×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Standing Bear Is A Person
     

Standing Bear Is A Person

3.0 1
by Stephen Dando-Collins, Robert Pigeon (Editor)
 

See All Formats & Editions


In a federal courtroom in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1879, Standing Bear, clan chief of the small and peaceful Ponca tribe, was in court demanding the same basic right that white Americans enjoyed-the right to be recognized legally as a human being. The compelling, behind-the-scenes story of that landmark court case, and the subsequent reverberations of the judge's

Overview


In a federal courtroom in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1879, Standing Bear, clan chief of the small and peaceful Ponca tribe, was in court demanding the same basic right that white Americans enjoyed-the right to be recognized legally as a human being. The compelling, behind-the-scenes story of that landmark court case, and the subsequent reverberations of the judge's ruling across nineteenth-century America is told in Stephen Dando-Collin's "brisk and evocative account" (Kirkus). It is a story of memorable Old West characters who joined to fight for Standing Bear and paved his way to the courthouse-the former Indian-fighting Army general who changed sides to stand with Standing Bear, the crusading Midwestern newspaper editor who had once been a gun-toting frontier preacher, and the "most beautiful Indian maiden of her time," Bright Eyes. Full of colorful characters, battles of legal wits, and the twists and turns of a cause in search of an audience, Standing Bear Is a Person is a captivating read.

Editorial Reviews

KLIATT
This smoothly written and gripping narrative tells of Standing Bear, a member of the Ponca tribe, which had been forced from their fertile ancestral land in the Dakota Territory to the parched soil of "Indian Territory" in what is now Oklahoma. When Standing Bear and his family attempted to return, illegally, to their homelands, they were arrested and held at Fort Omaha. Befriended both by General Crook, the commanding officer of the fort, and by Henry Tibbles, a local newspaper writer/missionary, Standing Bear sued for recognition of his rights as a person. The final court decision that "Standing Bear is a person" was a landmark because to that point, Native Americans had no standing under American law. Once he was declared "a person" and could be freed on a writ of habeas corpus, Standing Bear could sue for his rights and that of his family. In clear and fast-paced prose, the author recounts a story that is a vital part of the history of American justice realized in the face of governmental foot-dragging. KLIATT Codes: JSA*--Exceptional book, recommended for junior and senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2004, Da Capo Press, 259p. illus. notes. bibliog. index., Ages 12 to adult.
—Patricia Moore
Library Journal
Australian-born scribe Dando-Collins (Caesar's Legion) undertakes to tell the story of the Ponca tribe's landmark case against the U.S. government. In 1877, Standing Bear and his people were removed from their home in northern Nebraska and relocated to Oklahoma, where many tribal members, including Standing Bear's son, died in the poor living conditions. Intent on burying the boy in his ancestral lands, Standing Bear brought his case against the government in 1879-and won. Unfortunately, in this account, the court case becomes slightly muddied, and the historical characters involved, though dashing, daring, and intriguing, are not quite focused enough to sustain the narrative after the case is resolved. Dando-Collins's writing begins to take on the tone of its 19th-century primary sources, which may help round out the first-person perspectives but does not allow for new approaches to or analysis of these interesting people and events. Dando-Collins does shine light on the violent clash between corrupt bureaucracy and the grass-roots crusading that led to change, but the narrative arc isn't sustained throughout. For Native American collections.-Elizabeth Morris, Illinois Fire Svc. Inst. Lib., Champaign Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Brisk but evocative account of a tribal chief's efforts to bury his dead son, which led to a landmark 1879 judgment that for the first time recognized Native Americans' rights. Australian-born author Dando-Collins (Caesar's Legion, not reviewed, etc.) deftly summarizes the legal arguments while offering vivid portraits of the diverse people involved: an open-minded general, a conflicted US president, an obstructive Secretary of the Interior, crusading lawyers and journalists, and a beautiful Indian woman whose eloquence helped the cause. In March 1879, Ponca Chief Iron Eye and his English-speaking daughter Bright Eyes came to plead the cause of fellow tribesmen Standing Bear and his followers, who were under military arrest at Fort Omaha, Nebraska. Commanding general George Crook, though tied by law, was sympathetic. In 1877, the Bureau of Indian Affairs had removed the peaceful and mostly Christian Ponca tribe from their lands in Nebraska and ordered them to settle in Oklahoma's Indian Territory. They complied, but promises of help were broken, the new lands were infertile and unhealthy, and many Ponca died, including Standing Bear's son. Wanting to bury the boy in his ancestral lands, Standing Bear had illegally escaped from Oklahoma, only to be caught and brought to Fort Omaha. The bereaved father's dignified demeanor and painful story soon became nationally known as Henry Tibbles, editor of Omaha's Daily Herald, launched a campaign on his behalf and found lawyers to defend him. In May 1879, a judge ruled not only that Standing Bear should be freed, but that Indians had the same rights as whites to habeas corpus and to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This seminal ruling,however, would take years to be fully implemented and accepted. A dark moment in Native American history revisited provides an eloquent reminder of a fight well fought. Agent: Richard Curtis/Richard Curtis Associates

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780306814419
Publisher:
Da Capo Press
Publication date:
09/06/2005
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
0.60(w) x 6.00(h) x 9.00(d)

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

Standing Bear Is A Person 0 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 0 reviews.