From the Deep Woods to Civilization: Chapters in the Autobiography of an Indian

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Little Brown, and Company, 1916 - Dakota Indians - 206 pages
'From deep woods to civilization' continues Eastman's captivating autobiographical work after Indian boyhood, telling the story of his years during school and into his life as a doctor. One of the highest educated Indians of his time, through his social work and his writings he was one of the best-known Indians of the early 20th century.



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Page 195 - I am an Indian; and while I have learned much from civilization, for which I am grateful, I have never lost my Indian sense of right and justice. I am for development and progress along social and spiritual lines, rather than those of commerce, nationalism, or efficiency. Nevertheless, so long as I live, I am an American.
Page 193 - I confess I have wondered much that Christianity is not practiced by the very people who vouch for that wonderful conception of exemplary living. It appears that they are anxious to pass on their religion to all races of men, but keep very little of it themselves.
Page 111 - Fully three miles from the scene of the massacre we found the body of a woman completely covered with a blanket of snow, and from this point on we found them scattered along as they had been relentlessly hunted down and slaughtered while fleeing for their lives.
Page 110 - There we laid the poor creatures side by side hi rows, and the night was devoted to caring for them as best we could. Many were frightfully torn by pieces of shells, and the suffering was terrible. General Brooke placed me in charge and I had to do nearly all the work, for although the army surgeons were more than ready to help as soon as their own men had been cared for, the tortured Indians would scarcely allow a man in uniform to touch them.
Page 50 - I believe that an Indian can learn all that is in the books of the white man, so that he may be equal to them in the ways of the mind!" I studied harder than most of the boys. Missionaries were poor, and the Government policy of education for the Indian had not then been developed. The white man in general had no use for the Indian. Sitting Bull and the Northern Cheyennes were still fighting in Wyoming and Montana, so that the outlook was not bright for me to pursue my studies among the whites, yet...
Page 92 - The Ghost Dance War A religious craze such as that of 1890-91 was a thing foreign to the Indian philosophy. I recalled that a hundred years before, on the overthrow of the Algonquin nations, a somewhat similar faith was evolved by the astute Delaware prophet, brother to Tecumseh. It meant that the last hope of race entity had departed, and my people were groping blindly after spiritual relief in their bewilderment and misery. I believe that the first prophets of the "Red Christ...
Page 34 - The thought of my father's wish kept me on my true course. Leaving my gun with Peter, I took my blanket on my back and started for the Missouri on foot. "Tell my father," I said, "that I shall not return until I finish my war-path." But the voice of the waterfall, near what is now the city of Sioux Falls, sounded like the spirits of woods and water crying for their lost playmate, and I thought for a moment of turning back to Canada, there to regain my freedom and wild life. Still, I had sent word...
Page 102 - The reporters were among us, and managed to secure much "news" that no one else ever heard of. Border towns were fortified and cowboys and militia gathered in readiness to protect them against the "red devils." Certain classes of the frontier population industriously fomented the excitement for what there was in it for them, since much money is apt to be spent at such times. As for the poor Indians, they were quite as badly scared as the whites and perhaps with more reason.
Page 67 - I must confess that Western college life is quiet compared with that of the tumultuous East. It was here that I had most of my savage gentleness and native refinement knocked out of me ! I do not complain, for I know that I gained more than their equivalent.
Page 41 - ... Although he conducted devotional exercises in the Sioux language, the subject matter was still strange, and the names he used were unintelligible to me. 'Jesus" and "Jehovah" fell upon my ears as mere meaningless sounds. I understood that he was praying to the "Great Mystery" that the work of the day might be blessed and their labor be fruitful. A cold sweat came out upon me as I heard him ask the "Great Mystery" to be with us in that day's work in that school building. I thought it was too much...

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