A beautiful half Native American, half-Scottish orphan raised by a harsh Mexican ranchera, Ramona enters into a forbidden love affair with a heroic Mission Indian named Alessandro. The pair’s adventures after they elope paint a vivid portrait of California history and the woeful fate of Native Americans and Mexicans whose lands and rights were stripped as Anglo-Americans overran southern California.
Set from the first American edition of 1884, this Modern Library Paperback Classic includes José Martí’s 1888 prologue (translated from the Spanish by Esther Allen).
This Broadview edition re-examines the novel’s legacy by placing it alongside public speeches, letters, and newspaper articles that promoted what was ultimately a damaging campaign by reformers to “assimilate” Native American peoples. Selections from Jackson’s non-fiction writings call into question the link between assimilationist policies and the story told in Ramona; also included are the writings and testimonies of some of Jackson’s Native American contemporaries, as well as a selection of travel essays and images that helped to create “the Ramona myth.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson described Jackson as the "greatest American woman poet." These stirring letters will intrigue anyone interested in Indian affairs, nineteenth-century women’s studies, or the social history of Victorian America, where Jackson made her mark despite the restrictions on women. Among her correspondents were Oliver Wendell Holmes, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Moncure D. Conway, Henry B. Whipple, Henry L. Dawes, Henry Teller, Carl Schurz, and of course, commissioners of Indian affairs and such prominent editors as Whitelaw Reid, Charles Dudley Warner, and Richard Watson Gilder.
The letters are presented in sections on the Ponca and Mission Indian causes, allowing readers to focus on the time period and Indian group of choice.