The Historical Emergence of Native American Writing
Most nineteenth-century Indian authors wrote nonfiction prose. They published protest literature, autobiographies, and ethnohistories in response to the curtailment of Native Americans' rights and attempts to remove Indians from their traditional homelands. Prior to the Civil War, one of the greatest threats to Indians was the implementation of the Indian Removal Act of 1830, under which tribes east of the Mississippi River were removed either to Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) or to other lands deemed appropriate. Indian tribes also faced local threats to abrogate their rights.