Nineteenth-Century Representations of Native Americans Criticism: Overviews And General Studies - Essay

Wynette L. Hamilton (essay date 1974)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: “The Correlation between Societal Attitudes and Those of American Authors in the Depiction of American Indians, 1607-1860,” in American Indian Quarterly, Vol. 1, No. 1, Spring, 1974, pp. 1-26.

[In the following essay, Hamilton presents an overview of fictional representations of Native Americans by Anglo writers.]

The problem in this research is to identify the changing attitudes of American fictional authors toward the American Indian and the roles they attributed to the natives from early America to the Civil War, and to explore the relationship of these attitudes and prescribed roles to changing societal views about the native Americans.


(The entire section is 9689 words.)

Joseph B. McCullough and Robert K. Dodge (essay date 1976)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: “The Puritan Myth and the Indian in the Early American Novel,” in Pembroke Magazine, Vol. 7, 1976, pp. 237-44.

[In the following essay, McCullough and Dodge examine the Puritans' belief in themselves as agents of God, and how this conviction helped justify their destruction of the “heathen” Native Americans. The authors also investigate the manner in which this belief system informed early American fiction.]

William Bradford relates that on November 16, 1620, Miles Standish and fifteen other “well armed” Pilgrims left the Mayflower anchored off Cape Cod and set out to explore the new land. The next day they discovered a deserted Indian...

(The entire section is 4148 words.)

Karl Kroeber (essay date 1992)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: “American Indian Persistence and Resurgence,” in Boundary 2, Vol. 19, No. 3, Fall, 1992, pp. 1-25.

[In the following excerpt, Kroeber examines the idea of “writing Indians” in the fiction of James Fenimore Cooper and John Rollin Ridge.]


What I have called the ethnological phase of Indian post-Columbus experience began to emerge in the first quarter of the nineteenth century, when Washington Irving wrote sympathetically of King Phillip in his war with the New England colonists in the seventeenth century; when Henry Schoolcraft, after composing an epic poem on the Creek wars, began something like scientific...

(The entire section is 3583 words.)