Authorized Agents

Publication and Diplomacy in the Era of Indian Removal

Frank Kelderman
eISBN-13: 9781438476193

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In the nineteenth century, Native American writing and oratory extended a long tradition of diplomacy between indigenous people and settler states. As the crisis of forced removal profoundly reshaped Indian country between 1820 and 1860, tribal leaders and intellectuals worked with coauthors, interpreters, and amanuenses to address the impact of American imperialism on Indian nations. These collaborative publication projects operated through institutions of Indian diplomacy, but also intervened in them to contest colonial ideas about empire, the frontier, and nationalism. In this book, Frank Kelderman traces this literary history in the heart of the continent, from the Great Lakes to the Upper Missouri River Valley. Because their writings often were edited and published by colonial institutions, many early Native American writers have long been misread, discredited, or simply ignored. Authorized Agents demonstrates why their works should not be dismissed as simply extending the discourses of government agencies or religious organizations. Through analyses of a range of texts, including oratory, newspapers, autobiographies, petitions, and government papers, Kelderman offers an interdisciplinary method for examining how Native authors claimed a place in public discourse, and how the conventions of Indian diplomacy shaped their texts.

ISBNs 9781438476179, 1438476191, 9781438476193
Language English