Gerald Kolpan

Magic Words

The tale of a Jewish boy-interpreter, the world's most estimable magician, a murderous harlot, and America's greatest indian chief

by gerald-kolpan Read about him

Standing Bear

Ponca Chief

Standing Bear

Standing Bear (Mah-chu-na-zha), a great warrior, was politically the most important chief in American history. It was he who proved in court that the Indian was a human being. After the famous trial, Standing Bear continued to travel and lecture on Indian freedom, often sponsored by the great abolitionist Wendell Phillips. He was supported in his cause by other famous Americans of the time including the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Today he is one of Nebraska’s greatest heroes and has several places named for him in the state, including an elementary school in Omaha. His final days were spent with his surviving family on a small settlement near the Niobrara River. Standing Bear died there in 1908 at age 74.