You can also visit the online park store at Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site | WNPA Park Store.
Sand Creek Summer Reading
Summer is a great time for reading. Whether you’re on vacation or at home, picking up a book is a great way to beat the heat. At Sand Creek Massacre NHS, we have several books that talk about the massacre in 1864, the people involved, and the creation of the park. But this is only a small part of the history. What was happening before the massacre? What happened after? There are a lot of books that describe these events, creating a bigger, more complete picture of the massacre itself. During June, July, and August, we will be featuring several of our books that explore this bigger history.
Title: Tell Them We Are Going Home
Author: John H. Monnett
This book tells the history of the Northern Cheyenne in the years after the Sand Creek Massacre. Beginning with the Dull Knife Battle on November 25, 1876 the book explains the forced move of the Northern Cheyenne to Indian Territory (present day Oklahoma), and the hardships endured there. The narrative then describes how Chiefs Dull knife, Little Wolf, and others lead their people back north through Kansas, Nebraska and Montana. Recounting battles, raids, evasions, incarcerations, escapes and the circumstances surrounding them, Tell Them We Are Going Home follows the Northern Cheyenne on a journey that eventually culminates in the formation of the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation in Montana.
Title: Lincoln Looks West: From the Mississippi to the Pacific
Editor: Richard W. Etulain
Lincoln Looks West is a collection of essays concerning the involvement of President Lincoln in the development of the west. The essays examine a wide variety of subjects concerning the Lincoln Administrations political policies in developing the west. Topics include the Mexican War, the geographic and political development of the western territories, presidential patronage appointments for political positions in western territories, interactions with and views on Mormons, and dealings with Native American tribes. With connections to so many events, Lincoln’s influence can be found nearly everywhere in the western part of the country in the 1860’s. Together, these essays help to illuminate the fast changing history of the west in the 1800’s, including some of the circumstances surrounding the Sand Creek Massacre.
One of the ways that the Plains Tribes recorded battles and other events was through art. In the later 1800’s one such art form was ledger art. Two books at Sand Creek, one meant for adults and the other for children, talk about ledger art, its meaning, and its importance.
Title: The Ledgerbook of Thomas Blue Eagle
Author: Gay Matthaei and Jewel Grutman
Although it depicts a fictional story, The Ledgerbook of Thomas Blue Eagle tells a story that could very well have occurred in the late 1800’s. The story is told through both words and pictures in the ledger art style. Based on historic events and places, the book starts by describing some aspects of tribal life on the plains through the eyes of a young Sioux boy; Blue Eagle. Sent to the Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania, Blue Eagle recalls his experiences there, including being given a ledgerbook and “color sticks,” allowing him to record his story in way familiar to him and his people.
Title: Cheyenne Dog Soldiers: A Ledgerbook History of Coups and Combat
Authors: Jean Afton, David Fridtjof Halaas, and Andrew E. Masich with Richard N. Ellis
This book contains the ledger art from a book known as the Dog Soldier Ledgerbook. Collected in 1869 from a camp of Cheyenne Dog Soldiers, the ledgerbook contains art created by several Cheyenne warriors, depicting feats of bravery. Ledger art was a way to record both individual fights, and large battles involving many combatants. Cheyenne Dog Soldiers not only shows this art, but also gives descriptions of the men who drew them, the warriors they depict, information about the events the ledger art shows, and how to translate the images into stories and histories.
Title: The Fighting Cheyennes
Author: George Bird Grinnell
Originally published in 1915, this book chronicles the history of the Cheyenne in the 1800’s and emphasizes the battles Cheyenne warriors were involved in against both other tribes and the U.S. military. Grinnell describes events like the Sand Creek Massacre, the Beecher Island fight, the Battle of the Little Bighorn, and many more. By using eyewitness accounts of Cheyenne, who participated and lived through those times, the text gives a detailed narrative of Cheyenne life in the later 1800’s. From fights with the Crow in 1820 to escaping Fort Robinson in 1879, The Fighting Cheyennes tells the history the Cheyenne people, their time and life on the Great Plains.
Title: The Spilt History of Westward Expansion in the United States
Last updated: March 11, 2021