HomeWordsBook ReviewsRequiem for a People

Beckham, Stephen Dow. Requiem for a People: The Rogue Indians and the Frontiersmen. 1971.

Probably one of the first really depressing books I ever read. Part of the reason I became involved in “genocide awareness” work. This is a historical look at the Rogue Indian Wars in SW Oregon, and their forced, almost genocidal removal to a reservation that became Siletz, Oregon. The reservation, and the tribe, was “Terminated” by the U.S. Government in 1951. My mom made me read this in 1974, when I was in high school, during the time when she and many others were working to have the Siletz (confederated) Tribes restored. Restoration happened in 1977. This book has been superseded by E. A. Schwartz’s The Rogue River Indian War and Its Aftermath (1988) and Charles Wilkinson’s The People are Dancing Again (2010), which is the official history of the tribe.

Beckham still teaches and lives in the Portland area, I’ve talked to him by phone once or twice, and hope to catch up with him to do an interview about his works on Oregon Indians.


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