Who was executed in chapter three of Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, and why?

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juneamy007 | (Level 3) Adjunct Educator

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Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown is one of the most factual writings documenting the history of the Native Americans.  It gleans its name from American Names, a poem by Stephen Vincent Benet.

The opening chapter relates the attitudes of incoming nationalities.  It starts with Christopher Columbus, who is said to have had a genuine admiration for the Native Americans.  It proceeds through the Spanish, who did heinous injustices to the Indians.  Then addresses the English, who tried to control the American Indians in more civilized, but still brutal ways.  The most aggressive and least tolerant of the Native American Indians were the soldiers of the Calvary.  They showed a compulsion to subdue and confine all tribes, at any cost.

Chapter three shows the futility of the Native Americans trying to integrate into the white man’s world.  It features Little Crow, who was a chief of the Santee Sioux living in Minnesota.  Though he tried to encompass the white man’s ways through dress and interaction, he soon became frustrated and hostile.  This hostility led to what is referred to as Little Crow’s War, where he lost the battle and his life.  The final result was the Santee Sioux were moved to the Great Plains.  Their beloved leader’s scalp was sent to St. Paul and put on display.

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