American Indians in the Early West

American Indians in the Early West

American Indians in the Early West

American Indians in the Early West


Thousands of years of American Indian history are covered in this work, from the first migrations into North America, through the development of specific tribal identities, to the turbulent first centuries of encounters with European settlers up until 1800.

• Images, diagrams, drawings, and photographs illustrate and photographs show the diversity of regional and cultural attributes of numerous American Indian tribes and their homelands

• Regional maps illuminate the diversity of topography of the Southwest, Plains, Plateau, Northwest, and Alaskan regions


In my classes on the history of the American West at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, we discuss the infamous Rock Springs Massacre of 1885 in which an angry mob killed 28 Chinese workers and forced the rest out of the Wyoming mining town. My students are always a bit surprised when I mention that right here at home in Socorro, New Mexico, at about the same time, nativists denounced Chinese immigrants. the local newspaper declared the “Chinese Must Go!” and in the nearby mining hamlet of Kelly (now a ghost town), an anti-Chinese riot broke out (the mob apparently was enraged by the hiring of a Chinese cook—fortunately, the cook escaped harm and the mob leader was killed by his own men).

During its mining-town heyday in the late 19th century, Socorro boasted a diverse population of Hispanos, Anglos, African Americans, Slavs, as well as Chinese. Today, Socorro is home to New Mexico Tech University, the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, and other affiliated high-tech enterprises. New Mexico Tech’s student body includes East Indians, Norwegians, Czechs, Vietnamese, Russians, Kenyans, Colombians, nuevo mexicanos, Native Americans, and Anglos. I use this perhaps self-indulgent example because it highlights the multicultural nature and history of the region. It is impossible to imagine Socorro’s history— just as it is with the rest of the West—without this simple fact. ABC-

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