October 6, 2021

"The great state of South Dakota was stolen in 1743 by the French in the person of Louis-Joseph Gaultier de La Vérendrye."

"La Vérendrye—who very grandly called himself Le Chevalier—was a fur trapper and explorer acting on behalf of his father, Pierre, commandant of New France. (Nepotism is a South Dakota tradition.) The precise Native American tribe from whom South Dakota was stolen is not certain, but Le Chevalier called them the Gens de la Petite-Cerise or 'People of the Little Cherry,' and probably they were the Arikara, a Plains Indians tribe that had broken off from the Pawnee. This is the rare instance in human history in which the theft of somebody’s little cherry was commemorated on a chiseled plaque. That was a hunk of lead dug up in 1913 and known today as the Verendrye Plate. Bearing the inscription of King Louis XV, the plate had been engraved in Latin by Le Chevalier’s père (who, incidentally, is not the same Pierre after whom South Dakota’s capital city is named). Le Chevalier scattered similar lead plates along his journey, chortling in his journal about one of these that 'the savages … did not know of the tablet of lead that I had placed in the earth.'"


75 comments:

Kevin said...

The media never assert that Manhattan be given back to its native tribe.

So I take their exhortations about other places to be civility bullshit.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

The enter US was stolen from the natives.
Lets give it back... You first, progressives.

sean said...

A rather offensive joke, demeaning to women, or more properly to all people with vaginas.

Big Mike said...

@Althouse, you read The New Republic? Wash your eyes out with soap.

mezzrow said...

I can feel the love. Okay, I lied. Nothing says love like 'chortling' over a race crime, after all.

We are in an extraordinary place if we live in a society that can drill this far down this rabbit hole. In fact, not only can we drill down this far, we can monetize the exploration. Tim Noah uses words like Puccini used harmony - well, but not wisely. He can't work cheap. This is seriously entertaining and illuminating stuff for the current NR market.

What percentage of the American electorate will read this and nod in response? Think of that, and remember that Donald Trump is on record regarding his love for the poorly educated.

Dave Begley said...

Just say it. Be honest. They want to get rid of 2 U.S. Senators.

Authoritarians. And contrary to democracy.

TheOne Who Is Not Obeyed said...

It's funny how Progressives think stealing land is somehow immoral, but they give no rationale for it. Especially when you point out that most natives in north america had no concept of land ownership, so the land wasn't 'stolen' - aboriginal cultures were simply pushed out of it by technologically and reproductively superior cultures. This has always and ever been the way the world worked. While at an individual level there are massively immoral actions - on the part of both the pushers and the pushed - at a historical scale the movement of cultures is amoral*.

American native cultures had just as much time as every other culture in the world to build sufficient technologies to resist the movement of immigrants and migrants to the previously semi-occupied lands and they didn't. Too bad.

*Yes, the population movement about which the US has its collective knickers all wadded up is also amoral. It's what people do. What's immoral is the reigning junta's response to it.

mikee said...

As a North Carolina native, I note that the English colony at Roanoke Island in my home state disappeared completely. Do we Carolinians get any extra credit for being the site of a "win" by the Indigenous locals?

mikee said...

As a North Carolina native, I note that the English colony at Roanoke Island in my home state disappeared completely. Do we Carolinians get any extra credit for being the site of a "win" by the Indigenous locals?

wendybar said...

Progressivism is the sewer of all sewers. They are swimming is sewage.

Mark O said...

"Little cherry?"

MikeR said...

Haters

rhhardin said...

South Dakota is unreasonably hard to reach hams in. It's usually the last state you add, if you occasionally keep track, even after Alaska and Hawaii.

Dan from Madison said...

Kevin beat me to it.

Real American said...

Nothing was stolen. The Indians should have had stricter immigration policy.

Narr said...

You guys don't understand! New England wasn't stolen from anyone--there, the Pilgrims intermarried with the Native Americans and became Unitarians.

Every OTHER piece of the continent was, however, stolen fair and square.

Greg The Class Traitor said...

Kevin hit it: I'll start listening to claims about "America should be given back" / "X is a moral sewer because of the way they treated the Indians" after Manhattan and The Hamptons have been given back to the tribes they were taken from, and no leftist is allowed to enter either place

Václav Patrik Šulik said...

This is funny from someone who grew up in Beverly Hills. And I'm sure there are more people from BH and the other cities and institutions that Noah is affiliated taking advantage of SDs laws than the SD people.

tim maguire said...

And the Indians he stole the land from...how did they get it?

Joe Smith said...

So it was 'stolen'? The French must have had a huge backpack.

Who did the Arikara steal it from?

How about we just turn the Dakotas into a nuclear test site so nobody (except mutants) can have it?

Equitable, I think.

As for odd name pronunciations, my theory is that it lets the locals know who the outsiders are.

Like the Northern California city Suisun (pronounced 'Su-soon' by locals), or the street in San Francisco, Gough ('Goff').

Here's a handy guide to Bay Area names if you're a ferner (excuse the shitty slide show format):

Limited blogger said...

The snarling is getting quite aggressive.

DanTheMan said...

Next up: Why Florida really belongs to Spain

Mr Wibble said...

It's amazing how all the masks are coming off. They've always believed this BS, but now they feel free to say it.

Brian McKim and/or Traci Skene said...

Actual "actual" story of the Dakotas to be published in 3... 2... 1...

(Oh... wait... it's just like the original actual story of the Dakotas we were all taught in history class, without Timothy Noah's distortion and impotent rage.)

Darkisland said...

Was Manhattan "stolen"? The story is that the dutch bought it for $24. That may or may not have been a fair price but that is beside the point. It was a willing buyer from a willing seller so legend goes.

Yes, I know, the Dutch may have bought it from the wrong tribe, one who didn't own it. If so, the lawful oner tribe should take it up with them, not the Dutch. Assuming the Dutch acted in good faith. Not always a valid assumption.

There are a lot of other examples of people, as individuals and govts buying land from tribes for negotiated prices. If the tribe is stupid enough to sell the land, it is not stolen. It may be unethical to take advantage of poor noble savages who do not know what they are doing. That doesn't make it "stealing"

John Henry

John Henry

policraticus said...

Who did the Gens de la Petite-Cerise steal it from?

Now who did those folks steal it from?

And then who did they steal it from?

Who did they....oh, you get the idea.

Darkisland said...

The entire world is built on one group taking from another going back to the book of Genesis.

Why are Americans so particularly guilty? Yeah, we did it but so did everyone else. It's how the world worked then.

John Henry

PM said...

It isn't so much about the Native populations being wronged. It isn't so much that N&S Dakota are a generational tax haven. The real beef is two red states with a low population have 4 senators who won't vote the way he wants.

Mikey NTH said...

The Left is tiresome in their predictability.

BarrySanders20 said...

Kevin wins in first comment.

I rather like South Dakota. The southern part west of the Missouri River is spectacular. Badlands National Park, the Black Hills, Custer State Park/Mt Rushmore, and goofy but fun little towns like Sturgis and Deadwood. We stole it fair and square from others who stole it fair and square, including from the Indians, who stole it from the French, who stole it from some other Indians, who stole it from some other Indians, etc and so on.

Not sure what Timothy means by a "moral sewer," but if it is one, then it's our moral sewer, by golly, and we're keeping it!

hombre said...

In a monument to a lack of self awareness a leftmediaswine writing for the New Republic characterizes some other entity as a “moral sewer” while referring to Ron DeSantis as our “worst governor.”

As this tripe continues to be published in what used to be respectable, if biased, media, evidence mounts that these writers and their editors are not merely malicious and biased, but are ignorant of their malice and bias.

What is even the point of an article like this other than to ingratiate himself to other, similar tiny minds.

Jerry said...

They really hate not being taken seriously, with their every pronouncement eagerly listened to and implemented, don't they?

I'm thinking a lot of people in DC, in the media, would be well served by a couple of years in Wyoming and the Dakotas. Cold weather has a way of... concentrating... the mind on what's important and what's not. Staying warm is important. Making sure you're ready for winter is important. Helping your neighbors is important.

The media types believe the respect of their (ahem) 'peers' is very important. So is looking down on all those who they feel are beneath them. (And aren't the people in the Dakotas beneath them? They must be, or they'd be living in proper-thinking urban areas instead of being 'farmers' or 'ranchers' or some other horrid profession.)

But that distain won't keep them warm when it's -40 and the wind is howling, or keep them unburied in a blizzard. It also won't harvest fields of grain, or get cattle to market so the media types can have expensive dinners while they discuss how those in the boonies are just so, so common...

Without the people they hate, they'd starve.

Mr Wibble said...

Just say it. Be honest. They want to get rid of 2 U.S. Senators.

Authoritarians. And contrary to democracy.


At least it's a somewhat new tack. Normally they just show some population comparisons between California and some cluster of Wyoming, Montana, the Dakotas, etc. and then claim that it's unfair how California has only two senators and that the obvious solution is to either give California more senators, or merge all those states. You know, instead of the already constitutional solution of breaking up California into manageable sized states.

RMc said...

Fun fact: Pierre, South Dakota is the only state capital that shares no letters with the state itself.

Not-so-fun fact: Timothy Noah is an idiot.

Ambrose said...

So predictable. A state - any state, elects an effective and popular Republican governor and some progressive is assigned the task of delegitimizing her.

Joe Smith said...

'The story is that the dutch bought it for $24.'

In 1626, that was heap big wampum.

Lurker21 said...

Who would we give it back to? The Lakota/Sioux took it from the Cheyenne, Crow, Kiowa and Arapaho, who had displaced the Arikara. The Sioux fought on our side against the remaining Arikara, and later the Arikara fought on our side against the Sioux.

*

Journalists like to single out some small state as a "rotten borough." Back when Nevada was the least populous of the continental states you got books like Nevada, the Great Rotten Borough, 1859-1964 complaining about the state that only was admitted because Lincoln needed more votes and state ratifications and that went on to make divorce and gambling the cornerstones of its economy. It was Wyoming's turn when it became the least populous state. The fact that it was solidly Republican had to have played a role in that. Even Bidenland was singled out in Ralph Nader's group study The Corporate State.

I guess stuff like that attracts readers, but Noah's article suggests that journalists are people who never grew up. Journalism and politics become a kind of video game in which the only goal is to score points against the other side, and cheap shots, snarkiness, and pettiness are encouraged.

TheOne Who Is Not Obeyed said...

Now that I think of it, Verendrye didn't steal a damn thing. He walked around in the state burying lead plates - but those did nothing on their own. The state was "stolen" by the means of mass migration followed by government action. To blame some lone Frenchman with grand ideas of his own importance for "stealing" a gigantic area of a giant land mass is downright nonsensical.

Rather like Chait himself.

TheOne Who Is Not Obeyed said...

Not Chait, Noah. Having a hard time keeping these Progs apart today. They all look the same to me.

David53 said...

"South Dakota became a world capital of patrimonial capitalism..."

How many world capitals of patrimonial capitalism are there?

Skeptical Voter said...

What is it with these people? I can't even think of describing an entire state as "a moral sewer". Well maybe I could---when extremely provoked--bring myself to describe a certain swamp on the Potomac as a den of iniquity, but I'd never call it a moral sewer.

tim in vermont said...

A lot of land changed hands by conquest between Indian tribes in the Beaver Wars, for just one example. If you eliminate ethnicity matters from the definition, the Iroquois were undoubtedly a colonial power.

All of those horse cultures on the Great Plains arose when a large herd of ponies was released during the destruction by Indians of a Spanish Fort —IIRC— and once the Indians got horses, well all bets were off on who owned what land, Mongolians used horses in a similar fashion. The Indians who were there at the time probably possessed it for less than 200 years.

The "Great Slave Lake" is so named because it is the homeland of a tribe the Cree referred to as the "Slavey Indians," well that's how it translated, because that's where they raided when slaves were wanted.

MadisonMan said...

I've often thought a good Jeopardy! category would be "Pronounce it like a Native".

Pierre (SD) could be in there. Cairo (IL). Natchitoches (LA).

Leland said...

Clickbait garbage for the New Republic fanbase. I agree with those above that this is about red state Senators, and Timothy Noah lacks the moral courage to argue for his policy beliefs and therefore resorts to picking a point in history, pulling it out of context, and attacking it as a strawman. The New Republic is the breeding ground of pseudo intellectualism.

"The precise Native American tribe from whom South Dakota was stolen is not certain"

You know why that is? Because the tribes fought over and "stole" the land themselves time and time again. May Timothy Noah live a land in which tribes bitterly fight routinely over land.

who-knew said...

Oh, the unfairness of it all! North and South Dakota have 2 million people and 4 senators. How come leftists complaining about the unfairness of the senate never bring up New England where 16 million people have 12! senators? Oh wait, they are almost all Democrats so it's A-OK.

Michael K said...

American native cultures had just as much time as every other culture in the world to build sufficient technologies to resist the movement of immigrants and migrants to the previously semi-occupied lands and they didn't. Too bad.

They did not come up with the wheel and they ate all the horses.

rcocean said...

lets give Beverly Hills back to the Indians. Free of charge. And do the same with NYC.

What a clown-joke. Anytime a leftist like Noah, starts talking about morals or "Ethics" - I have to burst out laughing.

Iman said...

Hey, Joe Smith… Bay Area from memory:

Oakland: Bump (off) City

San Francisco: Shit City

BarrySanders20 said...

Dark Is Land said: "Yes, I know, the Dutch may have bought it from the wrong tribe, one who didn't own it. If so, the lawful oner tribe should take it up with them, not the Dutch. Assuming the Dutch acted in good faith. Not always a valid assumption."

Moral: Don't ever trust a guy wearing wooden shoes.

Iman said...

Even Stephen Glass would feel a sense of shame re: Noah’s scribblings.

Witness said...

Had they got a flag?

Skipper said...

let him be the first to deed his property to some tribe.

Maynard said...

I've often thought a good Jeopardy! category would be "Pronounce it like a Native".

Pierre (SD) could be in there. Cairo (IL). Natchitoches (LA).


Let's not forget Berlin, WI (Burrrlin) and Versailles, IL (Versales).

Joe Smith said...

'A lot of land changed hands by conquest between Indian tribes in the Beaver Wars, for just one example.'

Wasn't 'Beaver Wars' Marilyn Chambers' first flick?

'Oakland: Bump (off) City

San Francisco: Shit City'

Now? Sure.

But in the '60s, Northern California was paradise...

Michael K said...

I used to subscribe to the New Republic, back when it presented reasonable and logical arguments from both sides of an issue. That was 20 years ago.

Narayanan said...

Joe Smith said...
'The story is that the dutch bought it for $24.'

In 1626, that was heap big wampum.
----------------
to the native tribe may be - but not to the Dutch : more like Dilbert spending $20,000 on his dog

Unknown said...

Oh, Timmy, could there ever be a place with a history pure enough for you? Tell us of it, and we will then know how to evaluate the past.

Narr said...

Those lead plates are an interesting example of a sort of primitive animism--the object having more than symbolic power.

Nowadays that sort of thing is usually done in the negative, with statues and boulders the size of large rocks having more than symbolic power.

BUMBLE BEE said...

So the author didn't get a trophy for attending... he got a diploma. Same same.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

“It's one of the first things you learn when you move to South Dakota - the correct pronunciation of our state capital is 'peer' (like the one you fish off of), not 'pee-air' (like the first name of a Frenchman).”

The “correct” pronunciation is something between peer and pee-air, pee-er with just a hint of a second syllable.

chuck said...

American native cultures had just as much time as every other culture

Or maybe not. I've often wondered if there were a lot of important developments going on in the Eastern Mediterranean long before historical civilization developed that we just don't know about. Not least, long settlement of the lands. I would place development in the Americas about 3-4 thousand years behind the curve.

Skeptical Voter said...

Yup--let's look at Vermont---population ~646,000 people that sends two Senators--Bernie Sanders (for the last 14 years) and Patrick Leahy--for the last 46 years to the Senate. Those guys have inflicted a lot of damage on the US political scene.

Now if we want to look for another polity--but with zero Senators--look at the City and County of San Francisco---population ~850,000 people. It doesn't have anybody in the Senate--but it regularly sends Nancy Pelosi to the House of Representatives.

Is that fair? Vermont gets two and SFO gets none?

Well San Frnsciso punches above its weight in political destruction on the scene.

Why I might even be moved to call the feces and needle covered streets in San Francisco almost a "den of iniquity". But a moral sewer? Never!

effinayright said...

Skeptical Voter said...
What is it with these people? I can't even think of describing an entire state as "a moral sewer". Well maybe I could---when extremely provoked--bring myself to describe a certain swamp on the Potomac as a den of iniquity, but I'd never call it a moral sewer.
*****************

You want moral sewers, you don't need to look far from SD:

Viva Las Vegas!!!

effinayright said...

Skeptical Voter said...
What is it with these people? I can't even think of describing an entire state as "a moral sewer". Well maybe I could---when extremely provoked--bring myself to describe a certain swamp on the Potomac as a den of iniquity, but I'd never call it a moral sewer.
*****************

Especially when Nevada is so near.

Viva Las Vegas!!!

Sloanasaurus said...

A very strange article. It's like hating a whole state for all kinds of perceived historical injustices. These are the same injustices that one can find and apply to all peoples and all states of the world. To that end I have always wondered when the Gauls stopped complaining that the Romans stole their land... Certainly the Moors stole Spain from the Visigoths, who stole it from the Romans, who in turn stole it from the Carthaginians, who stole it from the Celts, who stole it from whoever was there before the Celts. I guess the Spanish stole it back from the Moors, and still retain it for now. Someday, some people will steal South Dakota from the Americans. Perhaps it will be the Canadians, the Chinese, or white liberals from California. What an injustice!

tim in vermont said...

The Indians didn't really mind the French because the French didn't put them in reservations, didn't claim ownership of the land and tell them they couldn't hunt or trap. What the French wanted was the exclusive right to trade with the Indians, and they paid in trade goods that the Indians really wanted. they also wanted small settlements, mostly for military reasons to protect their rights from the English, and also to "save the souls" of the Indians through conversion to Christianity. The Indians were shocked ,when the French surrendered in the French and Indian War, at their subsequent treatment by the British, and so they went right back to war again (Pontiac's War) since they had never surrendered themselves. After a year where the Indians enjoyed a great deal of military success in the Ohio Valley and Michigan, the English backed off in their treatment, a little bit, but the American Revolution pretty much doomed the Indians' hopes.

tim in vermont said...

Somebody in the lefty war room operated by the Junta that Runs America has put a hit out on South Dakota to the propaganda merchants. This is to take the focus on all of the Ukrainian corruption revealed by the Pandora Papers.

https://www.axios.com/south-dakota-global-tax-haven-5120d206-20ab-4cc1-ba91-d1d59fe22487.html

tim in vermont said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bruce Hayden said...

Well, that was my first of 3 TNR articles. Woo! Hoo! I don’t live in NYC or SFC, so don’t expect there to be a second anytime soon.

South Dakota stole a handful of banking jobs from NYC. I can see why the author is scandalized. Worse, they make it hard for financially profligate hard pressed states like NY and CA make ends meet by their very attractive tax and trust policies. They are stealing money from Albany, their betters in NYC. Old money in NYC must be respected, and given invites to the best benefits, but old money in SD is just immoral.

Don’t worry. The SD Governor may be attractive, and did a better job with COVID-19 than the governors of NY, CA, NJ, etc did, but that is an absurdly low bar. Probably at least 40, maybe 45, state governors did better. She’s a lightweight. The governors you should really be worried about are DeSantis of FL and Abbott of TX. They are much smarter, run much more populous states, and are beating those Dem governors bloody right now.

Bruce Hayden said...

“ What is it with these people? I can't even think of describing an entire state as "a moral sewer". Well maybe I could---when extremely provoked--bring myself to describe a certain swamp on the Potomac as a den of iniquity, but I'd never call it a moral sewer.”

Yeh, such a moral sewer that a lot of people don’t lock their trucks (typically carrying guns) or their houses. And, a lot higher percentage of the population attend church. You know what is a moral sewer today? Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco, whose gay bathhouses were the center of the AIDS epidemic, and whose streets are littered with (literal) shit and used needles. Indeed, my view is that any city that will not lock people up for leaving either on the street, is already well along to being a moral sewer. No place I would live.

TheOne Who Is Not Obeyed said...

"I would place development in the Americas about 3-4 thousand years behind the curve."

You might do so, archaeology would not. They had the time, it's their problem if they didn't have the motivation.

Indeed, looking at the upstart cultures of Central and South America in comparison to the denizens of the interior of North America makes the question even more salient: NoAm indians had all the time they needed to at LEAST start the process of technological innovation. Heck, North American cultures had figured out socialism and mound building - possibly by long range cultural adoption from said Central American cultures. But not wheels. Not metallurgy beyond basic copper and lead smelting.

Narr said...

I was a New Republic subscriber for about 30 years, ending about '08. They published some very talented and knowledgeable writers, and even if I didn't always agree with their politics they were usually sane and represented a very important swathe or tranche of opinion. It's a shadow of what it was, and I don't miss it at all.

Charles Mann's book "1491" is a broad and interesting survey of civilizational and cultural developments in South America that have only recently drawn much attention. They show a lot of ingenuity and adaptation to local conditions but (IIRC) not for longer than a few centuries at a time. These are long before the Inca.

The people who built Cahokia and other great mounds adapted all too well to certain conditions, but altered those conditions and their nascent proto-states never lasted long.

As interesting as the failure of those Amerindian populations to create hardware on their own is the highly selective way that they adapted or rejected Euro-tech. Some took to horses like Cossacks, and proceeded to lord it over others as much as they could get away with, and had fun while it lasted.

Corinth, MS and Helena, AR are shibboleths around here. Or, around heah.


gpm said...

>>Let's not forget Berlin, WI (Burrrlin)

Same in northern New Hampshire.

Even we original ferners can tell who the ferners are in Boston. Anyone who refers to the Boston Commons or Public Gardens. Anyone who pronounces "Copley" with a long o. Anyone who refers to a particular roadway as anything other than "Mass. Ave." A bit more lenience with another roadway: You can say either "Comm. Ave." or "Commonwealth," but not "Commonwealth Avenue." Oh, and any idiot that drives a truck on Storrow Drive and ends up getting "storrowed."

--gpm

gpm said...

And don't get me started on the correct pronunciation of "Chicago." I always point to Bonnie Hunt (I didn't know him, but her brother was in my high school class) as the exemplar of a perfect Chicago accent (not that there is any such thing as a Chicago accent; we just speak English correctly).

--gpm

Caligula said...

Is it worth pointing out that every piece of land on Earth was taken from someone who was there first? Or even that it’s unlikely that the natives Europeans encountered in South Dakota were the first people to live there, as if their ancestors just happened to wander to South Dakota when they arrived in the Americas and found no one living there.

This sort of thing used to be called “irredentism,” and was savagely mocked as it can lead only to never-ending warfare. Because, truly, even if someone kicked out out, there was almost certainly someone there before you- that you kicked out. Even if you’ve been there for a very long time, it’s just far more likely that your ancestors came to possess this land by right of conquest and not because it just happened to be uninhabited when they got there.

Of course, it’s NPR, and so there are unspoken rules. Such as, Europeans steal land from others, but others … well, we just don’t think about how they might have come to be in possession of some piece of real estate. Or at least NPR doesn’t. Why would they, where all relevant questions can be answered by simply be determining group identities, and then placing these in the approved hierarchical order?