Nebraska Authors

Thomas Henry Tibbles

AKA: Occasional pen-name "Zylyff"

Born 1838-01-01

Died 1928
Omaha, NE (USA)

Thomas Henry Tibbles

Thomas Henry Tibbles

Attribution: The National Museum of the American Indian - Smithsonian Institution

Tibbles came West in his teens to fight against slavery, often alongside John Brown, in "Bleeding Kansas." He served as a scout and guide in the Civil War, and after the war worked as a journalist in Omaha. In part at the hidden instigation of General George Crook, Tibbles shaped the events, even as he reported them, that led to the 1879 trial of the Ponca Chief Standing Bear that declared that an Indian is a person, giving Native Americans protection under the Constitution for the first time. After the death of his first wife he would marry (1882) Susette LaFlesche, who had been Standing Bear's interpreter at that trial.

Tibbles' 1881 book The Indian Ring: A Secret History of Its Power, Its Operations, Intrigues and Machinations was a deep account of Washington corruption and profiteering that would seem familiar to any modern writer on the Unaccountable.

Tibbles wore many hats, as a church leader, as a farmer, and as a writer. He was People's Party nominee for Vice-President of the United States (1904) Working for the Omaha Evening World Herald, he was the first journalist to file a factual report on the massacre at Wounded Knee in December, 1890.

Joe Starita describes Tibbles role in his 2009 book I Am a Man: Chief Standing Bear's Journey for Justice, and there is a good overview of Tibble's varied career in the publisher's preface to the 1957 re-publication of Tibbles's Buckskin and Blanket Days (original 1905).

dsc

Places Lived

Omaha, NE
Bancroft, NE

Author Of

  • Biography
  • Journalism

Keywords

Journalism; Autobiography; Native Americans

Education

Mount Union College, OH

Occupation

Journalist
minister
farmer
editor
advocate

Places Worked

Omaha World Herald

Associations

Husband of Susette La Flesche (Bright Eyes)
General George Crook
Standing Bear (Ponca)
John Brown
Elia W. Peattie

Bibliography

The Ponca Chiefs, An Account of the Trial of Standing Bear. 1879.
Hidden Power: A Secret History of the Indian Ring. 1881.
The American Peasant. 1890. (with Elia W. Peattie)
Buckskin and Blanket Days: Memoirs of a Friend of the Indians. 1905.

We appreciate corrections and additions to our information about authors, but please read the following guidelines and caveats carefully.

  • The Nebraska Authors database is based on publicly available sources. Unless you are the author contacting us in person, it helps us if you cite the source or sources of your information. We cannot include unsourced information in the database.
  • We may be appreciative of information we choose not to include in the publicly available database.
  • To include an image on an author profile, please send jpg attachment to nebraskaauthors@lincolnlibraries.org. A photo-release agreement is required before the image will be published on this site.
  • Because of the way we are staffed, expect corrections or additions to take time, sometimes up to three months.
  • While we initially included some actual links to external URLs in the database, we will in the future no longer provide functioning links. We will instead record the presence of specific external materials in language that we hope will help intelligent users find it themselves. Web rot, in which actual materials remain online but undergo changes in their URLs, is too demanding in terms of staff time for us to hope to keep external links current.

Do you have corrections for the above information or other information to add?