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352 pages. Hardcover with dustjacket. Brand new book. NATIVE AMERICANS. How tribal politics, justice, and resistance intersected in turn-of-the-twentieth-century Choctaw society. During the decades between the Civil War and the establishment of Oklahoma statehood, Choctaws suffered almost daily from murders, thefts, and assaults&emdash; usually at the hands of white intruders, but increasingly by Choctaws themselves. This book focuses on two previously unexplored murder cases to illustrate the intense factionalism that emerged among tribal members during those lawless years as conservative Nationalists and pro-assimilation Progressives fought for control of the Choctaw Nation. Devon Abbott Mihesuah describes the brutal murder in 1884 of her own great-great-grandfather, Nationalist Charles Wilson, who was a Choctaw lighthorseman and U.S. deputy marshal. She then relates the killing spree of Progressives by Nationalist Silan Lewis ten years later. Mihesuah draws on a wide array of sources&emdash; even in the face of missing court records&emdash; to weave a spellbinding account of homicide and political intrigue. She painstakingly delineates a transformative period in Choctaw history to explore emerging gulfs between Choctaw citizens and address growing Indian resistance to white intrusions, federal policies, and the taking of tribal resources. The first book to fully describe this Choctaw factionalism, Choctaw Crime and Punishment is both a riveting narrative and an important analysis of tribal politics. Devon Abbott Mihesuah, a member of the Choctaw Nation, is Cora Lee Beers Price Professor in International Cultural Understanding at the University of Kansas. Previously serving as Editor for The American Indian Quarterly, she is the author of numerous award-winning books, including Recovering Our Ancestors' Gardens: Indigenous Recipes and Guide to Diet and Fitness. "It is rare to find a book that examines political murders among American Indian tribes. In so doing, Choctaw Crime and Punishment adds a new dimension to our understanding of how and why the Choctaw political parties were so volatile and dangerous. Drawing on an astonishing array of documents, newspapers, letters, and court records, Devon Abbott Mihesuah offers a dramatic and highly readable narrative of this period in Choctaw history."&emdash; Clare V. McKanna, author of White Justice in Arizona: Apache Murder Trials in the Nineteenth Century "In this wonderfully researched manuscript, the author digs deeply into the political machinations within and around the Choctaw Nation in the 1880s and 1890s. Her book is a masterful work of historical investigation."&emdash; Greg O'Brien, editor of Pre-Removal Choctaw History: Exploring New Paths "In vivid and sometimes painful detail, Mihesuah reveals the depths of social and political turmoil in the Choctaw Nation in the late nineteenth century as leaders struggled with federal policies of land allotment and assimilation. This richly textured narrative conveys not only the facts but also the emotions of Choctaw citizens facing an uncertain future."&emdash; Clara Sue Kidwell, author of The Choctaws in Oklahoma: From Tribe to Nation, 1855&emdash; 1970 (Key Words: Devon Abbott Mihesuah, Native Americans, Crime, Punishments, Choctaw Indians, American Indians, Oklahoma, Charles Wilson, Silan Lewis).
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