Sunday, 31 January 2016

Chp. 11 Indians in the House

Chapter 11, Indians in the House
Breakdown of the chapter. 
When Pa leaves to go hunting, Jack wants to go but Pa ties him to the barn to guard it. He tells Laura and Mary to not to let Jack off. So they sit by Jack, comforting him, when Jack starts to growl as he see two Indians approach and go into the house. So Jack starts growling and lunging, the girls fear for Ma and Carrie as they are in the house. Laura wants to let Jack go, as she felt that he would protect the family but Mary says no. Laura and Mary run into the house to see what was happening as they walked in, the Indians are standing by the fireplace, and Ma is cooking, they eat the cornbread than leave. When Pa returns Man explains they are short of cornmeal, and the Indians took Pa's tobacco, and what happened. Pa, of course, chastises Laura for wanting to let Jack loose. 

I have chosen this chapter to show how Native Americans are represented in the book. 


"Will there be enough land for all of them?"

Chapter 11;

"tall, thin, fierce-looking men." "eyes were black and still and glittering, like snakes' eyes" "those terrible men" "naked wild men" "a horribly bad smell" "bold and fierce and terrible" "squat down the hearth" "every morsel of it...picked up crumbs from the hearth" "harsh sound in his throat"

Laura > "Jack will kill them"
Pa > "We don't want to make enemies of any Indians" ... "We don't want to wake up some niht with a ban of screeching dev-" (devils ..?)
Pa > "He would have bitten those Indians... bad trouble."

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Native American representation in Chap. 11

Little House on the Prairie - Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Chapter 11. Indians in the House

Here I list all of the quotes that I intend to reference in the analysis of Chapter 11 regarding the representation of Native Americans. This should make your life a lot easier without having to flick back and forward in the book. There is also a illustration from the book which shows a visual representation of Native Americans.

  • First contact with the Native American in this chapter.
p106 - '...and she saw two naked, wild men coming.'
p106 - 'They were tall, thin, fierce-looking men.'

  • Derogating the Native American.
p106 - 'Laura's head turned and so did Mary's, and they looked at the place where those terrible men would appear'

  • The building swell of Social Darwinism
p106 - 'Their skin was brownish-red. Their heads seemed to go up to a peak'.
p106 - 'Their eyes were snakes' eyes.'

  • Jacks reaction. Animalistic imagery and mirroring
p106 - 'His eyes were red and his lips curled back and all the hair on his back was bristling.'

  • The context of Wilder
p110 (Amy Fatzinger "Indians in the Little House" 2008) - 'Wilder’s work, though progressive for its time in some aspects, also reflects the experiences and attitudes of her times which were not always favorable toward Native people.'

  • Metaphors relating to Native American access to the American Dream.
p110 - '...where hair grows, these wild men had no hair.'
p111 - 'They ate every morsel of it, and even picked up the crumbs from the hearth.'

  • Gender
p112 - ''Now we must get dinner,' she said. 'Pa will be here soon and we must have dinner ready for him. Mary, bring me some wood. Laura, you may set the table',''

  • Contrary view. Charles' empathetic standpoint.
p113 - 'Pa told her 'We don't want to make enemies of any Indians,''.
p179 - 'Pa told her not to worry. 'That Indian was perfectly friendly,' he said. 'And their camps down among the bluffs are peaceful enough. If we treat them well and watch Jack, we wont have any trouble.''
p166 - 'All they do is roam around over it like wild animals'

Monday, 25 January 2016

Marching Up The Gila River

Union Sergeant George Hand recalls his time of his Military Service in the Southwest, 1861-1864. 
The diary reveals the vast amount of wildlife that was available to Hand and his comrades. Each day it would seem as if food is constantly on his and his fellow men's thoughts. They would hunt their food each day but not identified with what equipment. Hand mentions on many occasions that he wished he had a shotgun. The amount of wildlife he encounters is excessive but without a gun makes life more difficult for him. They do actually have a shotgun but with no ammunition. Each day they are awake in the early hours to continue their trek to camp.  
They all seem to be quite friendly towards each other and seem to get on well. They hunt, swim, fish together and seemingly have a good time together. He refers to the men as the 'boys'  which suggests the sergeants attitude is good towards the other men. He also describes himself sitting on blankets discussing the little incidents along the way with Lieutenants, Crandall, Smith, Bradley and Ferg. 
Hand describes the Gila River as splendid to bathe in and very good to drink. However now the Gila River is no longer a perennial stream. Most of the streams in the Southwest were degraded by Livestock but mostly all did use to support huge quantities of wildlife.

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Elijah Bristow: The First White Settler in Lane County

Elijah Bristow:  The First White Settler in Lane County

Bristow settled within the present boundary lines of Lane County in June 1846 and was originally from Virginia. 

He had started to migrate west from Virginia to Kentucky then onto Illinois early in his life, with a spirit for adventure which he inherited from his ancestors. He started to cross the plains in 1845 with his first venture to California where he was disappointed with the land so he traveled to Oregon the following spring in 1846. Accompanied by two other pioneers, Bristow started up the Willamette Valley to search for a suitable settlement location for a large and increasing family.

It describes the journey which they took where they travelled up the west side of the valley and after passing the Luckiamute River, where they did not find a "white man’s habitation", they headed south to the end of their journey. The scenery which they describe was “one of the most beautiful on the northwest coast of the Pacific”.

They arrived at a point between the Coast and Middle Forks of the Willamette river, which is now know as Pleasant Hill, and Bristow describes the panorama of mountain and vale stretching out in front of him like what he saw in his hometown of Virginia. This is where he exclaimed: “This is my claim! Here I will live, and when I die, here shall i be buried!”. They built a “claim cabin” which showed to all comers that a white man had settled upon the public domain.   

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Across the Plains to Oregon, 1832

John Ball (1794-1884) records his part in an expedition across the continent to the Rockies and the Pacific Northwest.

Ball speaks of his parties meeting with some other settlers. "Our last encampment, before crossing the west line of the state, was at a Morman settlement. They had come and settled here the previous fall, on this extreme border of the settled world". This account is most interesting because it makes the moving frontier so tangible. It describes, first hand, the intense Americanization that was taking place as the frontier pushed out west. Ball and his party of men could have found the Morman's and settled with them into a comfortable enough existence. However they strived on, they wanted to explore further, discover new lands and cultivate their own settlement. This restless desire to progress embodies Turner's idea of the frontier being the birth place of truly American values.

The western Frontier represented many desirable goals for the American. One of the most important being that it personified a displacement from the East and therefore European intervention. Both physically - in the movement away from the East coast and Atlantic ocean - but also in a social/cultural sense. Westerly expansion gave Ball's men things that Europe never could. He speaks of Buffalo, and 'Indians' consistently and how his men and himself reacted to interactions with both. Sometimes his diary shows how dependent they were on such alien things. "The men would almost quarrel for any part of the animal that had any tallow, even the caul." The caul being the amniotic membrane enclosing a fetus!

The mobility of the western expansion is an aspect of American culture that appears to contrast that of European culture starkly. Notably in Little House on the Prairie: The Ingalls family simply leave everything they have, bar a wagon full, in the East and begin a totally life altering journey out West. Seemingly an unrealistic feature of this fiction. But according to accounts like Ball's, it wasn't at all unrealistic. He states "I felt less discomfort from the change of life than I expected, and much enjoyed every day's march. For at every mile I met with much that to me was interesting". His record marks how he in fact enjoyed and moreover, relished the opportunity to move on to an entirely different life which the geography of America offered. You must also investigate though, the part of the American's psyche that saw so many undertake this uncertain and dangerous journey - from which there was no feasible return.

The deep-rooted ideology of the need to better oneself, push the boundaries and avoid, at all costs, stagnation can be attributed to early pilgrims and colonists for sure. However, for the distillation of this ideology, an intensifying of its empirical values, we must credit the bubbling, boiling Western Frontier.

Friday, 22 January 2016

John Bidwel and Life in California Before The Gold Discovery

Life in California Before The Gold Discovery

John Bidwell talk about how they were the first "white" to cross the Sierra Nevada, Dr Marsh's ranch was the was the only settlement in that area when they reach the valley. It was just as seen as pretty much as new as when "Columbus discovered America". They also comment how there were random wild horse of elk and antelope. They said it was the driest years.
They talked about how Dr Marsh come to California set up his ranch before moving on towards new Mexico. This highlights how everyones moving forward. This is all about how quite and untouched and pretty much empty the land was before the Gold Rush. He talks about how he's happy to find an "America" how he also killed to pigs for Bidwell party of 32 as to be a good host. Also they learnt skill from the host like where to go and what they could do to help out. Showed the way they worked together to help to get father, also the fact that party need to do something for the exchange for food and broad. John Bidwell discuss that actually Dr Marsh wasn't alway for coming with helping the group, with advice.
The land round them was different from were they come from  with no streets or not very trustworthy paths and the land space was very bare. It contacts to the modern California we know today and also how quickly it was built up due to the gold rush.

Monday, 18 January 2016

America at work, America at leisure and Adams

America at work, America at leisure and Adam

This collection goes well with Adams argument of Americas want for bigger and better. It shows  Americas growth between the years 1894-1915 and how it became more commercialised and industrialised.

Adams idea of each American wanting bigger and better is seen when he says, “The man who joined the community was not simply an additional unit in a population but he was recognised as adding to the prosperity and furthering the ambitions of every other member.”. It links with the collection as it highlights the growth and quantity in which America displayed from individual Americans prospering thus turning into prosperous communities which, as the collection shows, then needing more services such as fire departments and schools, creating rapid growth.

Although, Adams shows this concept of America always aspiring to bigger and better things, he doesn't agree with it. He believes as the rapid growth was happening in America the history of how it came to be the country it was, was being forgotten and left behind as it was "enjoying the most glorious chance to get rich quick". Industry was replacing the 'old' America, "Over the unknown spot where De Soto had been given his watery grave in the midst of a continental wilderness, there now raced against each other great boats..".

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Born in Slavery and Adams

This collection of first person accounts of slavery is most interesting especially when thinking about Adams and The Epic of America.  

Firstly, Adam's work generally conflicts with the issue of slavery. America was supposed to be "better and richer and fuller for everyone" and a dream of "social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable". This is what Adam's believed the American Dream to be and slaves did not get the opportunity to experience this during their captivity. 

Adams states that this period was great up to the Civil War and for Americans bred a motley and picturesque life. This period was obviously not great for slaves during this period.

This issue of quality and quantity can be seen from both sides through slavery. The market for slaves was huge and there was vast numbers of slaves which would be sold on to affirm the suggestion that America followed into the size and wealth symbol. Slave owners wanted the most productive slaves who would exceed their expectations in their given work. Adam's concerns of giving into quantity over quality would not be shared with slave owners. It is likely they would rather have wanted quality over quantity. They would much prefer to have one hard working slave compared to two ordinary ones. The one slave may match the other two slaves productivity and the owner saves on other costs through having one less person. 

This passage from Adams is much focused on business, growth and wealth which is why it does not depict much upon slavery. It is titled the Epic of America, so it is very much unlikely to include the atrocities of slavery within it. 

James Truslow Adams and Bridgehampton

I looked into he's history he grow up in new york and the book he wrote about the place he grow up in. Which is called old Bridgehampton, he go's in to real detail in to thinks like page 8, "Fine to median orange sand" he talk about how the climate has changed as he grow up. Although with maps of the geology of the island. It's talking about how New York has evolved over the years he's been alive and than how it could possibility look in the future.

Details about how the settlement of the English in 1620, of plymouth than talk about how immigration was a large part of than and during his life time and when we think about New york now, it does have that idea of to the melting pot of American, and to this it still is.

It was nice to hear the way he wrote about the place he grow up and they was he talk about it showed how he cared.

Baseball Cards and Adams

I found much of the memory collection interesting but, after viewing them, saw a strong link between the phenomena of baseball cards and Adams' work we covered in class.

Used predominantly as advertisement on cigarette cartons; the collection of baseball cards became nationally recognisable and like smoking itself a habit and fad.

I should just add of course that smoking went on too dispel the ‘fad’ statement. “In 2014, nearly 17 of every 100 U.S. adults aged 18 years or older (16.8%) smoked cigarettes.” Per the tobacco data statistics.

This map similarly shows the extent of smoking in contemporary America.

Anyway, the collecting of baseball cards as a popular past time is whats most interesting. Americans in the 1880’s to early 90’s were most concerned with the new and the progressive and got behind these non-traditional activities. As a 2 5/8 x 1 1/2-inch photo or print; the collection of baseball cards acts as a great indicator of the decline in spiritual versus the increased valuing of the material which Adams alluded to in his ‘the Epic of America’. The want for the next, newest, biggest, most popular thing swept American minds as the values born out of the pioneer culture of the first migrants appeared to whither.

The mass production of cigarettes from 1883 onwards advocates another of Adams’ concerns. It acts as a metaphor for the demise of quality in the new era of quantity. Tobacco grown since the 17th century was originally rolled and thus smoked by those who knew how. But with the scale of production now untapped, the mass market of American society demanded a vast quantity and would accept such with a drop in quality.

In contrast, I believe there is one contradiction of Adam’s work when it comes to the popularity of baseball card collecting. Adams argued that culture made way for business but this example suggests that business created or adapted a culture. Mass production of Tobacco as a cash crop for the export market was essentially what created the need for abundant, cheap labor which the importation of slaves to America answered. The divide geographical, North and South, of slave and non-slave states was similarly a product of the business of slavery. And politically, western expansion was to a large degree about whether or not pro-slavery or anti-slavery states attained a majority influence over the entire nation.

Therefore, the business of cigarette manufacturing – to which these baseball cards are symbiotically related – can be attributed to shaping and molding the culture of the United States historically, geographically and politically. And not inhibiting culture, as Adams proposed.

Saturday, 16 January 2016

This Blog is for members of Fran's AM1212 small group. We meet on Monday at 1.00 in my office Alywn East 32.

Post a link to an example of primary source material from the American Memory site at and analyse it with explicit reference to Cullen and Adams. See Week 1's page on the LN for more information.