Jump to content

Did some research on the history behind Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian


Mysecondaccount
 Share

Recommended Posts

I was recently doing some reading about the Native American conflicts on the Mexican American border, the inspiration behind Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian. During the early 19th century, the Apaches and Comanches mercilessly raided much of northern and central Mexico. They were mostly unimpeded, as the Comanches and Apaches outmatched the skeletal Mexican army. In their attacks, they killed thousands of peasants, abducted and enslaved/assimilated hundreds more, left thousands of survivors homeless, and stolen ten thousands of livestock.

The Apaches and Comanches were even bold enough to assault capital cities like Chihuahua in broad daylight. It got to the point that the Comanche-Apache raids left much of the border regions depopulated. As the Mexican army was in shambles, the government turned to bounty hunters/mercenaries to contest the depredations.

The bounty hunters/mercenaries were a motley bunch, mostly consisted of Anglo-Americans, displaced Woodland Native Americans from the East Coast, local tribes hostile to the Apaches, and a few escaped slaves. Essentially, the Mexican government commissioned them to kill and scalp any Apaches they could get their hands on. Including women and children, whom had bounties of $50 and $25 US silver dollar per scalp respectively.

As you might expect, the Apaches didn't respond well to this attempt genocide. They escalated their raids to the point of wiping out entire small towns and table turned would be scalp hunters left and right. Many scalp hunters decided that it was safer to prey upon peaceful Native American bands and Mexican peasants (ironically the very people they were hired to protect in the first place) and pass them off as Apache scalps, rather then going after the Apaches themselves.

With the crippling costs and incessant cheating/backstabbing, the Mexican government abandoned the scalp hunting program. Though due to decentralization and lack of communication, some states were slower to drop the scalp hunters then others. Comanche and Apache raids still continued on until the 1870s (for the Comaches) and 1890s (for the Apaches). The Comanche raids into Mexico were only ended by the Americans forcing them into reservations. In the later 19th century, the Apaches virtually fought a two-front war against the Americans in the North and the Mexicans to the South, until pressure from both countries overwhelmed them.

Sources:
1.https://allthatsinteresting.com/john-joel-glanton
2.https://www.frontiertimesmagazine.com/blog/an-indian-raid-in-mexico
3.https://crossculturalsolidarity.com/the-comanche-empire-and-the-destruction-of-northern-mexico/
4.https://xroads.virginia.edu/~Hyper/HNS/Scalpin/oldfolks.html

Edited by Mysecondaccount
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I couldn't finish this book.  I don't know why the violence/casual cruelty/bleakness of this particular book affected me so much more than his others, but I actually couldn't finish it.  I've still got it and occasionally will consider picking it back up, but I just haven't been able to make myself do it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You might enjoyed this board's Literature Forum, where books in general, and books specifically, all genres, fiction and non-fiction, are commented upon and discussed.  There's even a thread titled "History in Books" where both historical fictions and history and books of history are talked about!  :read:

Edited by Zorral
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Zorral said:

You might enjoyed this board's Literature Forum, where books in general, and books specifically, all genres, fiction and non-fiction, are commented upon and discussed.  There's even a thread titled "History in Books" where both historical fictions and history and books of history are talked about!  :read:

Thanks for informing me of this, will check it out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

an improperly filed thread cries a howl of such outrage as to stitch a caesura in the pulsebeat of the board. likely this can have its venue transferred--a thread on mccarthy all to himself is likely warranted.

i just read suttree and all the plays/screenplays this year.  fucking bolito FFS. i need to unread that.  looking forward to the passenger now, which is reported to have a new orleans setting. he's apparently been working at it for forty years. blood meridian is of course perfect.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 minutes ago, sologdin said:

an improperly filed thread cries a howl of such outrage as to stitch a caesura in the pulsebeat of the board. likely this can have its venue transferred--a thread on mccarthy all to himself is likely warranted.

i just read suttree and all the plays/screenplays this year.  fucking bolito FFS. i need to unread that.  looking forward to the passenger now, which is reported to have a new orleans setting. he's apparently been working at it for forty years. blood meridian is of course perfect.

Gene Harrogate may be my favorite character of all time

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This thread led me to read "The Kekulé problem." Good stuff.

Quote

The simple understanding that one thing can be another thing is at the root of all things of our doing. From using colored pebbles for the trading of goats to art and language and on to using symbolic marks to represent pieces of the world too small to see.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...