By Karen L. Kilcup
The Memoirs show a desirable and intricate 19th-century woman—an artist, track instructor, storyteller, accomplice slave proprietor, Washington socialite, spouse of a white railroad government, widow, and mom of the 1st local American U.S. Senator, Robert L. Owen, Jr. Her writings interpret the background of the tribe and describe the cultural upheaval of the Cherokees relocating west. They additionally supply a glimpse into antebellum, Civil warfare, and Reconstruction American life.
This variation offers a wealth of history info together with a biographical preface, chronology of Owen's lifestyles, family tree, and textual footnotes. additionally, an introductory essay areas the Memoirs within the context of Owen's predecessors and contemporaries, together with Cherokee cultural and literary culture, the bigger Indian historical/literary context, and women's writing of the past due nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
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Extra info for A Cherokee Woman's America: Memoirs of Narcissa Owen, 1831-1907
Owen and the other teachers play along, obtaining lunch and going to a nearby stream where “the girls had a wild, free day of it, gathering wild onions and such wild flowers as were out at the time” (122). The threefold repetition here of “wild” suggests a delicious irony from the author, whose mission it was to “civilize” these girls. At Owen’s insistence, none of the teachers comments on the girls’ truancy, but instead they ring the bell for school the next morning, a Saturday. The author’s appreciation for her own one-upmanship expands into an account of her playful behavior in other circumstances: Standing outside of the seminary, a few of the students see through a window two figures in the disused garret, whom they believe to be witches.
The tribes themselves were again to become supreme” (Hertzberg 10), but this peaceful movement culminated horribly in the Wounded Knee Massacre of 1890. After Wounded Knee, a pan-Indian movement on behalf of Native Americans began to gather force, culminating in 1911 in the emergence of the Society of American Indians (SAI), “whose major theme was accommodation to and acceptance of white society as permanent” (Hertzberg 14, 26; see also Warrior 5–14), and which was abetted by the reservation and government school system, such as the Carlisle School in Pennsylvania and Hampton Institute in Virginia, and the insistence in such schools on the teaching of English.
Was given to him in recognition of his being king of his people,’ teaching me to have great respect and reverence for his memory’” (81). Another counterbalancing force in her narrative to her apparent admiration of figures like Jefferson and Washington is her account of the Trail of Tears, which I will explore later. Owen’s self-conscious role as a cultural intermediary takes different forms and directions than for her predecessor Ward, but as the passage about her father’s removal west demonstrates, she sometimes deploys a more explicitly accusatory rhetoric.
A Cherokee Woman's America: Memoirs of Narcissa Owen, 1831-1907 by Karen L. Kilcup
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