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Humanities Libertexts

17.9: Primary Sources

  • Page ID
    10014
  • Chief Joseph on Indian Affairs (1877, 1879)

    A branch of the Nez Percé tribe, from the Pacific Northwest, refused to be moved to a reservation and attempted to flee to Canada but were pursued by the U.S. Cavalry, attacked, and forced to return. The following is a transcript of Chief Joseph’s surrender, as recorded by Lieutenant Wood, Twenty-first Infantry, acting aide-de-camp and acting adjutant-general to General Oliver O. Howard, in 1877.

    William T. Hornady on the Extermination of the American Bison (1889)

    William T. Hornady, Superintendent of the National Zoological Park, wrote a detailed account of the near-extinction of the American bison in the late-nineteenth century.

    Chester A. Arthur on American Indian Policy (1881)

    The following is extracted from President Chester A. Arthur’s First Annual Message to Congress, delivered December 6, 1881.

    Frederick Jackson Turner, “Significance of the Frontier in American History” (1893)

    Perhaps the most influential essay by an American historian, Frederick Jackson Turner’s address to the American Historical Association on “The Significance of the Frontier in American History” defined for many Americans the relationship between the frontier and American culture and contemplated what might follow “the closing of the frontier.”

    Tom Torlino (1882, 1885)

    Tom Torlino, a member of the Navajo Nation, entered the Carlisle Indian School, a Native American boarding school founded by the United States government in 1879, on October 21, 1882 and departed on August 28, 1886. Torlino’s student file contained photographs from 1882 and 1885.

    Frances Densmore and Mountain Chief (1916)

    American anthropologist and ethnographer Frances Densmore records the Blackfoot chief Mountain Chief in 1916 for the Bureau of American Ethnology.

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