A new historical study reattributes a rough sketch of treaty lines in what is now Missouri to William Clark (of “Lewis and” fame), implicating the legendary explorer in the dispossession of some 10.5 million acres of land assigned by treaty to indigenous peoples. The article by Cambridge historian Robert Lee, who studies Indigenous dispossession in the 19th century and discovered the map misfiled in another fonds, appears in the latest issue of William and Mary Quarterly. The DOI doesn’t appear to work yet, nor is the article available online at this point, but here’s the abstract and the press release.
A map drawn by an Indigenous guide for Lewis and Clark, recently discovered in the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, is the subject of an entire issue of the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation’s journal, We Proceeded On. (The issue is not available online.) The map was drawn some time in 1805 by Too Né, a member of the Arikara tribe who in 1804 travelled with the Lewis and Clark expedition in what is now North Dakota, and shows the extent of the territory known to the Arikara at that time.
Christopher Steinke, now a history professor at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, encountered the map during his graduate studies; he wrote it up for the October 2014 issue of the William and Mary Quarterly, which also published an interactive version of the map on its website. (Here’s a link to Steinke’s article.)
Indigenous historians and William and Clark scholars don’t appear to talk to one another very much, which is why it’s taken until now for the latter to get so excited about the map Steinke discovered—which in my view is much more interesting and significant as an example of Indigenous mapmaking than it is as a piece of Lewis and Clark lore.
Here’s the press release from the Foundation, and here’s We Proceeded On editor Clay Jenkinson on what the map means for “Lewis and Clark obsessives.” [Tony Campbell/WMS]