Wounded Knee, 1890

Yesterday I found myself discussing the Fancher emigrant party massacre, by Mormons at Mountain Meadows Utah, truly one of the worst events in American history. This got me thinking about massacres, for better or worse. Well, 125 years ago (yesterday) there was a famous, and even worse, one. It’s astounding to me that such a thing could occur in this country, and by the military no less, at such a late date.
Bury My Heart cover

Various historical writings on the incident, besides Dee Brown’s account in his classic book, are here, here and here. More recent commentaries here and here

That must be tough

4 thoughts on “Wounded Knee, 1890

    • Now that the colonized have become the colonizers, interesting times will ensue . . . or in fact, have already started, IE: Europe and right here in Canada and the U.S. of A.

      I find it quite amusing to hear first (and 2nd, or even 3rd) generation North Americans whine about the influx of immigrants with apparently no thought to those that were here first and perhaps how they may have felt. And worse, forced to deal with.

      As for massacres and other heinous acts humans have inflicted on each other (for whatever reason), I find it hard to believe that some people still believe all borders between First Nation’s tribes here in North America were all decided/negotiated by peaceful means before the European invasion/settlement. We have archaeological data that seems to suggest conquest of new territories was not just a ‘white guy/European’ thing but has been apart of ‘civilization’ (for want of a better term) since one group of people found another group of people that had something they wanted; or something else about them they thought was threatening . . . &/or just didn’t like ’em.

      This is, as I understand it, a mammalian trait that increased intelligence should have decreased (at least) or to those optimists among us, eliminated. I’m afraid worse will come. As our increased intelligence has in fact, found/developed new and more effective means for massacres and other heinous acts for humans to inflict on other humans.

      Small wonder that most believe cockroaches will out live us all . . . OK, except Keith Richards.

  1. I grew up in South Dakota in the 1950s and 60s. Our grade school South Dakota history book had a chapter dedicated to Wounded Knee, including some gruesome photographs. I’ve always meant to find a copy of that book just to read how it was presented.

    • Sorry for slow reply–first time commenters’ comments automatically get held in moderation, and I’ve been out of contact the last week.

      One of the reasons Dee Brown’s book is so well received, IMO, is because he was able to stand back and just describe things, without negative emotions, and really without blaming anyone much either. He just sort of describes what happened, using the language he is familiar with, from a Native American perspective. It has an almost Buddhist type of “just observe” feel to it, IMO. It’s a great book, not least for that reason.

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