The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 96, July 1992 - April, 1993

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

was "a bridge between the distant worlds of the white man and the Indian" (p.
172). Unfortunately for both Indians and whites, Chisholm died in 1867, just as
the final invasion of the Indian domain began.
This book serves not only as an authoritative biography of Chisholm, but also
as an excellent reader in Southwestern frontier history. Utilizing most available
secondary and several good primary sources, Hoig traces Chisholm through his
activities in Arkansas and into what is present-day Oklahoma from the 182os un-
til his death. While he is unable to give concrete facts about all of Chisholm's
movements, Hoig carefully reconstructs events in which Chisholm participated
or which occurred close to him. In short, Jesse Chisholm is a well-written contribu-
tion to Western Americana and clarifies well-worn myths about an important fig-
ure in the region's history.
Texas Tech University DAVID J. MURRAH
The Dispossession of the American Indian, 1887-I934. By Janet A. McDonnell
(Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1991. Pp. 163.
Preface, acknowledgments, introduction, maps, black-and-white pho-
tographs, conclusion, notes, selected bibliography, index. $20.00.)
This monograph is a most satisfying contribution to Indian policy studies. The
author carefully analyzes federal legislation between the 1887 General Allot-
ment, or Dawes Act, and the 1934 Indian Reorganization Act. She examines
those statutes that affected the Indians' landed estate and finds that they under-
mined the intent of the Dawes Act. First, allottees from necessity were permitted
to lease allotments since they lacked funds to pursue even minimal subsistence
agriculture. Second, much of the Indians' land was located in arid or semi-arid
regions and required water resources for irrigation. Despite an expenditure of
$40,000,000 on Indian irrigation projects by 1931, only 31 percent of that irri-
gated land was used by Indians. And third, in 190o2, 1906, and 1907, Congress
enacted laws, the latter not mentioned by the author, which made every acre of
allotted land susceptible to alienation from Indian ownership. Between g9o02
and 1934, Indians sold 26.4 million allotted acres from their landed estate.
Thus, while the federal government was trying to lead allottees into subsistence
agriculture, the land base needed was being steadily eroded away.
While other presidential administrations were not faultless, the Wilson admin-
istration was the worst in destroying the Indians' land base. The onslaught, al-
though justified by Progressive principles and a need for increased food
production during World War I, resulted in the issuance of twice as many fee
patents between 1916 and 1920o as in the preceding decade. Despite abundant
evidence that the patentees before or after received little or no permanent bene-
fit from selling their patented land, the Wilson administration plunged ahead,
even forcing unwilling allottees to take patents to allotments. The author right-
fully judges the issuance of forced patents under 1906 Burke Act competency
guidelines "immoral and illegal" and "racist" (p. Ilo). After 1921, the issuance
of patents slowed until it ended in 1934, but it resumed again in 1945. The im-

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 96, July 1992 - April, 1993. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101215/. Accessed July 24, 2014.