Seeing the Round Corners

January 29, 2018


“Again, were we to inquire by what law or authority you set up a claim [to our land], I answer  none! Your laws extend not into our country, nor ever did. You talk of the law of nature and the law of nations, and they are both against you.” – Corn Tassel (Cherokee) 1785

   Much has been written about how European countries came to America and claimed this country as their own. The Doctrine of Discovery was originally a theological fiction produced in the 1400s, later transformed into a political fiction by European heads of state, and then into a legal fiction by U S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall in 1823.

“Without question the doctrine of discovery is one of the most important tenets of federal Indian law, working in tandem with several other doctrines – trust, plenary power, and reserved rights – to provide the ambiguous and uneven political framework for modern day Indigenous/State relationships,” according to the University of Minnesota Professor David Wilkins (quoted from Indian Country Today (2014).

These paragraphs are the lead-in to continuation of the series on Abraham Lincoln and The American Indian, and how foreign countries came to America, then claimed what they “discovered,” but ignored the Indians who had been living on the land since time indeterminate.

Give these paragraphs and last week’s edition some thought and return next week, while this writer does some in-depth research.

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