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Indians IllustratedThe Image of Native Americans in the Pictorial Press$
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John M. Coward

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780252040269

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252040269.001.0001

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Illustrating the Indian Wars

Illustrating the Indian Wars

Fact, Fantasy, and Ideology

(p.108) Chapter 5 Illustrating the Indian Wars
Indians Illustrated

John M. Coward

University of Illinois Press

This chapter studies illustrations of the Indian wars. Looking at Indian–white violence in the 1860s, it argues that Indian war coverage and related images of Indian–white violence were considerably more imaginary than real, functioning in ways that supported the ideology of Manifest Destiny. Although some illustrations depicted scenes of actual battles by “on the spot” artists, reality was less important than the creation of white heroes and Indian demons, images that reinforced the necessity of military conquest. Other violent illustrations were purely allegorical, invented scenes meant to symbolize the continuing—and, from the nineteenth-century point of view, necessary—struggle between civilization and savagery.

Keywords:   Indian wars, Indian–white violence, manifest destiny, Indian demons, civilization, savagery

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