Eastman Lecture 2/23 i) Charles Eastman's early life was uniquely affected by the political experience of colonization. In particular, he experiences (on a personal level) the deep divide between Native and American politics. ii) Important Dates: - 1st Fort Laramie Treaty - 1851 - Little Crows War - 1864 - 2nd Fort laramie Treaty - 1868 - Wounded Knee - 1890 Important Places: - Fort Snelling, MN -Dartmouth College, NH - Beloit College, WI -Pine Ridge Reservation, SD iii) In From the Deep Woods to Civilization, Eastman is able to negotiate this difficult and divided world through a process of observation, adaptation, individualism, and compassion. -Autobiography that is about history of Eastman as his life navigates between rapidly changing histories of USA and Native America States/Geography of Violence: - changing geography of America - changing boundaries of Native Lands and US land - tension between Native story of political struggle/survival vs. American expansion How violence shapes Eastman's Journey: (eastman is born into a time of change) - violence in MN similar to sandcreek in sense that both had severe treaty violations - Ojibwae move from East to West (MN). White settlers move to fort snelling -1851 - Treaty with Dakota tribe, the Dakota received very small reservation/land in MN - 1858 - Red Wood falls, MN and Eastman is born - Eastman's father = Many Lightning - 1862 - set of annuities not delivered to natives b/c US "couldn't afford it" because of civil war - Dakotas did not receive the negotiations they suggested, therefore a war was started led by Little Crow - 2 options for captured natives - leave US (like eastman did) or die - Nov 6, 1862 - Lincoln intervened and said that only 38 out of the 250 (?) should be executed, Eastman's father was saved by this order, this was the largest mass execution in US -Page 3: Eastman returns from hunt and hears his father has returned from the white man (his father has come to canada) Relevant pages: 2,3,5 - Eastman's life inseparable from the growing change/politics of North America (US and somewhat Canada) - Born in time of constant change and caught between 2 difference societies that are politically and historically changing -Page 2: - presents opening problems: - what is the future of Natives in America? - can natives control own lives and traditions? - would US survive after civil war, british control, and even wars with Natives? - "was taught never to spare a citizen of US, although we were on friendly terms with Canadian white man" -why? b/c they didn't keep treaty/pay for land - this shows half of his upbringing due to his grandmother -Page 5: - in contrast to grandmother's opinion is the perspective of his father who had been converted by Protestant missionaries - admiration towards father because father an cross and see both sides and therefore wants what's best for his son - his father is an assimilationist: wants Natives to assimilate to America (this is a very pessimistic view for Natives) - Father is pro US, would give up tradition in order to try another one out and wants Eastman to do the same -exploration of experience on both sides and the political dilemma -text explains challenges and opportunities of living between 2 worlds -unique account: its a real exploration between both political worlds Eastman's Exploration: 16-17, 31-32, 22-23 - metaphor: stream into river, change of trails on a hunt - Page 16: -Eastman must decide to listen to grandmother (stay in community) or his father who wants him to leave - Eastman uses the metaphor of a little brook into a river and a new trail as a means to an end - metaphor = a guide and a sense of reassurance for Eastman -Page 17: - father uses the metaphors to urge Eastman to go to "civilization" and the US -because Eastman thinks of life as an adventure, he allows himself to change and grow with the changes that surround him - when he moves from settlement school to agency and then to Beloit college he considers himself a "stranger in strange country" -Page 31: - "like a deaf man with eyes [...] I absorbed knowledge [...] more I got, larger my capacity" - shows how his body is changing along with his life - self-conscious of his ability to grasp new situations - "I soon recovered my balance" - the metaphor of the body = changing circumstances in his life and how he is both mentally and physically able to go along with the changes -Page 22: - asks for food and lodging at the cabin - thanked the owners "within the sod walls [...] but signed to him that I preferred to sleep outside" - was judged because of appearance ( the owner was afraid at first that Eastman may rob him) - "No indian will break the law of hospitality unless he has lost all the trails of his people" - being judged changes Eastman's outlook on life - "stars tell different story" instead of Native stories they now tell story of white men -Overall shows his ability to adapt in surprising and amazing ways throughout the book, especially the beginning Eastman's Compassionate Individualism: 47,50 - a way to find insurance w/in himself allows him to give compassion to those around him - Eastman doesn't fit into any categories on reservation and is called "White doctor who was also an Indian" -Page 47: - "close up the 'hole in the wall,' like a ticket seller's window [...]" instead of being like that he asks people to come inside - thus changes property of agency and shows more compassion and openness to the Natives and that he is not just another bureaucrat -Page 50: - look at every person who came into his office and wanted to treat them all - everyone wanted to see this new "white doctor" - shows how he was compassionate and wanted to help even if people just came in with excuses to see this new "white doctor" Eastman Lecture 2/25 i) Eastman's experience at Wounded Knee dramatically changes his thinking about American civilization, and about his role in American politics. ii) Historical interlude: Ghost Dance iii) As Eastman becomes increasingly involved in non-Native policies, his skepticism about American politicis and Christianity (as they are practiced) deepens. iv) Ultimately, Eastman's journey "from the deep woods to civilization" is far more complicated than it initially seems, and by the end of the text we see that "savage" and civilized" are not racialized, but broadly descriptive categories (applicable in a variety of ways to all humans).
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