Native American Rights

Joshua David Bellin

in The Oxford Handbook of Transcendentalism

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9780195331035
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Native American Rights

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This article critically examines the Transcendentalists' attempts to speak for the Indians. The leading Transcendentalists were almost entirely silent on Native American political, territorial, and religious sovereignty. Though major figures such as Margaret Fuller and Henry David Thoreau read widely on Indians, traveled among them, and harbored a lifelong fascination with them, their admiration did not lead to advocacy. Though some of the Transcendentalists kept on talking about issues relating to the Indians, the talk did not come through in their actions. Transcendentalists such as Theodore Parker and Emerson have been criticized for their double standards on the issue. The chapter also talks about the kind of life the Indians had led in those days. However there were some less well-known figures who came forward to fill the gaping hole in the Transcendentalists' record on Native American rights, as there was an absence of leadership in the movement.

Keywords: native American; Indians; Margaret Fuller; sovereignty; slavery

Article.  5645 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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