History. (Abstracts-2003 Annual Meetings)

Michigan Academician, Spring 2003 | Go to article overview

History. (Abstracts-2003 Annual Meetings)


Erasing Old Tipp: Richard Emmons's Tecumseh Play and the Election of 1836. Martin W. Walsh, University of Michigan, Residential College, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1245; narenlob@umich.edu

An examination of the play Tecumseh; or, The Battle of the Thames by Dr. Richard Emmons reveals it to be a piece of Democratic Party (Jacksonian) propaganda. Written in support of Kentuckian senator Richard Mentor Johnson, the purported slayer of Tecumseh, the piece was published and revived on the stage for the Election of 1836 in which Johnson served as Martin Van Buren's running mate. The play systematically erases the presence of Whig candidate Gen. William Henry Harrison from his crowning victory at the Thames, elevating the "irregular" Kentucky militia over the regular U.S. Army. Harrison would have his revenge in the equally distorted but more famous "Tippecanoe and Tyler Too" campaign of 1840.

The Construction of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe. Georgeline Nnebedum, Central Michigan University, History Department; home address: 1780 Liberty Drive Apt. 201, Mount Pleasant, MI 48858

This research examines the United States government's construction of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe, which was based on assumptions and perceptions about the tribe's government that have led to the current membership debate. The research will focus on three influencing factors: the original form of tribal government, the Treaty of 1855, and the acceptance of the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934. The theory of Ethnic Reorganization is the foundation used for this research. The data collection shows the changes that took place in order to transform the Saginaw Bands to the Saginaw Chippewa Indian tribe.

Playing to be American: The Formation of Mexican Baseball Teams in East Chicago, Indiana, 1920-1945. John Fraire, Western Michigan University, History Department; home address: 108 Edgemoor Avenue, Kalamazoo, MI 49001

Much of the research on Mexican Americans in the U.S. focuses on the rural background of Chicanos and Mexicans in the Southwest and California. This presentation instead centers on the Midwestern and urban experience of the first Mexican residents of East Chicago, Indiana, an area that was one of the most highly industrialized areas in the world from 1920 to the 1980s. One of the first activities organized for Mexican youth was a baseball team sponsored by Los Obreros, a prominent mutual aid society. By the late 1930s, other Mexican baseball teams formed, including the popular Los Gallos and a team for women, Las Gallinas. These teams played in city and church leagues. They also traveled to Chicago to play other Mexican baseball teams, even traveling to Kansas City one summer to play Satchel Paige and the Kansas City Monarchs. This presentation reviews how these teams were formed, the significance of their emergence in a highly industrialized area, and how this particular Midwestern Mexican community develope d their own identity as Mexican Americans and used playing baseball as one way to "become" Americans. The presentation includes early photographs of these teams and oral histories with some of the surviving members.

The Celtic Ethnicity of the Galatians: Sustaining the Inheritance from Gaul in Anatolia. Kristen Slosser, University of Michigan--Flint, History Department; home address: 2080 Kenwood Drive, Flint, MI 48532

While numerous studies have dealt with Celtic ethnicity in its European context, very few have dealt with their Celtic counterparts, the Galatians, who settled in Anatolia, near present day Ankara in Turkey. Though often viewed as less than Celtic due to their fourth century BCE separation from the Celtic homeland of Gaul, the Galarians of Anatolia nevertheless maintained a strong Celtic ethnic identity. Although geographically distant from their land of origin, and though in contact with several other ethnically different groups of people over many centuries, the Galatians remained essentially true to the ethos of Celtic identity as exemplified by the Gauls of Western Europe. …

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