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If you went looking for traces of the Sauk village where Ma-ka-tai-me-she-kia-kiak (or Black Sparrow Hawk) was born and which, in his refusal to give it up, became the ultimate cause of the Black Hawk War in 1832 – the last Indian war east of the Mississippi – you would not find much: a few smart allusions to the great Sauk warrior on storefront signs and other such promotion gestures over on Rock Island, Iowa, but no archeological evidence at the juncture of the Rock and Mississippi rivers to suggest that the village ever existed. And yet, according to Cecil Eby, by 1790 Saukenuk was “the most imposing town in the Northwest, Indian or white, with more than 100 wickeups (many extending 60 feet in length) and from April to October inhabited by some 3,000 Sauk.” There are, however, scattered verbal signs that might draw the archeologist or historian back and forth over other tableaux of potential Sauk geography, like Sac City in Sac County, Iowa, and Black Hawk County due West of Dubuque. Then there is Prairie du Sac and Sauk City on the Wisconsin River, Wisconsin, two historically vibrant sites which novelist August Derleth turned to good use in his saga of Wisconsin. But when it comes to dealing with a defeated people who also happen to belong to the red race, the names themselves often become signs of cultural obscurantism, if not commemorative oblivion. In list form the available nomenclature amuses: Sacs, Saukies (which the Indians themselves used), Sockeys, Socks, Sacques, Saucs, Sakis. This embarrassing take-your-pick liberality clearly enough sets forth a problem of transliteration; it also evokes the more complex issue of cultural translation tout court: us/them, inside/outside, center/periphery, hegemonic culture/minority culture, structure/chaos.
Rising from the streets of New York with his songs like Caruso or Sinatra, but in words. “Sweet Milanese hills” brood in his Renaissance soul, evening is coming on the hills. Amazing and beautiful Gregory Corso, the one and only Gregory the Herald.
American history has come a long way in the past quarter century. It was, after all, 1965 when Samuel Eliot Morison published his enormously successful and widely praised Oxford History of the American People – an 1,100-page work that relegated the women's suffrage amendment of the Constitution to half a sentence in a chapter entitled “Bootlegging and Other Sports,” and intimated that most blacks were pleased and contented as slaves. And this was an avant-garde position for Morison, commonly regarded as the preeminent American historian of his time: in earlier versions of the same text he had referred to blacks collectively as “Sambo,” as “childlike, improvident, humorous, prevaricating, and superstitious” creatures; when confined to slavery, he had stated flatly, blacks were “adequately fed, well cared for, and apparently happy.”
He is an American, who, leaving behind him all his ancient prejudices and manners, receives new ones from the new mode of life he has embraced, the new government he obeys, and the new rank he holds. He becomes an American by being received in the broad lap of our great Alma Mater. Here individuals of all nations are melted into a new race of men, whose labor and posterity will one day cause great changes in the world.
This paper examines the contestation over otherness – in the form of ethnicity and national identity – that arose in the U.S. during World War I, culminating in the Red Scare of the 1920s. In the narrative of “Americanization,” immigration policies were joined with a militant nationalism, aiming to eliminate “enemies within” and from without, through a process of deportation, the criminalization of dissent and military interventionism. The demonization of immigrant-otherness became a means of strengthening solidarity among Anglo-Saxons, at a time when their cohesiveness was being challenged internally. As such, the history of America's internal control over its immigrant self is the familiar one of the limits of liberalism.