QUEBEC-RESEARCH-L ArchivesArchiver > QUEBEC-RESEARCH > 2004-05 > 1083717995
Subject: Excerpt Of History
Date: Tue, 4 May 2004 20:46:36 EDT
"Of all the frontier figures that are sunk in myth, none are sunk deeper
than the Indians. And of all the myths about Indians, the most common is that
they were uncommonly savage.
Indians did invent scalping 1000s of years ago. Europeans condemned
scalping, but then they adopted the practice themselves. They began by paying Indians
to scalp other Indians. When that seemed inadequate to their needs, they
hired Indians to scalp other Eropeans.Before long Europeans were scalping each
It was the white man who first conceived of using killer dogs as an
instrument of war on the frontier. The dogs, English mastiffs, bred for the specific
purpose of killing Indians, weighed a fearsome 150 pounds, stood two and a
half feet high, and could rip apart a person with ease. Using mastiffs to bait
bears and bulls was illegal in many of the European colonies, but Indian baiting
was considered both legal and moral.
Europeans also infected the Indians with smallpox.
History is written by winners, and winners choose to ignore their own
violence and to emphasize the violence of the losers.
The Indians also might have been expected to indicate that their decimation
as a people deserves a little coverage. No one knows how many Indians lived
in North America when the Europeans came, but it was far more than live here
now. By one estimate, as many as eighteen million Indians were present. Others
say four million. Today there are fewer than one million."