly painful one for lots of people
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and the sooner it is retired i think the better. >> you talked about how there are economic underpinnings undergirding these relationships and i wonder if she was part of that transaction or was that relationship built in a different way? >> in terms of what kind of relationship she and her husband had? >> i see what you're saying. she certainly would have been seen that we buy her indian relatives that was the house and enjoy control -- mulken clark actually took a second wife in the 1850's, not uncommon to it on the wing in the 1860's but not uncommon in the country particularly because the more why it's you have, the more animal skins you could process. so polygamy, the fact of having many wives was common throughout
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the indian society. among indians, indians who married other indians but also among fur traders as well who relied on their wives as a labor force to get buffalo or beavers can be for that. that having been said, there's disagreement about this that my sense of it having researched is that there really was a love relationship between them. he stayed with them until the time of his death. many, most white fur traders had abandoned their so-called country wives when they returned to the east to the united states after their time in the fur trade had played out and they would leave their children behind as well which as the father of younger children i would find almost unfathomable. but clark alone almost alone among his contemporaries stayed on the upper missouri and there are many reasons for that if he had lived more than half his life there he had been very successful. i think that he liked the so-called figure this life but i do not doubt that he left his
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family and his wife and his children. they all live together on the ranch at that time that he was killed and most of them, are there which is a murder first hand. only his son was absent who was off looking for some cattle in the mountains at the time. economics, definitely but apparently love between them as well and i don't think i'm reading a dramatically for the record, the record supports that. >> were there any repercussions to the massacre from the indian side after it happened? >> that is a good question. no pity if they had resisted white particularly american encroachment since the early 19th century. lewis and clark, the whole two and a half years there was a fatal encounter in the discovery that

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