Sitting Bull Part 2Posted: May 11, 2012
That detail about the meadowlark is from Nathaniel Philbrick, The Last Stand: Custer, Sitting Bull and The Battle of The Little Bighorn. At best the second-best book about the Little Bighorn battle, first of course being:
but that image is amazing. Good on Philbrick.
What is amazing about “Son Of The Morning Star” is Connell doesn’t just tell the story, he follows the meandering lines that lead to it and out of it, and the people who traced them. He demonstrates that as soon as you focus on any particular incident, you can keep finding new dimensions of weirdness in it.
Take, for example, this meadowlark warning Sitting Bull. Philbrick cites that detail as coming from the recollections of One Bull, Sitting Bull’s nephew, found in box 104, folder 21 of the Walter Campbell collection. Walter Campbell was born in Severy, Kansas in 1887. He was the first Rhodes Scholar from the state of Oklahoma. He wrote under the name Stanley Vestal. Why? I don’t know. According to the University of Oklahoma, where his collection is kept, he was adopted by Sitting Bull’s family, and “was named Makes-Room or Make-Room-For-Him (Kiyukanpi) and His Name Is Everywhere (Ocastonka). Kiyukanpi was the name of Joseph White Bull’s father, and Ocastonka is a reference to the Chief’s great fame.”
Here’s a picture from the Walter Campbell collection:
That’s Young Man Afraid Of His Horses. Here’s another:
Regrettably OU won’t let me make that any bigger. Campbell/Vestal/His-Name-Is-Everywhere died of a heart attack on Christmas Day, 1957.
There’s also a Walter CAMP who is very important in Bighorniana. Camp worked for the railroad, and so could travel all over. An unsourced detail from Indiana University’s Camp collection is that this is how he “spent his summers,” finding lost battlefields and interviewing old Indians and soldiers. Here is a picture from Camp’s collection:
As for One Bull, here he is. This is a photograph by William Cross (which I found here):
On wikipedia’s page for One Bull, however, they illustrate him with a picture of his spoon:
This spoon is now in the Spurlock Museum, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaigne, where they also have collections of Japanese wood carvings, Arctic artifacts, and Babylonian clay tablets.