Eyewitness at Wounded Knee


Eyewitness at Wounded Knee

Richard E. Jensen, R. Eli Paul, and John E. Carter
Introduction by Heather Cox Richardson

Great Plains Photography Series

232 pages
150 photographs, 15 illustrations, 2 maps


September 2011


$34.95 Add to Cart
"Although the subject is somber, the vivid photos and well-written text present a full and useful history."—Omaha World-Herald

About the Book

On a wintry day in December 1890, near a creek named Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, the Seventh Cavalry of the U.S. Army opened fire on an encampment of Sioux Indians. This assault claimed more than 250 lives, including those of many Indian women and children. The tragedy at Wounded Knee has often been written about, but the existing photographs have received little attention until now.

Eyewitness at Wounded Knee brings together and assesses for the first time some 150 photographs that were made before and immediately after the massacre. Present at the scene were two itinerant photographers, George Trager and Clarence Grant Morelodge, whose work has never before been published. Accompanying commentaries focus on both the Indian and the military sides of the story. Richard E. Jensen analyzes the political and economic quagmire in which the Sioux found themselves after 1877. R. Eli Paul considers the army’s role at Wounded Knee. John E. Carter discusses the photographers and also the reporters and relic hunters who were looking to profit from the misfortune of others.

For this Bison Books edition each image has been digitally enhanced and restored, making the photographs as compelling as the event itself. Heather Cox Richardson tells the story behind the endeavor to present a meaningful account of this significant historical event.

Author Bio

Richard E. Jensen is the editor of The Pawnee Mission Letters, 1834–1851 (Nebraska 2010) and two volumes of Voices of the American West (Nebraska 2005). R. Eli Paul is the editor of The Nebraska Indian Wars Reader, 1865–1877 (Nebraska 1998). John E. Carter is a senior research folklorist at the Nebraska State Historical Society and the author of Solomon D. Butcher: Photographing the American Dream (Nebraska 1985). James A. Hanson is the editor of Museum of the Fur Trade’s publications and the author of When Skins Were Money: A History of the Fur Trade. Heather Cox Richardson is a professor of history at the University of Massachusetts and the author of Wounded Knee: Party Politics and the Road to an American Massacre.


"Although the subject is somber, the vivid photos and well-written text present a full and useful history."—Omaha World-Herald

Table of Contents

Introduction - Heather Cox Richardson
Foreword - James A. Hanson
CHAPTER ONE: Another Look at Wounded Knee - Richard E. Jensen
CHAPTER TWO: "Your Country Is Surrounded" - R. Eli Paul
CHAPTER THREE: Making Pictures for a News-Hungry Nation - John E. Carter
The Battlefield
The War's End
List of Photograph Repositories

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