Exiles and Pioneers: Eastern Indians in the Trans-Mississippi West
Exiles and Pioneers analyzes the removal and post-removal histories of Shawnee, Delaware, Wyandot, and Potawatomi Indians. The book argues that the experience of these eastern Indians from the late 1700s to the 1860s was at its core a struggle over geographic and political place within the expanding United States. Even as American expansion limited the geographic scope of Indian lands, the extension of American territories and authority raised important questions about the political status of these Indians as individuals as well as nations within the growing republic. More specifically, the national narrative and even the prominent images of Indian removal cast the eastern Indians as exiles who were constantly pushed beyond the edges of American settlement. This study proposes that ineffective federal policies and ongoing debates within Indian communities also cast some of these eastern Indians as pioneers, unwilling trailblazers in the development of the United States.