And Still the Waters Run

And Still the Waters Run

The Betrayal of the Five Civilized Tribes

Book - 1973? 1940
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Debo's classic work tells the tragic story of the spoliation of the Choctaw, Chickasaw, Cherokee, Creek, and Seminole nations at the turn of the last century in what is now the state of Oklahoma. After their earlier forced removal from traditional lands in the southeastern states--culminating in the devastating 'trail of tears' march of the Cherokees--these five so-called Civilized Tribes held federal land grants in perpetuity, or "as long as the waters run, as long as the grass grows." Yet after passage of the Dawes Act in 1887, the land was purchased back from the tribes, whose members were then systematically swindled out of their private parcels.

The publication of Debo's book fundamentally changed the way historians viewed, and wrote about, American Indian history. Writers from Oliver LaFarge, who characterized it as "a work of art," to Vine Deloria, Jr., and Larry McMurtry acknowledge debts to Angie Debo. Fifty years after the book's publication, McMurtry praised Debo's work in the New York Review of Books : "The reader," he wrote, "is pulled along by her strength of mind and power of sympathy.'

Because the book's findings implicated prominent state politicians and supporters of the University of Oklahoma, the university press there was forced to reject the book in .... for fear of libel suits and backlash against the university. Nonetheless, the director of the University of Oklahoma Press at the time, Joseph Brandt, invited Debo to publish her book with Princeton University Press, where he became director in 1938.

Publisher: [Princeton, N.J.] Princeton University Press [1973? c1940]
Characteristics: xxxi, 417 p. illus. 22 cm
ISBN: 0691005788
Call Number: 970.5 DEBO


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Mar 07, 2018

A book cited as a classic in understanding Indian policies affecting tribes in Indian Territory, particularly after the territory was absorbed into the state of Oklahoma. I read it as a follow-up to David Grann's 'Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI,' one of the best books read in 2017, as I wanted to read more about the guardianships Grann describes. It's hard to believe the greediness; tough, but important, reading.


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