James Bear’s Heart (American Indians Ready Reference)
Article abstract: A prolific artist, James Bear's Heart combined Indian symbolism with formal Western techniques.
Young James Bear's Heart was a noted warrior who fought against the Utes, Texans, Mexicans, and U.S. Rangers. During the Red River War of 1875, he was accused of complicity in the murder of white settlers in Indian Territory and sent to the Fort Marion military prison in St. Augustine, Florida. He was confined for three years as a prisoner of war. While imprisoned, he participated in an educational and vocational program designed by U.S. Army Lieutenant Richard Henry Pratt. For their artistic pursuits, American Horse and fellow warriors Cohoe, Howling Wolf, and Paul Zotom became known as the Florida Boys. Bear's Heart discovered a substantial market for his artwork.
After release from prison in 1878, Bear's Heart attended Virginia's Hampton Institute, where he converted to Christianity and adopted the name James. In 1881, Bear's Heart returned to Indian Territory, where he practiced carpentry, another skill learned under Pratt's tutelage while imprisoned. Bear's Heart died of tuberculosis in 1882.
(The entire section is 172 words.)
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