Book Reviews and Notices
BOOK REVIEWS AND NOTICES
The Rise and Fall of the Choctaw Republic. By Angie Debo.
(Norman, Oklahoma: The University of Oklahoma Press,
1934. Pp. XVI, 314. $3.50.)
There is in evidence a pronounced tendency for students of
American history to regard the Indian as something more than
the enemy of the white race whose subjugation or destruction
opened the way for a superior people. There are those who con-
tend that he has profoundly affected American civilization and
made some substantial contributions to it. It is from this point
of view that Miss Debo has written about the Choctaws, her book
being the sixth in the Civilization of the American Indian Series
published by the University of Oklahoma Press.
The Choctaws were a populous Indian tribe who, at the time
white men first made their acquaintance, maintained a civiliza-
tion probably as substantial and advanced as that of any aborig-
ines in what is now the United States. At the beginning of the
historic period their country constituted a considerable part of
the present states of Mississippi and Alabama. Across their land
marched De Soto, but it was nearly one hundred and fifty years
later that they first were affected by the approach of English-
men from the east and Frenchmen and Spaniards from the west
and south. Although they were disturbed by international
rivalry and the intrigues of white men their policy generally was
that of peace. In later years they boasted that they had never
made war against the United States.
These people stubbornly resisted efforts of the United States
to purchase their country and remove them to new lands in In-
dian Territory. Persuasion and intimidation finally triumphed,
however, and during the early thirties most of the tribe moved
to the new country. Here for some fifty years they developed
and sustained their institutions with a comparatively free hand.
Then they were thrown on the defensive by the influx of a large
alien element, and finally, early in the twentieth century, their
republic was dissolved.
In spite of a maze of details-essential perhaps, but some-
times trying on the reader-Miss Debo's book contains interest
because it gives many excellent glimpses of the soul of this peo-
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 38, July 1934 - April, 1935. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117143/. Accessed July 31, 2014.