By William E. Farr
In 1879, a Canadian Blackfoot referred to as Spopee, or Turtle, shot and killed a white guy. Captured as a fugitive, Spopee narrowly escaped execution, as a substitute touchdown in an insane asylum in Washington, D.C., the place he fell silent. Spopee hence “disappeared” for greater than thirty years, until eventually a delegation of yankee Blackfeet came upon him and, aided by means of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, exacted a pardon from President Woodrow Wilson. After re-emerging into society like a modern day Rip Van Winkle, Spopee spent the ultimate 12 months of his existence at the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana, in an international that had replaced irrevocably from the single he had identified sooner than his confinement.
Blackfoot Redemption is the riveting account of Spopee’s strange and haunting tale. To reconstruct the occasions of Spopee’s life—at first traceable purely via bits and items of information—William E. Farr performed exhaustive archival learn, digging deeply into govt records and institutional experiences to construct a coherent and actual narrative and, via this reconstruction, win again one Indian’s lifestyles and identity.
In revealing either certainties and ambiguities in Spopee’s tale, Farr relates a bigger tale approximately racial dynamics and prejudice, whereas poignantly evoking the turbulent ultimate days of the buffalo-hunting Indians ahead of their confinement, lack of freedom, and confusion that got here with the wrenching transition to reservation life.
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Blackfoot Redemption: A Blood Indian's Story of Murder, Confinement, and Imperfect Justice by William E. Farr