Thinking in the Circle: the American Indian Influence on the Development of the American philosophy of Pragmatism

Stephen M. Sachs

Weaving of the Strands of Thought and Ideas Through Time - Stephen M. Sachs, 9/8/16
The universe begins to look more like a great thought than a great machine, Said James Jeans.1
Ideas spread like organic chains over time,
Weaving and interacting with one another,
Exchanging DNA.

A chain of thought once sprouted continues on
Into the indefinite future.
Some times, in the course of exchange
With other strands,
The line of thinking diminishes,
Becomes recessive,
Only to burst forth vigorously again,
In another interaction.

Some times,
When conditions are right,
Thoughts spread rapidly
And imperceptibly
Like bursts of pollen
In an intellectual spring.

Often, new thoughts arise,
Akin to those of existing strands.
Only if the climate and season are right
Will they survive and grow,
Supported by their related strands.
Each person is unique,
A creative being thinking for themselves.
But all are related,
Receiving current and past thinking
From all they are in contact with,
By whatever means,
Reacting to what they receive
As is their nature and current state.
Some thoughts, are simply rejected,
Others may sneak in,
Even if rejected.
Some ideas cause a different,
Perhaps opposite reaction.
Others are accepted,
Yet to varying degrees transformed
By the receiver's experience.
Still others catalyze the person's thinking,
Perhaps recreating lost elements,
Other times creating,
Expanding ideas into new dimensions.
Thus, proceeds the unending weaving of minds.

In the Beginning

     Beginning with first contact with Indians, Europeans coming to North America to live were greatly impacted by their experience with the Indigenous population. A particularly important result of the interaction of Europeans and American Indians in North America has been the rise and evolution of the American philosophy of pragmatism. Pragmatism can generally be described as having the following qualities or emphases. Primary, in agreement with one of the major American Indian values, is the importance of diversity, a valuing of difference, and respect for all people, interests and views. This is sometimes called the importance of place, respecting that each location in time, space,... way of seeing is different and needs to be respected. From valuing diversity, comes the importance of inclusiveness, democracy, and individual rights. But the rights, and the diversity, arise within community. As Native people say, all are related. There are appropriate relations or balances to be maintained between the whole and the parts, and among the parts. This view also sees human understanding as limited, but capable of expanding and in need of learning through experience. Thus, life is experimental, and pragmatism deals with finding what is practical for each, within the context of the community, and for the good of the community. Pragmatism is essentially focused on problem solving, rather than ultimate knowledge. Since it concerns the need of limited people to learn through experience for the general, as well as the personal, good, there is a need for openness of discussion, and continual questioning. Pragmatism is opposed to absolutism and repression, and has often been a vehicle of resistance and liberation.

     The development of the American Indian influenced philosophy of pragmatism began with the first contacts between Indians and Europeans in what is now the United States. As is exemplified in the case of the Puritans landing in what is now Massachusetts, in 1620. To insure that the arriving colonist would be good neighbors, and hopefully allies, the local Indians intentionally lived in close contact with the new comers.2 The Native peoples often initially provided much needed assistance to the Europeans, who had arrived in what for them was a “new world.” The close contact necessarily led to cultural exchange, producing an indianization of the Europeans. This varied from person to person, depending upon their backgrounds and ongoing experience. A great many of the Colonists were only slightly Indianized, while quite a few chose to become members of Indian nations. Still others mixed Indian ways of seeing with their European understandings and ways of proceeding from moderate to fairly extensive degrees. The impact of intercultural relations in the British Colonies was such, that by the time of the American Revolution, it was widely accepted among the European Americans, that an American was a combination of the European and the Indian, and Indian motifs and symbols were employed widely in U.S, by the late colonists and early Americans.3  Examples are the choice of the Suns of Liberty dressing as well respected Mohawk warriors in carrying out the Boston Tea Party, and the large number of Tammany Societies around the colonies/states, named after a Lenape (Delaware) Chief who was good friends with William Penn and considered quite helpful to early colonists. The identity of many Americans as a combination of European and Indian, was predominant in the U.S. until Andrew Jackson's Indian removal policy began to undermine it in the 1830s. 

     A major portion of what European Americans incorporated in their thinking, behavior and institutions from their experience with North American Indigenous peoples related to the ways Indian societies functioned. Native communities. American Indian communities, in different ways, and to different degrees, functioned on the basis of inclusive participatory democracy.4 This was based upon a unity in diversity: an honoring of each unique individual’s way of seeing from their own experience, and an appreciation that differences were strengths, so that each person had something important to contribute to the community. Native people were generally mutually supportive and cooperative, viewing their communities as families in which all related in terms of a complex of obligations and privileges. Their societies enjoyed a generally high quality of life, with virtually no poverty or crime, and there were mechanisms to provide for those who were not well off. They furnished a great deal of emotional and physical support for people and a sufficient variety of choices of social roles so that almost everyone could find acceptance and develop self-esteem. The virtues of these societies are attested to in numerous ethnographies and commentaries.5

6The Indianization of Major American Leaders

     Amidst the general mixing of European and Native thinking that developed from the cross cultural relations in the British Colonies, quite a number of the leading colonists, a number of whom became leading Americans, were profoundly impacted by their direct relations with Native people, as well as indirectly by Native thinking that had entered their culture. An important early example was Roger Williams. In England, Williams had been a protégé of the jurist Edward Coke, who was very strong on liberty, ruling “the house of every man is as his castle.” Coke was the leader of parliamentary opposition to the expansion of royal power. As a Puritan struggling for tolerance of religious diversity in the face of a Catholic king, Williams was open to broadening of his acceptance of the value of difference on arriving in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1631.  He quickly became very engaged with the Indians in the area, soon mastering the dialects of the Showatuck, Nipmuck, Narragansett, and others.  In his writings, Williams recounts his conversations with Narragansett leaders that expanded his views of diversity and freedom,7 that made him an important contributor the developing American views on those topics.  Thus he wrote late in his life,

God requirth not an uniformity of religion to be enacted and enforced in any civil state; which enforced uniformity (sooner or later) is the greatest occasion of civil wars. . . . It is the will and command of God that . . . a permission of the most Paganish, Jewish, Turkish, or Anti-Christian consciences and worships be granted to all men in all nations and countries.8

     Similarly, he spoke quite positively about the democratic nature of Indian governments and the freedom that pervaded Native societies:

"The sachims . . . will not conclude of ought that concerns all, either Lawes, or Subsidies, or warres, unto which people are averse, or by gentle perswasion cannot be brought.”9

Indian Impact on the "Founders"

    By the eighteenth century, direct experience with American Indian leaders and their political systems became common for European-descended opinion leaders on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.10 This period included struggle between the empires of France and England in which the Iroquois and other native nations played a crucial role. During King George's war, the British colonists sought Iroquois support against the French. Ironically, many of the United States' founders received their initial exposure to Iroquois and other native leaders and the political systems within which they operated from diplomacy and other activities at the behest of Britain, beginning two generations before the Revolutionary War.11

     Particularly important for the development of American pragmatic thought was Benjamin Franklin.12 Franklin had considerable interaction – including diplomacy – with Indians over a many years. Reading his writings over times indicates that this increasingly acculturated him to many Indigenous ways of thinking. By 1764, as shown in his writing in The Narrative of the Late Massacre in Lancaster County, of a Number of Indians, Friends of this Province,12 Franklin had gained a respect for diversity, consistent with Native principles of relationship and place, that went well beyond mere tolerance, considering difference to be a good thing when harmonized with the whole. This was demonstrated later in Franklin’s participation in co-authoring the declaration of Independence. Not only was the Declaration a statement of fundamental freedom, but related to that, it was also an expression of the principle of place, encompassing difference, including the propriety of a community to be sovereign, and asserting  that sovereignty.

     Franklin's diplomacy included visits and negotiations with the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois). In 1744, he was present at the gathering in Lancaster Pennsylvania when the great Haudenosaunee leader Canassatego advised the participating colonial governors,

Our wise forefathers established Union and Amity between the Five Nations. This has made us formidable; this has given us great Weight and Authority with our neighboring Nations. We are a powerful Confederacy; and by your observing the same methods, our wise forefathers have taken, you will acquire such Strength and power. Therefore whatever befalls you, never fall out with one another.13

     By 1751, Franklin was urging the colonies to form a Haudenosaunee like union. In 1754, at the Albany Congress the Mohawk leader Hendrick intimated that the colonies needed to form a confederacy like that of the Haudenosaunee, to which New York Governor James DeLancey agreed. Franklin was designated to draw up the Albany Plan of Union, which he formally presented to the Congress.14 While the plan was not adopted, it was a first step toward the Haudenosaunee like Articles of Confederation, and the more centralized federalism of the U.S. Constitution, of which Franklin was also a framer.

     In tune with the Native concern with the pragmatic, in addition to numerous practical contributions to colonial and U.S. governance consistent with Indigenous concerns for inclusive participatory approaches to diversity, Franklin was involved with numerous practical matters.15 Among them, he served as a postmaster and was a printer, whose publications encompassed a widely read collection of Indian treaties. He was also an inventor and scientist. His innovations included the lightning rod, bifocal glasses, the more efficient Franklin stove, the glass harmonica and the flexible urinary catheter. He did not acquire patents for any of these, making them readily available to his fellow citizens. He also contributed greatly to the development of science, both to its method and content. Among his specific contributions were explorations into the nature and functioning of electricity, deepening appreciation of the wave aspect of light, discovering the role of evaporation in cooling, and a number of practical applications of his findings in oceanography, as well as contributions to the art of pragmatic decision making.

     Among the many other Indian impacted leaders in the colonial and early U.S. eras was Thomas Jefferson, who was particularly important for the development of pragmatic thinking in the United States.16 Jefferson had for years made a study of Indians, including of Indian languages. He kept a notebook on the ways of all the Indian peoples of Virginia. He often engaged in diplomacy with Indian nations and federations, and there were leaders of the Haudenosaunee at the Continental Congress in July 1776, where Jefferson drafted the declaration of Independence. The Declaration, with its emphasis upon unalienable rights, followed from the huge European American and European very favorably noting the Native American regard for Freedom. In defending the English revolution and restoration in The Second treatise on Government, John Locke - who had been most interested in the huge number of reports coming from the colonies about Indigenous Americans, and who talked to Indians who came to London - became the first in Europe to assert that rights were unalienable, stating that human beings had the fundamental right to property, consisting of "life, liberty and estate."17

     In transforming Locke's words in the Declaration to "life, liberty and happiness," Jefferson had expressed his long appreciation of participatory democracy in Indian societies, and its relevance to government in general. He reflected upon this in 1787 in a letter to Edward Carrington, where he commented,

 The basis of our government being the opinion of the people, our very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate for a moment to prefer the latter. . . . I am convinced that those societies [as the Indians] which live without government enjoy in their general mass an infinitely greater degree of happiness than those who live under European governments.18 

     In addition to being a proponent of human rights and democracy, Jefferson expressed his pragmatic side in his interest in in science and invention.  This was influenced by the Indian emphasis of living practically based upon long experience grounded in careful observation. Jefferson was a member of the American philosophical society for 35 years, where he spoke to advance science on the grounds that science enhanced freedom. He was a farmer with a passion for scientific agriculture, including finding new crops and understanding soil conditions. He was a naturalist, who studied plants and animals. As President, authorizing the Lewis and Clark expedition, he extolled the explorers to send back to Washington examples of their findings in nature. His inventions and improvements on invention included the swivel chair, the moldboard plow and the "great clock" - powered by the gravitational pull on cannon balls.

The Development of the Philosophy of Pragmatism after 1800

     By 1800, an American philosophy of pragmatism had become well established through the Indianization of important American leaders, including Roger Williams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine and numerous others, more fully detailed in Scott L. Pratt, Native Pragmatism. Moreover, there was a very widespread American identity developed in the course of gaining independence from Great Britain, as being a combination of both the Indian and the European. This continued after 1800, along with the pervasiveness in the United States of Native images, motifs, themes and ideas. While these receded as the century unfolded, particularly after Indian removal began in the 1830s, they continued as an important, though at times recessive, strands of thought in American thinking and consciousness. This provided the ongoing dynamic context for the continuing and developing American philosophy of pragmatism.

Continuing Interchange with Indians

     In addition, contact with Indians, and new interchanges between Native and European Americans has never ceased. A continuing dialogue has remained in progress. A good example early in the 19th century is Henry Rowe Schoolcraft and his wife Jane Jonhston Schoolcraft.19 Henry had been Indian Agent to the Chippewa around Sault Ste. Marie. Jane, Bamawawagezhikaquay, was a Chippewa woman who prior to the marriage had traveled widely, studying for a time in Ireland. Together the Schoolcrafts published the journal, the Literary Voyager, which circulated widely in the Northeast in 1826 and 1827. It included Chippewa stories and descriptions of the tribe's customs, contributing to the already significant stock of published Indian stories and reports of their ways, which has continued to expand, though most notably since the 1960s.

Indianization, Pragmatism, and Human Rights Activism

     Perhaps a more important figure is Lydia Maria Child, who at the age of 12 was sent to live with her sister in Norridgewock. Maine, then a growing European American town, surrounded by small settlements of Eastern Abenaki people.20 Child had considerable interaction with Native people in the area, and later stated that her move to Norridgewock was transformative. She included numerous Indian stories in her writings, beginning in 1827 in her popular children's magazine, the Juvenile Miscellany. Child's early writings, including her novel Hobomok, concerning Native-white relations.21 It provided a model that developed into an alternate way of telling stories in the European American tradition. Instead of stating moral principles to guide the reader through the unfolding of the tale, Child focused on what she called "domestic detail." She developed the details and logic of situations as the basis of moral judgments. Through developing the details of concrete situations, Child often challenged, stretched, reinterpreted, and sometimes overturned mainstream moral principles. Child's writings, with their Native emphasis on differences of place, set out to transform European American thinking to accept cultural coexistence as part of a pluralist way of seeing. Consistent with that, she was a strong supporter of American Indian rights, and was also active in promoting the rights of women and the abolition of slavery. Thus, she played a major role in developing a counter literary tradition to the moralist approach, and to writers such as James Fennimore Cooper, who wrote of the "vanishing Indian."22 That Indians are peoples of the past, and not the present, is a perspective still held by many in the U.S.

Indians Who Influenced Child and Others

     The Indian influences on Child included contact with Indian and civil rights leader William Apess.23 Apess was a Pequot of mixed heritage, who lived from 1798 – 1839. In 1829 he was ordained as a Methodist minister, and while making his rounds in 1833 visited the Mashpee on Cape Cod. There, he helped organize the Mashpee Revolt of 1833-34 to help the tribe regain their civil rights and stop the stealing of their wood. The incident was favorably reported by the Boston Advocate.24 Apess spoke widely on the rights of peoples of color, including Indians, connecting them to the struggles of European Americans to gain their Independence. He spoke in many places in New England and New York, where he moved. He was the author of five books, and a play which he presented in Boston. Apess was nationally known, and in addition to Child is known to have had an influence upon Thoreau, Herman Melville, William Lloyd Garrison and Frederick Dougass.25

     While the best known, and perhaps most successful Indian spokesperson for Native rights in the Jacksonian period, he was not alone. Others included Ma-ka-tai-me-she-kia-kiak, known as Black Hawk, who lived from 1767 to 1838. He was a band leader and warrior of the Sauk Nation in what is now the U.S. Midwest. With the aid of a newspaper reporter and an editor, his autobiography was published.26

     A number of Cherokee were well known in the United States, including Elias Boudinot born Gallegina Uwati, also known as Buck Watie, who lived from 1802 to 1839.27 He was an influential Cherokee leader who believed acculturation was important to Cherokee survival. Boudinot was appointed by the Cherokee National Council to be the first editor of the nation’s newspaper, The Cherokee Phoenix, first published in 1826. He soon expanded the name to, The Cherokee Phoenix and Advocate, indicting his interest in reaching non-Cherokee as well. While fundraising for a Cherokee Nation academy and printing equipment to publish the paper, in 1826, he spoke at First Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia. He focused on the similarities between Cherokees and whites, and how the Cherokees were adapting elements of European American culture. The speech was well received and greatly helped his fundraising. It was published as a pamphlet, "An Address to the Whites". Other Cherokees who were influential among European Americans of the era, included Cherokee Principal Chief John Ross.

     George Copway, Kah-Ge-Ga-Gah-Bowh (Gaagigegaabaw in the Fiero orthography), meaning "He Who Stands Forever", was a Mississaugas Ojibwa writer, ethnographer, lecturer Methodist missionary, lecturer, and advocate of Native North Americans.28 His life extended from 1818 to 1869. In 1847 he published a memoir about his life as a missionary, that made him Canada's first literary celebrity in the United States., where he undertook much of his missionary work. The book enjoyed 6 printings in the first year of publication and became a national best seller. He published The Traditional History and Characteristic Sketches of The Ojibway Nation, in 1851, the first published history of the Ojibwa in English.

Other European American Writers Influenced by Indians Before the Civil War

     Another of the European-American writers who contributed to the rise of a pluralist alternative literature was Catherine Maria Sedgwick.29 Sedgwick was born in Stockbridge, Massachusetts in 1785, an area bordering on Native lands, where she enjoyed extensive interaction with the tribal people. She traveled to the Oneida Nation in New York, where she visited a cousin, the descendent of a woman first abducted, and then adopted by the tribe. In addition, she read the available histories of the Narragansett and Pequot, as well as Roger Williams, Key into the Language of America.30 In that volume, in which Williams discusses his extensive interactions with Native people, the author illuminates a number of Indian practices which support the vision of a peaceful and diverse American community, compatible with notions of tolerance set forth in Native stories. Sedgwick quotes Williams' Key in her novel Hope Leslie, published a year following the release of Child's Hobomok.31 Hope Leslie has a number of important similarities to Child's Hobomok. This includes that it is a story of the unfolding of place, telling of people's experiences in their particular circumstances, rather than a parable asserting moral principles or the progress of humanity. In addition, it concerns a marriage between an Indian and a European American. Hope Leslie includes a strong Native woman, Magawisca, who serves as a bridge between the white and Indigenous worlds. Both novels put forth stories which undermine the widespread limited and often negative European American views of both Indians and women. The various writings of both Child and Sedgeick flow with the logic of home of the Algonquian tradition and stories they knew that portrayed women as valued, active participants in their communities; communities that valued difference in gender and ethnicity, and more broadly, among all people and all beings.32

     Philip Gould asserts that both novels serve as a continuation of the work of the revolution in establishing republican virtues.33 Gould finds that Child's and Sedgeick's works, and other fiction of the period, reinterpret the Puritan experience to support the new United States, in part feminizing republican virtue. But these writings also involve an Indianization that began with the first American literature instituted by the Puritans. With Child, Sedgwick and others, that included an emphasis on place and egalitarian pluralism.

     The feminization that Gould sees, goes back to first contact, and a noting by many observers who made reports circulated in North America and Europe about the roles of women in North American Indigenous communities. This involved a balanced reciprocity between men and women. That understanding was reflected, early on, in the European, and later European American, image of the Indian goddess. The noticing by Europeans and European Americans, especially women, of the strong position and activity of Indian women in their societies early on began to fuel the rise of the beginnings of a feminist movement. Already in 1800, in the United States and western Europe, many women were expressing their opposition to the legal, social and educational limits placed upon them.34

     The thread of Indian influence that included an alternate view of gender relations that had gone from the Americas to Europe, impacting such thinkers as John Locke, returned early in the Nineteenth Century. In England, in the late Eighteenth Century the leading spokesperson for women's emancipation was Mary Wollstonecraft,35 whose most notable book in that vein was The Vindications: The Rights of Men and The Rights of Woman.36 Wollstonecraft built on Locke's empirical philosophy, arguing that women were naturally equal to men intellectually and creatively, but were held back from realizing their capabilities by lack of educational opportunity. Wollstonecraft's views crossed the Atlantic in 1818, with Scottish born Frances Wright, who became a US citizen in 1825.37 She was a strong supporter of women's rights, including advocating birth control and sexual freedom for women. As an activist in the American Popular Health Movement between 1830 and 1840, Wright advocated for women being involved in health and medicine.  She worked for universal equality in education, arguing for free public education for all children over two years old, in state-supported boarding schools.

     In line with Native principles and the philosophy of pragmatism, Wright's view of universal equality included all people. Wright strongly opposed slavery, and founded the Nashoba Commune in Tennessee, in 1825, as a utopian community to prepare slaves for emancipation. It functioned for only three years, however. Wright published Views of Society and Manners in America, in1821, which brought her to public attention as a critic of the mainstream social norms and policies of the United States.38 In that publication and elsewhere, she criticized, greed, capitalism and organized religion. That volume was translated into several languages and was widely read in the United States, Great Britain, and on the continent of Europe.

The Interrelation of the Feminist and Abolition of Slavery Movements

     By the 1840s, the ideas of freedom and of diversity, greatly contributed to by Indians, had brought about interrelated women's and black liberation movements. Opposition to slavery in the Americas by Europeans began with its establishment.39 During the Seventeenth Century, English Quakers and Evangelicals condemned slavery as un-Christian. By early in the Eighteenth Century religious opposition to slavery grew as part of the First Great Awakening in England, and in the British colonies in America in the 1730s and '40s.40 At the same time the Indian influenced idea of freedom among European enlightenment thinkers, first articulated by John Locke, began to be voiced as an argument against slavery.41 Among the first to state this case was member of the British Parliament, James Edward Oglethorpe, founder of the Province of Georgia. Oglethorpe banned slavery in the colony on humanistic grounds, and argued against it in Parliament. He eventually encouraged his friends Granville Sharp and Hannah More to vigorously work for that cause. Britain banned the importation of African slaves in its colonies in 1807 and abolished slavery in the British Empire in 1833.

     In the United States, following the revolution, northern states banned slavery by the end of the Eighteenth Century, beginning with Pennsylvania in 1780, but it remained in practice in the south. By 1787, even many of the southern slave owners amongst the members of the convention that drafted the U.S. Constitution considered it a peculiar institution without a basis in natural law, that was a temporary necessity in the South. As part of a major compromise slavery was in fact included in the Constitution, but not mentioned by name.42 Indeed, Some of the southern major political leaders, including Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, eventually freed their slaves.43 In 1808, the United States criminalized the international slave trade, and slavery might well have died out, had not the invention of the cotton gin given the institution a new economic viability.44

     The movement to abolish slavery that began to be a major force in the United States in the late 1820s had clear links to the women's right's movement. A very large number of the leading abolitionists were women. William Lloyd Garrison's abolitionist newsletter the Liberator commented in 1847, "... the Anti-Slavery cause cannot stop to estimate where the greatest indebtedness lies, but whenever the account is made up there can be no doubt that the efforts and sacrifices of the WOMEN, who helped it, will hold a most honorable and conspicuous position."45 Among these women were a number who had been directly impacted by Indian thinking. This included Lydia Maria Child, who in 1833 wrote An Appeal in Favor of that Class of Americans Called Africans.46

Emerson and Thoreau

     In the first half of the Nineteenth Century, two of the period's most influential thinkers, Ralf Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, grew up and added their own Indigenous impacted contributions to the development of American pragmatism. Both were raised and lived in New England, a region where interchange with Indians was continuing, and thinking influenced by, and consistent with, Indian world views was particularly prevalent.

     Emerson was born in 1803 in Boston, then a town of 25,000 people.47 His father was a respected Boston minister. Following his father's death, in 1811, his mother moved the family to Concord. In just a few years, Emerson, who had a college education at Harvard, began teaching. He became a lecturer, and as his fame grew he traveled more and more widely. Books of his essays began being published in 1841.

     Emerson grew up immersed in the especially strongly American Indian influenced culture of New England. In addition to being impacted by the general milieu, Emerson learned a great deal from the pragmatism of Benjamin Franklin.48 As Emerson says in his 1824 letter to his aunt, Mary Moody Emerson,

Don't you admire (I am not sure you do) his [Franklin's] serene and powerful understanding which was so eminently practical and useful...; which seemed to be a transmigration of the Genius of Socrates-yet more useful, more moral, and more pure, and a living contradiction to the buffoonery that mocked a philosophy in the clouds?.

[Franklin was] a sage who used his pen with a dignity and effect which was new, and had been supposed to belong only to the sword.

     One enjoys a higher conception of human worth in measuring the vast influence exercised on men's minds by Franklin's character than even by reading books of past ages....many millions have already lived and millions more are now alive who have felt through their whole lives the powerful good effect of both of Franklin's actions and his wrtitings.49

     Emerson was more closely impacted by Indian thinking through his friendships with several people who often interchanged directly with Natives. Particularly important were his close friendship with Thoreau, and his interchanges with his brother Charles, an activist against Indian removal. Emerson became involved in this effort, which can be seen in his letter to President Buchanan protesting the removal of the Cherokee to the Indian territory, which became Oklahoma.50 Among the others Emerson knew well with personal Indian experience were Margaret Fuller - who worked for Women's and Indian rights - and Lydia Maria Child.  Emerson did have some direct contacts with Indians. He heard and spoke with a number of Indian leaders who came to Boston to protest the treatment of Indian nations by the U.S. government.51 But this contact was limited. Thus, the considerable American Indian influence on Emerson's thinking was mostly indirect.

     There, were, of course, other influences on Emerson's thoughts. Many of these were the European and European currents of thought in his Massachusetts milieu, and those gained in his education. Among the others, was the Hinduism, or Vedantic philosophy of the Indians of the East.52 This way of seeing, with its still strong Indigenous roots carried forward in the Vedas, was closer to the American Indian world view, than to the European. Amidst the various sources open to him, Emerson developed his own views creatively to launch an "American Transcendetalism,"53 of which Robert Richardson states,

American Idealism, but neither label satisfactorily suggests the strength of thought or the practical accessibility of the

     American Transcendentalism takes its name from Kant's Transcendental Idealism. It can also be thought of as an movement that is personified and centered in Emerson. Emersonian Individualism is a protest against social conformity, but not against society. It is a protest on behalf of the autonomous, unalienated human being. There comes a time in everyone's education, he says, when one "arrives at the conclusion that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must make himself for better, for worse, as his portion." Emerson's self-reliant individual is a person who is interested in self-rule - in autarchy not anarchy, a person who acknowledges his equality, and necessary connection with others.54

     Emerson's approach fits very well with that American Indian view of the autonomous and responsible individual functioning within the web of relationships of a fully democratic society. For Emerson, as for the Indian, it means asserting one's freedom for the general good, and the good of each person. This requires a respectful activism, in which Emerson engaged and encouraged others to do so. It found him cooperating in social activism with a number of notable people55 - some of whom were influenced directly by Indians. These included Lydia Maria Child, and most importantly, Thoreau, who was moved to support John Brown and the emancipation of slaves. Among the others Emerson directly influenced were Margaret Fuller - who worked on Indian rights, and later joined in the struggle for Italian independence - and Sophia Peabody who was engaged in defending Indian rights and in education reform. Her reform work especially concerned the movement to establish kindergartens. Emerson's own activism embraced the emancipation of slaves and women, and the defense of the rights of Indians.

     A central part of Emerson's world view was a concern for nature. His 1836 essay "Nature," includes many illustrations of the compatibility of his way of seeing to that of Native Americans. He opens the essay with an Indigenous like statement of the importance of personal direct experience.

     Our age is retrospective. It builds the sepulchres of the fathers. It writes biographies, histories and critiques. The foregoing generations beheld God and nature face to face. We, through their eyes. Why should we not we also enjoy an original relation to the universe? Why should we not have a poetry and philosophy of insight and not of tradition, and a religion of revelation to us, and not the history of theirs?56

     That, as for the Indian, no one can own the land:

The charming landscape I saw this morning is indubitably made up of some twenty or thirty farms. Miller owns this field, Locke that, and Manning the woodland beyond. But none of them owns the landscape. There is a property in the horizon that no man has but whose eye can integrate all the parts, that is, the poet. That is the best part of these men's farms, yet to this their warranty-deeds give no title.57

     That life is education through experience, and education life,

     Thus is the unspeakable but intelligible and practicable meaning of the world conveyed to man. To this one end of Discipline all parts of Nature conspire.58

     But, that learning includes intuition, and seeing within, encompassing what Indians comprehend as vision,

Empirical science is apt to cloud the sight, and by the very knowledge of functions and processes to bereave the student of the manly contemplation of the whole. The savant becomes unpoetic. But the best read naturalist who leads an entire and devout attention to truth, will see that there remains much to learn of his relation to the world, and that it is not to be learned by any addition or subtraction or other comparison of known quantities, but is arrived at by untaught sallies of the spirit, by a continual self-recovery, and by entire humility. He will perceive that there are far more excellent qualities in the student then preciseness and infallibility; that a guess is often more fruitful than an indisputable affirmation, and that a dream may let us deeper into the spirit of nature than a hundred concerted experiments.59

     On the importance of each place within the circle of the whole,

     Herein is especially apprehended the unity of Nature - the unity in variety - which meets us everywhere.... A leaf, a drop, a crystal, a moment in time, is related to the whole, and partakes of the perfection of the whole. Each particle is a microcosm and faithfully renders the likeness of the world.60

     And on the need for healing, to return to harmony - or as the Dine say - beauty,

The reason why the world lacks unity, and lies broken and in heaps, is because man is disunited within himself. He cannot be a naturalist until he satisfies all the demands of the spirit.61

     Emerson's influence has been wide and long, including in playing a major role in the development of the American philosophy of pragmatism, with its participatory socially concerned practical emphasis. That influence began as a mutual influence among friends and collaborators.

Henry David Thoreau

     Among Emerson's friends and colleagues the one who expanded upon his American Transcendentalism the most, was Henry David Thoreau (July 12, 1817 – May 6, 1862).62 In writing Thoreau's Eulogy, upon his death in 1863, Emerson said of him, in part,

     No college ever offered him a diploma, or a professor's chair; no academy made him its corresponding secretary, its discoverer, or even its member. Perhaps these learned bodies feared the satire of his presence. Yet so much knowledge of Nature's secret and genius few others possessed, none in a more large and religious synthesis. For not a particle of respect had he to the opinions of any man or body of men, but homage solely to the truth itself; and as he discovered everywhere among doctors some leaning of courtesy, it discredited them. He grew to be revered and admired by his townsmen, who had at first known him only as an oddity. The farmers who employed him as a surveyor soon discovered his rare accuracy and skill, his knowledge of their lands, of trees, of birds, of Indian remains, and the like, which enabled him to tell every farmer more than he knew before of his own farm; so that he began to feel as if Mr. Thoreau had better rights in his land than he. They felt, too, the superiority of the character which addressed all men with a native authority.

     Indian relics abound in Corcord, — arrow-heads, stone chisels, pestles, and fragments of pottery; and on the river-bank, large heaps of clam-shells and ashes mark spots which the savages frequented. These, and every circumstance touching the Indian, were important in his eyes. His visits to Maine were chiefly for love of the Indian. He had the satisfaction of seeing the manufacture of the bark-canoe, as well as of trying his hand in its management on the rapids. He was inquisitive about the making of the stone arrow-head, and in his last days charged a youth setting out for the Rocky Mountains to find an Indian who could tell him that: "It was well worth a visit to California to learn it." Occasionally, a small party of Penobscot Indians would visit Concord, and pitch their tents for a few weeks in summer on the river-bank. He failed not to make acquaintance with the best of them; though he well knew that asking questions of Indians is like catechizing beavers and rabbits. In his last visit to Maine he had great satisfaction from Joseph Polis, an intelligent Indian of Oldtown, who was his guide for some weeks.

     He was equally interested in every natural fact. The depth of his perception found likeness of law throughout Nature, and I know not any genius who so swiftly inferred universal law from the single fact. He was no pedant of a department. His eye was open to beauty, and his ear to music. He found these, not in rare conditions, but wheresoever he went. He thought the best of music was in single strains; and he found poetic suggestion in the humming of the telegraph-wire.63

     Thoreau was immensely interested in Indians and their relation to the land, and to nature. Searching through all Thoreau's known writings, Bradly Dean found 1074 references to them.64 Sometimes in his writings Thoreau reflected on finding some Indian artifact,

A curious incident happened some four or six weeks ago which I think it worth the while to record. John and I had been searching for Indian relics, and been successful enough to find two arrowheads and a pestle, when, of a Sunday evening, with our heads full of the past and its remains, we strolled to the mouth of Swamp-bridge brook. As we neared the brow of the hill forming the bank of the river, inspired by my theme, I broke forth into an extravagant eulogy on those savage times, using most violent gesticulations by way of illustration." There on Nawshawtuct," said I, "was their lodge, the rendezvous of the tribe, and yonder, on Clamshell hill their feasting ground. This was no doubt a favorite haunt; here on this brow was an eligible look-out post. How often have they stood on this very spot, at this very hour, when the sun was sinking behind yonder woods, and gilding with his last rays the waters of the Musketaquid, and pondered the days success and the morrow's prospects, or communed with the spirits of their fathers gone before them, to the land of shades— "Here," I exclaimed, "stood Tahatawan; and there, (to complete the period,) is Tahatawan's arrowhead" We instantly proceeded to sit down on the spot I had pointed to, and I, to carry out the joke, to lay bare an ordinary stone, which my whim had selected, when lo! the first I laid hands on, the grubbing stone that was to be, proved a most perfect arrowhead, as sharp as if just from the hands of the Indian fabricator!!!65

     Sometimes Thoreau referred to Indians in expressing his appreciation of Nature,

Nothing is so beautiful as the tree tops. A pine or two with a dash of vapor in the sky—and our elysium is made.— Each tree takes my own attitude sometime. Yonder pine stands like Caesar. I see Cromwell, and Jesus, and George Fox in the wood, with many savages beside. A fallen pine, with its green branches still freshly drooping, lies like Tecumseh with his blanket about him. So the forest is full of attitudes, which give it character.66

     On occasion Thoreau reports on his interactions with Indians,

The rail-road from Bangor to Oldtown is civilization shooting off in a tangent into the forest.— I had much conversation with an old Indian at the latter place, who sat dreaming upon a scow at the water side-and striking his deer-skin moccasins against the planks-while his arms hung listlessly by his side. He was the most communicative man I had met. — — Talked of hunting and fishing-old times and new times. Pointing up the Penobscot he observed—"Two or three miles up the river one beautiful country!" And then as if he would come as far to meet me as I had gone to meet him—he exclaimed—"Ugh” one very hard time!" But he had mistaken his man.67

And when hunting in Maine with an Indian guide,

A[nd] now some of Joe's Indian traits come out He said if you wound 'em me sure get 'em. We all landed at once—[ ] reloaded—Joe threw off  his hat—fastened his birch with the painter adjusted his waist band—seized the hatchet—& set out. He told me afterward that Before we landed he had seen a drop of blood on the bank—was 2 or 3 rods distant. He proceeded rapidly up the bank & through the woods with a peculiar elastic—noiseless & stealthy tread—looking to right & left on the ground & stepping in the faint tracks of the wounded moose—now and then pointing in silence to a single drop of blood on the handsome shining leaves of the Clintonia borealis which on every side covered the ground—or to a dry fern stem freshly bruised broken—all the while chewing some leaf or else the  spruce gum—  I followed watching his  motions more than the trail of the moose.68

     On several occasions Thoreau speaks of his view of Indians. Sometimes this shows his agreement with them on the importance of place.

     Wherever I go I am still on the trail of the Indian.—  The light and sandy soils which the first settlers cultivated were the Indian corn fields—and with every fresh ploughing their surface is strewn with the relics of their race—Arrow heads—spear heads tomahawks, axes—gouges —pestles—mortars—hoes pipes of soap-stone, ornaments for the neck and breast—and other implements of war and of the chace attract the transient curiosity of the farmer—We have some hundreds which we have ourselves collected.

     And one is as surely guided in this search by the locality and nature of the soil as to the berries in autumn—  Unlike the modern farmer they selected the light and sandy plains and rising grounds near to ponds and streams of water— —which the squaws could easily cultivate with their stone hoes.  And where these fields have been harrowed and rolled for grain in the fall—their surface yields its annual crop arrow heads and other relics as of grain.—  And the burnt stones on which their fires were built are seen dispersed by the plow on every hand.

     Their memory is in harmony with the russet hue of the fall of the year

     Instead of Philip and Paugus on the plains here are Webster & Crockett.  Instead of the council house is the legislature.69

     On occasion, Thoreau speaks of Indians their ways in comparison to the European Americans.

     The charm of the Indian to me is that he stands free and unconstrained in nature—is her inhabitant—and not her guest—and wears her easily and gracefully. But the civilized man has the habits of the house. His house is a prison in which he finds himself oppressed and confined, not sheltered and protected. He walks as if he sustained the roof—he carries his arms as if the walls would fall in and crush him—and his feet remember the cellar beneath. His muscles are never relaxed— It is rare that he overcomes the house, and learns to sit at home in it—and roof and floor—and walls support themselves—as the sky-and trees—and earth.70

     Here, Thoreau indicates his convergence of view with Native people on the importance of leaning from experience.

     Everyone finds by his own experience that the era in which men cultivate the apple and the amenities of the garden, must be different from that of the forest and hunter's life—  Gardening is civil and sociable but it wants the vigor and freedom of the forest and the outlaw.  Talk of civilizing the Indian!  By his wary independence and aloofness he is admitted to a refinement in his untrimmed mistress, which is like the distant but permanent light of the stars, compared with tapers.  There are the innocent pleasures of country life,—but the heroic paths are rugged and retired in another sense, and he who treads them studies his plots and parterres in the stars, he gathers nuts and berries by the way and orchard fruits with such heedlessness as berries.

     There is something less noble in gardening even than in savage life.  It conciliates—soothes—tames Nature.  It breaks the horse and the ox, but the Indian rides the horse wild and chases the Buffalo, and not the less worships them both as his gods.

     The gardiner takes plants out of the forest and sets them in his garden, but the true child of nature finds them in his garden already wherever they grow, and does not have to transplant them.  If the Indian is somewhat of a stranger in nature the gardener is too much a familiar. There is something vulgar and foul in the latter's closeness to his mistress, something noble and cleanly in the formers distance.

     Yet the hunter seems to have a property in the moon which even the farmer has not.

     Ah!—the poet knows uses of plants which are not easily reported, though he cultivates no parterre; see how the sun smiles on him while he walks in the gardener's aisles, rather than on the gardner.71

The comparison continues:

The constitution of the Ind mind appears to be the very opposite to that of the white man. He is acquainted with a different side of nature. He measures his life by winters not summers— His year is not measured by the sun but consists of a certain number of moons, & his moons are measured not by days but by nights— He has taken hold of the dark side of nature—the white man the bright side.72

And in discussing the mark or standard by which a nation is judged to be barbarous or civilized, and the  barbarities of civilized states,

     The savage is far sighted, his eye, like the Poet’s,

“Doth glance from Heaven to Earth, from

Earth to Heaven,”

He looks far into futurity, wandering as familiarly through the land of spirits as the civilized man through his wood lot or pleasure grounds. His life is practical poetry—a perfect epic; the earth is his hunting ground—he lives suns and winters—the sun is his time-piece, he journeys to its rising or its setting, to the abode of winter or the land whence the summer comes. He never listens to the thunder but he is reminded of the Great Spirit—it is his voice. To him, the lightening is less terrible than it is sublime—the rainbow less beautiful than it is wonderful—the sun less warm than it is glorious.

     The savage dies and is buried, he sleeps with his forefathers, & before many winters his dust returns to dust again, and his body is mingled with the elements. The civilized man can scarce sleep even in his grave. Not even there are the weary at rest, nor do the wicked cease from troubling.73

And again stressing the importance of learning from experience,

The savage may be, and often is, a sage. Our Indian is more of a man than the inhabitant of a city. He lives as a man—he thinks as a man—he dies as a man. The latter, it is true, is more learned; Learning is Art’s creature; but it is not essential to the perfect man—it cannot educate.74

     Thoreau's expressed views, including those on education, are consistent with his actions. He studied at Harvard College from 1833 to 1837, studying classics, philosophy, rhetoric, mathematics and science. According to legend, he refused to pay five-dollars for his sheepskin Masters degree diploma, because it had no academic merit, as it was given automatically, three years after completing the bachelors degree. He is supposed to have said, "Let every sheep keep its own skin."75 On returning to his home in Concord, he became a member of the faculty of the Concord public school. He resigned after a few weeks, however, because he refused to administer corporal punishment.76 Thoreau and his brother opened the Concord Academy, in 1838, an innovative school with a practical experiential bent, including time in nature and visits to local businesses. The school provided learning for up to 25 boys and girls. In several of its aspects, the Concord Academy was a precursor of John Dewey's progressive education. Although the school had sufficient students, Thoreau closed it after the death of his brother in 1842.

     Thoreau became a close friend of Emerson, serving as Tutor for Emerson's sons while living at the Emerson House from 1841-1844. There he also served as gardener and editorial assistant for Emerson. Thoreau, as a philosopher of nature, became involved with Emerson's American Transcendentalism. As with Emerson, and in the pragmatic tradition of Emerson's beloved Benjamin Franklin, Thoreau's philosophy was practical and social. His practical aspect showed itself upon his working, during much of his life in Concord, in his family's pencil factory.77 There, he rediscovered the process of making good pencils with inferior graphite, some of which came from a mine operated by Indians in Sturbridge, MA. Later, Thoreau transformed the factory into a producer of graphite for the electrotyping process.

     The social aspect of Thoreau's pragmatism began to show itself with what was to be a two year experiment in living, in 1845, in a small house in the woods, on property owned by Emerson at Walden Pond. In part, Thoreau went to write. But it also involved something more.

     I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion.78

     In July of 1846 The local tax collector told Thoreau he had to pay six years of back property taxes. Thoreau refused to do so because he objected to slavery and the Mexican war. As a result he was jailed, but only overnight as someone - likely his aunt - paid the taxes for him, against his will. This experience began his thrust into civil disobedience.79 In January and February 1848, he delivered lectures on "The Rights and Duties of the Individual in relation to Government", which he revised into an essay, "Resistance to Civil Government" (also known as "Civil Disobedience"), published by Elizabeth Peabody in the Aesthetic Papers in May 1849.80 Thoreau opens that essay quite consistently with the more libertarian strand of the Indian influenced thinking of Jefferson and Locke.

     I HEARTILY accept the motto, — “That government is best which governs least;” and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe, — “That government is best which governs not at all;” and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have. Government is at best but an expedient; but most governments are usually, and all governments are sometimes, inexpedient. The objections which have been brought against a standing army, and they are many and weighty, and deserve to prevail, may also at last be brought against a standing government. The standing army is only an arm of the standing government. The government itself, which is only the mode which the people have chosen to execute their will, is equally liable to be abused and perverted before the people can act through it. Witness the present Mexican war, the work of comparatively a few individuals using the standing government as their tool; for, in the outset, the people would not have consented to this measure.

     But, to speak practically and as a citizen, unlike those who call themselves no-government men, I ask for, not at once no government, but at once a better government. Let every man make known what kind of government would command his respect, and that will be one step toward obtaining it (p. 1).

     Thoreau goes on in line with the Indigenous view of the need for holistic thinking, self-reliance within the community, and community members of moral character. He does this, however, with more of the western emphasis on the individual, than the more equal Native stress between Individual and community.

Can there not be a government in which majorities do not virtually decide right and wrong, but conscience? — in which majorities decide only those questions to which the rule of expediency is applicable? Must the citizen ever for a moment, or in the least degree, resign his conscience to the legislator? Why has every man a conscience, then? I think that we should be men first, and subjects afterward. It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as for the right. The only obligation which I have a right to assume, is to do at any time what I think right. It is truly enough said, that a corporation has no conscience; but a corporation of conscientious men is a corporation with a conscience (p. 1).

     Unjust laws exist: shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once? Men generally, under such a government as this, think that they ought to wait until they have persuaded the majority to alter them. They think that, if they should resist, the remedy would be worse than the evil. But it is the fault of the government itself that the remedy is worse than the evil. It makes it worse. Why is it not more apt to anticipate and provide for reform? Why does it not cherish its wise minority? Why does it cry and resist before it is hurt? Why does it not encourage its citizens to be on the alert to point out its faults, and do better than it would have them? Why does it always crucify Christ, and excommunicate Copernicus and Luther, and pronounce Washington and Franklin rebels (p. 2)?

     And considering that the evil Thoreau is immediately concerned with is slavery,

     If the injustice is part of the necessary friction of the machine of government, let it go, let it go: perchance it will wear smooth, — certainly the machine will wear out. If the injustice has a spring, or a pulley, or a rope, or a crank, exclusively for itself, then perhaps you may consider whether the remedy will not be worse than the evil; but if it is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law. Let your life be a counter friction to stop the machine. What I have to do is to see, at any rate, that I do not lend myself to the wrong which I condemn.

     As for adopting the ways which the State has provided for remedying the evil, I know not of such ways. They take too much time, and a man’s life will be gone. I have other affairs to attend to. I came into this world, not chiefly to make this a good place to live in, but to live in it, be it good or bad. A man has not every thing to do, but something; and because be cannot do every thing, it is not necessary that he should do something wrong. It is not my business to be petitioning the governor or the legislature any more than it is theirs to petition me; and, if they should not hear my petition, what should I do then? But in this case the State has provided no way: its very Constitution is the evil. This may seem to be harsh and stubborn and unconciliatory; but it is to treat with the utmost kindness and consideration the only spirit that can appreciate or deserves it. So is all change for the better, like birth and death which convulse the body.

     I do not hesitate to say, that those who call themselves abolitionists should at once effectually withdraw their support, both in person and property, from the government of Massachusetts, and not wait till they constitute a majority of one, before they suffer the right to prevail through them. I think that it is enough if they have God on their side, without waiting for that other one. Moreover, any man more right than his neighbors, constitutes a majority of one already (p. 2).

     Where the Indian, sufficiently disapproving of the acts of her/his community could move to another band, or, accompanied by likeminded neighbors, leave to start a new community, for Thoreau,

     Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison. The proper place to-day, the only place which Massachusetts has provided for her freer and less desponding spirits, is in her prisons, to be put out and locked out of the State by her own act, as they have already put themselves out by their principles. It is there that the fugitive slave, and the Mexican prisoner on parole, and the Indian come to plead the wrongs of his race, should find them; on that separate, but more free and honorable ground, where the State places those who are not with her but against her, — the only house in a slave-state in which a free man can abide with honor. If any think that their influence would be lost there, and their voices no longer afflict the ear of the State, that they would not be as an enemy within its walls, they do not know by how much truth is stronger than error, nor how much more eloquently and effectively he can combat injustice who has experienced a little in his own person. Cast your whole vote, not a strip of paper merely, but your whole influence. A minority is powerless while it conforms to the majority; it is not even a minority then; but it is irresistible when it clogs by its whole weight (p.2).

     Here, we have the beginning of a far spreading philosophy of civil disobedience, which ultimately spawned the world wide nonviolence movement. Among many others who were influenced by Thoreau, Mohandas Gandhi read "Civil Disobedience" in South Africa, in 1906.81 He was then fighting the "Black Act," which required Asians to register with the government and to be finger printed. In refusing to register, he quoted Thoreau concerning his refusal to pay taxes. Martin Luther King, who learned from Gandhi, and went to India on a "pilgrimage to nonviolence," stated in his autobiography that his introduction to the idea of nonviolent resistance was in reading Thoreau's essay "On Civil Disobedience," while in college in 1944.82 Thus the whole nonviolent resistance movement has a major root in Thoreau, from a ground fertilized by both American Indian and European traditions.

     Thoreau's social concerns included a major emphasis on respecting the rights of all people. This included opposing unjust war. This was indicated by his opposition to the Mexican War. But Thoreau did not go so far as to oppose all violent actions. This is demonstrated, in the course of his opposition to slavery, by his support of John Brown, including Brown's raid on the United States arsenal at Harper's Ferry,

     Prominent and influential editors, accustomed to deal with politicians, men of an infinitely lower grade, say, in their ignorance, that he acted "on the principle of revenge." They do not know the man. They must enlarge themselves to conceive of him. I have no doubt that the time will come when they will begin to see him as he was. They have got to conceive of a man of faith and of religious principle, and not a politician or an Indian; of a man who did not wait till he was personally interfered with or thwarted in some harmless business before he gave his life to the cause of the oppressed.83

     I know that the mass of my countrymen think that the only righteous use that can be made of Sharps rifles and revolvers is to fight duels with them, when we are insulted by other nations, or to hunt Indians, or shoot fugitive slaves with them, or the like. I think that for once the Sharps rifles and the revolvers were employed in a righteous cause. The tools were in the hands of one who could use them.84

     Thoreau, always concerned about nature, as was Emerson, became increasingly concerned with the natural world in his later years, as is reflected in his writings, including his 1862 works, Autumnal Tints (on the colors of leaves in the fall), Wild Apples. In his essay "Walking" he made the often quoted statement, "In wildness is the preservation of the world."85 Both Thoreau and Emerson were widely read in the United States and beyond, and were quite influential. This was particularly true in the development of the environmental movement, beginning in the 1960s. Together, the two Concord residents, each in his own unique and creative ways, continued the Indian blended with European character of America, assisting the further development of American Pragmatism later in the Nineteenth and into the Twentieth Century.

Later Nineteenth Century Activist Intertwinings of Pragmatism

     As the Nineteenth Century continued to unfold past the Civil War and Reconstruction, the intertwining of American Indian influenced African American and women's emancipation continued, with new Indian inputs, all of which challenged main stream American thinking. A number of women were at the center of this ongoing development. One of their primary concerns was expanding the concept of place, including home, set forth by Lydia Maria Child. In 1846, Catherine Beecher published Treatise on Domestic Economy.86 The book expanded Child's Frugal Housewife into a domestic science by applying the method of experimental science to show how the home could be a better place for the health and wellbeing of the entire family. In 1869 Beecher collaborated with her sister Harriet Beecher Stowe to broaden Treatise into The American Woman's Home,87 aimed at undermining the hierarchical relationship between men and women. It achieved this, however, by setting out strict roles for men and women based on Christian values. This undercut the diversity expressed by Child, and left an ambiguity between women's empowerment and subservience.

     By the 1890's, a new generation of women writers began again to use the logic of home for social change. Among them was Louisa May Alcott.88 Alcott was born in Germantown, then outside of Philadelphia, in 1832, to educator and Transcendentalist Amos Bronson Alcott and social worker Abby May. The family moved to Boston in 1834, where Amos Alcott founded an experimental school and joined the Transcendental Club with Emmerson and Thoreau. Beginning in 1840, they lived in Concord, MA, except for a short time at the Utopian Fruitlands community in 1843-44. Louisa May Alcott was educated by her father, along with family friends, Emmerson, Thoreau, Margaret Fuller and Nathanial Hawthorne. As a member of a low income family, Alcott began work at an early age as a seamstress, teacher, domestic worker and writer. She read, with admiration, the Seneca Falls Convention on women's rights, "Declaration of Sentiments," and was actively part of the antislavery movement with her family, housing an escaped slave in 1847. The family home a station on the underground railroad. In 1850, she became the first woman to vote in Concord, in a school board election.

     Alcott first gained literary success with Hospital Sketches, a critique of the mismanagement of hospitals and the uncaring attitude of some doctors, based on her service as a nurse during the Civil War at Union Hospital at Georgetown, in Washington, DC, in 1862-63.89 She was an active abolitionist and a feminist. In a number of her writings, Alcott's narratives,

provide a new ground for the logic of home and a renewed interest in devising a means for women to conceptualize their own circumstances in the context of a particular place. Narratives in this way could provide both a detailed description of a situation and the relations that make it up and provide resources for carrying the relations into a wider situation.90

     In her novel, Work: A Story of Experience,91 for example, Alcott presents a woman striving successfully for a home place in the face of poverty, male domination, exclusion, and civil war. The central character prevails by forming alliances with other women of different racial, ethnic and class backgrounds.

     Another prominent woman in the American pragmatist tradition of the late Nineteenth Century was Charlotte Perkins Gilman, a sociologist, feminist, writer of nonfiction, poetry and short stories, and lecturer for social change.92  Born in 1860 in Hartford, Connecticut, Gilman was a great niece of Catherine Beecher with whom she often spent time with in her younger years. Much of her youth was spent in Providence, RI. Gillman followed her great aunts' method of applying experimental science to the problems of human growth and development. In her most important writing, Women and Economics,93 Gilman takes the perspective that human beings can only be understood in terms of their interactions with their environments. In a feminist reconceptualization of Darwin's theory of evolution, she held that men and women, as organisms in particular environments, developed unique modes of interacting following from distinct physiologies and differences in opportunities and expectations. In this she agreed with Child that growth is the standard according to which interaction can be evaluated, and that the framework for women's independence is in the logic of home and the demands of growth. Consistent with the balanced reciprocity of American Indian gender relations, Gilman wrote,

Granting squarely that it is the business of women to make the home life of the world true, healthful and beautiful, the economically dependent woman does not do this, and never can. The economically independent woman can and will. As the family is by no means identical with marriage, so is the home by no means identical with either.94

     Diverging from the view of her great aunts, Gilman asserted that home and society must be seen as continuous. Women are stifled and made subservient to the extent that home and society become separate. Where Child and Alcott saw the relations of home as providing the means for social transformation, Gilman, in the developing conditions of the end of the Nineteenth Century, understood that social transformation could make homes, the locus of concrete interactions, places of growth.

Addams and Hull House

     Am important contributor to the development of American Pragmatism was Jane Addams, born in 1860 in Cedarville Illinois.95 Cofounder with Ellen Gates Starr of Hull House, in 1889, in a poor immigrant neighborhood in Chicago, the first settlement house in the United States, Addams was known as the "mother" of social work. An activist and reformer, social worker, sociologist, public philosopher and author, she was an early leader in the settlement house movement. Adams, who lived until 1935, was also a leader in the movements for women's suffrage and world peace.

     Addams built on the logic of home of Child, Alcott and a number of writers in the abolitionist movement, turning it into a social ethic. She expresses this clearly in Democracy and Social Ethics, published in 1902, applying the logic of home, where problems can only be understood in the context of their circumstances, and solutions can only be created within the existing situation.96 Early on, she makes clear the pragmatist importance of diversity and experience.

We are learning that a standard of social ethics is not attained by traveling a sequestered byway, but by mixing on the thronged and common road where all must turn out for one another, and at least see the size of one another's burdens. To follow the path of social morality results perforce in the temper if not the practice of democratic spirit, for it implies that diversified human experience and resultant sympathy are the foundation and guarantee of Democracy (pp. 6-7).

Adams makes clear that acting properly is not just about right principles, but requires acting according to the specifics of developing situations.

We slowly learn that life consists of processes as well as results, and that failure may come quite as easily from ignoring the adequacy of one's method as from selfish or ignoble aims (p. 6).

We do not believe that genuine experience can lead us astray any more than scientific data can.

We realize, too, that social perspective and sanity of judgement come only from contact with social experience; that such contact is the surest corrective of opinions concerning the social order, and concerning efforts, however humble. for its improvement. Indeed, it is a consciousness of the illuminating and dynamic value of this wider and more thorough human experience which explains in no small degree that new curiosity regarding human life which has more of a moral basis than an intellectual one (pp. 7-8).

We have learned as common knowledge that much of the insensibility and hardness of the world is due to the lack of imagination which prevents a realization of the experience of other people. Already there is a conviction that we are under a moral obligation in choosing our experiences, since the result of those experiences must ultimately determine our understanding of life. We know intuitively that if we grow contemptuous of our fellows, and consciously limit our intercourse to certain kinds of people whom we have previously decided to respect, we not only tremendously circumscribe our range of life, but limit the scope of our ethics (pp. 9-10).

     In concluding her introduction to a series of studies

of various types of groups who are being impelled by the newer conception of Democracy to an acceptance of social obligations involving a new line of conduct. No attempt is made to reach a conclusion, nor to offer advice beyond the assumption that the cure for the ills of Democracy is more Democracy... (pp. 10-11).

     Addams believed that the solutions to the problems of the disadvantaged, whether they were poor, or discriminated against people, disfavored ethnic or racial groups, or women, could not be externally imposed. What was needed was to restructure their circumstances, starting with the resources in the place where they were located. Those resources encompass the material conditions at hand, the experience, histories and locations of those concerned and the locations involved, the interests of those involved, and the external forces that frequently make difficult, or prevent, interactions which lead to growth. The founding of Hull House was an effort to facilitate the restructuring the circumstances and resources of the low income immigrant community of which it was a center, providing a space in which the participants could interact progressively.

     Addams' approach, and the operation of Hull House, was very much in keeping with American Indian traditions of participatory inclusiveness, mutual support, and adaptation to changing circumstance through experience. It functioned as an experimental center making progress with successes, while learning from both failure and success. A reflection on its functioning is presented in Addams', Twenty Years at Hull House.97 But Hull House also had wider functions. These included its being a laboratory and model for the settlement house movement, and for its pragmatic approach to dealing with social problems. At times it also served as a meeting place for activist interaction and cross fertilization. During the first wave of "Pan-Indian" activism in the late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries, Hull House brought together leading American Indian women, including Susan LaFlesche and Gertrude Bonin, with African American leaders including W.E.B. Dubois, and European American philosophers, among them John Dewey, George Herbert Mead and Josiah Royce.98

     Dewey met Addams and stayed at Hull House in 1892, while visiting the University of Chicago. He joined its faculty from 1894-1904. While at the University of Chicago, he headed the Philosophy Department and initiated the University of Chicago Laboratory School. Dewey wrote of his stay at Hull House to Addams,

I cannot tell you how much good I got from my stay at Hull House. My indebtedness to you for giving me insight into matters there is great. While I did not see much of any particular thing I think that I got a very good idea of the general spirit and method. Every day I stayed there added to my conviction that you had taken the right way.99

The African American Connection

     There was an African American connection to American Indian influenced American pragmatism, which linked to Hull House. This built upon the preceding ties of the abolition movement to the Indian influenced women's emancipation movement, and efforts to protect Native American rights. Some of these were in the similarity of Indigenous African ways of seeing to American Indian world views. Others of these came from extensive interaction among Blacks and Indians in the 13 colonies, and then, the United States, including a fair amount of intermarriage.100 It is notable that Crispus Attucks, the first American killed by British troops in what became the American Revolution, was African American and Indian. Some Indian tribes in the U.S, South, including the Cherokee and Seminole, engaged in Negro slavery, and when their slaves were freed at the end of the Civil War, they became tribal members.101

     Quite a few African American leaders and writers, beginning in the Nineteenth Century, have had pragmatist strands in their thinking. W.E.B. Dubois, for example, studied with pragmatist philosophers William James and Josiah Royce (discussed below) at Harvard and developed a conception of self and community similar to theirs. Dubois' adherence to the importance of place, diversity, and experience is evident in his discussion of race, which he understood not to be based upon biology or lineage alone, In an address, "On the Conservation of Race," he stated that race involved,

A vast family of human beings, generally of common blood and language, always of common tradition, history or impulse, who are both voluntarily and involuntarily striving together for the accomplishment of certain more or less vividly conceived ideals of life.102

     Thus "race" is primarily cultural, based on common experience and interest or bonding. Such a race can participate in and contribute to a larger common community on an equal basis, when it is not blocked from doing so. The "Negro Race" fits this definition. For Dubois, concepts of "whiteness" that involve racial white superiority and discrimination against other races are not legitimate, because they run counter to the principles of diversity and mutual respect that underlie his view.

     When it came to approaching social problems, including the pressing ones concerning African Americans, Dubois' work at Harvard with James and Historian Albert Bushnell Heart agreed with Addams' approach at Hull House. They believed that major social problems could only be solved in place on the basis of the carefully collected and understood facts, on the basis of which alternative solutions could be developed, and carried out, with ongoing corrections to changing circumstances.103

     As Pratt in Native Pragmatism and McKenna and Pratt have shown in American Philosophy: From Wounded Knee to the Present, numerous African American activists and thinkers have to different extents, and in different ways, proceeded within the Native consistent, American pragmatist tradition up to the present moment.104 For example, Martin Luther King and philosopher Allen Leroy Locke were influenced by pragmatists James and Peirce (discussed below), as well as more recent pragmatist thinkers. Cornell West - noting that all approaches can be properly or improperly applied - said of American pragmatist philosophy, "At its worst, it became a mere ideological cloak for corporate liberalism and managerial social engineering which served the interests of American corporate capital." At its best, "it survived as a form of cultural critique and social reform at the service of expanding the scope of democratic process and broadening the arena of individual self-development here and abroad."105 According to McKenna and Pratt, West found pragmatism "a questioning open ended, antifoundationalist philosophy that is committed to enquiry, democracy and amelioration."106 In addition to using its methods for his own critiques and proposals for improvement, in The American Evasion of Philosophy: A Genealogy of Pragmatism, West examined the unfolding of pragmatism from Emerson to Rorty, concluding by presenting his own "prophetic pragmatism."107 For West, prophetic pragmatism is "a rich and revisable tradition that serves as the occasion for cultural criticism and political engagement."108

James, Peirce, Dewey, et al: Toward a Contemporary American Pragmatism

     By the late Nineteenth and early Twentieth Century the strands of Indigenous American thought among European Americans, going back to first contact, and regularly added to by continuing Indian inputs, and reinforced by similar other strands and independent thinking, was developing into a classical American pragmatism, led by William James, Charles Sanders Peirce, and John Dewey, among others.109 While, each of these major thinkers had their approach and emphasis, they were generally in agreement about the nature of pragmatist philosophy. For all of them, in an uncertain existence in which human knowledge and decision making must always be imperfect, philosophy was concerned with guiding action in communities of diverse individuals on the basis of unfolding experience, rather than attempting to find ultimate principles. As Dewey stated it,

The distinctive office, problems and subject matter of philosophy grow out of stresses and strains in the community life in which a given form of philosophy arises, and that, accordingly, its specific problems vary with the changes in human life that are always going on and that at times constitute a crisis and a turning point in human history.110

In other words, whatever else philosophies are or are not, they are at least significant cultural phenomena and demand treatment from that point of view.... [They are] a critique of basic and widely held beliefs."111

     For James, Peirce and Dewey, the philosophy of pragmatism was built on 4 principles or conceptions.112 The first conception was interaction. Peirce stated that this conception required one to

Consider what effects which might conceivably have practical bearings, we conceive the object of our conception to have. Then our conception of these effects is the whole of our conception of the object.113

     James went a step further in conceiving interaction as having a practical, or "cash", value so that one can comparatively evaluate alternative choices, such that one can see, "What definite difference it will make to you and me."114 Philosophy is practical, because it guides one's choices of actions in a world in which each person is an actor in a set of reciprocal relations.

     Dewey agrees, noting that life is engagement in interdependent interaction:

The processes of living are enacted by the environment as truly as by the organism, for they are an integration.115

     The second conception of classical pragmatism was pluralism. While interaction involves the connection - or unity - of things, it also implies their differences, which for people arise from differences in experience, both individual and collective: personal and cultural. In this connection, James observed, "If our intellect had been as much interested in disjunctive as in conjunctive relations, philosophy would have equally successfully celebrated the world's disunion. Neither is more primordial or essential or excellent than the other."116 One needs to focus on one or the other depending on the circumstances. Pluralism arises from interaction. Each person and culture obtains knowledge from different, though in some way related, experience. Each person's and culture's knowledge is incomplete, and can gain from the view and knowledge of the other.

     Peirce was less radical than James in considering pluralism at the theoretical level, but was much in agreement with James in its importance in practice. In his view, the universe began from one mind, but for human beings every day, variety is "beyond comparison the most obtrusive stuff of the universe."117 "What we call matter is not completely dead, but is merely mind hide-bound with habits. It still retains the element of diversification; and in that diversification, there is life."118

     Dewey took an effectively similar, but more concrete view of pluralism.

That knowledge has many different meanings follows from the operational definition of conceptions. There are as many conceptions of knowledge as there are distinctive operations by which problematic situations are resolved.119

If we see that knowing is not the act of an outside spectator but of a participant inside the natural social scene, then the true object of knowledge resides in the consequences of directed action.... For on this basis there will be as many kinds of known objects as there are kinds of effectively conducted operations of enquiry which result in the consequences intended.120

In other words, because each person, out of experience, interacts differently with the world - creating new experience, and thus new ways of seeing - there are necessarily a wide variety of ways of knowing and perceiving.

     This leads to the third conception, community, which, especially for Dewey, requires equalitarian interchange of views and dialoguing, in an appropriate process of democracy, to properly make decisions collectively. Peirce understands individuals to be members of communities. He states,

What anything really is, is what it may finally come to be known in the ideal state of complete information, so that reality depends on the ultimate decision of the community....

The existence of thought now depends upon what is to be hereafter; so that it has only a potential existence, dependent on the future thought of the community.121

     James sees human identity inseparable from, and partly commensurate with, community.

A man's social self is the recognition he gets from his mates. Properly speaking, a man has as many social selves as there are individuals who recognize him and carry an image of him in their minds.... But as the individuals who carry the images fall naturally into classes, we may practically say he has as many social selves as there are distinct groups of persons about whose opinion he cares.122

     Dewey, differs from Peirce, as he does not see anything ultimate or deterministic about thought, in terms of community. Rather, conceptions of truth are dependent upon the diversity of cultures and the problems that frame inquiry. Further, it is community which gives rise to language, which provides the basis for enquiry, along with common interests in a shared environment.  What is necessary for common language and what arises from it, for Dewey, is the human ability "to take the standpoint of other individuals and to see and enquire from a standpoint that is not strictly personal but is common to them as participants or parties in a conjoint undertaking."123 For Dewey, this leads to a concern for the views of others that extends beyond mere tolerance, to "hospitality:" an "open-mindedness" to respect the views of others. But open-mindedness is not emptiness. It does not lead to a value free relativism, because each participating person maintains his/her own values, out of their own ongoing experience, which includes the discussion or interaction.124 What Dewey sees as necessary to develop, which usually does arise within a community of interest, is an open-mindedness that is "an attitude of mind which actively welcomes suggestions and relevant information from all sides."125

     What further prevents classical pragmatism from falling into a value free relativism is the fourth conception: growth, which serves as a standard for, and a limit upon community. Proper interaction and deliberation lead to increased knowledge and some practical advance, at a minimum, in terms of the situation or problem under deliberation. It arises in the synergy of sufficiently honest dialogue where the parties are concerned that their individual interests are advanced in realizing a common interest, which is the basis of community. Peirce found this conception of growth being the key to realizing the first three conceptions in his reading of Aristotle.126

     In this view, growth arises from the conjunction of potential and action, matter and form. Peirce sees this as the interaction of the "female function" - or the seed - and the "male function" - which "exercises a hunch" as a "principle of unrest."127 Out of the interaction of the two functions arises a third, which is not implicit in either of them, or in the two together prior to interaction. It is an urge or impact that provides the direction and purpose to the particular union to overcome the inertia of habit and the vagaries of chance. This third function Peirce calls "creative love."128 Peirce makes the connection between growth and love explicit in commenting on the Apostle John's proclamation that God is love.

Everyone can see that the statement of St. John is the formula of an evolutionary philosophy, which teaches that growth comes only from love... from the ardent impulse to fulfil another's highest impulse.129

     James view on growth is similar to that of Peirce. In The Varieties of Religious Experience James states that what is common in religions consists of two parts,

an uneasiness; and... its solution. The uneasiness, reduced to its simplest terms, is a sense that there is something wrong about us as we naturally stand. The solution is a sense that we are saved from the wrongness by making proper connection with the higher powers.

A person,

becomes conscious that this higher part is coterminous and continuous with a more of the same quality, which is operative in the universe outside of him, and which he can keep in working touch with.130

     For James, growth is both a standard and way of understanding human experience. The standard of growth is the standard of maximizing possibilities and encouraging further growth. In understanding experience,

Our Acts, our turning-places, where we seem to ourselves to make ourselves and grow, are the parts of the world to which we are closest, the parts of which our knowledge is the most intimate and complete. Why should we not take them at face-value?131

     For Dewey, there is no separation between organisms (including people, and communities of people) and their environment, and by its nature an organism is engaged in a growth process. "The reality is the growth process itself."132 Growth is an indeterminate process, influenced by the history of the organism and of its environment. For human beings, who are conscious, growth is normative. In educational terms, for one in the role of the teacher - both the external teacher and the internal, reflective self - it means facilitating the learning experience prior to, and while it is occurring, while evaluating the experience as, and after, it occurs. The normative consideration includes,

from the standpoint of growth as education and education as growth, the question is whether growth in this direction promotes or retards growth in general. Does this form of growth create conditions for further growth, or does it set up conditions that shut off the person who has grown in this particular direction from the occasions, stimuli and opportunity for continuing growth in new directions?133

For example, does one who steals learn from that experience to be a more clever thief, or does the person learn that stealing is destructive, and that it is personally and socially better to employ his/her talents in a socially constructive and personally rewarding direction? Growth in some direction will always occur as long as an organism is alive. Movement in a direction that is healthy is to be chosen or encouraged, and that which is pathological, is to be avoided or discouraged. Limited human beings will at times have difficulty determining which is which. The best guide is what experience indicates will be the results of a choice, and having made a choice, to learn, and hence grow, from the results (recognizing the need for continuing reevaluation, as sometimes one learns the wrong lessons).

     For Dewey,

Freedom, in its practical and moral sense... is connected with possibility of growth.134

In the degree in which we become aware of possibilities of development and actively concerned to keep the avenues of growth open, in the degree in which we fight against induration and fixity, and thereby realize the possibilities of recreation of ourselves, we are actually free.135

     Ultimately, such actual freedom requires a democratic community. This allows one to learn and growthrough the process of participating. The democratic ideal for Dewey is a community that affirms the value of individual growth, and realizes community growth by providing opportunities for individual growth and through the synergy of the interaction of its diverse members. In this, Peirce, James - and indeed Addams, among many others in the classical pragmatist tradition - concur, despite differences of emphasis, or variation in the details of their explanation.

William James, Pragmatist from Experience

     William James, often called the father of American psychology, was born in New York City in 1842 to a well to do family.136 He was educated eclectically at home, and in schools in the United States and Europe. James had broad interests, including in art. At first, he apprenticed with painter William Morris Hunt. But he soon decided to focus upon science, entering Harvard Medical School in 1864. On graduating from medical school in 1869, James fell into a depressed state for some time. This experience may well have influenced his decision to study psychology. As an M.D., James spent at least 14 years working to develop a natural science of human psychology. He began attempting to discover laws of functional covariation linking mental states and brain states. Very soon, however, he discovered that proceeding in terms of 19th century science, that conceived of the universe as a machine, and of a duality between mind and body, was unworkable. He quickly found that it was impossible to identify mental states in isolation. He found that there was no mind-body separation. Mental states were always directly connected to what they were about, and to the whole experienced context that gave the subject of the experience its meaning, which was the initiator of the mental state. This experience of James led him to think holistically with a major focus upon experience.

     James' shift in perspective, coming to be a leader in the development of Native American influenced classical pragmatism did not occur in a vacuum.137 James' father, Henry James Sr., was a well known Swedenborgian theologian who interacted with some of the intellectual and literary elites of the time. And James had read Emerson, among others, so that there was a clear chain of thinking and perceiving extending through Franklin to American Indian influences to which James' experience could connect, as an aid to solidifying James understanding of his experience. James came to see that people are not merely in the world, they are of it. The individual and his/her environment are in an ongoing dialogue, influencing each other. The individual experiences the world in which s/he participates through the lens of past and ongoing experience.

     For James experience was not merely concrete, as evidenced by his joining the Theosophical Society, in 1882, focused upon mystical and experiential Eastern religion, and by his writing The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature in 1902. But if James was in any sense a mystic, he was a practical one. He believed in taking from various theories, including spiritual ones, whatever made good sense, and then could be proven by experience and analysis.138

     Thus in writing The Principles of Psychology, published in 1890, after setting out "psychological preliminaries" in the scientific mode of the day, as a detached observer, James relies heavily on his own experience in developing a carefully analyzed psychology. It is a psychology in which any event is perceived within the whole of the context of the perceiver, who perceives through the lens of past experience. Following the principles of Pragmatism outlined above, while each person and cultural group has their own individual experience, which needs to be recognized in the practice of individual and social psychology, the fact that all are connected and interacting within the same world, combined with limitations on the varieties of human minds and of human experiences, means that there are also general classifications and principles for a human psychology.

     One of the limits that James, other pragmatists, and American Indians recognize is the limitation in human knowledge and understanding. Thus, theory can never be absolute. To be meaningful it must be limited to the context from which it arises and to which it applies. Attributing his thinking on this point to Peirce, James wrote,

To attain perfect clearness in our thought of an object... we need only consider what effects of a conceivable practical kind the object many involve.... Our conception of these effects then, is for us the whole of our conception of the object, so far as that conception has positive significance at all.139

     Consistent with the four conceptions of classical pragmatism, and Indigenous understanding, the limits in human perception and thought also lead to a need for dialogue and democracy, for James,

Neither the whole of the truth nor the whole of good is revealed to any single observer, although each observer gains a partial superiority of insight from the peculiar position in which he stands.140

The Pragmatic Phenomenology of Charles Sanders Peirce

     Charles Sanders Peirce was born in 1839 in Cambridge, MA, where his father was a respected professor of astronomy and mathematics at Harvard University, and a cofounder of the American Academy of Sciences.141 One important influence in his early life was reading his older brother's copy of Richard Whately's Elements of Logic. Peirce had very broad interests and was extremely creative and innovative. Peirce is often considered to be "the father of pragmatism," and also of semiotics (the study of meaning, relating to signs and language). Peirce expanded from work concerning logic to mathematics, chemistry, philosophy and language. He undertook practical technical work with the United States Coast Survey, and for a few years taught at Johns Hopkins University, where his students included James and Dewey.

     As indicated above, Peirce believed that there was much more to the universe than its mechanical aspects, and that, ultimately, there was no separation between mind and body. He believed that individuals were interdependent with their environment, including different levels of community. Concerning evolution - physical (including biological) and social, he was convinced that mechanical and chance (i.e. natural selection) approaches, while having some limited usefulness, missed the main evolutionary force.142 Peirce stressed, "agapastic evolution," in which love in the form of sympathetic understanding (as in the Greek concept of agape) was the prime mover of evolution through the intelligibility of the cosmos and the continuity of "minds", participating in the process of change.

     On the social level, Peirce rejected the 'survival of the fittest' ideas of social Darwinism that made a virtue out of greed. In one comment, he began sarcastically,

Intelligence in the service of greed ensures the justest of prices, the fairest contracts, the most enlightened conduct of all dealing between men, and leads to the sumum bonum, food in plenty and comfort. Food for whom? For the greedy master of intelligence.

What I say, then, is that the great attention paid to economical questions during our century has induced an exaggeration of the beneficial effects of greed and the unfortunate results of sentiment, until there has resulted a philosophy which comes unwittingly to this, that greed is the great agent in the elevation of the human race and the evolution of the universe.143

So a miser is a beneficent power in a community, is he? With the same reason precisely, only to a much higher degree, you might pronounce the Wall Street sharp to be a good angel, who takes money from heedless persons not likely to guard it properly, who wrecks feeble enterprises better stopped,... and who by a thousand wiles puts money at the service of intelligent greed, in his own person.144

     For Peirce, life at its most basic level is not a competition between separate individuals,

that progress comes with every individual merging his individual differences with his neighbors.145

     It is indicative of Peirce's outlook that his first wife of 21 years was Melusina Fay, a leader in the cooperative housekeeping movement. Quite consistent with Native American ways of seeing, though mixing in numerous other strands of thought in his own creative thinking, Peirce saw life as relational. His perspective was also consistent with Indian ways concerning character developing education, and continuing learning and growth. For him, all things (including the universe itself) tend to develop habits and proceed on their basis, learning and, thus growing, with unfolding experience.

The existence of things consists in their regular behavior.146

     The process of interaction brings about movement for change, including change of habit, or regular behavior. For thinking human beings, individually and collectively, living in a universe at a stage in which both natural law and chance function, the proper approach is to apply science to experience. In other words, one should reflect upon developing events so as to consciously modify habits to meet changing circumstances. In his era, that meant among other things, society moving from valuing greed, to returning to honoring a caring reciprocity.

John Dewey, Democrat and Progressive Educator

     John Dewey was born to a family of modest means in Burlington, VT, in 1859.147 He graduated from the University of Vermont, following which he taught high school for two years in Oil City, PA and elementary school in Charlotte, VT. Following this teaching, he studied at the Johns Hopkins University, taking some courses from Charles Sanders Peirce, as did William James. Dewey is considered one of the founders of the philosophy of pragmatism and of American psychology. His major work encompassed participatory (as opposed to representative) democracy and education, where he was a major voice in progressive education. Among other achievements, while on the faculty of the University of Chicago, he founded the University of Chicago Laboratory School, a model in progressive education. He also produced important work in other areas, including in epistemology, metaphysics, aesthetics, art, logic, social theory, and ethics.

     Consistent with his belief that there should be no separation between thought and action, and that the philosopher needed to be active in the community, Dewey was an activist on many issues. He was a public philosopher, speaking regularly on social issues and promoting well working democracy with the public, while encouraging fellow philosophers to apply their profession in public discussion and action, stating,

If philosophy does not embrace the process of growth as the guide to knowledge, truth and ethics, it will fall into the apathy of irrelevance."148.

     Dewey served on the board of Hull House, serving immigrants in Chicago, worked for women's suffrage, and was active as a reformer in education. Dewey was also a vocal progressive on public issues. This reflected his views on diversity. He opposed the idea that America was, or should be, a melting pot, helping pave the way for the multiculturalism that arose in the main stream late in the twentieth century.

     Dewey emphasized the importance of the interchange of ideas in robust public discussion by an informed citizenry, of diverse people. He found, "Uniformity and unanimity in culture rather repellant," holding that,

Variety is the spice of life, and the richness and attractiveness of social institutions depend upon cultural diversity of separate units. In so far as people are all alike, there is no give and take among them.149

     In Dewey's view, only with open interaction was individual and social growth sufficiently attainable. This required that people be reflective and open minded, which needed a progressive education to encourage. This kind of education recognizes and works with the differences in young people, with student centered supported learning, providing the maximum number of positive experiences in which the student participates as an active learner, examining situations and issues from as many viewpoints as practicable. The aim is to free the student and the society, recognizing that,

freedom is found in that kind of interaction which maintains an environment in which human desire and choice count for something.150

     Dewey's views of democracy and education are intimately related to the understanding he developed of human psychology. In accordance with the four principles of pragmatism, psychology, and psychological development, are not merely individual. They involve the interaction of the individual, with his/her unique combination of qualities, and the environment. It is in the course of this interaction that the mind develops, forming habits in reaction to experience.

Habits may be profitably compared to physiological functions, like breathing, digesting. The latter, are to be sure, involuntary, while habits are acquired...Walking implicates the ground as well as the legs; speech demands physical air and human companionship... natural operations... and acquired ones like speech and honesty are functions of the surroundings as truly as of the person. They are things done by the environment by means of organic structures or acquired dispensations.... They involve skill of sensory and motor organs, cunning or craft, and objective materials. They assimilate objective energies, and eventuate in command of the environment.... They have a beginning middle and end.151

     Habits are only relatively fixed, and can be changed by ongoing experience. Hence the nature of that experience is important. A particularly helpful development is if that experience encourages the development of an analytic, in a sense scientific, consciousness. This allows one to evaluate behavior in light of new experience. Habits normally function largely unconsciously, and it is impossible to remain continually fully aware of them. But if the habit of reflection is developed, then one is able to become constructively conscious of habits, when experience indicates that they may no longer be appropriate, leading to positive growth.

     Dewey believed that in traditional societies intimately relating with their natural environments, the experiences of human development generally unfolded sufficiently naturally so that most people evolved good habits for their communal situations. He was concerned that in modern societies, more isolated from their natural physical environment, and in several dimensions having gotten artificially out of balance, the process of evolving appropriate habits had become defective.

We have at present little or next to no controlled art of securing that redirection of behavior which constitutes adequate perception or consciousness. That is, we have little or no art of education in the fundamentals, namely in the management of organic attitudes which color the qualities of our conscious objects and acts. As long as our chief psycho-physical coordinations are formed blindly and in the dark during infancy and early childhood, they are accidental adjustments to the pressure of other persons and circumstances which act upon us. They do not then take into account the consequences of these activities upon formation of habits.... Hence the connection between consciousness and action is precarious, and its possession a doubtful boon as compared with the efficacy of instinct - or structure - in lower animals.152

     Out of this persuasion, Dewey worked for education and societal reform.

The Native Roots of Classical Progressivism

     With Dewey's pragmatic philosophy and progressive education, one can draw a direct line back to the American Indian sources that ultimately influenced his thinking, that is also evident in the thought of James and Peirce.153 Dewey states clearly in John Dewey Presents the Living Thought of Thomas Jefferson154 that he admired, as anticipating pragmatism, Jefferson's Indian influenced experimental attitude toward democracy with a commitment to growth. Dewey similarly states that he finds in Jefferson the experimentalism of Eighteenth Century science which he incorporates in pragmatism. That scientific experimentalism was developed more by Jefferson's colleague Benjamin Franklin, but it was furthered greatly by Jefferson as well. 

     Dewey makes clear in the Living Thought of Thomas Jefferson that Franklin was the greater exponent of a Native influenced science. Dewey there quotes Jefferson that Franklin was, “the greatest man and ornament of the age and country in which he lived (p. 28).” Dewey admits, “There was no discovery in natural science to the credit of Jefferson similar to that of Franklin in electricity (p. 6).” But in continuing, Dewey gives a clue his reason for presenting Jefferson rather than Franklin,

But his faith in scientific advance as a means of popular enlightenment and of social progress was backed by a continual interest in discoveries made by others (p. 6).

     Jefferson’s Indian like, and, to a considerable degree, Indian influenced, views of nature, experience, the need for continued reexamination and learning, and democracy are all central to Dewey, who while an independent thinker, is part of the same Indigenous impacted tradition as his predecessor. Thus, Dewey quotes Jefferson,

To illustrate what I believe to be the key to the work and character of our first great democrat: the vital union of attitudes and convictions so spontaneous that they are the kind called instinctive with fruits of a rich and varied experience: - a union that was cemented by the ceaseless intellectual activity which was his “supreme delight.” But in a more conventional way, he was that rare person in politics, an idealist whose native faith was developed, checked, and confirmed by extremely extensive and varied practical experience. It is seldom, I imagine, that an unusually sincere and unified natural temperament has been so happily combined with rich opportunities for observation and reflection. If he left the stamp of idealism upon the course of events, it is because this experience added realistic substance to the inherent bent of his natural disposition (pp. 2-3).

     A more direct line of Indian influence came through Lydia Maria Child, who lived until 1880 and continued to publish until 1878, including An Appeal for Indians, in 1868. Child and her colleagues in the women's suffrage movement were known to Dewey. This included his activity at Hull House, where he also met Indians and African American rights activists, who included many of the women's suffrage advocates. A comparison of Child's writings to those of Dewey and James shows many striking similarities. It is clear that from Child and her successors, that,

The classical pragmatists, and Dewey in particular, learned from them to apply the abstract conceptions of science and democracy to the lived experience of a pluralistic society in which diversity of groups, interests and ideas could coexist. In the end, classical pragmatism and its four commitments emerge from a complex environment characterized by both colonial and Indigenous attitudes. What is generally recognized as a distinctly American philosophy arises from the influences of both European and Indian thought on key figures throughout the Seventeenth, Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries. In the end, pragmatism becomes more than the development of a particular philosophy. It becomes a genealogy of a rich American philosophical tradition - diverse in its thinkers, plural in its traditions, and potentially valuable in its implications for life in a multicultural world.155

The Continuing Pragmatist Tradition

     With the firm establishment of classical pragmatism in the United States by Peirce, James, Dewey, Adams, Royce, George Herbert Mead and others writing and acting well into the Twentieth Century, American pragmatism became a major force in public thinking and in the field of philosophy in the United States. As is discussed in McKenna and Pratt, American Philosophy from Wounded Knee to the Present, pragmatism, with some ups and downs, has continued to expand in the United States with broader world wide impacts up to the present moment. In some instances the development has remained very much in the classical pragmatist tradition. In others pragmatism has interacted and interwoven with other ways of thinking to form a broader American philosophy of which pragmatism, or some of its aspects, are elements. Some pieces or works of pragmatism have gone off on their own, intermingling with other ways of seeing.

     An example of this is Pierce's semiotics which became an independent field with numerous branches and approaches extending beyond philosophy into such fields as linguistics and anthropology, often being approached in ways that were quite contrary to classical pragmatism's four conceptions. These strands of thinking, however, reconnected with the pragmatist tradition with the analysis and writing of such philosophers as W.V.O. Quine and C.J. Ducasse156 

     As Cornell West stated, in the quote above, since the early Twentieth Century, there has been quite a range of approaches and views that have been considered at least somewhat pragmatist. Some of them, and those who expressed them, have kept to the socially conscious and activist, American Indian equalitarian pluralism that is at the heart of pragmatism. Horace Kallen one of the founders of the New School of Social Research along with Dewey, and Allen Leroy Locke, for instance, early in the Twentieth Century wrote and acted against racism and for cultural pluralism.157 Later in the century activists for inclusive diversity included Richard Wright and Martin Luther King.158 Wright, wrote the book Black Power, in 1954, in the first publicly known use of that term. He argued that the concept of race was a dualistic invention used to divide people.  Martin Luther King, while at Boston University had studied with professors working in the pragmatist tradition. At times, he reflected what he had learned in that tradition, as with saying, following Royce, that all people were members of "the beloved community".

     Similarly, among the social critics working from a pragmatist background, were sociologist C. Wright Mills, writer Lewis Mumford and economist John Kenneth Galbraith.159 Mills' critiques of the "power elite," and the accompanying increasing disempowerment of the middle and lower classes, was developed against the background of his knowledge of the work of Peirce, Dewey and Mead, along with his reading of Thorstein Veblen, The Leisure Class, written in 1899. Mumford, whose education included time at the New School for Social Research, and who at times mentioned Dewey, wrote over 30 books and 1000 essays applying "usable history" to illuminate the sources of contemporary problems. In addition to his writing, Mumford was an active voice against McCarthyism, and highway projects that would damage neighborhoods and people. He also spoke for nuclear disarmament. Galbraith continued into the Twenty-First Century to be a vocal critic of the concentration of economic power and policies which fostered it. He wrote numerous books on economics, and served U.S. presidents on and off from Franklin Roosevelt Administration to the George H.W. Bush Adinistration. His economic writings were largely focused on practical policy aimed at promoting economic equality. Also in the pragmatist tradition, he emphasized the need for thoughtful independent thinking and the interchange of ideas.

     Philosophical ideas that can be used as standards to critique existing conditions can also be used to justify conditions that do not live up to the cited standard. That certainly has been the case of some pragmatist ideas. Pluralism and democracy are a good examples. Some well to do people and agents of powerful interests have often defended the unequal status quo, claiming that the United States functions extremely fairly because it is democratic, with everyone having a say in a pluralist society. There are cases also of people, including philosophers, who on theoretical issues take positions in the pragmatist tradition, quoting some of its adherents, but do not apply it to analyzing social issues. One who has been partly in this position is philosopher Richard Rorty.160 Writing both academically and popularly, Rorty did much in the late Twentieth and early Twenty-First Century to increase the already expanding interest in pragmatism. He has often taken clear general stands on major public issues, including opposing the Vietnam War. But Rorty has been criticized for offering little in the way of policy or action proposals for addressing the concrete problems.

     Meanwhile, the trend of pragmatism interacting with related activisms that long proceeded the rise of classical pragmatism has continued, and in some instances expanded. Its continuing connection to the civil rights movement has already been mentioned. Pragmatism has remained connected with the ongoing women's movement, some of whose direct Indian connections are discussed below. Meanwhile, there has been continued significant new input from American Indians. This has been especially the case in the rise of the environmental movement discussed below. But it has also included the rise of broadly important Native writers, including Vine Deloria, Jr., and the launching of an American Indian Philosophy Association, which meets at the conferences of the American Philosophical Association, while facilitating collaborative publishing.161 Moreover, since the 1950s, there has been a great increase in public interest in American Indians, and in the impact of American Indian writers and film makers across a number of fields and upon the general public. These developments have made contributions to the American philosophy of pragmatism.

     The first two decades of the Twenty-First Century have continued to experience an expansion of pragmatism in the field of philosophy, and in public officials, at least on one side in an increasingly polarized United States.162 An example within philosophy, of a writer with public impact, is Richard Bernstein. Among his many writings on important public concerns is the Abuse of Evil: The Corruption of Politics and Religion since 9/11,163 published in 2005. In responding to public and government reactions to the 2011 al-Qaeda attacks on the World Trade Towers in New York City and the Pentagon. Bernstein commented,

Responsible Choices and actions always demand specificity, sensitivity to context, careful analysis, clarification of real options, debate and persuasion. But it doesn't follow that there is nothing to be done.... In times of widespread anxiety, fear, and perceived crisis, there is a craving for absolutes, firm moral certainties, and simplistic schemas that help make sense of confusing contingencies; they help to provide a sense of psychological security. Since 9/11 we have been living though such a time.... The careless talk of evil and the demonizing of our enemies do not help matters. On the contrary - as I have argued - they obscure complex issues, block enquiry, and stifle public debate about appropriate responses to an unsettling, fluid state of affairs. So what is to be done? Ordinary citizens must stand up and oppose the political abuse of evil, challenge the misuse of absolutes, expose false and misleading claims to moral certainty, and argue that we cannot deal with the complexity of the issues we confront by appealing to - or imposing - simplistic dichotomies. There is a role for public intellectuals, educators, journalists, and artists to help guide the way - just as Holmes, James, Peirce and Dewey did at a different time under radically different historical circumstance.164

     Among the public officials of the early Twenty-First Century, often acting in the public interest quite consistently with the pragmatist principles to which Bernstein referred, has been Barack Obama.165 While he may be faulted for too much secrecy and closed door decision making on some intelligence and military issues, as President, Obama most often stood for open discussion of issues, and the making of decisions based upon well determined facts and carefully analyzed policy. If he may be criticized for being too slow to act on some issues, he was open to learning from his own and the nation's experience, as illustrated by his change of mind to support gay marriage.166 In his remarks on the Supreme Court decision in favor of marriage equality, he expressed both the principles of diversity, and of growth through public learning, while dealing with specific problems in their context.

Good morning. Our nation was founded on a bedrock principle that we are all created equal. The project of each generation is to bridge the meaning of those founding words with the realities of changing times -- a never-ending quest to ensure those words ring true for every single American.

Progress on this journey often comes in small increments, sometimes two steps forward, one step back, propelled by the persistent effort of dedicated citizens. And then sometimes, there are days like this when that slow, steady effort is rewarded with justice that arrives like a thunderbolt.

     This morning, the Supreme Court recognized that the Constitution guarantees marriage equality. In doing so, they’ve reaffirmed that all Americans are entitled to the equal protection of the law. That all people should be treated equally, regardless of who they are or who they love.

     This decision will end the patchwork system we currently have. It will end the uncertainty hundreds of thousands of same-sex couples face from not knowing whether their marriage, legitimate in the eyes of one state, will remain if they decide to move [to] or even visit another. This ruling will strengthen all of our communities by offering to all loving same-sex couples the dignity of marriage across this great land.

     In my second inaugural address, I said that if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well. It is gratifying to see that principle enshrined into law by this decision.

     I know change for many of our LGBT brothers and sisters must have seemed so slow for so long. But compared to so many other issues, America’s shift has been so quick. I know that Americans of goodwill continue to hold a wide range of views on this issue. Opposition in some cases has been based on sincere and deeply held beliefs. All of us who welcome today’s news should be mindful of that fact; recognize different viewpoints; revere our deep commitment to religious freedom.

     But today should also give us hope that on the many issues with which we grapple, often painfully, real change is possible. Shifts in hearts and minds is possible. And those who have come so far on their journey to equality have a responsibility to reach back and help others join them. Because for all our differences, we are one people, stronger together than we could ever be alone. That’s always been our story. 166

     Obama's quite pragmatist statement has roots in his early experience and education.167 He had a multicultural upbringing. His mother, Ann Dunham, was a white woman from Kansas with English, Welch, Scottish, Irish, German and Swiss ancestry. His father, Barak Obama, Sr., was from Kenya. Dunham and Obama, Sr, were divorced in 1964, and Dunham married Lolo Soeto, from Indonesia, in 1965. Obama was born in Hawai'i in 1961. From ages six to ten he lived with his parents in Indonesia, attending a catholic school for two years, and a public school for a year and a half, to supplement home schooling in English by his mother. Obama returned to Hawai'i in 1971, and attended a private high school. He alternated living with his mother, while she completed a degree in anthropology, and with his maternal grand parents, particularly in 1975 when his mother returned to Indonesia to undertake fieldwork. Obama said of his years in Hawai'i. "The opportunity that Hawai'i offered - to experience a variety of cultures in a climate of mutual respect -became an integral part of my world view, and a basis for the values I hold most dear."168

     While at college at Columbia University, Obama's studies included James, Dewey, Dubois and Locke. At Harvard Law School, he took a class from Brazilian Pragmatist Roberto Unger. As President of the Harvard Law Review, he regularly oversaw the publication of issues with articles by pragmatist philosophers, including Richard Bernstein and Hillary Putnam. Later, his work as a community organizer in Chicago continued the work of Addams and Hull House, while teaching him the importance of listening, both to those in need and to those with differing viewpoints. Thus Obama had a firm foundation for being one of the leaders in action, of an expanding pragmatism, with its American Indian roots, in the Twenty-First Century.

The Rise of an Indigenously Compatible Progressive Movement

     A more recent significant recent development in pragmatic philosophy was the program of Bernie Sanders that burst into popularity in the 2016 U.S. Presidential campaign.169 What he put forth is very much in line with the application of Indigenous values to contemporary politics and economics. Since the 2016 election, Sanders has continued his campaign for political change through his social movement organization, Our Revolution. Sanders calls himself a social democrat, but his program is fully compatible with New Deal
Liberalism, and can just as easily be labeled progressive. Sanders organization is only one of a number of progressive movement organizations that have been increasingly active since Barak Obama ran for President in 2008. Among them are Progressive Democrats of America (PDA), functioning within the Democratic Party, The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), and, founded to support President Obama's Campaign for president.170

     Moreover, Sanders is not alone. Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has also been a vocal leader, while a new group of progressive candidates were already winning Democratic party primaries around the U.S. in 2014, with many of them coming into office in the Democratic Party's Blue Wave in 2018 elections.171 This included the Democrats retaking the U.S. House of Representatives, with a host of new progressive Congress people, in the forefront of a new progressive movement. And among them are an increasing number of American Indian voices.172 Amidst them are the first two American Indian women tribal members elected to Congress: Deb Haaland (Laguna Pueblo) in New Mexico, and  Shari Davids (Ho_Chunk) in Kansas, while also elected to Congress from New Mexico was Xochitl Torres Small, who is Aztec. The three are all Democrats. Small's Republican opponent, Yvette Herrell, was Cherokee. Amidst still other Natives elected to various offices was Peggy Flanagan, White Earth Ojibwe, Democrat, who won the Minnesota Lieutenant Governors Race against Donna Bergstrom of Red Lake, Republican; and Debra Topping, Fond du Lac Ojibwe, Independence Party.

     In examining the Indian influences on the American Philosophy of Pragmatism, and the broader American Philosophy, of which it is a part, it is important to remember that Indigenous thinking is only one of the important sets of often, but not always, interacting strands that have contributed to these philosophical traditions. As McKenna, and Pratt have developed in American Philosophy: From Wounded Knee to the Present, the diverse strands within the American Philosophy of resistance have sometimes dialogued with each other, and sometimes have not; though at times even when they have not directly interacted, there have been indirect influences. In addition, there have been movements against, or otherwise quite counter to, Native ways of seeing. This is quite clear in examining the polarization in thinking in the United States today.173 As Pratt and McKenna have indicated, and Pratt communicated to Stephen Sachs, "intellectual developments after the Civil War made indigenous thought something that was reacted against in the process of formulating a new conception of agency that became the dominant conception of agency in the 20th century." Thus American Indian thinking has had, and continues to have an extremely important influence, as one of the continually changing strands in the ever developing fabric of thought in the United States and beyond.

End Notes

1. "James Jeans Quotes," BrainyQuote, at:, accessed April 28, 2016.

2. Betty Booth Donohue, Bradford’s Indian Book: Being the True Roote & Rise of American Letters as Revealed by the Native Text Embedded in Of Plymouth Plantation (Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 2011), particularly pp. XIV-XVI, 7-9, 16, 34-44, 47-49, 89, 93-104, 114, 133-145; and Stephen M Sachs, Bruce E. Johansen, Betty Donohue, Ain Haas, Donna Kay Dial, Sally Roesch Wagner, Jonathon York, Christina Clamp, Don Grinde, Phyllis M. Gagnier, Amy Fatzinger, and Walter S. Robinson, Honoring the Circle: The Ongoing Learnings Of the West From American Indians On Politics And Society, Vol. I, Volume I: The Impact of American Indians on Western Politics and Society to 1800 (Cardiff by the Sea, CA: Waterside Publishing, in press), Introduction to Part I, and Chapter 2.

3. Sachs, et al, Honoring the Circle, Volume I, Ch. 2, and Vol. II, Ch. 1, Section 1.

4. LaDonna Harris, Mentor and Editor; Stephen M. Sachs and Barbara Morris, General Authors;

Deborah Esquibel Hunt, Gregory A. Cajete, Benjamin Broome, Phyllis M. Gagnier and Jonodev Chaudhuri, Contributing Authors, Recreating the Circle: Returning American Indian Nations to Sovereignty, Self-Sufficiency and Harmony (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2011), Ch. 1.

5. For example, E. Adamson Hoebel gives a good brief picture of many of the virtues (and problems) of Eskimo, Comanche, Kiowa and Cheyenne life in, The Law of Primitive Man (New York: Atheneum, 1976), Ch. 5 & 7.

6. Sachs, et al, Honoring the Circle, Volume I, Ch. 2.

7. Scott L. Pratt, Native Pragmatism: Rethinking the Roots of American Philosophy (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2002), pp. 78-106.

8. Davis, Jack L. "Roger Williams Among the Narragansett Indians," New England Quarterly,  Vol. 43, p. 4, December 1970, p. 603.

9. Roger Williams, The Complete Writings of Roger Williams (New York: Russell & Russell, 1963). Vol. 1, p. 225.

10. Sachs, et al,  Honoring the Circle, Volume I, Ch. 2.

11. Donald A. Grinde, Jr., The Iroquois and the Founding of the American Nation (San Francisco: Indian Historian Press, 1977), pp. 34-36; and Bruce E, Johansen, Bruce E. The Forgotten Founders: Benjamin Franklin, the Iroquois and the Rationale for the American Revolution (Ipswich, MA: Gambit, 1982), pp,. 9-13).

12. Pratt, Native Pragmatism, Ch. 8, 9.

13. Carl Van Doren and Julian P. Boyd, eds., Indian Treaties Printed by Benjamin Franklin 1736-1762. Philadelphia: Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 1938), p. 75.

14.  Colonial Records of Pennsylvania (Harrisburg: Theo. Fenn & Co., 1851), Vol. VI, p. 98.

15. Franklin's contributions to pragmatic thinking are discussed in Pratt, Native Pragmatism, Ch. 8, 9. A short over view, listing his accomplishments in many fields, is in "Benjamin Franklin," Wikimedia, the Free Encyclopedia, February 8, 2019,

16. On Jefferson, see: Sachs, et al, Honoring the Circle, Volume I, Ch. 2; Carl Binger, Thomas Jefferson: A Well-tempered Mind (New York: W. W. Norton & Co. 1970); Scott L. Pratt, Native Pragmatism: Rethinking the Roots of American Philosophy (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2002), pp. 74, 83-84, 214n, 217-220, 285-286,  and "Thomas Jefferson," Wikimedia, the Free Encyclopedia, February 2, 2019. On European appreciation of freedom in American Indigenous Societies, see: Sachs, et al, Honoring the Circle, Volume I, Ch. 3; William Brandon, New Worlds for Old: Reports from the New World and Their Effect on the Development of Social Thought in Europe, 1500-1800 (Athens: Ohio University Press, 1986);  Ruben G. Thwaites ed., The Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents, 73 vols. (Cleveland, Burrows Brothers, 1896-1901); J.H. Kennedy, Jesuit and Savage in New France (New Haven: Yale University Press (1950); and

17. On Locke and the rise of the idea that rights are unalienable, see:  Sachs, et al, Honoring the Circle, Volume I, Ch. 3, Sections 2 and 3; and John Locke, The Second Treatise on Civil Government, (Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1986).

18.  Julian Boyd, ed., Papers of Thomas Jefferson (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1950 -), Vol. II, p, 49.

19. Pratt, Native Pragmatism, pp. 222-225.

20. Ibid., pp. 229-279.

21. Lydia Maria Child, edited with an introduction by Caroline L. Karcher, Hobomok and other Writings on Indians (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1986); discussed in Pratt, Native Pragmatism, pp. 229-240.

22. Pratt, Native Pragmatism, pp. 232-234.

23. On William Apess (sometimes written as Apes), see Alexander Keller Hirsch, “Agonism and Hope in William Apess Native American Political Thought,” New Political Science, Vol. 39, No. 3, September 2017; James Tully, Public Philosophy in a New Key, Vol. 1 1nd 2 (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2009); Barry O'Connell, ed. On Our Own Ground: The Complete Writings of William Apess, a Pequot (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1992); Patricia Bizzell,. "(Native) American Jeremiad: The 'Mixedblood' Rhetoric of William Apess", in Ernest Stromberg, ed. American Indian Rhetorics of Survivance: Word Medicine, Word Magic (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2006); Barry O'Connell, ed., A Son of the Forest and Other Writings (Amherst: University of Massachusetts, 1997); and “William Apess,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, July 23, 2017, Project Guttenberg offers writings by Appess on line at:,+William; as does Internet Archives:

24. William Apess, “Indian Nullification,” in O'Connell, ed. On Our Own Ground,  pp. 200-201.

25. Hirsch, “Agonism and Hope, p384. For influence on Child, see Laura Mielke, Moving Encounters: Sympathy and the Indian Question in Antebellum Literatue (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2008).  For influence on Thoreau and Douglass, see, Rene Bergland, The National Uncanny: Indian Ghosts and American Subjects (Hanover, NH: Dartmouth College Press, 2000), pp. 114-116. For influence on Melville, see Samuel Otter, Melville’s Anatomies (Berkely: University of California Press, 1999).

26.  Ma-ka-tai-me-she-kia-kiak, known as Black Hawk, lived from 1767 to 1838). He was a band leader and warrior of the Sauk Nation in what is now the U.S. Midwest. With the aid of a newspaper reporter and an editor, his autobiography was published, Black Hawk, Autobiography of Ma-Ka-Tai-Me-She-Kia-Kiak, or Black Hawk, Embracing the Traditions of His Nation, Various Wars in Which He Has Been Engaged, And His Account of the Cause And General History Of The Black Hawk War of 1832 (Charleston, SC: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2015). For example, see: Roger L. Nichols, Black Hawk and the Warrior's Path (Arlington Heights, IL: Harlan Davidson, 1992; and Black Hawk Sauk Leader),” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, September 8, 2017,

27. On Elias Boudinot, John Ross and other well influential Cherokee, see, for example, Samuel Carter, Cherokee Sunset (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1976); Thurman Wilkins, Cherokee Tragedy: The Story of the Ridge Family and the Decimation of a People (London: The Macmillan Company, 1970); Edwards Everett Dale, Cherokee Cavaliers – Forty Years of Cherokee History as Told in the Correspondences of the Ridge-Watie-Boudinot Family (Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1939); and “Elias Boudinot (Cherokee),” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, September 3, 2017, The Cherokee Phoenix, 1828 to the present, is available at: Elias Boudinot, “An Address to the Whites: Speech Delivered in the First Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia, May 26, 1826,” Excerpts, the National Humanities Center, is available at:

28. On George Copway, Kah-Ge-Ga-Gah-Bowh, see for exsmple, Donald B. Smith, Mississauga Portraits (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2013); George Copway, The life, history, and travels of Kah-ge-ga-gah-bowh (George Copway), a young Indian chief of the Ojebwa nation, a convert to the Christian faith, and a missionary to his people for twelve years; with a sketch of the present state of the Ojebwa nation, in regard to Christianity and their future prospects. Also an appeal; with all the names of the chiefs now living, who have been Christianized, and the missionaries now laboring among them (Albany, P Weed and Parsons, 1847, c1846, downloadable version at University of Georgia Library:; and “George Copway,“ Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, August 14, 2017,

29. Pratt, Native Pragmatism, pp. 240-244.

30. Roger Williams, Key into the Language of America, Edited with a critical introduction and notes by John J. Teunissen and Evelyn J. Hinz (Detroit: Wayne State Press: 1973, written in 1643), and discussed in Pratt, Native Pragmatism, pp. 85, 96-98, 100-105, 111, 119 and 241. Sedgwick's reading of Key is discussed by Pratt, Native Pragmatism, pp. 240-241.

31. Catherine Maria Sedgwick, Hope Leslie; or Early Times in the Massachusetts Edited with an Introduction by Mary Kelly (New Brunswick and London: Rutgers University Press, 1987), discussed by Pratt on p. 241.

32. The "logic of home," as an element of place or diversity, is developed in Pratt, Native Pragmatism, chapter 10, "Logic of Home, particularly with reference to Child and Sedgwick. The honoring of diversity, arising from Native tradition, of these two, and some other authors, is shown in Chapter 12,"Feminism and Pragmatism," to be a major force in the movements opposing Indian relocation and slavery, as well as in the activism for the emancipation of women.

33. Philip Gould, Covenant and Republic: Historical Romance and the Politics of Puritanism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996), discussed by Pratt, Native Pragmatism, p. 240).

34. Pratt, Native Pragmatism, p. 245. Wollstonecraft's role.

35. Eleanor Flexner, Mary Wollstonecraft: A Biography (New York: Coward, McCann and Geoghegan, 1972); Gary Kelly, Revolutionary Feminism: The Mind and Career of Mary Wollstonecraft (New York: St. Martin's, 1992); and Nancy Tuana, The Less Noble Sex: Scientific, Religious and Philosophical Conceptions of Women's Nature (Bloomington, IN: University of Indiana Press, 1993).

36. Mary Wollstonecraft, The Vindications: The Rights of Men and The Rights of Woman, Eds. D. L. Macdonald and Kathleen Scherf (Toronto: Broadview Press, 1997).

37. Among others, see: Celia Morris Eckhardt, Fanny Wright: Rebel in America. Harvard University Press, 1984); Amos Gilbeet, Memoir of Frances Wright, the Pioneer Woman in the Cause of Human Rights. (Cincinnati: Longley Brothers, 1855); and Helen Horowitz, Rereading Sex: Battles over Sexual Knowledge and Suppression in Nineteenth-Century America (Alfred A. Knopf, 2002).

38. Frances Wright, Views of society and manners in America (London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, 1821): Original from: Harvard University: Digitized: available at:, accessed February 11, 2017.

39. Among the huge number of writings on the history of the antislavery movement are: Antislavery: Brycchan Carey, From Peace to Freedom: Quaker Rhetoric and the Birth of American Antislavery, 1657–1761 (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2012); Lydia Maria Child, An Appeal in Favor of That Class of Americans Called Africans (Boston: Allen and Ticknor, 1833); Francis D. Cogliano, Thomas Jefferson: Reputation and Legacy (Edinburgh University Press, 2006); Allen Pell Crawford, Twilight at Monticello: The Final Years of Thomas Jefferson (Random House, 2008); David Brion Davis, Inhuman Bondage: The Rise and Fall of Slavery in the New World (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2006); John Craig Hammond,  and Matthew Mason, eds., Contesting Slavery: The Politics of Bondage and Freedom in the New American Nation (Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 2011); Lewis Perry, and Michael Fellman, eds., Antislavery Reconsidered: New Perspectives on the Abolitionists (Baton Rouge, Louisiana State University Press, 1979); Michael D. Pierson, Free Hearts and Free Homes: Gender and American Antislavery Politics (Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Press, 2003); Beth A. Salerno, Sister Societies: Women's Antislavery Organizations in Antebellum America (DeKalb, Northern Illinois University Press, 2005; and Anna M. Speicher, The Religious World of Antislavery Women: Spirituality in the Lives of Five Abolitionist Lecturers Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2000).

40. The First Great Awakening was an evangelical and revitalization movement that swept Protestant Europe and British America in the 1730s and 1740s, leaving a permanent impact on American Protestantism. It involved a shift from sacramental ritual and hierarchy, to individual personal experience focused on finding a deep personal revelation of salvation through Jesus Christ. This made Christianity intensely personal to the average person by fostering a deep sense of spiritual conviction and redemption, and by encouraging introspection and a commitment to a new standard of personal morality (See Thomas S. Kidd, The Great Awakening: The Roots of Evangelical Christianity in Colonial America (New Haven, Yale University Press, 2009). This democratizing development moving away from dogma to personal experience is quite consistent with Indigenous ways, but whether, and if so to what extent, involved any direct or indirect Native influence is beyond the information available to this author.

41. Locke, in The Second Treatise On Government, in Ch. 4, “of Slavery,” (1n #14), states, “The natural liberty of man is to be free from any superior power on earth, and not to be under the will or legislative authority of man, but to have only the law of Nature for his rule. The liberty of man in society is to be under no other legislative power but that established by consent in the commonwealth, nor under the dominion of any will, or restraint of any law, but what that legislative shall enact according to the trust put in it.” Locke goes on to say, with supporting examples, that the Bible shows that the ancient Jews did not approve slavery, though they allowed "drudgery": a labor contract to work for a limited period time in return for some good. This was a common practice in his time, of people buying their passage from England to America by agreeing to work for a number of years in the colony to which they emigrated as indentured servants. At first, Africans imported to the American colonies as slaves were treated as indentured servants, earning their freedom by working for their master for a period of years. Locke was himself connected to this "drudgery" through his investment in the East Indian Company, which participated in the slave trade. Unlike indentured servitude in return for passage to America, the slavery of Africans was never voluntary, and the opportunity to earn one's freedom through working for a number of years soon ended as a wide spread practice.

42. The references in the U.S. Constitution on slavery are: Article 1, Section 2: "Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons;" and Article 1, Section 9, "Migration or importation of such persons as any of the states now existing shall see proper to admit,  shall not be prohibited by Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a tax or duty may be imposed on such importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each person." The discussion of slavery at the Constitutional Convention is included in Max Farrand, The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, 3 vols, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1911), available on line at: Online Library of Liberty,

43. On late Eighteenth Century U.S. political leaders who freed their slaves see, "Founding Fathers and Slave Holders," Smithsonian,; "The Founding Fathers and Slavery," Britannica,; Bruce Chadwick, General and Mrs. Washington: The Untold Story of a Marriage and a Revolution (Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks, Inc., 2007), p. 331; Cogliano, Thomas Jefferson: Reputation and Legacy; and Crawford, Twilight at Monticello: The Final Years of Thomas Jefferson.

44. On the invention of the Cotton Gin and its impact, see, Angela Lakwate, Inventing the Cotton Gin: Machine and Myth in Antebellum America. (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003).

45. Quoted in Julie Roy Jeffrey, The Great Silent Army of Abolitionism (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1998), p. 1.

46. Lydia Maria Child, An Appeal in Favor of that Class of Americans Called Africans, edited with an introduction by Carolyn L. Karcher (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1996).

47. Ralph Waldo Emerson, Selected Essays, Lectures and Poems, Edited with a forward by Robert D. Richardson, Jr. (New York: Bantam Books, 1990), Forward.

48. Pratt, Native Pragmatism, pp. 213-215. For a longer consideration of the Indian impact on the development of Franklin's pragmatism, see the various discussions of Franklin in Native Pragmatism.

49. Ralph Waldo Emerson, Journals of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Vol. 1, Edited by Edward Waldo Emerson (Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1909), pp 375-377, quoted in Pratt, Native Pragmatism, p 214. For more on Emerson's interest in Franklin, see Jesse Bier, "Weberism, Franklin and the Transcendental Style," The New England Quarterly, Vol. 43, 1970, pp. 179-192; and William L. Hedges, "From Franklin to Emerson," in A. Leo Lemay, ed., The Oldest Revolutionary: Essays on Benjamin Franklin (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1976).

50. "Letter to Martin Van Buren President of the United States, 1836," Cherokee Nation, 2016, and Our Georgia History,, accessed August 30, 2016.


The seat you fill places you in a relation of credit and nearness to every citizen. By right and natural position, every citizen is your friend. Before any acts contrary to his own judgment or interest have repelled the affections of any man, each may look with trust and living anticipation to your government. Each has the highest right to call your attention to such subjects as are of a public nature, and properly belong to the chief magistrate; and the good magistrate will feel a joy in meeting such confidence. In this belief and at the instance of a few of my friends and neighbors, I crave of your patience a short hearing for their sentiments and my own: and the circumstances that my name will be utterly unknown to you will only give the fairer chance to your equitable construction of what I have to say.

Sir, my communication respects the sinister rumors that fill this part of the country concerning the Cherokee people. The interest always felt in the aboriginal population – an interest naturally growing as that decays – has been heightened in regard to this tribe. Even in our distant State some good rumor of their worth and civility has arrived. We have learned with joy their improvement in the social arts. We have read their newspapers. We have seen some of them in our schools and colleges. In common with the great body of the American people, we have witnessed with sympathy the painful labors of these red men to redeem their own race from the doom of eternal inferiority, and to borrow and domesticate in the tribe the arts and customs of the Caucasian race. And notwithstanding the unaccountable apathy with which of late years the Indians have been sometimes abandoned to their enemies, it is not to be doubted that it is the good pleasure and the understanding of all humane persons in the Republic, of the men and the matrons sitting in the thriving independent families all over the land, that they shall be duly cared for; that they shall taste justice and love from all to whom we have delegated the office of dealing with them.

The newspapers now inform us that, in December, 1835, a treaty contracting for the exchange of all the Cherokee territory was pretended to be made by an agent on the part of the United States with some persons appearing on the part of the Cherokees; that the fact afterwards transpired that these deputies did by no means represent the will of the nation; and that, out of eighteen thousand souls composing the nation, fifteen thousand six hundred and sixty-eight have protested against the so-called treaty. It now appears that the government of the United States choose to hold the Cherokees to this sham treaty, and are proceeding to execute the same. Almost the entire Cherokee Nation stand up and say, “This is not our act. Behold us. Here are we. Do not mistake that handful of deserters for us;” and the American President and the Cabinet, the Senate and the House of Representatives, neither hear these men nor see them, and are contracting to put this active nation into carts and boats, and to drag them over mountains and rivers to a wilderness at a vast distance beyond the Mississippi. As a paper purporting to be an army order fixes a month from this day as the hour for this doleful removal.

In the name of God, sir, we ask you if this be so. Do the newspapers rightly inform us? Man and women with pale and perplexed faces meet one another in the streets and churches here, and ask if this be so. We have inquired if this be a gross misrepresentation from the party opposed to the government and anxious to blacken it with the people. We have looked at the newspapers of different parties and find a horrid confirmation of the tale. We are slow to believe it. We hoped the Indians were misinformed, and that their remonstrance was premature, and will turn out to be a needless act of terror.

The piety, the principle that is left in the United States, if only in its coarsest form, a regard to the speech of men, forbid us to entertain it as a fact. Such a dereliction of all faith and virtue, such a denial of justice, and such deafness to screams for mercy were never heard of in times of peace and in the dealing of a nation with its own allies and wards, since the earth was made. Sir, does this government think that the people of the United States are become savage and mad? From their mind are the sentiments of love and a good nature wiped clean out? The soul of man, the justice, the mercy that is the heart in all men from Maine to Georgia, does abhor this business.

In speaking thus the sentiments of my neighbors and my own, perhaps I overstep the bounds of decorum. But would it not be a higher indecorum coldly to argue a matter like this? We only state the fact that a crime is projected that confounds our understanding by its magnitude, a crime that really deprives us as well as the Cherokees of a country for how could we call the conspiracy that should crush these poor Indians our government, or the land that was cursed by their parting and dying imprecations our country, any more? You, sir, will bring down that renowned chair in which you sit into infamy if your seal is set to this instrument of perfidy; and the name of this nation, hitherto the sweet omen of religion and liberty, will stink to the world.

You will not do us the injustice of connecting this remonstrance with any sectional and party feeling. It is in our hearts the simplest commandment of brotherly love. We will not have this great and solemn claim upon national and human justice huddled aside under the flimsy plea of its being a party act. Sir, to us the questions upon which the government and the people have been agitated during the past year, touching the prostration of the currency and of trade, seem but motes in comparison. These hard times, it is true, have brought the discussion home to every farmhouse and poor man’s house in this town; but it is the chirping of grasshoppers beside the immortal question whether justice shall be done by the race of civilized to the race of savage man, whether all the attributes of reason, of civility, of justice, and even of mercy, shall be put off by the American people, and so vast an outrage upon the Cherokee Nation and upon human nature shall be consummated.

One circumstance lessens the reluctance with which I intrude at this time on your attention my conviction that the government ought to be admonished of a new historical fact, which the discussion of this question has disclosed, namely, that there exists in a great part of the Northern people a gloomy diffidence in the moral character of the government.

On the broaching of this question, a general expression of despondency, of disbelief that any good will accrue from a remonstrance on an act of fraud and robbery, appeared in those men to whom we naturally turn for aid and counsel. Will the American government steal? Will it lie? Will it kill? – We ask triumphantly. Our counselors and old statesmen here say that ten years ago they would have staked their lives on the affirmation that the proposed Indian measures could not be executed; that the unanimous country would put them down. And now the steps of this crime follow each other so fast, at such fatally quick time, that the millions of virtuous citizens, whose agents the government are, have no place to interpose, and must shut their eyes until the last howl and wailing of these tormented villages and tribes shall afflict the ear of the world.

I will not hide from you, as an indication of the alarming distrust, that a letter addressed as mine is, and suggesting to the mind of the Executive the plain obligations of man, has a burlesque character in the apprehensions of some of my friends. I, sir, will not beforehand treat you with the contumely of this distrust. I will at least state to you this fact, and show you how plain and humane people, whose love would be honor, regard the policy of the government, and what injurious inferences they draw as to the minds of the governors. A man with your experience in affairs must have seen cause to appreciate the futility of opposition to the moral sentiment. However feeble the sufferer and however great the oppressor, it is in the nature of things that the blow should recoil upon the aggressor. For God is in the sentiment, and it cannot be withstood. The potentate and the people perish before it; but with it, and its executor, they are omnipotent.

I write thus, sir, to inform you of the state of mind these Indian tidings have awakened here, and to pray with one voice more that you, whose hands are strong with the delegated power of fifteen millions of men, will avert with that might the terrific injury which threatens the Cherokee tribe.

With great respect, sir, I am your fellow citizen,

Ralph Waldo Emerson

51. Pratt, Native Pragmatism, p. 215, note 22.

52. Emerson, Selected Essays, Lectures and Poems, p. 5. Richardson's "Forward" briefly discusses influences upon Emerson's thinking, particularly on pp. 4-6.

53. Ibid., pp. 4-11.

54. Ibid., pp. 4-5.

55. Ibid., pp. 5-6.

56. Ibid., p. 15.

57. Ibid., pp. 17-18.

58.  Ibid., p. 39.

59. Ibid., p. 50.

60. Ibid., p. 37.

61. Ibid., p. 54.

62. On Thoreau see, A Project in Cooperation with the Thoreau Society, The Thoreau Reader: Annotated works of Henry David Thoreau, Copyright ©1999-2016,; Robert D. Richardson, Jr, Henry Thoreau: A Life of the Mind, (University of California Press, 1986); Walter Harding, The Days of Henry Thoreau: A Biography, (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1910, reprinted: Mineola, NY: Dover Press, 1965); Henry Seidel Canby, Thoreau (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1939); Sandra H. Petrulionis, ed., Thoreau in his Own Time: A Biographical Chronicle of His Life, Drawn from Recollections, Memoirs, and Interviews by Friends and Associates (Iowa City: Iowa University Press, 2012); Richard J. Schneider. Life and Legacy: Thoreau's Life," The Thoreau Society, 2015,; and "Henry David Thoreau: Philosopher, Journalist, Poet(1817–1862),", March 6, 2017,

63. Ralph Waldo Emerson's Eulogy of May 9th, 1862, Published in the Atlantic Monthly, 1862, Excerpts.

64. Bradley P. Dean, Ph.D., "A Compilation of Indian References," with notes by Dave Bonney, sent by Dean to Connie Baxter Marlow via e-mail 2005, who shared them via E-mail with Stephen Sachs on January 7, 2014. Marlow noted in the E-mail to Sachs that, "June 2005 Brad joined Connie in Aspen, Colorado for a seminar entitled: 'Thoreau and the Evolution of the American Mind: The Next Step. A Tapestry of Ideas.' This seminar was filmed and Connie has a transcript of Brad’s presentations. For more information on the seminar go to"

     "A Compilation of Indian References" quote Thoreau's references to Indians in his writings as follows:

Section 1: Journals – (517 Entries) p 1
Section II: A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (51 Entries) p 96
Section III: Walden (51 Entries) p 110
Section IV: The Maine Woods (325 Entries) p 117
Section V: Cape Cod (28 entries) p 172
Section VI: The Dispersion of Seeds (8 entries) p 177
Section VII: Wild Fruits (45 entries) p 178
Section VIII: Thoreau’s Essays [54 entries] p 186
Section IX: Thoreau’s Poems 6 entries] p 195
Section X: Early Essays From: Princeton’s Early Essays and Miscellanies

(7 entries) p 197

65. In Dean, "A Compilation of Indian References," [Journal 3710-12—2 references]: Oct. 29, 1837 (pp. 8-9 Princeton, Volume 1), The Arrowhead.

66. In Dean, "A Compilation of Indian References," [Journal 4007-12_PEJ—4 references]: December 16, 1840 (p. 205 Princeton, Volume 1).

67. In Dean, "A Compilation of Indian References," [Journal 3805-06—1 reference]: May 10, 1838 (p. 46 Princeton, Volume 1).

68. In Dean, "A Compilation of Indian References," [Journal 5309—34 references]: September 17, 1853 (Omitted from the 1906 edition).

69. In Dean, [Journal PEJ2-001-060] (Long Book Fall 1842-March, 1846))—9 references]: 1842-1844 (pp. 38-40 Princeton, Volume 2).... 

70. In Dean, [Journal 4201-06_PEJ—6 references]: April 26, 1841(p. 304 Princeton, Volume 1).

71. In Dean, [Journal PEJ2-061-104 (Long Book Fall 1842-March, 1846)—6 references]: 1842-1844 [After August 1, 1844] (pp. 100-101 Princeton, Volume 2).

72. In Dean, [Journal 5210—2 references]: October 25, 1852 (p. 385 Princeton, Volume 5).

73. In Dean, Section X, A Compilation of Indian References in Thoreau’s Early Essays From: Princeton’s Early Essays and Miscellanies (7 entries): June 2, 1837 (pp. 109-110).

74. Ibid. (p. 110).

75. Walter Harding, "Live Your Own Life". Geneseo Summer Compass, June 4, 1984.

76. Robert Sattelmeyer, Thoreau's Reading: A Study in Intellectual History with Bibliographical Catalogue (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1988), Ch. 2.

77. Randall Conrad, "Machine in the Wetland: Re-imagining Thoreau's Plumbago-Grinder". Thoreau Society Bulletin, Fall 2005.

78. Thoreau, in Grammardog Guide to Walden. Grammardog. p. 25,; and in "Henry David Thoreau," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, May 5, 2017,

79. Lawrence Rosenwald, " The Theory, Practice and Influence of Thoreau's Civil Disobedience," in William Cain, ed., A Historical Guide to Henry David Thoreau (Cambridge: Oxford University Press, 2006) Thoreau, used with the author's permission,, accessed May 9, 2017.

80. Henry David Thoreau, "Resistance to Government," in Elizabeth P. Peabody, ed., Aesthetic Papers (Boston: G.P. Putnam, 1849), available at:

81. Rosenwald, "The Theory, Practice & Influence of Thoreau's Civil Disobedience," From William Cain, ed., The Oxford Historical Companion to Thoreau, used with the author's permission,, accessed May 9, 2017, Part 3 at 29.

82. Martin Luther King, Clayborne Carson, ed., The Autobiography of Martin King, Jr., (New York: Warner Books, 1998) Ch. 2and 13.

83. In Dean, A Plea for Captain John Brown (Princeton, pp. 124-125).

84. In Dean, A Plea for Captain John Brown (Princeton, p. 133).

85. Henry D. Thoreau, Autumnal Tints (Bedford, MA: Applewood Books, 1992, first published 1862 just after Thoreau's death); Henry D. Thoreau, Wild Apples. Bedford, MA: Applewood Books, 1862, which " first appeared in "The Atlantic Monthly" in November 1862, available as a reprint from the Thoreau Society,; and Henry D. Thoreau, Walking (Bedford, MA: Applewood Books, 1992. All of these works as well as Thoreau's Walden and others are available from the Thoreau Society,

86. Catherine Beecher, Treatise on Domestic Economy (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1850). See the discussion in Pratt, Native Pragmatism, 277-279.

87. Catherine E. Beecher and Harriet Beecher Stowe, The American Woman's Home (New York: J.B. Ford and Co., 1869), discussed in Pratt, Native Pragmatism, pp. 278-279.

88. Susan Cheever, Louisa May Alcott: A Personal Biography (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2011); John Matteson, Eden's Outcasts: The Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Father (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2007); Elaine Showalter, Alternative Alcott (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1988); "Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women, The Alcotts". Nancy Porter Productions, Inc. 2015,; Rebecca Beatrice Brooks, "Louisa May Alcott: The First Woman to Vote in Concord," History of Massachusetts, September 19, 2011,; "Louisa May Alcott," Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, June 21, 2017,; and Pratt, Native Pragmatism, p. 279.

89. Louisa May Alcott, Hospital Sketches (Boston: James Redpath, Publisher, 1863). The work is available at A Celebration of Women Writers:; at Internet Archive:; Google Books (scanned books color original editions illustrated):; LibriVox as a public domain audiobook at:; and in an Annotation of Hospital Sketches, at NYU Literature, Arts, and Medicine Database:

90. Pratt, Native Pragmatism, pp. 279.

91. Louisa May Alcott, Work: A Story of Experience (Boston: Roberts Bros., 1873), available at: LibriVox as a public domain audiobook at:, and as a free book at: Project Gutenberg:; and Pratt, Native Pragmatism, p. 279.

92. Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Living of Charlotte Perkins Gilman: An Autobiography (New York and London: D. Appleton-Century Co., 1935; NY: Arno Press, 1972; and Harper & Row, 1975); Charlotte (Anna) Perkins (Stetson) Gilman, "Charlotte (Anna) Perkins (Stetson) Gilman," in Contemporary Authors Online,!xrn_1_0_H1000036761?sw_aep=ramapo_main; Denise D. Knight, The Diaries of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, (Charlottesville, VA: University Press of Virginia: 1994); "Charlotte Perkins Gilman," Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, June 19, 2017,;  and Pratt, Native Pragmatism, pp. 279-80.

93. Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Women and Economics: A Study of the Economic Relation Between Men and Women as a Factor in Social Evolution (Boston: Small, Maynard & Co., 1898). See the discussion of it in Pratt, Native Pragmatism, pp. 279-80.

94. Perkins Gilman, Women and Economics, p.220, quoted in Pratt, Native Pragmatism, p. 280.

95. Victoria Bissell Brown, The Education of Jane Addams (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004); Allen F. Davis, American Heroine: The Life and Legend of Jane Addams (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1973); Gioia Diliberto, A Useful Woman: The Early Life of Jane Addams (New York: Scribner, 1999); John C. Farrell, Beloved Lady: A History of Jane Addams’ Ideas on Reform and Peace (Baltimore: The John Hopkins Press, 1967); Katherine Joslin, Jane Addams: A Writer's Life (Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2004); Louise Knight, Citizen: Jane Addams and the Struggle for Democracy (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005); Louise Knight, Jane Addams: Spirit in Action for Democracy (New York: W.W. Norton, 2010); James Weber Linn, Jane Addams: A Biography (Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2000); Jean Bethke Elshtain, Jane Addams and the Dream of American Democracy (New York: Basic Books, 2002); Maurice Hamington and Celia Bardwell-Jones, eds., Contemporary Feminist Pragmatism (London: Routledge, 2012); Maurice Hamington, Embodied Care: Jane Addams, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and Feminist Ethics (Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2004); Maurice Hamington, The Social Philosophy of Jane Addams (Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2009); Maurice Hamington, ed., Feminist Interpretations of Jane Addams (University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2010); Christopher Lasch, The Social Thought of Jane Addams (Indianapolis, IN: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1965); Charlene Haddock Seigfried, Pragmatism and Feminism: Reweaving the Social Fabric, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996); Mary Jo Deegan, "Jane Addams, the Hull-House School of Sociology, and Social Justice, 1892 to 1935." Humanity & Society, Vol. 37, No. 3, 2013, pp: 248-258; "Jane Addams," Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, June 30, 2014,; "Jane Addams," Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, June 9, 2017,, includes an extensive list of Addams writings, in many instances with links to them on line; and Pratt, Native Pragmatism, pp. 280-84.

96. Jane Adams, Democracy and Social Ethics (New York: MacMillan, 1902; Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2002), available on line at the Harvard Library,, discussed in Pratt, Native Pragmatism, pp. 280-81.

97. Jane Addams, Twenty Years at Hull House; with Autobiographical Notes by Jane Addams (New York: Signet Classics, 1981), available on line at: Project Guttenberg,

98. Pratt, Native Pragmatism, p. 282, note 13. Pratt points out that little research has been published on this interaction, or on some of those involved in the Pan-Indian movement of that era. There is some discussion of it in the introduction to Part II of this volume.

99. Davis, American Heroine, pp. 96-97, quoted in Pratt, Native Pragmatism, pp. 282-283.

100. Robert W. Venables, American Indian History: Five Centuries of Conflict and Coexistence, Volume I: Conquest of a Continent, 1492-1783 (Santa Fe, Clear Light Publishers, 2004), pp. 205-220.

101. William G. McLoughlin, After the Trail of Tears: The Cherokee's Struggle for Sovereignty 1839–1880 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2014); Kevin Mulro, The Seminole Freedmen: A History (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2007), available on line at:; and Tiya Miles, Ties That Bind: The Story of an Afro-Cherokee Family in Slavery and Freedom, (University of California Press, 2nd edition, 2015).

102. W.E.B. Dubois, "On the Conservation of Race," Penn State Electronic Classics,

103. Erin McKenna and Scott L. Pratt, American Philosophy: From Wounded Knee to the Present (New York: Bloomsbury Publishing Pic, 2015), p. 117.

104. McKenna and Pratt, American Philosophy: From Wounded Knee to the Present, Chs. 13, 24 25, 30, 31 and 32.

105, Cornell West, Race Matters (Boston: Beacon Press, 1993), p. 103, quoted in McKenna and Pratt, American Philosophy, p. 364. For more on West, see McKenna and Pratt, American Philosophy, pp. 4, 5, 6, 213, 258-260, 275, 303, 336, 343, 345, 349, 355, 359, 363-368, 371-372, 379-381, 394, and 406-407.

106. McKenna and Pratt, American Philosophy, p. 362.

107. Cornell West, The American Evasion of Philosophy: A Genealogy of Pragmatism (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1989).

108. West, The American Evasion of Philosophy, p. 239, quoted in McKenna and Pratt, American Philosophy, p. 383.

109. Pratt, Native Pragmatism, Chapter Two, "American Pragmatism," summarizes and shows the main principles of the development of classical pragmatism, indicating the main differences in approaching those principles, among the three pragmatists.

110. John Dewey, Reconstruction in Philosophy (1948), in J. Boydston, The Latter Works: 1925-53, Vol. 12 (Carbondale: The University of Illinois Press, 1981-1990), p. 256, quoted in Pratt, Native Pragmatism, p. 17.

111. John Dewey, Philosophy (1934), in Boydston, The Latter Works, Vol. 12, p. 29, quoted in Pratt, Native Pragmatism, p. 17.

112. p. 85. Pratt, Native Pragmatism, Chapter Two.

113. Charles Sanders Peirce, "How to Make Our Ideas Clear," in Nathan Houser and Christian Kloesel, eds., The Essential Peirce, Vol. 1 (Bloomington: University of Indiana Press, 1992), p. 132, quoted in Pratt, Native Pragmatism, p. 20.

114. William James, J.J. McDermott, ed, The Writings of William James (New York: Random House, 1967), p. 349, quoted in Pratt, Native Pragmatism, p. 20.

115. John Dewey, The Logic of Enquiry (1938), in Boydston, The Latter Works, Vol. 12, p. 31, quoted in Pratt, Native Pragmatism, p. 24.

116. William James, Pragmatism: A New Name for Some Old Ways of Thinking & Meaning of Truth: A Sequel to Pragmatism (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1975), quoted in Pratt, Native Pragmatism, p. 25.

117. Peirce, The Essential Peirce, Vol. 1, p. 310, quoted in Pratt, Native Pragmatism, p. 26.

118. Peirce, The Essential Peirce, Vol. 1, p. 331, quoted in Pratt, American Philosophy, p. 26.

119. John Dewey, The Quest for Certainty (1929), in Boydston, The Latter Works, Vol. 2, pp. 176-177, quoted in Pratt, American Philosophy, p. 27.

120. Dewey, The Quest for Certainty, p. 157, quoted in Pratt, American Philosophy, p. 27.

121. Charles Sanders Peirce, "Some Consequences of Four incapacities," in The Essential Peirce, Vol. 1, pp. 54-55, quoted in Pratt, American Philosophy, p.28.

122. William James, The Principles of Psychology (1890) (New York: Dover, 1950), p. 294 quoted in Pratt, American Philosophy, p. 29.

123. John Dewey, Logic: The Theory of Enquiry, in Boydston, The Latter Works, Vol. 12, p. 52, quoted in Pratt, American Philosophy, p. 30.

124. Pratt, American Philosophy, p. 30-31.

105. John Dewey, Democracy and Education, in Boydston, The Middle Works: 1899-1924 (Carbondale, University of Illinois Press, 1976-1983), Vol. 4, p. 182, quoted in Pratt, American Philosophy, p. 31.

126. Pratt, American Philosophy, pp. 32-33.

127. Charles Sanders Peirce, "How to Make Our Ideas Clear," in Nathan Houser and Christian Kloesel, eds., The Essential Peirce, Vol. 2 (Bloomington: University of Indiana Press, 1998), pp. 373-374, discussed with some quotes in Pratt, Native Pragmatism, pp. 32-33.

128. Peirce, The Essential Peirce, Vol. 1, p. 362, discussed in Pratt, Native Pragmatism, p. 32.

129. Peirce, The Essential Peirce, Vol. 1, p. 354, quoted in Pratt, Native Pragmatism, pp. 32-33.

130. William James, The Varieties of Religious Experience (New York: Longmans, Green and Co., 1902), p. 508

131. James, Pragmatism, p. 138.

132. John Dewey, Experience and Nature, in Boydston, The Latter Works, Vol. 1, p. 210, quoted in Pratt, American Philosophy, p. 35.

133. John Dewey, The Logic of Enquiry (1938), in Boydston, The Latter Works, Vol. 12, p. 19, quoted in Pratt, American Philosophy, p. 36.

134 John Dewey, Ethics, Revised Edition (1932), in Boydston, The Latter Works, Vol. 7, p. 305, quoted in Pratt, American Philosophy, p. 36.

135. Ibid.

136. On William James, see: McKenna and Pratt, American Philosophy, Ch. 7 and pp. xxi-xiv, 2-3, 5, 50-53, 66, 69, 72, 74, 82, 90, 102-108, 116-117, 122-123, 132-133, 137, 140-143, 165, 167, 170, 187-192, 199, 202, 207, 212, 243, 260, 263-264, 267-268, 287, 306, 315, 328 330-333, 336, 338-346, 353, 356, 358-360, 364, 370-372, 275, 383-384, 390, and 401-406; Pratt, Native Pragmatism, pp. xv,  6-7, 9-10, 20-23, 25-26, 28-30, 33-35, 213, and 215; Bruce Wilshire, The Primal Roots of American Philosophy (University Park: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2000), Chs. 3, 4, 5, and pp. ix-x, 13, 20-22, 142-143, 160, 164, 181, 191-206 and 209; James Sloan Allen, William James on Habit, Will, Truth, and the Meaning of Life (Savannah, GA: Frederic C. Beil, Publisher, 2014); Wesley Cooper, The Unity of William James's Thought (Nashville, TN, Vanderbilt University Press, 2002); Howard M. Feinstein. Becoming William James (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1984); Gerald E. Myers. William James: His Life and Thought (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1986); Robert D. Richardson, ed. The Heart of William James (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2010); Josiah Royce, William James and Other Essays on the Philosophy of Life (New York: MacMillan, 2006); "William James,"   Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, August 2, 2017,; "William James: Philosopher, Doctor, Journalist, Psychologist(1842–1910),, 2017,;  and works by and on William James are available on line at: Project Gutenberg:,+William; Internet Archive:; and LibriVox:

137. Wilshire, Primal Roots, Chs. 3, 4, and 5.

138. See Robert D. Richardson, William James: In the Maelstrom of American Modernism (New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2006).

139. James, Writings, p.348, quoted in McKenna and Pratt, American Philosophy, p. 56.

140. James, Writings, p.644, quoted in McKenna and Pratt, American Philosophy, p. 58.

141. On Charles Sanders Peirce, see: McKenna and Pratt, American Philosophy, Ch. 8, and pp. 2, 3, 29, 55-56, 70-73, 90, 93, 170-173, 180, 188, 199, 203, 207-209, 220, 223, 263, 275-276, 293, 306, 330-340, 342-344, 346, 358-361, 370-372, 375-379, 384, 389, 395 and 401-404; Pratt, Native Pragmatism, pp. xii, 6-7, 9-10, 20-23, 26, 28, 30, 32-34 and 283; Wilshire, Primal Roots, Ch. 13, and pp. ox-x, 5, 12, 17, 42 n 6, 84, 127, 138, 151 n 7, 179, 180-181, 187, and 204; Joseph Brent, Charles Sanders Peirce: A Life, Second Edition (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1998); Edward C. Moore and Richard S. Robin, eds., Studies in the Philosophy of Charles Sanders Peirce, Second Series (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1964); Max Fisch, Kenneth Laine Ketner and Christian J. W. Kloesel, eds., Peirce, Semeiotic, and Pragmatism (Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana U. Press, 1986); Michael L. Raposa, Peirce's Philosophy of Religion (Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana U. Press, 1989); Nathan Houser and Christian Kloesel, eds., The Essential Peirce - Volume 1: Selected Philosophical Writings‚ (1867–1893) (Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana U. Press, 2009); The Peirce Edition Project, The Essential Peirce - Volume 2: Selected Philosophical Writings‚ (1893–1913) (Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana U. Press, 2009); " Charles Sanders Peirce," Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, August 3, 2017,; and Charles S. Peirce Studies: Peirce's collected paper on pragmatism and pragmaticism are available on line from Historische Texte & Worterbucher, at: Peirce writings and information about Peirce are also available on line from: Arisbe: the Peirce Gateway:; The Digital Encyclopedia of Charles S. Peirce:; and the Peirce Editions Project (PEP):, among others.

142. See the discussion of Peirce's approach to evolution, including its social aspects, in McKenna and Pratt, American Philosophy, pp. 64-66.

143. Houser and Christian Kloesel, eds., The Essential Peirce - Volume 1, p. 354, quoted in McKenna and Pratt, American Philosophy, pp. 64-65.

144. Houser and Christian Kloesel, eds., The Essential Peirce - Volume 1, pp. 356-357, quoted in McKenna and Pratt, American Philosophy, p. 65.

145. Houser and Christian Kloesel, eds., The Essential Peirce - Volume 1, p. 357, quoted in McKenna and Pratt, American Philosophy, p. 65.

146. Houser and Christian Kloesel, eds., The Essential Peirce - Volume 1, p. 278, quoted in McKenna and Pratt, American Philosophy, p. 66.

147. On John Dewey, see: Native Pragmatism, pp. xii, xiv, 7, 9-12, 14, 17-18, 21-22, 25-28, 30-31, 35-38, 56 n, 72-73, 282-, 285-286; McKenna and Pratt, American Philosophy, Ch. 11 and pp. 2, 4-5, 49, 53, 56, 91, 94-95, 105, 122, 149-150, 150-159, 164-167, 170, 173, 180, 188-193, 234, 258-259, 263, 287, 306, 315, 320-321, 330-336, 338, 30-346, 351, 355-359, 362, 371, 375-377, 381-385, 389-90, 399-405; Wilshire, Primal Roots, Chs. 6-7 and pp. ix, 3, 7-9, 13,63, 69, 81, 111, 144,  150, 181, 187-188, 183, 192, 199,  209, 224; John J. McDermott, ed., The Philosophy of John Dewey (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981), Larry Hickman and Thomas Alexander, eds, The Essential Dewey: Volumes 1 and 2 (Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 1998); Boydston, ed., Dewey's Complete Writings: The Early Works: 1892–1898 (5 volumes), The Middle Works: 1899–1924 (15 volumes), The Later Works: 1925–1953 (17 volumes), and Supplementary Volume 1: 1884-1951 (all from: Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1969-1990); William R. Caspary, Dewey on Democracy (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2000); Jay Martin, The Education of John Dewey (New York: Columbia University Press. 2003); Stephen Rockefeller, John Dewey: Religious Faith and Democratic Humanism (New York: Columbia University Press, 1994); A. G. Rud, Jim Garrison and Lynda Stone, eds., John Dewey at 150: Reflections for a New Century (West Lafayette: Purdue University Press, 2009); Alan Ryan, John Dewey and the High Tide of American Liberalism (New York: W.W. Norton, 1995); Robert B. Westbrook, John Dewey and American Democracy (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1993); Richard J. Bernstein, John Dewey (New York: Washington Square Press, 1966); Raymond Boisvert, John Dewey: Rethinking Our Time (Albany: SUNY Press, 1997); James Campbell, Understanding John Dewey: Nature and Cooperative Intelligence (Chicago: Open Court Publishing Company, 1995); "John Dewey," Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, July 30, 2017,; and "John Dewey, American Pragmatist," Pragmatism Cybrary, Works by, and in some case about, John Dewey are available on line at: Project Gutenberg: https ed,; Internet Archive:; and LibriVox: .

148. Boydston, The Middle Works, Vol. 12, p. 273, quoted in McKenna and Pratt, American Philosophy, p. 91.

149. Boydston, The Middle Works, Vol. 10, p. 288, quoted in McKenna and Pratt, American Philosophy, p. 91.

150. Boydston, The Middle Works, Vol. 14, p. 9, quoted in McKenna and Pratt, American Philosophy, p. 92.

151. John Dewey, Human Nature and Conduct (New York: Modern Library, 1930 [1922]), pp 14-15, quoted by Wilshire, Primal Roots, p127. See Wilshire's discussion of Dewey's psychology in Primal Roots, Ch. 7, for more development of what is discussed here on Dewey's psychology.

152. John Dewey, Experience and Nature (New York: Dover Books, [1922] 1958), pp. 316-317, also available in Boydston, The Later Works, Vol. 1, p. 239, quoted by Wilshire, Primal Roots, p123.

153. On the known chain of connection between American Indian ways and John Dewey's thought, see Pratt, Native Pragmatism, pp. xvi-xvii, 56 n1, 214, 215 and 268.

154. John Dewey, ed., John Dewey Presents the Living Thought of Thomas Jefferson (London: Longman's, Green. And Co., 1940), also in Boydston, The Later Works, 173-188, 201-223).

155. Pratt, Native Pragmatism, pp. xvi-xvii.

156. McKenna and Pratt, American Philosophy, Chs. 19 and 20.

157. McKenna and Pratt, American Philosophy, Ch. 16.

158. McKenna and Pratt, American Philosophy, Ch. 24.

159. McKenna and Pratt, American Philosophy, Ch. 22.

160. On Rorty, in particular, and this issue generally, see, McKenna and Pratt, American Philosophy, Ch. 30.

161. On the post world war II expansion of American Indian writers having an important impact in the United States, including in the field of philosophy, see McKenna and Pratt, American Philosophy, Ch. 30. On the launching of the American Indian Philosophy Association, one of whose meetings was attended by author Stephen Sachs, some information is available in V.F. Cordova, ed., "Newsletter on American Indians in Philosophy," APA Newsletter, Vol 1, No. 2, Spring 2001,; Anne Waters, ed., "Newsletter on American Indians in Philosophy," APA Newsletter, Vol 2, No. 2, Spring 2003, An example of the collaborative writing facilitated by The American Indian Philosophy Association is, Anne Waters, ed., American Indian Thought (Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, Ltd, 2004).

162. The philosophical developments are discussed in McKenna and Pratt, American Philosophy, Ch. 32. The increasing polarization is discussed below, in the Introduction to Part II, and in Ch.5.

163. Richard Bernstein, Abuse of Evil: The Corruption of Politics and Religion since 9/11 (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2005, and New York: John Wiley and Sons, 2006).

164. Ibid, pp. 120-121.

165. On Obama and pragmatism, see McKenna and Pratt, American Philosophy, pp. 370-372.

166. The White House, Office of the Press Secretary, June 26, 2015,, "Remarks by the President on the Supreme Court Decision on Marriage Equality." On the question of President Obama growing on the issue of gay marriage, Zeke J. Miller, "Obama Says He Didn't Mislead on Gay Marriage," Time, February 11, 2015,, reporting, "President Barack Obama maintained in a new interview that he 'evolved' on gay marriage,..."

     "'Where my evolution took place was not in my attitude toward same-sex couples, it was in understanding the pain and the sense of stigma that was being placed on same-sex couples who are friends of mine, where they'd say, 'You know what, if you're not calling it marriage, it doesn't feel like the same thing,' Obama told BuzzFeed.

     Asked specifically about the old questionnaire, Obama offered no explanation for why he said he supported the unions before deciding to oppose them.

     'The old questionnaire, you know, is an example of struggling with what was a real issue at the time,' Obama said."

167. James T. Kloppenberg, Reading Obama: Dreams, Hope and the American Political Tradition (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2011), on his early years, education to much of his community organizing, Ch. 1, and pp. 92-93.

168. B.J. Reyes, "Punahou left lasting impression on Obama," Honolulu Star-Bulletin, February 10, 2007,

169. On Bernie Sanders program and record, see "Bernie on the Issues,",, accessed October 23, 2017; and "Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders," On the Issues: Every Political Leader on Every Issue,, accessed October 23, 2017. "Bernie Sanders," Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, October 22, 2017,, contains numerous references to works discussing Sanders' positions and philosophy. On Our Revolution, visit: Our Revolution,

170. Progressive Democrats of America (PDA):; Democratic Socialists of America (DSA):; and MoveOn.Org:'

171. John Nichols, "Meet ‘the Elizabeth Warren Wing of the Democratic Party’: A new crop of progressive populists is winning primaries across the nation and challenging Clintonian orthodoxy," The Nation, September 29, 2014, On the 2018 Democratic Blue Wave, see: David Smith, "'Blue wave' sweeps Democrats back to majority in House of Representatives," The Guardian, November 7, 2018,; and Sabrina Saddiqui, "The Democratic blue wave was real: Midterm elections proved that Republicans have only a tenuous hold over the coalition that propelled Trump to the White House in 2016," The Guardian, November 17, 2018,

172. "Tribal Developments," Indigenous Policy, Vol. XXX, No. 3, Winter 2019; and "Tribal Developments," Indigenous Policy, Vol. XXX, No. 1, Summer 2018,

173. See Sachs, et al, Honoring the Circle, Vol III, Introduction to Part II, Ch. 5, and Conclusion to Honoring the Circle.

*Stephen M. Sachs, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, IUPUI, and Coordinating Editor of IPJ, is lead drafter and coordinating Editor of the four volume, Honoring the Circle: Ongoing Learning from Indians on Politics and Society, being published by Waterside Publishing. The material for this paper comes from Volume I.


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