The Only One Living to Tell: The Autobiography of a Yavapai Indian

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University of Arizona Press, Apr 1, 2012 - Biography & Autobiography - 179 pages
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Mike Burns--born Hoomothya--was around eight years old in 1872 when the US military murdered his family and as many as seventy-six other Yavapai men, women, and children in the Skeleton Cave Massacre in Arizona. One of only a few young survivors, he was adopted by an army captain and ended up serving as a scout in the US army and adventuring in the West. Before his death in 1934, Burns wrote about the massacre, his time fighting in the Indian Wars during the 1880s, and life among the Kwevkepaya and Tolkepaya Yavapai. His precarious position between the white and Native worlds gives his account a distinctive narrative voice.

Because Burns was unable to find a publisher during his lifetime, these firsthand accounts of history from a Native perspective remained unseen through much of the twentieth century, archived at the Sharlot Hall Museum in Prescott. Now Gregory McNamee has brought Burns's text to life, making this extraordinary tale an accessible and compelling read. Generations after his death, Mike Burns finally gets a chance to tell his story.

This autobiography offers a missing piece of Arizona history--as one of the only Native American accounts of the Skeleton Cave Massacre--and contributes to a growing body of history from a Native perspective. It will be an indispensable tool for scholars and general readers interested in the West--specifically Arizona history, the Apache wars, and Yavapai and Apache history and lifeways.


 

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The Only One Living To Tell: The Autobiography of a Yavapai Indian

User Review  - John Burch - Book Verdict

Before he died in 1934, Yavapai Indian Burns wrote down his experiences, especially during the Indian wars that raged in Arizona from 1872 to 1886. His memoir has finally found a publisher, thanks to ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Chapter 1
1
Chapter 2
7
Chapter 3
14
Chapter 4
18
Chapter 5
23
Chapter 6
30
Chapter 7
36
Chapter 8
45
Chapter 13
84
Chapter 14
94
Chapter 15
106
Chapter 16
118
Chapter 17
131
Chapter 18
141
Epilogue
159
Notes
165

Chapter 9
52
Chapter 10
58
Chapter 11
66
Chapter 12
77
References
177
About the Editor
179
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

Gregory McNamee is a writer, editor, and photographer based in Tucson. He is the author of the modern classic Gila: The Life and Death of an American River and is the author or editor of more than thirty other books.

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