Synopses & Reviews
In 1908 easterners Mary Ellicott Arnold and Mabel Reed accepted appointments as field matrons in Karuk tribal communities in the Klamath and Salmon River country of northern California. In doing so, they joined a handful of white women in a rugged region that retained the frontier mentality of the gold rush some fifty years earlier. Hired to promote the federal governmentand#8217;s assimilation of American Indians, Arnold and Reed instead found themselves adapting to the world they entered, a complex and contentious territory of Anglo miners and Karuk families.
In the Land of the Grasshopper Song, Arnold and Reedand#8217;s account of their experiences, shows their irreverence towards Victorian ideals of womanhood, recounts their respect toward and friendship with Karuks, and offers a rare portrait of womenand#8217;s western experiences in this era. Writing with self-deprecating humor, the women recall their misadventures as women and#8220;in a white manand#8217;s countryand#8221; and as whites in Indian country. A story about crossing cultural divides, In the Land of the Grasshopper Song also documents Karuk resilience despite seemingly insurmountable odds.
New material by Susan Bernardin, Andrand#233; Cramblit, and Terry Supahan provides rich biographical, cultural, and historical contexts for understanding the continuing importance of this story for Karuk people and other readers.
"[Birch Coulie is] a dramatic narrative that students of frontier and Minnesota history will wish to read closely."—Gilbert Taylor, Booklist
"Christgau's book is essential reading on the 150th anniversary of the largely forgotten, under-taught war that he describes as "a brutal collision of two worlds and cultures." —Curt Brown, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"With its unusually nuanced perspective, Birch Coulie: The Epic Battle of the Dakota War brings a welcome measure of clarity and insight to a critical moment in the troubled history of the American West, the deadly Dakota War of 1862."—Bob Edmonds, McCormick Messenger
"John Christgau has captured the facts of the 1862 war and the battle at Birch Coulie in a way that brings them alive to the reader."—Gary Revier, Minnesota's Heritage
“Birch Coulie is a great re-telling of a great story. Birch Coulie accurately captures not only the events leading up to this historic battle, but also the emotions of its participants. Christgau seems to understand the depth of Dakota frustrations that produced one of the most determined Native attacks on US troops in all of American History.”—Carl Colwell, LTC U.S. Army (Ret.), director of the Renville County (Minnesota) Historical Society and director of the Minnesota Valley History Learning Center
In June of 1876, on a hill above a winding river called "the Little Bighorn," George Armstrong Custer and all 210 men under his direct command were annihilated by nearly 2,000 Sioux and Cheyenne. This devastating loss caused an uproar, and public figures pointed fingers in order to avoid responsibility. Custer, who was conveniently dead, took the brunt of the blame.
The truth, however, was far more complex. A TERRIBLE GLORY is the first book to relate the entire story of this endlessly fascinating battle, and the first to call upon all the vital new forensic research of the past quarter century. It is also the first book to bring to light the details of the army cover-up--and unravel one of the greatest mysteries in US military history.
Scrupulously researched, this landmark work is brimming with authentic detail and an unforgettable cast of characters--from Sitting Bull to Ulysses Grant--that relates the entire story of the fascinating Battle at Little Bighorn.
In the days following the Battle of Birch Coulie, the decisive battle in the deadly Dakota War of 1862, one of President Lincolns private secretaries wrote: “There has hardly been an outbreak so treacherous, so sudden, so bitter, and so bloody, as that which filled the State of Minnesota with sorrow and lamentation.” Even today, at the 150th anniversary of the Dakota War, the battle still raises questions and stirs controversy. In Birch Coulie John Christgau recounts the dramatic events surrounding the battle. American history at its narrative best, his book is also a uniquely balanced and accurate chronicle of this little-understood conflict, one of the most important to roil the American West.
Christgaus account of the war between white settlers and the Dakota Indians in Minnesota examines two communities torn by internal dissent and external threat, whites and Native Americans equally traumatized by the short and violent war. The book also delves into the aftermath, during which thirty-eight Dakota men were hanged without legal representation or the appearance of defense witnesses, the largest mass execution in American history. With its unusually nuanced perspective, Birch Coulie brings a welcome measure of clarity and insight to a critical moment in the troubled history of the American West.
About the Author
Mary Ellicott Arnold (1876and#8211;1968) and Mabel Reed (1876and#8211;1962), partners in life and work, were activists known for their foundational work for the cooperative movement, most notably their leadership of the Consumers Cooperative Services. Susan Bernardin is an associate professor of English at SUNY College at Oneonta and a coauthor of Trading Gazes: Euro-American Women Photographers and Native North Americans, 1880and#8211;1940. Andrand#233; Cramblit is the operations director for the Northern California Indian Development Council. Terry Supahan is the president of Supahan Consulting Group, which provides guidance to tribes, rural governments, and community development organizations.