Synopses & Reviews
Long recognized as a pioneering work in the ethnohistory of California, Chiefs and Challengers, when it first appeared, overturned the stereotype of Indian victimhood and revealed a complex political landscape in which Native peoples interacted with one another as much as they did with non-Indians intruding into their territories. Although historian George Harwood Phillips did not shy away from chronicling the mistreatment of Indians, he moved beyond that approach to examine Indian-white interactions from both Indian and white perspectives. This new edition describes the indigenous cultures of southern California and offers a detailed history of the repercussions of Euro-American colonization.
Because there was no geographical frontier in California separating Indians and whites, the interaction varied significantly from region to region in California. In the south, conflict reached a climax in 1851 when Antonio Garra led a pan-Indian revolt that sent shock waves throughout California, forcing the Americans to take counteractions that affected themselves as much as the Indians.
In this second edition of Chiefs and Challengers, Phillips brings the story into the twentieth century by drawing upon recent historical and anthropological scholarship and upon seldom-used documentary evidence. After 1865, Indians faced new problems, including settler encroachment and the imposition of the reservation system. That some Indians succeeded in holding onto their ancestral lands, Phillips shows, is evidence of their strategic efforts to survive. His narrative includes numerous eloquent testimonies from Indians, among them a student at a government-run school who wrote to the U.S. president: andldquo;The white people call San Jacinto rancho their land and I donandrsquo;t want them to do it. We think it is ours, for God gave it to us first.andrdquo;
The first edition of Chiefs and Challengers was published in 1975 anddrew its audience from anyone interested in Indian and non-Indian relations, describing Indians from both an Indian and a non-Indianworldview. The second edition of this work goes a step further into looking at Indians and Indian relations in southern California from apresent-day perspective. The book concentrates on the mid-nineteenth century with a pan-Indian revolt led by Antonio Garra, whichsignificantly affected the landscape of Indian relations in California. Focus is placed on Indian leadership, including the threeIndian leaders included in the first edition, as well as Indian leaders between 1863 and 1906. Illustrations and photos of Indian and non-Indian leaders, as well as maps, are included.Annotation ©2014 Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR (protoview.com)
In this second edition of Chiefs and Challengers, Phillips brings the story into the twentieth century by drawing upon recent historical and anthropological scholarship and upon seldom-used documentary evidence.
About the Author
George Harwood Phillips is retired as Professor of History at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He is the author of numerous articles and books on California and its Native peoples, including Vineyards and Vaqueros: Indian Labor and the Economic Expansion of Southern California, 1771andndash;1877.