George Washington’s ‘Tortuous’ Relationship with Native Americans

The First President Offered Indians a Place in American Society—or Bloodshed If They Refused

There are certain things about the nation’s founding era that many Americans don’t want to see messed with. The Declaration of Independence, despite its inaccurate claims that King George had already unleashed Indian warriors against the frontier, is an almost sacred text.

And George Washington, despite the barrage of criticism he attracted during his second administration, sometimes seems immune from criticism.

While I was working on a new book about Washington, someone asked me: “You’re not going to say anything negative about the General, are you?” As commander of the …

Was Wounded Knee a Battle for Religious Freedom?

By Clamping Down on the Indian Ghost Dance, the U.S. Government Sparked a Tragedy

The Wounded Knee Massacre of 1890 appears in many history textbooks as the “end of the Indian Wars” and a signal moment in the closing of the Western frontier. …

The Faux “Sioux” Sharpshooter Who Became Annie Oakley’s Rival

By Reinventing Herself as Indian, Lillian Smith Became a Wild West Sensation—and Escaped an Unhappy Past

At about 10:30 a.m. on the morning of August 3, 1901, more than 100,000 people jostled to catch a glimpse of Frederick Cummins’ Indian Congress parade at the Pan-American …

In Choosing to Be Cherokee, She Was Forced to Renounce the U.S.

Until 1930, American Women Like Harriett Gold Lost Their Citizenship When They Married Foreign Nationals, Even If Those “Foreigners” Were Native Americans

Mixed couples in the United States—those who crossed boundaries between Indian Nations and the European newcomers—left permanent legacies well beyond the families they created. They also shaped the meaning of …