Part II: Comparative History and Memory

Instructor PDF
Allow 50-60 minutes.

The class will remain in the previously arranged five groups. Each group will be assigned a set of documents corresponding to the group they reported on in the previous section (the O’Odham, the Mexicans/Sonorans, the US Arizona settlers, the US Army/federal government, or the Apache). Instruct the students to read the documents prior to class time. During class meeting, the students will respond to questions about the documents they were assigned. For each document/group, answer this set of questions:

Who is speaking?
What is the historical context of the document?
What are the perspectives taken or “biases” of the documents?
What is present or absent in these accounts?
Who has agency?
What is unique about this method of recording the past?
What role does violence play?
Does chronological distance from the Camp Grant Massacre and Indian conflict (i.e. a text recorded in the 20th century vs. a text recorded in the 1870s) change the manner in which these topics are addressed?

The O’Odham: Selections from the Calendar Sticks: Tohono O’Odham 1850-75, Akimel O’Odham 1871-2.

The Mexicans: Juan Elias depredation claim

The US Arizona Settlers: Judge Titus’ charge; Newspaper articles: “Indians Always,” “Christianization of the Indian,” “Letter from Tucson”

The US Army/Federal Government: Peace negotiations

The Apache: Interview with chiefs, Apache statements relating to San Carlos reservation

For instructors: After the activity, it may be useful for you to lead the class in discussion. The goal should be to share perspectives on the documents. While you cannot expect every student in the class to read every document, the groups, discussing their findings together, should present a good sense of historical contrast between the different groups in question. The discussion may be informal, or you may ask the groups to share their findings with the class in a short presentation. The goal, however, should be to encourage discussion about different methods of historical memory and the way the past is understood in different cultures.

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