The Sitting Bull Surrender Census: The Lakotas at Standing Rock Agency, 1881

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Following Sitting Bull's surrender to the United States Army in 1881, the Indian Division of the United States Census Office conducted a full and detailed census of the Sioux Indians at Standing Rock Indian Agency in central Dakota Territory. This census is the most complete and accurate account of Sitting Bull's followers and, until Ephriam Dickson III compiled this important work, the information contained within its pages had been hidden in archives beyond the reach of most researchers. Dickson's book provides researchers and historians with an unrivalled resource with which to assess and analyze this group of American Indians. In The Sitting Bull Surrender Census, Dickson has taken one of the total thirty-three different lists of Lakota families, with support from oral histories, and provided insight into the composition of community or tiyospaye at Standing Rock, as Lakotas shifted from their traditional buffalo-hunting ways to their new sedentary life on the reservation. The Sitting Bull Surrender Census preserves the earliest detailed enumeration of every Lakota man, woman, and child at the agency at a critical juncture in Lakota history, just as the last of the non-treaty bands under Sitting Bull returned from Canada and joined their relatives at Standing Rock. Viewed within the context of Standing Rock's rich documentary sources, Sitting Bull Surrender Census offers a remarkable snapshot of Lakota families and communities.