Chief Nutimus Netawatwees (born 1650)
Native Americans and American History
by Francis Flavin - US National Park Service
In the American Southwest, Indians interacted with Spaniards, Mexicans, Americans, and other
Indians. Several studies synthesize the historical and cultural interactions between Indians and
their neighbors. One eminently readable—but rather lengthy—study is Elizabeth A. H. John’s
award-winning Storms Brewed in Other Men’s Worlds: The Confrontations of Indians, Spanish,
and French in the Southwest, 1540-1795 (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1975).
John examines Spanish-Indian relations from Coronado’s visit to the Pueblos to the collapse of
imperial Spanish authority at the end of the nineteenth century, arguing that over the decades—
and centuries—Indians and Spaniards worked out a system of mutual accommodation. Another
lengthy but well-written study is Edward H. Spicer’s Cycles of Conquest: The Impact of Spain,
Mexico, and the United States on the Indians of the Southwest, 1533-1960 (Tucson: University
of Arizona Press, 1962). Spicer’s study extends beyond John’s to include Indian relations with
Mexico and the United States. A similar—but more recent and shorter—study is Gary Clayton
Anderson’s The Indian Southwest, 1580-1830: Ethnogenesis and Reinvention (Norman:
University of Oklahoma Press, 1999). David Roberts provides a well-written, broadly-accessible
survey of the Pueblo Revolt of 1680 in The Pueblo Revolt : The Secret Rebellion That Drove the
Spaniards Out of the Southwest (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2004).
Peter Iverson has written several tribal histories on the Navajo Indians, one of America’s
largest and most influential tribes. Diné: A History of the Navajos (Albuquerque: University of
New Mexico Press, 2002), is a richly-illustrated broad overview of the Navajo people that will
appeal to a broad audience. Iverson’s Carlos Montezuma and the Changing World of American
Indians, 2d ed. (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2001) examines the life of a
Yavapai Indian who was born in the mid-nineteenth century, attended college, and became a
leading Native American rights advocate in the early twentieth century.
Forrest Carter’s Watch For Me On the Mountain (New York: Delacourt Press, 1978) is a
fast-moving, spirited work of historical fiction about Geronimo and the Apaches’ struggle
against the U.S. military. Another appealing biography is Eve Ball’s award-winning Indeh: An
Apache Odyssey, revised ed. (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1988). Her book presents
a series of oral interviews conducted with several Apaches, in particular Ace Daklugie, son of
the famous warrior Juh, whose life spanned the pre-reservation and reservation periods. The
interviews are sometimes humorous, sometimes sorrowful, but always sensitive and informative.
Those searching for a traditional account of the Apache wars should consult Dan L. Thrapp’s
The Conquest of Apacheria (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1967).