tv Lectures in History CSPAN August 31, 2016 4:13pm-5:27pm EDT
this fall. >> coming up next on lectures and history, william and mary professor paul matt talks about the interaction between europe you know and natoive american tribes on the great plains during the 1700s. he describe the importance of owning horses and guns for determining which groups or tribes or colonial settlers have the upper hand. >> let's go into this lecture about the great plains. and as you know, unlike some of the classic american history, we have somewhat more expansive view of early america. and that includes the great plains and this is fun material to look at. i think we'll enjoy this.
hearing more and more about french activities coming out of louisiana and canada. particularly they're hearing these rumors that french creators are moving west toward new mexico, that there are align with and providing them with weapons. in 1720, the governor of new mexico sends an expedition east on to the plains to investigate led by pedro. it's about 45 spaniards and about 60 pueblo indians that go out. they probably reach everything about this is uncertain, but they probably get into what is now western nebraska, the intersection, the platte, and the loop rivers and encounter a large group of indians as far as we can tell. initially said they can't, they negotiate, there's no initial effort to causing trouble, but the next morning, they attacked the spanish. they're heavily armed. and usually armed. about two-thirds of the span rish killed in the battle of the
survivors, it's estimated about six of them, or half a dozen get back. we're here under the hot lights. all right. the survivors contribute to a painting of the expedition. and this is kind of hard to see. it's difficult to get a resolution copy. if you look closely, it's by unknown artist, there's a group of spanish and pueblo indians here. circled by a lot of pueblo indians, allegedly french people that aren't there. some have bows and some have guns. they don't, well, actually there's one thing they don't seem to have, and what might you guess that that is that's so significant? what would you expect, yeah? so it's interesting, in 1720, attacked by indians who don't seem to have forces. that's significant.
apparently you also notice that a group of plains indians can defeat a spanish easily. the spanish don't have military advantage out here on the plains a this the time and after the aftermath of this, the spanish have no desire to venture out on to the plains and have a repeat of this experience. that's our first call. the second starting point has to do with a group of explorers with the last name verendry. that's a village. this will be important later as we go, but also give you a sense of the habitations that some of the folks probably encountered. >> at our next starting point is in the early 1740s and winter of 1742 and 1743. two french brothers.
sons of the explore whose document we read today go out and probably south dakota, north dakota, it's uncertain, this area around the black hills. and they're looking for a number of things, but in particular, they're looking for the head waters of some kind of western river that will lead to the pacific. that's their ultimate objective of this exploration. they're probably in the vicinity of the black hills in south dakota, and they think, they report back if we could have just climbed these black hills we could have seen the pacific from the top. if you know anything about the geography of north america is not the case, unless you can jump really high. as they're moving around, they're guys who they know as the bow indians, bow and arrow, received reports of raids by indians who called that the snaps, probably shesohni indians. taking both horses and slave ris
on the village. the exploration has to be abandoned as they bow indians go back to their homes. interestingly enough at this time, all the indians have forces. this is about two decades later, a little bit further north, and at this time, the indians do have horses. one way that we know about the location of some of these exlor rations is -- well, this is great map as well. one reason -- either way that these french guys are sort of optimistic that maybe they can see the pacific from the black hims is because there are some french views in north america that are a little bit different than the views we have today. in particular, there's these persistent rumors in the first half of the 18th century, there's a c in western north america. and this is the leading geographer in france who put together this image of what western north america might look like. gusts from idaho, me from
oregon, feeling just a little bit nervous. one point this gets across is europeans a the this time don't know very much about the geography of north america. it's positive they are thinking they can reach the waters of the pacific or some inland extension of it rel tufly easily. any idea what might give rise to this kind of image? anybody been to utah? big salt lake which looks really, really big. if you've been out there and the ways that stories travel. you could see how the stories could be magnified. pew gent sound, something that's called the salt and sea of southern california which isn't always there, but it is occasionally, in the fact that be it's called salt gives you some idea. there are some probably some basis for rumors, but the conclusion is farfetched.
this is a lead play the which was left by the expedition which was found by some school kids during recess and pierre, south dakota, in 1913. as i said, that's back in the days when everything was totally cool and you could find exmr. ration, you know, when you were playing tag or something. the implications of the story -- everybody's got this idea that west virginia has all the sites. some of the implications. one, as you can see, as late as the middle of the 8th century, you know a lot about world geography are confused about western north america. you can also see that the french presence out west is pretty eager and independent. you have two french explorers independent on the indians they're working with. this is not in position of french power on the north dakotas. this is a few scouts trying to figure out what's going on out there. and the other thing we notice is that horses have moved pretty far north by the 1740s and there seems to be warfare on the northern plains or western plains by this time.
all right. so with these anecdotes we can address some questions. all right. one question we might ask ourself is why, how long have we been -- when does our study in the spanish start? it's like, uh, the first half of the course. yeah, it's like 1520s, '30s, coronado expedition. one question, the spanish have been in western north america. or at least close to two centuries. why are they still largely confined to places like mexico and texas which we'll talk about in a second. the other question is, why are the french moving west? what are the consequences of this movement? from canada and louisiana, and then the final question.
what's the relationship between what happens in the 18th century on the plains and the kind of iconic image of north american indians that moves. if i say indian. what's the relationship between what we're going to talk about today, the developments in the 1700s and so we'll start by talking about the spanish. why the is spanish presence so tentative? reaching into new mexico and ultimately southern texas, before i do that, let me give you a couple of images just to orient you. this is a village of one representation of it from later on in the 19th century. that'll be something you can have in mind and he's talking about his own visit to the village. it would have looked something like that. this is just a quick, quick image of spanish expansion into texas and the late 17th century
and the coastal plains. and we're going to talk about and the missions around san antonio right there, which are the most significant ones. get the sense of this, welcome to texas. the alamo, 1740, but they look nice when they did the postcard. this is just to kind of get in your head is a representation of the movement of horses north. so, you get the idea of horses starting out here, sort of the southern parts of north america, mexico, new mexico, we don't need to get into details. you can see this movement of horses more along the plains through the great basin and the northwest. we'll talk about that as one of the developments, i want you to have a sense of what have it looks like physically. something we haven't talked about too much in class, there
is this great inland body of water up in canada, hudson's bay, there are 18th century, and they're going to be involved in that story when we discuss that document. i want yo u to get a feel for those and then the final image i'll show you is basically i want you to have a sense of new mexico and moving off to the southwestern north america. it was surrounded by a lot of areas and controlled by the spanish. that should be all we need for the moment. let's talk about why one thing you've got to consider. if you look at the spanish empire, not so much since the beginning of the class. you figure a top priority that are official in some place like madrid or mexico city. minds in places like luck ra ty
minds in place likes new mexico and texas? yeah. that's later on, but not in the 17th centuries and 18th centuries. so if you think about the spanish empire as a whole, it's enormous. it extends down to south america, includes peru, bolivia, central america, fringe that we're talking about is a long way of the spanish empire and tends not to be the priority for spanish official planners. it's not that surprising that it takes a while for the spanish and there's other ways that the spanish allocate their resources. if you recall, for example the coronado expedition from out on the plains back in the 16th century, we didn't talk about that that much in early 1600s, youl recall how those went. not great. okay. so the spanish went out there and discovered thousands of pretty formidable who weren't
necessarily going to welcome the spanish on the plains. the spanish found that the plains were in areas of reward and also sort of significant damage. so that sing one factor that held spanish expansion back to the 18th century when they started getting worried about the french. the texas just gets going in the early decades of the 18th century. early decades of the 1700s. what do you think is the emp distance for the expansion of spanish emissions? what's happening east of texas that might inspire you. we get a colony in 1699 the presence of these french guys. presence of a french colony that might conceivably be a threat to mexico and new mexico.
the spanish expansion into texas, it's generally a few missions with a small number of soldiers to go with thechl. a good day to remember is founder of san antonio in 1718, that's probably the most significant examples of expansion. it's a site that -- well, what do the spanish generally look for before they found a mission or a sell? if you recall from new mexico for example, you know -- yeah, and that's exactly what they find. san antonio is already a place with irrigated fields. that's been established by local communities. the spanish in keeping with the pattern are trying to move into an area that seems compatible and place where they can grow food. san antonio in 1718, and the hope again is also the spanish are always looking for settled agricultural indians. that's who they would really
like to find because they think they're most compatible with the spanish way of life and most combat to believe christianization. maybe they're staying put and it's easier to establish a church that can work with them. in fact, the way the spanish missions in texas work, they're not a great success. generally speaking, it's almost the most desperate indians who go there. it's those who don't have any choice. they go to the missions for lack of anything better. population doesn't increase by 1760, san antonio only has about 1,000 people. any idea what would bring texas indians to spanish missions? what might make them appealing sites? yeah, this is a big factor. texas is a dangerous place in the 1700s. and the spanish missions, these little presidios or forts they established with them are one potential place of refuge. there's spanish soldiers with
guns. there's an alliance with the spanish empire. you get yanden to take refuge from other of the indians in 18th century. another way to think about this, it's something that historians have talked about recently. it makes a lot of sense that that for a lot of indians that went to the texas missions, they didn't really see it as that major a step or that major of change in the way they were living. if you recall, when we talked about way back in the beginning of the class, and there was that kind of season of migration from one place to another. maybe they'd be getting nuts from one particular grove at one time in the year. moving to the coast, there's some evidence that texas indians view the spanish missions as just sort of another stop in their season of migrations. show up there, there'd be food, there'd be a place of refuge. they viewed them as adaptation of their lifestyle rather than a total change. not a great success. they don't generate a lot of
wealth. they're highly vulnerable and they don't really establish and dominate quite vulnerable to indians in that area. get a sense of that vulnerability which we can call the fiasco. and saba, which is essentially a spanish effort to move more well beyond san antonio. so, what happens is at the request of local apatch ye indianss in 1757, the spanish mission showed you on the map. 1757, spanish mission, 1757. 1758 and indians. most likely an alliance revenue indians and other groups from the north annihilate the mission. which is always a bad way to start out, but it's also an indication of the kind of vulnerability even of a spanish
fortified position in texas. so, seeing that that -- or viewing that as unacceptable, the spanish try to pursue the indian allies north. and what they find is the north. attacked this fortification claiming there's all kinds of guns and ammunition. carrying french flags and the spanish repelled with 52 people the key point is again, the kind of weakness of the spanish in texas, and also the fact that the indians of texas are formidable. they have fortifications, and the stlieking power on horses. they can build fortifications and compel the attack. they don't have a clear military advantage in places like texas. >> so that helped explain why,
why there's sort of a spanish move into texas, but why it's relatively area. mexico is also an interesting case. the other kind of key spanish salient in north america. at this time of our course. we'll talk about california on wednesday. new mexico remains as you see from that map relatively similar to what has been throughout the course. it doesn't have a massive expansion in the 1700s. new mexico as was the case in the 17th century when we talk abouted is never a big revenue generator for the spanish empire. places like louisiana are convinces it is. it never is. new mexico is a poor, frontier colony at the end of a very supply route for mexico. it never finds the kind of silver mines, for example, that the spanish were hoping for. it's sort of a poor, salient up in the north. in 1765, there's only about 10,000 people of spanish descent and about 10,000 pueblo indians in new mexico. it's relatively poor and
relatively small in terms of population as well. isolated at the end of a long supply roof for mexico city, it's still doesn't have any by earning commodity. there's some trade -- idea how mexico as a colony would make money or what it's economic basis would be? there's some production of sort of local crops, but that's not a great export commodity. there's a small fur trade. but again, not a special lucrative. there's actually a slave trade in new mexico, sending indian slaves, taking in raids around new mexico, down into mexico itself. and so in that sense from the sort of, sort of brutal logic of an early modern colony. the fact that new mexico is up there and sort of the middle of indians who are not part of the spanish alliance systems does mean there's nor indian groups that the spanish and allies can rave for slaves. that has part of new mexico's economy. the biggest problem new mexico
has in addition to the fact that economically, it's relatively meager is what is the biggest problem? just looking at that map, yeah. yeah, it's a long ways away from the center of all that goes with it, like help. and if it's a long way from the centers of spanish power. what is it close to? yeah. there's a lot of indian peoples surrounding new mexico. who have become more and more formidable at the 1700s go on. and so new mexico has got to the worry about the yuts to the north, it's got to worry about them to the west, it's going to worry about the apatch yes all over the place. the navajos who are ability will the northwest. a lot of indian groups. highly vulnerable colony. it's a little bit surrounded and what it's particularly concerned about is that some of these
indians the weapons. one big difference to the spanish new mexico and texas and the french colonies and places like louisiana is the spanish trading guns with western indians because they think they'll be a threat to the colonies. the french encourage trading guns with western indians which makes the spanish very, very nervous. potential enemies are much, much better off. all right. let's talk now about -- let's shift from the spanish colonies and talk a little bit about these indians out on the plains themselves. you can already see, we've had hints of a very interesting story. some let's first go back in time a little bit and talk about some of the developments that are going to lead up to what happens. what we see in the 1700s. the first thing to talk about is that when we're talking about the 1700s, there are a number, a lot of indian communities on the great plains who are growing
crops. growing agricultural, horticultural, the dee is you have big towns surrounded by fields growing things like corn. this development really starts about 700 a.d. we'll go way back. this sort of prehistory of the course. what you see is very gradually the sort of movement of the growing of corn, kind of moving up the mississippi, and then moving west along the tribute tears in the mississippi to the point where river like the missouri has these significant vilening as growing corn around them. these villages for example that are visited are surrounded by corn fields. so these kinds of communities and what characterizes them. what tends to happen if to communities when they grow a lot of food? thanksgiving is just the perfect preparation for this. they're very sluggish. they can't move quickly. and they're population grows. all right. so one thing you get is these
towns and the other towns of peoples like this are often really big. hundreds or even thousands of people living in these some case four to five substantial villages or towns along the tribute tears of the mississippi and the missouri. so it's the formation of sort of news file of life. at least from what had been there in the region before 17 -- before 700. these villages aren't just growing corn, they're also hunting buffalo, i'm not sure you want to supplement a diet with things like protein and buffalo. they're making stuff and involved in handy crafts and basic production. and eventually they start getting horses, the spanish see some of these in the 16th century and the spanish and the french continue to see them right in the 17th and 18th century. it's these big towns out on the plains. that's one big sort of feature of the plains at this time. there's another big feature of the plains, and this is what makes the plains an exciting
place and a dramatic place, it's one of those things in the 1700s. and that is, let's go back to your iconic image of the north american indian, which is, a guy on a horse. okay. and the question is, when does that start? well, when the spanish arrive, when the french arrive, when europeans arrive in north america. are there horses in north america? there are not, but shortly thereafter, there are horses in north america,ly it there used to be horses in a long time ago. when the spanish arrive, they bring horses with them. now what would happen would you guess, spanish movement is like new mexico, horse is what gives them a military advantage. what would you suspect to happen to some of those horses just not normal run of events with span of settlements in new mexico? yeah. pardon me. they'll escape. horses can move. that's part of their, that's part of their appeal. they can be stolen. you know, it was another possibility, but even before, even by the sort of middle of the 17th century, some horses are getting away from the
spanish and in some cases, they're getting into the possession of the people around new mexico. some of the apatches had horses before the revolt. that's one thing that happens. and then there's that other thing that happens, right? there's the pueblo revolt of 1680. in addition to the spanish being temporarily driven out of new mexico. lots of horses get away from spanish controls and end up dispersing around new mexico. now i want you to think of yourself as a horse. so, that's always -- it's always construct i have. all right, so you get away from the spanish, you're feeling good and take a good look over the plains. what do you think? this is my lucky day. because i just found one of the best places in the world to be a
horse. because what is there on the plains? lots and lots of grass. and not lots of horses, right? okay, there are buffalo things, but you can deal with them, right, they're funny looking. so when the horses get away from new mexico, especially those who get out on to the plains, this is a great place to o be a horse and consequently horses multiply very quickly out on the plains, as you would expect. okay, that's the horse side of the story. which is important. but there's this other side of the story as well. so, if you're one of these indian groups around new mexico, north of new mexico, maybe you're moving on to the plains yourself, and suddenly you see these big animals. you have some knowledge maybe that be they can be domesticated and a little bit of experimentation you kind of pick up the horse for yourself. all the sudden you have peoples for millennia had hunted, lived on foot and all of the sudden, they have one of the more formidable creatures of the
early modern world. if you wanted to have a good example of a people who profit from the presence of spanish horses, they are a pretty good one. they are a people who are sort of linguistically and related to the she sonys. they get down on to the plains by around 1700. they've been living in the great base. they moved out in a time when horses are already there. relatively quickly in the 1700s adopt horses for themselves. and make it a critical part of their lifestyle, they essentially become a mounted people. now, what's the advantage of being a mounted people on the plains in the 1700s? what can you do if you have horses? you can hunt buffalo. easier on horses. what are the advantages of hunting buffalo? beside it's exciting? absolutely. yep. yep. yep, yep, absolutely.
great source of pro teen which is critical and items which you can sell to other people. you can sell for example buffalo hides to for example pueblo indians when you go to trade fairs. so horses give people like ut plains people suddenly they can hunt at a greater distance, more efficiently, and they can take advantage of the buffalos of the plains. who when the horses got there, the buffalo said, this is also actually a great place to be a buffalo. the plains are a good place for your basic grass eater. all right. so that's one thing. what else? now that's nice. you could, you could hunt buffalos. that's good. what else can you do with your horses? yeah. yeah, and that's kind of, you know, that's kind of neutral language. you could expand your control. what would that -- what would that actually, what would that expang of control feel like? yeah, you could get on your horse and you can take a lance or maybe trade with the french and louisiana and get a gun. you can move very quickly. and all the sudden, you've got a
big military advantage over the folks you've had kworl with for the past two deck killed as. one thing that happens is one group moves over into west texas, one hangs on the plains, they move around a lot, but these are now, and there are other groups like this, now militarily an extremely formidable group of people. even without reefls. certainly when they begin to get guns from the french, they can move fast, they can attack for example spanish settlements. hit an outlined ranch or something? take what they want and then disappear before the spanish could get them. they could choose the point at which they attack. they could also, for example, attack et apatche settlements prior to the sort of movement of theened yans on the southern plains. they are no longer the dominant group in the southern plains. in fact they disperse off the southern plains. some of them look for refuge. and some of them move into the mountainous areas south of new
mexico, west of new mexico, but they are driven away essentially by the indians who become this no, ma'am nant dors on the southern plains over the course of the 1700s. it's important to know that they could rain and the horses can raid, but that trading point is important as well. one thing you see a lot of is in some years, groups like them will show up at a trade fair in new mexico and it'll be peaceful. they'll exchange buffalo items for various things which we'll talk about in the document in a second. other years, they'll raid the spanish. just sort of depends on a whole variety of factors, but there's an alternation between violent interactions and relatively peaceful kind of economic interactions. and that's true on the plains as a whole. one of the great ironies of all of this. this development as i said, tex tends to a number of different plains peoples over the course of this 1700s. if you're called up and being in
the class as a horse moves north. different peoples adopt horses. the sioux will adopt horses, the cheyennes. the black feet will adopt horses. different groups see the horse as a potential advantage and you get a lot of due multionly the horse horses. and that example i gave you from the beginning of the glass. you could see the consequences of people beginning to move easily across the plains and raid one another. one of the great ironies of this, i wonder if you have studied a lot of sort of long-term history of e rurks aasia. who are the baddest people in history? yeah, i mean, they're a contender. i think they're -- you know, you get the 20th century, there's a lot of competition, but certainly before the 20th century, i think the amongles, i think you could argue, he is the baddest dude in history. there are many things, if you wanted to go further back.
you could argument huns are the baddest. what characterizes them? i mean, no kwaurl with mongolia here. if you took a poll, these guys would come up. i think they're pumped about this in mongolia as far as i can tell. what characterized the baddest -- yeah. one of the great continuities is you have these guys who live on the steps of eurasia which extends for thousands of miles. they get horses and that enables them to be a mountain people. they don't have guns, but they have the compound bows which are terrifying weapons. they'll have 12 horses at a time so they can ride at a sprint and they'll shift horses. you see these alternation in history between the power of these step nomads and the peoples who always have to deal be with this presence to the north. any idea when the step n no mads are done as a sort of feature of history? when they're no longer a threat
to the settled people of eurasia. yeah, go ahead. even earlier, where china launches this expansion out to the west. and basically kind of destroys the major kind of step empires of the sort of no mad empires out there in the west. this. goes well beyond the range of our course, but the point i want to get across, this feature of history kind of ends in the 1700. china is note worried about step no mad aefs the 1700s. what's ironic, if you look at this in the broadest perspective, is that exactly the moment that a certain kind of lifestyle, a certain kind of military technology or tactics exactly the moment when it's over, finished, antiquated in eurasia and somebody appears. it's almost like there's this kind of balancing mechanism in the world. and they have their hayday in north america well into the 19th century. all right.
let's take a -- should we take a break? what's funny about the hay day? pardon me. i didn't think about that. i didn't think about that. all right, let me give you a few more points and we'll take a break. where do the french fit into this whole story. the french are trying to expand west in louisiana and canada. all right. they've got a number of, a number of objectives. finishing up a little bit of that discussion of the spread of horses on to the plains, as i say, this leads to a kind of due multiamong plains people. you have people rising and falling quickly. to give you a good example, the indians were probably the ones that those bow indians i talked about at the beginning were so frightened of in the early 17 how 37 when lewis and clark go west in the expedition 1803 to 1806, they are hiding in the rockies. just trying to survive. so people who have a sort of brief moment of dominance on the plains often that moment is quite brief.
the acquisition of horses, rifles, leads to conflict on the plains and that leads to instability. so that's one, that's going to be one feature of the plains right into the 19th century. the other factor, when i talked about how -- folk you're an indian -- sorry, if you're a horse and you imagine go out and say, this is totally excellent, okay. what do you -- assuming there's say two horses, okay, what happens relatively quickly after these horse rs get on to the plains and start eating a lot of grass? yeah, three horses and four horses and five horses, then indian groups breeding horses. all the sudden you have a lot of horses on the plains. there's already a lot of buffalos on the plains, the plains are big, they seem infini infinite, if you're driving across, they seem to have no apparent end, but in fact, they do an end. and so what happens? and also the climate is highly unstable. and it was unstable in the 18th century as well. you have wet periods, you have dry periods, hot periods, cold
periods. what happens when you suddenly have thousands of new roommates. >> they're going to eat all the grass. >> exactly. so certainly, certainly by ut 19th century, you start to have hints of a kind of on the plains when there's too many grass eating animals out there. there's only so many animals the plains can sustain. it just gives you a sense of introducing something like the horse into a new environment, the consequences are endless. all kinds of things happen. ecologically, militarily, culturally. it's a big change in many ways. let's briefly talk about the french and then go for discussion. the french are expanding west from louisiana and canada. it's a little different than what you saw in the 17th century. there are still missionaries involved but a bit less of an emphasis. more of an emphasis on trade and furs and human beings as well.
emphasis on missionary, conversion of indians. the french are quite happy to trade guns. that does give them an advantage. what do you figure the french are looking for as they go west into north america? why would they bother to go at all? yeah. >> pacific. >> they're still hoping there's going to be some passage to the pacific. some easy water route leading to the pacific. this seems far-fetched. jefferson in the first decade of the 19th century is still thinking lewis and clark might find a gentle plateau and then there will be this nice navigable river. what do they discover when they get west of the rockies? idaho which is just one range of mountains after another.
the french don't know that so they're still hoping for a relatively easy way to get to the pacific. they are hoping for a route to the pacific. they're also hoping for new trading partners. they've heard rumors there may be elaborate civilizations on the pacific coast. from what they've heard from second and third and fourth hand indian accounts, they think japan or china may have outposts in the pacific northwest. maybe there's some kind of indian civilizations. what might give rise to that kind of story in places further to the east where the french might pick them up? anybody from british columbia or washington state? you do have in the northwest, we'll talk about this, big sophisticated indian towns in the pacific northwest with monumental architecture, big ocean going canoes, fantastic sculpture, living in really fantastic wealth. you just have to dip your hand in the water and you find two salmon.
you are talking about information traveling hundreds and hundreds of miles could set up stories of sophisticated indian peoples. so the french are very curious. they've heard there may be europeans somewhere in the west. spanish somewhere, russian some place else. they're trying to figure this out. the french are moving to the west. the big limitations on the french, there's not a lot of them. they are beyond the range of french power. these are very small parties. as we know, what do the french do to compensate for the fact there aren't that many of them? >> they align themselves with -- >> exactly. they try to make friends and become the allies of those indian groups. what's the same problem? so in the 17th century, the french allied themselves with different indian groups and that makes them enemies of -- >> the iroquois.
>> as the french move west, they align with different groups on the plains. they're trying to work with all these groups. who do they antagonize? the sioux. bad call. it's the french in certain ways are among the least lucky. the enemies they make are formidable enemies. and that's one thing, as they're moving out, one of his sons. killed by a sioux war party as part of this exploration. even as the sioux make certain allies they also antagonize other groups. if we wanted to summarize the takeaway points, the first thing is regional dynamism. the plains are not static in the 1700s. all kinds of changes are going on. long-term dynamism, corn-based agriculture. the horse coming out on to the plains in the late 17th and 18th century. this is a very different place. regional dynamism. a second point is the presence of crop-growing peoples which is different than your iconic image of the plains indians. look at how many of these kinds of indian people we've seen.
the folks desoto met, coronado met. pueblo indians in new mexico. different groups in arizona. the iroquois. we're seeing these groups of indians who are different from the classic stereotype. it's worth noticing how many examples we're talking about. and the third point is the formation of the horse peoples of the plains in the 1700s. this is a crucial development and it does set the stage for a lot of what you see in the 19th century. that's enough of me talking. now i'm going to make you guys perspire. shift a little bit to discussion and we'll see how much fun you had over thanksgiving. these documents were very short. no extra essays. these should be a pleasure. even if not, i can guide us
through because these i quite enjoy. we want to start with the french or new mexico? the french it is. all right then. so we've got this account. in the fall and early winter of 1738 he's going out to visit some villages on the upper missouri. same villages that would be visited more than half a century later by the lewis and clark expedition. same broad cultural group. if la verendrye is trying to -- what is he hoping for from the indians?
what kind of relationship would he like to establish? what kind of relationship do the french always want to establish? >> create an alliance. >> some kind of trading alliance. go ahead and raise your hand before asking a question. that will give time for the microphone to move toward you. it's difficult because we're fast paced. a physical microphone has difficulty keeping up with the rapidity of our thought. it's true. the discussion moves fast. so some kind of -- you know, some kind of trading relationship and alliance. so if you are going to establish a french trading relationship, if you want them to trade with the french, who do you not want groups like the mandan to trade with? it's the great white north, up where canada is right now?
so remember that map i showed you way back at the beginning of class and i showed you -- let me just go over to this map. so you have this big inland sea called hudson bay. and on the edges of hudson bay the british establish these little trading posts. and the british, what they try to do is encourage indians from england to come to these posts along the edge and give them what? what logically in the age before -- what's the great virtue of northern canada in terms of a commodity? absolutely. they establish these posts and want these interior indians to
do all the work of getting the furs, making this long trip and just giving the furs to those on hudson bay. how does this make you feel? outmaneuvered, okay. so for example, page 295, in the right-hand column, he talks about, i got the two chiefs to come to my tent. i knew they went every year to the english post. one received a collar from the english together as a present. so what's the problem? these indians trading with british and you don't want that. if you are la verendrye, what do you do to draw these western indians, what can you do to draw them away from the english? >> give them better gifts? >> exactly.
it's true. nice. and it's better gifts and gifts. so that's one interesting aspect of this. the french are trying to establish a trading relationship but they have to get the trading relationship started by giving stuff away. there's a high initial investment of giving gifts. so what else can -- if the british rely on just sitting in these little forts on hudson bay, what can the french do? yeah. >> they actually go out to the indian forts and communicate
directly. >> that's exactly what they do. the french begin moving west. there is a chain of lakes extending west from the great lakes. they go into northern canada. the french are moving out into the western interior of north america and trying to get to western indians before the indians get to hudson bay. they are going to the trading partners rather than waiting for them to go to hudson bay. they are working a lot harder. when are the -- let's see. are the western indians without a negotiating position, without leverage? what do they say? we'd love to have a trading relationship with you, if -- for example, recent years the french abandon us, i did send to hudson bay. as long as the frenchman remains in our lands, we promise not to go elsewhere. what's the up shot of that? yeah. >> -- just move from point a to point b. >> they can have demands on the french. they want a consistent
relationship. you can't just come and go. you have to come and stay. they are asking for an ongoing relationship that will be equal in value or predictability. you can see they are moving the french. we'd love to be your friends, but here's what we expect from you. a kind of negotiation going on. let's see. there's on 296 as we're going down, they say we'll keep quite as he desires and let the sioux do the same. our heart is still sore on account of your son. so part of this french effort and french expansion, this movement of these trading relationships, some french people don't come back. it's a dangerous operation.
all right. what -- let's see here. what makes it great to be a mandan or to visit the mandan? >> you have this impressive fortification and they're also expert traders. >> absolutely. you go to the mandan, you don't find a bunch of tents or a poultry settlement. you find a town with fortifications, with a moat. it sounds like something formidable to deal with. so it's sort of impressive physically. what is the basis for this town? what establishes its position on the northern plains? what does it have to offer? yeah. and you can figure. so if some people live by hunting buffalo, for example, and other people spent a lot of
time growing corn, what might be a basis of exchange? yes. >> buffalo for corn. >> that's one thing. you can imagine the exchange of agricultural products which we saw back in new mexico. if you have a nice town with nice houses and spend a lot of time in those houses in north dakota and south dakota, what can you do with your spare time in your rich agricultural village on the upper missouri with your buffalo hides you traded and hunted yourself. >> you can work with it. you can create clothing and other goods. >> absolutely. the mandan are also the manufacturing center. they make baskets, clothing, all kinds of goods out of animal
products and agricultural products which they can then trade with other northern plains people who are less sedentary and move around. the mandans seem to be quite good at that. that's one thing la verendrye observes. you can trade. it's well fortified. are you happy to have people visit? i think so. it's nice to have people trade with you. may be establish a relationship with the french. when people do visit, when people show up at your village, what do they want to do with your corn? what are your obligations as a host? >> they need to feed them but they don't want them to eat it all. >> the roaming people from the plains, when they show up as guests, they get to eat a lot of the mandan corn.
does this remind you of anything from way back in the course? >> his large group of texas indians and they were going to towns and eating the pueblo corn. >> i'm not entirely sure what to make about this, but this is reminiscent, the idea of folks moving around the plains. europeans that serve as the center of attraction. that provides you an entree to an agricultural village where you can eat and that seems to be an agricultural factor. if the mandan are concerned the group is eating too much of their corn, what did they say? this will give you a sense of their play? >> the sioux are coming to attack. >> exactly. >> on one hand the acidouan are the butt of all the jokes. i think the mandan look down on them even the french do as well. they are clearly worried about the sioux. what does that tell you about these different things? we talked about trade.
that's one thing that makes the mandan a prosperous village. the villages are a trading center for the plains. we talked about the fact that all you have to do is say the sioux are over there, and your visitor will run away. what does this say about the tenor of life on the northern plains? >> it's quite complex and there's different understandings between the cultural groups saying i want you to do this in return for this. a high level of organization that one might not expect. >> there's economic relationships. there's violent relationships, relationships that change regularly. there's a lot going on. you can see how for someone like la verendrye trying to figure out how this works. who is afraid of whom and who is allied, and that's not so easy.
and that's part of the difficulties the french have when they get out into the northern plains is to understand these relationships, which are changing rapidly. so if the french are interested in finding europeans or what they'd call civilized people out in the west, do they find them when they get to the mandans? does he feel like, yeah, this is what i was looking for? he doesn't sound that excited. he's happy to meet the mandan but he'd heard rumors there was a european-like people on the northern plains and feels disappointed. what reports does he get? do the mandan talk about any other groups on the plains who may be european style? page 301 in the left-hand column, talks about the panana and pananis. built their lodges in the same way they did.
you could not see the land on the other side. the water was not drinkable. among all the tribes, the word iron seems to be applied to all metals. you could not kill any of these men as they had iron armor. by killing a horse you could capture the man easily because he could not run. who are we talking about? probably. yeah, most likely. it's most likely an account of the spanish in new mexico which has made its way to the north or some mixing of categories. there are indians associated with new mexico who have spanish weaponry. pueblo indians and other groups adopting horses. but probably the root of this is
the account of the spanish. what does that tell you about information networks on the northern plains. everybody hides in the village and never talks. is movement restricted? new mexico is a long way from south dakota and north dakota. so if information, if the mandan can talk about the spanish, that could suggest that information seems to be moving on the plains. what would facilitate the spread of information on the plains, possibly, in the 1700s? >> [ inaudible ]. >> yeah, conceivably horses are moving information more quickly. it's also possible people are terrified by horse peoples. it certainly raises the question that most people are moving things like information and trading goods longer distances. let's shift a little bit to new 1754. mexico governor. he's writing a report to his successor saying if you want to be governor of new mexico, this is what you need to do.
this flows from what we talked about earlier. what's the big problem if you are the governor of new mexico? what keeps you up at night? practically answers itself. yes. native attacks. >> potentially. there's a danger of pueblo revolts but also attacks from indians outside the colony. what might make a revolt less likely in the 18th century than the 17th century? >> because they've already very brutally put one down so dissuade people from doing it again. >> the unfortunate experience with the previous rebellion. and the fact that outside of new mexico there's all these indian groups as potentially dangerous to the pueblo indians as the spanish. they are surrounded by people
who are potentially trading partners and potentially dangers to the settlements. so let's get a sense of this. so what -- how do i put this. so who are some of the names, some of the groups of indians talked about? so for example on page 303 you have the barbarous tribes of apaches, comanches, utes, one after another. so what -- let's just go into the utes. so when he talks about the settlements of new mexico on the north, which because of war with the utes had been destroyed. so is new mexico a stable colony? no. there's certain areas. sort of northern parts of new mexico which are in danger of being essentially kind of wiped
out. it's not just the comanches have horsed. groups like the utes who live in what is now utah, they moved out of new mexico and have also adopted horses and had an alliance with the comanches. they can raid spanish and mexico. the conservation of the friendship of this and the rest of its allied tribes is one of the greatest consideration because of the favorable results which their trade and good relations bring to this province. what has he done? if you can't beat them -- >> [ inaudible ]. >> yeah, or ally with them. a group like the utes who are capable of ravaging northern parts of new mexico. the thing to do is establish an alliance with the utes so take the people who are raiding your settlements and make them your
friends so you can protect your settlements. find allies among the people most dangerous to you. is the relationship between new mexico and the surrounding indians on the plains, is it always one of hostility? it is not. sometimes there are trade fairs where they come in from the plains, the utes come down from the mountains. sometimes there are these sort of trade fairs where groups like the comanches will come in and utes will come down from the mountains. if you're the governor of new mexico and you have hundreds of groups of indians coming together in these big trade fairs, what might you as a governor want to do to make sure this works out nicely? what's the danger when you bring together hundreds of people from different ethnic groups, many of whom are heavily armed with guns and lances and have horse and they're involved in economic relationships where there's sometimes a danger that there
will be a little trickery and fraud and deceit? remember what happened with some of the gifts? they had that big bag and what happened? somebody stole the bag of goodies. he's like santa claus losing the toy bag. what can happen when people bring lots of stuff to exchange? what's one danger? actually, what are multiple dangers? >> theft, violence, and fraud. >> exactly. business. it's all the things that happen today. there's a danger when you get all these people together you're going to have people stealing each other's stuff, people trying to cheat each other and getting very angry about it afterwards. you're going to have theft, fraud, what was the other one? violence. you're going to have people who didn't like each other last year who are suddenly staring at each
other across a field outside of santa fe. there's a danger of violence between all these groups. what do you do as the governor of new mexico to keep a lid on all this? you've got troops in santa fe. they're not huge but you have a presence. if you want to do a business deal today, what precedes the business deal today? >> wine and dine them, give them some gifts. >> exactly. you wine and dine, share a smoke together, which you don't do now. at the time you would smoke pipes together and establish that this is kind of a friendly relationship. you reassure one another. as governor of new mexico can you walk out and say, inferior barbarian savages, bow down before me. good strategy? very bad strategy. what do you do instead?
what would you do today? i'm glad to see you. how's the horse, the wives. how did that raid go last year? probably stop doing that. you got to be polite and not condescending and not let on what they actually feel. you need to have good manners with people who are numerous and heavily armed. what's the danger if you see that the spanish are aligned with the utes, you have an occasional relationship with the comanches, what would be the end of new mexico? just think about it. you're surrounded by different indian nations. what would cause the end of new mexico? >> if they all allied together. >> exactly. you want to be on good terms with lots of these folks, you definitely don't want to be on bad terms with all of them. there's not that many spanish in new mexico. the nightmare would be if all the surrounding indians simultaneously were hostile to new mexico. you can't defend yourself against that many people.
you want to have trading fairs where it's profitable to act peacefully, but sometimes people are just -- they just won't listen to reason. what do you have to do then? the comanches, for example. he talks about you've got to chase the -- page 304. the tribe is equally pacific and maintains an attitude of good faith. since i punished them with the rigor of the armed forces. i have observed with them the greatest equity and kindness and made them understand the authority of our arms and they were excessively arrogant from dominating the rest of the tribes. what do you got to do? >> attack them to show -- >> yeah. you got to be polite. you don't want to look for trouble. you have to show from time to time that you are formidable. occasionally the spanish will be
sort of called upon to go out and humble one of these indian nations. they think of the comanches as the most elevated in their sense of themselves in part because the comanches are dominating the area between new mexico and texas and they feel like the lords of the southern plains because they're kind of the lords of the southern plains. if you want to have peace with the utes, ideally you would like to keep things stable with the comanches. you got many other groups which he talks about. who would you like to concentrate your attention on? if you want to make peace with everybody except one group, who's the one group you want to get rid of your other enemies or stabilize the relationship your enemies so there's one group of people you can go after. if you only knew five indian nations from your extensive watching of western movies when you were growing up which i know doesn't happen with your generation.
yeah? yes, the apaches. they were on the southern plains and they've moved into areas south of new mexico into northern mexico. they are conducting extensive raid on spanish settlements. let's make peace with everybody else and go after these guys. let's attack the apaches and end these raid not just on new mexico but other spanish settlements in what is now northern mexico. what makes it so difficult to defend new mexico and the other spanish settlements? what's the strategic difficulty? sam? yeah, it's a big place. it's a large colony. it's thinly settled so it's not
especially densely populated. you've got a large area with a lot of outlying ranches and small villages and so forth. what's the great danger for a spanish ranch for example in the 1750s? >> the apaches could show up to your house, burn it down, do a little dance and leave long before anybody even realized what was happening. >> exactly. the great problem is there's no way -- the spanish can't keep a military force in every ranch in new mexico. they've got these disbursed settlements and they're highly vulnerable. the apaches can attack an outlying settlement and the spanish can't do that much about it. on 308 talking about the people of new mexico, because of their extreme poverty they are worthy
of compassion. their small houses which consist of a few horses, cattle and sheep are exposed to the attacks of the barbarians. it can be guarded by scouts continually and impede the enemy from getting access. the enemy never comes in large numbers but small parties to hide their trail and prevent their discovery. it talks about albuquerque later. the settlers wish to have a soldier for every cow and horse they pasture so they have nothing to worry about. i've tried to accustom the idea that each one should take care of the defense of his own hacienda. so what's the solution? >> you're on your own. >> so the solution is you got flying parties who try to guard the access routes to the settlements, mountain passes and so forth. that doesn't always work.
then the other thing is, well, good luck. just imagine hypothetically for some reason you're in mexico city and it comes into your mind, i need to immigrate, go someplace else, how about new mexico. doesn't seem like it would be that appealing if the basic message is, you can work this out on your own. so you see the dangers of new mexico. now i'm going to hand back the papers. american history tv airs on c-span3 every weekend, telling the american story through events, interviews and visits to historic locations. this month american history tv is in primetime to introduce you to programs you could see every weekend on c-span3. our features include lectures in history, visits to college class rooms across the country to hear lectures by top history professors, american artifacts takes a look at the treasures at u.s. historic sites, museums and
archives, reel america revealing the 20th century through archival films and news reels, the civil war, where you hear about the people who shaped the civil war and reconstruction, and the presidency focuses on u.s. presidents and first ladies to learn about their politics, policies and legacies. all this month in primetime and every weekend on american history tv on c-span3. this week during american history tv in primetime, we feature our lectures in history series taking you into college classrooms across the country. each night we debut a new lecture and tonight it is native americans. at 8:00 eastern, we'll take you to dartmouth college for an overview of american indian history. and then at 9:20, the colonial west from a the class of the college of william and mary and then florida state lecture on the creek indians and the first seminole war. that's tonight on american history tv, primetime. with the house and senate returning from their summer break next week, on thursday, at
8:00 p.m. eastern, we'll preview four key issues facing congress this fall. federal funding to combat the zika virus. >> women in america today want to make sure that they have the ability to not get pregnant, why? because mosquitos ravage pregnant women. >> today, they turn down the very money that they argued for last may and decided to gamble with the lives of children like this. >> the annual defense policy and programs bill. >> all of these votes are very vital to the future of this nation. and a time of turmoil and a time of the greatest number of refugees since the end of world war ii. >> gun violence legislation and criminal justice reform.
>> every member of this body, every republican and every democrat wants to see less gun violence. >> we must continue to work the work of nonviolence and demand an end to senseless killing everywhere. >> and the resolution for congress to impeach irs commissioner john koskinen. >> house resolution 828 impeaching john andrew koskinen, commissioner of the internal revenue service, for high crimes and misdemeanors. >> we'll review the expected congressional debate with susan ferrechio, correspondent for the washington examiner. join us thursday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span for congress this fall. up next on lectures in history, florida state university professor andrew frank discusses the creek indians and the first seminole war, which took place in the early 19th century in the southeastern part of the u.s. and spanish controlled florida. the war was fought in part to prevent slaves from fleeing into florida.