Academic journal article Pennsylvania Literary Journal

The Hidden Indian Enslavement

Academic journal article Pennsylvania Literary Journal

The Hidden Indian Enslavement

Article excerpt

The Hidden Indian enslavement Andres Resendez. The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, April 12, 2016. ISBN: 978-0-547-64098-3. $30. 6X9". 23 B/W photos, 17 maps, and 7 charts. 544pp.

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There have been many histories of Native Americans. I even covered an encyclopedia of Native American history in this set of reviews. But, this book takes a unique perspective and promises to uncover little-known facts about their enslavement before the abolition of African American slavery, and its continuation after it. This slavery might have been as or even more labor-intensive, as they were forced to work in silver mines and as domestics. The hypothesis that Andres Resendez sets out to prove is that it was "mass slavery, more than epidemics, that decimated Indian populations across North America." This is definitely a revolutionary concept in the field that relies too heavily on assumptions rather than research of the causes of demise in a significant number of remains. It is difficult to imagine that a field with so many studies has any "new evidence" left, but Andres stresses that the testimonies presented have been unseen by academia. He also brings the story up to the present and ties in modern-day slavery and how the two are connected. While slavery has continued for millenniums, modern-day slavery has only become a hot topic in the last few years, thus making thus study particularly relevant.

The notes take up around a hundred pages of the book, so everything is meticulously documented. Appendix I shows that the total number of Indian Slaves in the Americas was about the same in the 1500s as it was in 1900, long after African slavery became illegal. This raises a lot of questions about the source of these statistics, the implications and how this massive slavery went barely detected by social critics and abolitionists. …

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