The Red Man's greeting

Material Information

The Red Man's greeting
Pokagon, Simon, 1830-1899
Place of Publication:
Hartford, Michigan
C. H. Engle
Publication Date:
2nd rev. ed.
Physical Description:
16 p. : ill. ; 9 x 13 cm.


Subjects / Keywords:
Pokagon, Simon, 1830-1899 ( lcsh )
World's Columbian Exposition (1893 : Chicago, Illinois) ( lcsh )
Indians in art ( lcsh )
Indians of North America ( lcsh )
Whites -- Relations with Indians ( lcsh )
Indian Removal, 1813-1903 ( lcsh )
History -- Poetry -- United States ( lcsh )
Target Audience:
adult ( marctarget )


General Note:
Second Edition, with important changes from the first edition which was printed just days before. A fiery political argument protesting the violent and unjust treatment of the Native Americans by white America, arguing that Europeans were initially pests and parasites to the natives, and since Columbus "again and again [the Indians] confidence was betrayed." He speculates that the Great Spirit will "grant these Red men of America great power, and delegate them to cast you out of paradise, and hurl you headlong through its outer gates into the endless abyss beneath...and thus shut you out from my presence and the presence of angels and the light of heaven forever, and ever."-p.16. The covers are illustrated, with the rear wrapper (a little rubbed) having four lines of verse: "Is not the Red Man's wigwam home/ As dear to him as costly dome?/ Is not his lov'd one's smile as bright/ As the dear one's of the man that's white?" One illustration shows a large Indian encampment along the Chicago River as it was before the land was sold and it became the city of Chicago. The others depict a bald eagle feeding it's young, a deer, and a fox stalking a duckling. The publisher was Pokagon's personal attorney, a white lawyer from Hartford, Michigan. Presentation copy, inscribed on blank verso of dedication leaf to the president of G. & C. Merriam, Springfield, Massachusetts, publishers: "H. C. Rowley from the Author/ Simon Pokagon/ Pottawattamie Chief/ May 1897." A remarkable Indian political statement aimed at the white American audience, being a ringing condemnation of imperialism, written on the occasion of the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago. First titled "The Red Man's Rebuke", shortly to be changed to "Greeting", Pokagon catalogues the injustices perpetrated against Native Americans since Columbus, and expains why he used birch bark. He said: "In behalf of my people, the American Indians, I hereby declare to you, the pale-faced race that has usurped our lands and homes, that we have no spirit to celebrate with you the great Columbian Fair now being held in this Chicago city, the wonder of the world. No; sooner would be hold high joy-day over the graves of our departed fathers, than to celebrate our own funeral, the discovery of America..." Pokagon was not invited to speak at the World's Columbian Exposition, but went there and sold copies of his booklet for $1.00 on the Midway Plaissance. Pokagon and his "Rebuke/Greeting" have been rediscovered, as it were, and he and his work have been intensely studied in the last few years. A new name graces the dedication of the "Greeting" not in the "Rebuke", that of Emma Sickles who joins Roger Williams, William Penn, and Helen Hunt Jackson. Sickles had been fired from the team organizing the anthropological exhibits at the Fair for arguing that every means had been used to keep "self-civilized Indians out of the Fair." Political pressure by a South Dakota U.S. senator had her reinstated. Robert Rydell writes that "the fair did not merely reflect American racial attitudes. It grounded them on ethnological bedrock."- "All The World's a Fair" (1984), and Alex Cory says "'The Red Man's Greeting' calls attention to public dissidence against this 'ethnological bedrock' in a way that 'The Red Man's Rebuke' does not. Thus when Sickles' name adorns the pages of 'The Red Man's Greeting', the book gains a new relevance to a political and material controversy that was particularly urgent in 1893." The full text was not reprinted again until 1997. WITH: POKAGON, Simon. ALS to G. & C. Merriam & Co., Springfield, Mass. 2pp., 8vo. Hartford, Mich., May 5, 1897, with original stamped and addressed mailing envelope bearing a bust portrait of Chief Pokagon. The Columbian Exposition opened to the public on May 1st, and here four days later Pokagon presents a copy of his booklet. He thanks the publishers for their letter and their surprise gift of a [Webster's] dictionary "which has touched my heart." In four places in the letter he writes in his native language. He says "I have sent my MS. of life to a Chicago firm for examination. I am satisfied your judgement of my book being published in Chicago is sound. The last great gathering we had was at that place before going west when 7000 of us were present. I well remember it. I was a small boy then. I send you two copies of my 'Red Man's Greeting'. When I wrote it I had no idea I should to the Fair. But on fathers account, I being the only one of the family alive I was sent for. I wrote the booklet as I then felt. If you do not care for the second copy give it to your best friend. After I have carefully examined the big book I will write you again.." Certainly not the letter of a man who struggled to write , as has been suggested by some. WITH: SMITH, [Jane] Luella D[owd], (b. Sheffield, MA, 1847, d. Hudson, NY, 1941). American educator, author, educator, and poet. Broadside poem "The Cry of Cain", 8vo, 1p., double-column. N.p., n.d. [Hartford, Michigan? 1893?]. Headed "Pokagon Remembered". A 10-line note at the top says "At the close of the Columbian fair, Chief Pokagon recieved of Luella D. Smith, the poetess of Hudson, N.Y., a volume of her poems 'Wind Flowers' in exchange for 'The Red Man's Greeting'. On receipt of the book he said, 'I trust you will not fail to leave something in verse for the benefit of our people.' On Monday he recieved from the lady the following poem dedicated to his people: The Cry of Cain..." Apparently unrecorded. WITH: Prospectus for Simon Pokagon's novel, "O-gi-maw-kwe mit-i-gwa-ki Queen of the Woods", 8vo, illustrated wrappers from a photograph of Pokagon, pp. 10, stitched. N.p., n.d. [i.e. Hartford, Michigan? 1899?]. Alex Cory, "Fair Material: Birch Bark, Politics and the Market in Simon Pokagon's 'The Red Man's Rebuke' and 'The Red Man's Greeting'" in Dartmouth Master of Arts in Liberal Studies Quarterly, Spring 2010, pp. 5-21. John Low (himself a Potawatamie), "Chicago's First Urban Indian's--The Potawatomi", University of Michigan Doctoral Dissertation, 2011. Kiara M. Vigil, "Stories in Red and Write: Indian Intellectuals and the American Imagination, 1880-1930", University of Michigan Doctoral Dissertation, 2011. Jonathan Berliner, "Written in Birch Bark: The Linguistic-Material Worldmaking of Simon Pokagon", in PMLA 125.1 (2010). Cheryl Walker, "Indian Nation: Native American Literature and Nineteenth Century Nationalism" (1997). Bernd Peyer, ed., "American Indian Nonfiction: An Anthology of Writings, 1760's-1930's" (2007), and Peyer's "The Thinking Indian: Native American Writers, 1850's-1920's" (2007).
General Note:
Statement of Responsibility:
Chief Pokagon.

Record Information

Source Institution:
The Wolfsonian-Florida International University
Holding Location:
The Wolfsonian FIU Library Collection ( CHICAGO 1893 )
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
XC2012.09.1.1 ( accession number )
26279370 ( dti )

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