Patrick T. Reardon, a former scholar-in-residence at the Newberry Library, is a member of the board of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, sets us all straight -a massacre is a vision collision.
This Aboriginal American is not, in fact scalping some white dude with an imperialistically flawed vision of Manifest Destiny, or Prof. Keating would hold ReMaxing the Plains. Nope, the noble and much put upon Red Gent is protesting the bullies according to the statutes of Injun Anti-Hate Law.
Speak on it Patrick T. ( from the Chicago Tribune -8/15/2012)
What happened two centuries ago on Aug. 15, 1812, on the Lake Michigan shore near what is now 18th Street has long been called the Fort Dearborn Massacre.
But it wasn't a massacre. - Patrick T. Reardon
It wasn't? Well, I'll be dipped and rolled! What was it there, Patrick T.?
The real story of Fort Dearborn is a collision of those visions. - Patrick T. ReardonDang! How so?
The word "massacre" was used immediately after the battle as a rallying cry for the American war effort. It led to a series of attacks by U.S. forces on Indian villages (just as the Aug. 15 battle was itself in partial revenge for an American assault on the village at Tippecanoe 10 months earlier). - Patrick T. Reardon
Were those "assaults" visions, like Nancy Pelosi's ghost-whispers to Maggie Sanger and Sojourner Truth?
Chicago was "a symbol of an imposed colonial presence."The hamlet of Chicago was made up of a few homes of traders and farmers around Fort Dearborn in what was known as Indian Country. This was a vast area around Lake Michigan where the American-European world and the Indian culture coexisted, often uneasily, for the purpose of trade.Patrick T., were those colonialist Americans set to deconstruct the rubric of the Aboriginal American Confederation via a semiotic construct of their own - like scalping the Red buggers?
In 1812, there were three visions of the future of Indian Country:
•Indians wanted to retain their wide-open spaces where they could freely range and hunt as they had for centuries.
•American presidents and officials wanted to take the Indian land and "turn it into real estate," to use Keating's phrase — land that could be bought, sold and developed.
•Trader John Kinzie and other Americans and Europeans who lived and prospered on the edge of white civilization, often marrying Indian women, wanted to keep Indian Country as it was. - Patrick T. Reardon
Looking back from the 21st century, we may be tempted to say, well, the victory of the white civilization was inevitable. That misses the point — even if true.
The story of Fort Dearborn is a creation narrative of our city. The real story isn't about good guys and bad guys. It isn't about a massacre. - Patrick T. Reardon
It ain't? So, it never happened . . .the way the sculptors and Abe Lincoln and and all them frog-eating Voyageurs and Jean Baptiste Du Sable seemed to go along with until a Park Lady and her her historical back-up lady, Professor Real Estate Keating, wanted to PC up some open space in the south Loop?
Sort of the Century 21-ing of the 19th Century and ReMaxing Injun Land, through genocidal wars of one-way victors, what be white eyes? I am soooooo ashamed of my see-through Irish pelt, Patrick T.!
This is important to Chicagoans today because we live in an increasingly multicultural, multiethnic city — and an increasingly multicultural, multiethnic nation. - Patrick T. Reardon
Now, hold the phone there, Patrick T. . . . Were there not multiculturals and multi-ethnics sharing visions amidst the wild onions and swamps along the lakefront, the three colliding visions of 1812 were not the results of multicultural contretemps? Hmmm? Or, are you holding that only now have we multicultural diversity one big world of many hues and Hughs of many sizes and shapes?
If we recognize the competing visions that were present at our city's inception, we will have an easier time recognizing, understanding and dealing with the competing visions of our own time.
If we insist on the false and simplistic good-versus-bad view of an event 200 years ago, we're going to have a hard time ever finding common ground.
Let me back up to your openers, Patrick T. - better yet you say it . . .
It was a battle in two simultaneous wars. Some 500 Potawatomis and their allies encircled the 110 men, women and children who had marched out of Fort Dearborn at the mouth of the Chicago River that morning, heading for Fort Wayne in Indiana Territory. The soldiers from the garrison formed a line and advanced on the Indians.
Sixty-eight of the Fort Dearborn contingent lost their lives in the fighting and its aftermath. Fifteen of the Indian attackers were killed.
500 Potawatomis - the casino ancestry? Okay, we can safely assume by your scholarly delineations that the 500 Potawatomis were all gents, males, patriarchal war-mongering, testosterone fueled danglers against "the soldiers and the ladies and the kids. The score was 68 -15; a sport might call that a massacre and not a real estate initiative, much less a collision of visions. Imagine if they had diversity, anti-bullying, racial sensitivity and CeaseFire back then!
Patrick T. thanks for sharing your historical visions, fully filtered through a Marxist lens. Old Karl had an interesting spin of the Civil War back when he was covering it for old Horace Greeley's New York Daily Tribune*. Looking forward to your views on the Pullman Agreement to Disagree of 1894, The St. Valentine's Day Spat, The Republic Steel Collision of Vission, and the 1968 Chicago Democratic Contention.
Pat Hickey is a good fellow of the Morgan Park Kean Gas Coffee Salon and a really sarcastic guy who makes fun of pretentious fops who wear berets in America, or drive Hummers in the city, and also unchallenged pedantic academic yahoos; yet, he only waters his lawn during droughts and soberly recycles according to the dictates of Rahm Emanuel's Zone 6 ( serviced by Waste Management).