Sample Essay Outlines
- Topic #1
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee describes the diverse responses Indian tribes across the West made to the incursion of whites on their lands. Some tribes managed to maintain their freedom for many years, while some came under whites’ authority quite rapidly. We can generally categorize tribal reactions into two types: hostile, resistant, and engaging in violent struggle against the whites; or relatively pacific, quick to bargain, and reluctant to battle against the whites. Present a case arguing that one of these two types of reactions was the more successful in allowing a tribe to keep its freedom and independence as long as possible.
I.Thesis Statement: Those Indian tribes that responded to the incursion of whites on their lands with hostility and counter-aggression kept their freedom longer than those that struggled against the whites reluctantly, if at all.
II. Freedom of tribes resistant to whites
A. Sioux—Began attacking whites during Civil War; battled Army in Powder River country; won Red Cloud’s War; defeated Custer; not finally defeated until end of 1890.
B. Apaches—In 1861, Cochise responds to U.S. threat with attack; Apaches evade attempts to put tribe on reservations; Cochise gets desired land for Chiricahua reservation in 1872; Geronimo and other Apaches repeatedly evade hostile whites, leave reservations; guerilla war begun in 1861 only ends in 1886.
C. Cheyennes—Cheyennes successfully resist Army’s 1865 invasion of Powder River country; Northern Cheyennes win Red Cloud’s War in 1868; Cheyennes join with Sioux, other tribes to defeat Custer in 1876; rebellion at Fort Robinson in 1879; Cheyennes finally subdued in 1880.
D. Navahos—Manuelito launches surprise attack on Fort Defiance in 1860; Navahos refuse to be sent to Bosque Redondo reservation; 1868 treaty wins tribe right to stay off Bosque Redondo and return to homeland.
III. Quick subjugation of tribes offering feeble resistance to whites
A. Poncas—Tribe ordered to leave territory in 1877; journeys to Quapaw reservation; Standing Bear’s legal efforts ineffectual; in 1879, tribe split in two, with most Poncas moved to Indian Territory.
B. Nez Percés—Tribe signs 1863 treaty giving away most territory; 1877 order for Nez Percés to leave Wallowa Valley prompts tribe...
(The entire section is 1009 words.)