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Friday, November 9, 2012

Native American Heritage Month: Harvard Lampoon, October 1877:

WARNING: The following cartoons contain racist imagery and slurs.

The Presidential Election is over. So now, it’s time to move on to our annual series of Native American Heritage Month postings! Let’s get started…

Dealing as we do with old published comics & cartoons, our Native American History postings are, in truth, really more about showing what the attitude of the 19th & early 20th century white culture that published these comics was, towards Native Americans. Although this material is racist, it is historically informative in understanding one aspect of what native cultures faced.

Above & below, we have the front cover, and one interior page, from the October 12th, 1877 issue of the Harvard Lampoon. It was published near the end of the Great Sioux War of 1876-77.

The above cover cartoon — The Nation’s Ward — What Shall We Do With Him? — while on the one hand acknowledging that the U.S. government had broken treaties with the natives, it also refers to them as “wards”, and asks “what to do with them?” Whites resented tax money going to support the tribes — never mind that the only reason they needed to be supported, was because whites had stolen native lands, destroying their livlihood, and forcing them onto waste lands that whites didn’t want.

Beneath, The Speech of Spotted Tail (a satire). Spotted Tail was a Lakota tribal chief, and major figure at that time.

Click on the below page, to make it large enough to read.

Doug Wheeler

NativeAmericanHistory


Doug

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