New York: Harper & Brothers, 1881. First edition. Original publisher's cloth binding with gilt to spine and front board. Brown coated endpapers. Slight toning to spine and gentle rub to top of front board, else an excellent copy. Text block square, clean, and tight. A pleasing copy and complete copy including the adverts to the rear, collating x, 457, [1, blank], 6. Ownership signature of the poet Clinton Scollard in the year of publication on the front endpaper; pencil annotation "Judge Dundy pg 204" on the verso of the rear endpaper. Currently the only first edition on the market, Helen Hunt's account of the U.S. government's crimes against indigenous communities intended to raise awareness and generate a push for legislative and ethical change.
Novelist, poet, essayist, journalist, and activist for the improved treatment of first nations people of the U.S. "Her greatest achievement was her pioneering work for Indian rights. After hearing the Ponca chief Standing Bear speak about the dispossessed Plains tribes, she vowed to write an expose of the government maltreatment of Indians. Her months of research in the Astor Library of New York resulted in A Century of Dishonor, a copy of which Jackson presented to every U.S. Congressman. This is an impassioned account of the various tribes since white contact, beginning with a discussion on the rights of sovereignty and occupancy, and ending with massacres of native peoples. It shocked the public, and within a year, the powerful Indian Rights Association was born, followed by the Dawes Act of 1884" (Blain and Grundy). As with her previous works of fiction and poetry, Jackson chose to publish under her initials H.H. in order to avoid revealing her real identity and to stay removed from larger women's rights movements. Despite her doubts about women's suffrage, however, she ultimately became a public voice on behalf of tribal rights. By 1883, her Report on the Conditin and Needs of the Mission Indians of California was the first publication to bear her full name. A year later, she would issue her most famous work of fiction, Ramona, which emulated the work of Harriet Beecher Stowe to dramatize the plight of the first nations tribes and emotionally sway white readers to push for social and legislative change.
BAL 10444. Feminist Companion to Literature 564. Cultural Landscape Foundation. Oxford Companion to Women's Writing. Near Fine (Item #2885)