Friday, April 29, 2016

Documentary Review: WWII in Colour: episode 8: The Soviet Steamroller

In this episode we see a developing theme: The Soviets mount insurmountable forces of tanks and men, the German Generals propose retreat, Hitler refuses, after an incredible loss of men, and possibly capture, the German Generals override Hitler and retreat.  This happens time and again where the German forces end up cut off, short of supplies and overwhelmed.
It shows the advance at Kirkuk, and then the Crimean Peninsula.  Hitler was also notorious for not guessing correctly where the Soviets would attack next.
This film also shows the Finnish-Soviet war.  I had not realized Finland in effect fought on the side of the Axis powers as a result.  They were dependent on Germany for supply, and the Soviet Union had its design on Finnish territory.  In the end they would claim 10 percent of Finland.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Native American Biography: Cherokee and the Trail of Tears/Forced Removal to Indian Territory

The U.S. policy demanded that the Cherokee leave their homelands and move west to Indian Territory.  In making this move, the Cherokee fall into four categories: those who moved early, those who moved later but were part of signing their land away, those who resisted to the end, and those few who for whatever reason were able to stay in the East.
Those who moved early include John Chisolm, who managed trading posts along the route.  Another example would be Bowl, who moved East to stay ahead of White pursuit.  When he entered Texas it was part of Mexico, and he becamse an officer in the Mexican Army.  He was killed fighting the Texans.
Those who moved later, but were part of the Treaty of New Echota.  The primary signers of which were Elias Boudinot, John Ridge and Major Ridge.  This was despite the Cherokee having a blood law, saying if anyone sold Cherokee land without permission of the entire tribe, their life would be forfeit.
Elias Boudinot was a significant person in Eastern Cherokee life.  He married a prominent White woman, and his marriage was opposed by many.  They raised their children as Cherokee.  He edited a Cherokee newspaper, The Cherokee Phoenix which was written in both English and Cherokee, using Sequoyah's syllabary.   With the passing of the Indian Removal Act of 1830 it appeared removal of the Cherokee was inevitable.  This act was sparked by discovery of gold in Georgia, and a desire for more land by the White settlers.  Boudinot and is family lived in Echota, and he signed the Treaty of Echota.  However John Ross the principal chief, and most of the Cherokee people were opposed to the treaty.  Never the less, the were removed to Indian Territory the next year.  Boudinot's wife died just before removal, and he traveled to Indian Territory with his six children.  However factions loyal to Ross murdered he and the other signers of the treaty in Oklahoma.  His children returned to his in-laws in Connecticut where they were raised and went to school.
His son Elias Cornelius Boudinot was young at the time of Cherokee removal.  However in the east he became a prominent lawyer and returned to Indian Territory.   Using his knowledge of the law, and the fact that on the Indian Territory there was no excise tax, he established the Boudinot Tobacco Company and became wealthy.  However the company was confiscated as the federal government for non payment of taxes.  Boudinot lost his appeal to the Supreme Court.   The ruling was that a new treaty of 1866 did not include tax immunity.  Boudinot also served in the Cvil War fighting for the Confederacy.  He was also a representative from the Indian Territory to the Confederate Government.
Major Ridge was the Uncle of Elias Bourdinot.  He was Cherokee, and attended school in Connecticut where he met his wife.  They raised their children as Cherokee.  Ridge fought in the War of 1812, and also fought with Andrew Jackson against the Red Sticks of the Creek.  He became a member of the ruling counsel and adopted White methods, owning a plantation with slaves.  He was quite wealthy.  He too signed the treaty of Echota, feeling Cherokee removal was inevitable.  He traveled to Oklahoma before the Trail of Tears, but was murdered after arriving there.
His son John Ridge was also a signer of the Treaty of Echota.  He like his father travelled to Connecticut to attend school, and married the schoolmaster's daughter.  The tribal laws where adjusted to allow their children to be part of the Cherokee Tribe.  He too was part of the ruling committee.  However in signing the Treaty of Echota he too signed his death sentence.  When the treat was used by the U.S. government to force the eviction of the Cherokee, a third of the nation passed away in the Trail of Tears.
Stand Watie was a brother to Elias Boudinot and cousin to John Ridge.  He too was among those to sign the Treaty of Echota.  Even though attempts were made upon his life, he was not murdered.  There was a general feud among the Cherokee Nation.  All of Watie's brothers were killed.  At one time he was accused and tried for murder.  He was defended by Elias Cornelius Boudinot and found not guilty for self defense.  Stand Watie served for the Confederacy in the Civil War.  He served as a general.  He was the last general to surrender.
Those who moved later as part of the Trail of Tears, but resisted were lead by John Ross.  Ross was leader of the Cherokee, and resisted all efforts for their removal.  He had helped write their constitution and became the first principal leader.  It was while he was in Washington negotiating withthem, the the Treaty of Echota took place.  Despite it being signed by a minority, despite a petition of 14,000 Cherokee against the treaty and despite all their efforts it was signed and ratified by Congress and signed by the president.  This gave them two years to prepare.  He was the leader during their forced removal known as the Trail of Tears.  They were given two years to prepare.  Of the 13,000 removed, at least 4000 died, including Ross' wife.  After arriving in Oklahoma, merging the three factions was difficulty.  Those who had moved to Indian Territory earlier did not want the newcomers, and those who signed the treaty vs those who resisted the signing carried a bloody feud.
Worse these two sides seemed to split on pro-Confederacy and pro-Union lines.  He went into exile during this time, as many of the pro-Union who stayed in Kansas.  Four of his sons fought for the  Union, and one died.  To the end he fought this schism, traveling to Washington to oppose splitting the reservation as proposed by the pro-Confederates.  Only after his death was a treaty keeping the reservation in tact approved.
John Adair would be another example of the group forced to move by Trail of Tears, although he was young at the time.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Documentary Review: WWII in Colour # 7: Turning the Tide

This movie looks at the weapon for both sides, Allies and Axis, which they felt would turn the tide of the war.  For the Nazis the weapon was underwater U-boats which they hoped would choke the flow of supplies to England and other locations, and force them to sue for peace.  For the British and the Allies the weapon was on of bombing to reduce the ability of the enemy to make war.  Both of these strategies had effect to a degree.  The British preferred carpet bombing, after discovering targeted bombing usually missed.  Carpet bombing involved having a massive number of plains his a single city.  The U.S. performed strategical bombing, trying to take out the resupply and infrastructure of the Germans.  Bother had some success, but also some failure.  By the end of the war, Germany had difficulty keeping their resources fueled.  However by the end of the war, carpet bombing was being questioned as to whether is was really necessary.  The death toll form these raids was horrendous, and usually civilian life.
Early in the war, the British were not prepared to counter the effect of the submarine.  However after the entrance of America into the war, which also was not prepared for this attack early on, and the advance of new strategies and technologies, the war turned in this area.   Some of these strategies included using convoys, improved radar to find the U-boats, technology to  trace radio communications and improved methods to attack the U-boats.  The Battle of the Atlantic would have a heavy toll of lost material and men by the end of the war.  However the risk to shipping became less and less over the course of the war.

Native American Biographies: Native Americans and the Pilgrims: Thanksgiving

Massasoit chief of the Wampanoag maintained positive relations with the Pilgrims throughout his life, except for a brief argument over Squanto.  However when Massasoit was ill, Edward Winslow visited him and nursed him back to health.  From this point Massasoit was a firm ally, even to the point of advising the colonists when others had designs against them.  When his people were invited to the first Thanksgiving, Massasoit attended with about 90 others.  They brought five deer.  It wasn't until after his death, that increasing numbers caused bad will, and King Philip's War resulted lead by Massasoit's son.

Metacomet or King Philip is known for waging war against the Puritan colonists.  Massasoit had brought his sons to the English, and the English governor became their Godfather.  Thus his son was given the name Philip.  This war was perhaps the bloodiest on the East coast.  Over 600 whites were killed and many Indians.  Many cities were vulnerable.  However Metacomet was finally defeated.  He was killed by a vigilante party

Squanto was captured by exploring English and taken to England with designs of selling him into slavery.  He was rescued by friars in Spain.  He designed to make his way home.  He finally did so, but found the area where he was from ravaged by plague, and the Native Americans gone.  However in their place were the Pilgrims.  He served them as friend and educator, and reportedly taught them how to increase the output of their corn using fish for fertilizer.  Massasoit never trusted Squanto, believing he also served the Pilgrims as a spy on the Massasoit.  He often helped negotiate peace treaties between Native American and Whites.  He often served as interpreter.  Squanto became ill and died.  However the circumstances were such that he may have been poisoned by Massasoit supporters.

Samoset was a Pemaquid Indian.  He was the first Native American to greet the Pilgrims.  This was after about three months of keeping an I on them.  He had picked up some English from the English fisherman who were off the coast.  He greeted them, "Welcome Englishmen."  He left and return with Massasoit and also Squanto who spoke better English.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Native American Biography: Pushmataha: Choctaw

Pushmataha, for his service and strict discipline with his warriors became known as the Indian General.  He may have in fact been a Brigadier General in the U.S. Army during the War of 1812.  He sided with the Americans agains the British and the Creek.  He served with Generals Ferdinand Claiborne and Andrew Jackson.  He had visited with President Thomas Jefferson at one point, ceding land and gaining promises from the government.  He would cede more land, for prime land west of the Mississippi.  He went to visit President James Monroe, but died in Washington, where he was afforded a military funeral.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Native American Biography: Jesse Chisholm: Cherokee

Jesse Chisholm is most noted for a trail which bears his name, Chisholm Trail.  He was a Cherokee who had migrated west before the Trail of Tears.  He traded with the Plains Indians and learned over fourteen languages.  He was a noted  interpreter.  He was part of some of the initial expeditions and approaches by the U.S. Government to the Plains Indians.  He also ran a series of trading posts.  He established a trail connecting his trading posts in the Wichita, Kansas area.   When this trail started to be used by cattlemen driving cattle from Texas to Kansas, it became known as the Chisholm Trail.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Native American Biography: Sarah WInnimucca: Paiute

Sarah Winnimucca was Paiute, and a political advocate for her people.  Her father was Shoshone, who had married into the Paiute Tribe.  She was also wrote the first known Native American Autobiography written by a woman, "Life Among the Paiutes: Their Wrongs and Claims (1883).  DUring her life she traveled East to lobby for her people, and was promised improvements, which did not happen.  Consequently she lost the trust of her people.  She spent periods of her childhood away form her people, in  California or Nevada.  During her times away bad things would happen to her people, the worse being the Pyramid Lake War in which many of her people were killed.  Because her family traveled widely, (at times play acting to replace their livelihood) she picked up many languages, including three Indian languages, English and Spanish.  She used this knowledge in bargaining, interpretation and scouting for the federals.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

WWII in Colour: Number 6: The Mediterranean and North Africa

Mussolini hoped to rebuild a new Roman Empire, and his goal was to control the Mediterranean Sea and make it Italy's Sea.  He had big dreams but time and time again his soldiers did not prove up to the task.  He first wanted to establish North  Africa as Italy.  He already controlled Libya and Abyssinia (present day Ethiopia) however his forces invading Egypt proved to be a mistake.  Not only did they not gain new territory, when the British counter attacked, they pushed the Italians almost out of Libya.  The British would also invade Abyssinia, and although it would take more than a year, eventually the Italians were kicked out.
The Germans were forced to enter the fray to bolster Mussolini, and moved troops from other theaters.  However, General Erwin Rommel would mount another counter offensive going the other way.  Time and again he would out flank the British and drive them back.  So it was that the British were driven back to Egypt.  However the tide would turn again.  With the Americans entering the conflict, the Americans were able to for a new front, to the west of the Germans, invading across Morocco and Algeria.  The British were able to again push Rommel back.  Rommel was relocated to Germany.  In the meantime Hitler would start a pattern which would become frequent.  He left men in a theater too long, until most were captures.
The Italians also had designs on Albania and Greece.  They were able to conquer Albania, but the Greeks refused to surrender.  Again the Italians faces stiff opposition.  German troops were eventually brought in.  The Island of Crete played a vital role, and came under heavy bombardment  from German planes.  Italy had six large Battle Ships to help in control of the Mediterranean.  Four were knocked out by torpedoes launched from planes from an aircraft carrier.  Another would succumb in surface to surface sea battle.  In the end, the Italians proved more of a liability than an asset to Hitler.

Autobiography: Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Biography: Laura Ingalls WIlder

Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography

by Published November 20th 2014 by South Dakota State Historical Society.
This is a great book to read to get the story behind the story.  Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote this book before she began her fiction career.  She submitted it for publication, and there were edits made to it along the way.  however this book was never published.  However Wilder used the material from this book, to write her fictional works based on her childhood.  However this book is more that just the autobiography.  The editor has provided extensive research.  The first 70 prebook pages deal with the manuscripts, their submission to publishers and the different versions.
Then as you read the autobiography, more often there is annotated text than the actual biography.  This text describes the people in the book, who were they?  Often there are pictures of homes and people and places involved.  There are also maps.  Wilder had a good sense for writing even in this early work.  This shows through.  The editor also points out where certain happenings are included in the novels.  For study of movement west this is a good book to read.  It also puts the Wilder novels in context.  This is a must for Wilder fans.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Native American Biography: Iroquois Confederacy

Deganawida, Huron, is credited with being the founder of the Iroquois Confederacy, but would not have been successful without the help of Hiawatha.  The third participant is Atotarho who represented the Onondaga.  When the Confederacy was formed it was during a period of great violence.  There was much warring between tribes, and some tribes practiced cannibalism and/or human sacrifice.  It is said Deganawida was sent by the Creator to bring the message of peace.  He was a prophet.  Hiawatha, a Mohawk, had been part of the violence, likely practicing cannibalism.  However after a dream he began searching.  He traveled to Deganawida who had started preaching peace.  Hiawatha became a prophet in his own right, but also the spokesperson for the pair.  The espoused the ideals of  “peace, civil authority, righteousness, and the great law." The confederation would not have happened if they could not bring the  Onondaga on board, and their leader Atotarho was hesitant.  To the Onandago was give the prime position of central fire-keepers, a position they still hold.  The Iroquois initially included five tribes, Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayoga and Seneca; and eventually six when joined by the Tuscarora.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Native American Biography: Hollow Horn Bear

Hollow Horn Bear became something of a celebrity as his likeness appeared on the five dollar gold eagle coin, and after his death on a U.S. Postage stamp.  Brûlée Sioux, Horn Bear proved himself as a warrior, first fighting Pawnees, and later defending the Bozeman Trail from encroachers.  His warriors defeated Lieutenant William Fetterman and also harassed Union Pacific work camps.  However in the 1870s he became a Peace Chief.  He attended two presidential inaugurations, Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson.  He died after the inauguration of Presid

ent Wilson as he caught pneumonia.

Native American Biography: Graham Greene, Oneida, Actor

Like Jay Silverhills (Tonto), Graham Greene is from the Six Nations Reserve in Canada.  His first movie roll was in "Running Brave" the story of Billy Mills.  He played Mills' friend.  He received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor in "Dances With Wolves."  He also portray Ishi in "The Last of His Tribe."  Overall he has dome over 20 plays and 30 movie rolls.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Native American Biography: Billy Mills: Olympic Gold Medalist

Billy Mills grew up in a poor home on the Sioux reservation and Pine Ridge; and he was orphaned as a young man, and raised by his sister.  Even so he excelled in track, and did well in high school, and then at Haskell Institute, and then also at University of Kansas.  He became a marine, and had given up running at one point thinking he was not improving.  His wife encouraged him to continue.  He made the Olympic team, but did not cause any great stir or interest.  However at the Tokyo Olympics in 1964 when they came to the final lap of the 10,000 meter race, he suddenly sprinted ahead of the leaders, and won by three strides.  His was an upset of incredible proportions.  After the Olympics Mills became a popular motivational speaker.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Native American Biography: Dat So La Lee: Washoe Basketry

Datsolalee is known for her basket work.  American Indian Biography says she would see designs in her dreams.  Her baskets are made of willow.  Her baskets sell for thousands of dollars.

Native American Biography: Fancis, Susan and Susette or Josett La Flesche: Omaha and Standing Bear: Ponca

Francis, Susan and Susette were siblings, children of Omaha chief Joseph La Flesche and Elizabeth Esau.  Francis was most noted as an anthropologist and as a lead in the efforts for Ponca Tribe recognition.  He helped Alice C. Fletcher with her book, "The Study of Omaha Music" and authored "Middle Five: Indian Boys at School.
His sister Susan became a medical doctor.  She treated everyone one the Omaha Reservation but was officially government physician to the Omaha Agency school.  Being too busy, her body started to break down.  However she did recover and eventually started a private practice in Bancroft, Nebraska.  By the time of her death, there was not a member of the Omaha Tribe she had not treated. She was also accepted as spokesperson for the tribe and represented them in the White world.
Her older sister was very involved in attempting to correct a social injustice.  The  Ponca had been displaced, when their reservation was given to the Sioux.  They were moved to Oklahoma Indian Territory.  The marched to the Omaha reservation, half starving, and without moccasins (they had eaten them) they were taken in by the Omaha.  Efforts were made by the La Flesche family for their restoration to their lands.
Standing Bear was chief of the Ponca.  His children died in the move.  He attempted to return them to traditional lands for burial.  The Indian agents kept returning them.  However the courts finally granted a writ of habeas corpus.  (Native Americans are people after all the court ruled.)  His family was allowed to stay, but the other Ponca still in Indian territory were not.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Native American Biography: R.C. Gorman: Navajo Painter

Add caption
R.C. Gorman's favorite theme was women.  I particularly like his women at night.  He became known as the Picasso American Indian art.  He painted scenes from throughout the Navajo Nation.  He had a studio in Taos.  He studied at Mexico City College and is influenced by Diego Rivera.  Gorman passed away in 2005 after a fall.

Native American Biography: Black Kettle and Little Robe: Cheyenne Peace Chiefs

Black Kettle
Sometimes, in dealing with White opportunists, it does not pay to be a peace chief.  Chief Black Kettle was likely the most firm and loyal of the peace chiefs.  He encouraged peace and accommodation with the Whites.  He even went so far as to use his own money to help in the release of whites who had been kidnapped.  When his people were starving, he went to Fort Lyon and was told to move to the Sand Creek area.  However shortly after going there, his camp was attacked.  He and his wife survived, but the Sand Creek Massacre lives in infamy to the detriment of John Chivington and the governor of Colorado, who knew where Black Kettle would be as they had told him where to go, and then the lead the attack against him.  Black Kettle waved and American flag thinking the attackers did not know of the agreement at Fort Lyon.  However they did know, and were just taking advantage of the peaceful nature of the group.
Oven though he had survived this attack, within four years he and his wife were killed in another surprise attack by troops answering to George Armstrong Custer.
Little Robe
Little Robe was another peace chief.  However he faired better than Black Kettle.  He was a contemporary with Black Kettle, an upon Black Kettle's death inherited the role of the primary peace chief among the Cheyenne.  He traveled to Washington to negotiate peace.  He settled into reservation life, but would never let children from his band attends White schools.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Native American Biographies: Chief Dan George and Centennial Speech.

Chief Dan George is a native American, Salish form British Columbia, Canada.  He entered acting late in life, but had been entertaining as a musician for some time.  When George was 60 he had his first small parts in television.  However his big break in the entertainment field came with his part in "Little Big Man" for which he was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Supporting Actor.  I also loved him in "The Outlaw Josey Wales."  He also did stage acting.
George also became a popular speaker.  His BYU talk is classic.  He was active in countering negative depictions of Americans, and improving opportunities for native Americans in film.
Dan George also became a writer and poet.  Some of the things he wrote, "I am a chief, but my power to make war is gone, and the only weapon left to me is speech. It is only with tongue and speech that I can fight my people's war."  He did fight for his people with his words.  
His most famous poem is "And My Heart Soars"
The beauty of the trees,
the softness of the air,
the fragrance of the grass,
  speaks to me.
The summit of the mountain,
the thunder of the sky,
the rhythm of the sea,
  speaks to me.
The faintness of the stars,
the freshness of the morning,
the dew drop on the flower,
  speaks to me.
The strength of fire,
the taste of salmon,
the trail of the sun,
and the life that never goes away,
  They speak to me.
And my heart soars.

Crazy Horse's Account of the Battle of the Little Bighorn

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Native American Biographies: At Little Big Horn

Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull are well known for their exploits at Little Big Horn.  They were the leaders of the Native American Forces.  Different sources have different stories of Sitting Bull's participation.  He had been involved in a Sun Dance, and was weakened.  As a result of the dance, he saw the Federals coming and new the Native people would have a great victory.  However because he was weaker, some sources feel he was not involved directly.  However this is likely not true.  However many more Native Americans were involved, some fighting for General George Armstrong Custer, and others as part of the Cheyenne-Sioux alliance that opposed him.  Shoshone and Creek warriors served as scouts for Custer.
Bloody Knife: Although a Hunkpapa Sioux, Bloody Knife fought with Custer and met his death in this battle.  Bloody knife was actually considered to be of mixed blood (his mother was Arikara) and was taunted by his peers.  Consequently he grew up with his mother's tribe and a hatred of the Sioux.  At one point serving as a scout, he brought the federals to Gall's camp.  Gall was wounded, but Bloody Knife was not allowed to finish him.
At Little Big Horn, Bloody Knife was worried about the numbers of enemy and advised against attack.  However he was in the advance group, and was killed by a one of Gall's warriors.  The Sioux displayed his head in victory.
Rain in the Face, also Hunkpapa Sioux, was fighting with Sitting Bull.  His names comes from an incident when blood streaked with war paint and smeared and streaked on his face.  He had been arrested for the murder of a white surgeon.  However he was allowed to escape and was at Little Big Horn.  He is credited with killing General Custer.  After the battle he fled to Canada with Sitting Bull, and later came back to reservation life.
White Man Runs Him was Crow.  He was Custer's chief scout.  He and other scouts with him observed and reported the location of a large Indian camp and the stage was set for Custer's attack.  His actual participation during the battle is not clear, but after passing away he was reburied in the Little Bighorn Battlefield Cemetery.
Kicking Bear, Hump and Short Bull were all at Little Big Horn.  Little Bear was especially prominent in repulsing the initial attack by Major Marcus Reno.  He along with Bad Heart Bull (father of the historian Amos Bad Heart Bull) helped turn back the initial assault of Major Marcus Reno.  After, Reno's men were in retreat with Indian Warriors chasing them, taking coup and killing them.
Gall was credited with being the architect of the native American war strategy at Little Big Horn.  He was a contemporary and ally of Sitting Bull.  They grew up together, although Gall was a few years younger.  He had been wounded badly when tracked to his camp.  A bayonet went through him, but he was too stubborn to die.  His greatest exploits were at Little Big Horn.  He helped repulse the initial attack from Reno, but also suspected a two pronged attack, and searched for the other attack and in finding it reported to the camp, Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, so defenses were ready for Custer's move.  He and his men were able to put blistering flanking fire into the Federal Calvary.  After Little Big Horn, Gall and his people went north to Canada with Sitting Bull.  However he returned before Sitting Bull because of the lack of food.  He was determined to live the reservation life, and lived as a farmer.  He became friendly with Indian Agent McLaughlin and in this parted with Sitting Bull.  He represented his people in Washington on several occasions.  He was also appointed an Indian judge on the Sand Hill Reservation.  John Grass fought with Gall.
Curly was another of Custer's scouts.  He was Crow.  He was recruited to scout for Custer in the Yellowstone expedition when he was 17.  His escape from death caused controversy.  He says he stayed with the battle until all seemed hopeless.  He then tied his hair back like a Sioux, wrapped himself in a Sioux blanket, and left the battle field undetected.  He reported the results to a supply boat on the Yellowstone River.  Other scouts tell a different story, saying they were held back, and watched the battle from a distance.  When he died in 1923 he was buried at the National Cemetery on the Custer Battlefield.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Native American Autobiography and Will Sampson Interview | "The First Americans" Circa 1975/1976

I have always thought of Will Sampson in the light of an actor.  His character in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" was superb.  He played the stoic Native American who learned how to play basketball.  But in the end, the title talked about him, he was the one who flew.  He has also portrayed several other character.  He was in White Buffalo.  I saw him in the roll of a Native American leader when he was the guest of honor at the Nevada Inter Tribal Council in probably 1984 and I was working for the Duckwater Shoshone Tribe.  This short video talks about some of his goals and dreams.
looks like a self portrait

ribbon dance

I also didn't know him as an artist, although I should have.  In fact he was doing art long before he was acting.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Native American Biographies: Adherents of the Ghost Dance

Wovoka was the energy behind the Ghost Dance.  He was the self proclaimed Messiah come to save the people.  He had a couple near death experiences, in which he dreamed of powers.  The second near death experience he woke up saying the Whites had rejected Christ, and now he was come back and he was the Messiah.  Wovoka had learned much of the idea from the spiritual leader, John Slocum, founder of the Indian Shaker Church, while he was working as a migrant worker in the Northwest.  Slocum had a near death experience, and woke up talking of a dream he had.  Also his father, Tovibo had been a religious leader.  Very likely Tovibo had learned the Ghost Dance from its originator Wodziwob.  Tovibo was a visionary man and prophesied the destruction of the whites.  Wovoka's father died when Wovoka was young, and Wovoka was taken in by a white family.  Thus his American name, Jack Wilson.  Wovoka was familiar with Christianity.  When Wovoka returned from his second near death experience, trance, his vision told him that deceased Indians, and those alive would rise together, the earth would be flooded killing all the whites, and then the Indians would inherit an earth with lots of game and happiness.  When Wovoka expressed his beliefs it was one of peace.
To bring these changes, the people needed to do the Ghost Dance.  This was basically a round dance.  As they danced they would chant, "Father, I come; Mother, I come; Brother, I come; Father, give us back our arrows. 
The movement of Wodziwob remained local.  However with Wovoka's movement it spread to the Plains Indians.  They were looking for relief from reservation life.  Emissaries traveled from the Sioux to visit Wovoka.  Soon there were 50,000-60,000 adherents.  Many of the subgroups took the basic tenants and forgot the peaceful part.  They were interested in the garment that would stop bullets, and the reunion with their dead who would them help them battle the whites.  Thus the dance was alarming to those watching the Sioux reservations, thinking it would lead to an uprise.
The Mormons were blamed for the unrest.  General Nelson Miles reported:

Many nations had gone west to Nevada and had been shown somebody disguised as the Messiah .. . I am inclined to believe that there is more than one person impersonating this Messiah . . . [because] when [the] Sioux have spoken with him, he has replied in the Sioux language, and to Blackfeet he has spoken their tongue, and so on. I cannot say positively, but it is my belief the Mormons are the prime movers in all this. .. . It will [probably not] lead to an outbreak, but when an ignorant race of people become religious fanatics it is hard to tell just what they will do" (New York Times, 8 Nov. 1890, Deseret News, 7. Nov. 1890).

After the battle of Wounded Knee Wovoka was devastated at the result.  His religion quickly fell out of favor and Wovoka spent the rest of his life in relative anonymity.

Short Bull (left) and Kicking Bear
Short Bull was a contemporary of Crazy Horse.  They grew up together.  He had been at the Battle of Little Big Horn.  In the 1880s, the life were American Indians on the reservations was miserable.  Promised food stuffs and other supplies were not funded, or did not arrive.  In this atmosphere, Short Bull was part a contingent of eleven Sioux to visit with Wovoka.  They returned with glowing reports, but focused on the destruction of the whites and the wearing of ghost shirts for protection from bullets.  Short Bull was one of the Sioux prophets of the movement.

Kicking Bear after hearing the report form Short Bull, became an apostle of the movement among the Sioux.  Expecting negative reactions, he focused on teaching of the ghost shirt which would protect the wearer from bullets.

Red Cloud did not announce any official feelings on the dance, and people took this as acceptance.  Sitting Bull was asked to put a stop to the dances, but did not feel he should interfere with the expression of others.  This lead to his arrest, and murder while he was being arrested.  Sitting Bull's people fled to the camp of Big Foot.  They were followed by the calvary, and this lead to the Wounded Knee Massacre.  Big Foot was killed.

Crow Dog was also a big proponent of the Ghost Dance.  He had been present when Crazy Horse was killed, and had kept the Indians from retaliating.  He was one of the last hold outs after the massacre.  He returned to the Rose Bud Reservation.  Crow Dog was also known for murdering a political opponent, Spotted Tail.

Hump had been at Little Big Horn.  He attempted to join Sitting Bull in Canada, but turned back to the Cheyenne reservation.  He was a big advocate of the ghost dance, practicing with Big Foot.  However he knew things were going to get ugly, so took his people and left.  After Wounded Knee he went to Washington to advocate for better conditions for his people.

Two Strike, so called because he knocked to men down with one blow was a prominent leader of the Brule Sioux.  He participated in Red Cloud's war, attack the Union Pacific.  He became an advocate of the Ghost Dance, but after being advised by whites he gave it up a month before Wounded Knee.

Wooden Leg was Cheyenne.  He too become part of the Ghost Dance movement.  He wrote an autobiography which talked about major historical events, and the struggle to adjust to the reservation system, especially the limit of just one wife.

Young Man Afraid of His Horses, so called because he was so brave even his horses instilled fear in his enemy, warned against the Ghost Dance.  He tried unsuccessfully to warn his people.  He was able to negotiate better treatment for his people after Wounded Knee.

Native American Biography: Acee Blue Eagle: Oklahoma Painter

Blue Eagle is one of Oklahoma's most famous artists.  He was an artist, teacher and lecturer.  He studied with Oscar Jacobson at the University of Oklahoma.  He hosted a television program and was concerned about television for children.  He was named "Outstanding Indian in the United States" in 1928.  He passed away in 1959.  A children's book was published posthumously, "Ecogee, The Little Blue Deer."  He also wrote a local comic strip carried in Oklahoma newspapers.  
Many of his paintings have been applied to dishes and glasses, including a series of famous Native Americans.

Native American Biography: Tendoy: Shoshone Bannock

Tendoy (Tin Doi)
Tendoy was a Lemhi Bannock chief.  He was of Bannock and Shoshone heritage.  Through his mother he was related to Washakie, and maintained a close relationship with him.  Through his father, who was killed in combat with the Blackfoot, he inherited the leadership of the Bannock band in the Lemhi pass area in Idaho.  He was a contemporary of Bear Hunter, who was killed at the Bear River Massacre.  However he and his people had a different attitude toward change.  He always maintained a peaceful relationship with encroaching white settlers.  They avoided economic hardship by trading and having business interaction with the whites.  Even during the Nez Perce War he taught his people to be accommodating rather than confront the new settlers.  This allowed them to maintain a stance of neutrality.  He was rewarded by President Grant who issued an order that the Lemhi Bannocks could remain in their ancestral area.  Tendoy traveled to Washington on several occasions and was finally convinced to sign away their land in Lemhi valley and move to the reservation at Fort Hall.  His people still resisted and this move did not take place until shortly before his death in 1907.  Tendoy was honored by the State of Montana .  "The Society of Montana Pioneers paid tribute to Tendoy in recognition of his long association with early settlers. The skillfulness with which he had guided his people for 43 years through the labyrinth of Washington indifference, settler hostility and agency neglect, while holding patiently, but firmly to the course he had set for himself and his tribe."

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Native American Biography: Shoshone and the Bear River Massacre: Bear Hunter, Pocatello, Sagwitch

The three were above were all chiefs of the Northern Shoshone.  Two were directly involved in the conflict that took place just north of current day Preston, Idaho close to the Bear River.  This conflict became known as the Bear River Battle or Bear River massacre.  The Northern Shoshone claimed Cache Valley as their hunting grounds, and lived in southern Idaho.  As the Mormons entered the valley, it put a greater and greater strain on the resources available to the Indians.  There were several altercations.  In Cache Valley an Indian boy was hung having been accused of stealing a horse.
Chief Pocatello
When a group of Oregon Trail immigrants were attacked, and several killed and some boys kidnapped, their uncle tracked them to Utah.  He called out the military, who found a group of Shoshone in Cache Valley.  They were forced up Providence Canyon, were they took a defensible position, and a gun battle ensued for a couple hours.  Finally the Shoshone relented, and they were questioned about the boy.  The boy had been sent on, and Bear Hunter and four others were kept hostage until the boy was returned.  The Shoshone claimed this was not the same boy, but the uncle claimed the boy and that  was that.  In 1862 Colonol Patrick Connors sent McGarry to Cache Valley to intervene in the theft of some livestock.  He captured four Shoshone, who did not appear to be related to the theft.  He held them hostage and threatened execution if the livestock was not return.  When the livestock wasn't returned, he had them shot.
After this attacks by the Shoshone became common place.  There were several other attacks against miners and others on the Montana and Oregon Trails.  Finally Connors from Fort Douglas in Salt Lake decided to intervene.  He traveled with his forces from Salt Lake.  The Shoshone had some prewarning.  As a result, Pocatello and his men took to the North.  Bear Hunter had a camp just above the Bear River, which seemed a defensible place.  They also made some breastworks and rifle pits.  Sagwitch was also there.  Sagwitch generally tried a peaceful approach.  However the Bluecoats were not in the mood to offer of peace.  San Pitch had been in the Salt Lake area and it was he that reported to the group of Indians living just north of the Bear River that the military was coming.
Connor had orders to arrest or kill Chief Black Bear, Sagwitch, San Pitch and Pocatello.
Connor and his men had two cannon, but they were left behind in a snow bank.  When Connor was able to get his men deployed he started with a frontal assault, which was not successful, and several of his men dyed in the attempt.  He then tried flanking moves, which eventually overwhelmed the defenders.  The defenders also ran out of ammunition.  At that point the attack became a slaughter.  Connor's troops were known to have taken children by the feet and smashed their heads against rocks, women were raped, and killed if they resisted.  Bear Hunter was killed.  Sagwitch was shot through the hand twice.  His horse was shot from under him.  However he was able to escape in the river, and avoided freezing thankfully to a warm spring.  He was able to come back and help the wounded and make some sense of the destruction.  As noted Pocatello was not there.  San Pitch was there, but he too escaped.  They took advantage of hot springs in the Bear RIver to be able to hide in the river.  Connor reported that he and his men had killed all four chiefs.
Connor estimated of the native American dead at about 224 of 300 warriors.  He also said he captured about 160 women and children.  Some of those in the Indian camp were able to get away.  A Danish immigrant who came the next day estimated the total number of corpses as 493 which many fewer women and children having escaped.  Sagwitch's son estimated the deaths at less than 200 with about half of the Shoshone getting away.  There were 14 federal deaths, and 49 wounded, seven fatally.
Most of those who escaped moved to the Fort Hall reservation.   Pocatello also moved there.  Sagwitch and several with him, eventually converted to Mormonism, and created a town called Washakie, named after the Western Shoshone chief.  Conditions were such that Pocatello left the reservation with a group of people, hoping to get better treatment from the Mormons.  Many were baptized, but the Mormons were not in a position to help them.  They were returned to the reservation.  When the railroad traveled north, they negotiated with Pocatello for passage across the reservation.  This resulted in the naming of Pocatello, a new railroad town.

Native American Biography: Navajo During the Navajo War and Bosque Redondo: Narbona, Manuelito, Delgadito, Barboncito


Manuelito was war chief during the time of the Navajo War.  The Navajo were generally peaceful to the Whites, but this attitude began to change.  Narbona was an influential medicine man who sued for peace when a force from New Mexico came to Navajo country under the command form Colonel John Washington.  After signing the treaty, a volunteer from new Mexico felt he recognized his stolen horse among the Navajo.  He insisted on its return, but the current owner had not stolen the horse.  He left.  Colonel Johnson, siding with the New Mexican said he could take any horse.  So the rest of the Navajo warriors began to flee as well.  Johnson order his troops to open fire.  Seven Navajo were killed, among them Narbona, who was scalped as he lay dying by one of the New Mexico volunteers.   More warlike Navajos such as Manuelito began to have greater influence as a result.  Manuelito was born in southeast Utah and became a war chief when his father-in-law was killed by federal soldiers.
As part of the treaty, the Americans began to establish forts.  One of these was Fort Defiance.  During a time of drought, the Navajo asked the Americans not to grace their animals on prime agricultural land close to the fort.  The Americans insisted and killed several cattle and horses belonging to Manuelito.  The Navajo responded by killing some of the Americans.  This is known as the first battle of Fort Defiance.
In the second battle of Fort Defiance, Manuelito had a group of 1000 attack the fort.  He was helped by Barboncito, and Barboncito's brother Delgadito.  Both Barboncito and Delgadito were medicine men.  Delgadito would learn silversmithing from a Mexican craftsman.  He would also learn metal techniques from an American.  he then turned around and taught others silversmithing and metal work.  This is now the most important source of income to the Navajos.
During early periods of the Civil War, as the attention of many of the federal resources were turned elsewhere, the Navajo were able to increase their raids.  However, in 1864, the governor of New Mexico told all the Navajo chiefs, they must cede their lands and move to Bosque Redondo, and area in New Mexico so named because of a small forest.  This was an area forty square miles on the Pecos River where the Native Americans, Navajo and Apache, were to learn farming.
Kit Carson carried out the campaign to move the Navajo to the reservation; a 300 mile walk from their homeland.  To convince them to go he engaged in a scorched earth policy.  The corn fields and cattle of the Navajo were destroyed, until starvation was the norm.  Slowly the warring parties were forced to surrender first in 1864.  The last was Manuelito in 1866.  They had been told the stay would be for but a few months, but months turned into years.  Many Navajo dyed on "The Long Walk" to the reservation, and many more dyed after arriving their.  The water from the river was brackish, and quickly the wood supply was exhausted.
William Sherman was sent to investigate poor conditions in 1868.  He negotiated a treaty which allowed the Navajo to return to their homeland, the four corners area, but with a reduced size.  Upon given this privilege Barboncito said, "We do not want to go to the right or the left, but straight back to our country."
Ganado Mucho also played a prominent part in first attempted to keep the peace, and then making the march to Bosque Redondo.  He had attempted to move his people north, the the Grand Canyon area but they could not feed themselves, so the surrendered to the army.  During the long walk, two of his daughters were kidnapped by Mexicans; and while at Bosque redondo one of his sons was killed by Comanche.  He was part of the negotiations which allowed the return home of the Navajo.

Native American Biographies: Pocahontas, Powhatan and Openchancanough: Jamestown

U.S. stamp featuring Pocahontas in English attire
When the English first came to Jamestown, they were very vulnerable.  True they had more sophisticated weaponry than the native Americans.  However Powhatan had 9000 people under his leadership which extended through the James river area.  He ruled not only the Algonquin speaking people, but also others in the region.  His was the decision as to whether the Jamestown colony would survive.  He took a wait and see attitude.  His decision was influenced by his  daughter Pocahontas.  John Smith writes about being saved from execution at the hands of Powhatan and his followers.  In this case legend and myth are likely accurate descriptions.  The only other plausible interpretation of events is that Pocahontas was his sponsor in adopting him into the tribe.  At any rate, Powhatan befriended the people at Jamestown, and often resupplied them.  He was hoping to trade for muskets, but the English offered trinkets and beads instead.
At one point Pocahontas was kidnapped by the whites, and held for ransom of kidnapped whites and stolen muskets.  Powhatan ignored the situation knowing that the whites respected Pocahontas and would not harm her.  Pocahontas was baptized, and married John Rolfe.  Powhatan sent two of his sons with gifts to the wedding.  This union resulted in further peaceful relations between the Powhatan people and the Jamestown colonists.
It wouldn't be until after Powhatan's death, that relations would become violent.  Openchancanough, a brother of Powhatan became leader of part of the tribe, and with this power started to oppose the British.  It had been Openchancanough who had captured John Smith when he was almost killed.
Openchancanough was alarmed at the rapid growth of the colony.  This was not really a problem while Powhatan lived as the colonists were still small in number.  He was also alarmed at efforts to assimilate Native Americans into white culture.  His first attack took almost 350 English lives, about a third of the population at the time.  From this time the Virginia declared was and the Native Americans were driven deeper into the forest.  Openchancanough did spearhead another attack, taking 400 lives, but by this time the colonist numbered over 8000.
Perhaps some of the attitude of Openchancanough was the result of things that happened to Pocahontas.  Governor Dale saw a promotional opportunity, and insisted on Pocahontas traveling to England with a few other Indians.  Pocahontas was well accepted.  She always intended to return to her people, but succumbed to small pox.  She would die in England at the tender age of 21.  She was only twelve when she saved John Smith.
So we decide.  Is the story of Jamestown one of Whites misusing their power, and insisting on assimilation.  Or is this a story of how Natives and newcomers could coexist peacefully.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Original Apostle: William E. McLellin

This is a character in church history that I really have never heard of before.  However I should have.  D&C 66 was written for him.  In fact this section was a test McLellin had devised for the prophet.  He came with five questions, and expected the prophet to answer them.  He asked the prophet to tell him God's desires for himself.  And section 66 is the response.  He had five questions in mind, and all five of his questions were answered to his satisfaction.  McLellin took this as a divine witness of Joseph Smith as a prophet.  Although the Lord was pleased with McLellin for embracing the gospel, there are some words of warning in the section as well.  "Verily I say unto you, my servant William, that you are clean, but not all; repent, therefore, of those things which are not pleasing in my sight, saith the Lord, for the Lord will show them unto you." . . .  Seek not to be cumbered. Forsake all unrighteousness. Commit not adultery—a temptation with which thou hast been troubled."  The Lord called him on a mission at this time.  He was to travel with the prophet's brother Samuel Smith.  He also told him that he would be able to heal the sick by the laying on of hands.
When the first quorum of twelve apostles was established, McLellin was one of the members.  
McLellin is mentioned in more sections.  Another mission is mentioned in section 76.  In section 90 the Lord says, "I am not well pleased with many things; and I am not well pleased with my servant William E. McLellin."  McLellin would fall away from the church, and actually persecuted the Saints in Missouri.  
Even though he fell away from and persecuted the church McLellin did not deny his testimony of the Book of Mormon nor his experience of knowing Joseph was a prophet of God.  However he contended Joseph was a fallen prophet.  

American Indian Biography: Emily Pauline Johnson

I have been reading a book, "America Indian Biographies" and am finding many new interesting people.  One of them is Emily Pauline Johnson.  She was born in 1861 on the Six nations reserve in Canada
She was bicultural, her mother being white and her father Mohawk.  She is the great-grand daughter of Jacob Johnson Tekahionwake who took the name of William Johnson when he was baptized.  His family had moved to Canada after the Revolutionary War as they had fought with the British and were forced to cede their properties.  Pauline Johnson spent her youth reading, as her mother encouraged her to do.  She also spent much of her time canoeing as well.  Her most beautiful and well known poem talks about this love, "The Song My Paddle Sings."  She toured throughout Canada and embraced her country.  She published several more books of poetry, "The White Wampum," "Canadian Born," "Mocassin Maker" and "Shagganappi."  Johnson was proud of her Native heritage for it was acceptable to be so.  She also has had great influence in Canada where her poems are still read and studied by school children.