How did the Europeans perceive the Native Americans?
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How did the Europeans perceive the Native Americans?
An analysis of primary sources discussing the impression European settlers had of the native people in America.
Curated by J Wright
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Massacre At Wounded Knee, 1890

Massacre At Wounded Knee, 1890 | How did the Europeans perceive the Native Americans? | Scoop.it

A half-Sioux  who is an interpreter for the Army gave an eye-witness account of the Massacre at Wounded-Knee. I enjoyed the part when he was recounting how a Native medicine man said the bullets the Army fired would float past them like dust. The Army thought this was a crazy statement. The settlers saw the Natives as dreamy and foolhardy.

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Native American Quotes About Land Ownership

This is espeically important because it shows the difference between the way Native's saw land ownership and the way the settlers apparently saw it. 

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FROM THE PACIFIC. - ARRIVAL OF THE OVERLAND EXPRESS, A Fearful Indian Massacre--The Savages Threaten to Drive the Whites from the Washoe Region--General News--Commercial and Marine Intelligence. - ...

This is a news story about a skirmish between Americans under Major Ormsby and Native Americans. Something that restonated with me was "closed upon our men." In news stories the writer is to remain objective by no using 'I' 'me' or bias. Using 'our' gave bias toward the Americans. The article does mention the many exagerrated reports, but speaks about the Natives as if they are aliens to civilazation by never naming a tribe or referring to them as "they".

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A School for Savages; or, Teaching the Young Idea not to Shoot by Frank Bellew (1869)

A School for Savages; or, Teaching the Young Idea not to Shoot by Frank Bellew (1869) | How did the Europeans perceive the Native Americans? | Scoop.it

This politcal cartoon satires General Sheridan and his brutal tactics in conquering Indian land. This shows something about the government at the and how they saw the Natives as a people who were to be conquered. 

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Thomas Morton, Description of the Indians in New England (1637)

Thomas Morton describes the Natives in an unbiased way soley on the factual info. It is extensive in their ways, like religion and respect of elders. Though it does not give any actual opinions per se, but it does show what sort of things were out of the ordinary by highlighting them. I like the mention of how children listened to elders no matter the circumstance. That was clearly a big distinction.

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