4. Measurement & Meaning

A) The Grid

The so-called grid system, oriented to the four points of the compass and extending from Ohio to the Pacific, could also be organized into townships and counties and even states, all beautifully rectangular. It was an ingenious, if unimaginative, way of creating a landscape, but it was not easy to get used to, and in the beginning settlers from the East or from Europe complained of its monotony and its disregard of the topography; in fact, the grid made no adjustment to rivers or hills or marshlands. Still, by now, more than two centuries later, there are millions of Americans so thoroughly at home in the grid that they cannot conceive of any other way of organizing space. I have been in homes in Kansas where they refer to the southwest (or northwest) burner on their stove. They tell you that the bathroom is upstairs, straight ahead south. (4)

It is this grid, not the eagle or the stars and stripes, which is our true national emblem. I think it must be imprinted at the moment of conception on every American child, to remain throughout his or her life a way of calculating not only space but movement. (153)

A Sense of Place, a Sense of Time (1994)
John Brinckerhoff Jackson


Phrases such as "a square deal" and "he's a four square man" entered the national vocabulary as expressions of righteousness and fairness. By the 1860s the grid objectified national, not regional, order, and no one wondered at rural space marked by urban rectilinearity. (106-107)

Common Landscape of America, 1580 to 1845 (1982)
John Stilgoe


The rows crops, too, follow the grid; driving the country roads in late summer is like speeding through eye-level corduroy. The smaller country cemetery, located on a rise, never succumbed to the curvilinear cemetery planning fashion; its plots and marker stones are lined up so that even the dead are settled on the grid system. With the disappearance of windmills and trees, a new set of verticals, the phone and the power poles, provide a regular, repetitive subdivision to that grid. The hedgerows that are left are now simple lines of trees; they read not as low, wide, rounded masses but as thin lacy walls, tracing field patterns and reinforcing further subdivision of the grid. Seen inscribed against a winter sunset, they seem to symbolize nature not only receiving the grid but becoming the grid. (79)

"Square to the Road, Hogs to the East" (1985)
Robert Riley


B) The Survey

May 20, 1785, is a momentous day in United States history. On that day Congress authorized the surveying of the western territories... into six-mile-square townships. Each township, Congress directed, would be bounded by lines running due north-south and east-west; other parallel lines would divide each township into thirty-six square sections of 640 acres each. The Land Ordinance of 1785 began in compromises that truly satisfied no one, but with minor revisions it determined the spatial organization of two-thirds of the present United States. The Ohio farmer of 1820 - and much later the Wyoming rancher and the California fruit grower - settled and shaped wilderness surveyed according to the traditional and Enlightenment optimism that translated the urban grid of Philadelphia onto land destined for agriculture. (99)

Common Landscape of America, 1580 to 1845 (1982)
John Stilgoe


The beauty of the land survey as refined by Jared Mansfield was that it made buying simple, whether by squatter, settler, or speculator. (165-66)

The land being purely his own, there is no setting limits on his prosperity. No proud tyrant can lord it over him - he has no rent to pay - no game laws - nor timber laws nor fishing laws to dread. He had no taxes to pay except his equal share for the support of the civil government of the country, which is but a trifle.... Such are the blessings enjoyed by the American farmer.... May the Almighty Father of the human race pour down his choicest blessing on the heads of those who planned, and carried into effect such a benevolent system. (171-72)

Measuring American (2002)
Andro Linklater

Travels in the United States of America (1812)
John Melish


Most Americans and Canadians accept the survey system that so strongly affects their lives and perception of the landscape in the same way that they accept a week of seven days, a decimal numerical system, or an alphabet of 26 letters - as natural, inevitable, or perhaps in some inscrutable way divinely ordained.

Order Upon the Land (1976)
Hildegard Binder Johnson


The abstract space of the survey helps make a world that exists, not as a set of social practices, but as a binary order: individuals and their practices set against an inert structure. Space is marked and divided into places where people are put. In the process, space is desocialized and depoliticized. Yet, at the same time, enframing conceals the processes through which it works as an ordering device. (127)

If colonial possession was dependent upon dispossession, the survey served as a form of organized forgetting (Brealey 1998). More abstractly, the effect of the survey was to render space as an object of calculation: "The survey, with its triple artillery of map, sketches, and journal, was a strategy for translating space into a conceivable object, an object that the mind could possess long before the lowing herds" (Carter 1988, 329). As noted, in so reifying property as an abstract space, the survey and its maps played an important role in the redefinition of tenurial relations in newly colonized territories. (128)

Following Robert Sack (1986), the survey helped facilitate a conceptual emptying of space. Territoriality conceptually separates a bounded space from the things and relations that inform it, thus imagining the space as a purely abstract and empty site that has meaning only in terms of the logic of private property. In what amounted to a remarkable form of "anticonquest" (Pratt 1992), a native space dense with meanings, stories, and tenurial relations could thus be conceptually remapped as vacant land. (129)

"Law, Property, and the Geography of Violence: The Frontier, the Survey, and the Grid" (2003)
Nicholas Blomley


The survey abstracted reality. Its standardized treatment of land overwhelmed the particularities of place. It promoted land fraud, speculation, and exploitation across the continent. For generations, it encouraged the adoption of the hard utilitarian view of land as commodity, rather than (in Johnson's words) "a common good under the stewardship of its owners" or (in Aldo Leopold's words) "a community to which we belong."

The land survey magnified and deepened the distinction between public and private land, and hence between public and private interest in the use of land. For our inability to bring into harmony these interests not to mention the interests of the prior inhabitants, future generations, and other species we continue to pay mightily. "Too much rectilinearity, tied to efficiency, in our daily environment has been an American misfortune," Hildegard Binder Johnson concluded. The grid, of course, did not breathe these forces into being. Economic doctrines, land policies, and traditions of faith, philosophy, commerce, and science contributed as much, if not more, over many centuries. But the grid did give these forces exceptional opportunity to express themselves.

We inherit a grid that is simultaneously real and metaphorical. It has shaped materially our system of land use and our way of thinking about land - about the natural, the wild, the humanized, the civilized. It holds our memories and our lives and our plans. At the same time, it signifies our adherence to, and the imposition of, an abstract construction of the human mind. We have looked to the lines first, not to the land upon which the lines were laid. In this light, we can see that one of the functions of an evolving land ethic is to help us now to read in between - and across - the lines. (201-202)

Correction Lines: Essays on Land, Leopold, and Conservation (2004)
Curt Meine


C) Land to Property

The idea of ownership begins to fall apart when it comes to land, for a possession is something under one's control and which one has a right to control: Land undermines both these concepts, being beyond control and above it morally. A person owns land in somewhat the sense that a flea owns its dog; land ownership is really more akin to having a patent on something: One derives the exclusive rights to benefit, but the thing itself is a concept or an area, not a commodity. When land is sold, it is the people that move, not the land - the expression that it has changed hands. And even the idea of a piece of land is an abstraction: No wall or ditch can break up the continuity of the surface of the earth; it does not really become pieces. Native beliefs usually obviate the possibility of land ownership: The land is not conceptualized as alienable, divisible objects but as a continuity, spatially and temporally. (189-190)

Savage Dreams (1994)
Rebecca Solnit


Tribal possession of land was a natural enough concomitant of the simple political and social organization of the Illinois Indians. The land had come down by descent from their ancestors, whose bones were preserved in its bosom, and they felt themselves obligated to hand it on to their children and their children's children for countless generations to come. To alienate the tribal title was an inconceivable idea. This absence of a well-developed concept for private ownership of land was long a stumbling block for a mutual understanding between the Indians and the whites. To allow the whites to use the land was one thing; to cede to them the permanent possession of the land was quite different and to the Indians an act outside of their experience. (42)

The Illinois Country: 1673-1818 (1920)
Clarence Walworth Alvord


With a mixture of desperation and grim humor, the Seneca chief Red Jacket asked for some breathing space in a famous speech in 1829, much quoted by contemporary newspapers: "Brothers, as soon as the war with Great Britain was over, the United States began to part the Indians' land among themselves.... permit me to kneel down and beseech you to let us remain on our land - have a little patience - the Great Spirit is removing us out of your way very fast; wait yet a little while and we shall all be dead! Then you can get the Indians' land for nothing, - nobody will be here to dispute it with you." (215-216)

Measuring American (2002)
Andro Linklater


Americans began to settle in southern Illinois as early as 1778, and land companies quickly formed to promote the benefits of homesteading there. The Kickapoo, allied with the Shawnees and the Miamis, proposed a militant Algonquian resistance to the American settler, "that great land animal," comparing a white settlement to a drop of raccoon's grease fallen on a new blanket: at first scarcely visible, in time the stain grows to cover every inch. (27)

Sugar Creek: Life on the Illinois Prairie (1986)
John Mack Faragher


Then one day the white man discovered that the Indian tribes still owned some 135 million acres of land. To his horror he learned that much of it was very valuable. Some was good grazing land, some was farm land, some mining land, and some covered with timber. Animals could be herded together on a piece of land, but they could not sell it. Therefore it took no time at all to discover that Indians were really people and should have the right to sell their lands. Land was the means of recognizing the Indian as a human being. It was the method whereby land could be stolen legally and not blatantly. (7)

Custer Died for your Sins (1969)
Vine Deloria, Jr.


For Edward Said (1993, 7), the relation between imperialism and land is a fundamental one: "At some very basic level, imperialism means thinking about, settling on, and controlling land that you do not possess, that is distant, that is lived on and often involves untold misery for others." (128)

Jeremy Bentham offers a more explicit example of the frontier that separates the spaces of property and violence. Property, for Bentham ([1843] 1978, 52), was "an established expectation" that requires the security provided by law for it to exist: "Property and law are born together, and die together. Before laws were made there was no property; take away laws, and property ceases." In the absence of security, property fails, and so does economic activity. The colonial landscapes of North America, he claimed, offered a striking contrast between the domain where property and security coexist and its antithesis - the violent spaces in which property is absent:

The interior of that immense region offers only a frightful solitude; impenetrable forests or sterile plains, stagnant waters and impure vapors; such is the earth when left to itself. The fierce tribes which rove through these deserts without fixed habitations, always occupied with the pursuit of game, and animated against each other by implacable rivalries, meet only for combat, and often succeed only in destroying each other. The beasts of the forest are not so dangerous to man as he is to himself. But on the borders of these frightful solitudes, what different sights are seen! We appear to comprehend in the same view the two empires of good and evil. Forests give place to cultivated fields, morasses are dried up, and the surface, grown firm, is covered with meadows, pastures, domestic animals, habitations healthy and smiling. Rising cities are built upon regular plans; roads are constructed to communicate between them; everything announces that men, seeking the means of intercourse, have ceased to fear and to murder each other. (Bentham [1843] 1978, 56)

Yet, once established, Harris (1993, 67) argues, the land system itself became the most important form of disciplinary power: "It defined where people could and could not go as well as their rights to land use, and it backed these rights, as need be, with sovereign power... the land system itself became powerfully regulative. Survey lines and fences were pervasive forms of disciplinary power backed by a property owner, backed by the law, and requiring little official supervision." (129)

"Law, Property, and the Geography of Violence: The Frontier, the Survey, and the Grid" (2003)
Nicholas Blomley


Fields, fences, and firebreaks were concrete embodiments of the environmental partitioning that made farming possible, but they also expressed the underlying property system that divided the land into ownership rights. Few other regions of the United States were better suited to the system which the government had used since 1785 for selling public lands, subdividing the nation into a vast grid of square-mile sections whose purpose was to turn land into real estate by the most economically expedient method. By imposing the same abstract and homogeneous grid pattern on all land, no matter how ecologically diverse, government surveyors made it marketable. As happened during Chicago's land craze of the 1830s, the grid turned the prairie into a commodity, and became the foundation for all subsequent land use. (101-102)

Nature's Metropolis (1991)
William Cronon


D) Property Disputes

"Tribal Land Claim Meets Resistance in Illinois; Miamis' Suit Viewed as Tactic for Casino Accord" (2001) / Washington Post

A century and a half ago, U.S. Army troops herded the Miami Indians of the upper Midwest at gunpoint onto canal barges and deported them to Kansas, leaving Illinois -- a state with an Algonquian name meaning "tribe of superior men" - without a single Native American tribe.

Now the Algonquian-speaking Miamis, who eventually were moved to a reservation in northeastern Oklahoma, are in federal court claiming 2.6 million acres of their ancestral home. The lawsuit contends the U.S. government violated treaties made with the tribe in 1795 and 1805 by selling the Illinois land to white settlers during the western expansion.

If successful, the lawsuit could lead to the eviction of thousands of private landowners from property the Indians estimate is now worth $ 30 billion and which, in some cases, has been owned by the same white families for generations. If the state intervenes to seek a dismissal of the case, as it has asked the court's permission to do, the tribe could seek title to state land containing the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, tribal leaders contend.

As in similar Indian property claims that have been growing in number across the country, the historic roles of white men and Indians have been reversed. White landowners are complaining that they are the victims of a ruthless land grab by greedy Indians backed by a complicit federal government.

But like many of the other land claims, the battle here appears to have less to do with recovering huge tracts of ancestral homelands than about leveraging a settlement for a small plot of land and state approval for building a casino in a lucrative market.

In Connecticut, New York, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, California, Alabama and elsewhere, tribes have sued for land or purchased it and then asked the federal government to convert it to Indian trust land so they can negotiate a compact with the state to build a casino.

With nearly a third of the 554 federally recognized tribes running some sort of gambling operation - and making $ 10 billion a year in the process - Indians have become major contributors to state and national political campaigns and have tipped the balance of power in many of their disputes over gaining casino rights.

While Miami tribal leaders have been vague about their intentions in central and southern Illinois, Gov. George Ryan (R) has said they have offered privately to settle for 5,000 acres and a compact under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act to build a casino. Ryan has said he will not settle, and the state, which is not named as a defendant in the tribe's lawsuit, is seeking to intervene to have the case dismissed. A trial is scheduled for June in Benton, Ill.

In the meantime, many of the 4,700 residents of this 150-year-old farming community of ornate Victorian homes and leafy neighborhoods say they are fearful that a gaudy new Indian casino will go up on the western edge of Paxton alongside Interstate 57. They say an injustice is about to be committed on them that will equal those inflicted on American Indians throughout the 19th century.

"Sure, there were lots of injustices done to the Indians and to a lot of other people in history," said Jim Ehman, 53, who grows corn and soybeans on 750 acres outside Paxton. "My dad was first generation from northern Germany and in the Dark Ages the Vikings came and made galley slaves out of those people. But we can't fix all of the atrocities of past generations."

Rich Porter, an ice cream business owner who leads a group called "Say No-Stop the Casino," said he doesn't believe in the "corruption of blood theory" that holds current generations responsible for the deeds of their ancestors.

In any case, Porter said he doubts any injustices were committed against the Miami tribe. He said that while the United States may have given the Miamis the disputed land in the 1805 Treaty of Grouseland, the tribe abandoned the land and it was subsequently ceded to the government by the Potawatomi.

He was referring to the settlement of the Miami tribe at the southern end of Lake Michigan until Potawatomi and Kickapoo tribal encroachment drove them southeast to the Miami River in Ohio.

"Why settle a case with someone you don't owe a dime to?" asked Porter. "The question isn't whether harm was done to the Indians. The question is, how far does political correctness go?"

The Miami contend that for centuries the tribe hunted, fished, foraged and farmed on land that now comprises Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. Porter said the real issue in the dispute is the constitutionally protected tribal sovereignty that he said will give the Miami tribe's casino immunity from state laws and taxes.

"We're not racists. We're looking for equal rights for all, and creating new separate little Indian nations with their own rights and own sovereignty isn't the equal rights that Lincoln fought for," said Porter's wife, Donae.

The question of sovereign immunity has been raised by Sen. Peter Fitzgerald (R-Ill.), who has introduced legislation that would subject tribes to certain state laws, such as the statute of limitations, in bringing land claims and therefore restrict the Indians' sovereignty.

Rep. Tim Johnson (R-Ill.) has drafted a similar bill that would curtail the power of the Bureau of Indian Affairs to grant tribes land and approve casinos.

However, tribal leaders say any efforts to weaken tribal sovereignty are doomed because of constitutional protections of Native American tribes' special status as separate nations within the United States that deal with the federal government and not the states.

Tim Yow, one of 15 property owners who were symbolically named in the lawsuit - one for each county in dispute - said the sovereignty issue inherent in the land claim already has clouded the title to his house in the event he tries to sell it. But Yow said he doesn't want the state to settle with the Indians "just to get my neck out of the noose."

"As soon as you concede on this, then they have their reservation and they're not under any of our laws. Then they can do anything they want," Yaw said. "I do feel sorry for everything that happened to the Indians, but to the victor goes the spoils. What do we do, give Texas back to the Mexicans?"

That kind of talk strikes George Tiger, spokesman for the Miamis, as condescending and unwarranted considering that the tribe has made it clear that forcing white landowners off 2.6 million acres "would not happen" and that it wants to reach a negotiated settlement.

Tiger would not discuss any casino plans, saying they had never been formally proposed by the tribe and were only brought up by state officials to inflame feelings on the land claim issue. "It would be hard to consider any kind of economic development until the property is in our hands and we have done feasibility studies on how best to develop it economically," he said.

However, a Rochester, N.Y., developer who is helping the Golden Hill Paugussetts in Connecticut and other tribes build casinos, confirmed that he has paid most of the Miami tribe's legal fees and would like to build a casino on the disputed land.

"If there's a land settlement, we'll be involved with the tribe in developing that property, whether it be a casino, a truck stop or whatever," Thomas C. Wilmot Sr., chairman of Wilmorite Inc., said in a telephone interview. Wilmot said his firm had lawyers, historians and genealogists working on the land claim, but that with all of the controversy over the casino issue "it's impossible to say where this is going."

Wilmot said the state appeared to have "pulled back from [settlement] talks, so this seems headed to trial."

A state attorney involved in the case, who asked that he not be identified, said the state has held discussions with the Miami Indians since 1991 and had rejected settlement proposals "because we don't believe they have legal merit." He said loss of state sovereignty was the issue that defeated such proposals.


"Genocide, A Casino... What's the Difference?" (2001) / FAIR

A Washington Post report on a lawsuit by the Miami Indian tribe to regain ancestral lands in Illinois (2/13/01) severely trivialized the genocide and ethnic cleansing faced by Native Americans. Post reporter William Claiborne, attempting to put the dispute in context, wrote:

"As in similar Indian property claims that have been growing in number across the country, the historic roles of white men and Indians have been reversed. White landowners are complaining that they are the victims of a ruthless land grab by greedy Indians backed by a complicit federal government."

While an editor might eliminate a reporter's off-hand reference to "greedy Jews," "greedy Koreans" or the like, for some reason "greedy Indians" seems not to have set off any warning bells at the Post.

After suggesting that the Miami tribe might settle its claims in exchange for a relatively small amount of land and the right to build a casino, Claiborne wrote:

"Many of the 4,700 residents of this 150-year-old farming community of ornate Victorian homes and leafy neighborhoods say they are fearful that a gaudy new Indian casino will go up on the western edge of Paxton alongside Interstate 57. They say an injustice is about to be committed on them that will equal those inflicted on American Indians throughout the 19th century."

Is it really necessary to point out that having a casino in your neighborhood - even a "gaudy new Indian casino," in Claiborne's racialized phrase - is in no way comparable to the mass killing and forced displacement faced by Native Americans, not only in the 19th Century but for the last several centuries? Yet this attitude is not only unquestioned, it dominates the Washington Post's article, with no Indians or supporters of Indian claims quoted until the 22nd paragraph of a 27-paragraph article.

With so little balance, the article comes across not only as a slanted attack on tribal claims, but as a racist attack on Native Americans as an ethnicity.

ACTION: Please contact Washington Post ombudsman Michael Getler, and ask him to review the February 13 report on the Miami Indian lawsuit. Ask him to clarify that it is not the Post's policy to republish ethnic slurs without context, or to equate casino-building with genocidal crimes against Native Americans.

CONTACT: Michael Getler, Ombudsman ombudsman@washpost.com The Washington Post 150 15th Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20071


"Washington Post Reporter William Claiborne Responds to FAIR's February 16 Alert" (2001) / FAIR

I believe that Michael Getler, the Washington Post's ombudsman, is writing something in response to the large number of e-mails he received concerning my February 13 article about the Miami Indian Tribe's land claim in southern Illinois. But because many of those e-mails were copied to me, I am replying directly.

It is not the Washington Post's policy to republish ethnic slurs without context, or to equate casino-building with genocidal crimes against Native Americans. Nor is it my policy or practice to do so. I do not write racist stories and have never done so in my 41 years in journalism, 32 of them at the Washington Post as a national and foreign correspondent.

Unfortunately, the context that was present in my 1,500-word article was omitted from FAIR's Action Alert, which republished only two paragraphs of quotations or paraphrases of comments made by white property owners whom I interviewed in the area of southern Illinois that is disputed in the Miami Tribe's land claim.

The context began with the very first paragraph of the article, which was not reprinted in the Action Alert:

A century and a half ago, U.S. Army troops herded the Miami Indians of the upper Midwest at gunpoint onto canal barges and deported them to Kansas, leaving Illinois - a state with an Algonquian name meaning "tribe of superior men" without a single Native American tribe.

The point of this article was that the white man's 19th Century policy of ethnic cleansing in order to make room in the Midwest for the westward expansion of settlers eliminated every single Indian tribe from Illinois. Now, 150 years later, the Algonquian-speaking Miami Tribe of the upper Midwest was returning with a land claim of 2.6 million acres of their ancestral home that could put the land into tribal trust and give the Miamis sovereignty over it and property owned by descendants of white settlers.

The purpose of the article was to report on the reactions of the white landowners in the face of this supreme irony. In the course of my interviews, I heard some outrageous and offensive statements like "they're doing the same thing they claim whites did to them" and "to the victor goes the spoils." Some characterized the Miamis' lawsuit as a "greedy land grab."

I quoted or paraphrased some of these statements in an attempt to illustrate a level of fear bordering on hysteria among some property owners in rural, conservative southern Illinois in the face of a very remote possibility that the Miami Tribe could win anything more than a modest financial settlement (as has happened in other similar lawsuits) or, at best, gain a small plot of land and permission to build a casino. I thought - wrongly, as it turns out - that the statements were so outrageous that in light of my opening paragraph that cited the 1846 atrocity of forced removal the reader would conclude that my only motive for repeating the remarks was to expose the irrational reactions of the people I was quoting.

Most people who responded to FAIR's Action Alert with e-mails to me appear not to have read the entire article and therefore could not possibly have detected my obviously failed attempt to juxtapose the 1846 tragedy with the present-day landowners' hysterical reactions. Some of those who sent e-mails referred to the Miami tribe as "the Florida tribe," indicating they could not possibly have read the lead paragraph of the article that placed the Miami Tribe in the upper Midwest.

In retrospect, even though it was used by some of those interviewed, the term "greedy" is a word that is so highly-charged and emotive that it should have been omitted. I wrongly believed the reader would understand that I was repeating this offensive term only because of the ultimate irony that it was being used by the descendants of white men who greedily dispossessed an entire peoples from land they had inhabited for thousands of years. As for the use of the phrase "gaudy casino," I have never seen a casino of any ethnic ownership that is not gaudy. In fact, casino developers will tell you that they are intended to be gaudy.

However, as one of the few national reporters who has covered Indian Country on a regular basis for a number of years, I've frequently traveled to reservations that have legal gaming and I have written stories about how casinos have provided woefully impoverished tribes with the seed money they needed for non-gaming economic development that has allowed them to improve their social and economic condition. There are many major Native American tribal leaders who will attest to my fairness in covering Indian Country. I have long had - and still have - a deep appreciation of Native American tribes' ability to use casino revenues to improve their members' lives.

William Claiborne
Washington Post


Testimony of The Honorable Timothy V. Johnson
Member of Congress / 15th Congressional District, Illinois
May 8, 2002

The Committee on Resources

In the summer of 2000, fifteen landowners in east-central Illinois received notice the Miami Indian Tribe of Oklahoma was suing them. These 15 individuals from 15 separate counties were told they were being sued because the Miami was claiming that some 2.6 million acres rightfully belonged to them under a treaty, the Treaty of Grouseland signed in 1805.

I am not opposed to the Miami Indian Tribe as a society within our great nation. I fact, I am encouraged by their stature and their ability to diversify our country and influence our future. And, I will concede that at one point in our nation's history, the Miami may have been rightful owners of the land they are now trying to reclaim. However, I do not feel they are justified in victimizing hard working landowners who live within the area I represent. Those families have owned and paid taxes on their land, in some cases for many generations. The Miami Indian Tribe alleges that the U. S. Government never properly obtained land title from them as required by the 1805 Treaty. Therein lies the dispute.

No one would argue that Native Americans were not wronged in our country's past. We would also welcome all attempts to improve the standard of living to which our Native Americans are subject. However, the landowners of east central Illinois should not pay this price.

The problem goes beyond Rex Walden and the 14 other landowners. A cloud has been cast over the titles of all property in the 2.6 million acre region. Imagine if you were thinking of locating a business in east central Illinois. Why locate in the region in question when you could locate that business, those jobs, and that tax revenue outside that region?

In closing, I want to thank you again, Chairman Hansen and the Members of the House Resources Committee for holding this hearing. This issue, while regional in scope, is of the utmost importance to the citizens of my congressional district in east central Illinois.


OCTOBER 24, 2000

A prayer was given by Mr. Curtis.

The Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag was given.

Mr. Crozier offered proposed Resolution No. 4284, "Resolution in Opposition to the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma Lawsuit to Regain Treaty Land in the Wabash Watershed in Champaign County and in Opposition to Establishment of a Casino in Central Illinois," seconded by Mrs. Dykstra. Discussion followed. Ms. Miles offered a Substitute Resolution, "Resolution in Support of the Champaign County Landowners in Lawsuit Brought Against Them by the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma to Regain Land Treatied to Them in the Treaty of Grouseland in 1805 and Located in the Wabash Watershed in Champaign County and in Opposition to the Establishment of Any Casino Gambling in Central Illlinois," seconded by Ms. Putman. Discussion followed. Mr. Langenheim offered the motion to call the question on the substitute resolution, seconded by Ms. Wysocki. Motion failed. Discussion followed. Ms. Miles, in concurrence with Ms. Putman, withdrew her substitute resolution. Mr. Tapley offered to amend the original resolution by changing paragraph V to read "BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Champaign County Board is in full support of landowners of Champaign County who have been harmed and affected or will be harmed and affected by the Miami Indian Tribe lawsuit" and by changing paragraph VI to read "BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Champaign County Board opposes any negotiations or allowances which would enable the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma or any other entity to establish a casino in the Central Illinois area, " seconded by Mr. O'Connor.


JUNE 19, 2001

A prayer was given by Mr. Graham.

The Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag was given.

Mr. Moser announced that the Miami Indian lawsuit had been thrown out by the judge in Benton and he had been assured by Chicago Title Company that we will not have to put up with any more exclusions for Indian claims.

Mr. Betz offered the motion to adjourn, seconded by Mr. Langenheim. The Meeting was adjourned at 9:05 P.M. The next County Board Meeting will be held July 17, 2001, at 7:00 P.M.


E) Direction & Symbol

The final moments of the 1833 negotiations thus carried a heavy symbolism that was clearly visible to those who attended. Charles Latrobe, an English traveler present at the treaty signing, described the moment at sunset as the U.S. commissioners faced west and the Indians faced east, the one looking toward the lands they had just acquired, the other toward the lake and homes they would soon be abandoning. "The glorious light of the setting sun streaming in under the low roof of the Council-House," wrote Latrobe, "fell full on the countenances of the former as they faced the West - while the pale light of the East, hardly lighted up the dark and painted lineaments of the poor Indians, whose souls evidently clave to their birth-right in that quarter." The hybrid cultural universe of Indians and Euroamericans that had existed in the Chicago area for decades was finally to be shattered by different conceptions of property and real estate. (29)

When the Potawatomis and the U.S. commissioners faced each other at Chicago in 1833, they expressed their cultural differences in the way they saw the landscape that stretched before them in the light of the setting sun. One saw the apparition of a great city upon it, while the other did not. To understand how so many nineteenth-century Americans came to share that urban vision is to discover much about their dreams for themselves and for the Great West. (35)

Nature's Metropolis (1991)
William Cronon


I do believe that my old friends did not see it exactly in that light when they turned their backs upon Chicago, the scene of so many of their grave councils and of their happy gatherings--when they looked for the last time upon the ever bright waters of the lake, and bent their slow and reluctant steps to a land of which they knew not, and in which they would be strangers; and yet there were old men among them who could have told them that their fathers had with bloodier hands expelled another nation who had occupied the land before them, and that no doubt the title had been thus transferred many times, the conveyance always sealed by the blood of the last owner. (29-30)

The Last of the Illinois and a Sketch of the Pottawatomies (1870)
John Dean Canton


In 1856 E.L. Magoon's curious book entitled Westward Empire drew the conclusion that "all healthful expansion and improvement is 'out West'" from the premise that "by a natural movement, in not one of its great elements has civilization gone eastward an inch since authentic history began." (215)

Manifest Destiny: A Study of Nationalist Expansionism in American History (1935)
Albert Weinberg


F) Direction & Capital

Empire: its metaphors form the very core of booster rhetoric. For American patriots of the nineteenth-century, the line from Bishop Berkeley's famous poem was less a cliche than an incantation: "Westward the course of empire takes its way." (41-42)

"What built Chicago?" asked the booster Everett Chamberlin in 1873. "Let us answer, a junction of Eastern means and Western opportunity." From the perspective of eastern capital, it was second nature that Chicago should become gateway to the Great West. (63)

The lake city's Daily Democratic Press described the festivities celebrating the Chicago and Rock Island's arrival at the Mississippi by noting,

"The faces of the men of business of the valley of the Upper Mississippi, who have heretofore looked Southward and downward, will now look upward and Eastward, and their affections are already turning from the mother city, St. Louis, to her glorious rival, Chicago. They will turn away from the former with many regrets.... But how can they resist it?" (297)

The immediate implications of the rails pointing back toward the eastern horizon should by now be so familiar that they barely need repeating. The railroad meant speed. It meant regular, predictable schedules. It meant year-round movement, even in winter. It meant escaping the river. It meant the East, and not the South. It meant Chicago, and not St. Louis. It meant the future. (325)

Nature's Metropolis (1991)
William Cronon

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