Posted by Petra on July 08, 1998 at 21:09:07:
In Reply to: Re: history and speculations posted by Rich on July 08, 1998 at 05:55:22:
: : So, that leads me to wonder if and how white settlement and pioneerism could have been stopped. It seems that starting out nice with the newcomers didn't do anything for the tribes who approached the problem that way. But blind butchering didn't help in the long run either, although it bought some time for those who did it. So, what could have? More alliances with others maybe, and sharing the job of defense? And, out here in the West, quick demolition of new telegraph lines might have bought more time. Any ideas?
: : Petra
: Tecumseh had the best shot. He knew what had to be done, certainly had the oratorical skills to inspire others, and was a great warrior & leader. What he accomplished in uniting tribes from Canada down through Georgia was incredible! That ole individulistic spirit got in the way, though. Too often, too many tribes, through history, looked out for themselves first, rather than the welfare of Native peoples or the continent. Realistically, under these circumstances, I don't believe it was EVER really possible ... unless, maybe, large masses of Indians had gathered at the seashores to kill every European as they stepped on shore.
: Sitting Bull, too, had the right idea, but his vision was basically limited to the Sioux, and it was far too late. Others before Tecumseh (Pontiac, King Phillip, etc.) tried to unite the tribes as well. Had Tecumseh lived in those earlier times, perhaps he could have succeeded where these others had failed, however temporarily.
: As for the telegraph lines, the Cheyenne made a mess of those in the early 1860's, wrecked havoc out there on the plains with the stage stations, railroads ... everything. Ultimate result? The Sand Creek Massacre. By the time the Plains tribes were involved in the conflict, there were simply TOO many settlers to stop, and after the Civil War, far too many soldiers.
: Avalon Hill makes a very interesting and historically balanced game, called "Geronimo" that simulates westward expansion. The plight of the Indian is easily visualized while playing this stimulating game.
you're right, numbers were probably the most decisive factor. And I thought I had heard of some tribe who focused on the telegraph lines, but didn't remember which and where. They are said to have been a key element in the army's eventual success in AZ too, but I didn't read anything about them being targeted. Also, the first cartographers played an essential role. Here in AZ, two relatively small expeditions in 1851 and 1853 by members of the Army Corps of Topographical Engineers provided the maps that gave others an idea of the territory, including the miners and the railroad constructors. So, they would have been a worthy target.
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