Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee
An Indian History of the American West
Publisher: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, USA
Year Published: 1971
Pages: 487pp ISBN: 03-085322-2
Resource Type: Book
Cx Number: CX7338
A well documented account of the systematic destruction of the American Indian.
Abstract: Dee Brown, a librarian, presents an exhaustively researched story of the attempt to destroy Natives Peoples' existence in North America to make room for a white European vision of civilization, wealth and growth. Brown uses materials from local libraries and the Library of Congress, and co-relates these documents with notes of council meetings and the stories of Indian told in their own words. The result is a thought-provoking and fuller telling of the history of the United States.
Brown starts by sketching some background history on the settlement of New England and the generally peaceful early relations between settlers and natives, punctuated by occasional, understandable misunderstandings of cultures. Conflict increased as the colonies expanded further into Native lands and commercial activities eroded the life-supporting systems of Indian culture.
The main body of the work begins with Andrew Jackson's desire to push all the Natives out of the East to the West side of the Mississippi, leading to legislation in 1834 to create Indian Country. The Gold Rush in 1848 was the beginning of the end, and until after the Mexican War and the end of the Civil War, America would concentrate on its domestic policy of Manifest Destiny. The benchmark treaty, Medicine Lodge treaty in 1868, was the desperate result of Indian tribes too tired to run from the one-sided law of the Whites. It created a large reserve in an area that was almost unlivable south of the Arkansas River. Over the next 22 years the remaining Indians were either destroyed or betrayed by constant broken promises.
[Abstract by John Warren]