Dr Charles Alexander Eastman

Dr Charles Alexander Eastman

Redwood Falls, Redwood County, Minnesota, USA
Death 8 Jan 1939 (aged 80)
Ontario, Canada
Burial Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan, USA
Plot Section 9, Lot B, Grave 1
Memorial ID 9798329 · View Source
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Native American Medical Doctor and Writer.
Born Hakadah as Part of the Spirit Lake and Leaf-dweller Sioux, Which are part of the Santee Sioux also called Dakota.
At a young age he helped to win a tribal Lacrosse match and earned the name Ohiyesa (the Winner).
His grandmother was the daughter (Wahkantankanwin (Goddess) or Mary Nancy Eastman) of Seth Eastman , an artist, and an Army Capt., whose paintings still grace the Whitehouse. His father,Ite Wakandiota (Many Lightnings), fled to Canada to avoid arrest for his part in the uprising of 1862 - because of the quality or lack of good conditions on the reservation. He was captured and sentenced to hang with more than 300 of the leaders in 1861. Because of the lack of evidence and the intervention of President Lincoln the penalty was reduced to prison time. Having converted to Christianity he was released and became a farmer. His grandfather, Cloud Man, was one of the earliest Santee converts to Christianity. Many Lightnings brought his son home to their farm near Flandreau, Dakota Territory. Ohiyesa took the name Charles Alexander Eastman.
In Flandreau Charles attended Indian school. Two years later he attended school at Santee, Nebraska. He later attended Beloit College, Knox Collage, Kimball Union Academy and graduated from Dartmouth College. He finally graduated from Boston Medical school, graduating in June 1890 with honours. Besides his academic studies he was Captain of the football team, played tennis and Baseball, and boxed. He set an all collegiate record in long distance running.
His first job was at Pine Ridge Indian Agency, South Dakota. Here he met his wife, Elaine Goodale, a published writer, poet and Indian activist. She was the supervisor of Indian Education in the Dakotas. On 18 June 1891 they were married at the Church of the Ascension, NYC by Rev. Dr. Donald.
The Eastmans went to Wounded Knee the day after the massacre as part of the rescue team, finding over 200 frozen bodies. They fought the corruption within the Agency. In 1893 he was fired. They moved to St. Paul, MN, where he unsuccessfully practiced medicine. Authorities did not believe him to be qualified as a doctor. Several jobs with various Indians were terminated because of his stand against corruption. In 1902 he wrote "Indian Boyhood".
Between 1903 and 1909 he was in-charge of a program to give the Sioux English names and provide a linage to protect property rights.
In 1910 he helped to found the Boy Scouts and published their first Guidebook. Other books followed.
Between 1823 and 1825 he was in-charge of the Government's office of the Inspector of complaints against the Indian agency.
In 1915 the Eastmans opened a summer camp for girls at Granite Lake, NH. The Eastmans had six children, five girls and a boy. In 1921 the loss of their daughter, Irene, caused the Eastmans to divorce. Charles lived in Detroit for a number of years, with his son, Charles. He attained a parcel of land on the north bank of Lake Huron, near Desbarats, ON, where he died in January 8 of 1939, after his tepee burnt. Services were held at the William R. Hamilton Chapel on Jan. 11th in Detroit Michigan. For years he was buried in an unmarked grave in section 9, lot B, grave 1 at Evergreen Cemetery in Detroit Michigan. In the 1960's, with the revival of interests in Native Americans his body was laid to rest In Sioux Falls,SD.

Bio by: K M

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  • Maintained by: Joy from Texas
  • Originally Created by: Genet
  • Added: 12 Nov 2004
  • Find A Grave Memorial 9798329
  • Joy from Texas
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Dr Charles Alexander Eastman (Feb 1858–8 Jan 1939), Find A Grave Memorial no. 9798329, citing Evergreen Cemetery, Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan, USA ; Maintained by Joy from Texas (contributor 46540664) .