Ramsey County History – Spring 2018: “Charles and Elaine Eastman: Their Years in St. Paul, 1893–1898”
Charles and Elaine Eastman: Their Years in St. Paul, 1893–1898
Authors: Teresa Swanson, Sydney Beane, and William Beane
Born in 1858 in Minnesota, Charles A. Eastman (Ohiyesa) survived the US Dakota War of 1862 and fled with his family to Canada, where he was raised in the traditional Dakota way. Subsequently educated in the white world, including medical school in Boston, in 1890, Dr. Eastman was appointed US government physician at Pine Ridge Agency in South Dakota. There, US Army troops massacred hundreds of Dakota at Wounded Knee, which profoundly affected both of them. The young couple relocated to St. Paul in 1893, which was Charles’s Bdote (homeland). He had difficulty making a success of his newly established medical practice; so Elaine encouraged Charles to record stories of his early years, the first such narratives published as personal Dakota accounts. Together, they raised a family of six children, became advocates for Indian causes, and published ten books.
Correction: In the sidebar on page 7 titled “Mahpiya Wicasta and Bde Make Ska,” the first paragraph should read that Agent Taliaferro was married to Day Sets (Anpetuinajinwin) not Stands Sacred, who was married to Seth Eastman.
PDF of Eastman article