Historical Narratives and Native Americans in Disney's Daniel Boone
By Keat Murray
 In the 1950s and early 1960s, the popular weekly TV series Walt Disney Presents featured a variety of movies, many of which depicted events in American history from the days of the Revolution, frontier, and Old West. Films such as Johnny Tremain, the Davy Crockett film series, and others like them were well-received. Being so accessible to an American TV audience, Disney's history was a principal historical source for many viewers, old and young alike. Because Disney's weekly series was regarded as good family TV, any films depicting "real" people or "real" events in American history naturally acquired credibility and authority, even if the films took liberties with history (note 1). Walt Disney offered a personal introduction to each week's feature, and, although these introductions did not necessarily distinguish fact from fiction, they did compound the credibility of Disney's ostensibly authentic history (note 2). Given contemporary popular culture's accreditation of Disney, it follows that any sympathy Disney films showed for a marginalized group, like the Native Americans, would also invite acceptance. Along these lines, Leonard Maltin offered Disney praises in 1984: "Long before the cultural explosion of the 1970s that saw Indian injustice replace black injustice as the prime civil rights issue of the day, Walt Disney's films were teaching respect for the red man, and showing history through his eyes" (150). Maltin credits Disney writers with having recovered an Indian history (note 3).
 Maltin's praise certainly does not transfer well to the Daniel Boone series, though it is ostensibly historical. Perhaps the closest that the Boone films come to "teaching respect" for Native Peoples is in the character Blackfish, the Shawnee chief who issues eight warnings to Boone about his repeated trespassing but can never bring himself to act on these warnings. Blackfish's greatest act comes at the end of the film series when he kills the "bad Indian," his tribal brother Crow Feather, and saves Boone from getting a tomahawk to the head. Crow Feather's vindictive pursuit of Boone finally ends, and, as a result, Boone continues his quest to settle Kentucky. But this is inaccurate history; it is "bad" history. Blackfish is an historical figure whom the films grossly misrepresent, and Crow Feather is a Disney invention that has no historical basis whatsoever (note 4). The Disney films write Blackfish as an ineffectual leader who repeatedly finds ways to excuse Boone's trespasses and, in doing so, compromises Shawnee territory, custom, and culture. Saving Boone's life twice and killing the "bad Indian" in his tribe, Blackfish implicitly legitimizes the Manifest Destiny and the ensuing colonization of Kentucky (note 5). If the Disney Boone films see history from Indian eyes, I cannot find that Indian in current history books nor in Disney's source. Instead, Disney's Indians are constructed from Disney politics and in the ideological interests that those politics serve. This underscores what Keith Jenkins says about history and ideology: "History is never for itself; it is always for someone" (17). The meanings ascribed by Disney's history are not intrinsic to history but constructed by and for political interests.
 So what do Disney's Indians look like in the Boone films, and how can we begin to understand why they look the way they do? What John E. O'Connor says about American representations of Native Americans addresses the latter question: "The dominant view of the Indians has reflected primarily what the white man thought of himself. . . . Movies and television, the popular art forms of today, continue to present images of Native Americans that speak more about the current interests of the dominant culture than they do about the Indians" (27-28). It is not accurate to say that Disney represents the interests of the dominant culture, but it is accurate to say that Disney's popular weekly TV show did participate in the production of those interests. Disney's history appealed most explicitly to the majority of his late 1950s audience, which primarily consisted of white people who supported Americanism and whose sense of history was informed by two dominant historical narratives: the Judeo-Christian (theological) and the American patriotic (national) (note 6). By 1960, the conflation of these narratives had long been naturalized, as evidenced in the tradition of cultural productions like "The Pledge of Allegiance," "America the Beautiful," and "The Battle Hymn of the Republic." But besides God and nation there is also money -- as the inscription on U.S. currency suggests, "In God We Trust." In the most general sense, this material representation associates the confluence of historical narratives with an economic discourse and naturalizes this association within a network of discursive relations. In the Disney Boone films, the conflated narratives and a capitalist discourse together produce the visage of a monolithic power that is akin to 1950s Americanism, or the notion that America must fortify itself against insidious un-American sympathies that purpose to undermine the progressive history of a God-ordained, capitalist nation. In the Boone film series, this seemingly monolithic power produces potentially subversive Indians only to contain them in the interests of the monolith.
 As cultural texts and sites of contestation, the Boone films participate in the production of culture. They do not merely reflect pre-existing representations of Native Americans but construct representations by appropriating parts of John Bakeless's history and negotiating historical narratives. Reading the ways in which these historical narratives rewrite certain events in Bakeless's Boone biography can approximate the political interests that Disney's deviations may serve. In this essay, I will explore the ways in which the dominant historical narratives construct Native Americans and produce a politics that implicitly advocates the nation imagined by contemporary conservativism and Americanism. As I will show, Boone is constructed as an agent through whom the dominant narratives and a capitalist discourse are naturalized as nation. In telling his story, the films misrepresent and appropriate Native history in order to justify the dispossession of Indian lands, the Americanization of Native Peoples, and Americanism in general. Through encountering Boone, the Indians learn what is inherently wrong with their culture, and after the seed of self-destruction is eliminated, the assimilation into American culture becomes the next logical and necessary step for the American Indian.
 The Daniel Boone film series produces three Native American portraits in the only Indian characters identified by name: Chief Blackfish, Crow Feather, and Little Black Bird. These portraits, however, stray very far from the historical Shawnee in John Bakeless's Boone biography. Perhaps the only part of American Indian history that the films preserve is the fact that a Shawnee war chief named Blackfish did live and was involved with Boone. Otherwise, Indian characterizations are either very distorted or entirely fictitious. These historical misrepresentations generate questions about the way Disney's historical narratives write intercultural relations and pose as legitimate, natural frameworks intrinsic to a progressive history.
The Judeo-Christian Narrative
 The Judeo-Christian historical narrative runs through the course of the films, from the first conversation in Volume One to the very last image in the series. The series opens with a conversation between John Finley and Daniel Boone as they stand over their most recent kill, a bear that Finley says is fair in size compared to those in Kaintuck. He goes on to tell how he had once stood on a mountain and looked down over Kaintuck, a paradise "as full of bar [sic] and deer as a gourd is a' seeds . . . Game, wild geese, why a man can't hardly breathe for fear of gettin' choked with feathers" (03:52). Finley's hyperbolic description recalls what the two spies in the Book of Numbers report about the Promised Land. Caleb and Joshua return with a cluster of grapes that is so immense that it takes both of them to carry it. They tell Moses and the children of Israel about a resplendent land of plenty: "We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it" (Numbers 13:27). Boone invokes this image when he convinces Judge Henderson to provide the capital for an expedition to open up Kentucky for scores of settlers: " . . . a land of milk and honey, judge. With buffalo so thick on the traces, the ground just rumbles with their hoof beats" (I 10:25). Like Moses, Boone leads his people through the wilderness, and like Joshua he takes them into the Promised Land, where they must wrest the land from formidable indigenes. Like the biblical Ruth, Rebecca renews her promise to follow Daniel into the dark wilderness. On two occasions, she modifies a verse from the Book of Ruth, "Whither thou goest, I go, Daniel" (I 46:30, IV 24:15). In Ruth 1:16, the biblical Ruth declares that she will follow Naomi into the Promised Land despite the great risks of the journey. Rebecca's allusion also implies what follows in Ruth: "where thou lodgest, I will lodge; thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God." In the Promised Land of Kentucky, the chosen settlers will be delivered into their God-ordained destiny.
 The theological narrative also constructs Boone as a Christ-figure. Like Christ, he "preaches peace" (II 29:08), "turns the other cheek" (II 29:05) (Matthew 5:39), rebukes those who serve Mammon as their master (II 06:00, IV 35:35), stands above the masses and tells them about a new way of life (II 37:45), states that violence and killing are against his nature, denounces "eye for an eye" retribution (I 40:30) (Matthew 5:38), and teaches Squire "If thine enemy be hungry, feed him; if he be thirsty, give him water to drink" (II 39:00)(Matthew 25:35). The fact that he is a Quaker and professedly tolerant seems a mere addendum (note 7). In the Disney films, the journey on the Wilderness Road is not just another migration, and Kentucky is not just another colony. God has sanctioned the colonization of Kentucky and thereby has initiated His great plan that will be revealed in history as the founding and growth of the United States. God has authored U.S. history and ordained Boone as the typological deliverer and savior who will lead his people through the tribulations of the howling wilderness. Boone is an agent of God, and the dispossession of Indian lands is authorized by God Himself.
 Necessarily opposing the sanctification of Boone, the theological narrative demonizes Crow Feather, a Shawnee brave who in the tribal heirarchy is second only to Chief Blackfish. He is the principal vehicle through which Disney presents what is wrong with Indian culture. And while neither history nor Bakeless's biography includes an identifiably "bad Indian" who pursues Boone with unquenchable malice, Crow Feather is, without a doubt, the stereotypical evil Indian whose hostility never subsides. Rotten to the core, the man is constructed as an anti-Boone figure. In short, he is everything that Boone isn't: savage, impulsive, rebellious, factious, immoral, malicious, vengeful, deceptive, and devilish. He has no redeeming qualities whatsoever but is an evil seed that, if left unchecked, will breed destruction (note 8). In Volume One, Crow Feather commits a series of despicable acts: he joins the attack that kills Boone's longtime friend John Finley, denies Boone's request to give Finley a decent Christian burial, scalps Stuart and leaves his body to the buzzards, hoards nature's bounty, loathes Boone's manipulative antics, resents the fact that Blackfish releases the captives, votes an emphatic "kill" during the war club tribunal, welcomes opportunities to defeat and kill Boone, and devises insidious plans to destroy Boone. Eventually, like Satan, he will be banished by the chief and then will scheme with his fellow rebels to kill the chief's favored ones. His animosity toward Boone is initially verbalized after Blackfish declares the conditions for releasing the captives: "You will go home. Do not come back" (31:40). To this warning, Crow Feather adds his own admonition, "If you are so foolish as to come back, be sure the wasps and jackets will sting you severely" (32:00) (note 9). The viewer accustomed to the "good guy vs. bad guy" formula anticipates a showdown. For the moment, however, Crow Feather's malevolence is contained by the tribe's hierarchal power structure, though this will not hold for long. An Indian society that perpetuates itself by raiding and killing innocent people will eventually fail to contain the evil it produces and be justly punished for its savagery. As the films proceed, it becomes more evident that if it weren't for the Indians' encounter with Boone's Christian morality and goodwill, Crow Feather's malcontent would go undetected, fester, and finally erupt as a formidable threat against Shawnee tribal authority and future settlers. The Indian society cannot contain Crow Feather's evil, but the theological narrative can and does.
 Apart from God's authority, the Judeo-Christian narrative is naturalized by the way its typology debilitates the vigor of potential contestation and admits other reinforcing discourses. The discourse of the clever, self-reliant American hero goes virtually uncontested as it allies the audience with Boone against Crow Feather. Viewers are keen to the ways in which Boone exploits Shawnee primitive fears and ignorance. While some Natives are amazed and others frightened by Boone's knife-swallowing illusion, the audience recognizes the trick as a succesful ploy to sway a few tribunal votes in Boone's favor. The viewing audience also knows that Boone intentionally loses the shooting match to Crow Feather in order to save his own skin. Making Crow Feather's pride so fatuous and laughable aligns the audience with Boone, whose cleverness debases the Indians and their way of life. The audience enjoys watching how Boone's perpetual smile and confidence drive Crow Feather's bitterness to unmanageable intensities. Perhaps the most derisive scene in the films comes when Boone foils his pursuers by throwing a wasps' nest at them. Crow Feather's earlier admonition backfires as he and his braves are severely stung. In the second captivity scene, Blackfish restrains Crow Feather's wrath and offers a peaceful compromise: in exchange for the poached furs, Blackfish will spare the lives of the Boone brothers. Boone counters with his own proposal, a shooting contest that will see him dead or free to go in possession of the furs. When Crow Feather confidently accepts the challenge, Boone cannot pass up the opportunity to deride the brave for the countless wasp sting welts on his face and body: "I made you run and squeal like a frightened squaw!" (40:45). Again, heroic discourse aligns the audience with Boone, for everyone but the Indians knows that Boone will win. In all but their first encounter, Boone defeats and humiliates Crow Feather. In this way, the film justifies Boone's deception as the triumph of Christian-American values over evil and repudiates Crow Feather's deception as diabolical pride. The theological narrative admits the discourse of the self-reliant American hero to produce a riftless alliance between the audience and Boone, mocking Crow Feather's recoiling pride, envy, and wrath.
 This negotiation is a strategy of containment, for as a pretext it discourages the re-evaluation of Boone against his own moral standards. Because the discourse of the Archenemy constructs Crow Feather as the epitome of vice, whether or not his retaliation is justified goes unquestioned. But surely we cannot overlook the fact that Crow Feather, more than Blackfish, expects Boone to keep his word when he swears he will never return to Kentucky. Revisionist history turns the tables on Disney's Boone, highlighting the fact that he trespasses on Shawnee land, twice poaches furs and skins, makes fools of his captors, derides the indigenes, mocks tribal customs, uses trickery to gain his freedom, bargains for poached commodities, endangers the lives of others as he pursues wealth and private property, and then scoffs at fair warnings. What may be potentially subversive about Disney's clever hero is nullified by the naturalized authority of the theological narrative.
 Volume Two doesn't include any Indian characters, but it does play significantly in validating the theological narrative and the films' representation of Native Americans. This works on the authority of Walt Disney himself, the same man who had introduced numerous films and beloved characters to an attentive American audience. In this volume, the only images of Indians are those in Disney's personal introduction to the episode (see video clip). Standing by the hearth of a frontier cabin, Disney conjures the familiar image of the Boone-hero as an Indian fighter. He holds a replica of Boone's Kentucky rifle, Ticklicker, and remarks on Boone's incredible skill with the weapon (note 10). But Disney doesn't speak as much about using the gun for hunting game as he does about killing Indians, telling how Boone often used his "billard shot" to kill two attacking Indians with one bullet (00:30). Then a sequence begins in which Disney's words are dubbed over a visual review of last week's episode (note 11). If the viewer had missed last week's episode or simply wasn't attentive enough to grasp the point, Disney bluntly states that Crow Feather is Boone's "Archenemy," a label which alludes to the "Archenemy" and "Archfiend" in Judeo-Christian theology. And if the viewer misses this association, it is reinforced many times throughout the films, as in the scene where the Archenemy and his demons crawl into position to attack the sleeping settlers who dream of the Promised Land (III 22:30).
 The demonization of Crow Feather as the anti-Boone continues through the last two volumes and, by association, onto the Shawnee tribe as a whole. So far, Disney's "bad Indian" is scarcely different from the portrait of the demonic savage produced in earlier frontier and Western films. Crow Feather is a bundle of rancorous appetites; in him, impulsivity reigns where reason is entirely absent. Operating on primitive territoriality and the base instincts of self-preservation, he is likened to a predatory animal. The label "Archenemy" is attached to the Indian who selfishly clings to tribal law, honor, and land. Even more, his irreverence for the dead shows an absence of spiritual beliefs, a lack that the films ascribe to all Shawnee. Tribal law abandons an old dying Indian because it is in the best interest of the tribe to let the useless old man rot in the wilderness. Left to their own devices, the Disney Indians are vacuous, soulless primitives who see no value in human existence beyond the material world. Disney writers altogether omit the Great Spirit that binds the Indian community to the land and perpetuates a common misconception about American Indians. Disney's Shawnee have no relationship whatsoever with nature; it is merely their hunting ground (note 12). With no spiritual base, Disney's Shawnee society is tenuously held together by tribal customs that cannot continue to contain the subversion they produce. In this way, Crow Feather's insistence that the Shawnee adhere to these customs marks his adamant resistance to the progress that Boone introduces. But the more Crow Feather resists the more definitively he is inscribed and contained as the antagonist in both the theological and national narratives. The "bad Indian" incurs harm on himself and his people when he refuses to yield to the expanding British-American colonies. This telos, the cession of Indian lands, is underscored several times in the films, particularly in the repeated images of Crow Feather struggling to his feet after a good beating.
The American Patriotic Narrative
 The other dominant historical narrative in the Boone films is the American patriotic, or national, narrative. In the films, this narrative anticipates the Revolutionary War and valorizes the unalienable rights--life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness--that had prompted the Revolution. Having been identified with these rights in the Rebellionist scene, Boone leaves North Carolina under the authorization of the Declaration of Independence: "whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these [rights], it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles." Although we cannot overlook the anachronism, as Boone's 1773 journey precedes the Revolution by two years, the imposition of the patriotic narrative onto the frontiersman may seem no imposition at all. A leader during the Revolutionary defense of Kentucky in the late 1770s, Boone has long been regarded as a heroic patriot. It was during Shawnee-British seiges on the Boonesborough fort that the historical Boone and Blackfish squared off (note 13). But beyond this, Boone's prophetic visions of a new nation impose a little teleological magic onto the films. Boone's impulse to fulfill the manifest destiny of a yet unborn nation steadily increases from 1760 to 1773: a "new empire" (I 10:18), "a strange, new land, a new sky" (I 22:51), "a strange, new earth" (I 47:06), "a creation, a big land" (II 38:05), "a free country" (III 7:25), "a big, new land" (III 45:10), "The beginning. This country of ours is like a growing youngster, just busting out of the seams" (IV 22:15), "I see a new colony being born, a new nation maybe, full of people living in fine homes. I see church steeples rising above the trees from one end of Kaintuck to the other" (IV 24:25). Rejecting all that is oppressive and uncivil in British monarchy and Indian tribalism, the patriotic narrative elicits allegiance to the nation by consigning Boone a significant role toward the fulfillment of the national telos. Certainly, the theological narrative also welcomes Boone's praises for the new: "Behold, I make all things new" (Revelation 21:5) (note 14).
 Boone's dream visions reveal ways in which Disney's patriotic narrative constructs the Indians. Stripping the Indians of any entitlement to the land they inhabited long before the colonies are founded, the patriotic narrative imagines the land as new and empty, looking right through the Native Americans. In this way, the narrative effaces any exploitative and unjust measures that capitalistic and cultural imperialisms might take, writing them instead as the advancement of an Enlightened, democratic nation. Boone's own natural philosophy also advances this notion of organic progress: "Things gotta keep changin' and growin'" (I 08:38). Disney's Natives are much like Hollywood's contemporary formula: "Their usual asthetic function is to serve as an anonymous, irrational, but omnipresent force that perils the expansion of the United States and tests the individual bravery of the white heroes with whom the viewer is to identify" (Georgakas 295).
 The patriotic narrative, by definition, encourages exclusion. The fact that patriotism does not admit divided loyalties has been problematic for Native Americans throughout American history. Traditionally, patriotism writes tribalism as resistant to and incommensurable with the principles of nation. Even the Declaration of Independence associates patriotism and anti-Indian sentiments when it condemns the King for having incited "the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages whose known rule of warfare is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes, and conditions." Similar associations have continuously plagued relations between the American nation and American Indians, coming to issue in most efforts to Americanize Indians, e.g. reservation policies, boarding school programs, and the 1950s policies of compensation, termination, and relocation. Such tensions existed even when Native Americans fought for the U.S., as in World War II. Returning home from serving their country, Indian veterans were still suspected of unpatriotic sentiments; at home, they found "a renewal of hard times and a renewed assault on their tribalism" (Calloway 421). Disney's patriotism continues the assault, for Boone doesn't imagine them as part of the "new nation."
 The two dominant narratives are not completely discontinuous nor disconnected but merge and reinforce each other. It is Walt Disney himself who introduces the confluence. Having already established the earlier typological ascription of Boone and Crow Feather, Disney's introduction to Volume Two praises Boone as a savior, pioneer, and patriot: "If not for people like this, [the West] would have remained wild and primitive and unexplored, and our country couldn't have grown like it did" (II 00:30). This assumes the Indians are blundering, uncivilized people who, by their nature, cannot grow and progress without the white man. Tribal life is regressive, and if the Indians do not comply with the white man, they obstruct progress and incur their own destruction. Disney implicitly authorizes cultural imperialism, the displacement of Indian culture, and the assimilation of the Indians into the American cultural mainstream. Progress is equated with embracing the white man's theology and nation.
 Boone is simultaneously ordained by the theological narrative as an agent of God and the national narrative as a harbinger of the nation's teleological destiny. In Boone's vision of the future, the two narratives imbricate: "I see church steeples rising above the trees from one end of Kaintuck to the other" (IV 24:25). This association also registers in events surrounding the Rebellionist uprising. Boone cites Christian doctrine each time he deflects the Rebellionists' efforts to solicit his participation in the revolt. When the seditious mob erupts and its fury is loosed, Boone's Christian example is that which pacifies the men and gives them new direction. He transforms a destructive revolt into a constructive venture; instead of wreaking havoc in one colony, they will travel into virgin lands and build a new one. The Christian leader assures them that in the magical Promised Land God's bounty will eliminate want and abrogate internal dissension. On the Wilderness Road, the Christian faith binds the converts in their quest for Kentucky promised land, and Boone's authority is confirmed by the fact that he performs a frontier wedding. The festive wedding celebration evidences the special communal spirit of the settlers who, in stark contrast to the factious, brooding Shawnee tribe, can triumph in the promised land. Boone has reformed his own people, but can he reform the Shawnee?
 Disney's Indians are discursive sites at which the dominant narratives negotiate. Although Disney constructs Indians who resist white culture, the resistance produced by the dominant narratives is efficiently contained to affirm the power and interests of the narratives. Walt Disney's ambiguous characterization of Blackfish as a just man or a man who enjoys a good fight temporarily suspends him within narratives. Saying the chief could be either an equitable man or a savage who enjoys the spectacle of one man tomahawking another defers ascription and leaves Blackfish to waver between compassion and cruelty, submission and resistance. Boone's show of Christian mercy nudges the Shawnee chief toward compliance, especially when "the frontiersman" nurses the dying Indian back to health and spares Crow Feather's life twice. Strangely enough, Boone's morality, though it defies tribal custom, impresses Blackfish. And while he continues to invoke tribal law and custom, Blackfish prefers peace over violence and repeatedly turns the other cheek. Accordingly, any subversive threat that the national narrative writes in Blackfish's tribal law the Christian narrative efficiently contains in his inclination toward Christian principles. In this way, the films posit that the theological narrative must initiate the reform of the Indians, and from there the national will naturally follow. The Indians must be filled with a soul and conceive of a logos, a meaning beyond tribal life, before they can abandon the tribe for the nation. Blackfish's interaction with Boone is associated with a gradual acceptance of Christian principles, principles that vitiate Crow Feather's "eye for an eye" mentality.
 The chief sees good in Boone, though he may have trouble understanding why, and verily concludes that harming Boone is committing a wrong. Blackfish explains that he kills Crow Feather not to save Boone but because he deserved to die. In effect, Blackfish applies tribal law to Crow Feather's transgressions but not to Boone's, and he realizes what Boone had known all along: tribal law applies only to the Shawnee, not to the settlers. Though killing the bad Indian initially seems like a gesture toward legitimizing tribalism and recognizing a Native American discourse, it actually validates the theological and national narratives. Borrowing a white man's rifle, Blackfish kills the Indian who clings too tightly to old customs, and thereby the chief implicitly concedes to the encroaching culture. As a result, Boone can continue his quest with his Christian morality intact (he doesn't kill his enemy), and for the eighth time both historical narratives justify Boone's dismissal of Blackfish's warning. Accordingly, the loose tribal structure cannot contain its inherent self-destructiveness; it is only through Boone that Crow Feather's evil is quickened, exposed, and terminated. If tribal law is unable to manage its own intracultural affairs, it is rendered doubly ineffectual in handling intercultural affairs, especially when the other culture is propelled by confluent narratives authorized by God and nation. Blackfish exemplifies the prudent chief who gradually relinquishes territoriality to nation. If Blackfish's empty threats are not full concessions to manifest destiny, they at least acknowledge its inevitability. The historical narratives write the respectable Indian as one who little by little yields to the white man, who accepts Boone's benevolence, and who agrees, often unwittingly, to the cession of lands. In contrast, the "bad Indian" is he who cannot conceive of Boone's goodness and futilely resists America's manifest destiny in a Promised Land.
 The "bad Indian" character amplifies the depravity of the Indians and the immanent threat of tribalism that the patriotic narrative writes as un-American. In Volume Three, Crow Feather's consuming hatred for Boone infests the tribe and produces a faction that secretly rebels against Blackfish's authority and launches unprovoked attacks on settlers. Crow Feather's screaming band has terrorized the frontier since Boone left Kentucky about six years earlier, and it is clear that they act only in territorial self-interest (note 15). But within the faction, there is no loyalty. During the assault on the trading post, Crow Feather tricks a fellow brave to act as a human shield so that when the shield drops dead, Crow Feather can advance and kidnap a settler boy who just happens to be Daniel's son James (note 16). Added to Crow Feather's other loathsome acts is the fact that he sacrifices his own followers to exact revenge, living up to the savagery that Rebecca had reported earlier: "You see Indians axing your young ones in your own dooryard" (II 40:40). Savagery and primitivism are written all over Crow Feather's faction. This is quite clear when Boone and Captain Gass spy the mob dancing, hollering, lunging, and striking the air with their tomahawks. Crow Feather's band is the Shawnee version of North Carolina's Rebellionists, but their aims have no redeeming qualities.
 Unlike the Rebellionists, these braves are far beyond reform because, for their lack of ethical jursiprudence and moral rationale, they perpetuate the endless cycle of retribution. They rebel against what the narratives write as Blackfish's concession and Boone's progression. They represent, in short, the irrationality that tribal life breeds but can't contain. Whereas the Rebellionists were receptive to Boone's discourse of natural rights and reasonable enough to see how British colonial law produces dissension only to affirm the power that oppresses it, Disney's Indians cannot see how tribal life produces the very things that potentially subvert it. And whereas the Rebellionists have the frontier as an escape and Boone as a leader, the Indians have nothing but empty customs and amoral laws to assuage dissent; instead, they must revert to killing the dissenter rather than reforming him. While Crow Feather might be the worst of the Indians, he is also the logical conclusion of an amoral, permissive society. At the same time that the patriotic narrative condemns Crow Feather's faction it also condemns leftist politics, for Disney sees little difference between the two. Having written the bad Indian in this way, both the theological and national narratives make it virtually impossible for the 1960 audience to sympathize at all with Crow Feather.
A Glimpse of a Native American Discourse
 So far, the narratives have been remarkably conservative in containing what is, for the most part, implicitly subversive, but the greatest affirmation of power is produced when subversion is explicitly glimpsed and then contained, a relation that encourages full investment in that power. Entering the Shawnee village for the first time, the film glimpses a Native American discourse that briefly questions the westward movement (III 30:25). A crowd gathers to hear Crow Feather's account of the battle: "We did not start the fight, we only defended ourselves." This is untrue of the Indian attack, but it is a viable explanation for the Indian retaliation against the westward movement as a whole. But because neither historical narrative admits anything Crow Feather says, it takes a white man to expose the lie and disclose the truth. The Shawnee learn the truth from Captain Gass, the manager of the trading post who intercedes as Boone's emissary. Because Blackfish expects to see "merchandise and sweets" when Gass enters the village, we know that intercultural relations up to this point have consisted only of business transactions and commodity exchange. After Gass tells how the attack violates the truce, Blackfish questions Crow Feather and this conversation follows: Crow Feather: We had a right to attack. You yourself commanded the Long Knife Boone to stay out of Kentucky.
Blackfish: It was the Long Knife hunter Boone you attacked?
Crow Feather: Yes, he came back in defiance of your orders. [The prisoner is identified as Boone's son.]
Blackfish: This is Boone's son?
Capt. Gass: That's Boone's boy, alright.
Crow Feather: I did not know that, but it makes the prize more valuable.
Capt. Gass: Dan'l ain't apt to sit around long to get him back neither.
Blackfish: Tell me, Captain Gass, what will these settlers do when they settle Kentucke?
Capt. Gass: Farm, I 'spose. Plant crops, hunt, and trap.
Crow Feather: You see, my chief, it is a good thing I do. Now you can force the Long Knife to turn back, or forfeit his son.
Blackfish: Crow Feather's mind is full of cunning, yet he speaks some truth. If Boone goes on, others will follow, and this land will no longer belong to us. He must turn and go back . . . I must have the word of Long Knife Boone that he will go back and take the settlers with him and I promise to deliver his son safely.
Capt. Gass: And if he don't?
Blackfish: He belongs to Crow Feather, to adopt, to sell, to do with as he pleases. It is tribal law. This exchange between chief, bad Indian, and trader opens a few questions about a Native discourse, a capitalist discourse, and the politics of historical narratives in the film.
 In Crow Feather's argument a Native American discourse is glimpsed. He says he acts on the authority of Blackfish and tribal law, that the attack and kidnapping are justified by Boone's repeated disobedience and his blatant disregard for Blackfish's authority. Crow Feather says he is a good Indian because he enacts what Blackfish had threatened years ago. With renewed resolve, Blackfish invokes Shawnee law on handling captives. The 1960 audience may momentarily sympathize with the Indians who are gradually dispossessed of their lands, but Crow Feather's self-proclaimed goodness and his adherence to Shawnee captive law are so repugnant that the possibility for sustained sympathy is nullified. Claiming the authority of Shawnee law, Crow Feather has formed a faction, deceived his tribe, sacrificed his own kind, attacked sleeping people, kidnapped a boy, and now relishes the custom that allows him to adopt, sell, or kill the boy. The Indian custom is written as a mutant form of exchange; civilized people don't commodify little boys! Welcoming the bargaining power that Boone's son allows him, Crow Feather thinks he will have Boone at his mercy and force the settlers to leave, but to his dismay, Crow Feather cannot outsmart Boone nor can he shake off the fact that he is the spiteful "bad Indian." The text quickly allows Boone the opportunity to kidnap Crow Feather's son, Little Black Bird, and force "a boy for a boy" exchange that thwarts and circumvents Crow Feather's malicious plan. Again, the theological narrative admits the discourse of the clever American hero to contain subversion, but this time the theological narrative strategically enlists a capitalist discourse, as well. Crow Feather's "eye for an eye" morality recoils; thus, the Native discourse is silenced as quickly as it is heard.
A Capitalist Discourse
 This glimpse of a Native American discourse is delivered on the double-edged sword of Wide-Mouth capitalism, for acculturation has already begun in the frontier trading post. Leading the way is Captain Gass who plays a few important functions as a vehicle of capitalism and acculturation. First, as a trader who manages a successful exchange between the whites and the Indians, he antecedes colonization, having introduced the Indians to the sweets of capitalism and primed them for the ensuing Euro-American culture. Second, the scene clearly exhibits that the Shawnee have come to regard him as a credible spokesperson for the whites and as an authoritative historian. The Shawnee have welcomed his commodities, especially the rifles, and Blackfish thinks enough of him to trust his reports about what happened during the skirmish at the trading post and what the settlers plan to do in Kentucky. Third, as Boone's emissary, he clearly represents settler interests. In conducting business with the Indians, Gass presents himself and his commodities in the interests of the Indians, but in this scene his true allegiance to the whites is clear. Fourth, and perhaps most importantly, although the older members of the Shawnee tribe are not yet acculturated, Gass has made significant progress with the young Indians. Insignificant as it may seem, the very short scene in which Little Black Bird races toward Captain Gass and asks if he has brought some sweets to the village is quite telling about Disney's capitalistic discourse and the construction of future prospects for the Native Americans (III 33:15). Later, when Boone and Gass kidnap Crow Feather's son for a fair exchange, Gass tells Boone that Little Black Bird is his best sweets customer, implying that the young generations welcome the white presence.
 A capitalist discourse is framed throughout the film series, and the historical narratives are, in part, written in the interests of capitalism. Ecomonic opportunity may be the most compelling motive for exploration and settlement. Kentucky is like capital, says Boone to Henderson: "Kaintuck . . . a man gets it for nothing, and he sells it for clear profit" (I 10:25). Provided with the necessary capital, Boone explores Kentucky for economic opportunity. There he gathers an abundant store of furs and even risks his scalp to procure enough furs to pay his debts and turn a profit. His promise to Rebecca to "make the farm pay" (I 45:10) is merely temporary, because tilling the land drives him into debt again. The answer for Boone clearly resides in selling his worn-out farm, getting "new earth" for nothing, and turning a "clear profit." A man, he says, shouldn't be stuck filling the pockets of "them thieving, mealy-mouthed land agents" (II 6:30). Boone convinces the Rebellionists that a man need not submit to a government's economic restrictions but is free to make his own opportunities and acquire bigger and better property: "We're just plumb runnin' out of geography. It's a mean, small life when a man's gotta haggle over every foot of ground he works" (II 37:45). Even when Boone and his followers are frustrated by the trials of the wilderness, the economic narrative remains Boone's stronghold: "Turn back to what? Debtor's court, sharecropping? Trying to scratch a living out of worn out ground? . . . [Kentucky is] so rich, the poorest acre made a man feel like a king" (IV 24:25). Also advancing a capitalist narrative are the numerous images that fetishize Kentucky as a "land of pure magic" (I 03:52), "a magic land" (IV 07:10). Kentucky is a place where capital, like vegetation, will magically reproduce without labor.
 The Boone films look forward to a time when territoriality will end with the passing of the older Indian generation, allowing the younger generations, now unconstested, to embrace the progress that Americanization offers. As time extirpates the old Indian ways, Natives will nicely assimilate into the dominant culture and enjoy the sweets of capitalism. In the future, intercultural conflict and intracultural dissension will be obliterated and forgotten, a prospect that registers when James is released from Shawnee captivity (note 16). As he and the Indian boys exchange smiles and goodbyes upon his parting, no one seems to care that James had killed two Indian braves that same day. As much as he enjoys killing Indians, James enjoys playing Indian with real live Shawnee--Heck, he was even given an Indian name and almost adopted!
 Thinking there is very little in Indian culture worth retaining, Disney's Boone advocates a politics like that of the "Kill the Indian and Save the Man" Indian relations policies in the early twentieth century. His fatherly advice to "think Indian" (II 14:30) is a survival strategy not a gesture of admiration for the Indians (note 17). Likewise, the discursive relations between cultures are equally conservative, as there are no characters with divided loyalties. Also, liminal positions between white and Indian cultures are conspicuously absent, which is to say that the historical narratives and the corresponding ideologies are delimited in such a way that their boundaries go undisturbed and unchallenged. There are no interstitial spaces where the conceptual ordering of the historical narratives and their political interests remain largely fortified. The only character who nears a liminal position is Little Black Bird, but his character clearly anticipates complete assimilation into the American cultural mainstream.
 The Indian constructed by the historical narratives and the discourse of capitalism resembles the Indian favored by 1950s compensation, termination, and relocation policies (see Filmic Context). Ending much of the federal support for Indian reservations, termination policy operated on the assumption that government aid in the form of hand-outs actually disables Indians. Federal support, it was thought, discourages self-reliance and obstructs the assimilation of Indians into a cultural mainstream that offers everyone multiple opportunities for a better life. Boone holds similar values. To him, any government policy or law that corrals individuals consequently limits individualism. For this reason, he thinks the Proclamation Act infringes on his natural rights and liberties: "'Tain't a good law!--no matter who made it. And ya can't stop once folks get their mind set" (I 10:25). Thinking that tribalism blindly refutes the discourse of natural rights, Boone puts forth a few times the notion that settling differences between Indians and whites does not necessitate the edict of an exclusionary territorial custom but calls for a set of localized agreements that afford everyone "elbow room." And while Disney's Boone is completely resolved to peaceful relations, it is the Indian who is the stumbling block -- says Boone, "[Kentucky is] big enough for you and me and a million others to live on in peace, if you want it that way" (III 45:10). The burden of peaceful intercultural relations rests solely on the Indians: Blackfish: Boone, you will make Kaintuck a Dark and Bloody Battleground. Boone: It don't have to be. Kaintuck's big enough for all of us. (IV 23:15) Again, progress is equated with embracing Boone's theology, nation, and capitalism.
 The repudiation of what the national narrative writes as primitive territoriality increases the leverage of Boone's affirming power. His notion of agreement, like those of the termination policies, requires Indians to give up tribal autonomy and relinquish control of their lands as well. A variant of the noble savage, Blackfish represents the Indian whom 1950s conservatism and termination policies prefer. He suits the Eisenhower administration's policies that professedly respect Indian heritage but discourage Indian autonomy. A leader like Blackfish is wise enough to admit his impotence against an advancing dominant culture and prudent enough to reject vigilante blood law on the frontier. Violence and vengeance are not part of his politics; instead, he votes to release captives, carries a white flag, and ostracizes an Indian who prescribes bloodshed as an answer to adversity.
 Unlike many earlier Boone and frontier films, Disney allots the Indian some time to speak his mind, but there is no obligation to listen. Disney honors Blackfish's reluctance to comply with colonization, and even allows him to maintain his pride and dignity, but the Indian chief is never taken seriously. This is clearly evidenced in the way that Boone feels no obligation to honor his agreements with Blackfish, but will risk his life to honor his agreement with Henderson. His monetary debt to Henderson supersedes his word of honor with Blackfish. In this way, the capitalist, or capital itself, writes a more legitimate and binding contract than an Indian handshake for which Boone won't even offer a hand. There is no reason to believe that Blackfish will act on his last warning any more than he had acted on the other seven. Disney never explicitly denigrates Blackfish because he is not a serious threat to the Judeo-Christian, national, and economic narratives and because his politics anticipate cultural displacement and the Americanization of Native Americans. This is most clearly evidenced when after issuing each of his last two warnings to Boone, the chief virtually disappears from the scene. Only Boone remains.
 Producing an American history politically aligned with conservative Americanism, Disney's Daniel Boone film series negotiates historical narratives and privileges a discourse of capitalism to produce the visage of a monolithic power as nation. This is not surprising when we consider Walt Disney's "friendly" testimony during the HUAC investigations of the entertainment industry, investigations that targeted subversive politics of movies, actors, and moviemakers. Surely any films that sympathized with marginalized groups would invite investigation and risk being construed as un-American. Although the blacklists were generally discarded by 1960, Disney's Boone continues the campaign. In a popular culture that represents Indians as soulless primitives who terrorized the frontier and impeded the westward movement, the Indian was un-American. In its efforts to elicit allegiance to the nation, the politics of Americanism drove a wedge between tribalism and patriotism. Even as recently as 1937, during Senate hearings on the actions of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Commissioner of the B.I.A. was accused of "atheism, communism, and unAmericanism" (qtd. in Hoxie 231), an accusation which assumes theology, nation, and economics form an indivisible monolith. In the 1950s fears of communist infiltration and the zeal for Americanism continued to obstruct progress toward recognizing the diversity that the American Indians represented. In cadence with what Larry Ceplair calls the movie industry's post-McCarthy "giant step backward" (198), Disney advocates a regressive politics in which marginalized voices are silenced in favor of the naturalized "consensus history," or "counterprogressive history," of the Cold War (Nash 56). A staple of American schools, this history wrote over contestation, remedying social, class, and cultural conflict with, as I have shown, laissez-faire capitalism and the confluence of national and theological historical narratives. Essentially, this is what Anthony Smith defines as the ideology of nationalism: "The nation is the source of all political and social power, and loyalty to the nation overrides all other allegiances . . . Human beings must identify with a nation if they want to be free and realize themselves" (74).
 It cannot go unnoticed that the first established presence in Disney's Kentucky is not Boone, but Captain Gass and his trading post. The films assert that before the theological and national narratives can inscribe, appropriate, and consume a Native history, commodities are exchanged and the sweets of capitalism are tasted in the wilderness. Evidently, the Disney Indian who will enjoy the best future is Little Black Bird. I will not discount the fact that the Disney films do envision a future in which the whites and Indians live together in harmony, but this harmony precludes any sense of Native autonomy. The sweets of Euro-American culture are far too tempting to resist. Disney's Boone films contribute to the many Indian stereotypes produced by mythmaking movies, e.g. the noble savage, hostile demon, halfbreed rebel, ascetic shaman, intractable squaw, peaceful intermediary, doe-eyed beauty, and faithful sidekick. To these, Disney adds what I am calling the "credulous sweet tooth." This is Little Black Bird, the enthusiastic young Indian who anticipates the fruitful benefits of white culture and capitalism. After the sweets lure Little Black Bird from the tribe -- or that which owns lands and cultivates it communally and produces material goods and uses them communally -- capitalist ideology and the confluent narratives will construct another individual subject and provide him with the proper social relations of a nation peopled by proper subjectivities. It is to Little Black Bird that Disney's Indian history naturally leads and in whom the threat of un-Americanism is simultaneously acknowledged and effaced.
1 My own elementary school curriculum in the 1970s included three showings of Johnny Tremain and a Davy Crockett film; they were presented to us as real history!
2 According to George Custen, there was a trend from the 1930s to the 1950s in which films about historical people and historical events were loosely based on source material and tended to blur the line between fact and fiction. Disney's Daniel Boone film series is what Custen calls the "biopic," which "routinely integrates historical episodes of selected individual lives into a nearly monchromatic 'Hollywood view of history'" (3). Like the other "biopics," Disney's Daniel Boone series skews history.
3 As an example he cites Disney's Tonka, a 1958 cinema and TV movie about a young Sioux named White Bull who releases his horse into the wild to save it from an abusive Indian. Later, Tonka is bridled by one of Custer's calvarymen. The film does sympathize with the young Indian, but a great irony cannot be overlooked: a white man, who is also the boy's enemy, saves the horse and benefits from the Indian boy's selflessness. As it turns out, Tonka returns to White Bull's charge only after the young Indian joins the ranks as an honorary trooper. What initially seems like autonomy is really concession affirming the dominant white culture and ideologies. Maltin extends his compliments to the Tonka director and screenplay writer, Lewis R. Foster, who also directed all four of Disney's Daniel Boone films and wrote the teleplays for the last two.
4 Disney's Blackfish is much different from the historical Blackfish. For example, Blackfish was a war chief who in alliance with the British during the Revolutionary War waged numerous assaults on Kentucky forts in the late 1770s. Although the historical Blackfish did respect Boone enough to adopt him during captivity (1778), he did not submit to Boone or the mass of encroaching settlers, nor did he kill his own people to save Boone.
5 Although Manifest Destiny is a 19th century term, the benevolence and telos of this expansionist doctrine is clearly written onto the Boone films. This imposition is not only anachronistic but also fundamentally political, as it validates all that Boone does.
6 These historical narratives are what Keith Jenkins would call "always already" narratives. As Jenkins advises, using these terms also requires self-critique and a need for self-reflexivity: "The world/past comes to us always already as stories . . . we cannot get out of these stories [or narratives] to check if they correspond to the real world/past, because these 'always already' narratives constitute 'reality'" (9). Along the same lines, we certainly cannot dismiss the patriarchal narrative as being "always already." Although I do not treat it here, this narrative also informs the Boone films in numerous ways that beg further consideration, e.g. the feminization of Kentucky, Rebecca's glimpses of independence and her eventual obeisance to Daniel, the vast differences between the ways in which women are represented in the settler and Indian communities, and the differences between the ways in which Boone and Crow Feather treat their women. For the most part, Boone is a good husband, while Crow Feather calls his mate "woman" and only demands that she tell him where his son is (III 30:25) (See note 14).
7 Historically speaking, Boone was indeed a Quaker but not a devout one. He did not, according to historical sources, perform a wedding nor did he equate the settling of Kentucky with the fulfillment of God's plan. The Quaker sense of brotherhood and generosity we would expect to transfer into the intercultural relations between the Quaker settlers and Indians. Certainly Disney's Boone expects this treatment from the Indians, although he doesn't really model it as well as he would like to think.
8 In many Boone stories the frontiersman's antagonist is Simon Girty, a white man who chooses to live among the Indians. Disney's Crow Feather does not resemble this liminal figure. Disney altogether ignores the historical fact that many whites did live among the Indians, many of whom, when given the chance to return to white culture, preferred the Indian way of life. Until rather recently, history has not recognized the Indianized people, partially because of political interests and partially because those people were apart from Euro-American civilization and therefore couldn't be recorded by that history.
9 What Crow Feather says here is traceable to an historical person, Captain Will, who threatened Boone with the stings of wasps and yellow jackets should the frontiersman return to Kentucky. Besides this, I can see no other similarities. We may expect Chief Blackfish to say this, but the admonition is too vicious for Disney's chief. It is more in character with Crow Feather.
10 The theme song that frames each episode reiterates this association: "Although his life depended a lot / On every handmade bullet he shot, / The one thing he never learned was this, / He never learned how to miss . . . I guess no man'l ever be Dan'l."
11 I must add that some of the replayed scenes in this introduction are slightly different from those in the previous episode. For example, the replay of Boone's shot in the second shooting match with Crow Feather squarely hits the bull's-eye, whereas the original scene had Boone's shot just a bit off the mark. Also, the video shows the Indians capturing Boone and Stuart, but Disney calls them Daniel and his brother Squire.
12 Disney subscribes to common misconceptions about Native Americans in general and the Ohio Valley Indians in particular. Detailing some misconceptions about the woodland Natives in the Ohio Valley, Stephen Aron says that the traditional view of these people has been skewed by rhetoric and cultural discourse that subordinated the Native life to European ways. A good example is the traditional portrait of the Natives as primarily a hunting people. This image "represented the lowest stage of social evolution and provided a well-worn rationale for Anglo-American conquest and colonization" (Aron 10). It is more accurate to say that the Natives of this area were productive agrarians whose cultivation skills provided a larger part of their diet than the flesh they hunted. Also, because the Natives' spirituality was based in a kinship with the animals, they favored a perpetual abundance of animals. Flesh hunting, for this reason, was limited to what they needed to complement their diet and what could provide basic necessities such as clothing, implements, and so forth. The European discourse, however, preferred to think that an agrarian subsistence is a sign of progress, something they didn't want to see in the Natives (Aron 10). Seemingly insignificant misconceptions like these fueled and justified the cultural superiority that the whites would claim for centuries. The Indians were much wiser, well-adjusted, civil, and conservative than European hegemony would admit.
13 It was during this time (1778) that the historical Blackfish captured Boone and adopted him as a son. Given the name "Sheltowee" (Big Turtle), Boone respected Boone so much that Blackfish refused to deal him away to the British at a high exchange value. It cannot go unmentioned that the British-Indian alliance was broadly successful in its Ohio Valley campaign. While the alliance could smell victory in the West, the eastern British forces crumbled and succumbed (see Historical Context).
14 Although the connection is not explicit, Boone's vision of a new settlement in Kentucky is similar to John's vision of New Jerusalem "coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband" (Revelation 21:2). Throughout the films, Boone feminizes the land. One verse of "And Chase the Buffalo" imagines the "far distant country" as a potential bride, for when he returns to his "sweet, sweet little wife," he says he will "go no more a-courtin'." Also, Rebecca admits how she is jealous of Boone's dreams of unfaithfulness, saying, "You're still dreaming about Kentucky, courting it like a man does a woman" (II 06:30). Nowhere is the feminization of the land more pronounced than in Daniel's last speech in the film series where he imagines Kentucky as an immaculate whore: "There she be folks, Kaintuck. She'll take a thousand men with a thousand dreams and still be hardly tarnished" (IV 47:05) (see note 6).
15 Walt Disney inaccurately says that five or six years separated Boone's first and second journeys to Kentucky. The films date these journeys as 1760 and 1773. What Disney says is historically false and also inconsistent with his own films.
16 The historical James Boone was captured by Indians and then brutally tortured and killed. At the time, he was sixteen and the Indian assault on Boone's 1773 expedition sufficiently frightened all of the settlers enough to abandon their enterprise. The venture was a miserable failure.
17 This advice directly precedes the scene in which Boone give his son a lesson on rifles, the proper use of which are to get food and skins and to protect oneself from critters. But because there are very few threatening critters other than the bear, Boone must include Indians in the "critter" category, which he most assuredly does. This very basic prejudice is unfaithful to the historical Daniel Boone, or so it seems.