‘The Red And The White’ And The Stories That Follow

“The Red and the White”.  A new history of interracial marriage and massacre in the old American West

Detail from Alfred Jacob Miller's "The Trapper's Bride." Author Andrew Graybill's book, "The Red and the White," looks at three generations of a mixed-race Native American-white family.

Detail from Alfred Jacob Miller’s “The Trapper’s Bride.” Author Andrew Graybill’s book, “The Red and the White,” looks at three generations of a mixed-race Native American-white family.

We talk about the taking of the American West in terms of destiny, genocide, resistance and conquest.  Lakotah and Blackfoot.  Cavalry and Little Big Horn and Wounded Knee.  But there is a more subtle human story woven deep in the Old West.  Of blended families — Native American and newcomer.  White trappers who depended on Indian help and sometimes married high.  Native Americans whose families came to include the conqueror.  Racial acceptance and racial resistance.  Up next On Point:  a new history of inter-racial marriage and massacre in the old American West.

– Tom Ashbrook


Andrew Graybill, historian and director of the Clements Center for Southwest Studies at Southern Methodist University. Author of “The Red and The White: A Family Saga of the American West.”

S. Neyooxet Greymorning, professor of anthropology and Native American Studies at the University of Montana’s Native American Center, author of “A Will to Survive: Indigenous Essays on the Politics of Culture, Language and Identity.”

From Tom’s Reading List

New York Times: Tapping Into the Land, and Dividing Its People – “It is an increasingly common sight for tribes across the West and Plains: Tourist spending has gone slack since the recession hit. American Indian casino revenues are stagnating just as tribal gambling faces new competition from online gambling and waves of new casinos. Oil and fracking are new lifelines. One drilling rig on the Blackfeet reservation generated 49 jobs for tribal members — a substantial feat in a place where unemployment is as high as 70 percent. But as others watched the rigs rise, they wondered whether the tribe was making an irrevocable mistake.”

Bozeman Daily Chronicle: Blackfeet remember Montana’s greatest Indian massacre – “It came to be known as the Baker Massacre. In 1870, the attack was celebrated as a great military victory by the Army and by residents of Bozeman and Helena. When newspapers back East reported the high numbers of women and children killed, it created a scandal, which was quickly extinguished by a cover-up in Washington. And then, for many years, it was largely forgotten. Carol Murray grew up on the Blackfeet reservation, but never heard of the massacre until she went away to college. Murray, now past president of the Blackfeet Community College and a tribal historian, recalled interviewing one elderly woman in 1970, who was still afraid a century after the event that talking about it could land her in jail.”

Read An Excerpt From “The Red and The White: A Family Saga of The American West” by Andrew Graybill

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