The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003

Book Reviews

adds a valuable dimension and sense of controversy as well as commentary.
Considerant was a driven man. The impact of his many publication produc-
tions, failures as a leader, and valuable role in the French romantic socialism
stage come to life through Jonathan Beecher's well-researched and docu-
mented efforts.
Burlington, Wisconsin ROBERTA FABIANI
Contrary Neighbors: Southern Plains and Removed Indians in Indian Territory. By
David LaVere. (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2000. Pp. xii+292.
Illustrations, maps, conclusion, notes, bibliography, index. ISBN o-8o61-
3251-5. $29.95, cloth; $19.95, paper.)
Sometimes a good book begins with a simple epiphany. The author, attending
a powwow at Talequah, Oklahoma, was enjoying a more tranquil meeting than
one that had taken place earlier. A friend confided that previously an Osage stu-
dent there at Northeastern State University had angrily accosted a Cherokee
classmate, and some of the other attendees had to separate the pair before the
row turned into a fistfight. The source of the confrontation? "His people killed
my people at Claremore Mounds!" accused the young Osage (p. 5). Right ... in
1817. Such a long-festering animosity piqued LaVere's curiosity, inspiring him
to explore the complexities of the relationship between American Indians of the
Southern Plains and the Southeastern tribes who found themselves thrust side-
by-side in Indian Territory during the nineteenth century.
What LaVere concluded was that a climate of hostility fed more upon funda-
mental cultural differences, rather than the kind of historic events that had
provoked the young Osage student. Central to the author's thesis is that "the
Southern Plains Indians and the Southeastern Indians existed as two wholly
different peoples. They had completely different cultures . . . and looked at
the world in very different ways. . . . Once they were forced to become neigh-
bors . . . they remained different, suspicious and separate" (p. 7). Cultural
chauvinism led the Plains Indians to view their agricultural cousins as some-
how inferior, while the removed Indians regarded the hunters as uncivilized.
The dynamics of Indian life in Oklahoma Territory did not end there, howev-
er. Within their respective cultures there was a mutual contempt between "pro-
gressives" who adopted Anglo culture and "traditionalists" who clung to their
Indian roots.
Contrary Neighbors offers a good read, but it is not without some minor prob-
lems. Where the story retraces the road to Indian Territory, for example, the
author seems more conversant with the Southeastern Indians than those of the
Southern Plains. No doubt the work could have benefited from additional Texas
sources. A case in point concerns the long-brewing "Tonkawa Massacre" (p.
171), in which several tribes in concert attacked their hapless victims. The
author concludes that the "their reasons for the assault have clouded over time"
(p. 171). Such standards as the five-volume Texas Indian Papers, and classics like
Kenneth F. Neighbours' Robert Simpson Neighbors and the Texas Frontier, would
have provided both the answer and further insights. Similarly, LaVere discusses
the occasional efforts of the "civilized Indians" and the federal government to

2002

151

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101223/. Accessed December 20, 2014.