The book Which Chosen People? Manifest Destiny Meets the Sioux, As Seen by Frank Fiske, Frontier Photographer, by Robert V. Dodge, has been added to the Institute for Regional Studies Archives book collection. The following is a description as found on Google Ebooks:
“The belief in American exceptionalism reached its apex during the 1800s and was expressed as a God-given passport called Manifest Destiny. Among its victims were Native Americans. The Sioux resisted, eventually in desperation resorting to Ghost Dancing and claiming that Indians, not the whites, were the chosen people. The military, political, and legal destruction of Indian culture provided precedent and justification for the empire building that accelerated soon after Sioux resistance was crushed. Frank Fiske was a young boy who observed this confrontation firsthand at the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota, where Sitting Bull was held, then killed. Fiske recorded the story as he grew and also kept the glorious past of the Sioux alive with his spectacular photographs of the people and their traditions.
The story of the Sioux is interwoven with the story of the early years in the life of the multi-talented Fiske, who attended school at Fort Yates with Indian children. He entertained soldiers, cowboys, and Indians by playing the violin, worked as a steamboat cabin boy and helped in the army post's photograph studio. Photography proved to be his specialty and when still in his teens, he opened his own commercial studio. His appreciation of Native American culture led him to photographing the Sioux. Fiske's photographs feature prominently in this book and his photographic techniques are explained.
This thought-provoking book documents the dramatic atmosphere where the US Army, Mississippi steamboat captains, missionaries, hard-pressed settlers and a host of other characters converged with the American Indians, during the westward expansion - a critical time in US history when the character of the nation was still being forged.”