Dorothy Sloan -- Books

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110. RONAN, Peter. Historical Sketch of the Flathead Indian Nation from the Year 1813 to 1890. Embracing the History of the Establishment of St. Mary's Indian Mission in the Bitter Root Valley, Mont. With Sketches of the Missionary Life of Father Ravalli and Other Early Missionaries, Wars of the Blackfeet and Flatheads and Sketches of History, Trapping and Trading in the Early Days, with Illustrations. Helena, Montana: Published and Copyrighted by the Journal Publishing Co., [1890]. [4], 80 pp., text and title printed within red decorative borders, 12 engraved plates (frontispiece portrait of author, agency, Flatheads, scenes, artifacts). 8vo, original black gilt-lettered cloth, pink endpapers, edges red. Corners slightly bumped, upper hinge tender, lower hinge cracked, otherwise fine, with contemporary ownership inscription of C. E. Bennett, Helena, Montana.

     First edition. Braislin 1577. Graff 3559. Howes R428. Smith 8764. Peter Ronan (1838-1893), the first U.S. agent to the Flathead Reservation in northwestern Montana (1877 to 1893), presents a detailed, compassionate account of the Flathead from sovereign nations in the era of Lewis and Clark to dependence upon Euro-American culture. (The work includes the account of Ochanee, an elderly tribeswoman who was present at the encounter between the tribe and the Corps of Discovery in the upper Bitterroot Valley in September of 1805.) Unlike many federal agents to Native Americans, Ronan was sensitive to the plight of the confederated Flathead Nation and strove to protect their rights in the face of overwhelming pressures from Anglo settlers, ranchers, and entrepreneurs, as well as his own Federal government. Ronan, originally a newspaperman and printer, arrived in Bannack in April 1863, after his newspaper office in Leavenworth was destroyed by a mob during Civil War tensions. According to the preface, this work was first published in the columns of the Helena Montana Journal. This is an unusual, handsome Montana imprint with excellent content. ($250-500)

Sold. Hammer: $275.00; Price Realized: $323.13

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