Eli S. Ricker

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Eli Seavey Ricker (Maine; April 29, 1843 - 1926 Grand Junction, Colorado) was a corporal in the 102nd Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment during the American Civil War, who took part in Sherman's March to the Sea.

After the war he became a newspaper reporter and editor in Nebraska as well as a county judge. He is most well known for his progressive views on Native Americans and the more than fifty interviews he did with various Native Americans, as well as scouts and settlers, recording various eyewitness accounts on events during the Indian Wars in the west, such as the Battle of the Little Bighorn and the Wounded Knee Massacre. He recorded this information for a book he planned on writing to be entitled "The Final Conflict between the Red Men and the Palefaces." Ricker recorded more than 1,500 pages on ruled tablets which came to be known as the "Ricker Tablets".[1] He never got around to writing his book but the information he gathered, many first hand accounts of historical events, is considered an invaluable historical resource for documenting the history of the American West. These tablets are now in the archives of the Nebraska State Historical Society.[2][3]

When the white man landed on the shores of the New World, an eclipse blacker than any that ever darkened the sun, blighted the hopes and happiness of the native people, races then living in tranquility on their own soil." - Eli S. Ricker


  1. ^ http://www.nebraskahistory.org/lib-arch/research/treasures/ricker_wounded_knee.htm
  2. ^ Illustrated history of Nebraska: Volume 3 By Julius Sterling Morton p. 555
  3. ^ Give me eighty men: women and the myth of the Fetterman Fight By Shannon D. Smith p. 172 Publisher: University of Nebraska Press (June 1, 2008) Language: English ISBN 0-8032-1541-X