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Standing Bear's speech




Stories Worth Rereading > Standing Bear's Speech | Various
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Standing Bear’s Speech

from The Indian Journal

The first time an Indian was permitted to appear in court in this country and have his rights tried was in the year 1879. Previous to this every Indian in the United States was subject to the orders of the Secretary of the Interior. If he happened to be a man of a tyrannical nature, the Indians fared hard. One Secretary of the Interior had caused all the Poncas Indians to be driven, at the point of bayonet, from northern Nebraska down to Indian Territory, depriving them of lands to which they held government deeds. They were left in the new country for months without rations, and more than one third of them died. Among these was the son of Standing Bear. The old chief refused to have the boy buried in the strange country, and, gathering about thirty members of his tribe together, he started for their ancient hunting-grounds, intending to bury his boy where generations of the Poncas chiefs lay.

The Secretary of the Interior heard of the runaways, and through the War Department telegraphed to General Crook, of Omaha, to arrest the Indians, and return them to Indian Territory. So General Crook arrested Standing Bear and his followers, and took them all, with the old wagon that contained the body of the dead boy, down to Omaha.

Standing Bear told his story to the general, who was already familiar with many wrongs that had been committed against the Indians, and who was indignant at their treatment. He detained the Indians at Omaha until he consulted with a Mr. Tibbles, an editor of a newspaper. They agreed to espouse the cause of the Indians, securing to Standing Bear a trial in the United States court. It was the most notable trial ever brought in the West, and, in fact, the scope was as wide as any ever tried in this country; for upon its decision one hundred thousand persons were made citizens.

Mr. Tibbles, who attended every session of the court, describes what took place, in the following words:

The court room was crowded with fashionably dressed women; and the clergy, which had been greatly stirred by the incident, were there in force. Lawyers, every one in Nebraska, and many from the big Eastern cities; business men; General Crook and his staff in their dress uniforms (this was one of the few times in his life that Crook wore full dress in public); and the Indians themselves, in their gaudy colors. The court room was a galaxy of brilliancy.

On one side stood the army officers, the brilliantly dressed women, and the white people; on the other was standing Bear, in his official robes as chief of the Poncas, and with him were his leading men. Far back in the audience, shrinking from observation, was an Indian girl, who afterward became famous as a lecturer in England and America. She was later known on both continents by a translation of her Indian name, In-sta-the-am-ba, Bright Eyes.

Attorney Poppleton’s argument was carefully prepared, and consumed sixteen hours in the delivering, occupying the attention of the court for two days. On the third day Mr. Webster spoke for six hours. And during all the proceedings, the court room was packed with the beauty and culture of the city.

Toward the close of the trial, the situation became tense. As the wrongs inflicted on the Indians were described by the attorneys, indignation was often at white heat, and the judge made no attempt to suppress the applause which broke out from time to time. For the department, Mr. Lambertson made a short address, but was listened to in complete silence.

It was late in the afternoon when the trial drew to a close. The excitement had been increasing, but it reached a height not before attained when Judge Dundy announced that Chief Standing Bear would be allowed to make a speech in his own behalf. Not one in the audience besides the army officers and Mr. Tibbles had ever heard an oration by an Indian. All of them had read of the eloquence of Red Jacket and Logan, and they sat there wondering if the mild-looking old man, with the lines of suffering and sorrow on his brow and cheek, dressed in the full robes of an Indian chief, could make a speech at all. It happened that there was a good interpreter present—one who was used to “chief talk.”

Standing Bear arose. Half facing the audience, he held out his right hand, and stood motionless so long that the stillness of death which had settled down on the audience, became almost unbearable. At last, looking up at the judge, he said:

“That hand is not the color of yours, but if I prick it, the blood will flow, and I shall feel pain. The blood is of the same color as yours. God made me, and I am a man. I never committed any crime. If I had, I would not stand here to make a defense. I would suffer the punishment and make no complaint.”

Still standing half facing the audience, he looked past the judge, out of the window, as if gazing upon something far in the distance, and continued:

“I seem to be standing on a high bank of a great river, with my wife and little girl at my side. I cannot cross the river, and impassable cliffs arise behind me. I hear the noise of great waters; I look, and see a flood coming. The waters rise to our feet, and then to our knees. My little girl stretches her hands toward me and says, ‘Save me.’ I stand where no member of my race ever stood before. There is no tradition to guide me. The chiefs who preceded me knew nothing of the circumstances that surround me. I hear only my little girl say, ‘Save me.’ In despair I look toward the cliffs behind me, and I seem to see a dim trail that may lead to a way of life. But no Indian ever passed over that trail. It looks to be impassable. I make the attempt.

“I take my child by the hand, and my wife follows after me. Our hands and our feet are torn by the sharp rocks, and our trail is marked by our blood. At last I see a rift in the rocks. A little way beyond there are green prairies. The swift-running water, the Niobrara, pours down between the green hills. There are the graves of my fathers. There again we will pitch our teepee and build our fires. I see the light of the world and of liberty just ahead.”

The old chief became silent again, and, after an appreciable pause, he turned toward the judge with such a look of pathos and suffering on his face that none who saw it will forget it, and said:

“But in the center of the path there stands a man. Behind him I see soldiers in number like the leaves of the trees. If that man gives me the permission, I may pass on to life and liberty. If he refuses, I must go back and sink beneath the flood.”

Then, in a lower tone, “You are that man.”

There was silence in the court as the old chief sat down. Tears ran down over the judge’s face. General Crook leaned forward and covered his face with his hands. Some of the ladies sobbed.

All at once that audience, by one common impulse, rose to its feet, and such a shout went up as was never heard in a Nebraska court room. No one heard Judge Dundy say, “Court is dismissed.” There was a rush for Standing Bear. The first to reach him was General Crook. I was second. The ladies flocked around him, and for an hour Standing Bear had a reception.


A few days afterward Judge Dundy handed down his famous decision, in which he announced that an Indian was a “person,” and was entitled to the protection of the law. Standing Bear and his followers were set free; and, with his old wagon and the body of the dead child, he went back to the hunting-grounds of his fathers, and buried the body with tribal honors.


Four events in 1969 I'll never forget


I said good-bye to the war....


Typical ambiance during the Second Indochina War



My tenure in the (late) Republic of Viet Nam during the Second Indochina War included part-time work in a civilian capacity for Civil Operations and Revolutionary Development Support, an organization operating under the protective political cover of the U.S. Agency for International Development. My full-time job involved enlistment in the U.S. Air Force Security Service, 6924th Security Squadron, near Da Nang Air Base. I was a Radio Intercept Analysis Specialist, RI20250-1. This identity card (fingerprints on the reverse) used to be medium green in color, but has faded over time. But then, I've faded as well.



Pan American Airways took me back to the States.



I moved to Portland, Oregon....


Mount Hood guards the eastern approaches to Portland.



The "counterculture" had established itself.



Those were the days of eight-column newspapers.



Humans went to the Moon....


S69-39526 (16 July 1969) --- The huge, 363-feet tall Apollo 11 (Spacecraft 107/Lunar Module 5/Saturn 506) space vehicle is launched from Pad A, Launch Complex 39 Kennedy Space Center (KSC), at 9:32 a.m. (EDT), July 16, 1969. Onboard the Apollo 11 spacecraft were astronauts Neil A. Armstrong, commander; Michael Collins, command module pilot; and Edwin E. Aldrin Jr., lunar module pilot. Apollo 11 is the United States first lunar landing mission. Astronauts Armstrong and Aldrin will descend in the Lunar Module (LM) "Eagle" to explore the Sea of Tranquility region of the moon, while astronaut Collins remains with the Command and Service Modules (CSM) "Columbia" in lunar orbit.



The lunar module [LM] was a two-stage vehicle designed for space operations near and on the Moon. The spacecraft mass of 15,065 kg was the mass of the LM including astronauts, propellants and expendables. The dry mass of the ascent stage was 2180 kg and it held 2639 kg of propellant. The descent stage dry mass was 2034 kg and 8212 kg of propellant were onboard initially. The ascent and descent stages of the LM operated as a unit until staging, when the ascent stage functioned as a single spacecraft for rendezvous and docking with the command and service module (CSM). The descent stage comprised the lower part of the spacecraft and was an octagonal prism 4.2 meters across and 1.7 m thick. Four landing legs with round footpads were mounted on the sides of the descent stage and held the bottom of the stage 1.5 m above the surface. The distance between the ends of the footpads on opposite landing legs was 9.4 m. One of the legs had a small astronaut egress platform and ladder. A one meter long conical descent engine skirt protruded from the bottom of the stage. The descent stage contained the landing rocket, two tanks of aerozine 50 fuel, two tanks of nitrogen tetroxide oxidizer, water, oxygen and helium tanks and storage space for the lunar equipment and experiments. The descent stage served as a platform for launching the ascent stage and was left behind on the Moon.



The mission's Extra-Vehicular Activity (EVA) took place on 20 July 1969. Lunar Module Pilot Aldrin made this photograph with a Hasselblad 500 Electric Data Camera; Commander Armstrong is working at the Lunar Module's Modularized Equipment Stowage Assembly (MESA). This is the only photograph of Armstrong made during the EVA.



Sharon Tate and others were murdered....


Sharon Marie Tate (1943-1969). "I honestly don't understand the big fuss made over nudity and sex in films. It's silly. On TV, the children can watch people murdering each other, which is a very unnatural thing, but they can't watch two people in the very natural process of making love. Now, really, that doesn't make any sense, does it?"



Sharon was athletic, fluent in Italian, shy, well liked, well read, well traveled, witty. Tess of the d'Urbervilles: A Pure Woman Faithfully Presented by Thomas Hardy (1840-1928) was her final read. Sharon loved animals, life, people, the universe ... and then she was gone.



The murders took place on 9 August 1969 at 10050 Cielo Drive in Los Angeles. In addition to Sharon and her unborn child—who would have been named Paul Richard Polanski—Abigail Anne Folger (1943-1969), Wojciech Frykowski (1936-1969), Thomas John Kummer a.k.a. Jay Sebring (1933-1969) and Steven Earl Parent (1951-1969) were murdered at the house on Cielo Drive.


I've no doubt those last two events will seem like quaint folklore to many of you, but they were electrifying at the time. I still become upset whenever I think of Sharon Tate and her friends who were murdered via a useless low-life shitbag's dementia.



I LIKE IT, SO ... THERE!


Jason Todd Alders a.k.a. jayalders hails from Belmar in New Jersey.  I spent a hefty segment of my youthduring the 1940s and '50sliving just a bit south of there, at Point Pleasant Beach.  The surf was marvelous, but during my tenure at what's come to be grandiosely and lately called the "Jersey Shore" not a surfboard was in sight.  Then it was off to Miami in Florida; and when the surfing craze hit during the early 1960s I looked on, bemused, as middle-class kids hung out at Haulover Beach with their surfboards whilst tiny waves gently lapped the shore.

:| (Blank Stare) 


Jay Alders, however, delves deeply into real surfing and the genuine traditions it's established.  His art has helped me fall in love with surfing all over again; or, rather, with the idea of surfing.  I'm too old for any actual surfing, but I'm still perfectly capable of enjoying the view as surfer girls do their thing.  Though I'm too broke to visit a surfing paradise such as Hanalei Bay on Kaua'i in person, jayalders and other surf artists/photographers nevertheless come to my rescue via their work!  Here's a sampling of Jay's work.  Click on 'em, folks!


High and Mighty by jayalders  Out of the Blue by jayalders

Second Glance by jayalders  Sweet Aspirations by jayalders

Fairy Tails by jayalders

Throwing Lines by jayalders  Endless Summer Beauty by jayalders  Wading for the Sun by jayalders

Down To Earth by jayalders


Thanks, jayalders, for sharing your art with us!  Excuse me, whilst I go imagine I'm sitting on a reclining beach chair under a big umbrella on the North Shore....

:sun:

  • Mood: Peaceful
  • Listening to: Redbone 'Come and Get Your Love' 1974
  • Reading: Gaiman 'American Gods' 2011
  • Watching: Stockwell 'Blue Crush' 2002
  • Playing: The Coasting Game
  • Eating: Meat, pasta, vegetables
  • Drinking: Water

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LayaboutJoe
Joseph A. Haran, Jr.
United States
I was born at New York city and have lived in various places both Occidental and Oriental. Subjectively-chosen highlights: U.S. Air Force Security Service, 1965-69; University of Oregon School of Journalism, B.Sc., 1973; Lane County Chapter, Vietnam Veterans Against the War; worked in positions of increasing responsibility within the journalistic media of magazines, newspapers, radio and television; retired.


NOW FOR SOMETHING (NOT) COMPLETELY DIFFERENT
PHILATELICALLY SPEAKING

DeviantART Stamps: Immediately below are "stamps"—made by artists who are members of this Web site—depicting a few of my favorite things. This collection will grow, in the fullness of time.



Interests

Critiques

Forest song by Redilion

:iconredilion:'s Forest song encapsulates present-day Ukrainian realities through use of an image inspired by a dramatic folkloric play of the same...

Lissi



Please click on the image to view its full size.
Lissi

Lissi was my feline hostess whilst I was at Reading in the U.K. during my "European Tour" of 2008. Lissi died in her sleep on Sunday, 17th March 2013. She was a wonderful person and I shall always miss her, even though our relationship was all too brief.

Webcam

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Visitors

:iconcandyfied:
Candyfied
Oct 23, 2014
12:09 am
:iconbeyzayildirim77:
beyzayildirim77
Oct 22, 2014
4:39 pm
:iconkwokheichan:
Kwokheichan
Oct 22, 2014
11:38 am
:iconciullo-corporation:
Ciullo-Corporation
Oct 22, 2014
12:24 am
:iconlayose:
LaYose
Oct 21, 2014
2:19 pm

'YouTube' recording quality


You can see, via the audio-visual file below, what level of quality YouTube affords its customers who choose to record on YouTube's own Web site. Imagine you're screening a beat-up 16-millimeter sound film, projected on the wall by a noisy old projector; and further imagine the film's sprocket holes are all torn up, so the sprocket wheels can't engage properly and synchronization is continuously lost.



Ta da! See what I mean? Never mind that the subject matter isn't exactly riveting; but even such a tedious presentation as this deserves better technical treatment by YouTube. Nevertheless I'm leaving it just the way it is, since it reinforces my old-man image.

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amour-raven Featured By Owner 20 hours ago  Student Writer
Thank you so much for favoriting my budding feature, Literarily Speaking v.III, as we strive to gain support. Pixel Rose 
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clara-01 Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you for the fav!
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ltlartgirl Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Thank You for the Fave! :)
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InfuserGod Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for the fave! :)
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Mayini Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you for the fav :aww:
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losgeloest Featured By Owner 5 days ago
Thanks for the :+fav:s <3
I'm glad you like my photos.
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RobertsPhotography Featured By Owner 6 days ago  Student Artisan Crafter
Thanks for the :+fav:
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SHANEO1 Featured By Owner 6 days ago  Professional Traditional Artist
Hey. Thanks for the fav and the mention. Very much appreciated.  Apologies for the delayed responce ;) 
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LayaboutJoe Featured By Owner 6 days ago

You're quite welcome, Shane!

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cechapman95 Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks for the fave on my poem Time to Come Home! :happybounce:
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TeaPhotography Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2014  Professional General Artist
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LayaboutJoe Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2014

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LostbunniesofWendy Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2014  New member Student Traditional Artist
Thanks you soo much for the favs! 

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LovieLovetree Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you! :heart:
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HoneyGoddess57 Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2014  Student General Artist
Thanks for the fave.
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bluesphotography Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
thankyou so much for the favourite and the watch! greatly appreciated!
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UszatyArbuz Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for teh fav, have a wonderful day :hug:
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Dosshaus Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2014
Merci for your favorite!

Cheers,

Zoey & David
"The Dosshaus Deux"
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CakeUpStudio Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2014
thank you for faving my owl cake a while ago Dance!
may the Llama I offer in return remind you of my gratitude if you ever decide to +fav any of my other works in the future since I won't be spaming you with more 'thank you' notes Hug  but I'm always happy to answer comments or questions if you have any :D (Big Grin)
also thank you for sharing the very moving part of human's history that is 'Standing Bear's speech'
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Dajelisen Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Thanks for the fav! :)
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Blumestien Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
HOW DARE YOU FAVE MY WORK!!!? PERVERT!!!Clem Epic face by ZoraSteam
(Thanks you very much for Fave)
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LayaboutJoe Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2014

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:D :hug:
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Justyn16 Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for faving Barn Owl
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thanks for faves :) 
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MissManz Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
Thank you for the support, especially in these times c:
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