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The Emptying of the Plain: The Comanche and Kalmyk Nomads in the Shadow of Empire

In January 1771, the steppes of the Lower Volga were filled with the sounds of hundreds of thousands of nomads and their flocks, all streaming eastwards, towards home. Behind them lay the lands of the Russian Empire, and before them, the vast and deadly Kazakh steppes. They had made a choice to return to their Central Asian homeland and forsake the rule of a far-away Empress and the encroachment of her land-hungry subjects, abandoning the pastures where their ancestors had roamed for over a century. Those Kalmyks who were left across the Volga were left to bear the punishment for their kinsmens’ actions, and their remaining autonomy was destroyed on order of St. Petersburg.

In the summer of 1874, on the frontier of a different empire, another nomadic group made a choice: to fight in defiance of an order from Washington to abandon their grazing lands and their traditional way of life, and submit. On the high and deadly Llano Estacado of Texas, the Comanche nomads made their final stands against the US Army, but were forced to accept the reservation at the edge of the sword, their herds of horses and the once ubiquitous buffalo destroyed and left to be turned into fertilizer by the oncoming settlers. Their lands, once feared as a void of nomadic violence known as Comancheria, were divided up and sold for cattle ranching and settlement, and the Comanche people fell under the direct rule of the government in Washington, their leaders imprisoned and lifeway dismantled.

These histories are examples of the collision between empire and nomad in the processes of Russian and American imperial expansion. From two cores of settlement the Russian and American states created new structures of governance and proceeded to expand rapidly, representing the vanguard of European terrestrial expansion. The decline of the remnants of the Mongol and Spanish Empires opened vast and valuable areas for conquest and settlement in Eurasia and North America, except for the fact that they had already been conquered. The Kalmyk and Comanche pastoral nomads who inhabited these regions practiced a way of life that constantly defied the expectations of empire by its fluidity, mobility, and disregard for private property. Both nomadic groups had migrated from elsewhere into these areas and using their mastery of mobile warfare, drove off rivals and secured power over vast areas. The expansion of the empires created frontiers, where, as Michael Khodarkovsky writes, “poorly defined political and territorial boundaries served as an invitation to continuous expansion.”[i] In addition, these frontier regions, specifically the Lower Volga and Central Texas, were ecologically well-suited for agriculture and exploitation for the growing needs of empire, representing yet another irresistible draw. The process of conflict and conquest of these nomadic groups is an inseparable part of the larger processes of “global transformation in human relations with the biosphere, as states, empires, and corporations engaged in an increasingly feverish competition to mobilize new lands and new resources.”[ii] Both groups saw their political independence curtailed, their indigenous economies disrupted, and the lands which they inhabited transformed and integrated into imperial heartlands. The similarities in the histories of the Kalmyk and Comanche therefore offer a view into a global process of imperial terrestrial expansion and the attendant subjugation of nomadic peoples which led to the destruction of nomadic pastoralism as a way of life, and the disempowerment of those who relied on it.


Defining Frontier and Empire

Before delving into the similarities in the histories of the Kalmyk and Comanche, it is necessary to explain what is meant by the terms “frontier” and “empire”. In the American context, the concept of the frontier has a long and storied history, originating with Frederick Jackson Turner and his bold proclamation that “American history has been in a large degree the history of the colonization of the Great West. The existence of an area of free land, its contiguous recession, and the advance of American settlement westward, explain American development.”[iii] This Frontier Thesis has since been challenged, especially his use of the word “frontier”: “his frontier was sometimes boundary, sometimes region, sometimes historical era, and sometimes process.”[iv] The waters have been further muddied by the frontier myth which came to dominate the discourse as a battleground where the rugged individual proved his mettle against the hostile wilderness and its savage inhabitants.[v] In this case, a clearer definition of frontier lies with Russian history, concisely defined as “a region that forms the margin of a settled or developed territory, a politico-geographical area lying beyond the integrated area of the political unit.”[vi] In a similar vein, David Moon writes of the frontier as an “intermediate zone of interaction and mutual accommodation between the Russian state and neighboring state structures, Russian peasant-migrants and the environment, and agricultural peasants and pastoral nomads…”[vii] Therefore, the frontier in this case can best be described as a place where the demands of empire met with the realities of vast areas of harsh terrain populated with nomads without states with which to negotiate solid border agreements. Under this definition, both the Lower Volga and Texas appear as frontiers where the desire for stable categories of loyalty and economy were thwarted by the indigenous nomads.

The term empire appears easier on its face, for the simple fact that from Peter I’s declaration in 1721 until 1917, the state was called the Russian Empire. But the mere usage of the word does little to explain the processes of empire and why states pursued unprecedented expansion across the globe, or how states such as Russia and America with such different forms of government used similar methods of imperial domination. Empire, as a term, is widely used yet incredibly complex, replete with problems of definition and typification.[viii] But as Anthony Pagden writes, some definitions of empire, derived from the Roman imperium, encompass a blend of sovereignty, command, and domination in the context of the state.[ix] Setting aside the complex and ongoing debate in favor of brevity, Peter Fibiger Bang offers this definition: “[Empires] comprise a range of different territories and communities, subjected hierarchically in various ways to a dominant power.”[x] This is supplemented by Stephen Howe’s definition: “an empire is a large political body which rules over territories outside its original borders. It has a central power or core territory— whose inhabitants usually continue to form the dominant ethnic or national group in the entire system— and an extensive periphery of dominated areas.”[xi] In their interactions with these nomadic peoples, the Russian Empire and United States fulfilled this definition, establishing systems of control over frontier areas outside of their original borders and forming colonial hierarchies over the Comanche and Kalmyk nomads.

Comparative Histories

The Comanches and Kalmyks were heirs to the same Eurasian pastoral nomadic tradition, one which enabled them to dominate specific regions of grasslands well-suited to the raising of herds and hunting, all of which can be comfortably termed the “steppe.”[xii] The Kalmyks originated with the Oirat division of the Western Mongols, but following civil conflict in Dzungaria, located in modern day Xinjiang, they detached in 1628.[xiii] From there, they migrated to the steppe north of the Caspian Sea, drove the Turco-Mongol Nogais from their pasturage and “all the area from Astrakhan to Samara, from the Ural river up to the Volga, was made the permanent homeland of [the Kalmyks]...”[xiv] In this way, the Kalmyks entered into a frontier space already contested by the nomadic remnants of the Mongol Empire and the growing Russian state, exploiting the weakness of their rivals to their benefit. The Comanches undertook a similar migration and conquest, detaching from the Shoshone in the Great Basin sometime in the 17th century and crossing the Rockies onto the Great Plains.[xv] In doing so, they entered into the contested frontier space of New Mexico, where in 1680 Spanish control over the province and its large imported horse herds collapsed in the Pueblo Revolt. The Comanche used this chaos to capture the hardy Spanish horses and adopt Spanish riding techniques,[xvi] and therefore became a part of a long tradition of Eurasian horse-centered nomadism.[xvii] Using their newfound mastery of pastoral nomadism and warfare on horseback, “the mounted Comanches took advantage of the small, seasonal farming villages of the Apaches, which were easily destroyed one at a time.”[xviii] Both nomadic groups utilized a similar mastery of mounted warfare to displace rivals for access to prime grazing lands on the steppe, and demonstrated the fluidity and mobility that defined nomadic power.

The Comanches and Kalmyks defied empire through what settled peoples saw as their mercurial attitudes, coming from a misunderstanding of nomadic politics and the different understandings of property and agreements. Both groups, though described as wholes and treated as such, were in actuality complex conglomerations of overlapping political and kinship groups that continually defied imperial demands. The Comanche “nation” consisted of a variety of sociopolitical groups based on both biological and adoptive kinship which changed names, territory, and even members.[xix] The name Comanche itself is itself an exonym transmitted from Spanish official records, being originally derived from an Ute word meaning “enemy”.[xx] Similarly, the Kalmyks were made up of several divisions that undermined attempts to control their movements and at times even fought amongst themselves for control of the best grazing land and political positions.[xxi] Interestingly, the name Kalmyk is also an exonym, most likely derived from the Turkic root kalmak, “to stay, to remain.”[xxii] The uncertainty in the naming conventions reflect the perceptions of nomads by the empires who sought to understand the nomads on imperial terms, which included a rejection of their internal diversity and fluidity in favor of simplistic categories. The actions of the nomads prompted anger and confusion by imperial authorities, who assumed that treaties signed with nomadic leaders were totally binding, therefore ignoring the fractious nature of nomadic politics and the fluidity of nomadic society. For example, negotiations with the Comanches were never very long-lived, in part for the fact that it was nearly impossible to gather the different groups ranging hundreds of miles, and even when councils of a majority were called, they were powerless to stop younger Comanches or distant bands from continuing raiding those they saw as interlopers.[xxiii] The frustration this inability to control engendered in authorities is underscored by a report of Robert S. Neighbors, the main envoy to the Comanches before the Civil War: “the main body of each tribe on our borders profess friendship, [but] there has been considerable damage done on our frontier settlements…”[xxiv] The Russians similarly perceived the Kalmyks as unstable and untrustworthy when treaties were signed and oaths taken, yet raids continued, with individual leaders raiding Russian territory and taking Russian peasants as slaves to be sold in Central Asian markets.[xxv] European travelers on the Lower Volga remarked on the Kalmyks being “accustomed to uncontrolled and vagrant habits,”[xxvi] and the problem of Kalmyk raids persisted even into the 19th century, after the end of Kalmyk autonomy.[xxvii] The misunderstandings engendered by their different life-ways and cultures meant a continuous tension between empire and nomad; the former desired stability and unity, and the latter desired freedom of movement and a stop to settler encroachment. This dynamic deepened the distrust on both sides and the desire for control, as authorities increasingly perceived the nomads as intractable enemies.

The nomads depended on movement in tandem with the environment to sustain themselves through hunting and their herds, moving with purpose across the vast steppe. For this reason, when seeking to subjugate and control them, the empires sought to construct physical boundaries through fortifications and military outposts that would constrict the open geography of the steppes of which the nomads were masters. The construction of forts was a primary task of the US Army on the Southern Great Plains, and according to John Bartlett, the Boundary Commissioner from 1850-1853, the frontier forts consisted of “a large military force, embracing full two-thirds of the army, which is supported at enormous cost.”[xxviii] These forts acted as the vanguard of settlement, as evidenced by the fact that the time of low troop concentration during the Civil War witnessed the greatest upsurge in Comanche raids and a general rollback of frontier settlements in Texas.[xxix] The Russian Empire similarly poured men and treasure into constructing and maintaining extensive fortifications across their southern frontier for the explicit purpose of restraining the movement of nomads and defending settlements. The Tsaritsyn fortification line, which stretched from the Volga to the Don was completed as early as 1718, restricting the Kalmyks from northern pasturage, and in 1762 a fortification line was built along the Terek River, restricting Kalmyk movements south.[xxx] The settlement of Cossacks, regarded as loyal to the imperial government, also acted as a restriction of the Kalmyks’ movement, as evidenced by their immediate mobilization in 1771 to pursue the fleeing Kalmyks.[xxxi] The fortifications were places where imperial power could be projected over hostile terrain and fluid nomadic populations, and created at the least an illusion of comfort for settlers claiming former pasture for tillage. This transformation of the geography of the frontier meant a tightening of control, and even when the fortifications were poorly manned or abandoned, their very existence presaged darker tidings, as every abandoned fortification was followed inevitably by more numerous ones as the collision of empire and nomad produced further conflict.

These groups, like other nomads, depended entirely on their herds and by extension, their specific environment, the steppe. As Thomas J. Barfield writes, “Nomadic societies built around a pastoral economic specialization are imbued with cultural values far beyond just doing a job. It is as much a way of life as a way of making a living.”[xxxii] Therefore, when the empires undermined the economic base of nomadic life, they directly threatened their cultural and political autonomy. In the case of the Comanches, the decline of their power was intimately tied to the destruction of their horse herds and, most importantly, the buffalo. Take for example, a first-hand account of the  Army’s systematic destruction of Comanche resistance through the killing of their herds: “it seemed a pity to be compelled to kill them, but there was no alternative. It was the surest method of crippling the Indians…”[xxxiii] The decline of the buffalo was a direct consequence of the increased economic pressures of encroachment, both by Euro-American settlers and displaced Native Americans,[xxxiv] and the systematic destruction of the herds by commercial hunters, who slaughtered vast numbers of the animals with pride, as attested to by their memoirs: “we hunters were justly entitled to credit in winding up the Indian trouble in the great State of Texas.”[xxxv] Similarly, the impoverishment of the Kalmyks was a direct result of imperial policies of settlement on the Lower Volga, especially the mass settlement of German colonists under Catherine II.[xxxvi] In addition, Russian peasant and Cossack communities followed the establishment of frontier forts and fortification lines, with the peasant population alone increasing from around 2,000 to over 200,000 in the years 1719-1762.[xxxvii] Therefore, the transformation of the natural environment necessary to make it agriculturally productive was a similar process of impoverishment for both the Comanches and Kalmyks, who saw their range and herds reduced. For them, this diminishment meant the degradation of not only their material conditions, but also their cultures, as increasing numbers of both groups were forced onto limited tracts and into agriculture. For the Comanches, this meant life as wards of the state on the reservation, a mere fraction of the independent Comancheria, and for the Kalmyks it meant a choice between the loss of their religion and life-way or a desperate exodus to their homeland.

The process of imperial encroachment and the collapse of nomadic economies was not unnoticed by the nomads themselves, and their speeches attest to the high level of understanding possessed by leaders who recognized the imminent threat. As Comanche chief Ten Bears said at the 1867 Medicine Lodge Treaty, which failed to end the boundary disputes despite being the greatest gathering of Plains tribes:

I was born upon the prairie, where the wind blew free and there was nothing to break the light of the sun. I was born where there are no inclosures [sic] and where everything drew a free breath. I want to die there and not within walls. I know every stream and every wood between the Rio Grande and the Arkansas. I have hunted and lived over that country. I lived like my fathers before me, and, like them I lived happily… If the Texans had kept out of my country there might have been peace. But that which you now say we must live on is too small. The Texans have taken away the places where the grass grew the thickest and the timber was the best… But it is too late. The white man has the country which we loved, and we only wish to wander on the prairie until we die.[xxxviii]

Even though their final resistance would not be put down until a decade later, the words of Ten Bears show the desperation that imperial expansion had impressed upon the Comanches, depriving them of the vast ranges necessary to continue their nomadic life-way. A similar speech was made by the Kalmyk tayishi, or nobleman, named Tsebek-Dorji at a council of Kalmyk leaders before their final decision to attempt to flee the Russian Empire:

The banks of the Yayik [Ural] and Kuma are now covered with cossack settlements, and the northern borders of your steppes are inhabited by Germans. In a little while, the Don, Terek, and Kuma will also be colonized and you will be pushed to the waterless steppes and the only source of your existence, your herds, will perish. Ubashi’s son has already been ordered given as a hostage, and three hundred from among the noble Kalmyks are to reside in the Russian capital. You can now see your situation, and in the future you will have two options—either to carry the burden of slavery, or to leave Russia and thus to end all your misfortunes.[xxxix]

The process of imperial expansion pushed the nomads to the brink economically, politically, and socially. Yet by the time these two leaders spoke, the hopes of a direct military victory, or a fair settlement, had passed in the eyes of nomadic leaders; the demands for their land and restrictions on movement meant the certain end of their independence. In response, the Comanches and Kalmyks chose to exercise their remaining agency by defying imperial authorities.

Though most Comanches accepted the reservation out of desperation amidst the extermination of the buffalo and the military crackdown on the Great Plains, a group under the famous chief Quanah Parker defied the order to stay and, inspired by an apocalyptic religious vision, rode out with the belief that “all the People would unite, fall upon the whites and annihilate them, so that the bison could return to the plains.”[xl] Uniting many disaffected warriors from the Comanches and other Plains groups, Quanah led them to kill the buffalo hunters at Adobe Walls in the Texas Panhandle. Here, promised immunity to bullets by the prophet Isatai, the Comanches met the ultimate disappointment when they failed to defeat the 28 buffalo hunters inside the crumbling fort.[xli] Demoralized, the gathered force scattered and began distributing vengeance across the frontier in small bands, pursued by the Army. Forced onto the arid Llano Estacado, their horse herds and tents were first destroyed at Palo Duro Canyon, and then they struggled on for almost another year, only surrendering in June 1875.[xlii] For the Kalmyks, the majority chose to attempt the incredibly dangerous journey that their ancestors had undertaken over a century before, but in reverse, back over the Central Asian steppe occupied by their traditional enemies the Kazakhs. Though the Russian government was warned by loyal elements of the Kalmyk nobility that a migration was imminent, Catherine herself rejected what she called rumors, as “a march to Jungaria through the harsh Kazakh steppes would be suicidal.”[xliii] This was a prophetic notion, for the mass of Kalmyks, weighed down with loot from sacked Russian villages and their vast herds, made an easy target for the Kazakhs, to whom the orders from the Orenburg governor meant “the time had come to acquire booty and take revenge.”[xliv] These constant attacks combined with the harsh terrain meant that a significant portion of the Kalmyks were captured or killed; according to the traditional Kalmyk history less than half of those who had departed from the Lower Volga survived the journey.[xlv] The results of this exodus were devastating, but especially for those Kalmyks who had been abandoned on the right bank of the Volga and were left to face the wrath of the Empress. In retaliation, Catherine abolished the position of khan and subordinated the Kalmyks to direct control by the “High Pristaw,” who had the power to dismiss Kalmyk leaders at will.[xlvi] The expansion of empire on the Great Plains and the Lower Volga forced the nomadic leaders to make a choice to submit or defy in the face of direct threats to their continued political, economic, and cultural autonomy. These attempts to defy imperial domination were tragically failures, as both groups saw their lands subjugated, their remaining independence curtailed by vengeful imperial authorities, and their former lands integrated into the imperial heartland.


The Comanches and Kalmyks both faced the expansion of empires that viewed them as obstacles to their growth and prosperity. To imperial authorities, the spaces inhabited by nomads were wasted territory to be transformed into productive agricultural lands, and the states mobilized settler populations and leveraged their economic advantages to secure those lands against the demands of the nomads. Nomadism was not simply what the Comanches and Kalmyks did, but was at the center of their cultures and their socioeconomic survival, and when their way of life was threatened by imperial expansion, they experienced impoverishment, subjugation, and were deprived of the power to determine their own destinies. On the Southern Great Plains and the Lower Volga, this meant the closing of the frontier and integration into the state, the formerly fluid spaces transformed into areas of increasing control and law administered from the imperial core. The similarities in the histories illuminate the shared processes in American and Russian expansion that, like the nomads themselves, defy traditional apologias of empire. In both cases, the process was one of encroachment, conflict, and finally domination stemming from the inability of the empires to tolerate nomadic life-ways, which were antithetical to their ideologies of progress and civilization. The frontier, and the nomads who inhabited it, were not compatible with the visions that the empires had for the continents that they conquered, and the different understandings of treaties and submission resulted in cycles of frustration that turned the imperial authorities and settlers from suspicious to vengeful. However, the nomads did not submit meekly to imperial control, but rather chose to defy their demands, knowing the consequences if they accepted empire on its own terms. The decline and fall of nomadic power was engineered as part of the process of colonialism and imperial consolidation. To become a valuable part of empire, the steppes had to be emptied of their nomadic inhabitants, and to make the land ‘safe’ for European settlers, nomadic groups were marginalized and politically disempowered. The experience of the Comanches and Kalmyks emblemized this transcontinental conflict in the consolidation of the American and Russian states, showing that these were not isolated experiences, but part of a global collision between nomadic peoples and settled empires.

[i] Michael Khodarkovsky, Russia’s Steppe Frontier: The Making of a Colonial Empire 1500-1800 (Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press, 2002), 2.

[ii] David Christian, A History of Russia, Central Asia and Mongolia, vol. 2, Inner Eurasia From the Mongol Empire to Today, 1260-2000 (Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley Blackwell, 2018), 209.

[iii] Frederick Jackson Turner, “The Significance of the Frontier in American History,” in Annual Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1893, (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1894), 199.

[iv] Allan G. Bogue, “Frederick Jackson Turner Reconsidered,” The History Teacher 27, no. 2 (1994): 214.

[v] Richard Slotkin, Regeneration through Violence: The Mythology of the American Frontier, 1600-1800 (Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press, 1973).

[vi] Khodarkovsky, Russia’s Steppe Frontier, 47.

[vii] David Moon, “Peasant Migration and the Settlement of Russia’s Frontiers, 1550-1897,” The Historical Journal 40, no. 4 (1997): 862.

[viii] Kathleen D. Morrison, “Sources, Approaches, Definitions,” in Empires: Perspectives from Archaeology and History, ed. Susan E. Alcock, Terence N. D’Altroy, Kathleen D. Morrison, and Carla M. Sinopoli (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001), 1-4.

[ix] Anthony Pagden, Lords of All the World: Ideologies of Empire in Spain, Britain and France c.1500-c.1800 (New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 1998), 11-14.

[x] Peter Fibiger Bang, “Empire – A World History: Anatomy and Concept, Theory and Synthesis,” in The Oxford World History of Empire, vol. 1, The Imperial Experience, ed. Peter Fibiger Bang, C.A. Bayly, and Walter Scheidel (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2021), 15.

[xi] Stephen Howe, Empire: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002): 14, quoted in Bang, “Empire – A World History,” 16.

[xii] David Moon, The American Steppes: The Unexpected Russian Roots of Great Plains Agriculture, 1870s-1930s (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020), 1-4.

[xiii] Stephen A. Halkovic Jr., The Mongols of the West (Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press, 1985), 41.

[xiv] Halkovic, The Mongols of the West, 42.

[xv] Pekka Hämäläinen, The Comanche Empire (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008), 22-24.

[xvi] W.W. Newcomb, Jr., The Indians of Texas: From Prehistoric to Modern Times (Austin, Texas: University of Texas Press, 1993), 88-90.

[xvii] Gerald Betty, Comanche Society: Before the Reservation (College Station, Texas: Texas A&M University Press, 2002), 86-87.

[xviii] Michael B. Collins, “A Review of Llano Estacado Archaeology and Ethnohistory,” Plains Anthropologist 16, no. 52 (May 1971): 93.

[xix] Thomas W. Kavanagh, Comanche Political History: An Ethnohistorical Perspective 1706-1875 (Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 1996), 2-9.

[xx] Ernest Wallace and E. Adamson Hoebel, The Comanches: Lords of the South Plains (Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press, 1986), 4-5.

[xxi] Michael Khodarkovsky, Where Two Worlds Met: The Russian State and the Kalmyk Nomads, 1600-1771 (Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1992), 7-9.

[xxii] Khodarkovsky, Where Two Worlds Met, 5.

[xxiii] Wallace and Hoebel, The Comanches, 300-302.

[xxiv] Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Annual Report, 1854 (Washington: A.O.P Nicholson, 1855), 158.

[xxv] Halkovic, The Mongols of the West, 45-48.

[xxvi] Peter Simon Pallas, Travels Through the Southern Provinces of the Russian Empire, in the Years 1793 and 1794 (London: Printed for John Stockdale, 1812), 1:117.

[xxvii] Henry Augustus Zwick and John Golfried Schill, Calmuc Tartary; or a Journey to                                         Sarepta to Several Calmuc Hordes of the Astracan Government (London: Holdsworth and Ball, 1831), 43-45.

[xxviii] John Russell Bartlett, Personal Narrative of Exploration and Incidents in Texas, New Mexico, California, Sonora, and Chihuahua (New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1854), 385.

[xxix] Wallace and Hoebel, The Comanches, 305.

[xxx] Khodarkovsky, Russia’s Steppe Frontier, 140-141.

[xxxi] Halkovic, The Mongols of the West, 72-73.

[xxxii] Thomas J. Barfield, The Nomadic Alternative (Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1993), 4.

[xxxiii] Robert G. Carter, On the Border with Mackenzie (New York: Antiquarian Press, Ltd., 1961), 494-495.

[xxxiv] Pekka Hämäläinen, “The First Phase of Destruction: Killing the Southern Plains Buffalo, 1790-1840,” Great Plains Quarterly 21, no. 2 (Spring 2001): 108.

[xxxv] John R. Cook, The Border and the Buffalo: An Untold Story of the Southwest Plains (Austin, Texas: State House Press, 1989), 290.

[xxxvi] Roger Bartlett, “Foreign Settlement in Russia under Catherine II,” New Zealand Slavonic Journal, no. 1 (1974): 11-12.

[xxxvii] Moon, “Peasant Migration,” 863.

[xxxviii] Nathaniel G. Taylor et al., Papers Relating to Talks and Councils Held with the Indians in Dakota and Montana in the years 1866-1869 (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1910), 59-60.

[xxxix] Khodarkovsky, Where Two Worlds Met, 230.

[xl] T. R. Fehrenbach, Comanches: The Destruction of a People (Da Capo Press, 1994), 534-535.

[xli] Fehrenbach, Comanches, 536-537.

[xlii] Fehrenbach, Comanches, 541-545.

[xliii] Khodarkovsky, Where Two Worlds Met, 232.

[xliv] Halkovic, The Mongols of the West, 72.

[xlv] Halkovic, The Mongols of the West, 77.

[xlvi] Zwick and Schill, Calmuc Tartary, 226-229.

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