"Do We Reverse the Medal?" Settler Guilt, the Indian Speech, and the Untold Side of the Story Rebecca Weaver- Hightower The first story of nineteenth-century American author Emerson Bennett's collection, Forest and Prairie or Life on the Frontier (1860), presents an interesting paradox. This book of stories about settler heroes begins with a pronouncement about the evils of white settlers' treatment of Indians.1 We talk of the ferocity, the vindictiveness, the treachery, and the cruelty of the native savage; and, painting him in the darkest colors, tell how, when his hunting grounds covered the sites of our now proudest cities, he was wont to steal down upon a few harmless whites, our forefathers, and butcher them in cold blood, sparing neither sex nor age, except for a painful captivity, to end perhaps in the most demoniac tortures; and we dwell upon the theme, till our little innocent children shudder and creep close to our sides, and look fearfully around them, and perhaps wonder how the good God, of whom they have also heard us speak, could ever have permitted such human monsters to encumber His fair and beautiful earth. But do we reverse the medal and show the
Western American Literature – The Western Literature Association
Published: Jul 12, 2017
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