At Standing Rock and Wounded Knee
The Journals and Papers of Father Francis M. Craft, 1888–1890
Published by: University of Oklahoma Press
Imprint: The Arthur H. Clark Company
348 Pages | 6 x 9 | 20 b&w illus., 4 maps
During the turbulent final years of the Indian Wars, a young Catholic priest entered service as a missionary to the Sioux Indians in Dakota Territory. Father Francis M. Craft rode a three-hundred-mile circuit on the Standing Rock Reservation and, in 1890, was a witness to events at Wounded Knee, where he sustained serious wounds. His journals provide valuable insights into reservation life, including the federal acquisition of Sioux lands and tensions between the Catholic Church and the Indian Bureau.
Thomas W. Foley, author of a previous biography of Craft, now presents key selections from Craft’s voluminous journals and papers. In addition to documenting significant events, Craft’s writings reveal his driven, stubborn personality as he went about his day-to-day routines: performing sacraments, ministering to the sick, even working to create an Indian sisterhood. Sympathetic to Indian traditions, he provides valuable insight into Lakota spiritual life.
By drawing on Craft’s eyewitness report of Wounded Knee, Foley offers a bold reinterpretation of that event as a genuine battle rather than a massacre. The volume also features more than twenty illustrations, including two previously unpublished Wounded Knee maps drawn by Craft himself.