Nineteenth century Native American autobiography as captivity narrative, S George

Tags: children, Zitkala-Sa, George E. Hyde, Indian children, teachers, Ibid., cruelties, Mary Rowlandson, spiritual journeys, Charles M. Segal, physical punishment, Presbyterian Indian Mission School, Gray-beard, Manifest Destiny, Gray beard, Spotted Tail, Scnool La Flesche, AMERICAN AUTOBIOGRAPHY, Standing Bear, Oklahoma Press, Indian and white, captivity narratives, physical danger, civilized society, American Indian Autobiography, Rowlandson, George Horror, Indian schools, David C. Stineback, captivity narrative, Native American, 18th centuries
Content: 33 nineteenth century NATIVE AMERICAN AUTOBIOGRAPHY
AS CAPTIVITY NARRATIVE
by Susaone George Horror stories oflndians and their captives abound in Americau literature. 1 First brought to the attention of the public in the 17th and early 18th centuries by the Mathers, both Increase and Conon, these early narrati.... es instantly caught the public's attrntion. With their typical emphasis on the brutal slaying!; and kidnappings of innocent pioneers to their horrifie scrnes of mutilation, deprivation, and sexual abuse, they appealed to a society that firmly believed in the natural depravity of man and acknowledged the abiding presence of evil in the world. According 10 Charles M. Segal and David C. Stineback in Puritam and Man({est Destiny, "to the Puritan, the Native American was the instrument of Satan" and his "struggle against sin was, in pan, a struggle against Satan as personified by the lndian."l Thus, early settlers eould rationalize all actions toward Indians, including western expansionism and extermination, as erusades under God's command. The narratives ehanged over time, explains Roy HalVey Pearce in "Significances of the Captivity Narrative," from religious documents and spiritual confessions to fictionalized and sensationalized accounts. Their purposes also changed, from symbolic spiritual journeys to propaganda espousing Manifest Destiny, nntil by the end of the 18th century, they simply became melodramatic entertainment. Later, anthropologists and histonanS collected captiVity narrati"'es as scholarship, "to see what [they] revealed about the fiontier and the frontiersman, 10 broaden the scope of the American historical imagination."J By the end of the 19th century, noteS Frederick Drinuner in CapllI/ec! br the Indians, as Native Amerieans were safely herded onto reservations, the tribes exchanged "the role of the threatenmg, hostile raider for thai of the peaceful farmer and herdsman,'- and "the captivity narrative began to die out ilnd disappear." He adds, "This is a shame. ,.J r would like to argue that the captivity narrative did not disapprar al thiS time, but that the sides merely reversed roles. No longer were the Indians the captors. but the Dr SU5ann~ G~orge IS an A«ocialC ProfessQr of Cnsli;;h allhc Unl,~r;;(y or ....ebr~ska ~l Keamey wlw >pec;ali,,,s in Weslem and Pl~in, LI[Crllure. 1\~r bo;,,'~s. The AtI",'nl"re.' "iTh,- Woman Ho",<:ste(lder: Ille Life and Lellas oj Elinore !'ntHt Stewan, (19n) ~nd Kmf:! M Clea!)'. A Gill/mil Llldy .4 Litei'lll)' Biographl' h'itl, Selected Wor.ls \ I 0.97) h"ve been published by Ihe UniversIty or Nebrask~ Press. Dr. (;c"r!!~ serv~d a, pre.,idcnl or the W~;lem Lileralul'e AS50eialion in 1996. alld i, J fellow or the Uni'~rsi\y <11 Nebrasb', C~nter ror Greal Pl~in\ Sludi~;,
34 captives. Their autobiographies detailing their lives within the confines of the reservations and their forced acculturation to the while man's ways should be considered as captivity narratives. too.\ Ironically, early American refonne'TS, in their humanitarian zeal. did not consider their efforts 10 acculturate Native Americans as cruelty, again looking [0 religioll as rationalization for Iheir actions. These idealists believed that eclucatioll, acceplance of the Christian faith, and assimilation to the white cultUJe were the only means to "savl;''' the Indians. Although the first school for Indiaus was founded in Havana, Cuba, in ]568, the period most crucial for the western Indian nations occurred after the Civil WaL" At this time, Christian refonners. many of them military leaders such as Richard Henry Pratt and 0.0. Howard, were convinced thai education promised the qUIckest and best road 10 assimilation. Richard Henry Pratt, whose frontier years with the Cavalry brought him inlo close association with units of freed Negro slaves and IndIan scouts, developed the philosophy that, for these minority Citizens, "The righls of citizenship included fraternity and equal privileges for development." All that minority groups needed to be able to compete on equal tenns in the white community was education, concluding that once Native American children could speak. read, and write English, they would adjust to the civiljzed wodd. Pratt boasted, "1 believe in immersing the Indians in our civilization and when we get them under holdiug them there until they are thoroughly soaked."7 Although Howard's military career was marked by sincere humanitanan eHoll, he shared the same misplaced beliefs of his contemporaries in believlllg that Ihere was nothing in the Native Americau culture worth saving.~ Followmg the principles and theones of Pratt and Howard, schools like the Carlisle. Hampton, and Forest Grove Instirutes as well as various missionary schools, removed Native American children from what they considered the degrading influences of their tribal communities and attempted to teach them the ways of the white man. The Bureau ofIndian Affairs supported this policy, believing that Indian children would assimilate more rapidly into AmeTleau soeiety if they were kept from lheir reservations and families for long periods of lime. Although government ilnd leliglOus leaders· humanitarian eoncerns were noble, they did 1101 consider how much human suffering that their efforts to eradicate an entire winne would cause The first school session at Carlisle, Pennsylvama. began in 1879 with more than two hundred children from about a hal!" a dozen tribes in an olJ cavalry barracks. which served as the flrst school for the young Native Americans Later, off-reservatIon schools began In Nebraska, Kansas, Oregon. and in Indian Territory, patternmg themselves after Carlisle That the school should begin in a military barracks was appropriate, for it became a SOil of prison 10 children sent there Tom from their parents and their culture. the Native American youths suffered loneliness. fear. hunger, aud abuse In the name of Progress. Many Native Amencans Lhronicle in thelf autobiographies the poignant evenlS of ther eaptivity in the white man's schuols Francis La Fleschc (1 &57-1932), an Omaha
35 Sioux, received his schoohng in a Preshyterian mission school north of Omaha. Nebraska, in the mid 1860s. His autobiography was first published in 1900. Zitka1a-Sa or Gertrude Bonnin (1876-1938), a Yankton Sioux, obtained her education in the mid 1880s at White's Manual lnstitute m Wabash, Indiana, Her autobiographical narratives were first published in 1900 and 1901 m Harper's and Atlantic Monthly. Charles Easlrnan or Ohiyesa (1858- L939), a Santee Sioux, went to the Santce Trainmg School during the mid-1870s at Yankton, South Dakota. His works appeared between 1902 and 1918. Luther Standing Bear (1863-1939), a Lakota Sioux who attended C.arlisle in the 1880s, recorded his life and past in four books written between 1928 and 1934.~ The stories of these Native Americans, although from different schools, different tribes, and often different decades, represent similar reactions to theu school e:'lperiences and their return to the reservation. 111e personal accounts of these Indians' "captivities" in the American schools follow nearly the same pattern as those of the traditional captivity narratives, such as the one \VTitten by Mary Rowlandson after her 1675 kidnapping. 1'1 The narratives begin with an account of the capture, a narrative of the Journey to theu- place of captivity, a report of their cultural displacement in an alien society, and au expose of the sufferings and cruelties they eudured. They conclude with a description of the return \0 their 0'WIl society. The emotional aud psychological scars inflicted upon Indiau children duriug their "schooling" were as serious as those abhorred by the reading public in the traditional Indian captivity narratives. I. The Capture The most horrifying aspect of the traditional captivity narratives is their descTlptiou of the capture. Mary Rowlandson pictured the Indian raid and her kidnapping in her account: "There was one who was chopped into the head with a hatchet, and stripped naked, and yet was crawling up and down. It is a sol...mn sight to see so many Christians lying in their blood, some here, and some th...r..., like a company of sheep lorn by wolves, all of them stripped naked by a company of hell·hounds. roaring, singing, ranting, and insultiug, as if they would hav... tom our very hearts OUt."I! The "capmre" of the Native American children was no less emotional than that of the white captives, although false promises, not physical force, often lured mauy away from their pareuts, In Zitkala·Sa 's American ;I/diun Stories, missionaries came to the Yankton Reservation and told Ihe children of "a more beautiful country than ours"l: where they could "pick all Ihe red apples [they] could eaL"]} Zitkala-Sa's mother warned her about "the white man's lies," saymg. "Don't believe a word they say! Their words are sweet, but, my child, their deeds are bitter. You will cry for me, but they will not even soothe you. Slay wilhme, my Iinle one! Your brother Dawee says that going East, away from your mother, is toO hard an experience for his sister."14 Not until later did Zitkala-Sa lament, "Alas! They came, they saw, and they conquered'"'' Family
36 members left behind mourned the losses intensely, too, Zitkala-Sa's mother's loud cries pierced the night: "She cried aloud for her brothers' spirits to support her in her helpless misery."'6 When the faLse promises and temptations didn't work, the agencies relied on threats. According to George E. Hyde, in A Sioux Chronicle, Pratt himself would come out to the agencies and bully the Sioux parents into letting him take their children to the white men's land to go to hj~ big school far away, Many Sioux had little respect [or Pratt, knowing that "he knew only one method of negotiation-that which he used in dealing with recalcitrant Indian boys at Carlisle. The moment anyone opposed his will (he] grew angry."17 In 1884, when Red Cloud's camp at Pine Ridge refused to send their seventy-five children to sehool, Major Valentine T. McGillycuddy petitioned "the Indian Office for permission to cut off from the ration rolls all families in Red Cloud's camp that refused to put their children in school." He obtained permission to begin starving the Indians into submission in 1885." Orphans helped fill the school quotas when promises, threats, and starvation attempts failed. L~ During the Indian wars, other children were literally kidnapped. Angie Debo, in A History a/the lndi37 II. The Journe).' In all traditional captivity narratives, the captives ne tom from their familiar environment and taken on a journey to an unknown or unfamiliar destination. As Mary Rowlandson beg.an her "Second Remove," she lamented. "I must tum my back upon the town and travel with them into lhe vast and desolate wilderness, I knew not whither"ll wllile the Indians taunted her saying, '''your master will knock your child in (he head, 'and then a second, and then a third.' your master will quickly knock your child in the head'."21 The Indian children's journeys to the unknown hcld as much anxiety and hardship for them as it did for Rowlandson. Their travels away from the safety of their families terrified the young Native Americans, and the sight of the large steamboats and hooting trains as well as thc hlmdreds of rude spectators cansed many of them to fear for their lives. Luther Standing Bear, the fmt male student to step inside thc grounds at Carlisle. vicwed hImself as a eaptive as he recalled the scene of the "eighty·odd blanketed boys and gir Is marching down the slre-et surrounded by a jeering, unsympathetic people whose only cmotions were those of hate and fear; the conquerors looking upon the conquered. "24 For most of the lndian children, their journey began with a ride on Ihe unfamiliar stcam loeomotive. Standing Bear described his fear aT eleven years old during the train ride when "suddenly the whole house started to move away wiTh us... We expected every minute that the house would tip over. and that something terrible would happen. We held am blankets between our teeth. because our hands were both busy hanging to the seats, so frightened were WC."2\ However, real fear fOT their lives soon replaced anxiety as the train rushed closer and closcr to the East where (he Native Americans believed the carth ended. for they had been taught that the earth was flat with four comers. "Thc big boys were now singing brave songs" and they "expected to be killed beeause [they1had passed the moon. "2~ Standing Bear went East. as did many Indian children, expecting to die. The arrival at the large. wooden army barracks and schoolhouses did not comfort thc children. eithcr. La Flesche deseribed his ftrst dilY, using the detached third person: "Everything seemed to be in a whirl. He took fright. ran to the door that first caught his sight. and went with a thud down to a landing. but did nol lose his balance; hc took anotheI step. then fell headlong into a dreadful dark place. He screamed at the top of hlS voice, frightened almost into a fit"n ZitkaJa-Sa, too, described her terror: "trembling with fear and distmst of the palefaces, my teeth chattering from the ehilly ride, I crept noiselessly in my soft moccasins along the narrow hall, keeping very close 10 the bare wall. I was as frightened as the captured young of a wild creature."l! Her fear did not lessen as the days went by: "My body trembled more from fear than from the snow I Irod upon.... As I did not hush my crying, one of the older ones whispered to me, 'Wait unhl you are alone in the night."'2Q Needing compassion, she begged for her mother, but the paleface eaptors would not comfort her.
38 Although the journeys of these young Indians wcre often not as physically grueling as those of the white captives, the children's sense of displacement, isolation, and their actual fear of dying equaled that of their counterparts. III. Cultural Displacement Adapting to a foreign culture presemed additional hardships to captives. Differcnt types of lodging, food, and clothing made their confinements more stressful. During Mary Rowlandson's captivity, the Indian's diet appalled her the most: "The first week of my being among them I hardly ate a thing; the second week I found my stomach grow faint for want of sOinething; and yet it was very hard to get down their filthy trash; but the third week. though I could think how formerly my stomach would rum against this or Ihat, and I could starve aud die beforc I could eat such things, yet they were swcet and savory to my taste."JO Although the NaCive American childreu slowly adjusted to the "paleface days,"''! as Zi!kala-Sa termed them, they had morc to adapt to !han the food. Anxious to remove all traces of "savagery" from their new charges, white educators and missionarics tried to strip and clip and scrub their children's Indianness away, committing emotionally harmful actions toward the youngsters. The cutting of the boys' and girls' hair universally caused the most trauma among the children and parents alike. Zilkala-Sa lament~d the loss ofhcr Indian individuality when the girls' glossy, black hal! was cut. Among Native Americans, short hair was only worn by mourners, and "shingled hair by cowards.",ll Zitkala-Sa tried 10 escape, but she was caught and tied securely in a chair. I cried aloud, shaking my head all the while until I felt the wid blades of the scissors against my neck, and hcard them gnaw off one of my thick braids. Then I lost my spirit. Since the day] was taken from my mother 1 have sntTered elltreme indignities. People had stared at me. 1 had been tossed about in the air like a wooden puppet. And now my long hair was shingled like a coward's! In my anguish I moaned for my mother, but no one came to eomfon mc. Not a SOn] reasoned quietly wilh me, as my own mother used to do; for now I was only one of the many little animals driven by a herder.~J When Standing Bear's rum came in the barber's chair, he stated that "it hurt my feelings to such an extent that it made tears come to my eyes. I do not recall whether the barber noticed my agitation or not, nor did I care. All I was thinking i1bout was the hair that he had taken away from me." He then realized that he was no longer an Indian, but only "an imit.ation of a white man.")~ The children were not alone in their anguish, for when chief Red Cloud accompanied his daughter to the school at the Pine Ridge agency and saw the White women cutting the scalplocks of the young boys, he inunediately withdrew her. These scalplocks were "the Sioux badge of honor, a boy deprived of that lock would never amounr to anything and would soon become a social outcast."J5
39 Then, the children's blankets and elothing were taken from them and replaced by outfits that Standing Bear considered awkward and uncomfortable. Moreover, he believed thaI trousers and handkerchiefs were "unsanitary and the Irousers kepi us from breathing well. High coHm, stiff-bosomed shirts, and suspenders fully tmee inches in width were uneomfortable. while leather boots caused actual suffering." The red !lannel undergarments Standing Bear considered as "actual torture."J6 Missionaries forced them into tightly fitting clothes which, Zitkala-Sa recalled, made her feel "immodestly dressed:')1 Next. they were given English names, thns erasing their identity. La F1esche explained. "the aboriginal names were considered by the missionaries as heathenish, and therefore should be obliterated. No less heathenish in their origin were the English substitutes, but the loss of their original meaning and significance throngh long usage had rendered them fit 10 continue as appellations for Civilized folk."ls Whereas Indian names had personal or symbolic connotations and ceremonies often accompanied the ritual of naming, the English nameS forced upon the children al the schools wrre chosen randomly with no connection to their individnality. Standing Bear pointed ont his name from a list on the blackboard he could not read. He explained, "None ofthr names were read or explained to us, so of course we did not know the sound or the meaning of any of them." When the teacher handed him the poinler. Standing Bear said, "I took the pointer and acted as if I were about to touch an enemy.,,·,e, He considered his action a heroic act, a sort of "coup" on the enemy. It was the child's attempt to marshal his cultural traditions to snr"ive. Finally, the missionaries prohibited the Indian children from speaking their own language, a rule, stated La F1esche, which was "rigidly enforced with a hickory rod, so that the new-comer, however socially inclined, was obliged to go abollt like a little dummy until he had learned to express himself in English."40 This harsb rule, especially in Ihe first months when the children were undergoing major cnltural and personal adjustments, caused much emotional isolation. Standing Bear explained, "I now remembered how hard it had been for us to forego the consolation of speech. I remembered how lonely we used to get and how we longed for the loved ones at home, and the taking away of speech at that time only added to our depression. Those of us who knew the Sign Language made use of it, but imagine what it meant to those who had to remain silent."" With this one rule, the silencing of an individual, educators moved effectively toward silencing an entire culture. The young children also had difficulty adJusling to the whIte man's food, considering it as unpalatable as the white captives described the Indian cuisine. Standing Bear believed thar "Of all the changes we were foreed to make, that of diet was doubtless the most Ill.lurious, for it was immediate and drastic. White bread we had for the fust meal and thereafter, as well as coffee and sugar. Had we been allowed our O""'ll simple diet of meat, either boiled with soup or dried, and fruit, with perhaps a few vegetables, we should have tfuived."·: With weakened bodies and souls, it is no wonder
40 that within the firSl three years of school, "nearly one half of the childrell from the Plains were dead."4J The children's days were regimented by a system of bells, and strict military order governed their every move. Zitkala-Sa explained how this new culture distressed her: "A large bell rallg for breakfast, ils loud metallic voice crashiug through the belfry overhead and into our sensitive ears. The annoying clatter of shoes on bare floors gave us no peace... And though my spirit tore itselfin struggling for its lost freedoIll all was useless."'" Eastman summed up the feelings of these culturally displaced youllgsters, stripped of their hair, their clothing, their names, their language, and their health, when he exclaimed: "1 felt like a wild goose with its wings clipped."45 IV, SuUerings and Cruelties Readers of captivity narratives shudder al the cruelties, oftentimes exaggerated or sensationalized. that Indians iuflicted upon their white captio,'es. Mary Rowlandson described this incident in her travail when she was hungry and went to visit a kind Indian woman who had once given her food: "When I was there, there came an ludian to look after me, who when he found me, kicked me all along. I went home and found venison roasting that night, but they would not give me one bit of it." Rowlandson explained, "Sometimes I met with fa,,'or, and sometimes with nothing but froVffis."4~ Although Rowlandson's physical tonnents do not compare in degree with the cruelties of some other white captives, they are probably more indicative oEthe treatment that most white captives received at the hands of their Indian captors_ Native American children endured equally cruel physical oppression and neglect. Unsympathetic teachers demanded rigid adherenee to rules and intlicted unneeessarily harsh cmporal punishment. Discipline was swift and relentless, and often the Indian children, unfamiliar with white customs or unable 10 speak or understand English, did not comprehend why they were being hun. La Flesche and a friend, who were attending the Presbyterian Indian Mission School north of Omaha, Nebraska, were caught in an inllocenl boyish prank and punished severely: Gray-beard brought do\\o-n the stick heavily on Brush's shoulders, an inch of the sapling broke; then he struck faster and faster, and at each stroke a piece fell off. Brush stood with clenched fists, determined not to show any tlinching; but we could see thaI he felt keenly the blows. He went to his desk, and buried his face in his arms. I'm afraid this isn't hickory," says Gray-beard, throwing on the floor the stump of the switch. "I know this one is," and he dealt blow after blow on the broad shOUlders of Alexander, who gave no sign of pain. The boy stood unmoved, every muscle relaxed, even his hands were open, showing no emotion whatever. The Slick was worn ant, and Gray-beard threw the stump on the tloor. 47
41 However, the WOfS( cruelty inflicted by the teachers at the Mission Scnool La Flesche attended occurred when a young orphan brought by a grandmother accidentally hit the teacher with a clod of dirt: "Catehing a firm grip on the hand of the boy, Gray beard dealt blow after blow on the visibly swelling band. The man seemed to lose all self-control, gritting his teeth and breathing heavily, while the child writhed in pain, turned blue, and lost his breath," La Flesche was horrified and unable "to reconcile the act of Gray-beard with the teachi.ngs of the missionaries...·s When the leading Sioux chiefs Red Cloud, Red Dog, and Spotted Tail visited Carlisle in 1880, they were angry at the educational program, for they wished their children to be taught to speak, read, and write English, not work as drudges in the fields. The physieal pnnishment the youngsters received also incensed them. According to George E. Hyde in A Sima Chronicle, the chiefs were Incensed at the "thugs on the staff whose duty it was to beat the pupils."49 The Native American leaders could not understand how Christian people in the East could approve of PIatt's plan when "they knew that he had men and women on his payroll under the euphemistic designation of disciplinarians whose main duty was to thump recalcitrant Indian boys and girls into submission."50 A bill was introduced into Congress to halt snch beatings at Indian schools, but Pratt personally went \0 Washington to fight it and won, delaying its passage for twenty-five years.~1 Even though corporal punishment was not uncommon even in white boarding schools, and many teachers were dedIcated and compassionate individuals, the cause for the severe discipline was unique. Teachers routinely disciplined Indian children for speaking their native langnage, for singing Indian songs, for not understanding English, and, as a consequence. for running away from school. When compared to the traditionally lenient upbringing of most Indian children. such harsh physical punishment for prevLOnsly approved behavior was alien and incomprehensible. Most appalling, however, were the great nnmbers of children who died from disease, neglect. starvation, and even homesickness at the Indian scnools. Grippe, whooping cough, smallpoll., pulmonary diseases, and tuberculosis spread rapidly in the crowded schoolrooms and dormitories. Zitkala-Sa, even as a child, understood the lack of medical resources and attention, stating, "I grew bitter, and censured the woman for cruel neglect of our physical ills."': Later. when Zitbla-Sa was a teacher herself at Carlisle, she understood more clearly the woeful medical conditions at the school: "A u inebriate paleface sat stupid in a doctor's chair, while Indian patients carried thel[ aliments to untImely graves."'.' The sufferings and cruelties forced upon the uncomprehending Native Ameflcan children were all the more tragic since the pain was consciously inflicted by a society that prided itself in its democracy, snperionty, and Christian charity.
42 V. The Return TIle reunion of white captives wilh their families and friends was usually accClmpanied by rejoicing and thankfulness, and most were welcomed wholeheartedly back into the cClmmunity, often paying ransoms as high as two thousand dollars." RClwlandson spoke of "pitiful, tender-hearted and cClmpassionate Christians," "tenderhearted friends," "Bounty and religious charity," and "public thanksgiving" al her retum.55 AlthClugh she mourned the loss Clf IClved ones killed during the attack, the ordeal taught her "the vanity of ... Clutward things" and that "we must rely Cln GCld Himself, and our whole dependence must be npon him."" As a result of her eaptivity, she considered herself now one of the "elect" and had an important role to fulfill in her eornmunity: to serve a~ an example for others to appreeiate the goodness of God and ttot stray from the Puritan paths of righteousness. Indian families, of course, rejoiced at the return of their onee-capti\'e sons and danghters, but the dramatic changes affected upon their children and the emotional and physical scars they brought baek home with them made homecomings traglc. TIle newly-acculturated youths returned complete strangers to their families and were unable to fit baek into their own soeieties. Zitkala-Sa explained, "Even nature seemed to have no place for me. I was neither a wee gul nor a tall one; neither a wild Indian nO! a tame one TIlis deplorable situation was the effect of my brief conrse in the East."" In her story of the "Soft-Hearted Sioux," a young Christian returned to his tribe, and the medicine man taunted, "What loyal son is he who, returning to his father's people. wears a foreigner's dress? ., Here is the traifor to his people."5~ Often, upon returning to their families and villages, the restored captives were nOl greeted "'ith celebrations, but suspicion. Traditional members of their own tribes considered them as oulcasts and looked upon them, stated La Flcsche. JS "make-beheve white men,";o neither white nor Indian. "Some of the boys came back years later, turned into imltatlon whites, and most of them were unhappy," slates Hyde ill A Sioux Chronic/e. "Some dIed off there in the white men's land and were ttever seen again."(·') Standing Bear reponed !he sad spectacle of returned children who could no longer speak their native language, or pretended they could not out of shame, and who turned to "deception and trickel"}'."~1 They became like lhe young men in Zitkala-Sa's autobiographical tale "The Blue·SIJr Woman," tricksters who preyed on (he old. the uneducaled. and the helpless and who "thrived m their grafting business. . lhe by· product of an unWIeldy bnreaucracy over the nation· swards."": Mosl unfonunate, the white world still regarded the edneated Indians as mferior and did not allo\".. them the brotherhood and equahly Pratt and other assimilationists had envisioned, In 1890. Slandmg Bear and a group ufUlher students who hadiusl returned from CarJi;;Je held a council meeting to discuss what they could do wilh the edu<'::luon they had received al the mslltutlon and which (hey h:ld found useless back on Ihe reservatlOn. Fifteen of Ihem deCIded that each should open a little shop if Ihe gO\'emment would give them (he necessal"}' lOuis. Slandmg Bear. who believed this 10
43 be an excellent idea, drew up a letter for them to the Commissioner oflndian Affairs, only to have their request ignored.6J Even the Indians wbo had positions within the white system on their own reservations, like Zitkala's brother Dawee. lost them to white men: "Ihe Great Father at Washington sent a white son to take my brothcr's pen from him,"..... and he was not able to make use of his Eastern education. Many Native Americans continued on to eollege. Eastman graduated from Dartmouth College and went on to receive a med ical degree at Boston University. He began his practice at the Pine Ridge Indian ageney in Nebraska; however, when he exposed fraudu lent practices at the agency, he was charged as insubordinate and forced to resign. Whcn he attempted to establish a medieal practice in St. Paul, Minnesota, after being one ofthe few to pass the medical examination for thai state, he complained he was "persistently solicited for illegal practice. and this by persons who were not only intelligent. but apparently of good social standillg.~-· Eastman refused such illegal solicitations as well as tempting offers to perfonn "'ndian treatmcnts." Thus, the education that the white man promised would transfonn the Indian into a full member of eivilized society proved woMhlcss, in the white world as well as on their own reservations. Zitkala-Sa described white men and women as "a cold race whosc hearts wcre frozen hard with prejudice."'" Alden T. Baughan 'Writes in Narratives of North American Indian Capliviry that although the integration of me white into Indian society may have been traumatic, their assimilation was "genuine and binding upon the Indian. By contrast, the integration of the Indian into the white society was often more fonnal than reaL"~l VI. Conclusion Born the captivity narratives written by early white selllcrs and the autobiographies of Native Americans record the parallel experiences of whites captured by lndians and forced to live within tribal communities and of Indians capolrcd by whItes and held against theIr wills in white educational facilities. Just as some of the white captives assimilated into the Indian culture of their captors,~8 so did many Native Amcrlcans, especially mose children taken from their families at an early age. However. nearly all Indian antobiographles contain incidents which record the emotional, physical, and cultural abuses imposed upon them just as graphically as those described by white captives. Alice Poindexter FIsher. III Tht' Trumjol'mafion of Tradilion, noll'S the traumatic impact these schools had on their captive pnpils: "The Indian, educated off the reservation by whiles, abandons for a lime the traditions of his heritage. During this liminal state of trying to pass from one way of life to another, the protagonist becomes alienated from those intuitive and spiritual faculties that have been the touchstone for truth. As he becomes further disoriented, he suffers an emotional and psychological
44 rri~is thai often plact:"s him in physical danger and threatens a total disinte~ration of the se1f:'69 What sets the Indian narratives apart is their unrewarding It:tum IG society, either the white man's world 0[ the Indian's, mtensif)ing their cultural di'iplacemenL Zitkala Sa summed up the clTec! of her capli,it)' in white-run Indian schools: "But few there are who have paused \0 question whether real life ur long-lasting death lies beneath this semblance of civil:ization,lu Eastman was another woo qucstiOllr;:U the worth of his acculturation and the values of civilized society: "r am an Indian', and while I have learned much from civiliwtlun, for wInch 1 am grateful, 1 have never lost my Indian sense of right and justice. I am for development anu progress along social an:::l spirirual lines, rather than those of commerce, nationalism, or materia] efficiency.'" I Even Standing !:lear, one of those who succeeded in the white world, felt ~o strongly ahout the harm donc to him, his fellow students, and his culture that it (lUSed him to resolve: "if today I had a young mind to direct, to stan on the journey of life, and 1 was tKed with the duty ofchoosmg between the naDJra\ way of my forefathers and that of thc white man's present way of ciVilization, I ,",auld, for It.~ welfare, unhesitatingly 51"1 tllat child's fcet in the path of my forefathers. I would raise him to be an Indian."'2 Although both Indian and white capti\'es record similllr e:>lpenenC'cs. important differences niSI iii the audienCeS and the purposes of the texts. The captivity narratives of the Euro-AmeriCln!> appealed to Ihe writers' own social and spiritual communities who accepted them back into the folel Their purposes wert: three-Iold: to warn Christians of their tenuous posHion iu God's universe if they continued in their sinful ways, to proclaim lh~ gracc of God for the physical and spiritual salvation, perhap~ even election, of the captive, and to justify the mkeover by Eum-Americans of the "savage" Indians' lands. Tne narrator and the audience sh[1red religious, soeial, and. inte1ket\lal beliefs, American culture who pmfessed the golden role bill ncred selfishly. Too, lIJilny of the nllTtalive:> srrved as poluicill statements of the mjujtices they suffered. testimnnies of the alroeitjcs thilt never made the buld newspaper headlines as dId those of the white captives.
45 Moreover, the language and the systems of belief that the Native Americans had to employ was not a shared one. To explain the Indian spiritualily, the narrators had to apply Biblical comparisons; to describe their connectedness with Mother Earth, they had to allude to Wordsworth and the Romantics~ and to air their own grievances, they needed to employ subversion rather than confrontation, or their audience would not accept them. Moreover, to do all of this, they not only had 10 nse a "foreign·· language but an alien system of corrununication-written, not oral. Despite all of the efforts of carly reformers to erase the Indian culture, Native American voices were heard and their histories saved. Tribal identily and native traditions not only survived but are renewing their strength and following. Presses across the United States are currently publishing new editions of the early 20th century works as well as poetry, novels, and antobiographical works by contemporary native Americans. This current revival and reasscssment of our past is important, for, as James Axtell states, "evaluation is intrinsic to the hislorical process, not an option, because the moral connotations of the everyday words we use are part of their descripti'.'e meaning."73 We must jndge the past not only "to do justice to it .. ' To set the record straight,"7~ but also "to advance our o""'n moral education."'; Standing Bear bclie'..ed that "the attempted trausformation of the ludian by the white man and the chaos that has resulted are but the fruits of the white man's disobedience of a fundamental and spiritual law."7~ That law, he explained, encompassed "an intense and absorbing love for nature; a respect for life; enriching faith in a Supreme Power; and principles of truth, honesty, generosity, cquity, and brotherhood as a guide to mundane relations.""' With the growing awareness and appreciation of cultural diversity, many in the white conununity are now lookmg to Native American beliefs and traditions as moral and spiritual guides to ease their own increasing sense of alienation and to help them establish a new set of values, especially concerning hnmamty's relatiouship with the environment. Many ironies exist in this expropriation. Fir>t, EllIoamericans are seeking strength and knowledge from the very culture that their forefathers and foremothers considered as savage and inferior-a culture that they eould nol destroy. Second. as noted by Robert F, Berkhofer, Jr., in The i'/hile Man's Indian, Whites have historically created an image or stereotype of the indian to suit their ends, whether for economic, religious. or cultural exploitation and expansion. 1t And, last, the idea of the Noble or Romantic Savage and the promise of a mopian existence m harmony with nature and reason has existed since the 18th and 19th centuries. So how do Americans, as a whole, reconcile historic facts from opposing viewpoints and centuries of image-making and exploitation to solve the veT)' real dilemmas of the approaching twenty-lust century? What Jane Tompkins suggests to me in '" Indians': Textualism, Morality, and the Problem of History," is that each of us must
46 "piece together the story of European-Indian relations"1~for ourselve~ as best we can and work morally toward solving, or at least not repeating, the mistake~ of the pa~t. NOTES l. Throughout my research, 1diseovered conflicting preferences in the usc of the terms "lndian," "First Americans" as in Norman T Q:lpelt's The Tribally Conlrolfed Indian Colleges: The Beginnings c:fSe{f-Determination in American Indian Educalion (Tsaile, Az; Navajo Community College Press. 1990), "Native Amcrican:' "Amcrican lndian" preferred by Sally J McBeth in Ethnic Identily and Ihe Boarding School Experience of Wesl-Cenlral Oklahoma Americwn Tndians (Washington, D.C Univcrsity Press of Ameriea, 1983), and "Indians ofNonh America" employed by the Library of Congress. Louis Owens in Other Destinies. Understanding Ihe American Tndian Nowl (Norman' U of Oklahoma P. I 99Z), 158, uses the terms "Native American" and "Indian" intcrchangeably, bceausc, as he states, it is "a term that Indian people havc taken to themselves and redefined and, which they are, for the most pan, eomfonable" Thc terms will be used synonymously through the following pages because "no one term is preferred by all First Americans" (Oppelt, Tndiwn Colleges) i)( My preference would be the tribal name; however, as much of my discussion ineludes Indians from dIverse tnbes, this approach would not be applicable 2. Char1cs M Segal and David C Stincback, cds., PurilanI and Manifest Destiny, (Ncw York GP Putnam, 1977).49. 3. Roy Harvey Pearce. "The Significances of the Captivity N,lTTutive" (Amenc<1n Literature, 1947),17. 4. Frederick Dnmmer, Caplured by the Indians' /5 Firslh<1l1d Accounts, j 780-/870, (New York' Dover, 1985), 10. 5 In Land oflhe SpOiled Eugle (1933; reprint, Lincoln: UniverSIty of Nebrash Press 1978), Luther Standing Bear describes Ihe captivity-like e)(istcnee of Indians on the reservations as well as his eKperienees at Carlisle. 6. Oppelt, Tndi<111 Colleges, presents a thorough history of the "Histone Amceedents of Contemporary Indian High Education ,. in his first chapter on the missionary period 7. Robert M. UlIey, cd,. 8alllejield und Classroom' Four Decades with the American Tndi<1!1. 1867·j904, (New Haven: Yale Universiry Press, 1964), )(i, xv, 8. Bruce 1. Dinges, "Introduction," in 00. Howard's Fwmm/s Indian Chiefs I H<1ve Known: 1907-1908, (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1989), xix. 9. The autobiographies being considered in thIS study include' Zilka)a-Sa, Amerrcan Indian Stories (1921; reprint, Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1985); FranCIS La Flesehe, The Middle Five: Indi<1n Schoolboy.< of the Omwlw Tribe (1900; reprint, Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1978); Charles Eastman, From the Deep I+oods 10 Civiliz<1/ion (1916, reprint. LirH;oln: University of Nebraska Press, 1977); and Luther Standing Bear, Land c:frhe SpOiled Eagle (1933; repnnl, Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1978) and My People the Sima (1928 reprint, Lincoln: UnIversity of Nebraska Pre~s, 1975), Alllndran autobiographies, of course, are not negative in their attitudes toward their school experiences, Many, such as La fJesche, after surviving the ini[iaJ e'Jlturc shock. found the cKperience rewarding, JUS! as many whites captured by Indian.. , chose not to go back to the white civilization. IlJ. Mary ROWlandson, "A Narrative of the Caplivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson," Nor/un Anthology o/Amer/Ca/l LiteralLlre, (Ed. Nina Baym, et al. New York: Norton, 1979),58-96.
47 I!. [bid., 6L J2 litkala-Sa, Americall Illdiall Stories, 39. J3.lbid.. 41-2. 14. Ib\d., 4l. 15. Ibid. 16. Ibid., 74. 17. George E. Hyde, A Sioux Chronicle (Norman: Umversity of Oklahoma Press, 19561, 189. 18. Ibid., 10J. 19. Edward a, Milligan, Dakota Twifigh.L The Standing Rock Sima:, 1874-1890, (Hicksville, New York: E:w;position Press, 1976). Ill. 20. :\"gle Debo, A His/ory ofthe Indians oJlhe United Stales (Norman: University of Oklahoma P. J970), 240. 2J. H DaVid Brumble [I! American Indian Autobiography. Berkeley: University ot Califorma P, 1988: 226, 22, Rowlandson, "3 Narrative of the Captivily and Restoration," 62 23. Ibid" 64. 24. Standing Bear, SpOiled Eagle, 2n, 25 Ibid"128-29. 26. Ibid, []j.32. 27. La Flesehc, Middle Five, 5. 28. lithla·Sa, Americanlnd/an .'llorles, 45. 29. [bid., 49-50, 3D. Rowlandson, "A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration," 68. 31. lithIa-Sa, AmeriClln I'ldiall Stories, 65. 32 [bid., 54. 33. Ibid., 55-6. 34 Sl3nding Bear, My People, 141. 35. Hyde, Sima: Chronicle, [00, 36. Standing Bear, SpoILed Eagle, 232-.'3 37, llthla·Sa.AllIt'ncan Indian .'ltorie.~, 53. 38. La Flesche, Middle Five, >;vii. 39, Standing Bear, My People, 1]7 4(). La Flesche, Middle Five. >;VII 4 I., Standing Bear, S'polted Eagle, 242 42. Ibid., 234, 43. Ibid. 44. Zitkala-Sa.Americrltl IndlQn Stories, 52. 45. Eastman, Dr·"p Woods, 44, 46. Rowlandson. "A Narrallvc of the CaptivilY and Re~loration," 74 47, La Flesche, Middle Fi~e. [22, 48. Ibid., 138. 49 Hyde, SioLLt Chronicle, 57,
50. Ibid 51. Ibid. 52. lithia-Sa, ·lmerican Indial! Stones, 67, 53, Ibid., 95.
48 54. Alden T Vaughan, Nilfrariws (J{Nnrlh Am<'riColli InJjan Caplinty. A Selective BibliogriJphy, (New York: Garland, 1983), xviii. 55, Rowlandson. "A Nanati\'e of the Capli'iily amI Reslora~lon:' 90-1. 56. Ibid., 96. 57. Zilka/a-Sa, Arne'!e,," Indiu" SlorJes. 69. 5R lbid., 117. 59. La Fleschf', Middle Fiw, 21. liO. Hyde, SiOlil Chronicle, 1&9. 61. Standing Be~r, Sporred Eagle, 235. 62. Zitkahl·Sa, American fndhm Siories, \68. 63. Standing Bear, Spotled Eagle, 239-40. 64. Zitkala·Sa. Ameflcan Indian S;o,ies, 90. GS. Eastman, Deep Wond" l:n 66. Zilkala-Sa, AmerinJn !ndlan SlOr;es, 76. 67. Vaughan, Narrulives of North American Indi<1n Cap/il'it}, xl"i. 68. JJmes Ax!ell has descnbl:d we!: Ihe clash between Euro-Americans and Native Americans, especially regarding acculturation In both soeielies, in The EIl~Qpe"n and the Indian' Essays in ore lire Elhnohislory o'!onial North America (New York: Oxford University Presl. 1981) Md Tl,e }nj·asion Within. The ConteAt C!l Cultures in Colonial Nor/h America (New York: Oxford University Press, !985). 69. Allee Poindexter Fisher, The Trans/ormation ol Tradition: A Stud} OJ Zitka/a Su I.md Mourning DOI'C, T-..a Trun~itia!la{ American W.ilers (Ann Arbor. MI: Universiry Microfllm lnlclT,atio1al, 1979), J[)5. ?D. Zilkala-Sa, American Indian Stories, 99 71. Eastman, Deep Wouds, 195. n. Standing Bear, Spoiled Eaglp, 158, 73. James Axtell, After Columblls. Essays in tIle Et!mo!Tistory nfColon jill Norill AllIerica, (New York: Oxford UniYCfsily Press, 1988), 19-20 74, Ibid., 20. 75. [bid., 21. 76, Standing Bear, SpOIled Eagle, 248. 77. [bid., 247, 78 Robert f Berkhofer, Jr., The While M'/n 's /Iullan. INew York: Randoll) House, 1'j7'J), ni 79 Jane Ti.lmpkins, "Indians': Tedualism, Morality, and the Prot\em of History," Slyies of Cu/lural.4clivism' From The","! and Pt'dagogy I;, Women, [Jldians, und Communism," (Ed Philip Goldstein, Newark: U.,iversity of Delaware Press, 1994), 200.

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