By Theodore D. Sargent

ISBN-10: 0803205244

ISBN-13: 9780803205246

ISBN-10: 0803243170

ISBN-13: 9780803243170

Raised in a sheltered, puritanical family in New England, Elaine Goodale Eastman (1863–1953) her moral sense and calling in 1885 whilst she traveled west and opened a college at the nice Sioux Reservation in South Dakota. Over the subsequent six years she witnessed the various huge occasions that affected the Lakotas, together with the inception of the Ghost Dance faith and the fallout from the Wounded Knee bloodbath in December 1890. She additionally fell in love with and married Charles Eastman, a Dakota physician with whom she had six young children, and went directly to aid edit his many well known books on Sioux existence and culture. This biography attracts on a newly came across cache of a couple of hundred letters from Elaine that have been accrued by means of one in all her sisters, Rose Goodale Dayton, in addition to newly came upon kin correspondence and images. earlier books approximately Elaine—including her personal autobiography—emphasize her paintings at the Sioux reservation and organization together with her recognized husband. entry to her own papers, even if, enabled Theodore D. Sargent to shed new gentle at the dynamics of her thirty-year marriage to Charles and its final dying, the significance of her personal literary contributions in this interval, and the demanding situations and successes of her lifestyles following their separation. the result's a protracted past due multidimensional portrait of the relationships and aspirations that impelled and this attention-grabbing girl and her striking existence.

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She had made the long overland trip from Standing Rock to Pine Ridge, which included camping overnight at Chief Big Foot’s village, below the forks of the Cheyenne River. ’’ Once at Pine Ridge, despite ever-increasing tensions concerning the Ghost Dance, Elaine continued to visit the scattered schools in the region. On one such visit, at Porcupine Tail Butte, she joined a crowd of spectators – ‘‘the only person who was not a Sioux’’ – to watch a ghost dance performance. She later wrote: ‘‘Under the soft glow of the hunter’s moon perhaps a hundred men, women, and children, with clasped hands and fingers interlocked, swung in a great circle about their ‘sacred tree,’ chanting together the monotonous Ghost Dance songs.

This trip also introduced Elaine to some of the early white settlers in Nebraska. In general, she found these people living in wretched poverty – in their ‘‘unattractive’’ sod shanties – but noted that they were always friendly, even generous in their way, and seemed to bear no ill will toward her Indian companions. Trading between the Indians and the settlers was common, and Whirling Hawk often posed as a destitute wanderer in order to receive better deals in these transactions. He was particularly proud of three hats that were given to him, though never worn, and sometimes made fun of these gifts and their givers.

It appears that Elaine always did find fulfillment in the performance of duty and in serving others and, like her mother, took some satisfaction in a stoic acceptance of her fate. 14 chapter two Berkshire Farewells A glorious haste was his, a quenchless fire – A motive and an energy divine! — Elaine Goodale Eastman, ‘‘In Memoriam: Samuel Chapman Armstrong’’ The Berkshire idyll was never entirely idyllic. Tensions lurked beneath the surface, as we have seen, from at least the time of Elaine’s birth.

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The Life of Elaine Goodale Eastman (Women in the West) by Theodore D. Sargent

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