Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Booknotes: "Hang Them All"

New Arrival:
"Hang Them All": George Wright and the Plateau Indian War, 1858
by Donald Cutler (Univ of Okla Press, 2016).

Colonel George Wright's 1858 campaign was the culminating event of a series of violent conflicts between whites and Indians that occurred over the previous three years on both sides of the Cascade Mountain divide in Washington Territory [including the Yakama War, the massacre of Columbia Gorge settlers at the Cascades, and the fighting around Puget Sound (the "Battle of Seattle")]. In 1858, while conducting a punitive expedition launched in the wake of the Steptoe defeat at Pine Creek earlier in the year, Wright defeated a number of loosely allied tribes in the eastern part of the territory at the Four Lakes and Spokane Plains battles. "Hang Them All" discusses this campaign and the enduring controversies over it and about Wright himself (deserved or not). The cover art is pretty provocative, and the book description seemingly provides little mystery over what direction the book will take.

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