AnalysisFacing East from Indian Country
Theplace of Indians in the history of the United States has been subjectto immense interrogation and research. In the book “FacingEast from Indian Country: ANative History of Early America”,Daniel Richteruses historians’ craft to question a large proportion of theassumptions pertaining to places and times that are well-known,thereby revealing the experiences of Native Americans at the centerof the identity and birth of the nation. In this regard, he modifiesthe focus of early American history and forces his readers toreconsider the stories pertaining to North America in the course ofEuropean colonization period instead of the colonization of the NorthAmerica by Europeans. Of particular note is the fact that Richterwrote the book after acknowledging the persistent denial of theformative role that Indian people played by the American historians.Richter based the book on the theory that historians ignored theNatives as a result of the belief that Indians had no considerablehistory or even existed outside history (Richter 9). Further, a largenumber of historians believe that American Indian history isimmaterial to the comprehension of the contemporary human society. Itis evident from the readings that the effort needed to change theconventional narrative pertaining to American history from one thatdwells on westward expansion of white settlement to one that dwellson eastward expansion from Indian country is possible as well asessential for the comprehension of the complex past of America.
Indeed,in spite of the eventual elimination of a large number of Indians onthe west part of Mississippi River, Indians still remained in theeast. This is shown by the story of William Apess, who was a 19thcentury Methodist preacher. Apess reminds his audience about KingPhilip’s heroic deeds who saved his subjects from extirpation inlate 17thcentury, just like George Washington in late 18thcentury. This showed that it is possible to cooperate across racialand cultural boundaries if the stakeholders confront their violenthistory head-on (Richter 252).
Richter,Daniel, K. FacingEast from Indian Country: A Native History of Early America.New York: Harvard University Press, 2009, Print