The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 90, July 1986 - April, 1987

Book Reviews

419

The Sioux uprising becomes the climax of this effort to write Little
Crow's biography "from the perspective of a minority culture" (p. 3).
Obviously, Little Crow left no diaries or other papers from which a
coherent story of his life could be constructed, something Anderson
coped with very well. It is, as the author admits, a study of Little Crow
in the context of the Sioux. From this point of view, Little Crow is a wel-
come book. It offers the reader a wealth of cultural information con-
cerning Sioux life, relationships, viewpoints, and history, with Little
Crow as the focus. Anderson combed several dozen manuscript collec-
tions, the bulk of them at the Minnesota Historical Society, as well as
original and microfilmed documents from the National Archives and
elsewhere, in a model research exercise. To cap this, he presents his
findings in clear, readable prose.
In the attempt to present a minority perspective, Anderson appears
to forget that neither culture, Indian or white, made much effort to
understand the other. He scores Little Crow's killers for firing on "seem-
ingly" unarmed Indians (p. 78), for example, apparently also forgetting
the Sioux did precisely the same thing to Minnesota Valley whites. One
would have to suppose that Indians did not scalp and mutilate whites
(p. 159), only the reverse. The mistreatment of minorities, as has often
been the case in history, is deplorable, but the reverse is equally so.
Except for that sort of thing, and other examples abound, Anderson
does achieve his objective of ethno-biography. Certainly when a new
generation of scholars view the events of the mid-nineteenth century in
Minnesota, they will need to consult Anderson's work.
The University of Akron ROBERT HUHN JONES
Hill County (Texas) Trilogy. By Harold B. Simpson. (Hillsboro, Tex.:
Hill Junior College Press, 1986. Pp. xi+121. Preface, acknowl-
edgments, illustrations, photographs, appendix, bibliography, in-
dex. $15.)
The three rather loosely connected parts of Hill County (Texas) Trilogy
may be dismissed by some prospective readers as local history. Yet local
history often carries a universal message, and this book should have an
appeal extending well beyond Hill County.
Part I of the trilogy, "The Fort Graham Affair," as the author recog-
nizes, has the widest appeal, relating to "one of the most unusual events
to have occurred in the military history of the United States" (p. vii). Its
importance, however, lies not so much in the bizarre circumstance of
the 1853 slaying of the fort's commanding officer by the post surgeon as
in the dramatis personae and their ultimate destinies. Dr. Josephus M.
Steiner, who fatally shot Major Ripley A. Arnold, was successfully de-

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 90, July 1986 - April, 1987. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117152/. Accessed July 3, 2015.