Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Part Two of the Helen Hunt Jackson 'Interview'

First I want to thank Mrs. Jackson for joining us again today. I would like to spend some time with questions about your work for the Indians in the late 1870's and early 1880's.

In your article 'Oldest House' you mention the fate of the people who lived in the area prior to the Spanish residence in Santa Fe.

When Coronado explored Mexico in 1540, he found many Indian pueblos on the Rio Grande River, and speaks of several which must have been near the present location of Santa Fe. The one which it is generally supposed was on its precise site at the time stretched along its river-banks for six miles. Colorado reported that he found here a beautiful and fertile valley, under high cultivation by the Indians. It is hard to realize...that a race which, over three hundred years ago, had reached comfort and success in agriculture and pastoral occupations, should be today an abject, supine, wretched a melancholy comment on the injustices they have received.

Those are pretty harsh words. It is obvious you have strong feelings about the issue.

The book, Century of Dishonor, as its title indicates, a sketch of the United States Government's dealings with some of the..tribes.

Right sentiment and purpose in a senator..representative here and there, are little more than straws which make momentary eddies, but do not obstruct the tide.

a..states representative argued in Congress that is is very hard if the government will not for..advantage, break a few treaties when it has broken so many for the advantage of other states....what a logic of infamy...because we have had one century of dishonor, must we have two?

Do you think anything can be done for about this issue?

The only thing that can stay this is a mighty outspoken sentiment and purpose of the great body of the people. ....for the American people,as a people, are not at heart unjust. If there be one thing which they believe in more than any other, is fair play. As soon as they understand....they will rise up and demand it...

Thank you so much for taking the time to share some of your thoughts and words with us.

(It should be noted that these 'interviews' contained words used by Mrs. Jackson. Also prior to the publication of Century of Dishonor and Ramona, Helen did not use her real name. Century was the first to carry the name Helen Jackson. The use of Helen Hunt Jackson did not appear until after her death in 1885.)

I hope you enjoyed a bit of insight into the interesting, complex and fearless woman. She seemed to always state her opinion, regardless of what others may have thought. She is a woman to be remembered.


Joyce Lohse said...

Please tell Mrs. Jackson that I enjoyed her interview with you!
Best wishes -- Joyce

Cynthia Becker said...

Great idea to "interview" HH. You've done such an interesting series of posts on "Writing Women Back Into History."

Heidiwriter said...

This is a great way to highlight your character! Well done.

Eunice Boeve said...

Enjoyed part ll, so read part l as well. An interesting woman. We love Colorado, having vacationed there for many years when the kids were growing up, although usually around Denver, but we've been to see all the sights in "The Springs," including Helen Hunt Falls.