Become Judge Dundy . . .

What Would You Have Done?

Read "The Story of Standing Bear" article.


The key questions considered by Judge Dundy were:

*Did the government have the right to remove the Ponca in the first place?

*Were Indians entitled to move freely around the country, or were they "wards of the nation?"

*Did the right of the recently adopted 14th amendment to the constitution apply to the Indians?

*Since Standing Bear voluntarily left his tribe behind in Indian Territory, was he no longer "an Indian"? Was he no longer a "chief"? Were he and his followers, instead expatriates or immigrants?

*If Standing Bear and his band of Ponca were no longer Indians, they could not live on (or even set foot on) any reservation lands. What would become of them?

*In the end, Judge Dundy ruled in favor of Standing Bear, declaring Indians to be "persons, under the law". He ordered General Crook to immediately release Standing Bear and his followers. Would you have done the same? Why or why not?