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“The American West” AMC SeriesAmerican History I Did Not KnowWhy I Think It Is Important We Do (see watercolour at the end of the story.) It speaks my heart in ways my words do not.

https://images.app.goo.gl/PHq2SoHaRkZZh91o6

“The American West (formerly titled The West)[1] is a limited-event American television docu-series detailing the history of the Western United States in the period from 1865 to 1890. The series was executively produced by Robert Redford, Stephen David and Laura Michalchyshyn with Sundance Productions and aired for eight episodes on AMC from June 11 to July 30, 2016.[1][2][3]” Wikipedia.

“Following the American Civil War, the United States begins developing into the “land of opportunity,” despite the danger from cowboys, Native Americans, outlaws and lawmen. The series chronicles the stories of Western legends, such as Jesse James, Billy the Kid, Wyatt Earp, George Armstrong Custer, Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull.[1][2][3] Wikipedia.”

Step One in understanding something in my mind is to educate ones self. Recently being in quarantine for Covid my husband and I watched this entire series this past week.

I had heard of some of these names, all of them actually, but I had no idea the political backdrop and climate they emerged from.

It all sounded so familiar to what our nation is going through in present times. right down to the election results details.

“The Compromise of 1877 decided the 1876 presidential election and ended the era of Reconstruction. In exchange for acknowledging Hayes’s victory, Southern Democrats demanded certain concessions from Republicans. The compromise agreement required that the last federal troops be withdrawn from the South.May 4, 2022” Wikipedia.”

I was not shocked by this; It felt and sounded all too familiar with what our nation is grappling with…… THIS WEEK. A nation “Divided” is an understatement.

Of course the Black Hills that were in a treaty with The native Americans was not honoured. Remember General Custer? Wow what a portrayal. I could not help but think of Trump and his arrogant megalomaniac personality. General Custer’s ego was his undoing as I believe will be Trumps also.

The election (loose term) of President Hayes and the end of “Reconstruction” in the South. How free could a slave be if all the laws to uphold their rights are not enforced. It was back to business as usual in the South.

Jesse James? I had no idea he was an ideological confederate rebel operating out of his family farm in Missouri. He was an ex confederate soldier who could not and would not accept defeat after the civil war. He robbed trains and banks with Northern money. To this day he is held as a hero by some in the south.

Billy The KID? He was plucked out of Hells kitchen in New York as a kid and well, he was dead at age 21 in The West.

Guns, Guns, and more guns. Lawlessness at every corner. Even the seemingly good ones like Wyatt Earp let revenge take over and they too became lawless. Revenge fueling their every gallop into the sunset.

The history of The Black Hills and the Lakota are synonymous with treaty, or rather “non-treaty.” reservations, and GOLD. All broken and not honoured by the US Government. Why….the land they had been given in exchange for moving to certain sections of land which included The Black Hills was discovered to be rich in GOLD. Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse…..ultimately killed by US soldiers. Their buffalo decimated and subsequently they were starved out of their lands.

This historical fact is very painful. And, I am not Native American.

Watercolour & Pen & Ink 2017 “Sharing Secrets For A Better world, For a More Peaceful World, For A Kinder World; Connected By A Compassionate Spirit. By Jenny Dwyer

I knew some of the history generally, but not the details. Not the men and women that were a part of our past. What do they say about details…..

History does in fact repeat itself. I implore all of us to be better versions of ourselves than some of these illustrious characters of our past. And some in our present day world.

I also implore others to take a few minutes or more to educate oneself about our history.

Respectfully Submitted,

Jenny

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Responses

  1. Cool painting, and yes, the REAL history, though glossed over and romanticized in textbooks, is about genocide and conquest – by the European settlers of the native tribes. If you ever travel the country, I recommend stopping at some of the Native American sites – they are very interesting.

    1. Thanks for expounding on this.
      I edited out some more incendiary comments. I wanted to at least catch a few in a ruder net to at least take a look.
      Hey finally the Pope is making his rounds on this issue.
      I would love for him to visit sites you mention.
      I remember being profoundly touched by the book Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee” by Dee Brown. I wept. Still do for this period in our history.