John Stands-In-Timber Interview, 1959

Overview of the Collection

Stands In Timber, John, 1882-1967, interviewee
John Stands-In-Timber Interview
1 reel audiotape and 1 folder
Collection Number
Collection 0573, MtBC, us (collection)
The John Stands In Timber interview is an original handwritten transcription of a conversation between Margot Liberty and John Stands in Timber. The conversations handwritten notes concerns the ages and actions of various Cheyenne men who had either participated in the Custer battle or other incidents of tribal history.
Montana State University Library, Merrill G. Burlingame Special Collections
Montana State University-Bozeman Library
Merrill G Burlingame Special Collections
P.O. Box 173320
Bozeman, MT
Telephone: 4069944242
Fax: 4069942851
Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

John Stands In Timber was a member of the Cheyenne Indian tribe, born in Birney, Montana in 1882. Among his ancestors was Lame White Man, a Southern Cheyenne chief who was killed at the Little Bighorn in 1876. John received his education at the Haskell Institute, an industrial training school for Indians in Lawrence, Kansas. He returned to Montana where he first worked as a maintenance man at a school in Busby and a cowboy. He became active in tribal governance at the Northern Cheyenne reservation and eventually became a historian of the tribe. In 1955 he met Margot Liberty, a schoolteacher who was also pursing graduate work in anthropology. She began interviewing Stands In Timber in 1956, continuing until 1959, covering mostly topics dealing with tribal history. The tapes Liberty used to record the interviews were erased after she had transcribed them and only a few survived. In 1967, the same year Stands In Timber died, Liberty published an edited version of selected interview transcriptions, Cheyenne Memories (New Haven: Yale University Press). In 2013, Liberty published a compilation of all her interviews with Stands In Timber titled A Cheyenne Voice (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press).

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The John Stands in Timber interview was conducted by Margo Liberty, Merrill G. Burlingame, Virginia S. Burlingame, Verne Dusenbery, and Betsy Miles at the Liberty home near Birney, Montana in October 1959. Most of the conversation on the audio recording reel concerns the ages and actions of various Cheyenne men who had either participated in the Custer battle or other incidents of tribal history. A handwritten summary of the conversation prepared by Merrill G. Burlingame is also included, although it is not an exact transcription. There is no paragraph separation between the questions and answers on the summary. The text roughly follows the same information found on pages 326-327 of A Cheyenne Voice, but there are several omissions and additions to the wording. A brief recording of Liberty speaking to an unknown group regarding the Missouri Headwaters area precedes the interview with Stands in Timber.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Acquisition Information

An original reel of audiotape and a handwritten summary of the John Stands In Timber interview was donated to Montana State University by Merrill G. Burlingame of Bozeman, Montana in 1973.

Processing Note

This collection was processed 2018 July 5

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Cheyenne Indians
  • Cheyenne Indians
  • Little Bighorn, Battle of the, Mont., 1876

Personal Names

  • Stands In Timber, John, 1882-1967
  • Stands In Timber, John, 1882-1967 -- Interviews

Geographical Names

  • Montana -- History

Form or Genre Terms

  • Interviews
  • Interviews
  • Notes
  • Oral histories -- Montana

Other Creators

  • Personal Names
    • Liberty, Margot
    • Liberty, Margot, interviewer