On the Borders of Love and Power: Families and Kinship in the Intercultural American

Posted in Anthologies, Books, History, Law, Native Americans/First Nation, United States, Women on 2020-07-08 22:52Z by Steven

On the Borders of Love and Power: Families and Kinship in the Intercultural American

University of California Press
July 2012
366 pages
Illustrations: 19 b/w photographs, 1 map, 1 table
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Hardcover ISBN: 9780520272385
Paperback ISBN: 9780520272392
eBook ISBN: 9780520951341

Edited by:

David Wallace Adams, Professor of History
Cleveland State University, Cleveland, Ohio

Crista DeLuzio, Associate Professor and Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor of History
Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas

Embracing the crossroads that made the region distinctive this book reveals how American families have always been characterized by greater diversity than idealizations of the traditional family have allowed. The essays show how family life figured prominently in relations to larger struggles for conquest and control.

Table of Contents

  • List of Illustrations
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction / David Wallace Adams and Crista DeLuzio
    • 1. Breaking and Remaking Families: The Fostering and Adoption of Native American Children in Non-Native Families in the American West, 1880–1940 / Margaret Jacobs
    • 2. Becoming Comanches: Patterns of Captive Incorporation into Comanche Kinship Networks, 1820–1875 / Joaquín Rivaya-Martínez
    • 3. “Seeking the Incalculable Benefit of a Faithful, Patient Man and Wife”: Families in the Federal Indian Service, 1880–1925 / Cathleen D. Cahill
    • 4. Hard Choices: Mixed-Race Families and Strategies of Acculturation in the U.S. West after 1848 / Anne F. Hyde
    • 5. Family and Kinship in the Spanish and Mexican Borderlands: A Cultural Account / Ramón A. Gutiérrez
    • 6. Love, Honor, and the Power of Law: Probating the Ávila Estate in Frontier California / Donna C. Schuele
    • 7. “Who has a greater job than a mother?” Defining Mexican Motherhood on the U.S.-Mexico Border in the Early Twentieth Century / Monica Perales
    • 8. Borderlands/La Familia: Mexicans, Homes, and Colonialism in the Early Twentieth-Century Southwest / Pablo Mitchell
    • 9. Intimate Ties: Marriage, Families, and Kinship in Eighteenth-Century Pueblo Communities / Tracy Brown
    • 10. The Paradox of Kinship: Native-Catholic Communities in Alta California, 1769–1840s / Erika Pérez
    • 11. Territorial Bonds: Indenture and Affection in Intercultural Arizona, 1864–1894 / Katrina Jagodinsky
    • 12. Writing Kit Carson in the Cold War: “The Family,” “The West,” and Their Chroniclers / Susan Lee Johnson
  • Selected Bibliography
  • List of Contributors
  • Index
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Negotiating Racial and Ethnic Lines in the Borderlands: Mixed Peoples in Transitional North America

Posted in Caribbean/Latin America, Family/Parenting, History, Media Archive, Mexico, Native Americans/First Nation, Papers/Presentations, United States on 2012-11-22 18:22Z by Steven

Negotiating Racial and Ethnic Lines in the Borderlands: Mixed Peoples in Transitional North America

127th Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association
New Orleans, Louisiana
2013-01-03 through 2013-01-06

AHA Session 108
Friday, 2013-01-04, 10:30-12:00 CST (Local Time)
Cornet Room (Sheraton New Orleans)

Chair: Stephen Aron, University of California, Los Angeles


Comments: Margaret Jacobs, University of Nebraska–Lincoln

The 2000 U.S. census revealed that an increasing number of Americans identified themselves as multi-racial and the recent 2010 census indicates the same trend. President Barak Obama’s 2008 election also called into question debates about multi-racial identities and the validity of racial categories given the long history of intimate mixing in the United States. This panel attempts to historically situate processes of identity-formation by people of mixed racial and ethnic backgrounds in North America, focusing particularly on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. We argue that some mixed-race and multi-ethnic individuals and families struggled against mainstream racial discourses that discouraged any acceptance of complex identities. Some mixed individuals faced pressures to select and perform one racial identity in public and even within their communities and families. However, the research of this panel demonstrates that individual identities remained contested, negotiated, and in some cases fluid, especially in the American west where racial paradigms extended beyond black and white to include Native Americans and Mexicans in the evolution of racial categories and ideologies.

The first paper by Erika Perez evaluates how the offspring of Spanish-Mexican and European ancestry struggled to find their niche in the aftermath of the U.S. conquest of California in the wake of the Gold Rush. Mixed offspring soon discovered that their options for social mobility were shaped largely by gender, class, education and racial identity, and despite the presence of a European or Anglo-American father, this did not necessarily guarantee mixed offspring success in a changing social climate in American California. While mixed girls experienced increasing social and marriage options in California society, their brothers expressed fear and frustration that they would never attain the success of the previous generation. Anne Hyde’s paper demonstrates how U.S. bureaucrats and policy-makers of Indian affairs attempted to impose their own concepts of gender and the nuclear family upon Native American communities towards the latter part of the nineteenth century. However, Hyde shows that these bureaucratic efforts were contested by indigenous-influenced meanings of family and kinship, thereby contributing to confusion about racial categories, legal identities, and legitimacy in Indian country. Finally, Andrew Graybill’s paper tells the story of one man, John L. Clarke, a Montana artist, who held fast and firm to an Indian identity throughout his life and in his art despite the potential for him to lay claim to some white privilege because of his marriage and mixed heritage. Although other members of Clarke’s family claimed an “in-between” identity, affirming both their Indian and European roots, he remained determined to express himself as an Indian. As this abstract makes clear, all of these papers touch upon identity-formation and developing ideas of race in the North American borderlands and how this process was not always geared towards assimilation but entailed great complexity and negotiation among mixed individuals and even members of the same family. Members interested in racial identities, borderland studies, and the American West will find this panel useful.

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The Eastmans and the Luhans: Interracial Marriage between White Women and Native American Men, 1875-1935

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, United States, Women on 2011-08-26 01:37Z by Steven

The Eastmans and the Luhans: Interracial Marriage between White Women and Native American Men, 1875-1935

Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies
Volume 23, Number 3 (2002)
pages 29-54
DOI: 10.1353/fro.2003.0009

Margaret D. Jacobs, Professor of History & Director, Women’s and Gender Studies
University of Nebraska, Lincoln

At a lavish wedding and reception in New York City in 1891 Elaine Goodale, daughter of a prominent New England family, married Charles Eastman, a member of the Wahpeton band of the Santee Sioux (Dakotas). Writing in her memoirs Elaine declared, “I gave myself wholly in that hour to the traditional duties of wife and mother, abruptly relinquishing all thought of an independent career for the making of a home. At the same time, I embraced with a new and deeper zeal the conception of life-long service to my husband’s people.” Charles, a medical doctor, described himself a few months before their marriage by writing, “I was soon to realize my long dream—to become a complete man! I thought of little else than the good we two could do together.” Both Charles and Elaine were members of a group of reformers who sought to solve the so-called Indian problem through assimilation, and they portrayed their marriage as a natural means to overcome Indian “backwardness” and poverty. The white woman would further uplift her already civilized Dakota husband, and the couple would work diligently to serve his people.

Fifty years later New York socialite Mabel Dodge moved to Taos, New Mexico, with her Russian émigré husband, the painter Maurice Sterne. Mabel soon became entranced with Tony Luhan, a Taos Pueblo Indian. Describing her feelings, Mabel wrote in her memoirs:

I had a strange sense of dislocation, as though I were swinging like a pendulum over the gulf of the canyon, between the two poles of mankind, between Maurice and Tony; and Maurice seemed old and spent and tragic, while Tony was whole and young in the cells of his body, with his power unbroken and hard like the carved granite rock, yet older than the Germanic Russian whom the modern world had destroyed.

Mabel and Tony eventually divorced their respective spouses and married each other in 1923. In this case Mabel saw herself as a bridge between Tony’s people and her own; she envisioned her marriage not as a vehicle by which to uplift and “serve her husband’s people,” but as a means to save her own race from the destruction wrought by the modern world.

The stories of the Eastmans’ and Luhans’ marriages contain all the necessary ingredients for two “racy” novels but they also provide more than voyeuristic romances. As Peggy Pascoe has written, “For scholars interested in the social construction of race, gender, and culture, few subjects are as potentially revealing as the history of interracial marriage.” Both the Eastmans and the Luhans operated at the outer boundaries of American racial norms. Yet, through writing and speaking about their marriages, both couples worked to transform the racial ideologies of their times. Similarly both couples were bound by the gender norms of their respective eras but they also actively reshaped gender and sexual conventions…

…As Pascoe argues, a study of interracial marriage can also yield a greater understanding of the construction of gender norms as well. Just as with the study of race, women’s historians and other feminist theorists have for decades documented the fleeting nature of gender norms and argued that gender is not a fixed set of notions that directly correlates with biological differences between the male and female sex. Many scholars of intermarriage have ignored gender; they have made little distinction between attitudes toward and laws aimed at relationships between white men and nonwhite women and those directed toward unions between white women and nonwhite men.10 But, as a growing number of other historians have shown, American society has had markedly different attitudes toward interracial marriage depending on the gender of the white person involved. In general, interracial relationships between white men of the colonizing, dominant group and nonwhite women of colonized, conquered, and/or enslaved groups have been tolerated. Although laws in many colonies and states forbid interracial marriage between white men and black women, for example, many white slave owners commonly engaged in forced sex, concubinage, and informal relationships with their female slaves without social opprobrium. As we shall see, relationships between white men and Indian women were similarly tolerated within American society. Liaisons between white men and nonwhite women did not violate the hierarchical order that developed between European Americans, African Americans, and American Indians. Rather, they represented extensions and reinforcements of colonialism, conquest, and domination.

As David Fowler, Kathleen Brown, and Martha Hodes have pointed out, however, white Americans were much more threatened by interracial sex and marriage that involved white women and nonwhite men. Where there was a higher incidence of such liaisons, as in Virginia and Maryland, colonies and states were much more likely to pass laws against interracial marriage. When white women and nonwhite men engaged in sexual relationships or married, they violated the colonial, racial, and patriarchal order. Within this order, white men dominated both their daughters and wives as well as groups of subjugated peoples, including American Indians and African Americans. By law, white women were economic, social, and sexual possessions of white men, therefore, a nonwhite man who “possessed” a white woman undermined the gendered and racialized dominance of white men. The children of such unions also threatened the social order, especially since southern colonies had conveniently passed laws establishing that children followed the condition of their mothers. Thus a union between a white woman and a nonwhite man could allow a child of a “Negro” or Indian man to be legally white…

Read the entire article here.

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Mixed-Bloods, Mestizas, and Pintos: Race, Gender, and Claims to Whiteness in Helen Hunt Jackson’s Ramona and María Amparo Ruiz de Burton’s Who Would Have Thought It?

Posted in Articles, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2011-08-25 23:26Z by Steven

Mixed-Bloods, Mestizas, and Pintos: Race, Gender, and Claims to Whiteness in Helen Hunt Jackson’s Ramona and María Amparo Ruiz de Burton’s Who Would Have Thought It?

Western American Literature
Volume 36, Number 3 (Fall 2001)
pages 212-231

Margaret D. Jacobs, Professor of History & Director, Women’s and Gender Studies
University of Nebraska, Lincoln

Since the 1980s, a growing number of scholars in widely different fields have discredited race as a self-evident category of human social relations. Alongside the work of scientists who have found no genetic or biological basis for racial categorization, critical race theorists have looked to changes in legal definitions of race and citizenship to conclude that race is socially and culturally constructed. Historians have contributed to the field by analyzing the history of Whiteness and the so-called White race. Many groups considered “White” today were once deemed non-White; it was only through renouncing common cause with other stigmatized “races” that certain Americans such as Irish and Jewish immigrants were able to attain White status and privilege. Of course, “choosing” to become White has not been an option for some Americans whose skin color is not light enough to allow them to pass for White. But as George Fredcrickson argues, it is not from color alone that race is constructed. He asserts that “theessential element [in notions of race and racism] is that belief, however justified or rationalized, in the critical importance of differing lines of descent and the use of that belief to establish or validate social inequality”.

The social construction of race played out in myriad spaces: in brightly lit courtrooms and dark bedrooms, in factories and fields, in movie theaters and swimming pools, in classrooms and offices, in fast-moving trains and plodding city buses. The realm of literature as well became a space in which various American sought to envision and enforce their notions of race. The literature of the American West offers a particularly rich bounty of competing constructions of race. Until recently it has been all too common in the fields of both western American literature and western history to study Anglo-Americans’ views of the West and its peoples. A growing number of scholars, however, have challenged the ethnocentrism and cultural hegemony of this approach.

Significantly, though, we are not the first to engage in such a critique of Anglo-Americans’ portrayals of the West. Even as Easterners flooded bookstores and literary journals with their accounts of the West in the nineteenth century, an elite and well-educated Californians, Maria Amparo Ruiz de Burton, penned her own challenge to such representations. In 1872, countering Anglo notions that Californians were a “half barbaric” race who were unfit to govern themselves, to hold property, or to occupy professional positions, Ruiz de Burton published Who Would Have Thought It?, a political satire dressed up as a romance novel. Although written twelve years before one of the most famous Anglo novels about nineteenth-century California, Helen Hunt Jackson’s Ramona, Ruiz de Burton’s novel nevertheless reads like a sharp retort and a satire of Jackson’s view of California and the West…

Read the entire article here.

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