The best feeling is ….

After retirement from a long career, I discovered that (for me) the best feeling was not having to get up and go to work when I was sick.

Now, as an author, there are many “best feelings.”  After a book is published, seeing it placed on bookshelves of libraries and bookstores is definitely one of those good feelings.  Here are some of my favorite views:

Oklahoma Department of Libraries in Oklahoma City

Asst. Manager Tori Hoornstra placing copies on shelf at Hastings in Stillwater, OK

And there is one more occasion which, for me, will always be the most precious in the process of getting this book ready for publishing.  That moment was when my dear friend, Liz, took this photograph of me and my little girl, Victoria Diane, for our official publicity photo:

vehoae and Victoria Diane


Dr. Harry Gilleland assesses the real savages

Dr. Harry Gilleland was one of the main editors on my book, Conscience: Breaching Social Amnesia, published January this year.  He is also a well-known author and poet.  His latest novel, Aldric & Anneliese, set in Europe during the late sixth century, is an adventurous and suspenseful read.

But for the moment, I want to draw your attention to a new poem published by Dr. Gilleland.  I was honored to learn that my book, Conscience: Breaching Social Amnesia, and its cover, provided some of the inspiration for “Who Were the Savages?”  Dr. Gilleland’s poem renders dramatic images of non-revisionist history — “The old warrior chief sits atop his magnificant stallion on a high hill overlooking the green valley below through which a wagon train …”

Please click here to read the rest of this moving testament to history.

Who’s the barbarian?

DOI Secretary Columbus Delano

Columbus Delano

The Secretary of the Department of the Interior, from 1870 to 1875, was Columbus Delano.  A native of Shoreham, Vermont, he practiced law before entering politics in 1844.

In 1869, President Ulysses Grant hired Delano as the Commissioner of Internal Revenue.  In November 1870, Grant reassigned him to the position of Secretary, Department of the Interior.  Scandal at DOI precipitated Delano’s departure five years later.

During Delano’s second year at Interior, his annual departmental report to President Grant included observations on progress being made to civilize indigenous people.  Among those observations were the following:

“We are assuming, and I think with propriety, that our civilization ought to take the place of their barbarous habits.  We therefore claim the right to control the soil which they occupy, and we assume that it is our duty to coerce them, if necessary, into the adoption and practice of our habits and customs.”

(Source:  Report of the Secretary of the Department of the Interior, Columbus Delano, 31 October 1872, House Executive Document 1(42-3), Part 5, being Part of the Message and Documents at the Beginning of the third Session of the Forty-Second Congress, vol. 1, Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1872, pp 1-9, Oklahoma Dept. of Libraries.)

An interview with the author

Penny Lockwood Ehrenkranz

I recently gave an interview to Penny Ehrenkranz about Conscience: Breaching Social Amnesia, and the research that has been underway for over two decades.

Hope you’ll visit Penny’s site to read the interview.  The site is professional and attractive.  It is an exceptional source for writers and readers, alike.

Interview with vehoae

Oh happy day!

Thursday, the twenty-seventh day of January 2011 was a special day.  My long-held goal was realized with the official release of Conscience: Breaching Social Amnesia.  Here are some photos that marked the release.

 These are my dearest friends, Liz and Skip Codding.  We’ve known each other a long time.  Liz has been a “rock”, supporting and encouraging me every step of the way, through all the research and writing.  Through the years, Skip has always been there with legal advice; we’ve had many conversations where I’ve benefitted from his level-headed perspectives.  After the manuscript was finished, Liz assisted with the first round of editing and revisions for improvements before promoting the book to publishers.

Then comes that first time when you personally sell a copy of your book.  I don’t know how other authors have reacted, but in all my excitement, I had my friend, Joan Kendall, make her check payable to the wrong person!  Such is life.


Conscience: Breaching Social Amnesia was officially released 27 January 2011!  After two-plus decades of research, writing, and editing, my goal of seeing this work published has finally been achieved.

In the sidebar to the left, you will notice a section entitled “Reviews of Conscience: Breaching Social Amnesia.”  As reviews come in, please click on each  name to read the assessments of my book.

Conscience: Breaching Social Amnesia is available at and from the publisher, 4RV Publishing LLC .

Your support of my research and writing is greatly desired.  I’m looking forward to sending you a copy of Conscience: Breaching Social Amnesia to include in your library of non-revisionist historical resources.

The miserableness of truth

Indiana Terr. Gov. Wm. Henry Harrison

William H. Harrison

William H. Harrison (1773-1841) was the youngest son of Benjamin Harrison.  (You may recall that Benjamin was one of the signatories on our Constitution.)

Following service in the Army, William Harrison relocated to the Northwest Territory to fight against The Nations.  In 1799, he was elected the Territory’s first Delegate to Congress.  After Congress split the Territory into two separate territories (in 1800), President John Adams appointed him Governor of Indiana Territory.

During his eleven-plus years as Governor, Harrison displaced untold numbers of Indians, acquired over sixty million acres of their land, and worked (unsuccessfully) to get the legislature to approve slavery for the territory.  He was, however, successful in 1803 convincing Congress to approve a ten-year suspension of Article 6 of the Northwest Ordinance, allowing  indentured servitude in Indiana Territory.

President Thomas Jefferson

President Thomas Jefferson

The year 1803 was notable for yet another reason.  In February that year, President Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to Governor Harrison, the first two paragraphs of which were rather innocuous.  As for the remaining text, that is entirely another matter.

Although somewhat lengthy, I have chosen to provide that remaining text below.  And I do encourage you to read all of it, including Jefferson’s admonition to Harrison that the letter was not for consumption by the public nor by the Indians.

 “Dear Sir,

… from the Secretary of War you receive from time to time information and instructions as to our Indian affairs. These communications being for the public records, are restrained always to particular objects and occasions; but this letter being unofficial and private, I may with safety give you a more extensive view of our policy respecting the Indians, that you may the better comprehend the parts dealt out to you in detail through the official channel, and observing the system of which they make a part, conduct yourself in unison with it in cases where you are obliged to act without instruction…The decrease of game rendering their subsistence by hunting insufficient, we wish to draw them to agriculture, to spinning and weaving. The latter branches they take up with great readiness, because they fall to the women, who gain by quitting the labors of the field for those which are exercised within doors. When they withdraw themselves to the culture of a small piece of land, they will perceive how useless to them are their extensive forests, and will be willing to pare them off from time to time in exchange for necessaries for their farms and families. To promote this disposition to exchange lands, which they have to spare and we want, for necessaries, which we have to spare and they want, we shall push our trading uses, and be glad to see the good and influential individuals among them run in debt, because we observe that when these debts get beyond what the individuals can pay, they become willing to lop them off by a cession of lands. At our trading houses, too, we mean to sell so low as merely to repay us cost and charges, so as neither to lessen or enlarge our capital. This is what private traders cannot do, for they must gain; they will consequently retire from the competition, and we shall thus get clear of this pest without giving offence or umbrage to the Indians. In this way our settlements will gradually circumscribe and approach the Indians, and they will in time either incorporate with us as citizens of the United States, or remove beyond the Mississippi. The former is certainly the termination of their history most happy for themselves; but, in the whole course of this, it is essential to cultivate their love. As to their fear, we presume that our strength and their weakness is now so visible that they must see we have only to shut our hand to crush them, and that all our liberalities to them proceed from motives of pure humanity only…

The Cahokias extinct, we are entitled to their country by our paramount sovereignty. The Piorias, we understand, have all been driven off from their country, and we might claim it in the same way; but as we understand there is one chief remaining, who would, as the survivor of the tribe, sell the right, it is better to give him such terms as will make him easy for life, and take a conveyance from him. The Kaskaskias being reduced to a few families, I presume we may purchase their whole country for what would place every individual of them at his ease, and be a small price to us, — say by laying off for each family, whenever they would choose it, as much rich land as they could cultivate, adjacent to each other, enclosing the whole in a single fence, and giving them such an annuity in money or goods forever as would place them in happiness; and we might take them also under the protection of the United States.  Thus possessed of the rights of these tribes, we should proceed to the settling their boundaries with the Poutewatamies and Kickapoos; claiming all doubtful territory, but paying them a price for the relinquishment of their concurrent claim, and even prevailing on them, if possible to cede, for a price, such of their own unquestioned territory as would give us a covenient northern boundary. Before broaching this, and while we are bargaining with the Kaskaskias, the minds of the Poutewatamies and Kickapoos should be soothed and conciliated by liberalities and sincere assurances of friendship. Perhaps by sending a well-qualified character to stay some time in Decoigne’s village, as if on other business, and to sound him and introduce the subject by degrees to his mind and that of the other heads of families, inculcating in the way of conversation, all those considerations which prove the advantages they would receive by a cession on these terms, the object might be more easily and effectually obtained than by abruptly proposing it to them at a formal treaty…The crisis is pressing; whatever can now be obtained must be obtained quickly. The occupation of New Orleans, hourly expected, by the French, is already felt like a light breeze by the Indians. You know the sentiments they entertain of that nation; under the hope of their protection they will immediately stiffen against cessions of lands to us. We had better, therefore, do at once what can now be done.

I must repeat that this letter is to be considered as private and friendly, and is not to control any particular instructions which you may receive through official channel. You will also perceive how sacredly it must be kept within your own breast, and especially how improper to be understood by the Indians. For their interests and their tranquility it is best they should see only the present age of their history.

I pray you to accept assurances of my esteem and high consideration.

[signed by Thomas Jefferson] “ 

BIA Comm. Wm. Medill: The Choctaw Nation

William Medill, BIA Comm.

Wm. Medill, BIA Commissioner, 1845-1850

The following observation about the Choctaw Nation was made by William Medill, Commissioner of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, in his 1847 Annual Report:

“They [the Choctaws] had severed their connexion with the general government as wards, and voluntarily placed themselves under the legislative control of the States.  Their situation was, however, an unhappy one.  In the midst of, and far inferior to, an increasing white population, they could not prosper, but on the contrary, must decline and eventually become outcasts if they remained where they were.  They also were an incubus upon the improvement and prosperity of the sections of country where they resided, and the State of Mississippi, especially within whose limits the great body of them were, was anxious to be relieved from their presence.”

(Source: Annual Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1847, Commissioner William Medill, 30 November 1847, New York: AMS Press, Inc., 1976.)

NOTE:  Definition of “incubus” — a demon; an evil spirit, supposed to lie upon persons in their sleep, and especially to have sexual intercourse with women by night.

Blessings of knowledge….


A look inside….

Columbus Delano, DOI Secretary, 1870-1875


 “Our civilization is ever aggressive, while the savage nature is tenacious of traditional customs and rights … This … calls loudly for more efficient efforts to separate the Indians from the whites by placing them on suitable reservations as fast as circumstances will permit …”  (1873 Annual DOI Report)

Non-revisionist history: “Here I come!”

Not too much longer to wait for official release of Conscience: Breaching Social Amnesia!

This site replaced my original regular website for vehoae Conscience.   Information will be shown on this new webpage regarding scheduled presentations, other book events, and details on ordering copies of my book.

Conscience: Breaching Social Amnesia draws parallels between the personal perspectives & motivations of invading Europeans and their successors,  and their professional decisions to subjugate and exterminate “heathen red-skinned impediments”.

Gradually, I’ll also be posting here excerpts from the book, articles related to the subject at hand, other recommended readings, web links, and research resources.  Each article will give you the opportunity to “leave a comment”.  Hope to hear from everyone!

You’ll also notice in the left margin a place to select the option of receiving notices via Email when something new has been posted.

I have a profound appreciation for non-revisionist history.  To that end, personal research and primary documents are the basis for all of my writing, including books and articles.  My publisher has stated on Conscience: Breaching Social Amnesia’s bookcover, “…vehoae provides primary document details typically avoided in favor of political correctness.”



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