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First Americans: A History of Native Peoples, Combined Volume

By Mark A. Nicholas, Kenneth W. Townsend

Published by Routledge

Published Date: Jan 9, 2012


Tells the complete story of Native American history, including the native perspective.


First Americans provides a history of Native Americans, from their earliest appearance in North America to the present, that covers the complexity and diversity of their past. The text demonstrates Native Americans’ participation in determining their own future and helps students place Native American history in context with national and international developments.  


Present throughout the text is the "native voice," giving American Indians’ perspectives on historical developments. The text also enforces the reality that native people retain a presence in the U.S. today as a growing population with a rich diversity of roles, ideas, and contributions.


A better teaching and learning experience
This program will provide a better teaching and learning experience—for you and your students. Here’s how:

  • Improve Critical Thinking – To enhance student comprehension, each chapter includes features such as Chronologies, Key Questions, Review Questions, and Recommended Readings.
  • Engage Students – Special features are included to highlight the native voice and support the themes presented.


Table of Contents

Found in this section:
1. Brief Table of Contents
2. Full Table of Contents




Chapter 1 Native North America before European Contact

Chapter 2 Native Peoples and European Newcomers, 982—1585

Chapter 3 Spanish Borderlands, 1527—1758

Chapter 4 Seventeenth-Century Eastern Woodlands, 1607—1689

Chapter 5 Empire, 1700—1763

Chapter 6 The Indians’ Revolution, 1763—1814

Chapter 7 Removal, 1801—1846

Chapter 8 Western Indians and the United States, 1800—1850

Chapter 9 The Civil War Years, 1861—1865

Chapter 10 Conflicting Postwar Directions, 1865—1877

Chapter 11 The Struggle for Cultural Identity, 1877—1910

Chapter 12 Progressivism and World War I: Charting Their Own Course in the Twentieth Century, 1900—1920

Chapter 13 Post-War Directions for Native Americans, 1918—1929

Chapter 14 The Great Depression, 1929—1940

Chapter 15 American Indians Join the War Effort, 1940—1945

Chapter 16 Redefining the Status of Native Americans in Post–World War II America, 1943—1962

Chapter 17 Indian Activism in the Age of Liberalism, 1961—1980

Chapter 18 Self-Determination to Decolonization: Native Americans into the Twenty-First Century





Supplementary Material


About the Authors


Chapter 1: Native North America Before European Contact

Stories versus Science


We Were Always Here

The Scientific Evidence

Reading History The Kwakiutl Story of the Deluge

Clovis and Folsom Cultures

Changes in the West

California Indians

The Northwest

The Great Basin and the Plains

Agriculture-Based Societies in the Southwest

Cultural Diversity and the Arrival of Maize

The “Chaco Phenomenon”

Hohokam and Mesa Verde Cultures

Seeing History Anasazi Sites Compared

Eastern Woodlands

Early Eastern Woodlands Traditions

Adena and Hopewell Cultures

Mississipian Chiefdoms

The Iroquois

Seeing History Chiefdoms Maintaining Power Through Images

Reading History The Iroquois Origin Story


Review Questions

Recommended Readings

Native American History Online



Chapter 2: Native Peoples and European Newcomers, 982—1590

Conquests, Colonies, and Contradictions

An Iberian New World Order

Christopher Columbus and the West Indies: The Tainos Encounter Spaniards

The Maya, Aztec, and Inca Worlds


Chichen Itza and the Mayan City-States

Maya Women and the City-States


Pre-Aztec States in Mexico

Rise of the Aztec Empire


Aztec Gods and Religion

Aztec Women in a Warrior Culture


Growth of the Inca State

Inca Rule

The Power of Inca Women

Spanish Conquest, Spanish Rule

Fall of Tenochtitlan

Profile Malintzin, A Woman Negotiates with the Aztecs

Reading History A Woman’s Voice From

Postconquest Mexico: Ana Juana From Culhuacan

Conquest of the Incas

Profile Titu Cusi Yupanqui, an Inca Elite After Conquest

Conquest of the Maya

Reading History A Voice from the Mayan New

World Inquisition: Francisco Chuc of Sahcaba, August 11, 1562

French and English Newcomers

Pre-Columbian Encounters in North America: The Norse

Early Expeditions to the Northeast

Native Peoples and the French along the St. Lawrence River

Algonquians and the English at Roanoke

Profile Manteo, the Roanoke Interpreter


Review Questions

Recommended Readings

Native American History Online



Chapter 3: Spanish Borderlands, 1527—1758

On the Fringes

La Florida: A Maritime Borderland

The Indian Landscape of La Florida

Friars and Chiefdoms

Mission Life

Rebellion and Decline

Southeast Chiefdoms and Hernando De Soto

The Southwest Borderlands

Women and Caddoan Power

The Texas Mission-Presidio Complex

The World of the Pueblos

New Power in the Sword: The Spanish Invasion

New Power in the Church: The Franciscan Pueblo Missions

New Power in Governance: Encomenderos and Colonial Rule

Rebellion: The Pueblo Revolt of 1680

Reading History Declaration of the Indian, Juan.

Place on the Rio del Norte, December, 18, 1681

Northern Mining Frontiers

Serrano Peoples: Native Life in Sonora

Miners, Ranchers, and Moving Frontiers

Missionaries: Serrano Peoples and the Jesuits

Wanderers and Communities: Native Resistance to Spanish Rule

Early Borderlands Connections in the Southwest

Horses and Networks of Masculine Trade and Warfare

The Rise of the Comanches


Review Questions

Recommended Readings

Native American History Online



Chapter 4: Seventeenth-Century Eastern Woodlands, 1607—1689

Worlds Apart


The Rise of the Powhatan Confederacy

Powhatan and the English: Trade and Conflict

Indian War and the Emergence of Virginia

Profile Pocahontas in the Atlantic World

Southern New England Indians Encounter the English

Native Americans and Plymouth Bay

New England Indians Face English Expansion

Christianity and the Praying Town Model


Confederacies, Empires, and Villages

The Huron Ascendancy

War and Mourning: Five Nations’ Ferocity

Middle Grounding: The Pays d’en haut

Transformation of the Five Nations

Profile Kateri Tekakwitha

Maturing Colonies Ending a Century in Conflict: Metacom’s War and Bacon’s Rebellion

Metacom’s War

Reading History Mary Rowlandson’s Captivity Narrative, 1682

Bacon’s Rebellion


Review Questions

Recommended Readings

Native American History Online



Chapter 5: Empire, 1700—1763

Empires, a Chief, and a Prophet

Indians and Empires in the Northeast

Deerfield on the Edge of Empire

Reading History John Williams, Redeemed Captive Returning to Zion, 1774

Returning to New France and Shifting Strategies

New England Indians “Behind the Frontier”

Land and Indian Communities

Native Peoples and the Economics of the British Empire in New England

Religion, Education, and Indian Sovereignty

Profile The Transient Life of Sarah Gardner, Indian Woman

Reading History Samson Occom Tells His Story, 1768

A Mid-Atlantic Frontier

Delawares and the Quest for Land

The Pennsylvania Backcountry

The Indians’ “Great Awakening” in Pennsylvania

Profile Andrew Montour: The Frontier Negotiator

Reading History Esther: a Mahican-Moravian

Multitribal Zones and Imperial Pressure in the South

Trading Slaves and Deerskins

Native Americans and the Costs of French Expansion into the Lower Mississippi Valley

Tuscarora and Yamasee Wars and Breaking with the British

Profile Mary Musgrove: A Creek Woman Between Worlds

The Seven Years’ War and Indian Perspectives on Empire

The Redefinition of Empire and Racial Consciousness

Seeing History Neolin’s Master of Life


Review Questions

Recommended Readings

Native American History Online



Chapter 6: The Indians’ Revolution, 1763—1814

A Disease, a Continent, and a Revolution

The American Revolution

Questions of Iroquois Neutrality

For Liberty and Independence: New England Indians

Profile Molly Brant, an Iroquois Woman and British Loyalist

Dunmore’s War and the Old Northwest

The South and Choosing Sides

Seeing History A Draught of the Cherokee Country by Lientenant Henry Timberlake, 1762

Native American Recovery, Native American Resistance, 1783—1814

The Revolution Continues: Treaties and Bloody Years

The Civilization Program

Prophets and War

Profile Black Hoof, Shawnee Annuity Chief

Reading History Hansome Lake’s First Vision, 1799

Profile Hillis Hadjo, The Creek Prophet

Western Revolutions

The Borderlands Revolution: Comancheria

Comancheria: Wealth and Empire

Alta California: Missionary Revolutions

Mission Life

Profile Indian Leaders in the Franciscan Missions


Review Questions

Recommended Readings

Native American History Online



Chapter 7: Removal, 1801—1846

Do You Want Our Land?

Southern Removal

Cherokee “Civilization”

Cherokees Challenged

Reading History The Removal Act of 1830

Cherokee Removal

The Creek Road to Oklahoma

Choctaw Removal

Seeing History Nanih Waiya

Chickasaws Head West

Profile Pushmataha, Choctaw Leader Caught between Worlds

Resisting Removal

Seminoles Fight

Profile Coacoochee, the Mexican Seminole

The Black Hawk War

Reading History Black Hawk’s Autobiography

Removal from the North

Profile William Apess, a Pequot Helps the Mashpee

Restoring Sovereignty in the Indian Territory

Rebuilding the Cherokee Nation

Resurgence among Indians from the South

Indian Territory and the “Peculiar Institution” of Slavery


Review Questions

Recommended Readings

Native American History Online



Chapter 8: Western Indians and the United States, 1800—1850

Winning or Losing the West

Native Americans, the Corps of Discovery, and Constructing Empire

The Plains and Missouri River Indians

Pacific Northwest Indians

Reading History James P. Rhonda, The Truth About Sacagawea

The Pacific as the West

Russian America

Tlingit Culture, Resistance, and Competition

Rocky Mountain Fur Trading and the Pacific Northwest

Profile Smohalla, the Prophet

Winning or Losing the West?

The Transformation of California

Reading History Isadora: Widow of the Prince of Solano

California Indians and American Manifest Destiny

California’s “Sexual Frontier”

ProfileIshi, the Last Yahi Standing

Texas Indians in Upheaval

Profile Andele, the Mexican-Kiowa Captive

The Southwest Borderlands in Transition

Reading History Andele’s Account


Review Questions

Recommended Readings

Native American History Online



Chapter 9: The Civil War Years, 1861—1865

Lumbee Indians in the Civil War

War in Indian Territory and Minnesota

Choosing Sides

War in Indian Territory

Profile Stand Watie (Cherokee, 1806—1871)

The Upper Midwest: Sioux Resistance

Profile Little Crow (Tayoyateduta or Thaoyate Duta, for His Red Nation), 1810—1862

Seeing History The Execution of Santee Sioux

Resistance in the Southwest and Plains

Navajo Resistance

Bosque Redondo

War in the Colorado Territory

Reading History Proclamation of Govern John Evans, Colorado Territory, June 27, 1864

Reading History Letter from Black Kettle (Cheyenne) to Major Colley (Indian Agent, Fort Lyon), United States Army, August 29, 1864


Review Questions

Recommended Readings

Native American History Online



Chapter 10: Conflicting Postwar Directions, 1865—1877 

Kintpuash and the Modoc War

Post—Civil War Directions in Indian Affairs

Defining Postwar Indian Policy

Profile Standing Bear (Machunazha, Ponca), 1829—1908 

The Powder River War

Peace Overtures

Reading History Report to the President by the Indian Peace Commission, January 7, 1868 

Renewed Resistance on the Southern Plains

Peace Policy, War Policy

President Grant’s Peace Policy

Seeing History “Robinison Crusoe Making a Man of his Friday”

Renewed Resistance on the Southern Plains

Profile Quannah Parker (Comanche)

Gold in the Black Hills

The Great Sioux War

The Nez Perce

Seeing History Custer’s Last Stand


Review Questions

Recommended Readings

Native American History Online



Chapter 11: The Struggle for Cultural Identity, 1877—1910  

Wild West Shows

Chasing Freedom, Preserving Identity

Victorio and Geronimo

The Ghost Dance

Saving the Indian

Eastern Reformers

Lake Mohonk

Seeing History “Give the Red Man a Chance”

The Attack on Indian Cultures

The Dawes Act

Reading History General Allotment Act, or Dawes Act (1887)

Profile The “Oklahoma Land Rushers, or Boomers”

Christianizing the Indian

Educating Native Americans

Seeing History “The American Indian: Past and Present”

Profile Plenty Kill, aka Luther Standing Bear (Oglala, 1868—1939)


Review Questions

Recommended Readings

Native American History Online



Chapter 12: Progressivism and World War I: Charting Their Own Course in the Twentieth Century, 1900—1920 

Simon Pokagon

The Progressive Spirit among Native Americans

Seeing History Dime Novels

The Society of American Indians

Profile Jim Thorpe

Gertrude Bonnin and Laura Kellogg

Religion and the SAI

Fractures within the SAI

The Peyote Issue

The Great War

The World War One Draft

Reading History Native American Citizenship and Compulsory Military Service

Indians Enter Military Service

Over There

Profile Private Joseph Oklahombi (Choctaw)

Stereotypes and Indian Military Service

The Home Front


Review Questions

Recommended Readings

Native American History Online



Chapter 13: Post-War Directions for Native Americans, 1918—1929

The “Osage Reign of Terror”

Coming Home

Wartime Divestment of Indian Lands

Wartime Resurgence of Traditional Values

Citizenship for Native Americans

Postwar Activism

The Continued Assault on Indian Lands

Profile Will Rogers

Pueblo Lands

Reading History Letter from Commissioner of Indian Affairs Charles Burke to All Indians

Fall’s Removal from Office 

Changing Directions

The Emerging Path of Reform

Seeing History The Vanishing American and Hollywood Film

Profile John Collier

Citizenship Revisited

The Meriam Report

Reading History From The Problem of Indian Administration, or Meriam Report, 1928


Review Questions

Recommended Readings

Native American History Online



Chapter 14: The Great Depression, 1929—1940  

The CCC Project at Bandelier National Park near Santa Fe, New Mexico

Native Americans and the Early Years of the Great Depression

Hard Times

Reform Efforts in the Hoover Administration

Health Care and Education

A Brighter Prospect for Change

The Indian New Deal

Native Americans and New Deal Reform

The Public Works of Art Project

Seeing History St Regis Indian Reservation (1937) by Amy Jones

The Civilian Conservation Corps–Indian Division

Profile Robert Yellowtail

Navajo Stock Reduction

Indian Education

Redirection in Federal Indian Policy

The Indian Reorganization Act

Reading History Excerpts from the Indian Reorganization Act (Wheeler-Howard Act), June 18, 1934

Resistance to the IRA

Profile Alice Lee Jemison (Seneca)

Assessment of the Indian New Deal


Review Questions

Recommended Readings

Native American History Online



Chapter 15: American Indians Join the WarEffort, 1940—1945  

Lieutenant Ernest Childers Earns the Congressional Medal of Honor

Native Americans Enter the Armed Forces

Draft Registration and Military Induction

Motives for Enlistment

Seeing History Freedom’s Warrior–The American Indian

Defining Indian Identity

Racial Identity in Virginia

Tribal Sovereignty

Native Americans at War

Indian Response to Pearl Harbor

Indians at War

Profile Postwar Ira Hayes

Code Talkers

The Popular Image of Indian Soldiers

Reading History The Navajo Translation of the United States Marine Corps Hymn

Seeing History Military Use of Native American Imagery

The Home Front

War Comes to the Reservations

Migration to Defense Factories

Women and the War Effort

War Bond Purchases


Review Questions

Recommended Readings

Native American History Online



Chapter 16: Redefining the Status of Native Americans in Post-World War II America, 1943—1962  

John Nez (Navajo)

The Path to Termination

Senate Report 310

A Global Indian Reorganization Act

The National Congress of American Indians

The Immediate Postwar Direction

Economic Difficulties

Social Concerns

The Indian Claims Commission

Termination and Relocation

Termination Reconsidered

The Relocation Program

Seeing History Bureau of Indian Affairs Relocation Poster “Come to Denver”

The Policy of Termination

Klamath and Menominee Termination

Profile Ada Deer (Menominee)

Reading History Party Platform Planks and Native Americans 

“The More Things Change . . .”

The Continued Assault on Indian Lands

The Korean War

Profile Woodrow Wilson Keeble (Sioux)

Hollywood Films and Television


Review Questions

Recommended Readings

Native American History Online



Chapter 17: Indian Activism in the Age of Liberalism, 1961—1980 

Bernie Whitebear and the Fort Lawton Takeover

A New Direction in Indian Activism

Fishing and Water Rights

Profile Buffy Sainte Marie


The Alcatraz Occupation

Profile Vine Deloria, Jr. (1933—2005)

Indians and the Vietnam War

Native Americans Enter the Armed Forces

Combat Service

Racial Consciousness

Red Power

The American Indian Movement

Trail of Broken Treaties

Wounded Knee

The Longest Walk

Seeing HistoryA Call for Support

New Directions?

Indian Self-Determination

Urbanization Patterns

Educational Directions

Reading History Edward M. Kennedy, Foreword from Indian Education: A National Tragedy–A National Challenge

Mainstream Awareness


Review Questions

Recommended Readings

Native American History Online



Chapter 18: Self-Determination to Decolonization: Native Americans into the Twenty-First Century 

Ronald Reagan, Decolonization

Presidential Indian Policy: 1980s—1990s

The Reagan Years

Reading History Ronald Reagan, Indian Policy Statement, January 24, 1983

Profile Peter MacDonald: Navajo Leader Falls from Power in the Era of Reagan

George Herbert Walter Bush: Any Better?

Reading History George H. W. Bush’s Statement on Indian Affairs, June 14, 1991

Native Peoples and Activism: The 1980s and 1990s

Reservations and Resources

Casinos and Tourism

NAGPRA and What Is an Indian?

Native American Women Take Charge

Reading History James C. Chatters, Kennewick Man

Profile Suzan Shown Harjo: Cheyenne-Creek Activist

Empowerment and Decolonization and into the Twenty-First Century Literature and Art

Indigenous Peoples in the Academy

Seeing History Gathering Wild Rice


Review Questions

Recommended Readings

Native American History Online




Glossary of Key Terms and Concepts


Photo & Text Credits


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  • Native Voices: Sources in the Native American Past, Volumes 1-2
    Mark A Nicholas, Mark A. Nicholas

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