Native American history books free & reference works. 1st of 4 webpages with links to hundreds of free books about American Indians. On this page: history, archaeology, reference books, maps, atlases, encyclopedias of Native Americans, links to other collections.
Native American Books at Century Past Library
Almost 6,000 free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Indians of North America”. Be patient as the page loads. Some books: The 13 Original Clan Mothers, Handbooks of the North American Indians, Dynamics of Southwest Prehistory, American Indian Facts of Life, The Decline and Rebirth of the Indian People, Addictions and Native Americans, A Bibliography of the English Colonial Treaties, A Bibliography of American Indian Land, many more books on Indians of North America.
‘Collections’ take longer to appear on your screen than single books. On a phone, only about 25 books in a collection may appear.
Over 800 free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Native American History”. Some books: Student Almanac of Native American History, Encyclopedia of Native American History and Culture, Native American Religions, Native North American Art History, Ecological Issues in Native American History, An Oral History of Native American People, Native American Writers, A Collection of Wisconsin Native American Writing, Native American Humor, many more books on Native American History.
About 25 free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Indians of North America – Canada – History”. Some books: Readings on Canadian Native History, Askiwina: a Cree World, The Canadian Indian: a history since 1500, The Indians and the Heroic Age of New France, Reappraising Canadian History, The Illustrated History of the Great Tribes of Canada, Native Peoples and Cultures of Canada, First Nations in Canada, many more books on Indians of Canada. Native American history books free.
About 30 free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Indians – Prehistoric Peoples”. Some books: The First North Americans, An Almanac of North American Prehistory, Archaeological Researches in Retrospect, Prehistoric People of North America, Images of the Past, Rewriting Prehistory – How New Science is Tracing America’s Ice Age Mariners, Prehistoric Man in the New World, The Earliest Americans, many more books on American Prehistoric Peoples.
About 80 free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Indians of North America – Antiquities”. Some books: The Archaeology of New York State, Prehistoric Hunters of the High Plains, Museum Ethnology and the Algonkian Project, Indian Rock Paintings of the Great Lakes, Western Iowa Prehistory, Investigating New England’s Paleo Indians, Indians of the Northwest Coast, Ancient North Americans, Guide to Ancient Native American Sites, many more books about American Indian Antiquities. Native American history books.
About 310 free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Indians – Archaeology”. Some books: Settlement Ceremony and Status in the Deep South A.D. 350 to 750, Inter-regional Ties in Costa Rican Prehistory, The Chipped Stone Tool Production/Use Cycle, Early Formative Period of Coastal Ecuador, Accidental Archaeologist: memoirs of Jesse D. Jennings, Stones, Bones and Petroglyphs, The Moose Bay Burial Mound, Historical Resource Investigations within the Forty Mile Coulee Reservoir, many more books on American Indian Archaeology.
About 40 free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Central America – Antiquities”. Some books: The Ancient Maya, Fine Pre-Columbian Art, The Aztecs, Maya and their Predecessors, The Mesoamerican Ballgame, Before Cortes: sculpture of Middle America, Mesoamerica’s Ancient Cities, The New World Figurine Project, Maya: the riddle and rediscovery of a lost civilization, Rock Art of East Mexico and Central America: an annotated bibliography, many more books about Central American Indian Antiquities. Native American history books.
See our collected articles about U.S. History until 1800
About 70 free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Indians of North America – Wars”. Some books: The American Indian Frontier, Northwestern Fights and Fighters, The Red King’s Rebellion, Geronimo: the last Apache war chief, Tribal Wars of the Southern Plains, The North American Struggle for Unity 1745-1815, Crowns Colonies and Tribes in the Seven Years War in America, To Live and Die in the West: the American Indian wars, Indian Wars of New England, A Sorrow in our Heart: the life of Tecumseh, The Indian Frontier of the American West 1846-1890, many more books on American Indian wars. Native American history books.
About 30 free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Indians of North America – Bibliography”. Some books: Sociology of American Indians: a critical bibliography, Index to Literature on the American Indian 1973, Native Americans: an annotated bibliography, List of Publications of the Bureau of American Ethnology, A Bibliography of Native American Writers 1772-1924, Guide to Research on North American Indians, North American Indians: a dissertation index, Aboriginal People: a selected bibliography concerning Canada’s First People, American Indians: a study guide and sourcebook, Indians of North America: methods and sources for library research, many more bibliographies for Native Americans.
Prentice Hall 1993 Dewey Dec. 970.11
“From the moment that Europeans landed on America’s shores, they engaged in bloody conflict with the natives they encountered. Tensions and hostilities bred in the colonial wars with the Spanish, English, French, and Dutch would lead inevitably to the later wars of the removal period, skirmishes on the western Plains, and, ultimately, the confrontation at Wounded Knee. Now, captured here in the words of those who lived it, is the epic, violent history of a landscape turned red – through fear, greed, and fatal misunderstanding. Each chapter in this sweeping narrative outlines and focuses on a particular war or period, re-creating its conflicts through hundreds of immediate sources – the diaries and letters of military commanders, captivity narratives and missionary journals, U.S. Army reports and treaties, and Native American speeches and oral accounts.” -Publisher
Contents: (10 chapter titles of 28) Ch. 1. Black legend, red men: new Spain (1492-1751) — Ch. 2. “To subdue the wilde salvages:” Jamestown and the southern settlements (1607-1671) — Ch. 3. Trouble in New Canaan: the Pequot War (1634-1638) — Ch. 4. New England bleeds: King Philip’s War (1675-1676) — Ch. 5. Trade and tyranny: the Dutch-Indian Wars (1626-1664) — Ch. 6. Iroquoian imperialism: the Beaver Wars (1638-1684) — Ch. 7. Clients, allies, enemies, and a demagogue: the Indian War of 1675-1676 — Ch. 8. Old world enmities, new world battles: the wars of King William and Queen Anne (1688-1713) — Ch. 9. Desperate resistance: the Tuscarora and Yamassee Wars (1710-1716) — Ch. 10. An ear and an empire: the Fox Resistance, King George’s War, and the Chickasaw Resistance (1712-1748). Native American history books.
Essays in the Ethnohistory of Colonial North America
Oxford University 1982 Dewey Dec. 970.11
“Deals with the encounters of Europeans and Indians in colonial North America. A blending of history and anthropology, the author draws on a wide variety of sources, including archaeological findings, linguistics, accounts of colonists, art, and published scholarship.” -Publisher
Contents: The ethnohistorical approach — 1. Ethnohistory: an historian’s viewpoint — 2. The unkindest cut, or who invented scalping?: a case study — From Indian to European — 3. The invasion within: the contest of cultures in colonial North America — 4. Dr. Wheelock’s little red school — 5. Last rights: the acculturation of native funerals in colonial North America — From European to Indian — 6. The scholastic philosophy of the wilderness — 7. The white Indians of colonial America — 8. Scalping: the ethnohistory of a moral question — American encounter — 9. The English colonial impact on Indian culture — 10. The Indian impact on English colonial culture.
Baity, Elizabeth Chesley
Viking 1975 Dewey Dec. 970.11
“Here is unfolded to the mind and imagination of the reader an impressive panorama of life on the American continents before ever Columbus opened the way for European exploration and conquest… The story sweeps in dramatic episodes from the cold and lonely journey of Asiatic peoples across the Bering Strait, to the highly organized civilization of the Incas. “It is a story of epic size, of ordinary human beings faced with the challenge of the unknown and the dangerous, and of the courage and endurance with which these men, women, and children traveled across the icy top of the world … and found their way down from the cold northland into the endless Great Plains from which they spread in countless ways.” -Book jacket. Native American history books.
Native American History Books Free – & American Indian Reference Books
The Pageant of North America as Seen by the First Explorers
Dover 1961 Dewey Dec. 970.11
“This unique and unusual book brings to life for you the sights, sounds, and smells of your land in its unspoiled state before the white man. Every region in the country is presented as it appeared to the first Europeans who settled or explored it. You visit a Manhattan fragrant with wild flowers and covered with forests; a Boston still teeming with beavers; a Chicago trodden by countless herds of buffalo. Your eyes feast on miles of virgin canebrake, the wild turkeys in the magnolias, and the many gorgeous birds soon to be wiped out by greedy hunters. Citing scores of original journals, diaries, and letters, as well as authentic Indian narratives, Mr. Bakeless reconstructs the reciprocal impact of the civilized Europeans and the untamed new land.” -Publisher
Berkhofer, Robert F.
Knopf 1978 Dewey Dec. 970.11
“Columbus called them “Indians” because his geography was faulty. But that name and, more important, the images it has come to suggest have endured for five centuries, not only obscuring the true identity of the original Americans but serving as an ideological weapon in their subjugation. Now, in this brilliant and deeply disturbing reinterpretation of the American past, Robert Berkhofer has written an impressively documented account of the self-serving stereotypes Europeans and white Americans have concocted about the “Indian”: Noble Savage or bloodthirsty redskin, he was deemed inferior in the light of western, Christian civilization and manipulated to its benefit. A thought-provoking and revelatory study of the absolute, seemingly ineradicable pervasiveness of white racism, The White Man’s Indian is a truly important book which penetrates to the very heart of our understanding of ourselves.” -Publisher. Native American history books.
Marshall Cavendish 1997 Dewey Dec. 970.11
Readers can rely on ‘Encyclopedia of North American Indians’ for an authentic and often surprising portrait of the complexities of the Native American experience. Written by more than 260 contemporary authorities, the volume features many Native American contributors – including eminent writers, tribal elders, scholars, and activists – with voices as distinct as their subjects, offering a deeper and more informed appreciation of American Indian life, past and present. Illustrated with many rare photographs, the Encyclopedia features articles on subjects such as mound builders, reservations, cigar-store Indians, child rearing, powwows, boarding schools, museums and collectors, dreams, the occupation of Alcatraz, and the impact of American Indian civilizations on Europe and the world. Contemporary topics include gambling, sports mascots, alcoholism, urban Indians, and the status of women. Biographies illuminate not only famous chiefs and warriors but an enormously diverse group of historical figures, such as Pauline Johnson, a Mohawk who became the first American Indian woman to publish poetry; Charles Curtis, a Kaw Indian who served as vice president under Herbert Hoover; and “Chief” Bender, an Ojibwa who played and coached professional baseball and is lauded in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Covering Arctic to southeastern peoples, separate articles on more than one hundred major tribes – from Abenaki to Zuni – discuss community origins, rituals and beliefs, socialorganization, and present-day life.
See our collected articles about U.S. History in the 19th Century
American Heritage 1987 Dewey Dec. 970.11
A volume in the “American Heritage Library”. “Here is a definitive one-volume account of the American Indians from their arrival via the Bering Strait to their rapid and extraordinary expansion throughout the New World. William Brandon, an authority on Indians and the West, chronicles 20,000 years of Indian history, telling how the Indians developed dramatically different cultures, how they interacted with each other and the white settlers, and how, in the end, they were nearly exterminated.” -Book cover. Native American history books.
Indian Head 1995 Dewey Dec. 970.11
Contents: Fetterman’s folly : the true story of the tragic Fort Phil Kearny Disaster — The wagon box fight : thirty-two against three thousand, Sergt. Sam Gibson’s experience — The “island of death” : Forsyth’s scouts in the Beecher Island Battle, as experience by Scout Sigmund Shlesinger — The rescue of Forsyth’s scouts by Col. L.H. Carpenter, 10th cavalry — The “dull knife” outbreak of the northern Cheyennes at Fort Robinson, Nebr. 1879 — The Modoc Indian War of 1873 : how Tobey Riddle, Modoc Indian heroine, saved the lives of the peace commissioners — The Sioux ghost dance trouble at Pine Ridge Agency, South Dakota, 1890 — The “buffalo wallow” fight of 1874 : honors for Scout Billy Dixon — Major Frank North’s famous “Pawnee Scouts” batallion — “California Joe” (Moses Milner), noted scout and guide for Custer, 1868 — History of the famous “Pony Express” — “Little Bat” (Baptiste Garnier) : noted scout, guide, hunter, trailer, 1876 — The story of Old Fort Pease — An unequal duel : a true story of a northern Cheyenne Indiana fanaticism — The history of Bent’s Old Fort, Colorado, in early wild western days — Jim Bridger : greatest of plainsmen between 1825 and 1870 — “Clamity Jane” (Martha Canary) : romantic Black Hills figure
Bantam 1981 Dewey Dec. 970.11
Eloquent, heartbreaking, and meticulously documented, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee follows the systematic destruction of the American Indian during the second half of the 19th century. Upon its publication in 1970, the book was universally lauded and became a cultural phenomenon that proved instrumental in transforming public perceptions of manifest destiny and the “winning” of the West.
Using council records, autobiographies, and firsthand descriptions, Brown’s work highlighted the voices of those American Indians who actually experienced the battles, massacres, and broken treaties. Here is their view of the events that ultimately left them demoralized and defeated, including: the Battle of Sand Creek; Red Cloud’s War; the Battle of the Little Bighorn; and, of course, the Wounded Knee Massacre. Crazy Horse, Red Cloud, Sitting Bull, and Spotted Tail—the great chiefs and warriors of the Dakota, Ute, Cheyenne, and other tribes—come to life through their own words and formal portraits. Native American history books.
Brown, Janet Hubbard
Chelsea House 1999 Dewey Dec. 970.11
Profiles twenty-five Native American leaders, mostly from the nineteenth century, including Big Elk (Omaha), Geronimo (Apache), Joseph (Nez Perce), Red Cloud (Oglala Sioux), and White Swan (Crow).
Da Capo 2005 Dewey Dec. 970.11
“In North America’s first major conflict, known today as the French and Indian War, France and England–both in alliance with Native American tribes–fought each other in a series of bloody battles and terrifying raids. No confrontation was more brutal and notorious than the massacre of the British garrison of Fort William Henry–an incident memorably depicted in James Fenimore Cooper’s The Last of the Mohicans. That atrocity stoked calls for revenge, and the tough young Major Robert Rogers and his “Rangers” were ordered north into enemy territory to exact it.
On the morning of October 4, 1759, Rogers and his men surprised the Abenaki Indian village of St. Francis, slaughtering its sleeping inhabitants without mercy. A nightmarish retreat followed. When, after terrible hardships, the raiders finally returned to safety, they were hailed as heroes by the colonists, and their leader was immortalized as “the brave Major Rogers.” But the Abenakis remembered Rogers differently: To them he was Wobomagonda–“White Devil.” -Publisher
Indians, Europeans, and the Remaking of Early America
Calloway, Colin G.
Johns Hopkins University 1997 Dewey Dec. 970.11
“Calloway explores the unique and vibrant new cultures that Indians and Europeans forged together in early America. The process, Calloway writes, lasted longer than the United States has existed as a nation. During that time, most of America was still “Indian country,” and even in areas of European settlement, Indians and Europeans remained a part of each other’s daily lives: living, working, worshiping, traveling, and trading together – as well as fearing, avoiding, despising, and killing one another. Ranging across the continent and over 300 years, New Worlds for All describes encounters between Spanish conquistadors and Zuni warriors, Huron shamans and French Jesuit missionaries, English merchants and Montagnais traders. Calloway’s discussion of conflict and cooperation includes the use of natural resources and shared knowledge about trail networks, herbal medicines, metal tools, and weapons. He depicts the European emulation of Indian military tactics, the varied responses of Indian societies to Christianity, attempts made on all sides to learn the languages and customs of the other, and the intermingling of peoples at the fringes of competing cultures – through captivity and adoption, attempts to escape one’s own society and embrace another, or intermarriage. The New World, Calloway concludes, brought new identities for all, as Indian and European cultures combined to create a uniquely American identity.” -Publisher. Native American history books.
Calloway, Colin G.
University of Nebraska 2003 Dewey Dec. 970.11
“This magnificent, sweeping account traces the histories of the Native peoples of the American West from their arrival thousands of years ago to the early years of the nineteenth century. Colin G. Calloway depicts Indian country west of the Appalachians to the Pacific, with emphasis on conflict and change.” -Publisher
Visible Ink 1993 Dewey Dec. 970.11
“This is a guided tour of more than 300 sites across the continent of North America which are associated with Native American Indians. Arranged by region, the guide is illustrated with photographs and detailed maps of the sites, bringing the history and culture of the first Americans to life. It also includes practical travel information, a glossary and timeline.” -Publisher
See our collection of free historical fiction
with letters and notes, written during eight years of travel and adventure among the wildest and most remarkable tribes now existing
Chatto and Windus 1876 Dewey Dec. 970.11
The two volumes contain 360 colored engravings from the author’s original paintings. First published in 1841.
Harcourt Brace Jovanovich 1971 Dewey Dec. 970.1
“Who was the first American? When did he first come upon the North American continent? The story unfolds with the suspense of a tale of mystery. Ceram retraces the routes followed by explorers, scientists, and archaeologists, and takes a fresh look at the material they have discovered. He considers in this broader context many clues that have long baffled specialists. As a result, The First American provides the answers to a number of important questions. The author reveals the astounding richness of the American Indians’ cultural legacy. Frequently he poses new, puzzling problems of historical interpretation.” – Book jacket. Native American history books.
Gale Research 1994 Dewey Dec. 970.11
“This comprehensive, illustrated reference is designed for students seeking information on important people, places and events. Special features include an annotated bibliography; tribal chronologies; introductory essay surveying Native cultures, history and religions; short biographical sketches of Native Americans; and a helpful keyword index.” -Publisher
Holocaust and Denial in the Americas 1492 to the Present
City Lights 1997 Dewey Dec. 970.11
“In this provocative collection of essays, Ward Churchill examines the definition of genocide — in legal as well as cultural terms. He begins by framing the matter of holocaust denial, examining both “revisionist” denial of the Jewish Holocaust, and the opposing claim of its exclusive “uniqueness.” Then, using the true scope of what happened in Europe under Nazism as a reference point, Churchill provides a stunning array of evidence in support of the argument that genocide is precisely what has been carried out against Indians of the Americas since the arrival of Columbus, with atrocities continuing unabated today. Churchill reveals how the international definition of the crime of genocide has been subverted to meet various political ends — and demonstrates why the historic and contemporary suffering of indigenous peoples should be included in this category.”- Publisher. Native American history books.
Scholastic Reference 1996 Dewey Dec. 970.11
“This celebration of historic–and present-day–Native American cultures includes information on the contemporary lives of more than 149 Indian groups, from the Canadian North to the Yucatan Peninsula, researched especially for this book. Contains a timeline, maps, a list of sites and museums, and more than 500 illustrations.” -Publisher
Coe, Michael D., et al
Facts on File 1986 Dewey Dec. 970.11
Text, illustrations, and maps survey the history, art, and archaeology of the original cultures native to North, Central, and South America.
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New American Library 1948 Dewey Dec. 970.11
“The long history of the Indians of the Western Hemisphere is both tragic and inspiring: tragic because it is a shameful record of conquest and spoliation by white men— inspiring because out of it emerges that passion and reverence for human personality, for the web of life, and for the earth which has been a sacred trust of the Indian since before the Stone Age.” -Book cover. Native American history books.
Curtis, Edward S.
Curtis 1907-1930 Dewey Dec. 970.11
Edward Sheriff Curtis published The North American Indian between 1907 and 1930 with the intent to record traditional Indian cultures. The work comprises twenty volumes of narrative text and photogravure images. Each volume is accompanied by a portfolio of large photogravure plates. The entire work is presented on this website.
See our book collection for U.S. History 1865-1900
Dankey, James P., ed.
Greenwood Press 1984
Davis, Mary B.
Garland 1994 Dewey Dec. 970.11
“This volume offers tribal-specific information on the art, daily life, economic development, and religion of 20th century American Indians and Alaska Natives and the government policy that affects them.” -Libr J. Native American history books.
Chelsea House 1997 Dewey Dec. 970.11
An historical account of the clash between Native American and Spanish cultures in the Western Hemisphere including profiles of leaders from both sides. Native American history books.
Lerner 1972 Dewey Dec. 970.11
“The story of the white man’s westward expansion is also the tragic history of the displacement of the Indian by warfare and forced removal to government reservations. In 14 biographical sketches of Indian leaders from King Philip to Chief Joseph, the author focuses on the struggles of the Wamoanoag, the Shawnee. the Sauk and Fox, the Sioux, the Nez Percé, and others to retain their land and their way of life. ” – Book cover
Contents: Indian patriots and white savages – King Philip – Pontiac – Joseph Brant – Tecumseh – Sequoyah – Osceola – Black Hawk and Keokuk – Crazy Horse – Gall – Sitting Bull – Cochise – Geronimo – Joseph
University of California 1992 Dewey Dec. 970.11
“With Countering Colonization, Carol Devens offers a well-documented, revisionary history of Native American women. From the time of early Jesuit missionaries to the late nineteenth century, Devens brings Ojibwa, Cree, and Montagnais-Naskapi women of the Upper Great Lakes region to the fore. Far from being passive observers without regard for status and autonomy, these women were pivotal in their own communities and active in shaping the encounter between Native American and white civilizations.
While women’s voices have been silenced in most accounts, their actions preserved in missionary letters and reports indicate the vital part women played during centuries of conflict. In contrast to some Indian men who accepted the missionaries’ religious and secular teachings as useful tools for dealing with whites, many Indian women felt a strong threat to their ways of life and beliefs. Women endured torture and hardship, and even torched missionaries’ homes in an attempt to reassert control over their lives. Devens demonstrates that gender conflicts in Native American communities, which anthropologists considered to be “aboriginal,” resulted in large part from women’s and men’s divergence over the acceptance of missionaries and their message.” -Publisher