Some Things Are Not Forgotten
A Pawnee Family Remembers
The Blaine family were among the Pawnees forcibly removed to Indian Territory in 1874–75. By the early twentieth century, disease and starvation had wiped out nearly three-quarters of the reservation’s population. Government boarding schools refused to teach Pawnee customs and language, and many Pawnees found themselves without a community when their promised land was allotted to individuals and the rest sold as "surplus" to white settlers.
Where did the Blaine family find the resilience to cope with the continual assault on their dignity and way of life? In Some Things Are Not Forgotten, Martha Royce Blaine reveals the strengths of character and culture that enabled them to persevere during the reservation years.
Many memorable figures emerge: Wichita and Effie Blaine, anguished over the deaths of two young sons and driven to embrace the Ghost Dance; John Box, whose persistent attempts to farm the white man’s way are shattered in one disastrous moment by a tornado; James G. Blaine, an aspiring ballplayer whose mysterious death in jail ends his bid to join the Chicago White Sox. We also meet the young, educated James Murie, striding a conflict-ridden path between the Pawnee and white worlds. Perhaps most unforgettable are the childhood memories of Garland Blaine, the late husband of the author, who became head chief of the Pawnees in 1964.
Martha Royce Blaine is a former archivist of the Oklahoma Historical Society. She is the author of The Ioway Indians; The Pawnees: A Critical Bibliography; and Pawnee Passage, 1870–1875.