Administrative History
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In recent years, the National Park Service and its holdings have been the subject of a growing number of important studies. Still first among these is Alfred Runte, National Parks: The American Experience (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1987) 2nd ed., an excellent study that covers the evolution of the park system since its inception. Ronald A. Foresta, America's National Parks and Their Keepers (Washington, D.C.: Resources for the Future, 1984) is a close look at NPS policy in the modern era. Although dated and marred by inconsistent footnotes, John Ise, Our National Park Policy: A Critical History (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1961) remains a seminal work. The only extant biography of Stephen T. Mather, Robert Shankland, Steve Mather of the National Parks 3rd ed. (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1970), also has stood well the test of time. Hal Rothman, Preserving Different Pasts: The American National Monuments (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1989) tells the story of the Antiquities Act of 1906 and the national monuments it spawned. Growing numbers of park areas have been the subject of individual histories; for the purposes of an archeological park area, the most useful of these is Duane A. Smith, Mesa Verde National Park: Shadows of the Centuries (University of Kansas Press, 1988). More specialized studies of current topics have also begun to appear. John C. Freemuth, National Parks and the Politics of External Threats (Lawrence: University of Kansas Press, 1991) is the first of what will be a significant genre.

The history of archeology in the Southwest has attracted the attention of many scholar in recent years. The best general works on the history of archeology are C. W. Ceram, Gods, Graves, and Scholars: The Story of Archeology, (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1979) and Gordon R. Willey and Jeremy A. Sabloff, A History of American Archeology (London: Thames and Hudson, 1974). Curtis M. Hinsley, Jr., Savages and Scientists: The Smithsonian Institution and the Development of American Anthropology 1846-1910 (Washington, D. C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1981) and Robert Rydell, All the World's A Fair: Visions of Empire at American International Expositions, 1876-1916 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984) help establish the context for the rise of archeology and its cultural importance in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. C. W. Ceram, The First American: A Story of North American Archaeology, (New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, Inc., 1971) is an anecdotal account of the personalities and circumstances of the first two generations of American archeology. Interesting and lively, it provides the kind of context that helps a study such as this.

The histories of people and places that include Navajo National Monument are many and varied. Frank McNitt, Richard Wetherill: Anasazi (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1957) is a significant work. Among many other topics, McNitt offers insights into Wetherill's activities at Keet Seel. Frances Gillmor and Louisa Wade Wetherill, Traders to the Navajo: The Story of the Wetherills of Kayenta (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1934) provides a romanticized account of the activities of John and Louisa Wade Wetherill. Neil M. Judd, Men Met Along the Trail: Adventures in Archaeology (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1968) offers a first-hand account of many of the early explorations of Navajo National Monument, while Byron L. Cummings, Indians I have Known (Tucson: Arizona Silhouettes, 1952) adds to the picture. Elizabeth Compton Hegemann, Navaho Trading Days (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1963) provides important context, as does William Y. Adams Shonto: A Study of the Role of the Trader in a Modern Navajo Community (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1963) Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin 188.

The Navajo have been the subject of extensive work by historians and anthropologists. Among the most important studies are Richard White, The Roots of Dependency: Subsistence, Environment, and Social Change Among the Choctaws, Pawnees, and Navajos (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1984), the seminal Clyde Kluckhorn and Dorothea Leighton, The Navaho (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1946), and Alfonso Ortiz ed. Handbook of North American Indians: Volume 10 Southwest (Washington, D. C.: Smithsonian Institution, 1983), which contains a number of excellent studies of Navajo life, people, and ritual. Peter Iverson, The Navajo Nation (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1981) provides an excellent look at the Navajo in the post-Second World War era. Lawrence Kelly, The Navajo Indians and Federal Indian Policy (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1968) and Donald L. Parman, The Navajo and the New Deal (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1976) cover federal policy toward the Navajo between 1900 and 1940. Other studies of the Navajo and their interaction with Anglo-Americans include Frank McNitt, The Indian Traders (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1962) and Lynn R. Bailey, The Long Walk: A History of the Navajo Wars, 1848-68 (Los Angeles: Westernlore Press, 1964). Navajo people have begun to write down their own history, often using existing documentary sources augmented by legend and oral tradition to interpret the events of the past in a different light. Two excellent examples of such work are Bill P. Acrey, Navajo History: The Land and the People (Shiprock, NM: Department of Curriculum Materials Development, 1988) and Raymond Friday Locke, The Book of the Navajo (Los Angeles: Mankind Publishing Company, 1989) 4th edition.

The Spanish era in the Southwest has also been closely studied by scholars. Edward H. Spicer, Cycles of Conquest: The Impact of Spain, Mexico, and the United States on the Indians of the Southwest 1533-1960 (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1962) is the most wide-ranging and interpretive. Jack D. Forbes, Apache, Navaho, and Spaniard (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press) and Elizabeth A. H. John, Storms Brewed in Other Men's Worlds: The Confrontation of Indians, Spanish, and French in the Southwest, 1540-1795 (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1975) are two comprehensive narrative accounts, and Joseph P. Sánchez, The Rio Abajo Frontier 1540-1692: A History of Early Colonial New Mexico (Albuquerque: The Albuquerque Museum, 1987) adds much to the story of the era before the reconquest. Frank McNitt, Navajo Wars: Military Campaigns, Slave Raids and Reprisals (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1972) reveals the tensions of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

But in any administrative history, the most important sources are the records of the park and the memories of the people who worked there. The National Archives, the Federal Records Centers in Ft. Worth and Denver, the Western Archeological and Conservation Center in Tucson, and the Museum of Northern Arizona are among the many places where the records of the monument can be found. Navajo National Monument has been fortunate to have a staff that cared about the place and the people that surrounded it. From John Cook to P. J. Ryan, these people shared memories and corrected misconceptions. Without their reflections, interest and concern, the rich story of Navajo National Monument could not be told.

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Last Updated: 28-Aug-2006