“Every Year Has Its Dark Stain” by Helen Hunt Jackson

U.S. Independence Day Special:
Comprehensive United States history does not offer much cause for celebration.
⁓The Voice before the Void

“Every Year Has Its Dark Stain”

from A Century of Dishonor: A Sketch of the United States Government’s Dealings with Some of the Indian Tribes

Helen Hunt Jackson

There are within the limits of the United States between two hundred and fifty and three hundred thousand Indians, exclusive of those in Alaska. The names of the different tribes and bands, as entered in the statistical tables of the Indian Office Reports, number nearly three hundred….

There is not among these three hundred bands of Indians one which has not suffered cruelly at the hands either of the Government or of white settlers. The poorer, the more insignificant, the more helpless the band, the more certain the cruelty and outrage to which they have been subjected. This is especially true of the bands on the Pacific slope. These Indians found themselves of a sudden surrounded by and caught up in the great influx of gold-seeking settlers, as helpless creatures on a shore are caught up in a tidal wave. There was not time for the Government to make treaties ; not even time for communities to make laws. The tale of the wrongs, the oppressions, the murders of the Pacific-slope Indians would be a volume by itself, and is too monstrous to be believed.

It makes little difference, however, where one opens the record of the history of the Indians ; every page and every year has its dark stain. The story of one tribe is the story of all, varied only by differences of time and place ; but neither time nor place makes any difference in the main facts. Colorado is as greedy and unjust in 1880 as was Georgia in 1830, and Ohio in 1795 Continue reading

Into Annihilation: The Arikara Story of Custer’s March to, and the Battle of, the Little Bighorn, part 1

Battle of the Little Bighorn Anniversary Special:
One of the most mesmeric and seismic battles in world history: when the Lakota defeated utterly the United States.
⁓The Voice before the Void

Into Annihilation: The Arikara Story of Custer’s March to, and the Battle of, the Little Bighorn

from The Arikara Narrative of the Campaign against the Hostile Dakotas, June, 1876

compiled from interviews conducted by the North Dakota State Historical Society with the aged Arikara scouts in 1912 at Fort Berthold Reservation

edited by O.G. Libby and The Voice before the Void

part 1

Historical Introduction to the Battle of the Little Big Horn

In the year 1867, the United States Congress provided for a commission to treat with all the Indian tribes of the Great Plains and arrange a treaty which would grant to them definite lands. This, it was thought, would cause them to settle down and cease their war on the white man. Parts of two years were spent in visiting the scattered bands and finally, in April, 1868, an agreement was concluded which defined clearly the boundaries of the territory set apart for the Dakotas [Treaty of Fort Laramie]. This area was not large when compared with the fields over which the Dakotas had been accustomed to roam at will, but it included the Black Hills and adjacent lands which the Dakotas had cherished for a long time as a hunting ground and asylum. Consequently when gold was discovered in these hills and when the expedition commanded by Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer was sent “to reconnoiter the route from Fort Abraham Lincoln to Bear Butte,” a well known point north of the Black Hills, and “to explore the country south, southeast, and southwest of that point,” the Dakotas were much disturbed.

Charles Marion Russell - The Custer Fight - 1903

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