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Why Are We Still Arguing Over the Legacy of Cherokee ‘Outlaw’ Ned Christie?

Those Who Have Benefited Most From His Story Have Never Cared About the Evidence That Vindicates Him

by Devon Mihesuah

On the spring evening in 1887 that he arrived in Tahlequah, the capital of the Cherokee Nation, U.S. Deputy Marshal Dan Maples was fatally shot in the chest by an unknown assailant hiding in dense brush. Murders, rapes, and thefts occurred almost daily in post-Civil War Indian Territory (later the state of Oklahoma), and the death of Maples was hardly surprising.
 Also unsurprising was the mythology that grew around the supposed assailant and the lawmen who pursued him, for those stories served white narratives about Indian Territory and the American West.
 Who was responsible for the deputy marshal’s death? Several miscreants with criminal backgrounds were summoned to the U.S. District Court of Arkansas at Fort Smith. Each man swore to the judge that he did not kill Maples and mentioned that 35-year-old Nede Wade “Ned” Christie, a Cherokee National Councilman, was in the area at the time of the crime.
 Christie, as everyone knew, was a traditionalist Keetoowah who lost family members on the Trail of Tears. He often vocalized his strong distrust of the U.S. government and his animosity toward the thousands of white intruders who swarmed ...


The World War II “Wonder Drug” That Never Left Japan

For Workers and Soldiers, Taking Methamphetamine Was a Patriotic Duty That Hooked a Generation

by Peter Andreas

Amphetamines, the quintessential drug of the modern industrial age, arrived relatively late in the history of mind-altering substances—commercialized just in time for mass consumption during World War II. In fact, the introduction of what is now Japan’s most popular illegal drug began as a result of the state promoting its use during the war.
 With the possible exception of opium during the Opium Wars, no drug has ever received a bigger stimulus from armed conflict. “World War II probably gave the greatest impetus to date to legal, medically-authorized as well as illicit black market abuse of these pills on a worldwide scale,” wrote Lester Grinspoon and Peter Hedblom in their classic 1975 study, The Speed Culture. Whether in the air or in the trenches, the war enabled the rapid proliferation of a synthetic stimulant that was particularly well-suited to sleepless work and intense concentration.
 Amphetamines—often called “pep pills,” “go pills,” “uppers,” or “speed”—are a group of synthetic drugs that stimulate the central nervous system, reducing fatigue and appetite and increasing wakefulness and imparting a sense of well-being. Methamphetamine is a particularly potent ...

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