Native American History PDF – American Indian Reference Books

Native American Testimony

A Chronicle of Indian-white Relations from Prophecy to the Present, 1492-2000

Nabokov, Peter
Penguin 1999

“A collection of primary source material, grouped by key issues that arose during 500 years of Indian and white encounters in North America. Nabokov uses traditional narratives, old government transcripts, reservation newspapers and firsthand interviews to highlight the chronological volume. Photographs appear throughout.” SLJ.

North American Indian Wars

Nardo, Don
Greenhaven 1999

This anthology of essays covers the major themes & conflicts of the wars that ended in the defeat & devastation of America’s Native American population.

Contents: Different cultures with different visions: Cultural differences lead to misconceptions and conflict / Alvin M. Josephy, Jr. — Why White Americans had difficulty understanding Indian religion / George E. Tinker — Less advanced economy and technology placed Indians at a disadvantage / Arrell M. Gibson — Manifest destiny: The U.S. vision of expansion / James W. Davidson et al. — Indian unity: a lost chance for survival / Richard White — CRUCIAL Confrontations between indians and whites: The first battles between the United States and the Indians / John Tebbel and Keith Jennison — A last gamble against steep odds: the Black Hawk War / Robert M. Utley and Wilcomb E. Washburn — Custer and the conquest of the Sioux / Royal B. Hassrick — The tragic flight of the Nez Perce / J. Jay Myers — U.S. subjugatiion of the Apache and Navajo / Edward H. Spicer — The Ghost Dance and Wounded Knee Massacre / Dee Brown — Disastrous impact of white conquest: Whites exploited native cultures and natural resources / Wilber R. Jacobs — The tactics and impact of Indian removal and relocation / Peter Farb — Slaughter of the Buffalo, livelihood of the Plains tribes / Stephen Longstreet — Indian cultures decimated by alcoholism and disease / Brian W. Dippie — White efforts to Christianize Native Americans / Robert F. Berkhofer — Epilogue: legacy of the indian wars: Assimilation versus self-determination: American Indians in the Twentieth Century / Carl Waldman.

Native Americans: A Resource Guide

Nauta, Laura R. and Evans, Shirley King, comp.
National Agricultural Library 1992

Agricultural techniques and ethnobotany; Culture and socioeconomics; Food and nutrition; Government relations and history; Directory of Native America Organizations.

Contents: Part 1: Bibliography: Agricultural techniques and ethnobotany – Culture and Socioeconomics – Food and nutrition – Government relations and history. Part 2: Directory of Native American Organizations. Part 3: Colleges and Universities: Bureau of Indian Affairs controlled college – Colleges and universities offering specialized studies – Tribally controlled community colleges. Part 4: Sources for general information.

The Best of the Athletic Boys: The White Man’s Impact on Jim Thorpe

Newcombe, Jack
Doubleday 1975

“The story began in 1887, soon after the Sac and Fox removal to Oklahoma Territory, when Jim Thorpe was born in an Indian cabin on the North Canadian River. It ended in 1953 when he was buried in the newly named Pennsylvania town of Jim Thorpe—a place as alien to the famous athlete’s spirit as his entire career had been to the Indian heritage from which he sprang. In between is a narrative of triumph and tragedy in which the American Indian is shown once again, even in victory, to be the white man’s victim.” -Book jacket.

Indians of the Americas: Human Rights and Self Determination

Ortiz, Roxanne D.
Praeger 1984

“Concerned with American Indian self-determination, this book proposes that international human rights and the international political system are the means whereby the political aspects of Indian self-determination in the Americas — both North and South — must be achieved. The first half of the book deals with the legal and political status of Indian peoples, that is, self-determination and human rights in law and principle; the second half comprises two case studies, one on Indians in the United States, the other on the Miskitu nation in revolutionary Nicaragua.” -Book cover.

The Men of the Last Frontier

Owl, Grey
Country Life 1939

The author was half-Scot, half-Apache, and was raised in the American southwest. As a young man he moved to Canada and followed the life of a ‘bush Indian’, trapping, fire-ranging and guiding. After overseas service in WWI he returned to the Canadian woods, working on preservation of the beaver. This book is a collection of essays, written in his spare time in the woods.

Indian-White Relations in the United States: A Bibliography of Works Published 1975-1980

Prucha, Francis P.
University of Nebraska 1982 Dewey Dec. 970.11

A 140-page bibliography of published works, organized under 15 general headings and numerous sub-headings.

Indians in American Society from the Revolutionary War to the Present

Prucha, Francis Paul
University of California 1985

“While the unique legal status of American Indians rests on the historical treaty relationship between Indian tribes and the federal government, until now there has been no comprehensive history of these treaties and their role in American life. Francis Paul Prucha, a leading authority on the history of American Indian affairs, argues that the treaties were a political anomaly from the very beginning. The term “treaty” implies a contract between sovereign independent nations, yet Indians were always in a position of inequality and dependence as negotiators, a fact that complicates their current attempts to regain their rights and tribal sovereignty. Prucha’s impeccably researched book, based on a close analysis of every treaty, makes possible a thorough understanding of a legal dilemma whose legacy is so palpably felt today.” -Publisher.

Native North American Almanac (vol 2)

Rose, Cynthia
UXL 1994

“Native North American Almanac features a comprehensive range of historical and current information on the life and culture of the Native peoples of the United States and Canada. Organized into 24 subject chapters, including major culture areas, activism, and religion, the volumes contain more than two hundred black-and-white photographs and maps, a glossary of terms used throughout the text, and a cumulative subject index.” Volume 1 is not available online.

Indians of New England: A Critical Bibliography

Salisbury, Neal
Indiana University 1982

Contents: Bibliographical essay — Tribal and regional histories — Before Europeans — Pre-settlement contacts, 1500-1620 — The decline of Indian autonomy: the colonial period — The subjugation of the southern bands — The northern frontier — Indians and America’s revolution — Tribal enclaves in a liberal republic, 1800-1945 — A new politics.

Mound Builders of Ancient America; The Archaeology of a Myth

Silverberg, Robert
New York Graphic Society 1968

“Our forebears, finding large, incomprehensible earthworks scattered down the Mississippi Valley, refused to believe they were built by the aborigines who still cluttered up the place and impeded settlement. Mr. Silverberg describes, with gleeful and copious quotation, the nineteenth-century literature of speculation which attributed these monuments to the Phoenicians, stray Vikings, the lost tribes of Israel, refugees from Atlantis, an extinct race of giants, and Welshmen. The book, which is charmingly written, ends with a history of the archeological work which gave the mounds back to the Indians.” -The Atlantic Monthly.

The Archaeology of North America

Snow, Dean R.
Viking 1976

Surveys the lifeways and cultural achievements and traditions of the prehistoric peoples of the great regions of North America, as we know of them from archaeological finds and research.

Contents: The eastern woodlands – The great plains – The desert west – The far west – The arctic and subarctic – Chronologies.

Warpaths; Invasions of North America

Steele, Ian Kenneth
Oxford University 1994

“Provides a sweeping history of the numerous European invasions of North America, painting a dramatic new portrait of the centuries of warfare that shook the continent. Destroys the old image of technologically advanced Europeans overrunning primitive savages. Reveals how the Amerindians rose to the challenge of each successive invasion with martial and diplomatic skill.” -Publisher.

The Indian Tribes of North America

Swanton, John R.
Govt Printing Office 1953

Smithsonian Institution Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin 145. Chapter headings are state names, so each state chapter contains information about Indians that have resided there.

Native Americans: An Illustrated History

Thomas, David Hurst
Turner 1993

“Dispossessed of their ancestral homelands by successive invasions of Europeans, the first real Americans have long been cloaked in a veil of myth and legend that has hidden from us the true richness and diversity of Indian civilizations and cultures. This newly unfolding legacy represents an unparalleled body of untapped wisdom, which even now provides fresh perspectives on very modern problems. The astonishing reality of Indian history, presented here for the first time from the perspective of native Americans, will deepen our understanding of what it really means to be an American. Spanning a thousand generations, from the time Ice Age man first set foot on this continent to the present, and beautifully written by five well-known authorities on Indian history and culture, this volume is lavishly illustrated with photographs, maps, and, the work of both historic and contemporary artists.” -Publisher.

Winds of Renewal

Time-Life Books 1996

“The story of the American Indians is to a large extent an epic of survival against crushing odds. Ever since Columbus first stepped ashore, Native Americans have suffered mightily at the hands of newcomers to the continent who seized their lands, transmitted killing diseases, made war on them, and herded them into isolated and inadequate reservations.” -Publisher. Numerous photos.

Use of the American Indian in American Literature to 1890, With Reference to the Eastern States

Toomey, Mary F.
Unpublished 1941

This 1941 M.A. thesis shows how Indians were portrayed in American literature in the 18th and 19th centuries in much of the eastern U.S.

Everything you Wanted to Know about Indians but were Afraid to Ask

Treuer, Anton
Borealis 2012

Treuer, an Ojibwe scholar and cultural preservationist, answers the most commonly asked questions about American Indians, both historical and modern. He gives a frank, funny, and personal tour of what’s up with Indians, anyway.

Indian Land Areas Judicially Established 1978 and American Indian Reservations

U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs
U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs 2015

Zoom in to at least 100%. All American Indian lands in the 48 states are shown and identified by number. A table at the lower left lists all tribes associated with land areas on the map, and a table on the right side lists all federally recognized tribal entities for which no reservation exists.

American Indians and Alaska Natives in the United States

American Indians and Alaska Natives in Alaska

U.S. Census Bureau
U.S. Census Bureau 2011

These large maps, produced by the U.S. Census Bureau from 2010 census data, shows the location of American Indian lands throughout the U.S. The first link shows the 48 states, and the second is for Alaska only. Inset charts show the populations of the ten largest tribal groupings.

The Indian Frontier of the American West, 1846-1890

Utley, Robert M.
University of New Mexico 1984

“The dramatic events of the final half-century of conflict between Indians and whites in the American West are presented here as a history of two peoples seemingly destined never to understand each other. Utley interprets this conflict from a dual perspective: recreating events from the Indian viewpoint while also providing an objective appraisal of why the nineteenth-century white man acted as he did. This evenhanded approach to a tragic period of American history results in a memorable study of impressive scope and penetrating insight.
Robert M. Utley is former Chief Historian and Assistant Director of the National Park Service and the author of many books and articles on the Indian and the army in the West.” -Book cover.

Indian Wars

Utley, Robert M. and Washburn, Wilcomb E.
Houghton Mifflin 1987

An absorbing and comprehensive work, INDIAN WARS recounts the violent conflicts between Native Americans and white settlers that lasted more than three hundred years, the effects of which still resonate today. Here, the widely respected historians Robert Utley and Wilcomb Washburn examine both small battles and major wars — from the Native rebellion of 1492, to Crazy Horse and the Sioux War, to the massacre at Wounded Knee.

Indian Oratory; Famous Speeches by Noted Indian Chieftains

Vanderwerth, W.C., comp.
University of Oklahoma 1971

Over forty speeches by the leaders of twenty-two tribes reflect the Indian’s thoughts and feelings on the advance of white settlers.
Contents: Teedyuscung, Delaware – Pontiac, Ottawa – Cornplanter, Seneca – Red Jacket, Seneca – Joseph Brant, Mohawk – Little Turtle, Miami.

Atlas of the North American Indian

Waldman, Carl
Facts On File 2000

“Organized topically, the text combines excellent maps with essays on such subjects as Indian wars, life-styles, and contact with early explorers … The concluding section on contemporary Indians is equally perceptive, as Waldman traces the process of assimilation, discusses social conditions, and identifies what he considers to be an Indian cultural renewal now under way.” – Booklist.

Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes

Waldman, Carl
Facts on File 1999

“This comprehensive guide examines the more than 150 tribes in North America as well as prehistoric peoples and civilizations. Organized alphabetically by tribe or group, the book summarizes the historical record—such as locations, migrations, contacts with non-Indians, wars—and includes present-day tribal status. Traditional Indian lifeways, such as language, clothing, houses, transportation, tools, arts, legends, and rituals are highlighted. Culture areas—geographic regions where various Indian peoples had lifeways are common—are used to further organize information and present it in an understandable way to readers.” -Publisher.

Blood Struggle: The Rise of Modern Indian Nations

Wilkinson, Charles F.
Norton 2005

“For generations, Indian people suffered a grinding poverty and political and cultural suppression on the reservations. But tenacious and visionary tribal leaders refused to give in. They knew their rights and insisted that the treaties be honored. Against all odds, beginning shortly after World War II, they began to succeed. Blood Struggle explores how Indian tribes took their hard-earned sovereignty and put it to work for Indian peoples and the perpetuation of Indian culture. This is the story of wrongs righted and noble ideals upheld: the modern tribal sovereignty movement deserves to be spoken of in the same breath as the civil rights, environmental, and women’s movements.” -Publisher.

Vintage Books about Native American History

Vintage BOOKS – Native American History

The Indian To-day; The Past and Future of the First American

Eastman, Charles A.
Doubleday 1915

“A well-known Sioux presents in simple, forceful style his view of the problems of the Indian. He compares former conditions, social and industrial, with those of 1915, and criticizes the agency system and the injustices of the government, while recognizing all efforts to help the Indian to independence”. -A.L.A. Catalog 1926.


Old Indian Days

Eastman, Charles A.
Doubleday 1910

“The chivalry of the Indian warrior and the womanliness of the Indian woman are subjects which Mr. Eastman sets forth with authority and sentiment. In an idealized sense his tales become more ‘than mere narrations of savage exploits and records of the legends and traditions, beliefs and practices, of a primitive people.” -Book Review Digest.


The Story of the Indian

Grinnel, George Bird
Appleton 1909

“This volume might be called one of recollections, for in it have been set down many memories of Indian life. The scenes described I have witnessed with my own eyes; the stories related are those which have been told me by the Indians themselves.” – Author’s Intro

Contents: His home – Recreations – A marriage – Subsistence – His hunting – The war trail – Fortunes of war – Prairie battlefields – Implements and industries – Man and nature – His creation – The world of the dead – Pawnee religion – The old faith and the new – The coming of the white man.


Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico, Part 1

Part 2

Hodge, Frederick Webb, ed.
Govt Printing Office 1910

Smithsonian Institution Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin 30. “Contains a descriptive list of the stocks, confederacies, tribes, tribal divisions and settlements north of Mexico, accompanied with the various names by which these have been known, together with biographies of Indians of note, sketches of their history, archeology, manners, arts, customs and institutions,…”


The Red Man’s Continent

A Chronicle of Aboriginal America

Huntington, Ellsworth
Glasgow, Brook 1919

“The author has aimed first to present … the main facts about the geographical environment of American history. The influence of geographical conditions upon the life of the primitive Indians has been emphasized, … because people without iron tools and beasts of burden, and without any cereal crops except corn, must respond to their environment very differently from civilized people of today.” -Preface.


Famous Indian Chiefs

Their Battles, Treaties, Sieges, and Struggles with the Whites for the Possession of America

Johnston, Charles H.L.
Page 1909

Contents: Powhatan – Poechancanough – Sassacus and Uncas – Massasoit – King Philip, or Metacomet – Pontiac – Logan – Red Jacket, or Sa-go-ye-wat-ha – Captain Joseph Brant – Little Turtle, or Michikiniqua – Tecumseh – Weatherford – Black Hawk – Osceola – Roman Nose – Geronimo – Red Cloud – Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse.


In Red Man’s Land: A Study of the American Indian

Leupp, Francis E.
Revell 1914

The author was a former U.S. Commissioner of Indian Affairs.

Contents: The aboriginal red man – The red man and the government – The red man and his white neighbor – The red man and our social order – Aborigines who are not red men – The red man as teacher and learner – Supplemental: “Missions to the red man,” by Rev. A.F. Beard, D.D.


The American Indian Frontier

MacLeod, William Christie
Knopf 1928

“Historians, as well as anthropologists and sociologists, may benefit from its chapters which should stimulate the reconstruction of many conventional narratives of the contacts between the whites and the Indians.” -Outlook magazine.


My Friend the Indian

McLaughlin, James
Houghton Mifflin 1910

The author was the U.S. Indian Inspector, and previously Indian agent to the Sioux at Devils Lake and Standing Rock agencies, North Dakota. For 38 years he lived among or had official dealings with Indians. Many of the stories and incidents related here were from his own experience, and others were told him by Indians.


Traits of American-Indian Life and Character

Ogden, Peter S.
Smith, Elder 1853

The author was a chief factor (i.e. fur trader) of the Hudson’s Bay Company in British Columbia and Washington, 1835-1854.

Contents: Experience of the Indian character – The Red Feather, Flathead chief – The burial of the dead and the living – An Indian festival – A tale of Western Caledonia – The bloody tragedy – The burning of the dead – Intermittent fever – A Western Caledonian feast – The Great Dalles of the Columbia – The unfortunate daughter – The Shewappe murderer – The storm, the mother’s grave – The suicide’s cross – The death of our favorite donkey – The London packet.


American Indian Life, by Several of Its Students

Parsons, Elsie C., ed.
Viking 1925

Collected essays by anthropologists on Native American life, in eight sections: plains tribes, tribes of the middle west, eastern tribes, tribes of the south-west, Mexican tribes, Pacific coast tribes, northern Athabascan tribes, and Eskimo.


The Autobiography of a Winnebago Indian

Radin, Paul
University of California 1920

University of California Publications in American Archaeology and Ethnology. “Edited with explanatory notes. A middle-aged WInnebago who belongs to a prominent family of the tribe and has had typical experiences, relates them in considerable detail and with great candor…”


Indians Today

Seymour, Flora W.
Sanborn1927

Flora Warren Seymour (1888-1948) was a lawyer, admitted to the Illinois Bar in 1916. She worked for the U.S. Indian Service for a time, and became the first woman member of the Board of Indian Commissioners in 1922. She said she wrote this book for a juvenile audience because there were few books available that “makes the reader acquainted with the Indian as he is at the present day.”


The Story of the Red Man

Seymour, Flora Warren
Longmans, Green 1929

See the brief note at Seymour’s other book on this page, ‘Indians Today’. This work was written afterward for a somewhat more mature audience, and dealt with both the history and the present (1920s) condition of the Indian.


The Indians of North America in Historic Times

Thomas, Cyrus
Barrie 1903

A volume in a series “The History of North America”. The author was an archaeologist in the Bureau of American Ethnology.


The American Indian

An Introduction to the Anthropology of the New World

Wissler, Clark
Oxford University 1922

The author was curator of anthropology in the American Museum of Natural History, New York City.

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