The Present Condition of My People. By Josephine Barnaby, Native American Missionary [wrapper title].

New York: American Missionary Association, [ca. 1890-1896]. First edition. Original self-wrappers, 6.75 x 5.38 inches, 8 pages, wire stitched. Cheap paper stock a bit chipped and toned, with some light dust-soiling and wear; in good condition. Item #19370

Barnaby (1863?-1915) was a Native Omaha who had been educated at Hampton Institute and returned to the West as a missionary, serving as a teacher and a nurse at Standing Rock reservation; she then returned to live at the Omaha reservation. Barnaby’s account deals with the specific difficulties of the clash between the Native nomadic culture and the settled culture of capital encouraged by the missionaries, specifically here detailing a visit to Standing Rock of a band Rees paying a call on Running Antelope—and the aftermath of the feasting and gift-giving by the hosts: “Miss Collins has taught all the people in this village that they cannot come to the house and beg for food, so they always bring something to sell, or ask for work. This time it was hard to know what to do, for we knew they had given away their food at the dance, and the only way to teach them was to let them know that after doing it in that way, they could not come to the house for food.” With appearances in the text by Louis Sitting Bull (nephew of Sitting Bull) and the Hunkpapa chief Running Antelope—here shown, with a curious lack of self-reflection from Barnaby, grieving the Christian assimilation of his granddaughter. See Baym, Women Writers of the American West for the capsule biography of Barnaby.

Price: $300.00