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Massacre at Camp Grant: Forgetting and Remembering Apache History


Massacre at Camp Grant: Forgetting and Remembering Apache History Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

On April 30, 1871, an unlikely group of Anglo-Americans, Mexican Americans, and Tohono Oodham Indians massacred more than a hundred Apache men, women, and children who had surrendered to the U.S. Army at Camp Grant, near Tucson, Arizona. Thirty or more Apache children were stolen and either kept in Tucson homes or sold into slavery in Mexico. Planned and perpetrated by some of the most prominent men in Arizonas territorial era, this organized slaughter has become a kind of “phantom history” lurking beneath the Southwests official history, strangely present and absent at the same time. Seeking to uncover the mislaid past, this powerful book begins by listening to those voices in the historical record that have long been silenced and disregarded. Massacre at Camp Grant fashions a multivocal narrative, interweaving the documentary record, Apache narratives, historical texts, and ethnographic research to provide new insights into the atrocity. Thus drawing from a range of sources, it demonstrates the ways in which painful histories continue to live on in the collective memories of the communities in which they occurred. Chip Colwell-Chanthaphonh begins with the premise that every account of the past is suffused with cultural, historical, and political characteristics. By paying attention to all of these aspects of a contested event, he provides a nuanced interpretation of the cultural forces behind the massacre, illuminates how history becomes an instrument of politics, and contemplates why we must study events we might prefer to forget.

Book News Annotation:

Colwell-Chanthaphonh (anthropology, Indiana U.) draws from diverse and greatly divergent oral histories, primary sources, and more recent written accounts to paint a picture of the 1871 massacre by a mob from Tucson, Arizona--with allies from the Tohono O'odham Indian tribe--of about 100 Apache men, women, and children who had surrendered to the U.S. Army. While the basic events of the Camp Grant Massacre are widely agreed upon, its causes and aftermath are disputed among historians, anthropologists, and those with a personal stake in the story. The author gives voice to previously overlooked perspectives and examines the roles of memory, selective documentation, and historical imagination in the Massacre's clouded legacy. Final chapters discuss informal attempts at restorative justice. Annotation ©2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

About the Author

CHIP COLWELL-CHANTHAPHONH, born and raised in Tucson, Arizona, received his PhD in anthropology from Indiana University and is now a Project Director at Anthropological Research, LLC. He is the co-author of History Is in the Land: Multivocal Tribal Traditions in Arizona's San Pedro Valley.

Product Details

Colwell Chanthaphonh, Chip
University of Arizona Press
Colwell-Chanthaphonh, Chip
Indians of north america
Native American
United States - Reconstruction Period (1865-1877)
Ethnic Studies - Native American Studies
Native American Studies
Camp Grant Massacre, Ariz., 1871
Apache Indians -- Wars.
US History-1860 to 1920
US History-19th Century
Edition Description:
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Military » Indian Wars
History and Social Science » Native American » General Native American Studies
History and Social Science » US History » 19th Century
History and Social Science » World History » General

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