HAUPTMAN PUBLISHES BOOKS ON AMERICAN INDIANS
NEW PALTZ -- Laurence M. Hauptman, a professor of history at the State University of New York at New Paltz, has added three new titles to a long list of books and other publications on Native Americans, "Between Two Fires: American Indians in the Civil War," published by Simon and Schuster; "Tribes and Tribulations: Misconceptions about American Indians and Their Histories," published by University of New Mexico Press; and "A Seneca Indian in the Union Army," published by White Mane Publishing Co., Inc.
In "Between Two Fires: American Indians in the Civil War," Hauptman tells the Civil War stories of nine different tribal groups, located in all parts of the United States. Nearly 20,000 Native Americans enlisted in the Civil War, fought for both the Confederacy and the Union, and served as generals, infantrymen, sharpshooters, guides, guerrillas, and spies. Hauptman movingly reveals how the Indians, desperately seeking legitimacy, autonomy, or simply the retention of their land, were devastated by a war that ultimately sealed their tragic fate as dependents of the U.S. government.
Robert M. Utley, author of "Frontier Regulars: The United States Army and the Indian," commenting on Hauptman's book states, "The important role of Indians in the Civil War has long been an unwritten chapter of the history of the war and the history of Indian peoples. Laurence Hauptman has now written that chapter in a book notable for insight, comprehensive treatment, and deep research..."
Peter Iverson, at Arizona State University, calls "Between Two Fires" "a valuable contribution to our understanding of American Indian history." William T. Hagan, at The University of Oklahoma, describes the book as having "the admirable qualities we have come to expect from Hauptman--thorough research, cogent reasoning, a lively style, and a profound sympathy with his subjects."
* * * * * * True to its title, "Tribes and Tribulations: Misconceptions about American Indians and Their Histories," addresses the many myths regarding the American Indian.
In this book, Hauptman selects topics from the 17th century to the present as examples of some commonly held but erroneous views on Indian-white relations, including campaigns to pacify and Christianize Native Americans, policies of removal, and stereotypes of Indians as mascots for sports teams or Hollywood film sidekicks. His knowledgeable and provocative analysis of the historical record strips away wrong notions and replaces them with new insights and perspectives.
* * * * * * In "A Seneca Indian in the Union Army," Hauptman uses Sergeant Parker's Civil War letters to provide an important glimpse of the experiences of the average Indian foot soldier during that great conflict. This first person account by an educated Native American not only describes recruitment, training, company life, and combat, but also deals with the harsh realities of war including racial prejudice in recruitment, loneliness, and deaths of trusted comrades. Parker was one of a handful of Seneca in this period of time thoroughly versed in both Indian and non-Indian worlds.
Because he was the best educated Indian in the company, Parker's responsibility was not just to keep his wife and other family members informed, but also to report on the momentous events occurring in Dixie and on the well-being of the Iroquois men at war. All this makes Parker's letters of unusual value.
Prior to the publication of these three titles, Hauptman authored nine books and numerous articles on the American Indian. Among his previous book titles are "The Iroquois in The Civil War: From Battlefield to Reservation"; "The Pequots in Southern New England: The Fall and Rise of an American Indian Nation"; and "The Oneida Indian Experience: Two Perspectives."
In 1987, Hauptman was honored with the Peter Doctor (Iroquois) Memorial Foundation Award, a "distinguished service award for the goodwill that person has bestowed for the image of the Indian." He has also served as an historical consultant to the Mashantucket Pequot, Oneida, and Seneca Indian Nations. Hauptman, who has taught history at SUNY New Paltz for 24 years, earned his doctorate in American history from New York University.
"Between Two Fires" can be purchased from The Free Press, a division of Simon and Schuster, 866 Third Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10022; "Tribes and Tribulations" can be purchased from the University of New Mexico Press, 1720 Lomas Blvd. N.E., Albuquerque, N.M. 87131; and "A Seneca Indian in the Union Army" can be purchased from White Maine Publishing Company, P.O. Box 152, Shippensburg, Pa. 17257.
Note to reporters: Photos of Laurence Hauptman available upon request.
Located in the heart of a dynamic college town, 90 minutes from metropolitan New York City, the State University of New York at New Paltz is a highly selective college of about 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students.
One of the most well-regarded public colleges in the nation, New Paltz delivers an extraordinary number of majors in Business, Liberal Arts, Sciences, Engineering, Fine and Performing Arts and Education.
New Paltz embraces its culture as a community where talented and independent minded people from around the world create close personal links with real scholars and artists who love to teach.