Sunday, November 2, 2014

Fort Smith Council of 1865

Officials from the Office of Indian Affairs met with Indian delegates at the Fort Smith Council of 1865. The goal of the meeting was to reestablish official ties between the entities, and government officials informed the Indians there that new treaties had to be negotiated. The fact that several tribes had sided officially with the Confederacy was the justification for the new treaty requirement; in other words, many Indian tribes experienced a Reconstruction period, and the new treaties were not favorable for these tribes.

In September 1996, the National Park Service hosted a symposium to mark the 130th anniversary of the Fort Smith Council. A librarian at my university sent me the link to the resulting 136-page symposium book that features articles by Brad Agnew, Ed Bearss, Mark Christ, Laurence Hauptman, Gary Moulton, Arnold Schofield, Mary Jane Warde, C. Fred Williams and several other scholars. The book features articles on the battles of Pea Ridge and Prairie Grove but also covers some lesser known topics such as the situation of the Indian Territory on the eve of the war, the Cherokee Nation’s home front, the 1866 treaties that resulted from the Fort Smith Council, and Indian Home Guard units. As an added enticement the book is available online for free; it takes awhile to load, but the book may be viewed by clicking on the link in this posting.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this. The articles are pretty brief but there's some interesting things in there... and who can argue with a free book on the T-M.