Linderman, Frank (1869-1938) by Bachman, James

Frank Bird Linderman (1869-1938) was an American writer born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1869. After moving to the Montana Territory in 1885 and becoming a trapper, he encountered and befriended Flathead, Cree, and Chippewa Indians, relationships that he would continue to cultivate and write about throughout his life. During his time as a trapper from 1885 until 1891, Linderman acquired many Indian legends and was content living away from what he called (Smith 97). After getting married in 1893, he more or less settled down, living in a variety of Montana communities and eventually becoming a newspaper publisher, a state representative, Montana’s assistant secretary of state, and a prosperous insurance agent. In 1913 he successfully lobbied Congress to create the Rocky Boy Reservation for displaced Cree and Chippewa Indians. Frank Bird Linderman contaminating civilization When Linderman turned to writing in 1911, he wanted to understand the Plains Indian and to ( xiv). This task was complicated by the fact that only twenty years after announced the closing of the frontier, many of the Indian stories that Linderman wanted to preserve were already verging on extinction. After entertaining American journalist at his home, Linderman was encouraged to submit a collection of the Indian stories he had assembled to Charles Scribner’s Sons’ publishing house. His first book, , was illustrated by Linderman’s longtime friend and published in 1915. Linderman did not embellish his Indian stories but simply tried to relate them as they were originally told to him, to present (Water 149). Linderman’s books never sold well despite receiving good reviews. This struggle with sales largely had to do with the reception of Indian stories in post-frontier America: they were rarely successful unless they were written specifically for children. The simple, direct style of Linderman’s Indian tale books and his attempt to recover Indian spiritual encounters with the geography of the West probably frustrated a public who still wanted to see the West as a site for adventure narratives. Despite his commercial struggles, Linderman authored several more books of Indian tales for Scribner’s, including (1918) and (1920). preserve the Old West . . . in printer’s ink “Letter” Frederick Jackson Turner Opie Read Indian Why Stories Charley Russell authentic fragments of a forgotten era Indian Lodge-Fire Stories Indian Old-Man Stories In addition to publishing his first set of Indian tales with Scribner’s, Linderman began writing poetry for in August 1919. Throughout this poetry, Linderman writes in a nostalgic mode, portraying the earlier days of the frontier as a vital source of creativity for the American imagination; as Linderman says in the poem (:144). In other poems like Linderman adopts a difficult Canuck dialect that represents all the animals of the frontier busily going about their business. Historian recalls an argument Linderman had with the poet , in which Linderman maintained (19). Like his Indian tales, Linderman’s poems record experiences in the West as faithfully as possible. Scribner’s Magazine Cabins, I’m old, but I ‘m glad that I lived when I did Scribner’s 70.2 My Friend Pete Lebeaux, Harold G. Merriam Lew Sarret that a dialect poem should have every word exactly in the dialect and [Sarret] inclining to the thought that enough dialect should enter a poem to put the reader ‘in the groove’ but not so much as to make reading difficult Despite financial struggles, Linderman continued to write for the remainder of his life. After having a fall out with Scribner’s, he published more works on the Plains Indians with the John Day Company of New York. These works ranged from novels such as (1933) to biographies of a Crow man and woman, (1930) and (1932). Both of these biographies and they continue to be read by scholars interested in Indian and regional studies (Merriam 18). In addition to publishing these books, Linderman was a regular contributor to before his death in 1938. Beyond Law American: The Life Story of a Great Indian Red Mother have ethnological value as well as artistic, Frontier and Midland —James Bachman Works Cited and Additional Works about Frank Linderman . . Seattle: Washington UP, 1990. Beavis, William Ten Tough Trips: Montana Writers and the West . . Lincoln: Nebraska UP, 2000. Hatfield, Sarah Waller Foreword. Henry Plummer: A Novel . : 144. Linderman, Frank Cabins. . Vol. 70, no. 2 (August 1921) Scribner’s Magazine —. Cited in Hattfield, xiv. “Letter to Harry R. Cunningham on June 22, 1922.” . . Vol. 12, no. 3 (Summer 1962): 2-20. Merriam, Harold G Sign-Talker with Straight Tongue: Frank Bird Linderman. Montana: The Magazine of Western History . . New York: Oxford UP, 2002. Smith, Sherry Reimagining Indians: Native Americans through Anglo Eyes, 1880-1940 . . Vol. 19 (Spring 1939): 149. Water, Frederick F. van de The Work of Frank Bird Linderman. The Frontier and Midland Selected Works by Frank Linderman . New York: John Day Co., 1930. American: The Life Story of a Great Indian . Lincoln: Nebraska UP, 2000. Henry Plummer: A Novel . New York: Scribner’s Sons, 1918. Indian Lodge-Fire Stories . New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1920. Indian Old-Man Stories: More Sparks from War Eagle’s Lodge-Fire . New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1915. Indian Why Stories: Sparks from War Eagle’s Lodge-Fire . Ed. Harold G. Merriam. Lincoln: Nebraska UP, 1968. Montana Adventure: The Recollections of Frank B. Linderman : 144-46. Montana Poems. . Vol. 70, no.2 (August 1921) Scribner’s Magazine : 170. My Friend Pete Lebeaux. . Vol. 66, no. 2 (August 1919) Scribner’s Magazine . New York: John Day Company, 1932. Red Mother

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