Sunday, April 1, 2012

History as Written by the Dominant Culture

This plaque embedded in a rock in the Valley commemorates Sullivan's Campaign of 1779. General John Sullivan carried out George Washington's scorched earth policy intended to uproot and drive out the Haudenosaunee people from upstate New York. Sullivan's army burned crops, cut down orchards, destroyed dozens of villages, and ultimately caused the deaths of thousands of native people by starvation and freezing.

There is another sign identical to this one in Lodi. There probably are many more throughout the land between Rome and Niagara Falls. We also notice the ubiquitous yellow and blue signs that tell the same story.

One day all these signs will be part of a museum exhibit about historical signage and who decides what story to tell. 

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