Dispatches from the Fort Apache Scout

White Mountain and Cibecue Apache History Through 1881

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In the 1970s, the White Mountain Apache Tribe and the Arizona Historical Society began working together on a series of innovative projects aimed at preserving, perpetuating, and sharing Apache history. Underneath it all was a group of people dedicated to this important goal. Dispatches from the Fort Apache Scout is the latest outcome of that ongoing commitment.

The book showcases and annotates dispatches published between June 1973 and October 1977, in the tribe’s Fort Apache Scout newspaper. This twenty-eight-part series of articles shared Western Apache culture and history through 1881 and the Battle of Cibecue, emphasizing early encounters with Spanish, Mexican, and American outsiders. Along the way, rich descriptions of Ndee ties to the land, subsistance, leadership, and values emerge. The articles were the result of the dogged work of journalist, librarian, and historian Lori Davisson along with Edgar Perry, a charismatic leader of White Mountain Apache culture and history programs, and his staff who prepared these summaries of historical information for the local readership of the Scout.

Davisson helped to pioneer a mutually beneficial partnership with the White Mountain Apache Tribe. Pursuing the same goal, Welch’s edited book of the dispatches stakes out common ground for understanding the earliest relations between the groups contesting Southwest lands, powerfully illustrating how, as elder Cline Griggs, Sr., writes in the prologue, “the past is present.”

Dispatches from the Fort Apache Scout is both a tribute to and continuation of Davisson’s and her colleagues’ work to share the broad outlines and unique details of the early history of Ndee and Ndee lands.
“An in-depth regional history and thorough look at Ndee early contacts with Spanish, Mexican, and American outsiders.”—Janet Cantley, Curator at the Phoenix Heard Museum

“Lori Davisson and Edgar Perry are regarded as two of the foremost historians of the Western Apaches. These articles, based on primary source material, fill a much-needed void concerning the relationships between the Americans and Western Apaches.”—Edwin R. Sweeney, author of From Cochise to Geronimo: The Chiricahua Apaches, 1874–1886 

“For those of us who were privileged to know her as a friend and colleague, Lori Davisson epitomized a generosity of spirit and selfless devotion to the historian’s craft that transcended cultural barriers. Thanks to this welcome compilation of articles that originally appeared in the White Mountain Apache tribal newspaper, Lori’s valuable history of the Ndee is now available to a broad audience of scholars and general readers.”—Bruce J. Dinges, Arizona Historical Society

"Grounded in some of our old people's memories and what some of the first visitors to our land wrote down, this book is worth reading. It shows how Fort Apache became the gateway through which the non-Indians marched into our lives and changed them forever."—Ronnie Lupe, Chairman, White Mountain Apache Tribe

“The only book of its kind.”—Nancy J. Parezo, co-author of Paths of Life: American Indians of the Southwest and Northern Mexico
Dispatches from the Fort Apache Scout
224 Pages 6 x 9
Published: March 2016Paperback ISBN: 9780816532117
Published: May 2016Ebook ISBN: 9780816533657

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