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Vanished in Hiawatha

The Story of the Canton Asylum for Insane Indians

By Carla Joinson

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Format: Hardcover, 424 pages
Other Information: Illustrated
Published In: United States, 01 June 2016
Begun as a pork-barrel project by the federal government in the early 1900s, the Canton Asylum for Insane Indians quickly became a dumping ground for inconvenient Indians. The federal institution in Canton, South Dakota, deprived many Native patients of their freedom without genuine cause, often requiring only the signature of a reservation agent. Only nine Native patients in the asylum's history were committed by court order. Without interpreters, mental evaluations, or therapeutic programs, few patients recovered. But who cared about Indians and what went on in South Dakota? After three decades of complacency, both the superintendent and the city of Canton were surprised to discover that someone did care and that a bitter fight to shut the asylum down was about to begin. In this disturbing tale, Carla Joinson unravels the question of why this institution persisted for so many years. She also investigates the people who allowed Canton Asylum's mismanagement to reach such staggering proportions and asks why its administrators and staff were so indifferent to the misery experienced by patients. Vanished in Hiawatha is the harrowing tale of the mistreatment of Native American patients at a notorious insane asylum whose history helps us to understand the broader mistreatment of Native peoples under forced federal assimilation in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Table of Contents

List of IllustrationsIntroduction1. Where Will All the Insane Indians Go?2. Life in an Asylum3. The Bad Start Begins4. Helpless5. A Superintendent in Trouble6. Which Way to Canton?7. The Reign of Harry Reid Hummer Begins8. Reforms and Canton Asylum9. Let the Investigations Begin10. Life among the Indians11. Another Sort of Prison12. The World Outside13. Hummer Can't Keep Up14. Ripples in the Waters15. The Winds of Change16. The Gale BlowsEpilogueAfterthoughtsAcknowledgmentsAppendix A: Patients Treated at Canton AsylumAppendix B: Patients Interred in Canton Asylum CemeteryAppendix C: Patients Transferred to St. ElizabethsNotesBibliographyIndex

About the Author

Carla Joinson is a freelance writer who lives near Johnson City, Tennessee. She is the author of A Diamond in the Dust and Civil War Doctor: The Story of Mary Walker, a selection of the 2008 Amelia Bloomer Project from the American Library Association.

Reviews

"Carla Joinson's fine history of a harsh institution offers compelling glimpses of those forced to live there and a detailed look at the people who made it hell."-LLyn De Danaan, author of Katie Gale: A Coast Salish Woman's Life on Oyster Bay -- LLyn De Danaan "[Carla Joinson] exposes the notorious Canton Asylum with balance and compassion. Long overlooked, the story of this asylum has at last found a lucid, discerning, and worthy chronicler."-Philip Burnham, author of Song of Dewey Beard: Last Survivor of the Little Bighorn -- Philip Burnham "Just when we thought we had heard the worst about our treatment of Native Americans, along comes Carla Joinson with Vanished in Hiawatha. The story is painful, but Joinson's elegant narrative and prose get us through it. This powerful book is about Indians-and ourselves."-Catherine Robbins, author of All Indians Do Not Live in Teepees (or Casinos) -- Catherine Robbins "A valuable resource for a number of different fields of scholarship, as well as for the average reader looking to learn about this unique institution."-John Truden, South Dakota History -- John Truden * South Dakota History * "Anyone interested in ethnohistory, social history, and the evolution of public health and medicine will glean much value from this work."-Ken Zontek, Annals of Wyoming -- Ken Zontek * Annals of Wyoming *

EAN: 9780803280984
ISBN: 080328098X
Publisher: Bison Books
Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.54 x 3.38 centimetres (0.78 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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