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By Maurice Winternitz

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Extra info for A History of Indian Literature. Vol. I.

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The Doctor was assigned temporary duty at Fort Wayne, near Detroit for a few weeks in July, 1890. Numerous activities such as concerts, church functions, and the nearness of family made the next four years among the most enjoyable of the doctor's career. The Medical Department of the Army It is evident from his journal entries for December 1890 that Lauderdale had been keeping abreast of the news from the West. On 29 December 1890, as the tragedy of Wounded Knee Creek unfolded half a continent away, Major and Surgeon John Vance Lauderdale once again received orders to report to a western station, this time to the Pine Ridge Agency on the Oglala Sioux Reservation in South Dakota.

This would require the use of troops in the place of a police force. Keeping with popular opinion of the day, he stated that the best way to control them was through fear and punishment, not by feeding and coaxing. " The second point of his article dealt with the corruption of the present Indian agents. He believed that responsibility for the welfare of so many people was a formidable task even for an honest agent, and the corrupt agent had no accountability. The Indian had no recourse except through the very agent responsible for generating the poor conditions.

The discovery of gold in the Black Hills within the reservation brought an influx of people to that beloved land, which by treaty belonged exclusively to the Lakota. The Great Sioux War of 1876, which included the famous Battle of Little Big Horn, resulted in another pact. The treaty of 1876 reduced the reservation further, including the loss to the Lakota of their beloved Black Hills (see fig. 2). 26 The "surplus" Indian lands were needed to accommodate a growing influx of European immigrants.

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A History of Indian Literature. Vol. I. by Maurice Winternitz


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