The Collected Writings of Sherman and Grace Coolidge


The Collected Writings of Sherman and Grace Coolidge

Sherman Coolidge and Grace Coolidge
Edited by Tadeusz Lewandowski

306 pages
2 photographs, index


May 2023


$75.00 Add to Cart
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May 2023


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May 2023


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About the Book

Sherman and Grace Coolidge were a remarkable couple in many respects. Sherman Coolidge (Runs On Top), born in the early 1860s into the Northern band of Arapahos, experienced the extreme violence of the Indian Wars, including the death of his father, as a young boy. Grace Wetherbee Coolidge was born into wealth and privilege in 1873, only to reject her life as a New York heiress and become a missionary on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming. It was there that Sherman and Grace met and later married in 1902.

After eight years together at Wind River, both went on to achieve prominence: Sherman as the president of the Native-run reform group the Society of American Indians (1911–1923), Grace as the author of Teepee Neighbors, a book describing her time on the reservation that drew praise from critics such as H. L. Mencken. Sherman was an Episcopal priest and a mesmerizing speaker who had the unique ability to blend his assimilated Western perspective with Arapaho values to educate the American public about the significant challenges facing Native peoples, including endemic poverty, racism, and inequality. Offering unprecedented entrée into the most significant writings and documents of a leading Native American advocate and his wife, this volume is an intimate portrait of their life and contributes to our understanding of American Indian activism at a key moment of Indigenous resurgence against the settler state.

Author Bio

Sherman Coolidge (1860–1932), a leading Native American advocate of his generation, and his wife Grace Coolidge (1873–1937) wrote about Native American life and were married almost thirty years. Tadeusz Lewandowski (1973–2023) was a professor extraordinarius at the Institute of Literatures, University of Opole, Poland, and an associate professor of English and American studies at the University of Ostrava in the Czech Republic. He is the author of The Life of Sherman Coolidge, Arapaho Activist (Nebraska, 2022) and Ojibwe, Activist, Priest: The Life of Father Philip Bergin Gordon, Tibishkogijik.


“This is the first time so much personal information about a Native American and his Anglo-American wife has been exposed in such depth and insight. Sherman Coolidge’s bold leadership in the 1910s called attention to the prejudice and abject ignorance of American people. There is no doubt that Lewandowski’s valuable work will be a lasting legacy to the Arapaho Nation, Euro Americans, U.S. history, and other Indian nations. Part of Coolidge’s papers should be incorporated into every American history textbook.”—Rowena McClinton, editor of John Howard Payne Papers: Volumes 7–14 of the Payne-Butrick Papers

“Lewandowski’s book serves as an important contribution to the field [in] its singular focus, its author-centrism, and its rigorous deployment of careful archival work and assemblage. This volume reveals Coolidge’s rhetorical tactics and his deft maneuvering of U.S. government policy concerning tribes, the impetus to convert Native people to Christianity that is at the core of his religiosity, and his growing circumspection regarding assimilationism, national pan-tribal organizations, the Indian Bureau, ‘civilization’ versus ‘traditionalism,’ and more.”—Julianne Newmark, author of The Pluralist Imagination from East to West in American Literature

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations


Editorial Policy

Sherman and Grace Coolidge: A Biographical Sketch

Notes on the Writings of Sherman Coolidge

Notes on the Writings of Grace Coolidge

Part 1. Sherman Coolidge: Stories, Articles, Speeches, and Statements

Scenes from an Arapaho Boyhood

Crow and Eagle

The Colt

A Little Gambler

A Horse Race

The Death of Big Heart (Brave Heart)

Dispatches from a Wind River Missionary

1885 Report to the Spirit of Missions

1886 Report to the Spirit of Missions

1896 Report to the Spirit of Missions

1897 Report to the Spirit of Missions

1898 Report to the Spirit of Missions

1899 Report to the Spirit of Missions

Early Articles and Statements

Education of Indians

Speech at the Seventh Annual Meeting of the Lake Mohonk Conference of the Friends of the Indian

The Indian of To-Day

Indians in Wyoming

Sherman and the Society

The Indian American: His Duty to His Race and to His Country, the United States of America

American Indians for the Honor of Their Race

The American Indian of Today

The Function of the Society of American Indians

Conference Evening at Haskell Indian School

American Indian Day

Statement before the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs

Opening Address of the President at the Sixth Annual Conference of the Society of American Indians

Open Debate on the Loyalty of Indian Employees in the Indian Service

Escaped Massacre to Be Taken by White Folk and Educated for Ministry—Story of an Indian Boy

Statements for Sunset

A Sermon and a Protest

Ye Cannot Serve God and Mammon

Statements at the Colorado Springs Open Forum on the American Indian

Part 2. Grace Coolidge: Writings, Letters, and Poems

Articles for the Spirit of Missions

An Arapahoe Christmas Tree

A Christmas Tree that Bore Souls

Writings for the American Indian Magazine

Wanted: To Save the Babies, or Capricornus and a Coroner

The Carpenter Who Had No One to Set Him Straight

The White Plague

Justice on a Reservation: A Story of an Actual Happening


Dearest Reddy, 1896–1901

Love, Marriage, and Death at Wind River, 1902–5

Later Missives, 1911–32


The Offering of the Goddess

On Finishing a Book




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