Trace by Lauret Savoy: Exported Highlights

March 31, 2019 (page 1)

“The recent past lies beneath me in these marcescent leaves, plucked and blown here by January’s heavy winds. Inches away, they are out of reach. I kneel within the next stratum.”

March 31, 2019 (page 1)

“memory of any form becomes inscribed in the land.”

March 31, 2019 (page 2)

“Loren Eiseley wrote in The Immense Journey that human beings are denied the dimension of time, so rooted are we in our particular now. We cannot in person step backward or forward from our circumscribed pinpoints. I cannot touch a leaf encased in ice—nor can I feel the calloused hands that stacked these walls. Yet we make our lives among relics and ruins of former times, former worlds. Each of us is, too, a landscape inscribed by memory and loss.”

March 31, 2019 (page 2)

“My skin, my eyes, my hair recall the blood of three continents as paths of ancestors—free and enslaved Africans, colonists from Europe, and peoples indigenous to this land—converge in me. But I’ve known little of them or their paths to my present.”

March 31, 2019 (page 7)

“As we contemplate these objects we find it quite impossible to realize their magnitude,” he wrote. “Not only are we deceived, but we are conscious that we are deceived, and yet we cannot conquer the deception.” “Dimensions,” he added, “mean nothing to the senses, and all that we are conscious of in this respect is a troubled sense of immensity.”

March 31, 2019 (page 8)

“To come to the edge of the Grand Canyon and experience the sublime was to feel unsettled, deeply disoriented. To be awestruck. “In all the vast space beneath and around us there is very little upon which the mind can linger restfully,” Dutton wrote. “It is completely filled with objects of gigantic size and amazing form, and as the mind wanders over them it is hopelessly bewildered and lost.”

March 31, 2019 (page 9)

“Great innovations, whether in art or literature, in science or in nature, seldom take the world by storm. They must be understood before they can be estimated, and they must be cultivated before they can be understood.”

March 31, 2019 (page 11)

“If a child’s character and perceptual habits form by the age of five or six, then I perceived by sharp light and shadows. If a child bonds with places explored at this tender age, and those bonds anchor her, then I chose textures and tones of dryness over humidity, expanses that embraced distance over both skyscraper and temperate forests.”

April 4, 2019 (page 11)

“Sifting through memory’s remains—of words spoken, decisions made, actions taken—feels like the work of imagination in hindsight”

April 4, 2019 (page 12)

“History began for me on The Move. What preceded was a sense of infinite promise and possibility in a world that made sense. What followed promised nothing.”

April 4, 2019 (page 16)

“It is a tactile reminder that here is a land of process and response. From cloud to creek, the motive forces of water—the forces of weathering and erosion—and abrasive, shuddering movements along bounding faults shaped and continue to reshape the cliffs and basin. What one might perceive as timeless is but one frame of an endless geologic film”

April 4, 2019 (page 18)

“What of us? What of who we are is owed to memories of blood or culture, custom or circumstance? To hardness? What makes an individual in a sequence of generations?”

April 4, 2019 (page 18)

“It did seem easier to piece together the geologic history of almost any place on Earth than to recover my ancestors’ past.”

April 4, 2019 (page 18)

“Like the land, we appeared in many forms. That some differences held significance was beyond me. Instead I devised a self-theory that golden light and deep blue sky made me. Sun filled my body as it seemed to fill dry California hills, and sky flowed in my veins. Colored could only mean these things.”

April 8, 2019 (page 23)

“Unidentified, unidentifiable. Like isolated grains of sand, these photographs teased absent stories.”

April 8, 2019 (page 24)

“Although only an elite few of the “five civilized tribes” held human beings as property, more than seven thousand people with African blood lived in bondage in Indian Territory on the eve of the Civil War. But bondage took different forms, from the rigid “slave codes” of the Cherokee Nation to more fluid social relations in Seminole society”

April 8, 2019 (page 25)

“And when Indian and Oklahoma territories became the state of Oklahoma in 1907, the legislature disenfranchised African American residents and segregated public facilities.”

April 10, 2019 (page 28)

“Bridging the distance between history and the particularities of family seemed an impossible task given the erosive and estranging power displacement could wield.”

April 10, 2019 (page 28)

“wounds also flow in the blood”

April 10, 2019 (page 28)

“Self-knowledge reworked over generations becoming piecework”

April 10, 2019 (page 29)

“Still, silences embedded in a family, and in a society, couldn’t be replaced even by sounds so reliable: of water spilling down rock, of a thunderstorm rolling into far distance, or of branches sifting wind”

April 10, 2019 (page 29)

“The unvoiced history of this continent calls, too. It may ground all.
An immense land lies about us. Nations migrate within us. The past looms close, as immediate as breath, blood, and scars on a wrist. It, too, lies hidden, obscured, shattered. What I can know of ancestors’ lives or of this land can’t be retrieved like old postcards stored in a desk drawer.”

April 10, 2019 (page 31)

“Safety lived in my room, in my mother’s arms, and outdoors on a land that never judged or spat.”

March 29, 2019 (page 32)

“Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There by Aldo Leopold”

March 29, 2019 (page 32)

“an atom’s recycling odyssey through time; the chickadee, “so small a bundle of large enthusiasms”; the crane’s call “the trumpet in the orchestra of evolution.”

April 10, 2019 (page 32)

“To hear even a few notes of it you must first live here for a long time, and you must know the speech of hills and rivers.”

March 29, 2019 (page 32)

“Then you may hear it—a vast pulsing harmony—its score inscribed on a thousand hills, its notes the lives and deaths of plants and animals, its rhythms spanning the seconds and the centuries.”

March 29, 2019 (page 33)

“In “The Land Ethic,” Aldo Leopold enlarged the boundaries of “community” to include “soils, waters, plants, and animals, or collectively: the land.”

April 10, 2019 (page 33)

“a sense of responsibility and reciprocity not yet embraced by this country but embedded in many Indigenous peoples’ traditions of experience—that land is fully inhabited, intimate with immediate presence”

April 10, 2019 (page 33)

“I couldn’t understand why, in a book so concerned with America’s past, the only reference to slavery, to human beings as property, was about ancient Greece”

April 15, 2019 (page 35)

“accepted without question by those calling themselves “white.” Pale of complexion with gray-blue eyes, he’d not be seen or treated as other until he admitted “Negro” blood.”

April 15, 2019 (page 36)

“he supposed such things were written into the Constitution and Bill of Rights just for white boys and girls.”

April 15, 2019 (page 38)

“My father’s “alien land” grew from the “hypocrisy which, in one breath preached the doctrine that all men were created free and equal and, in the very next breath, denied to millions the simple respect which should naturally go with such a belief.”

April 15, 2019 (page 38)

“The president of General Electric suggests “a permanent war economy,” while a business magazine reports that President Truman’s policies assure “maintaining and building our preparations for war will be big business in the United States for at least a considerable period ahead.”

April 15, 2019 (page 39)

“As things are now going, the peace we will make, the peace we seem to be making, will be a peace of oil, a peace of gold, a peace of shipping, a peace, in brief . . . without moral purpose or human interest”

April 15, 2019 (page 40)

“tendency of interdependent individuals or groups to evolve modes of co-operation.”

April 15, 2019 (page 40)

“ethics rested on the premise “that the individual is a member of a community of interdependent parts”

April 15, 2019 (page 40)

“Neither an equality of interdependence nor an evenness of cooperation seemed to underlie this country’s human relations”

April 15, 2019 (page 41)

“one group of people acting upon another by imposing values, definitions, or violence could be seen as deriving part of its energy by consuming or controlling the energies of others”

April 15, 2019 (page 41)

“definitions of parasitism and predator-prey dynamics seemed disturbingly close to some human relations.”

April 15, 2019 (page 41)

“rights” become limited and limiting to legal form and process rather than a moral imperative extending from heart and spirit.”

April 15, 2019 (page 42)

“The pace and degree of such environmental changes are unprecedented in human history. Yet the embedded systems and norms behind them in the United States, the most energy-consumptive nation, are not. Their deep roots allowed and continue to amplify fragmented ways of seeing, valuing, and using nature, as well as human beings.”

April 15, 2019 (page 42)

“American prosperity and progress have come at great human costs, too.”

April 15, 2019 (page 42)

“Forced removals”

April 15, 2019 (page 43)

“built and powered by enslaved workers”

April 15, 2019 (page 43)

“Consuming other people’s labor, dispossessing other people of land and life connection to it, devaluing human rights, and diminishing one’s community, autonomy, and health—these are not just events of the past”

April 15, 2019 (page 43)

“enslaved labor in Brazil”

April 15, 2019 (page 43)

“What if the footprint measured, over time, on whom and what the nation’s foot has trod—that is, who has paid for prosperity?”

April 15, 2019 (page 43)

“complicit in my own diminishment unless I stepped out of the separate trap: me from you, us from them”

April 15, 2019 (page 44)

“an ethic must evolve “in the minds of a thinking community”

April 15, 2019 (page 44)

“Specialization encouraged fragmented recordings and understandings of human experience.”

April 15, 2019 (page 44)

“We shall never achieve harmony with land, any more than we shall achieve justice or liberty for people. In these higher aspirations the important thing is not to achieve, but to strive”

April 15, 2019 (page 44)

“Danger lies in equating theory with practice, or ideal with committed action, as personal responsibility and respect for others”

April 15, 2019 (page 44)

“lost to lip service, disingenuous manners, and legislated gestures to an ideal.”

April 15, 2019 (page 46)

“each man is questioned by life; and he can only answer to life by answering for his own life; to life he can only respond by being responsible”

April 15, 2019 (page 46)

“What and whom do you love and respect? To what and whom are you responsible, obligated? Respect, from the Latin respicere, the willingness to look again. Responsibility, the ability to respond, the capacity to attend, to stand behind one’s acts. Conscience, from the Latin conscientia, a joint knowledge or feeling, from conscire (com-, together with, and scire, to know). If obligations have no meaning without conscience, without an acceptance of moral responsibility, what is possible?”

April 15, 2019 (page 47)

“imagine it possible to refrain from dis-integrated thinking and living, from a fragmented understanding of human experience on this continent. Possible to refuse what alienates and separates.”

April 15, 2019 (page 47)

“as citizens of the land, of nations even within a nation, and of Earth. Democracy lies within ever widening communities”

April 15, 2019 (page 47)

“want alien land and land ethic to meet and answer to each other in ours.”

April 15, 2019 (page 49)

“But anyone equating gentle topography with quietness does so at great peril. Tumultuous histories lie beneath subtle appearances. They have a far reach.”

April 15, 2019 (page 50)

“One is this: I am both a collector and an arrangement. I might gather stones, collect books, or save mementos. But my own experiences, too, are gathered up and swept along by currents of a still-unfolding history on this vast continent.”

April 15, 2019 (page 51)

“An invention and a mistake became official names.”

April 15, 2019 (page 54)

“Not only was I unaware that narratives of the past aren’t simply actual events recounted under the authority of truth, I’d also adopted a perspective along with its weighty baggage of assumptions and attitudes. Of conflicting points of view or contending interests my ignorance was nearly complete”

April 15, 2019 (page 54)

“claim and redefine the land around Lake Superior as a controlled target of mining through treaty cessions from the Anishinaabe”

April 15, 2019 (page 54)

“eye toward literary markets and reworked living oral narratives into static specimens to be sold”

April 15, 2019 (page 56)

“American literary “independence” came from an invented “Indian” voice that dislocated and rendered complex traditions into simplistic forms”

April 15, 2019 (page 58)

“Neither man could understand Earth itself as a trickster creation”

April 15, 2019 (page 60)

“all involved reached the “scientific” conclusion that the land was suitable for rapid expansion. The next step was to claim it.”

April 15, 2019 (page 60)

“Agencies under the governor’s authority in the Michigan Territory dispossessed tribal peoples of millions of acres by stepwise treaty cessions”

April 15, 2019 (page 61)

“civilization’s triumph required proper education by assimilation. Intergenerational ties to culture and tribal identity had to be severed, Native languages and traditions rejected. Both men have been called early architects of federal “Indian” policy.”

April 15, 2019 (page 61)

“Indians residing on the Mineral district, shall be subject to removal therefrom at the pleasure of the President of the United State”

April 15, 2019 (page 61)

“Great Father” in Washington “knows that you are poor, that your lands are not good, and that you have very little game left, to feed and clothe your women & children—He therefore pities your condition, and has sent me to see what can be done to benefit you.”

April 15, 2019 (page 62)

“In 2012 the Red Cliff Band set aside eighty-nine acres of boreal forest and shoreline as Frog Bay Tribal National Park, the first such reserve of its kind”

April 15, 2019 (page 62)

“Anishinaabe people still negotiate for the right to use ceded land on the lakeshore in accordance with the 1842 and 1854 treaties. Mining continues to threaten treaty rights elsewhere.”

April 15, 2019 (page 63)

“the preexistence of the world according to Ojibwe religion consisted of a conversation between stones”

April 15, 2019 (page 63)

“As remnants of an inconceivably distant past, shields chronicle many evolutions: the early growth of continents, origins of life, and an atmosphere gradually becoming habitable. The southernmost outcrops of North America’s core, the Canadian Shield, rim Lake Superior”

April 15, 2019 (page 64)

“a billion years of rift highlands and flood basalts weathering and eroding.”

April 15, 2019 (page 64)

“that choices I had made in studies and work were somehow implicated in this pursuit of mineral wealth”

April 15, 2019 (page 64)

“discovered” then deliberately sought copper and iron in the nineteenth century’s first decades”

April 15, 2019 (page 65)

“Tumultuous histories, human and geological, formed this landscape in which I am implicated. And they continue”

April 15, 2019 (page 65)

“threatens not only tribal sovereignty and treaty rights but also the wild rice sloughs along the lakeshore that ancestors harvested for generations.”

April 15, 2019 (page 65)

“clouded days lake and sky share the same cast, no line marking one from the other.”

April 15, 2019 (page 66)

“Taking place has other dimensions, too. Of choices and practices aimed at possessing and controlling both territory and ideas of it. The pursuit of knowledge, of “scientific” research, wasn’t innocent here as Indigenous traditions and people, as the land itself, were objectified and commodified, mined and collected. Any attempt to disentangle the search for copper or iron (or nickel or gold) from those first scientific studies, from treatied dispossessings, or from early American ethnography is a fool’s errand”

April 15, 2019 (page 66)

“The Song of Hiawatha—marker of an authentic “indigenous” American literature—appeared within a year of the treaty dispossessing the people whom the poem supposedly honored. Schoolcraft, Lewis Cass, and others became experts by re-defining, re-positioning, re-presenting, and thus obscuring animate lives within this land to those looking from without.”

Wikipedia: "Survivance is an active sense of presence, the continuance of native stories, not a mere reaction, or a survivable name. Native survivance stories are renunciations of dominance, tragedy and victimry"

April 15, 2019 (page 67)

“Meaning more than survival, more than endurance or mere response, stories of survivance embrace shadow, tease, creation, motion, and coherence.”

April 15, 2019 (page 67)

“Tribal imagination, experience, and remembrance, are the real landscapes in the literature of this nation; discoveries and dominance are silence”

April 15, 2019 (page 67)

“Catching up with the past need not mean retrograding or living in it”

April 15, 2019 (page 68)

“Dissecting learned stories might yield some retrievable fragments of context and relationship, and reveal the vector of storying’s power—its direction, its magnitude, and its agency.”

April 15, 2019 (page 68)

“To understand the storying of any place, I must also understand the storying of myself. I must follow traces beneath familiar surfaces to where ancestral structures lie.”

April 15, 2019 (page 69)

“Word-moments could blaze with an intensity that seemed to concentrate all life.”

April 15, 2019 (page 70)

“ERWIN RAISZ’S LARGE landforms map of the continental United States”

April 15, 2019 (page 71)

“It may be a commonplace to consider place-names or toponyms as givens, distinguishing one piece of terrain from another. To think this, though, is to see a reflecting surface and not what lies beneath.”

April 15, 2019 (page 72)

“Names on the Land”

April 15, 2019 (page 72)

“Thus the names lay thickly over the land”

April 15, 2019 (page 72)

“and the Americans spoke them, great and little, easily and carelessly—Virginia, Susquehanna, Rio Grande, Deadman Creek, Sugarloaf Hill, Detroit, Wall Street—not thinking how they had come to be. Yet the names had grown out of the life, and the lifeblood, of all those who had gone before.”

April 15, 2019 (page 72)

“The toponyms that most concerned Stewart either originated with voyagers and colonists from Europe and their heirs, or filtered through them from Indigenous tongues, sometimes so much the worse for wear that “the names became more European than Indian.”

April 15, 2019 (page 73)

“Fragmented, dispossessed of land, dislocated, perhaps ravaged by disease and violence, tribal peoples endured. Members reorganized or joined other groups. They migrated or they stayed in smaller communities. They continued to speak.”

April 15, 2019 (page 73)

“some readers embrace these namings as America’s history, “our” heritage, without asking if there might be other narratives, too”

April 15, 2019 (page 74)

“Few of the official names of these places, east or west, arose from the land itself.”

April 15, 2019 (page 75)

“Cañon, mesa, arroyo, playa—terms for dryland features that English didn’t know.”

April 15, 2019 (page 75)

“Names encode meaning and memory”

April 15, 2019 (page 75)

“Naming and mapping would work as twin projects in the courses of empire, as semantic (re)defining fit a design that made sense to the ambitions of those men from Europe who made landfall after landfall.”

April 15, 2019 (page 75)

“Colonial maps and place-names reorganized space on a slate made blank—by drawing borders, by coding what (and whom) lay inside or out, by erasing”

April 15, 2019 (page 75)

“The project of illuminating terra incognita’s darkness made certain ways of inhabiting and relating to this place called “America” natural. It made particular points of view normal. In their place-making these newcomers not only set out to possess territory on the ground. They also lay claim to territory of the mind and memory, to the future and the past.”

April 15, 2019 (page 76)

“To become oriented, to find their way and fill their maps, venturers from Europe needed Native peoples’ knowledge of the land. Maps and names would then obscure that knowledge from its context, as Indigenous people themselves were removed from the land.”

April 15, 2019 (page 76)

“Maps and journals then carried forward clipped words, simplified renderings, and transliterated sounds. Mutating steps could result in an English version of a French interpretation of an Indigenous word that ended up as Wisconsin”

April 15, 2019 (page 76)

“One changed letter, once formalized in print, could make a name of great meaning become meaningless.”

April 15, 2019 (page 80)

“The American landscape is palimpsest. Layers upon layers of names and meanings lie beneath the official surface. What came before colonial maps and names was vast and long. On the eve of contact the breath-taking diversity of Native languages exceeded that of Europe—at least several hundred distinct languages were spoken north of Mexico, perhaps thousands in the Western Hemisphere.
Imagine the names. Imagine their origins.”

April 15, 2019 (page 81)

“indivisible nature of place and words for these people. Theirs is a language that situates ancestral knowledge (nohwiz’yé bi kigoyą’íí) and traditional narratives, mind and heart, time and space in the lives of a person and a people. The Ndee word ni’ means both land and mind, calling on the inseparability of place and thought. In ni’, Earth and thinking converge: “Wisdom sits in places.”

April 15, 2019 (page 82)

“A place, its name, and other ancestral narratives emergent there cannot be separated. The land watches over and “stalks” the people as a cultural mnemonic of origins, of “purposive” behavior.”

April 15, 2019 (page 82)

“What’s crucial is to “think and act ‘with’ [landscapes] as well as about and upon them, and to weave them with spoken words into the very foundations of social life.”

April 15, 2019 (page 82)

“woven experiences of imagination, language, and place—and the relationships born of them—as “reciprocal appropriation.” To invest oneself in the land while incorporating the land into one’s “own most fundamental experience.” Place-making is both a way of “doing human history,” Basso offers, as well as “a way of constructing social traditions and, in the process, personal and social identities. We are, in a sense, the place-worlds we imagine.”

April 15, 2019 (page 82)

“But as diaspora linguists like Annette Kashif have observed, languages and naming patterns from Africa crossed the Atlantic, too. Toponyms bearing their influence survive on the land and on maps, especially along the coast and tidewater rivers of the South”

April 15, 2019 (page 83)

“African sources for the word include nsub’wanyi for “my house” or “my home” in Kongo or Mbundu, and the West African (Mandingo) Suwane, a personal name.”

April 15, 2019 (page 86)

“Even the Linnaean system of binomial nomenclature (listing genus and species), so taken for granted as an international standard, began as part of colonial world trade that collected human beings as it collected exotic plants and animals.”

April 15, 2019 (page 87)

“A current of language and imagination, dry for so long a time, could still rise and flow, entraining me as water would a grain of sand. Language of the land still worked on me.”

April 15, 2019 (page 87)

“acknowledge, and mourn, the loss of innumerable names born out of textured homelands that no longer reside in living memory. We all might do well to remember that names are one measure of how one chooses to inhabit the world.”

April 15, 2019 (page 93)

“Many of my own ancestors, my mother’s people, lie in forgotten plantation graves; their lives forgotten, too.”

April 15, 2019 (page 98)

“Census “data” privilege property owners, the ones who could declare themselves, by law and custom, heads of households. Individual “holdings” listed on a “slave schedule” can’t even hint at how those enslaved and free on a plantation negotiated circles of intimacy and of discord.”

April 15, 2019 (page 100)

“I don’t know how many times I’ve reread these words: “dispossess them of his property in their hands and expel them.” It’s impossible for me to know whether Thomas Moore ever dispossessed or expelled anyone from these lands by the North Tyger River. I can imagine, though, that the threat of losing the soil one had tilled perhaps in all memory, of not being able to claim it, was threat of a breath withheld.”

April 15, 2019 (page 101)

“Spoken words, exhaled breath, are to me just as real as paper records. So is soil embedded into one’s palms. Or knowing the seasonal movements of hawks and salamanders”

April 15, 2019 (page 102)

“Klansmen terrorized anyone thought to have crossed the line of proper race relations or who refused to bow to the region’s honored “property and intelligence.”

April 15, 2019 (page 103)

“Even though, in the name of “urban renewal,” the city of Spartanburg razed the century-old Southside community. Families once enslaved had made homes there at the end of Liberty Street following the war. This is where Selina Moore moved her family after leaving land they’d never own. One line in the city’s 1970 renewal proposal for federal funding reads, “No historical areas are involved in the project activities.”

April 15, 2019 (page 105)

“Reverend Ashley justified servitude by preaching that “such as are by Divine providence placed in the State of Servants, are not excluded from Salvation, but may become the Lord’s freemen” and “if you are Christ’s freemen you may contentedly be servants in the world.”

April 15, 2019 (page 105)

“The Massachusetts Bay Colony was the first of the English colonies to sanction the institution legally”

April 15, 2019 (page 105)

“There shall never be any bond-slavery, villenage or captivitie amongst us; unlesse it be lawfull captives taken in just warrs, and such strangers as willingly sell themselves, or are solde to us. . . .” Captivity in a “just warr” began with the 1637 war made on the Pequots.”

April 15, 2019 (page 107)

“While slavery’s scale in New England never reached that of the South, Northern colonists just as firmly accepted the idea, the practice, and its profits. And those seized and held as servants for life, though fewer in number, still felt the confining blow of forced bondage.”

April 15, 2019 (page 107)

“TO A LARGE degree it may be said that Americans bought their independence with slave labor,” historian Edmund Morgan once observed. “The paradox is American, and it behooves Americans to understand it if they would understand themselves.”

April 15, 2019 (page 107)

“slavery’s yield drove the economies of all thirteen colonies. How it then scaffolded the new nation’s infrastructure even in regions where coerced servitude had ended.”

April 15, 2019 (page 107)

“Southern plantation-grown cotton was so much the root of New York City’s wealth that in January 1861, the eve of Civil War, mayor Fernando Wood urged the city’s secession from the Union: “With our aggrieved brethren of the Slave States, we have friendly relations and a common sympathy.”

April 15, 2019 (page 108)

“Bernard Bailyn writes that memory’s “relation to the past is an embrace. It is not a critical, skeptical reconstruction of what happened. It is the spontaneous, unquestioned experience of the past. It is absolute, not tentative or distant, and it is expressed in signs and signals, symbols, images, and mnemonic clues of all sorts. It shapes our awareness whether we know it or not, and it is ultimately emotional, not intellectual.”

April 15, 2019 (page 109)

“Offerings of “the American experience” often exclude slavery and its aftermath, or they present stories that are uncritical or unquestioning of convention”

April 15, 2019 (page 110)

“There remains no public agreement on slavery’s impact, trauma, or human costs. I still hear passionate arguments that people of African heritage should be grateful for the better and more civilized life chattel bondage gave their ancestors in this “white” nation. I still see slavery trivialized for entertainment.”

April 15, 2019 (page 110)

“A supposedly long-gone past offers an illusory comfort to the living. It’s not my fault. I wasn’t there. I didn’t own any slaves, and neither did my family. Barricaded safely in the present, the living can even condemn the institution while ignoring what made it desirable to privileged classes—and what has fed an ever-mutable caste system to the present.”

April 15, 2019 (page 111)

“The silence of Walnut Grove’s burying grounds seemed to belie the enslaver’s power to extract work without consent from the enslaved. Not just work, but blood, breath, life itself. Silence reminded me, too, of pieces erased from a many-storied past: complex communities excised, interior lives of “property-in-person” ignored.”

April 15, 2019 (page 112)

“The physical terrain may roughly remain, but secret paths, symbolic networks for navigating one’s way, and any shared ways of defining or making sense of their known world linger as ghosts. That landscape’s fabric, its vitality and dailiness, left little physical expression to those not taught to see”

April 15, 2019 (page 112)

“The power to define public memory, to select sites anchoring it, would also remain largely in the hands of those who possessed the land—Spartanburg’s “property and intelligence” and their descendants. The power to segregate people under Jim Crow and to segregate memory would work in concert. There are those who might even argue that long-dead enslavers still maintained a form of possession and control.”

April 15, 2019 (page 112)

“We live among countless landscapes of memory in this country. They convey both remembrance and omission, privileging particular arcs of story while neglecting so many others. Historical sites are contested “story-sites” for the meanings of America’s past-to-present.”

April 15, 2019 (page 113)

“the task is to uncover the strata of obscuring language and acts, of meanings shrouded over generations”

April 15, 2019 (page 113)

“It is instead honoring the lives of those so often unacknowledged by taking responsibility for the past-in-present—by opposing injustices today for which accountability of the living is direct. This comes closest in my mind to a true re-pairing toward truth and reconciliation.”

April 17, 2019 (page 115)

“No visible line separated Mexico from the United States, Sonora from Arizona. Land and sky stretched to the horizon.”

April 17, 2019 (page 116)

“Borders erected here long ago—borders of history, of possession, of meaning—still seem sharp and unyielding. They cut.”

April 17, 2019 (page 117)

“By some counts nearly half the bird species in North America make use of the San Pedro, prompting the American Bird Conservancy to name the corridor its first “Globally Important Bird Area” in the United States.”

April 17, 2019 (page 118)

“Some migrations, it seems, matter a great deal; some gatherings of diverse lives are a cause for wonder, celebration, or concern. So much so that parts of the watershed were set aside”

April 17, 2019 (page 118)

“Their narrative traditions, as offered by tribal elders in the San Pedro Ethnohistory Project, emphasize dynamic movement. Traveling. Coming together. Dispersing. Trading goods, customs, and language. Intermarrying. Migrating to, through, and from the San Pedro Valley is central to all.”

April 17, 2019 (page 119)

“Tribal participants in the ethnohistory project “repositioned” ancient sites, ruins, and artifacts in the San Pedro Valley as traces of the past left in the land, as part of the land itself. Tohono O’odham wi’ikam, things left behind. Zuni “memory pieces.” Hopi itaakuku, or footprints.”

April 17, 2019 (page 123)

“I suppose it might be easy to be fooled, if one wanted to be, by the legitimacy and seeming once-and-for-allness of this line dividing here from there, “us” from “them.”

April 17, 2019 (page 124)

“unnecessary, impolitic, illegal, and immoral.”

April 17, 2019 (page 126)

“It looks as if the government sent a small force on purpose to bring on a war, so as to have a pretext for taking California and as much of this country as it chooses.”

April 18, 2019 (page 127)

“Fear of “impure breeds” contaminating Anglo-Saxon blood crossed party line and geography, north to south, Democrat and Whig.”

April 19, 2019 (page 129)

“Even the U.S. treaty commissioner thought the map “suddenly got up, as the mere speculation of an engraver or bookseller, to meet the demand in our country for Maps of Mexico.”

April 19, 2019 (page 130)

“By the 1848 treaty terms, Tucson and where I stand still belonged to Mexico. Sonora’s northern boundary lay far to the north along the Gila River. Phoenix didn’t exist. Nearly six years would pass before the Gadsden “Purchase,” or, as it’s known in Mexico, El Tratado de la Mesilla, would claim this nether land for the United States.”

April 19, 2019 (page 130)

“But in trying to smooth and simplify an unsettled, complex story, what’s often left out is the smoldering fuse of sectional conflict that would ignite in 1861.”

April 19, 2019 (page 131)

“Boundary commission teams of surveyors and astronomers, topographers and draftsmen criss-crossed the borderlands between 1849 and 1855.”

April 19, 2019 (page 131)

“Fifty-two monuments—from piled rocks to cut stone and cast iron—marked the boundary on the ground as unconnected dots”

April 19, 2019 (page 131)

“For years a railroad spike driven into the ground marked the border here at Naco, as a community and culture grew together, ambos, on both sides. Now that line is embedded.”

April 19, 2019 (page 132)

“The trail to the San Pedro River is an exposed shadeless walk one and a half miles into glare.”

April 19, 2019 (page 134)

“Apaches . . . are a people that has not yet publicly rendered obedience to his majesty”

April 19, 2019 (page 134)

“It was easy to detect geographic fictions. Monument Valley didn’t adjoin a Mojave desert playa as Stagecoach would have you believe. But cultural fictions were harder for a ten-year-old to fathom.”

April 19, 2019 (page 134)

“Spanish officials hoped the Sobaipuri and the valley itself could be buffers between los indios bárbaros and colonial settlements populated by gente de razón.”

April 19, 2019 (page 135)

“He recognized the seasonality of food gathering and of subsistence raiding in lean times.”

April 19, 2019 (page 135)

“Lieutenant José María Cortés contended that they desired peace, that those who acted in violence were exceptions, responding in kind to violence directed against them”

April 19, 2019 (page 135)

“Since the year 1786, when we began to fight them with greater expertise and tactics, we have seen many rancherías from different tribes come in to seek peace.”

April 19, 2019 (page 135)

“Sabotaging traditional subsistence bases and autonomy would fragment social coherence and defuse the people’s will to fight.”

April 19, 2019 (page 136)

“pacified dependence”

April 20, 2019 (page 136)

“Scalp hunters determined to make money could kill easier targets with straight black hair.”

April 20, 2019 (page 136)

“And tales of mineral riches never ceased to entice prospectors to as-yet untapped mountains.”

April 21, 2019 (page 136)

“Arizona Territorial Legislature when it first convened in 1864.”

April 21, 2019 (page 136)

“extermination of all Apaches was among its first agenda items to be adopted unanimously.”

April 21, 2019 (page 137)

“Beyond direct attacks, detachments burned rancherías, destroying crops and other resources to force Apache into dependence on rations. “Savage, treacherous and cruel as these Indians are,” one officer noted in 1871, “they still have enough of human nature in their composition to consider them controllable through the medium of their bellies.”

April 21, 2019 (page 138)

“The massacre also helped crystallize President Grant’s peace policy, an attempt at a feasible guide for the Department of the Interior’s Indian Bureau, a guide supporting reservation confinement and conversion to civilized Christianity.”

April 21, 2019 (page 139)

“Arizing and going before the General and laying a small stone on the floor, he said that he did not know how to read or write, this is his paper (pointing to the stone), and he wants a peace that will last as long as that stone lasts”

April 21, 2019 (page 140)

“And the War Department, skeptical of Grant’s peace policy from the first, would in the end abide by General Crook’s belief that only absolute defeat could convince “renegade” Apaches to retire to reservations.”

April 21, 2019 (page 140)

“Dismantling the promised reservation began with a string of executive orders that, slice by slice, “restored to public domain” pieces of reserved land found valuable”

April 21, 2019 (page 141)

“center’s website states that the reservation “is the world’s first concentration camp still existing to this day.”

April 21, 2019 (page 141)

“Massacre at Camp Grant (by Chip Colwell-Chanthaphonh), Shadows at Dawn (by Karl Jacoby), and Big Sycamore Stands Alone (by Ian Record)—recognize other forms of remembrance, other conceptions of time, space, and life in these borderlands”

April 22, 2019 (page 141)

“Violence may begin as a contest over resources,” Karl Jacoby writes, “but it often ends as contest over meaning”

April 22, 2019 (page 142)

“actions and reasons for acting had prominent and positive places in historical accounts. Silenced from public history were not only those killed; muted, too, were the voices of survivors.”

April 22, 2019 (page 146)

“Regardless of achievement or position in civilian life, whether from communities in the Northeast or West where at least a hard-won level of integration existed, Black men and women who migrated under orders to Fort Huachuca were thrust into a separate-and-unequal landscape.”

April 22, 2019 (page 147)

“as in the fall of 1942 when Arizona governor Sidney Osborn sought the army’s help in filling a labor shortage for the cotton harvest”

April 22, 2019 (page 152)

“Although War Department officials wanted no “social experiments” in the army, African American nurses and German-born Jewish doctors cared for Nazi prisoners at the Florence camp hospital.”

April 22, 2019 (page 153)

“prisoners expressed to the nurses their surprise that Americans would fight to preserve democracy abroad and at home exhibit prejudice to other Americans solely because of their skin color”

April 22, 2019 (page 153)

“Nazi prisoners of war having rights and liberties denied to Negro citizen-soldiers”

April 22, 2019 (page 158)

“Phantom histories inhabit the spaces between the book’s pages, human experiences that still don’t fit neatly within official stories or popular habits of mind.”

April 22, 2019 (page 159)

“Gloria Anzaldua called a borderland “a vague and undetermined place created by the emotional residue of the unnatural boundary. It is in a constant state of transition. The prohibited and forbidden are its inhabitants.”

April 22, 2019 (page 163)

“Washington, D.C., is an invented place. For unlike capitals of most other nations, the District began far from the country’s economic, intellectual, or cultural centers. Its origins arose instead from a political deal. The capital also harbored from its earliest days a “secret city” of free and enslaved African Americans—a secret city my father’s people inhabited.”

April 22, 2019 (page 163)

“Put simply, the first president wanted the capital embedded in the South, not too distant from his Virginia plantation.”

April 22, 2019 (page 164)

“With its Quaker heritage, Philadelphia was long known for abolitionist sentiments. A new law automatically manumitted any “slave” brought into Pennsylvania for more than six months. The permanent home for the federal government, in George Washington’s mind, had to be located where slavery would remain unmolested.”

April 22, 2019 (page 165)

“Vice President John Adams suggested that the value of the president’s land had jumped “a thousand percent.”

April 22, 2019 (page 166)

“Spacious avenues, that begin in nothing and lead nowhere; streets, mile-long, that want only houses, roads, and inhabitants; public buildings that need but a public to be complete; and ornaments of great thoroughfares, which only lack great thoroughfares to ornament—are its leading features.”

April 22, 2019 (page 168)

“Those enslaved outnumbered free five to one. They cleared sites for the imagined city. They built much of the Capitol, the President’s House, and other projects public and private”

April 22, 2019 (page 169)

“Two centuries would pass before Congress publicly acknowledged these builders of the capital city”

Notes From: Lauret Savoy. “Trace.” Apple Books.

Trace by Lauret Savoy: Highlights