Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I is for...Isaac Asimov (Teaser Tuesday) & Indian Territory

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:



1. Grab your current read
2. Open to a random page
3. Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
4. BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
5. Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Today's teaser is from Asimov's Mysteries, by Isaac Asimov.

"'I am told that when Mandel adjusted the polarizer in Villiers' room, you screamed at the sunlight. Was that your ingrained fear of the Mercurian Sun, or your sudden realization of what sunlight meant to your plans?'" p. 83

ndian Territory was an area that constantly changed, shrinking as each valuable resource was discovered, such as oil, minerals, or just good farming land.

At first, Indian Reserve was the name of the entire area west of the Appalachian Mountains. The British had set this space aside, intending the east coast to be where settlers established themselves. After the Revolutionary War, this land area was shrunk down to the area west of the Mississippi River; settlers needed more land.

In 1830, the Indian Removal Act, set forth by president Andrew Jackson, insured that the government had the power they needed to move those Natives remaining east of the Mississippi, either through coercion or force. They typically made offers of land and cash, getting tribal leaders to sign whatever treaty it was that would move their particular tribe. Of course, once they got there, they discovered they had been duped, finding themselves on whatever land had the least value to the U.S. government and its settlers.


As of 1828, Indian Territory covered Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa and Nebraska, which also happened to be an integral portion of the Old West. However, despite the term "territory" being in the title, it was not treated as a legal territory, meaning they had no rights to protect their new lands. Instead, settlers of the area could outline a new territory they wished to establish (for instance, Kansas Territory), and get it legally defined as a new territory of the United States, further encroaching on Native lands. The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 took the remaining areas outside of present-day Oklahoma away from the Natives living there, sqaushing Indian Territory down to one portion of present-day Oklahoma, next to Oklahoma Territory.


When the Civil War began, many Natives fought on the side of the Confederacy, which further wounded them at the end of the war. A law was passed in 1862 that allowed the U.S. government to break treaties with any Indian tribes that had fought with the Confederacy. The U.S. government took this opportunity to stop following the concept of Indian Removal, instead moving on to Assimilation (anybody else imagining the U.S. government as the Borg right now??). While this policy of Assimilation paved the way for land allotments, it also shrunk the area of Indian Territory. Adding insult to injury, more tribes were moved into Indian Territory from the plains.


In 1905, the Native population of Indian Territory tried to be legally entered into the union as the state of Sequoyah. When this failed, Oklahoma was instead admitted as one state, in entirety, in 1907. Indian Territory was no more.

On a side note, my great-grandparents could not legally marry in Indian Territory, so they had to go out into a bordering river to be married on a boat, in order for their marriage to be legal and valid.

What are you reading? How do you feel about the treatment of Native Americans during Removal and Assimilation?

May you find your Muse.

*Letter I courtesy of Tim at clker.com
**Unorganized Territory, i.e. Indian Territory, 1853, By Made by User:Golbez. (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC-BY-2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons
***Oklahoma & Indian Territory, 1892, Wikimedia Commons, attribution unclear
****Texas & Indian Territory, 1876, By Frank A. Gray [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

29 comments:

  1. From MICRO by Michael Crighton. "Welcome to Eden," Erika said.
    "A dangerous Eden." Rick ducked down, and began scrubbing his head.

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  2. Nice post on the American Indians fighting in the civil war. Gen Stand Watie a cherokee was actually the last confederate general to surrender. Loved the post

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  3. That is a great teaser! And I think most of us know how awful those Native Americans were treated. It would be a different country for sure if they had been allowed to live on their original lands!

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  4. Im not reading anything at present as I just finished a book. I enjoyed your blog post and hope you feel like coming over to visit mine in the uk
    www.jollyjillys.blogspot.com
    Im now following

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  5. Really shameful how we treated the Indians.

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  6. Agreed, Alex. Wonderfully informative post, Shannon. Thanks!

    As for the teaser, let's see...

    "There's a fine edge to new grief, it severs nerves, disconnects reality--there's mercy in a sharp blad. Only with time, as the edge wears, does the real ache begin."--A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore

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  7. That should've been blade, not blad. Bleh. ;)

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  8. Very cool blog. Glad I found you. My setting for my current novel is in Wyoming at the Wind River Reservation.

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  9. I have a good friend who was raised on a Navajo Reservation. It is very interesting to talk with him about his view on things.

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  10. I believe the treatment of the American Indians is one of the greatest atrocities in American history. I try very hard to represent this period of time to my students without the sugar coating I received as a child.

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  11. Teaser Tuesday sounds like fun!

    "By 'the women,' he meant me. How could he refer to his own mother as 'the women'?" -- The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood, p. 128.

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  12. I've read his Robot book (well, one!) and it was good.

    mine: http://storytreasury.wordpress.com/2012/04/09/teaser-tuesday-hit-lit-cracking-the-code-of-the-twentieth-centurys-biggest-bestsellers/

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  13. So much of human history is filled with horrors and shame. I hope we're learning our lessons from history!

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  14. That treatment of Native Americans is our own historical Holocaust. And yes the Borg immediately came to mind...along with, "resistance is futile". Apparently that was true too.

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  15. I'm pretty much a nerd, but I haven't read any Asimov yet. I know, I don't feel good about it either. I do have a book of his on my TBR though.

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  16. Another great post. Both fascinating and sad!

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  17. I'm reading The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie and I think the American Indians have been treated horribly from day one. They should've killed us all on sight.

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  18. "Oh" said Sprishawn "If you had all the arms in the world you could not break through that tower." He went to the door then, and striking it slightly with his wooden foot, for fear of killing the men inside by too hard a blow, he burst in the door.

    (Hero tales of Ireland, Jeremiah Curtin)

    Fun! :)
    Happy A to Z!
    http://multicoloreddiary.blogspot.com

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  19. I am reading New Testament Exegesis by Gordon D. Fee.

    It really doesn't matter what I think about removal and assimilation, it it happened, it is done. There is nothing that can be done do undo it. It is unfortuanate that this period of time was one more stage for the human being to demonstrate the depraved nature that leads to greed, inhumane treatment, and the stealing of land. It was terrible.

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  20. I don't really have anything short to say about this, but I'm glad you talked about it.

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  21. I'm surprised you didn't bother mentioning the trail of tears in the above post. I think the nazis and Japanese used it as inspiration during the second world war...

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  22. There are many things that make me very proud to be an American.

    The history of how European settlers treated the native peoples of this continent aren't any of them.

    Thank you for sharing - and I think I read that Asimov story. :-)

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  23. Brandi, thank you!

    RaShelle, thanks for the teaser! I haven't read Crighton in awhile.

    Gossip Grl, I've remember reading about Stand Watie! He also signed the Treaty of New Echota, which handed over Cherokee land behind the Chief's (John Ross) back. I'm of two minds about him. I understand what he was trying to do, though.

    J.A., true, it would be. I'd like to write a book based on that one thing being different. I think it would be interesting to write that alternate history.

    Jilly, I will definitely be over! Playing catch up (as usual, this month!)

    Alex, it was. It sort of still is.

    Alyssia, that sounds good!

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  24. Writing Straight, have you read Margaret Coel? (I think that's how it's spelled). I *think* her murder mysteries are set on the Wind River Reservation, and she spends part of the year there each year getting to know them. Her books would be an excellent resource if you haven't checked them out.

    Jo, I bet it is! He would have a distinct perspective.

    Leslie, that's great to hear! One of my high school history teachers did better than others, but there was still a significant amount being glossed over.

    Beth, thanks for the teaser! I don't think I've read her.

    Sonia, I loved I Robot and one of the Robots of Dawn series (I don't remember which one or the actual name of the series). I always wanted to find the rest of the series and couldn't.

    Jemi, as do I!

    Chuck, makes me wonder if Roddenberry was using that as inspiration?

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  25. Libby, shocking! ;-p Which do you have on your TBR?

    Cat, thank you!

    Mshatch, that's probably true! That title sounds intriguing.

    A Tarkabarka, is this a mythology-type book or fiction?

    Gregg, good point!

    Andrew, I can definitely understand that!

    Torggil, as a Cherokee, I am very familiar with the Trail of Tears. However, in my effort to not go even longer than I have been with my posts, I didn't cover it in this post. I would have also had to mention, for instance, The Long Walk. There were many such journeys.

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  26. Beverly, I wasn't sure if anyone would have heard of it. It strikes me as one of his less known, but I'm not positive on that at all. And you're right, there are things to be proud of and things that are shameful.

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  27. I think the whole thing could have been handled a lot better than it was.

    Jamie
    Fellow A-Z Buddy
    Doing a monumental blog catch-up
    Mithril Wisdom

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