13. Churchill argues that the Mandans were middlemen in the buffalo robe trade, cutting into the fur traders' profits. This is a new claim on Churchill's part. In Churchill's previous versions, he never bothered to establish a motive for his fictional genocide. Now in this version, Churchill seems to be arguing that the U.S. Army committed genocide against the Mandans on behalf of the fur company's business interests. However, Churchill own source—R. G. Robertson—makes clear that while the Mandans did function as a trading entrepot in the 18th century, by 1837 that trade pattern had been extinct for a half century. The Mandans sold furs directly to the traders just like the other tribes. Thus Churchill's new motive would appear to be an unsubstantiated fabrication. Churchill's failure to disclose that Robertson disconfirms this new fabrication constitutes falsification of Robertson.

 [ return to text ]