The Mashpee Indians: Tribe on Trial

Jack Campisi, Author Syracuse University Press $31.25 (174p) ISBN 978-0-8156-2517-9
In 1977, the Mashpee Indians, who had lived in the same area of Cape Cod for 350 years, sued in federal court to recover land that had been taken from them in contravention of a 1790 federal statute. The town of Mashpee and its landowners challenged the Indians' status as a tribe, and the case hinged on this issue. Anthropologist Campisi served as expert witness for the Mashpees in a losing cause. Here he gives an insider's account of the proceedings, noting that what is a fact in anthropology is not necessarily an admissible fact in law. He argues that judge and jury alike were confused, if not prejudiced. Campisi offers a detailed history of the Mashpees from first contact with Europeans to the present, making a strong case for tribal status. The book will appeal to readers interested in local history, law and/or Native American issues. Illustrations. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/03/1991
Release date: 06/01/1991
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 174 pages - 978-0-8156-2595-7
Show other formats
Discover what to read next