With Good Intentions: Quaker Work among the Pawnees, Otos, and Omahas in the 1870s

With Good Intentions: Quaker Work among the Pawnees, Otos, and Omahas in the 1870s

With Good Intentions: Quaker Work among the Pawnees, Otos, and Omahas in the 1870s

With Good Intentions: Quaker Work among the Pawnees, Otos, and Omahas in the 1870s

Excerpt

In 1869, as part of President Ulysses S. Grant's Peace Policy, members of the Society of Friends became government Indian agents. One group of Quakers, the Hicksites, took control of the Northern Superintendency, which encompassed seven Indian societies on six reservations in Nebraska. The interaction between three of these native societies and their Quaker administrators is the main topic of this book. Although administrative history is important to this study, it has not been allowed to exclude the ethnohistory of the Pawnees, Otos, and Omahas in the 1870s. In addition, the comparative histories of these three native societies present a nearly day-to-day picture of varied Indian actions within the framework of government policy. A more limited study of only one native society might fail to recognize the rich complexity of this response.

The 1870s were a time of turmoil and despair for American Indians on the Great Plains. Nebraska's native peoples confronted the decline of the buffalo, the outbreak of epidemic diseases, the devastations of grasshoppers and droughts, and the depredations of red and white neighbors. Beyond these developments, the Pawnees, Otos, and Omahas each confronted distinct problems. The Pawnees lost a forty‐ year war of attrition with the Teton Sioux; the Otos split into . . .

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