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Eastman, Charles Alexander, 1858-1939



  • Existence: 1858 - 1939


Charles Alexander Eastman (born Hakadah and later named Ohíye S'a) was born on February 19, 1958 on a Santee Dakota reservation near Redwood Falls, Minnesota. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1887 after which he attended Boston University an becoming a physician. Charles Eastman worked as an agency physician for the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Indian Health Service on the Pine Ridge Reservation and later at the Crow Creek Reservation, both in South Dakota. He also cared for Indians after the Wounded Knee massacre. However, the private medical practice he established later, after being forced out of his position, was not successful.

Eastman also wrote about his childhood and published some stories in "St. Nicholas Magazine" in 1893 and 1894. Between 1894–98, Eastman established 32 Indian groups of the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA), and established leadership programs and outdoor youth camps. In 1899, he helped recruit students for the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania, which had been established as the first Indian boarding school run by the federal government. Eastman continued to write and published his memoir "Indian Boyhood" in 1902. He was also active in national politics, particularly in matters dealing with Indian rights and served as a lobbyist for the Dakota between 1894 and 1897.Eastman was one of the co-founders of the Society of American Indians (SAI), which pushed for freedom and self-determination for the Indian and Eastman was one of the co-founders of the Society of American Indians (SAI) and served as an appointed US Indian inspector under President Calvin Coolidge from 1923-1925. He died on January 8, 1939.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Charles Eastman papers

Identifier: MS-829
Date(s): 1891 to 1983

Charles A Eastman (1858-1939), physician and advocate. Dartmouth College Class of 1887. The collection contains scrapbooks of clippings by or relating to Eastman as a member of Dartmouth College Class of 1887, as a spokesman for Native Americans, particularly of the Great Plains, and as a Native American educator.