Cassandra Tate with John C. Hughes
Seattle-based historian and author Cassandra Tate brings welcome scrutiny to a version of Northwest history that has long held sway, but now is undergoing revisiting to various ends, witness a change of statues representing Washington state history in the U.S. Capitol. Het book, Unsettled Ground: The Whitman Massacre and Its Shifting Legacy in the American West (Sasquatch), draws on archival sources, many not before used in rendering this new narrative of what happened with Marcus and Narcissa Whitman, and their early nineteenth-century time in what is now southeastern Washington.
“Unsettled Ground is both the gripping adventure story of a cross-continental journey and a cultural exploration of the collision of two very different ways of life. . . . Told with depth and insight, Tate’s account is a prism that allows us to see the multiple dimensions of a classic frontier conflict.”—Peter Stark.
“In this overdue era of righting unbalanced histories, Cassandra Tate reexamines a deadly tragedy from the nineteenth-century American West. Unsettled Ground is a riveting blend of intricate research, fresh cultural perspective, and first-rate storytelling.”—Dave Boling.
Cassandra Tate is a Seattle-based historian and author. A former journalist, she earned a PhD in American history at the University of Washington in 1995. She is the author previously of Cigarette Wars: The Triumph of "The Little White Slaver." Her work has been published in Smithsonian, Columbia Journalism Review, and other national magazines, and she has contributed more than 200 articles to HistoryLink.org, the online encyclopedia of Washington State history. She is a former Nieman Fellow at Harvard University.
John C. Hughes is chief historian for the Secretary of State’s oral history program in Olympia.