Voices of the American West, Volume 1: The Indian interviews by Eli S. Ricker, Richard E. Jensen

By Eli S. Ricker, Richard E. Jensen

The precious interviews performed via Nebraska pass judgement on Eli S. Ricker with Indian eyewitnesses to the Wounded Knee bloodbath, the Little large Horn conflict, the Grattan incident, and different occasions and personages of the previous West are ultimately made extensively to be had during this long-awaited volume. In the 1st decade of the 20 th century, because the outdated West grew to become more and more far-off and romanticized in well known attention, Eli S. Ricker (1843–1926) started interviewing those that had skilled it firsthand, hoping to put in writing a multi-volume sequence approximately its final days. one of many members he interviewed have been American Indians, commonly Sioux, who spoke generally a few variety of matters, a few with assistance from an interpreter. For years Ricker traveled around the northern Plains, determinedly accumulating details off and on reservations, in iciness and in summer time. pass judgement on Ricker by no means wrote his ebook, yet his interviews are worthy assets of knowledge concerning the outdated West that provide extra balanced views on occasions than have been accredited on the time. Richard E. Jensen brings jointly all of Ricker’s interviews with American Indians, annotating the conversations and supplying an intensive advent that units forth very important information regarding Ricker, his learn, and the editorial method guiding the current quantity.

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Again, their lives would be unsafe from other cause. The squaws mourning for their dead, killed by white men, would in obedience to the law of their race which is the law of Israel— ‘‘an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth’’—would have killed them. A squaw seeing a white man, for instance lying asleep, having lost a relative at the hands of a white man would bury an axe or a war club in the sleeper’s head. This would appease the spirits which were calling out from the ground for her dead to be avenged with the blood of a white man.

A. Well, as I understand was at Standing Rock Agency. The Indians of Standing Rock Agency on hearing of the dance down here at Pine Ridge are supposed to have started down here for the purpose of joining it, whether they had any intention of joining in or not, there cannot anybody tell and as soon as the soldiers intercepted them at the Bell Fourche River or Bear Butte Creek and made them prisoners, that is, in a way, and they skipped out at night and come on down through the bad lands and the Indian Police first noticed them coming up Porcupine Creek.

Dr. Walker told them that if what they had told him was true, the Great Spirit was behind it all, and if he was planning this good for them it would come to pass and be right; but if they were mistaken in these pleasing anticipations—if these truly good things had not been planned for them by the Great Spirit, they would fail to realize them and all their dancing and rejoicing would come to naught, and they would know whether they were in error. They made known to him their purpose to do no harm nor wrong and that their Messiah had taught them these principles.

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