Thomas Tibbles

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Thomas Tibbles
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Personal details
Born(1840-05-22)May 22, 1840
Washington County, Ohio, U.S.
DiedMay 14, 1928(1928-05-14) (aged 87)
Omaha, Nebraska, U.S.
Political party Populist

Thomas Henry Tibbles (1840–1928) was a journalist and author from Omaha, Nebraska who became an activist for Native American rights in the United States during the late nineteenth century.

Journalist Person who collects, writes and distributes news and similar information

A journalist is a person who collects, writes, or distributes news or other current information to the public. A journalist's work is called journalism. A journalist can work with general issues or specialize in certain issues. However, most journalists tend to specialize, and by cooperating with other journalists, produce journals that span many topics. For example, a sports journalist covers news within the world of sports, but this journalist may be a part of a newspaper that covers many different topics.

Omaha, Nebraska City in Nebraska, United States

Omaha is the largest city in the state of Nebraska and the county seat of Douglas County. Omaha is in the Midwestern United States on the Missouri River, about 10 miles (15 km) north of the mouth of the Platte River. The nation's 40th-largest city, Omaha's 2018 estimated population was 466,061.

Native Americans in the United States Indigenous peoples of the United States (except Hawaii)

Native Americans, also known as American Indians, Indigenous Americans and other terms, are the indigenous peoples of the United States, except Hawaii and territories of the United States. More than 570 federally recognized tribes live within the US, about half of which are associated with Indian reservations. The term "American Indian" excludes Native Hawaiians and some Alaskan Natives, while "Native Americans" are American Indians, plus Alaska Natives of all ethnicities. The US Census does not include Native Hawaiians or Chamorro, instead being included in the Census grouping of "Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander".



Born in Ohio, he moved to Illinois with his parents. At 14 years of age, he traveled to Kansas and participated in the "Bleeding Kansas" slavery-related border conflict on the side of the abolitionists; there, he served under James H. Lane and John Brown. Taken prisoner by pro-slavery forces, he was sentenced to be hanged but escaped. After the end of the Kansas hostilities, he spent some time with the Omaha, even accompanying them in a conflict with the Sioux. He was later active, among other things, as a Methodist preacher in the frontier territory before turning to journalism.

Ohio State in the United States

Ohio is a Midwestern state in the Great Lakes region of the United States. Of the fifty states, it is the 34th largest by area, the seventh most populous, and the tenth most densely populated. The state's capital and largest city is Columbus. Ohio is bordered by Pennsylvania to the east, Michigan to the northwest, Lake Erie to the north, Indiana to the west, Kentucky on the south, and West Virginia on the southeast.

Bleeding Kansas Violent political confrontations in the United States centered around slavery

Bleeding Kansas, Bloody Kansas or the Border War was a series of violent civil confrontations in the United States between 1854 and 1861 which emerged from a political and ideological debate over the legality of slavery in the proposed state of Kansas. The conflict was characterized by years of electoral fraud, raids, assaults, and retributive murders carried out in Kansas and neighboring Missouri by pro-slavery "Border Ruffians" and anti-slavery "Free-Staters".

Abolitionism in the United States Movement to end slavery in the United States

Abolitionism in the United States of America was the movement which sought to end slavery in the United States, active both before and during the American Civil War. In the Americas and western Europe, abolitionism was a movement which sought to end the Atlantic slave trade and set slaves free. In the 17th century, enlightenment thinkers condemned slavery on humanistic grounds and English Quakers and some Evangelical denominations condemned slavery as un-Christian. At that time, most slaves were Africans, but thousands of Native Americans were also enslaved. In the 18th century, as many as six million Africans were transported to the Americas as slaves, at least a third of them on British ships to North America. The colony of Georgia originally abolished slavery within its territory, and thereafter, abolition was part of the message of the First Great Awakening of the 1730s and 1740s in the Thirteen Colonies.

As assistant editor of the Omaha Daily Herald , he was instrumental in bringing the case of Standing Bear and the Ponca Indian people before the United States District Court at Fort Omaha in 1879. This case was famous for its ruling that "an Indian is a person," with all the rights of full citizens. He was later married to Susette ("Bright Eyes") LaFlesche, a member of the Omaha tribe who had served as Standing Bear's interpreter at the trial. Tibbles was a witness to the aftermath of the massacre of Native Americans at Wounded Knee in 1891, and reported this tragedy to the world. From 1893–1895, he worked as a newspaper correspondent in Washington, D.C. On returning to Nebraska, Tibbles became editor-in-chief of The Independent, a weekly Populist Party newspaper. He was the Populist Party nominee for Vice President of the United States in 1904.

Standing Bear Native American leader

Standing Bear was a Ponca chief and Native American civil rights leader who successfully argued in U.S. District Court in 1879 in Omaha that Native Americans are "persons within the meaning of the law" and have the right of habeas corpus, thus becoming the first Native American judicially granted civil rights under American law. His first wife (wife1) Zazette Primeau (Primo), daughter of Lone Chief, mother of Prairie Flower and Bear Shield, was also a signatory on the 1879 writ that initiated the famous court case.

Ponca ethnic group

The Ponca are a Midwestern Native American tribe of the Dhegihan branch of the Siouan language group. There are two federally recognized Ponca tribes: the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska and the Ponca Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma. Their traditions and historical accounts suggest they originated as a tribe east of the Mississippi River in the Ohio River valley area and migrated west for game and as a result of Iroquois wars.

Fort Omaha United States historic place

Fort Omaha, originally known as Sherman Barracks and then Omaha Barracks, is an Indian War-era United States Army supply installation. Located at 5730 North 30th Street, with the entrance at North 30th and Fort Streets in modern-day North Omaha, Nebraska, the facility is primarily occupied by Metropolitan Community College. A Navy Operational Support Center and Marine Corps Reserve unit, along with an Army Reserve unit occupy the periphery of the 82.5 acres (33.4 ha) fort. The government deeded all but four parcels of the land to the community college in 1974.


Party political offices
Preceded by
Ignatius L. Donnelly
Populist nominee for Vice President of the United States
Succeeded by
Samuel Williams

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