Category Archives: Francis Parkman

The Day Julia Joined the Osage

My uncle sat in the front seat while I drove his car, pointing out the sights on our drive to Pine Ridge—there’s Russell Means’ house, there’s the Agency, there’s Big Bat’s store. We parked the car and John, my daughter … Continue reading

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Blinded by perspective

Ninety years ago John Noel joined a group of determined mountaineers to capture on film their adventures climbing Mount Everest. Noel’s 1924 silent film has been refreshed and recently celebrated a North West premiere to a packed house. And while … Continue reading

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Okla-homeward bound

June marks the season when families return to Oklahoma and South Dakota. I’m packing a suitcase in my mind, getting mentally ready for the journey. Soon we will join our relatives in Grayhorse for the Osage dances: a time when … Continue reading

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Rosie Red Top

My indatsay, John, shows me a sepia photograph of his family at their home on the Pine Ridge Reservation. The place bears the indelicate name of Stinking Water Creek. Relatives stare at the camera while a white-haired elder sits on … Continue reading

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Crazy Horse: Tiyospaye

Larry McMurtry—who wrote Lonesome Dove, The Last Picture Show and Terms of Endearment—penned a biography of Crazy Horse that proved a solid summer read. McMurtry writes about my relatives in the book Crazy Horse (Penguin-Viking, 1999). He says Crazy Horse … Continue reading

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Believing in the Past: Part 2

My last blog shared Francis Parkman’s loving memories of my forebear Henri Chatillon, who served as Parkman’s guide on The Oregon Trail. Chatillon embodied many fine qualities I hope one day to inherit. His wife, my great-great-great grandmother Bear Robe, … Continue reading

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Sequester the Evidence

No photographs or images of my ancestor Bear Robe have emerged from the Oglala, Osage or French sides of my family. With one exception. A rolled-up canvas, tucked in the rafters of the family home in St. Louis, was discovered … Continue reading

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