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Death on the Prairie: The Thirty Years’ Struggle for the Western Plains

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Title:Death on the Prairie: The Thirty Years’ Struggle for the Western Plains
Author:
Wellman, Paul Iselin   
(6 of 14 for author by title)
A Dynasty of Western Outlaws
The Comancheros
Published:   1934
Publisher:The Macmillan Company
Tags:history, North American indigenous peoples, non-fiction, Prairies, war, American west
Description:

Death on the Prairie is a sweeping narrative history of the Indian wars on the western plains that never loses sight of the individual participants. Beginning with the Minnesota Sioux Uprising in 1862, Wellman shifts to conflicts in present-day states Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and the Texas Panhandle, involving, most spectacularly, the Sioux, but also the Cheyennes, Arapahos, Comanches, Kiowas, Utes, and Nez Perces―all being forced out of their hunting grounds by the white settlers with the help of the United States Army.

There is never a quiet page as Wellman describes the Sand Creek Massacre (1864), the Fetterman Massacre (1866), the Battle of the Washita (1868), the Battle of Adobe Walls (1874), the Battle of the Little Big Horn (1876), the Nez Perce War (1877), the Meeker Massacre (1879), and the tragedy at wounded Knee (1890) that ended the fighting on the plains. [Suggest a different description.]

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Pages:275 Info

Author Bio for Wellman, Paul Iselin

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Paul Iselin Wellman (October 15, 1895—September 17, 1966) newspaperman, writer of popular history, novelist and screenwriter, is best known for his books set in the Great Plains and Kansas. His two best-selling novels, The Walls of Jericho (1947) and The Chain (1949), both Literary Guild selections, are set in Kansas towns which closely resemble Dodge City and Wichita, respectively. Both novels received mixed reviews from the critics. But on one thing, all who wrote about Wellman’s books agreed: the Kansas setting is a totally authentic ingredient.

Paul Wellman came to Kansas via Oklahoma and Africa. He was born in Enid, Oklahoma on October 15, 1895. At six months, his parents went to Angola to become medical missionaries. Paul mastered the language of the Bantu of the Umbundu tribe, helping his father translate songs and sermons. He returned to Kansas and finished school. After the war, Wellman returned to Wichita and took a job as a reporter for the Beacon. He moved over to the Wichita Eagle and began writing accounts of the Great Plains Indian wars. Wellman was then hired by the Kansas City Star, where he worked on the telegraph desk and wrote editorials and headlines. In the meantime, he kept at his writing which resulted in an output of 31 books in the period 1934-1966—almost one published book per year. Wellman died in 1966 of stomach cancer, three weeks after receiving an honorary doctorate from the University of California at Los Angeles.

Paul Wellman is remembered as a man of the Great Plains who made a sincere attempt to portray Kansas and the people of Kansas.

Source: washburn.edu/reference/cks/mapping/wellman

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