Identifying the key players
Who are these people? What part did they have in the trial?
- G. M. Lambertson
- Judge Elmer S. Dundy
- Thomas Tibbles
- A. J. Poppleton
- Jon L. Webster
- Susette "Bright Eyes" La Flesche Tibbles
Let's analyze Standing Bear's responses to General Crook's lawyer's questions: pages 140-142
Here are the five key points of the ruling:
"First. That an Indian is a person with the meaning of the laws of the United States, and has therefore the right to sue out a writ of habeas corpus in a federal court and before a federal judge, in all cases where he may be confined, or in custody under color of authority of the United States, or where he is restrained of liberty in violation of the constitution or laws of the United States.
Second. That General George Crook, the respondent, being the commander of the military department of the Platte, has the custody of the relators [the Poncas] under color of authority of the United States, and in violation of the laws thereof.
Third. That no rightful authority exists for removing by force any of the relators to the Indian Territory, as the respondent has been directed to do.
Fourth. That the Indians possess the inherent right of expatriation as well as the more fortunate white race, and have the inalienable right to ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,’ so long as they obey the laws and do not trespass on forbidden ground. And
Fifth. Being restrained of liberty under color of authority of the United States, and in violation of the laws thereof, the relators must be discharged from custody, and it is so ordered."
-- Nebraska Studies.Org