The years between 1862 and 1890 saw the treaty system descend into little more than a theft vehicle for the U.S. Government by rewriting treaty language to shrink reservation land, and revise treaty promises to the detriment of the Indian Nations.
After the largest mass execution in U.S. history in Mankato, Minnesota, the army carried the fight westward with the intent of displacing the Native People from the land to make room for the nation’s expansion.
The novel, Tears Of Sorrow- A Free Nation Lost, tells of the twenty-eight years and the changes that occurred in a Native family as westward expansion took everything from them.
Anton McAllister leads his Dakota family west to escape the white backlash after the US-Dakota War of 1862. Settling into the Black Hills, they merge with the Lakota Miniconjou band of Lone Horn. Anton’s adopted son, Four Wings, befriends the militant warrior Crazy Horse, and their world is turned upside down as they deal with disingenuous treaties, an illegal war brought on by the Grant Administration, and a deranged bounty hunter no larger than a child.
Sitting Bull, Red Cloud, Crazy Horse, and powerful men from the Cheyenne and Arapaho Nations make their stand when the army begins to build forts along the Bozeman Trail. Captain Fetterman and 80 men are killed near Fort Phil Kearny, and the 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie is signed.
Red Cloud wins his war, the great herds of buffalo are methodically destroyed, The Ghost Dance is introduced to the Pine Ridge Reservation and brought to the Standing Rock Reservation. Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull are murdered, and Wounded Knee Creek becomes the death wail of a free Sioux Nation.
And throughout it all, Four Wings struggles to reconcile the good white men he has known, including the mixed blood who raised him, with those who seek to subdue or destroy the Sioux Nation.
At seventy-seven, I’m at the beginning of a new chapter in a life filled with blessings from above, adventure, love of family, and kinships reaching into the heavens and to God himself. —AND— I love to tell a story.