People of the Wind River

People of the Wind River

The Eastern Shoshones, 1825-1900

Book - 1999
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People of the Wind River, the first book-length history of the Eastern Shoshones, tells the tribe's story through eight tumultuous decades -- from 1825, when they reached mutual accommodation with the first permanent white settlers in Wind River country, to 1900, when the death of Chief Washakie marked a final break with their traditional lives as nineteenth-century Plains Indians.

Henry E. Stamm, IV, draws on extensive research in primary documents, including Indian agency records, letters, newspapers, church archives, and tax accounts, and on interviews with descendants of early Shoshone leaders. He describes the creation of the Eastern political division of the tribe and its migration from the Great Basin to the High Plains of present-day Wyoming, the gift of the Sun Dance and its place in Shoshone life, and the coming of the Arapahoes.

Without losing the Shoshone perspective, Stamm also considers the development and implementation of the federal Peace Policy. Generally friendly to whites,the Shoshones accepted the arrival of Mormons, miners, trappers, traders, and settlers and tried for years to maintain a buffalo-hunting culture while living on the Wind River Reservation. Stamm shows how the tribe endured poor reservation management and describes whites' attempts to "civilize" them.

After 1885, with the buffalo gone and cattle herds growing, the Eastern Shoshone struggled with starvation, disease, and governmental neglect, entering the twentieth century with only a shadow of the economic power they once possessed, but still secure in their spiritual traditions.

Publisher: Norman, OK : University of Oklahoma Press, 1999
Characteristics: xv, 320 p. ; 24 cm
ISBN: 0806131756 (cloth : alk. paper)
Call Number: 970.3 SHOSHONI STAMM


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