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Why was captain jack famous across the nation

The official and unofficial tributes found there draw attention to the fact that national memory has as much to do with present circumstances as with past occurrences. The battle site at the Lava Beds also leads us to reflect on how acts of commemoration further the larger objective of emplacement.

Visitors perform a ritual of commemoration, walking the trails that the nineteenth century combatants would have crossed. In spite of the maps and directives designed to orient visitors, the experience remains open-ended, as certain gaps or inconsistencies in national memory become apparent. Rather than offering the satisfaction that the drama had ended and order had been restored, the evocation of American memory arouses puzzlement and prompts investigation. Another possibility consists in ignoring the scenario made available on location and trying to reconstruct for oneself the various tectonic movements, whether natural or man-made, that contributed to present-day state of the site.

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On our visit to the site we adopted neither of these practices. As outsiders we could espouse and assess all the possibilities offered by the site without being personally committed.

Perhaps for this reason we were particularly intrigued by an apparently unofficial addition to the site. At the centre of the place where the Modocs held out against the U. Apparently, the past was not completely past or, to put it differently, it was experienced in different manners.

That discovery led to a new realization: It could foster widely different practices such as casual tourism, historical enquiry, or religious commemoration. All these activities are motivated by the desire to bond with a specific location.

Places are shaped by both why was captain jack famous across the nation and collective aspirations. Public sites of national commemoration try to channel personal appropriation through predefined scenarios yet necessarily remain highly contested locations.

Our outsider status thus placed us in a privileged situation. Instead of comparing the merits of different forms why was captain jack famous across the nation commemoration, we have decided to examine the potential of the concept of emplacement. So our study is not so much about the past as about how the past passes into the present.

The influx of white settlers in the latter half of the nineteenth century led to a struggle for control of the land that culminated in the confrontation in the Lava Beds between the U.

Army and the small Modoc band that refused to share a reservation with their traditional enemies, the Klamath Indians. After a siege that lasted almost a year, the defeated Modocs were exiled to a reservation in Oklahoma. In 1933, the site devolved from the Forest Service to the National Park Service, when the Civilian Conservation Corps began work on the infrastructure.

The site harbors various historical vestiges like the former CCC camp and a WWII Japanese internment camp, as well as sites of interest because of the wildlife and the geological formations. This geographical and historical complexity is compounded by the disconcerting montage of federal institutions that crisscross the region and come under diverse administrative regimes: Lava Beds National Monument Map.

The site is thus divided between its geological and historical orientations, a dual focus appearing in the Presidential Proclamation of 1925 that asserts the intention: In block letters it announces: The why was captain jack famous across the nation would have suggested that in opposing the U.

Some of the very same troops Canby had commanded here in the lava beds were still fighting other Indian Wars, and public interest and emotion about such conflicts ran high. Although the inscription on the cross may elicit strong emotions in some modern visitors, it illuminates the point that people see events through the lens of their own culture and time.

In 1873, what some Modocs considered a justifiable war tactic, the U. No monument commemorates the places where Modocs may have felt their attempts to live peaceably were betrayed. Canby was murdered here in April, 1873, while holding a peace parley under flag of truce with Captain Jack and Indian chiefs. Eleazer Thomas, Peace Commissioner, was likewise treacherously slain. Surprisingly, the NPS text also admits that the Modocs may have historical grievances that remain uncommemorated.

In so doing it reflects a newer consciousness of the past that reacts to the claims of American Indian protest movements and concedes that certain questions remain unsettled in the present. The linking of place to historical memory initially seems convincing. We are asked to imagine that a drawn-out battle between rival armies took place and that despite heroic resistance on the Indian side, a superior U.

The staging techniques put into place at the site create the illusion of historical reality, but at the same time they reduce the past to a neat but highly simplified and ideologically inflected production. Lava Beds Natural History Association 17The illustration chosen for the cover shows several Modoc snipers hiding among the rocks while unsuspecting soldiers ride by, implying stealth and treacherous intent on the Indian side. The Indians are facing right and the cavalry facing left, creating the impression that we are witnessing a face-off between the two sides.

Modals also implicate visitors in the scenario: In the space of the two opening pages, he manages to reduce a complex of events and a multiplicity of actors to a combat between two sides whose altercations converge on a clear-cut and conclusive ending. Through this technique, the far-reaching issues involving people and places across the nation and involving struggles dating far back in time are subsumed in a few grand melodramatic scenes.

The silence concerning the part played by the government in Washington, the pacifists around the country protesting the treatment of the Modocs, the emigrants moving westward en masse, or the settlers and miners already installed in the territory disconnects these participants from the battlefield.

The fact that hist. For example, we have been taught to believe that battles are decisive and conclusive elements in the resolution of conflicts.

The countless confrontations shown in westerns, TV series, and historical documentaries have suggested that, no matter how beleaguered, the U. Moreover, the familiar scenario suggests that the whole induced performance is ultimately consensual since it brings the two sides together in a kind of brotherhood in arms.

Finally, the comfortingly familiar order imposed by the National Park Service places the turbulent American past in the frame of present stability. A Perplexing Spectacle 24Yet, for us, in part because of our outsider status as visitors coming from Europe, this staging at the site of the conflict induced perplexity rather than the sense of reconciliation that it was aiming to promote.

Some of these relate to the script guiding the tour experience and some to the land on which it took place. We asked ourselves why the leaflet refers to the Modocs by the names given them by the whites rather than their Indian names.

We puzzled over why the Indians resorted to such an inauspicious place to make a stand. Looking at the sign marking the site of Tule Lake, we speculated how and why the major topographical feature that shaped the combat had disappeared. We wanted to know what became of the defeated Modocs once they surrendered.

Oklahoma Press, 1959; A.

  • Canby, commander of the military forces, nor that of Rev;
  • Our profoundly ambiguous relationship to the rise of the modern bureaucratic state where social behaviour is so regulated that the untrammelled freedom represented by piracy can be alluring — also why Western gunslingers, Prohibition-era gangsters, medieval knights, and even that scruffy space smuggler, Han Solo, hold such appeal;
  • In 2008, the World War II Valor in the Pacific National monument was created to honor the memory of the Americans unjustly imprisoned in these locations, and visitors can see the museum and National Park Service locations;
  • The old original trails are still visible in many places on the Modoc Forest where iron-shod wagon wheels ground their way over rocky ground or through narrow defiles, notably west of Goose Lake, just west of the old Pit River Ranger Station, and along the shores of Clear Lake.

Quinn, Hell with the F. Ray in his book about the Modocs, Primitive pr. This beleaguered nearly destitute group holed up in the lava formations because they refused to be consigned to a reservation on the traditional lands of their enemies, the Klamaths, who continually accused the Modocs of trespass.

Far from confronting the Indians as a comparable military force, the U. The stronghold was more of a stranglehold, the last stage in the eradication of a formerly well-adapted and cooperative tribe, the pragmatists that had rapidly altered their life-styles upon contact with the newly arrived invaders 14. At stake for the U. In short, other divergent scenarios emerge from the memoirs and successive studies that constructed the story of events in that part of the world.

The so-called Modoc War was a multi-factor, multi-actor entanglement involving various parties and territories across an extended period of time. Essai sur la relation du. The past is not a separate entity, accessible simply through an effort of retrieval; instead, evocations of past events always sift and shape the past as a function of the necessities of the present 16.

Trouillot has cogently stated: In staging the past, the present also dramatizes itself. We want to reflect on that particular combination of place and history, instruction and persuasion. The staging of memory is not aimed at a detached, critical audience — it concerns the members of a society and requires their collective inscription in place. They create the play as they go and as they imagine. That structure straddling the present and the past comprises three dimensions: Commemoration is still very much in process, as we found when visiting the small, haphazard local museum in the town of Tulelake, where one of the NPS rangers was stationed.

We found a suggestion box inviting visitors to offer opinions as to how the whole site should oriented and what should be highlighted for future reorganization. Apparently the authorities shared our perplexity at the complexity of the site, and the need to make sense was genuine. Mitchell, Landscape and Power. Chicago, University of Chicago, 1994, p. Considering landscapes as the why was captain jack famous across the nation on which events take place, Mitchell asserts that: Yet, although the stage is clearly set for some ideological performance, the meaning of the show is complicated by the unanswered questions it raises.

In fact, trying to clarify the tenor of the performance would automatically detract from the efficacy of its specific mode of communication. The theatrical medium does not aim at limpidity of expression; it does not try to eliminate ambiguity. The openness of the theatrical medium permits the cohabitation of different and sometimes contradictory meanings that at the same time neutralize and reinforce each other.

If it were so, it would be much less persuasive. The commemorative site is doubly removed from any potential social or political contestation: Ecology is now the watchword, and institutional preservation is meant to compensate the drastic environmental changes created by colonial settlement.

Visitors should be able to visualize and endorse the master plan organizing the various means to make the territory conform to the national model. They should be able to espouse visually its organic justification. It is important to let bygones be bygones. The scenography created around the battleground site corresponds to a fairly recent development in the evocation of history at American public sites.

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The commemoration at the Stronghold complies with a new consensual policy that tends to encourage reconciliation between formerly affronted communities. There is a certain grim justice sanctioned by the site that draws its justification from its very implacability. Such tragic events had to take place in order to create the global rightness of the landscape such as it is discovered by the visitors.

The very tectonic structure and geological history foster that surreptitious impression. The scenography in which visitors participate becomes a form of collective catharsis, maybe the prelude to a form of national reconciliation. Landscape acts on the visitor and naturalizes the actions undertaken by the dominant culture to harness its power. By endorsing or indeed challenging the national scenario visitors ensure the continuity of American history and, at the same time, piece together the straggling fragments of the national territory.

The sense of being-in-place, whatever its justification, results from being-in-history, and being in history creates a sense of place.