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Guide to Life and Literature of the Southwest |
Guide to Life and Literature
of the Southwest
Apaches, Comanches, and Other Plains Indians
THE APACHES and the bareback Indians of the Plains were extraordinary hombres del campo -- men of the outdoors, plainsmen, woodsmen, trailers, hunters, endurers. They knew some phases of nature with an intimacy that few civilized naturalists ever attain to. It is unfortunate that most of the literature about them is from their enemies. Yet an enemy often teaches a man more than his friends and makes him work harder.
See "Indian Culture," "Texas Rangers."
BOURKE, JOHN G.
On the Border with Crook, London, 1892. Reprinted by Long's College Book Co., Columbus, Ohio. A truly great book, on both Apaches and Arizona frontier. Bourke had amplitude, and he knew.
BUCKELEW, F. M.
The Indian Captive, Bandera, Texas, 1925. Homely and realistic. OP.
Letters and Notes on the Manners, Customs and Conditions of the North American Indians, Written during Eight Years' Travel, 1832-39, 1841. Despite many strictures, Catlin's two volumes remain standard. I am pleased to find Frank Roe, in The North American Buffalo, standing up for him. In Pursuit of the Horizon: A Life of George Catlin, Painter and Recorder of the American Indian, New York, 1948, Loyd Haberly fails in evaluating evidence but brings out the man's career and character.
Comanche Horsemen, from Catlin's
North American Indians, 1841
Apache Agent, Boston, 1936. Worthy autobiography of a noble understander of the Apache people. OP.
COMFORT, WILL LEVINGTON
Apache, Dutton, New York, 1931. Noble; vivid; semifiction.
The Truth about Geronimo, Yale University Press, New Haven, 1929. Davis helped run Geronimo down.
DESHIELDS, JAMES T.
Cynthia Ann Parker, St. Louis, 1886; reprinted 1934. Good narrative of noted woman captive. OP.
DOBIE, J. FRANK
The Mustangs, Little, Brown, Boston, 1952. The opening chapters of this book distill a great deal of research by scholars on Plains Indian acquisition of horses, riding, and raiding.
GRINNELL, GEORGE BIRD
The Cheyenne Indians, New Haven, 1923. This two-volume work supersedes The Fighting Cheyennes, 1915. It is noble, ample, among the most select books on Plains Indians. Blackfoot Lodge Tales: The Story of a Prairie People, 1892, shows Grinnell's skill as storyteller at its best. Pawnee Hero Stories and Folk Tales, 1893, is hardly an equal but it reveals the high values of life held by representatives of the original plainsmen. The Story of the Indian, 1895, is a general survey. All OP. Grinnell's knowledge and power as a writer on Indians and animals has not been sufficiently recognized. He combined in a rare manner scholarship, plainsmanship, and the worldliness of publishing.
HALEY, J. EVETTS
Fort Concho and the Texas Frontier, San Angelo Standard-Times, San Angelo, Texas, 1952. Mainly a history of military activities against Comanches and other tribes, laced with homilies on the free enterprise virtues of the conquerors.
Three Years among the Comanches, 1859.
Nine Years with the Indians, Bandera, Texas, 1927. Best captive narrative of the Southwest.
LOCKWOOD, FRANK C.
The Apache Indians, Macmillan, New York, 1938. Factual history.
LONG LANCE, CHIEF BUFFALO CHILD
Long Lance, New York, 1928. OP. Long Lance was a Blackfoot only by adoption, but his imagination incorporated him into tribal life more powerfully than blood could have. He is said to have been a North Carolina mixture of Negro and Croatan Indian; he was a magnificent specimen of manhood with swart Indian complexion. He fought in the Canadian army during World War I and thus became acquainted with the Blackfeet. No matter what the facts of his life, he wrote a vivid and moving autobiography of a Blackfoot Indian in whom the spirit of the tribe and the natural life of the Plains during buffalo days were incorporated. In 1932 in the California home of Anita Baldwin, daughter of the spectacular "Lucky" Baldwin, he absented himself from this harsh world by a pistol shot.
LOWIE, ROBERT H.
The Crow Indians, New York, 1935. This scholar and anthropologist lived with the Crow Indians to obtain intimate knowledge and then wrote this authoritative book. OP.
MCALLISTER, J. GILBERT
"Kiowa-Apache Tales," in The Sky Is My Tipi, edited by Mody C. Boatright (Texas Folklore Society Publication XXII), Southern Methodist University Press, Dallas, 1949. Wise in exposition; true-to-humanity and delightful in narrative.
MCGILLICUDDY, JULIA B.
McGillicuddy Agent, Stanford University Press, California, 1941. Dr. Valentine T. McGillicuddy, Scotch in stubbornness, honesty, efficiency, and individualism, was U.S. Indian agent to the Sioux and knew them to the bottom. In the end he was defeated by the army mind and the bloodsuckers known as the "Indian Ring." The elements of nobility that distinguish the man distinguish his wife's biography of him.
My Friend the Indian, 1910, 1926. OP. McLaughlin was U.S. Indian agent and inspector for half a century. Despite priggishness, he had genuine sympathy for the Indians; he knew the Sioux, Nez PercÚs, and Cheyennes intimately, and few books on Indian plainsmen reveal so much as his.
The Ten Grandmothers, University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, 1945. Narratives of the Kiowas -- a complement to James Mooney's Calendar History of the Kiowa Indians, in Seventeenth Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology, Washington, 1893. Alice Marriott, author of other books on Indians, combines ethnological science with the art of writing.
MATHEWS, JOHN JOSEPH
Wah'Kon-Tah: The Osage and the White Man's Road, University of Oklahoma Press, 1932. This book of essays on the character of and certain noble characters among the Great Osages, including their upright agent Leban J. Miles, has profound spiritual qualities.
NEIHARDT, JOHN G.
Black Elk Speaks, New York, 1932. OP. Black Elk was a holy man of the Ogalala Sioux. The story of his life as he told it to understanding John G. Neihardt is more of mysteries and spiritual matters than of mundane affairs.
RICHARDSON, R. N.
The Comanche Barrier to the South Plains, Glendale, California, 1933. Factual history.
RISTER, CARL C.
Border Captives, University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, 1940.
RUXTON, GEORGE F.
Adventures in Mexico and the Rocky Mountains, London, 1847. Vivid on Comanche raids. See Ruxton in "Surge of Life in the West."
SCHULTZ, J. W.
My Life as an Indian, 1907. OP. In this autobiographical narrative of the life of a white man with a Blackfoot woman, facts have probably been arranged, incidents added. Whatever his method, the author achieved a remarkable human document. It is true not only to Indian life in general but in particular to the life of a "squaw man" and his loved and loving mate. Among other authentic books by Schultz is With the Indians of the Rockies, Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1912.
SMITH, C. L. and J. D.
The Boy Captives, Bandera, Texas, 1927. A kind of classic in homeliness. OP.
Sitting Bull, Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1932. Excellent biography. OP.
WALLACE, ERNEST, and HOEBEL, E. ADAMSON
The Comanches: Lords of the South Plains, University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, 1952. A wide-compassing and interesting book on a powerful and interesting people.
WELLMAN, PAUL I.
Death on the Prairie (1934), Death in the Desert (1935); both reprinted in Death on Horseback, 1947. All OP. Graphic history, mostly in narrative, of the struggle of Plains and Apache Indians to hold their homelands against the whites.
WILBARGER, J. W.
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Indian Depredations in Texas, 1889; reprinted by Steck, Austin, 1936. Its stirring narratives made this a household book among Texans of the late nineteenth century.
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