-*- THE INDIAN STUDENTS -*-
The Reverend John Eastman was born in Bloomington, Minnesota in March of 1848 or 1849. He was the son of Jacob Tawakanhdiota, a Dakota full blood, and Jane Eastman, a white woman. They were living in Minnesota at the time of the Sioux Uprising of 1862, and his father was among the Indians captured. He was condemned to be hung, but was one of those Indians pardoned by President Lincoln. As a child, John was baptized in Davenport Prison, where his father was interred. In December of 1870 John Eastman walked from Flandreau, South Dakota to Santee, Nebraska, to attend the school (later called the Santee Normal Training School) conducted by the Reverend Alfred L. Riggs. He attended Beloit College Preparatory School for a year in 1871 and was sponsored by Stephen R. Riggs. He was united with the church Jan. 8,1871.
In 1873 Eastman married Viola Frazier who died shortly thereafter of smallpox. The following year he married Mary Jane Fairbault. He was licenced to preach by Dakota Presbytery Sept. 10, 1875. He was ordained and installed pastor of the Presbyterian Indian Church in Flandreau, South Dakota on Sept. 16, 1876, which position he held for thirty years. A good speaker, Eastman often travelled to Washington D.C. on behalf of the Flandreau Indians. In 1906 he moved to Sisseton and became pastor of the Good Will Indian Church. In 1915 he became general missionary for Presbyterian Churches in South Dakota. Eastman died at Sisseton, South Dakota on October 5, 1921.
REVEREND ELI ABRAHAM
(Hupacokamaza - meaning unknown)
"Hupacokamaza" was born in 1847, although his place of birth is unknown. He came to Beloit Preparatory Department in 1872. Sponsored by Stephen R. Riggs, he enrolled in the Preparatory school on October 3. He studied at Beloit for a year before he returned to Santee. He was a native teacher at the Santee Normal Training School for many years, from 1878 to 1914. From 1905 to 1914, he was in charge of teaching Dakota language, and in charge of the Correspondence School.
During the years of 1888 to 1891, he only taught part time. Apparently he suffered from rheumatism for the November 1890 issue of the Word Carrier states that "Mr. Abraham has come in to take up his work of Dakota teaching again. He has been a good deal troubles with rheumatism this fall". Again in June of 1891, his troubles were mentioned again: "Mr. Abraham has gone to the Hot Springs Sanitarium, in the Black Hills, to be treated for his rheumatism. He writes very cheerily of his surroundings. He has the reputation of being the first Indian to attend this new, but already quite famous, watering resort. And his attendance had been made quite enjoyable at these springs, which before their modernization were well known appreciated by the Indian medicine men". In 1895, he spent some time at Oahe serving as a teacher and preacher. He died on December 17, 1920 and is buried at Santee Cemetery.
Samuel Hopkins was born in Minnesota in 1854, the son of Robert Caskedan and Sarah Hopkins, daughter of Catherine Totidutawin. After receiving his early education in the different mission schools, he came to Beloit in 1872 after a request from his father for him to attend Beloit. He entered the Preparatory school on October 3, and was here for at least a year. He returned to the Fort Sully area where he taught for a while.
While teaching at Fort Sully, Hopkins was referred to by the Iapi Oaye of July 1874 as the "right hand man and interpreter for 'Wasicun' [Alfred Riggs] when he gets out of his depths in Dakota. He has been several years in the family of Dr. T. S. Williams and a year at Beloit. [He] is perhaps the only one in whose word we can place entire confidence". One year later he married Mary Barker on October 31, 1875.
Rev. Hopkins was licenced by Dakota Presbytery in 1888, and ordained in 1889. He had been a missionary of the Native Missionary Society at Raven Hill since 1886, where he was instrumental in founding the Raven Hill ("Kangipaha") church at Devil's Lake which was organized August 1889. His date and place of death are unknown.
DR. CHARLES ALEXANDER EASTMAN
In a society that both revered and destroyed the Indian, Eastman found himself at the center of this paradox: As Congress passed the law in 1887 which would ultimately reduce tribal lands from 155 million acres to 47 million, Charles Eastman was receiving his diploma at Dartmouth College. In 1902, when 56% of all Native Americans were functionally illiterate, Eastman had just published his first of ten books. And in 1911, as a sheriff's posse massacred an entire band of Shoshone Indians in Nevada, Dr. Eastman was lecturing at British Universities.
Rob Eshman: "Stranger in the Land"
"There just haven't been enough Sioux like Charles Eastman. There haven't been enough people like Charles Eastman.
Oliver Eastman, nephew
Charles Alexander Eastman spent much of his childhood within the traditional society of the Eastern Sioux. He received training that would prepare him for a life as a skillful hunter and a brave warrior. And at the very time that his people faced the destruction of their traditional culture by an alien society, Eastman at the age of fifteen was abruptly introduced into white civilization.
Ohiyesa was born at Redwood Falls, Minnesota in 1858, the son of Jacob Eastman (Many Lightnings), a Santee full-blood, and Nancy Eastman, a mixed blood. His mother had died giving birth to him and for this he was named Hadakah, "the pitiful last". But after Hadakah had led his tribe's lacrosse team to a victory at age four, his grandmother, Uncheedah, changed his name to Ohiyesa, "the winner". He was also the younger brother of John Eastman. Until the age of fifteen, he was taught the ways of his people by Uncheedah in the Canadian wilderness. Then his father, who was thought dead, showed up and took him back to South Dakota where he was to attend mission school. There he was given the name Charles Alexander Eastman by his father who had himself taken an anglo name. In the fall of 1874, a reluctant Eastman set out walking from Flandreau to Santee Normal Training School in Nebraska. At the mission school, he was described as "white enough to be a half-breed..." At Santee, he learned to appreciate the language and science of white civilization. Influenced by Dr. Alfred Riggs, he began practicing Christianity and as Eastman later wrote, "mastering the secret of white man's power." At the encouragement of Riggs, he enrolled at Beloit College.
Eighteen year old Eastman arrived in Beloit in September of 1876, less than three months after the battle of the Little Big Horn where Custer and the Seventh Calvary had fallen. Eastman's first exposure to American higher education was being followed in the streets of Beloit "by gangs of little white savages giving imitation war whoops." But "at the school they received me kindly." He was at Beloit from the fall of 1876 to the spring of 1879. After spending two years at Knox College Preparatory department, in 1881, although dreading to cut himself off from his people, he went east. After further preparation at Kimball Union Academy in Meriden, New Hampshire, in 1883 he entered Dartmouth College which had been founded for Indians. Eastman noted with irony that "it was here I had most of my savage gentleness and native refinement knocked out of me." After graduating with a full degree in 1887, he went on to the Boston University School of Medicine where he received his medical degree in the spring of 1890 at age 32. Though most graduates are privileged to look toward their future and ask "What do I want?" Eastman did not feel as free. Remembering that the "Indian does not live to himself alone, but to his tribe and clan", Eastman vowed to use all that he had learned for their benefit. In October of 1890, he arrived at the Pine Ridge reservation to accept his appointment as a reservation physician, a few months before the slaughter at Wounded Knee.
"My first official act was to close up the 'hole in the wall', like a ticket seller's window, through which my predecessors had been wont to deal out pills and potions to a crowd of patients standing in line, and put a sign outside the door telling them to come in.... It surprised them that I insisted upon examining each patient and questioning him in plain Sioux - no interpreter needed!" These changes in policy made Eastman very popular among the reservation Sioux who had been neglected by previous reservation doctors. Even the tribal healers respected the new "Indian white doctor." Though the opportunity to use his medical abilities to help his people pleased Eastman greatly, he later noted "I longed above all things to help them regain their self-respect." Unfortunately, he came to the reservation at a bad time, for the Ghost Dance "war" was soon to follow his arrival and the event would leave his faith in Christianity and Western civilization shaken. On December 29, 1890, the chapel at the Pine Ridge Reservation was decorated for Christmas. As soon as he heard the news of the massacre, Eastman made the tall Christmas tree the center of a makeshift field hospital. He was able to treat some of the wounded Indians and soldiers, but he knew the majority of the dead and wounded lay buried under a fresh snowfall. He rode out to the battleground and supervised the inspection of the bodies. Those who had survived both shooting and snow were brought back to the hospital.
Eastman's assistant and companion during the Wounded Knee ordeal was Elaine Goodale, a teacher and supervisor of Indian schools in Nebraska and the Dakotas. As a child she had written two successful books of poems describing her girlhood in the Berkshires. She was a pioneer in Indian education, a missionary, and white. Just before the massacre, Eastman had proposed to Goodale and they were married in New York on June 18, 1891. They settled on Pine Ridge reservation where they remained for three years. Then they moved to St. Paul where Eastman set up a private practice.
He now became active in the Y.M.C.A. as a representative setting up chapters around the country in Indian communities. Over the next three years, Eastman organized some 43 new chapters. In 1897, Eastman left the Y.M.C.A. to lobby for Indian rights in Washington D.C. Though he met and lobbied senators, cabinet members, and four presidents, his efforts brought little success. "I had overmuch faith in the civilized ideal," he wrote, "and I was again disappointed." After three years, he left Washington and spent four years as a government physician in the Indian Service. He also began publishing many books and articles on his life, Indian health and education, and traditional religion and folklore of the Dakota Sioux. He wrote under the editorial guidance of Elaine who had given up her once promising career to aid her husband and raise their six children. She began to write of the "burdensome responsibilities" that her marriage had cast upon her and her outspokenness, especially about Uncheedah who "becomes a barrier, a real obstacle in the way of civilization", troubled Eastman.
After the publication of his first book, his popularity as a lecturer grew rapidly. He continued his services to the government from 1910 to 1925 by obtaining Indian artifacts for public display, by revising Sioux allotment rolls to determine family groups and establish English surnames, and by serving as Indian Inspector under President Coolidge. He established two summer camps on Granite Lake, New Hampshire to help white children experience and appreciate wilderness life. The bulk of camp chores fell on Elaine and the added strain broke their marriage. They separated in 1918. At this point in his life Eastman began to re-examine how he merged his Sioux heritage with his life in white society. According to his nephew Oliver, the separation from Goodale marked his recovery of much of his Sioux heritage. "He wanted to be Indian and she wanted to be white." Eastman's travels later in life led him to the Rainy Lake country of Minnesota where the author, lobbyist, doctor and lecturer began to "recapture a miniature world of freedom." Slowly retreating from the civilization he had been steeped in for 68 years, he lived quiet and unbothered in a cabin on Stony Lake, Wisconsin until his death on January 8, 1939.
Not much is known about James W. Lynd. He was described as being "at once the handsomest and laziest boy in the lot. To work or to study, each is his aversion. In his veins runs Kentucky blood, and his 'I'm monarch of all I survey' air, is often extremely trying" by the Iapi Oaye in July 1874 while he was attending the mission school at either Sisseton or Santee. He entered the Preparatory school of Beloit on September 12, 1876, and was a member for a year.
In 1884, there is repeated mention of him as a student teacher at Santee Normal Training School, where a lot of former Beloit Indian students worked. "He is one of the stalwart young Dakotas to be depended upon in any good cause and we hope to see him again in September." The next year he was filling the place of United States Interpreter at the Sisseton Agency. In 1884, also, he published an article in the Word Carrier about the Santee Normal Training School. James Lynd was in charge of a station at Pine Ridge Agency in the fall of 1888 and he also served at Maysan Church. It is not known when he was ordained. In 1890 it is known that he was enrolled as a student at Pierre University, South Dakota. Finally, the Word Carrier of Nov-Dec 1901 says "Rev. James Lynd was appointed stated supply of Ascension Church for one year".
James W. Garvie was born August 10, 1862 somewhere in Yellow Medicine County, Minnesota. His exact place of birth is unknown. His father, Stewart Garvie, was a Scotsman, his mother, Mary, an Indian. When Stewart was killed during the Sioux Uprising of 1862, his mother fled to Canada with infant James and his two brothers. His mother remarried a full blooded Sioux who hated white people so much that half-blood James was sent to live with his maternal grandmother for a few years. James's Indian name was Tatanka Kinina and Mr. Don Allan sent a funny story connected with his name. Apparently Kinina, meaning resurrection, earned his childhood name after an older brother poked the sleeping child with a stick. Naturally the boy jumped up with a loud scream. The older boy ran to his mother saying "Misun Kinina", meaning "My Brother Became Alive." Years later the word "Tatanka" was added, making his adult name "Buffalo Comes To Life."
At age six, the family, reunited again, moved to the Santee Agency in Nebraska, then to the Sisseton Agency in South Dakota where James began his education in the Sisseton Mission School. He was influenced to come to Beloit by Dr. Stephen R. Riggs. While at the Mission school, he was described in the July 1874 issue of Iapi Oaye in the following way: "Jimmy Garvie, whose Scottish blood may be aggrieved by so tardy a mention, has been with us over a year and reads English better than any other excepting Samuel Hopkins and James Lynd. He understands considerable English, as indeed a number of them do, when they choose. Otherwise they are invariably the most stupid and impenetrable of mortals. What they think or feel, if indeed they think and feel at all, is beyond the power of mortals to know." James Garvie came to Beloit in 1878. He entered the Preparatory school in September as a member of junior prep class. He had every intention of finishing his education at Beloit, but a serious bout with the flu compelled him to return to Sisseton in 1881 and his mother's care. Garvie was involved with Dr. Riggs in translating and compiling a dictionary of the Sioux language, and translating Indian myths and legends. He also translated books into his own tongue for use in missionary work.
James Garvie was on the Faculty of the Santee Normal Training School from 1883 to 1900. He frequently contributed pieces to the Iapi Oaye in the Dakota language. In March of 1887 he became president of the YMCA at Santee. He was ordained as a Congregational minister in 1891 when he was twenty-nine years old. While at Santee, he married on February 27, 1884 fellow school helper, Anna Red Wing, a descendant of the noted chief of that name and for whom Red Wing, Minnesota was named. There were three children from this union, one of whom attended the Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania and became an outstanding musician. In 1903, he became a real estate agent and an insurance broker in Niobrara, Nebraska. In 1905, he married Winona Keith, Anna apparently having died. Winona was the granddaughter of a famous Sioux chief, Feather-In-The-Ear. Winona and James had four children.
Garvie represented the Santee in their disputed claims against the federal government that stemmed from the Uprising of 1862. He went to Washington D.C. thirteen times and helped obtain thousands of dollars for several Sioux Indian tribes in the Dakotas. In 1928, Garvie moved with his family to Yankton, South Dakota, where, in retirement, he did carpentry and wrote his memoirs. He died there at the age of 69 in 1931.
Not very much is known about Philip Robinson. It is known that he was a Presbyterian. According to Preparatory school records, he entered on September 3, 1879, as a member of the junior Prep class. He attended for three years, attaining the level of Middle Prep class, before leaving. The Word Carrier had this to say about him in 1882:
"Philip Robinson, from the Indian homestead settlement at Flandreau, DT, has just closed his third year of attendance in the Preparatory Department of Beloit College. He now uses the English language very well, having made marked progress the past year. For the purpose of learning English they set him to learning Latin. It seems to have been successful".
Charles Frazier was one of the four boys sent to Beloit under the official Indian Experiment. He was a full blooded Dakota, and was nineteen. He arrived in Beloit September of 1883, and enrolled as a member of the Academy English and Business class. Later in life Charles Frazier was a Lay pastor from 1907 to 1918, and was ordained in 1919 as a Congregational Dakota pastor. He served several of the small Dakota churches during his lifetime.
Fifteen year old Mark Khune arrived at Beloit in early September of 1883. Like many of the boys, he was a 3/4 Dakota. He enrolled as a member of the English and Business class in the Academy. In October, Beloit received a letter from the Mission informing Mark of the severe illness of his mother and he left Beloit October 18, 1883 to be with her. According to the Word Carrier, he attended Mr. Moody's school at Mt. Hermon, Massachusetts in 1885. He was there until early 1888. The Word Carrier of October-November 1888, stated that he had lived there a little over two years fitting himself for work among his own people. In the spring of 1888 he contracted a severe cold, followed by consumption. He had the best of care at the school and in a Boston hospital before the long trip home to Santee, where it was hoped that the change of air would be beneficial. Though he was able to leave his bed a few days after arriving home, he died on September 12, 1888.
Vines P. Mitchell, a 3/4 Dakota, entered the Academy as a member of the English and Business class on October 17, 1883. He attended the Academy for one year. He was 24, the oldest of the four students sent to Beloit. In a later issue of the Word Carrier, there is mention of his marriage, but the date is unknown. Neither is the date of his death known.
Seventeen year old George Philbrick came to Beloit in 1883. According to the records of the Indians sent on to Higher Education from the Santee Normal Training School, he was originally sent to Hermon, Minnesota. Why he was sent there and how he got to Beloit is not known. It may have been he was sent there to visit relatives or meet someone with whom he would later travel to Beloit. Whatever the case may have been, he arrived in Beloit either in September or October of 1883. He was also a member of the English and Business class in the Academy, and remained for a year. He was a full blood. In 1887, he was the Secretary of the YMCA, and Secretary of the Band of Mercy, both in Santee. In the late fall of 1888, he fell ill with consumption at his home in Crow Creek, and died October 16, 1888.