Indian Heroes and Great Chieftains

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U of Nebraska Press, 1991 - Biography & Autobiography - 241 pages
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Charles A. Eastman, a Santee Sioux, was four years old at the time of the 1862 Sioux Uprising in Minnesota. Separated from his father in the aftermath of the rebellion, he spent eleven years with relatives in Canada before being reunited with him and taken to Dakota Territory. Deeply influenced by his father who had been converted to Christianity, he likewise followed "the white man's trail," attending Dartmouth and, in 1890, becoming a government physician at the Pine Ridge Agency. His fame today rests on the eleven books he wrote, in which he attempted to correct misapprehensions whites had about Indians and to bring the two races closer together. First published in 1918, Indian Heroes and Great Chieftains contains biographical vignettes of fifteen great Indian leaders, most of them Sioux and some of them, like Red Cloud and Rain-in-the-Face, friends and acquaintances of Eastman. He pays tribute to Little Wolf, the Cheyenne chief whom he knew well, and describes the noble career of Chief Joseph of the Nez Perces, who received his assistance in drawing up a document of grievances presented to the government in 1897. In finely honed prose Eastman cuts to the essence of his subjects, including Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull, Spotted Tail, Little Crow, Gall, Two Strike, American Horse, Dull Knife, Roman Nose. Hole-in-the-Day, and Tamahay (who counseled against the Sioux Uprising in Minnesota).
 

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Contents

RED CLOUD
1
SPOTTED TAIL
23
LITTLE CEOW
42
TAMAHAY
56
GALL
68
CRAZY HOUSE
83
SITTING BULL
107
RAININTHEFACE 13
132
Two STRIKE
152
AMERICAN HORSE
165
DULL KNIFE
179
ROMAN NOSE
189
CHIEF JOSEPH
194
LITTLE WOLF
213
HOLEINTHEDAY
225
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About the author (1991)

A Santee Sioux, born in Red Falls, Minnesota, Charles Eastman was raised by his grandmother and uncle in Manitoba, Canada, where he learned Native American traditions and lore. As a teenager he returned to his father's family and attended mission schools and Beloit College. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1887 and from Boston University School of Medicine in 1890. Although his background made him unwelcome in some parts of white society and his education made him uneasy in Native American cultures, he worked for his people throughout his life as a doctor, as a representative in Washington, D.C., and as a founder of the Society of American Indians. His first published book, Indian Boyhood (1902), written for children, tells the stories and traditions of the Sioux nation. Red Hunters and the Animal People (1904), Old Indian Days (1907), and Wigwam Evenings (1909), written with the help of his wife, Elaine Goodale Eastman, continue in this vein, but his later work, including The Soul of the Indian (1911), The Indian Today (1915), and his autobiography, From the Deep Woods to Civilization (1916), attempts to interpret Native American culture for white society, describing the problems of assimilation.

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