100 Americans Making Constitutional History: A Biographical History presents 100 profiles of the key people behind some of the most important U.S. Supreme Court cases. Edited by Melvin I. Urofsky, a respected constitutional historian, each 2,000-word profile delves into the social and political context behind landmark Court decisions. For example, while a case like Brown v. Board of Education is about an important idea—the equal protection of the law—at its heart it is the story of a little girl, Linda Brown, who wanted to go to a decent school near her home. The outcome is accessible and objective “stories” about the individuals—heroes and scoundrels—who fought their way to constitutional history.
The Theft of Indian Land
“Full Power … over Indian Affairs”
Lone Wolf v. Hitchcock
187 U.S. 553 (1903)
Lone Wolf (1843–1923), a Kiowa Indian, sued the secretary of the interior and other federal government officials to stop the allotment—the destruction of tribes through the breakup of Indian reservations into small farms—and to forestall the government from opening reservations to non-Indian settlement. The decision in Lone Wolf v. Hitchcock (1903), however, backfired on him and plunged American Indian rights to their nadir. The rapidly expanding frontier in America found its last continental possibilities in what is now the state of Oklahoma at the beginning of the twentieth century. Pioneer settlement had filled in the remainder of the “free” lands within the confines of the nation.
Well before the ...