Quotes from Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West

Dee Brown ·  509 pages

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“Nothing lives long
Only the earth and mountains”
― Dee Brown, quote from Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West


“They made us many promises, more than I can remember, but they never kept but one; they promised to take our land, and they took it.”
― Dee Brown, quote from Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West


“To the Indians it seemed that these Europeans hated everything in nature - the living forests and their birds and beasts, the grassy grades, the water, the soil, the air itself.”
― Dee Brown, quote from Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West


“The white people were as thick and numerous and aimless as grasshoppers, moving always in a hurry but never seeming to get to whatever place it was they were going to.”
― Dee Brown, quote from Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West


“I was born upon the prairie, where the wind blew free and there was nothing to break the light of the sun. I was born where there are no enclosures and where everything drew a free breath. I want to die there and not within walls. I know every stream and every wood between the Rio Grande and the Arkansas. I have hunted and lived over that country. I lived like my fathers before me, and, like them, I lived happily.

Para-Wa-Samen (Ten Bears) of the Tamparika Comanches”
― Dee Brown, quote from Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West



“When I was young I walked all over this country, east and west, and saw no other people than the Apaches. After many summers I walked again and found another race of people had come to take it. How is it? Why is it that the Apaches wait to die—that they carry their lives on their fingernails. They roam over the hills and plains and want the heavens to fall on them. The Apaches were once a great nation; they are now but few, and because of this they want to die and so carry their lives on their fingernails. Many have been killed in battle. You must speak straight so that your words may go as sunlight to our hearts. Tell me, if the Virgin Mary has walked throughout all the land, why has she never entered the wickiups of the Apaches? Why have we never seen or heard her?
“I have no father nor mother; I am alone in the world. No one cares for Cochise; that is why I do not care to live, and wish the rocks to fall on me and cover me up. If I had a father and mother like you, I would be with them and they with me”
― Dee Brown, quote from Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West


“I heard him call to the people not to be afraid, that the soldiers would not hurt them; then the troops opened fire from two sides of the camp.”
― Dee Brown, quote from Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West


“Not all of Anthony’s officers, however, were eager or even willing to join Chivington’s well-planned massacre. Captain Silas Soule, Lieutenant Joseph Cramer, and Lieutenant James Connor protested that an attack on Black Kettle’s peaceful camp would violate the pledge of safety given the Indians by both Wynkoop and Anthony, “that it would be murder in every sense of the word,” and any officer participating would dishonor the uniform of the Army.”
― Dee Brown, quote from Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West


“On the mainland of America, the Wampanoags of Massasoit and King Philip had vanished, along with the Chesapeakes, the Chickahominys, and the Potomacs of the great Powhatan confederacy. (Only Pocahontas was remembered.) Scattered or reduced to remnants were the Pequots, Montauks, Nanticokes. Machapungas, Catawbas, Cheraws, Miamis, Hurons, Eries, Mohawks, Senecas, and Mohegans. (Only Uncas was remembered.) Their musical names remained forever fixed on the American land, but their bones were forgotten in a thousand burned villages or lost in forests fast disappearing before the axes of twenty million invaders. Already the once sweet-watered streams, most of which bore Indian names, were clouded with silt and the wastes of man; the very earth was being ravaged and squandered. To the Indians it seemed that these Europeans hated everything in nature—the living forests and their birds and beasts, the grassy glades, the water, the soil, and the air itself.”
― Dee Brown, quote from Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West


“I want to say that further you are not a great chief of this country. That you have no following, no power, no control." Logan continued, "You are on an Indian reservation merely at the sufferance of the government. You are fed by the government, clothed by the government, your children are educated by the government, and all you have and are today is because of the government. If it were not for the government you would be freezing and starving today in the mountains. I merely say these things to notify you that you cannot insult the people of the United States of America or its committees ...the government feeds and clothes and educates your children now, and desires to teach you to become farmers, and to civilize you, and make you as white men.
-Senator John Logan, 1883”
― Dee Brown, quote from Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West



“Another Chief remembered that since the Great Father promised them that they would never be moved they had been moved five times. "I think you had better put the Indians on wheels," he said sardonically, "and you can run them about whenever you wish.”
― Dee Brown, quote from Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West


“Already the once sweet-watered streams, most of which bore Indian names, were clouded with silt and the wastes of man; the very earth was being ravaged and squandered. To the Indians it seemed that these Europeans hated everything in nature-the living forests and their birds and beasts, the grassy glades, the water, the soil, and the air itself.”
― Dee Brown, quote from Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West


“In a short time a group of commissioners arrived to begin organization of a new Indian agency in the valley. One of them mentioned the advantages of schools for Joseph’s people. Joseph replied that the Nez Percés did not want the white man’s schools. “Why do you not want schools?” the commissioner asked. “They will teach us to have churches,” Joseph answered. “Do you not want churches?” “No, we do not want churches.” “Why do you not want churches?” “They will teach us to quarrel about God,” Joseph said. “We do not want to learn that. We may quarrel with men sometimes about things on this earth, but we never quarrel about God. We do not want to learn that.”
― Dee Brown, quote from Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West


“Why do you not want schools?” the commissioner asked. “They will teach us to have churches,” Joseph answered. “Do you not want churches?” “No, we do not want churches.” “Why do you not want churches?” “They will teach us to quarrel about God,” Joseph said. “We do not want to learn that. We may quarrel with men sometimes about things on this earth, but we never quarrel about God. We do not want to learn that.”
― Dee Brown, quote from Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West


“mainland of America, the Wampanoags of Massasoit and King Philip had vanished, along with the Chesapeakes, the Chickahominys, and the Potomacs of the great Powhatan confederacy. (Only Pocahontas was remembered.) Scattered or reduced to remnants were the Pequots, Montauks, Nanticokes. Machapungas, Catawbas, Cheraws, Miamis, Hurons, Eries, Mohawks, Senecas, and Mohegans. (Only Uncas was remembered.) Their musical names remained forever fixed on the American land, but their bones were forgotten in a thousand burned villages or lost in forests fast disappearing before the axes of twenty million invaders. Already the once sweet-watered streams, most of which bore Indian names, were clouded with silt and the wastes of man; the very earth was being ravaged and squandered. To the Indians it seemed that these Europeans hated everything in nature—the living forests and their birds and beasts, the grassy glades, the water, the soil, and the air itself.”
― Dee Brown, quote from Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West



“A short time later, near Gallina Springs, Graydon’s scouting party came upon the Mescaleros again. What happened there is not clear, because no Mescalero survived the incident.”
― Dee Brown, quote from Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West


“I now think a little powder and lead is the best food for them,” he concluded. 7”
― Dee Brown, quote from Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West


“the Aravaipa village near Camp Grant. Although Camp”
― Dee Brown, quote from Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West


“it is better for both parties to come together without arms and talk it over and find some peaceful way to settle it. —SINTE-GALESHKA (SPOTTED TAIL) OF THE BRULÉ SIOUX”
― Dee Brown, quote from Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West


“Indians!" Sitting Bull shouted. "There are no Indians left but me!”
― Dee Brown, quote from Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West



“We rarely know the full power of words, in print or spoken.”
― Dee Brown, quote from Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West


“I shall not be there. I shall rise and pass. Bury my heart at Wounded Knee. —STEPHEN VINCENT BENET”
― Dee Brown, quote from Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West


“قلت للضابط إن ما يحدث لأمر سيء جداً، وقلت لن انه ليس على المفوض أن يعطي مثل هذه الأوامر. قلت أن الأمر كان سيئاً جداً، وأن علينا ألا نتقاتل، لأننا أخوة، وقال الضابط أنه لافرق، حيث أن الأمريكيين مولعون بالقتال حتى ولو كانوا أبناء أم واحدة,
نيكاغات زعيم اليوت”
― Dee Brown, quote from Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West


“It is too often the case,” Crook said, “that border newspapers … disseminate all sorts of exaggerations and falsehoods about the Indians, which are copied in papers of high character and wide circulation, in other parts of the country, while the Indians’ side of the case is rarely ever heard. In this way the people at large get false ideas with reference to the matter. Then when the outbreak does come public attention is turned to the Indians, their crimes and atrocities are alone condemned, while the persons whose injustice has driven them to this course escape scot-free and are the loudest in their denunciations. No one knows this fact better than the Indian, therefore he is excusable in seeing no justice in a government which only punishes him, while it allows the white man to plunder him as he pleases.”
― Dee Brown, quote from Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West


“ذكر أحدهم مزايا المدارس أمام هاينموت تويالاكت زعيم الأنوف المخرومة فأجاب أنهم لايريدون مدارس الرجل الأبيض ، فسأله المفوض لماذا لاتريدون المدارس؟ أجابه: لانها ستعلمنا أن يكون لنا كنائس
ألا تريدون الكنائس؟-
لا لانريد الكنائس-
ولماذا لاتريدونها؟-
لأنها ستعلمنا كيق نتشاجر حول الله، ولانريد أن نتعلم ذلك. قد نتشاجر مع البشر أحياناً حول أمور على هذه الأرض ولكننا لن نتشاجر حول الله. لا نريد تعلم ذلك”
― Dee Brown, quote from Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West



“ربما تظنون أن الخالق أرسلكم إلى هنا لتتصرقوا بنا وفق أهوائكم. لوظننت أنكم مرسلون من قبل الخالق لكنت أميل الى الظن أن لكم الحق في التصرف بي كما تشاؤون. لا تسيؤوا فهمي، بل افهموني تماماً بالعلاقة مع حبي للأرض. لم أقل مرة أن الأرض ملكي وأستطيع التصرف بها كما أشاء. ان من له الحق في التصرق بها هو من خلقها. أدعي بأن لي الحق بالعيش على أرضي، وأوافق أن لكم الحق في العيش على أرضكم
هاينموت تويالاكت زعيم الأنوف المخرومة”
― Dee Brown, quote from Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West


“And so the general announced that he would pay a reward for Delshay’s head. In July, 1874, two mercenary Apaches reported separately to Crook’s headquarters. Each presented a severed head, identified as Delshay’s. “Being satisfied that both parties were earnest in their beliefs,” Crook said, “and the bringing in of an extra head was not amiss, I paid both parties.”
― Dee Brown, quote from Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West


“The old men say the earth only endures. You spoke truly. You are right.”
― Dee Brown, quote from Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West


“p. 371 – 372
Living in a paradise of magnificent meadows and forests abundant with wild game, berries, and nuts, the Utes were self-supporting and could have existed entirely without the provisions doled out to them by their agents at Los Pinos and White River. In 1875 agent F. F. Bond at Los Pinos replied to a request for a census of his Utes: “A count is quite impossible. You might as well try to count a swarm of bees when on the wing. They travel all over the country like the deer which they hunt.” Agent E. H. Danforth at White River estimated that about nine hundred Utes used his agency as a headquarters, but he admitted that he had no luck in inducing them to settle down in the valley around the agency. At both places, the Utes humoured their agents by keeping small beef herds and planting a few rows of corn, potatoes, and turnips, but there was no real need for any of these pursuits.
The beginning of the end of freedom upon their own reservation came in the spring of 1878, when a new agent reported for duty at White River. The agent’s name was Nathan C. Meeker, former poet, novelist, newspaper correspondent, and organizer of cooperative agrarian colonies. Most of Meeker’s ventures failed, and although he sought the agency position because he needed the money, he was possessed of a missionary fervor and sincerely believed that it was his duty as a member of a superior race to “elevate and enlighten” the Utes. As he phrased it, he was determined to bring them out of savagery through the pastoral stage to the barbaric, and finally to “the enlightened, scientific, and religious stage.” Meeker was confident he could accomplish all this in “five, ten, or twenty years.”
In his humourless and overbearing way, Meeker set out systematically to destroy everything the Utes cherished, to make them over into his image, as he believed he had been made in God’s image.”
― Dee Brown, quote from Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West


About the author

Dee Brown
Born place: in Alberta, LA, The United States
Born date February 28, 1908
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